Grounding your outlets keeps your family safe from electrical hazards, but how expensive can it get?
Grounding an outlet typically costs around $135 to $300 per outlet, including labor and materials. The cost, however, can reach upwards of $4000 if it’s a very old home without the electric panel grounded. Additional repair and rewiring work can also increase the price depending on its complexity.
Don’t worry! We’re here to break down the cost of grounding an outlet and all the additional work that may be involved.
Breaking Down the Cost of Grounding an Outlet
Grounding a standard outlet costs around $135 to $300, including all necessary rewiring work and labor costs.
If your home is properly wired and has an existing grounding wire, a professional electrician can quickly swap your outlets for a grounded one. In that case, grounding an outlet costs as low as $75.
However, the actual price of grounding an outlet is case-to-case since the overall cost will depend on your home’s present wiring and the grounded outlet type.
Let’s break down the various factors that affect the cost of grounding your home’s outlet.
Connecting or Repairing the Ground Wire
The price of grounding an outlet can skyrocket if your home doesn’t already have a grounding wire.
The purpose of a ground wire is to redirect excess electricity from your home’s wiring system into the ground. While the ground wire is relatively inexpensive (typically costing around $6 to $8), connecting the ground wire can cost anywhere from $130 to $170 per connection.
Multiple ground wires may be required if you have numerous outlets.
It’s usually enough to run a single ground wire through your home’s outlets and appliances. But if you’re running multiple power-hungry devices, adding a separate ground wire is safer. Because of this, it’s usually cheaper to ground outlets in residential buildings than in commercial ones.
Grounding an outlet always involves replacing your current outlets with a three-prong type.
A standard, inexpensive three-prong outlet costs around $5 to $15 each. This variety is enough for your outlet to discharge excess electricity safely, but if you’re using power-hungry devices like an AC, you’ll need to install GFCI outlets instead.
A GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet, includes a built-in amp circuit breaker that automatically cuts the power if it detects unusual electrical currents. These types of outlets cost around $7 to $25 each.
There’s also the option of upgrading to a smart outlet.
Smart outlets are becoming a common fixture in modern houses and apartments. They have an energy efficiency feature that reduces electricity consumption to help you save money. Moreover, most models include a built-in circuit breaker and home assistant feature. These outlets cost anywhere between $25 to $50 per outlet.
Outlet Installation or Relocation
Installing a new outlet or moving one also contributes to the overall cost of grounding your outlets.
Moving an outlet somewhere accessible to nearby electrical wiring costs around $25. On the other hand, moving it away from present electricity sources and wiring costs as high as $300, which includes the costs of any required intensive wiring work and new materials.
Installing a new outlet is generally more expensive than moving a new outlet. An electrician must establish a new connection point from your home’s electrical grid to the outlet. The additional outlet cost can fall between $100 to $185.
Electrical Panel Repairs or Rewiring
Your home’s electrical panel should be grounded to make this process possible.
Repairing or replacing an electrical panel costs around $500 to $4,500. Before being shocked at the high prices, remember that the electrical panel manages and controls your home’s electrical system.
Simply replacing some damaged circuits and components will cost a couple of hundred dollars at best. However, the cost can skyrocket to $4,500 if your electrical panel isn’t grounded yet.
Your electrical panel will need intensive rewiring work if they aren’t grounded.
Grounding your electrical panel will require adding new connection points, rewiring all the present outlets, and even opening up some walls to access your home’s electrical wires. Furthermore, this labor-intensive process may take your electrician a few hours to a day to perform.
Fuse Box Repairs or Replacement
Repairing a fuse box generally costs less than that of an electrical panel.
Problems with the fuse and components cost around $100 to $200 per replacement while replacing the entire fuse box costs as high as $2,000.
If you can’t avoid replacing the entire fuse box, we recommend upgrading to an electrical panel. There’s little difference in price between an electrical panel upgrade and a fuse box replacement. Moreover, electrical panels have more safety features and are better for your home in the long run.
Opening Walls for Rewiring
Access to the electrical wires hidden in your home’s walls is needed for intensive rewiring projects.
Most electricians don’t offer these services, so you’ll have to hire an additional contractor. Opening up your home’s walls can easily drive up the costs by upwards of a couple of hundred dollars. Moreover, expect the price to go even higher if you reconstruct the walls after the grounding process.
Professional electricians charge around $50 to $100 per hour, depending on the different processes needed to ground your outlets.
Remember to consider your location when looking for an electrician. Hiring an electrician is generally more expensive in busy locations like cities than in small towns.
You may need to hire other professionals if the processes involved are outside the services and abilities of your electrician. For example, you might need a contractor to open walls or construct new paths for your electrical wiring.
Other Factors to Consider When Grounding an Outlet
Grounding your outlets must follow the standards set by the National Electrical Code.
The NEC or National Electrical Code has specific standards on the location of the grounding conductor and the various wirings connecting to it. Moreover, the size and specifications of the grounding equipment depend on your calculated neutral load.
Naturally, most homeowners aren’t aware of the guidelines set by the NEC. Hiring a qualified electrician is the best way to ensure that your grounded outlets align with those standards.
How Long Does Grounding an Outlet Take?
Grounding an outlet usually takes 30 minutes or 2 hours to connect a ground wire. Expect it to take longer if other processes like electrical panel repair are needed.
Can You Ground an Outlet By Yourself
We strongly discourage you from attempting to ground an outlet by yourself.
All types of electrical repairs are hazardous, and grounding an outlet, in particular, is a complex and labor-intensive process. Professional electricians know how to work around hazards, establish proper wire connections, and successfully ground your outlets.
Another thing is that professional electricians follow the current guidelines set by the National Electrical Code, which is key to keeping your family and home safe from electrical hazards.
Leaving this type of project to the professionals is best unless you have the proper training and credentials.
Is it Necessary to Ground Your Outlets?
Grounding your outlets isn’t strictly required, but it is a great safety feature for your home.
By grounding your outlets, you’re connecting them to a grounding wire that safely redirects discharges and unstable currents toward the ground. This minimizes the risk of electric shocks and prevents damage to the outlet and connected devices.
Grounding your outlets is a preventive measure against electrical fires.
Outlets produce electrical sparks and arches when they discharge electricity. Those sparks can make contact with combustible materials like wood and fabrics. This, unfortunately, results in electrical fires. By grounding your outlet, you’re effectively preventing electrical fires from occurring since any wayward currents will be redirected.
It’s generally a good idea to ground your outlets if you’re using power-hungry devices.
Devices like heaters and refrigerators need to consume a large amount of power to work. The wirings of your outlet heat up when large currents constantly travel through it; this results in higher resistances that decrease the amount of current passing through the wires. To compensate for this, the device will try to draw even more current, which can result in electrical overload.
A grounded outlet is a good fail-safe against electrical overload since it draws excessive current.
You can also upgrade it to a grounded GFCI outlet. The amp circuit breaker in the GFCI outlet will cut off the connection if there is too much discharge to redirect safely.
Grounding & Bonding – National Fire Protection Association – http://www.nfpa.org/NEC/About-the-NEC/Grounding-and-bonding
Ungrounded Electrical Receptacles – InterNACHI – http://www.nachi.org/ungrounded-electrical-receptacles.htm
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