Installation Cost of a Replacement or New Circuit Breaker
The average cost to install a new circuit breaker is $187. The cost is as low as $130 for 15 amp to 30 amp breakers and as high as $280 for breakers up to 200 amps or when the circuit breaker is an older one with limited availability. You can Do it yourself for under $30 if you have an electrical license, but it’s not suggested otherwise.
Average Replacement Cost
Overview of Circuit Breaker Installation or Replacement
Circuit breakers wear out with time or can be damaged by an electrical short. Before replacing the breaker, make sure it isn’t just tripped. Turn it to the ‘off’ position and back to the ‘on’ position. If the plugs or switches on the circuit still aren’t energized, then circuit breaker replacement is probably necessary.
This page gives the details that will allow you to closely estimate your circuit breaker replacement cost. These include cost factors, cost of the part vs labor cost, prices paid by other readers to have this work done and costs from estimating sites.
Circuit Breaker Replacement Price Factors
This is a straightforward repair, but there are a few factors that affect price.
- Labor Rates in Your Area – Most breakers cost less than $25, so the major expense is labor. On the Coasts and in major metro areas, the cost of living is higher. Labor rates can be as much as $150 per hour, sometimes higher. In rural areas and small towns in the Midwest and South, labor rates start below $90/hour for licensed electricians.
- Who Does the Work – Electricians start as Apprentices, then become Journeymen with the top rank being Master Electrician. The labor cost goes up with each level achieved.
- Circuit Breaker Specs – Most breakers are 1-pole/120V units from 15 to 50 amps, and they are not expensive. Prices for 2-pole/240V 100 amp to 225 amp breakers are two to five times higher. Price details are listed below.
- AFCI/GFCI – Arc fault circuit interrupter and ground fault circuit interrupter breakers cost two to three times more than standard 15 and 20 amp breakers cost. These breakers are used in kitchens and bathrooms where shock from electricity and water interaction is possible.
- How Many Breakers are Replaced – Cost per breaker replaced goes down slightly as the number of breakers switched out goes up. This is because electricians have minimum service fees in excess of $75 that covers their travel time and expense to come to your house. The more breakers the fee is spread over, the lower the average cost per breaker.
- Part Availability – If the part is a common one and still manufactured, cost is low. When the part is older and hard to get, cost can double or triple. See parts costs below.
- Job Complexity – If access to the electrical panel is difficult, job cost will go up slightly. This is not a factor in most jobs.
Cost of Replacement Breaker and Installation Supplies
Circuit breaker cost depends on the factors shown. Here are average ranges for the most common circuit breakers used.
- $5 – $30 | 1-pole, standard 15 amp to 30 amp circuit breakers
- $10 – $40 | 1-pole, standard 50 amp to 100 amp circuit breakers
- $40 – $60 | AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers
- $9 – $45 | 2-pole, standard 15 amp to 30 amp circuit breakers
- $28 – $150 | 2-pole, standard 50 amp to 200 amp circuit breakers
The majority of circuit breakers are 15, 20 or 30 amps.
Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs
- $0 | In most areas, a permit is not required to replace circuit breakers. You will need a permit if wiring is installed, fuses are being replaced with circuit breakers or the entire electrical panel is being replaced.
Installation Labor Cost
Electrician labor rates range from about $75 to $200 per hour. Labor cost factors are discussed in the price factors above. They include the certification level of the electrician and where you live.
Replacing a circuit breaker is a quick repair.
- 45 minutes – 1 hour | Removing the panel cover, replacing one breaker and replacing the cover
- 20-40 minutes | Replacing each additional circuit breaker
There are many reasons and projects where you may need to update the circuit breakers or subpanel in your home. The list below contains several other projects where an electrician is needed to handle the project.
Are You a Licensed Electrician?
If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.
DIY or Hire a Pro
Doing your own electrical work is something we don’t recommend due to the risk of mild shock to fatal electrocution.
To do the job safely requires basic knowledge of electricity, panels, circuit breakers and how to shut off the power and make sure it is off with an electrical tester. Then the replacement must be done properly.
Having said that, many homeowners take the risk and safely make this repair. There are good tutorials like this 5-minute video available.
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- Thumbtack: $120 - $200, Per Breaker
- Porch: $217 - $260, Circuit Breaker Replacement
- HomeWyse: $210 - $260, Per Circuit Breaker
- The Spruce: $100 - $160, New Breaker Installation
Common Questions and Answers
How to Tell if a Circuit Breaker is Going Bad?
If your circuit breaker smells burned or has any signs of charring on it, it's a good sign it's about to fail or has failed. If it's constantly tripping off, won't reset, or gets warm to the touch, it's a good time to call an electrician or replace your circuit breaker.
Is it Bad if a Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping Off?
Yes. It means that there a fault in the breaker, the electrical wiring in the circuit, or something plugged in to the electric circuit.
How Do You Reset a Circuit Breaker?
Resetting a good breaker is as easy as turning a light switch on or off. Open the panel and identify the tripped breaker. Press it to the off side first, to assure it is off. Then press it back to the on position until you feel and/or hear a small click.