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Electrical Repair: Common Problems and Average Repair Costs

5 minute read

Devon Taylor

By Devon Taylor

Most homes experience an electrical problem from time to time. You may have noticed that your lights flicker when you run an appliance, or that your clock radio never seems to get the correct time. Or maybe your outlets are coming loose or not working consistently. Start by searching online for how to fix your specific problem.

But how much does an electrical repair like this cost? In some cases, it can be pretty affordable. You might even be able to fix smaller things yourself, with a little YouTube knowledge and a trip to your local hardware store. However, electricity is nothing to take lightly. It can be incredibly dangerous to tinker with the wiring of your house, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. An online search for licensed electricians in your area might be the best place to start.

Common Electrical Repairs

Electrical repairs can be tricky to fix on your own. However, there are some common problems you can check for before calling a professional. A dead light bulb or broken light switch is a pretty easy fix. A loose outlet can often be fixed with nothing more than a screwdriver. Replacing a lighting fixture isn’t too hard either. Loose wires or exposed wires can sometimes be fixed with a splice and some electrical tape.

Some things are more serious, though. If you’re constantly tripping breakers or blowing fuses anytime you turn on the microwave or washing machine, you should call an expert. Your house may need serious electrical upgrades to handle modern demands, especially if it was built more than 50 years ago.

Average Electrical Repair Costs

According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners can expect to pay between $150 and $465 for basic electrician services. Most DIY jobs are much cheaper, as long as you know what you’re doing. Larger jobs, like new electrical panels, generator installation, or smart home automation, will cost anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000.

The price of an electrical repair job is typically based on several factors including whether or not you’re hiring a licensed professional, what kind of work needs to be done (such as replacing a switch or wiring an outlet), and how much time it will take to complete repairs. Some common electrical problems include short circuits in outlets or switches, blown fuses, faulty wiring, or tripped breakers. Here’s some rough prices of common electrical repairs.

Check Appliances For Electrical Problems

Appliances don’t last forever. You should regularly inspect your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and other major appliances to ensure they aren’t developing electrical problems. Check for cracks in plastic parts or exposed wires. If you see any of these signs, hire a licensed electrician to inspect them for electrical problems.

Electrical problems are often easy to spot. However, if something isn’t working right and you can’t figure out why, call an expert for help. Any issues that go unnoticed can cause serious damage to your home — and possibly result in fires. A licensed electrician will likely charge anywhere between $50 and $120 per hour, depending on skill level and experience.

Electrical Maintenance Costs

Electrical maintenance is crucial to keeping your home safe, secure, and functioning properly. Fortunately, electrical repairs are generally inexpensive when compared to some other issues you might encounter. That said, there are several common problems that often crop up in old homes (especially those built before WWII).

If your lights are flickering or your breakers are constantly popping, your old electrical system may need serious upgrades. You may need an entirely new electrical panel or major re-wiring. As technology advances, more and more of our belongings need to be plugged in or charged. The work from home revolution that was a byproduct of the pandemic increased almost everyone’s electrical demand. A total upgrade of your old, struggling electrical system could cost anywhere between $2,500 and $10,000.

How to Prevent Short Circuits

If you want to know how to prevent short circuits, you should first make sure that your home’s wiring is up to code. Just because your home was built a certain way doesn’t mean it’s safe. Check with a professional, who can tell you if your wiring is up to date. If your wiring isn’t in order, updating it may be necessary.

In addition to checking your wiring, there are other ways to prevent short circuits from occurring. For example, making sure that all of your appliances are plugged into surge protectors can help avoid electrical problems altogether. You should also make sure to keep water away from anything electrical. This is a great place to mention our article about how to prevent or repair water damage in your home.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If you want to save money on home electrical repairs, try looking into doing some of it yourself. There are DIY home-repair books available in most bookstores that can walk you through fixing basic electrical problems on your own. The average price for electrical repairs ranges from $200 to $500 (depending on how extensive your problem is). Even if you don’t know much about electricity, there are likely solutions that won’t break your bank.

It’s worth repeating our earlier warning though. Don’t fiddle with the wiring of your home unless you’re absolutely confident in your abilities. Obviously, make sure the power is off to whatever electricity source you’re working on. Test it with a voltmeter to be sure. The electric current in your house is strong enough to seriously injure you — or worse. Take all the necessary safety precautions if you’re going to change your own light fixtures or swap you regular outlets to smart outlets. And if you’re not sure, call a professional.

The Bottom Line

Electrical repairs are costly, but luckily the price of each repair depends on the type of problem you’re having. If you know your issue is simple (ex. tripping circuit breaker), then you won’t have to pay a fortune. However, if you discover that your wiring is faulty and need an entire electrical panel replacement, it will cost quite a bit more. If you want to keep these costs down, be sure to contact an electrician before attempting any repairs yourself.

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Devon Taylor

Managing Editor

Devon is an experienced writer and a father of three young children. He's simultaneously trying to build college funds and plan for an eventual retirement. He's been in online publishing since 2013 and has a degree from the University of Guelph. In his free time, he loves fanatically following the Blue Jays and Toronto FC, camping with his family, and playing video games.

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