How much does it cost to move an electrical oulet?
Chances are you’ve tried contacting a local electrician in your area and asked “How much to move a plug?” or “How much does it cost to relocate an appliance outlet?”. And chances are you got back questions from the electrician instead of the estimates you were looking for.
Why can't I get a simple estimate?
Well, the reasons vary. But the simple answer is: the condition of the job site (ie. your kitchen bathroom) will affect the labor cost.
A freshly gutted kitchen with no drywall ready for remodeling with bare studs showing is an electrician’s dream. No drywall means no fishing wires between the ceiling, walls, studs, blocking, or appliances.
No obstructions = faster job = less cost to you
Another factor that affects an estimate to relocate an electrical outlet is where the new location of the plug is with respect to its current location.
Not knowing how electrical wires are installed makes providing estimates really tricky because if the existing wire isn’t long enough, new wire needs to be added. On top of that, different homeowners have different tastes. While some may say “blank off the old location, open the drywall, and run new wire from the old box and the new location”, other homeowners may say “don’t damage the drywall.” 2 totally different work environments calling for 2 different estimates.
Different demands = different prices
How to pay less for electrical work.
Want to be the best customer, make your electrician happy, and save some coin?
Be okay with patching drywall.
Allowing your electrician to make access points in your wall to get wires down from the ceiling or between studs lets him complete the job much faster, which means a cheaper price for you.
What's so complicated about moving an electrical outlet?
1. Tip of the iceberg
Unobstructed drywall looks like a canvas ready to be painted on. Naturally, we think we can add anything to it. But a wall’s face isn’t as important as what’s behind it, and for electrical work, what’s behind a wall is usually more important than what’s in front of it.
Some walls are easier to work with than others. While bathroom and kitchen walls have various plumbing, electrical, and structural challenges, a bedroom wall (which is essential just a room divider) will most likely be clear and free of obstructions in the wall.
But wait… there’s more
2. Dated wiring
Older homes were installed with older electrical practices that was OK at the time of construction but is a no-no today. A licensed electrician is supposed to do any new work according to the current Nation Electrical Code. Unfortunately sometimes that means a simple plug change will cost more than you were expecting in order to have the install be legal and up to code.
Be aware of guys who are willing to do electrical work for cheap. You get what you pay for and electrical isn’t something you want Joe Smoe doing because he’s saving you $100.
You call an electrician because one of your electrical outlets doesn’t work.
He comes over to replace the outlet only to find there is no ground wire.
By right, he is supposed to either add a ground wire that connects back your electrical panel ($$$) or us a GFCI outlet instead of a normal outlet ($).
In both cases, the result of what you wanted is different than you imaged.
This is a simplified reason as to why estimates can vary widely.
3. Behind the face plate
Another reason for difficult estimates is due to what lies behind the face place. While you see prong outlets, the electrician taking off the device plate sees what’s behind it. Many times it’s an overstuffed box with numerous circuits running through it. Other times the mounting screw holes the outlet mounts to is stripped. With no way to mouth the new outlet, a new box must be installed.
What does that mean:
- Tracing and labeling circuits,
- disconnecting wires,
- removing the old electrical box,
- installing a new electrical box,
- properly re-connecting all the wires,
- and finally installing your new outlet.
What was supposed to be a $40 job suddenly took a full day tracing circuits and trips to Home Depot to replace covers and broken mounting screw holes.
Lucky for you…
Our residential electricians have the answers, options, and experience you are or will be looking for when electrical projects arise at your home. Reach out to us via phone call, text, or email and see how you can ease the burden of homeownership with our licensed Maui electricians, Maui’s most experienced electricians. From electrical wiring, ceiling fan installations, or panel upgrades, we will be there to ensure legal and safe electrical service.