How Much Does a GFCI Outlet Cost to Install?
The typical GFCI outlet cost ranges from $130 to $300, with a national average of $210 for this type of outlet installation.
- The typical cost range for a GFCI outlet installation is $130 to $300, with customers paying a national average of $210.
- The primary factors that influence the price include the number of outlets, installation location, and the local cost of labor.
- GFCI outlets help protect against accidental electrocution and power surges and are recommended for installation in wet or moist areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- As with any project involving electricity, it’s generally recommended for a homeowner to hire a licensed electrician to install a GFCI outlet in their home.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is a special type of electrical outlet that is designed for use in wet or moist locations, like the bathroom or kitchen. The GFCI outlet has a built-in mechanism to cut the power if the outlet detects an electrical imbalance or surge. This can occur if the circuit is overloaded or if there is a short, and it can even be triggered when a person is electrocuted. By cutting the power within milliseconds, GFCI outlets stop the flow of electricity before it can cause significant harm to people or connected electrical devices.
According to Angi, the typical range for changing outlets to GFCI costs between $130 to $300, depending on the number of outlets, installation location, hourly labor rates, and any additional fees. On average, the installation of a single GFCI outlet will cost $210. The majority of this expense is made up of the hourly labor rate, leading some homeowners to wonder whether they can replace the outlets on their own. However, it’s recommended to leave home electrical work to licensed electricians to ensure that the outlet replacement is completed quickly, effectively, and safely. Homeowners can use this guide to get a detailed breakdown of the GFCI outlet cost to help come up with a reasonable budget to tackle this project.
Factors in Calculating GFCI Outlet Cost
The typical GFCI outlet cost ranges from $130 to $300, while the national average installation cost is $210. Taking into consideration a number of important factors, including the cost per outlet, the number of outlets, the installation location, labor rates, cost adjustments based on local cost of living, and several additional costs and fees, there can be a significant difference in the cost of installing a GFCI outlet. Before hiring an electrician to complete this upgrade, homeowners will want to take some time to examine these key factors in calculating the GFCI outlet cost.
Number of Outlets
Typically, the material cost for GFCI outlets is about $7 to $25 each, depending on the type of GFCI outlet. This means that if only one GFCI outlet will be installed, then the material cost of the installation is relatively low. However, if the job calls for the installation of GFCI outlets throughout the home, then the price of the installation can quickly increase. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that not only will the material cost increase with the number of outlets, but the time it takes for the installer to complete the work will also increase, leading to higher labor costs. The following table breaks down the outlet cost range by number of outlets being installed.
|Number of Outlets||Outlet Cost Range|
|1||$7 to $25|
|2||$14 to $50|
|3||$21 to $75|
|4||$28 to $100|
|5||$35 to $125|
|6||$42 to $150|
|7||$49 to $175|
|8||$56 to $200|
|9||$63 to $225|
|10||$70 to $250|
The cost to install an outdoor GFCI outlet is typically higher than the cost to install an indoor one because an outdoor outlet needs a waterproof electrical box and may require a more complicated wire run through the wall of the home. The average cost to install a GFCI outlet indoors is $210, but an outdoor installation can increase the total cost of the installation to between $300 and $1,400.
The average labor rate for a local electrician ranges from about $50 to $100 per hour, depending on the local cost of living and the certified skill level of the electrician. Initial visits will typically have a minimum fee of at least $100 to $200, even if the job only takes a few minutes. This pay structure makes it more cost-effective for a homeowner to plan several electrical upgrades or repairs for a single visit.
|Hours||Labor Cost Range|
|1||$50 to $100|
|2||$100 to $200|
|3||$150 to $300|
|4||$200 to $400|
As mentioned above, the local cost of living can affect the hourly labor rate of an electrician. In high-density areas that have a higher cost of living, customers can expect to pay $100 or more per hour. For the same service, a customer in a rural area with a lower cost of living would pay around $50 per hour. However, the exact rates and the differences between locations vary from company to company and contractor to contractor. Just keep in mind that there may also be trip fees added onto the installation cost if the electrician needs to travel a significant distance to the address.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Outside of the standard installation costs for a GFCI outlet, there may be additional costs and considerations to factor into the estimate when budgeting for this project. Ideally, the job will be straightforward and simple, but in some instances, the cost of the project can increase depending on several factors. This includes the difficulty of the job, permit requirements, inspection requirements, existing problems with the electrical system, and any additional electrical repairs or upgrades that need to be completed.
Replacement vs. New Outlet Installation
When considering the costs associated with the installation of a GFCI outlet in the home, the presence of an existing outlet can significantly decrease the difficulty and time it takes to complete the job. With an existing outlet already in position, the electrician is less likely to need to run wires, so customers may end up paying less in labor costs for the job. However, if there isn’t an existing outlet, the electrician will need to run wires to the location, cut an opening in the wall, and wire up the new outlet. All of this is significantly more involved than simply switching out a grounded standard outlet for a GFCI outlet, so it’s likely that the installation will have a higher cost to get the same results.
Permits and Inspection Costs
Depending on the local building code, permits may be required before a new GFCI outlet can be installed. In most cases, replacing an old outlet with a new GFCI outlet is considered a minor repair and may not require building permits, but to ensure that the project is in compliance with local regulations, it’s important for the homeowner to check before proceeding with the work. Permit costs can range from $10 to $500, depending on the project. Similarly, some jobs require an inspection after the job is completed to ensure that it is up to code. Electricians often provide this service as part of the job, but in some cases customers may need to pay about $160 on average to have an inspection done.
Electrical Repair Work
A good reason to hire a professional electrician to complete this upgrade is the potential for existing problems with the home’s wiring. The knowledge and experience a professional electrician brings to the job can help quickly identify any issues that could turn this small upgrade into a much more involved project, like rewiring a section of the home. If problems are found, it’s possible that the upgrade will not be able to be completed until existing issues are resolved. This will lead to a homeowner needing to pay the cost to rewire the house or the cost to replace an electrical panel. The following are some common electrical repairs and their costs.
|Repair Type||Cost Range|
|Rewiring||$540 to $2,100|
|Service panel replacement||$1,300 to $3,000|
|Opening walls to run wire||$3,500 to $8,000|
Additional Electrical Projects
Adding more repairs or upgrades to the list of jobs may not seem like a good idea for homeowners who want to keep costs low, but for those looking to save on the total cost of all pending electrical projects, bundling these repairs and upgrades actually ends up saving on the hourly labor cost. So before hiring an electrician to complete the installation of just one GFCI outlet, homeowners may want to consider whether there are any other electrical projects around the home that could be completed while the electrician is there. They’ll want to make sure they speak to the electrician about these additional jobs ahead of time. The following table lists some common electrical projects and their cost ranges.
|Project Type||Cost Range|
|Light switch replacement, installation, or relocation||$100 to $200|
|Light fixture replacement, installation, or relocation||$153 to $929|
|220V outlet replacement, installation, or relocation||$135 to $306|
Types of GFCI Outlets
The cost of the GFCI outlet installation doesn’t just depend on the number of outlets being installed; it can also be affected by the type of GFCI outlet and the specific manufacturer. The average cost of a standard electrical outlet is just $3 to $5. Basic GFCI outlets are still a step up from standard electrical outlets, so the cost of these electrical components starts at $7 and can increase to $25 per GFCI outlet depending on the type of outlet and the manufacturer. Customers can expect to pay more on average for specialized GFCI outlets like tamper-resistant, weather-resistant, and self-testing products.
|GFCI Outlet Type||Outlet Cost Range|
|Basic GFCI Outlet||$7 to $25|
|Tamper-Resistant GFCI Outlet||$7.50 to $25.50|
|Weather-Resistant GFCI Outlet||$7 to $25|
|Self-Testing GFCI Outlet||$10 to $25|
Basic GFCI outlets are generally less expensive than other GFCI outlet types, with manufacturers selling them for $7 to $25 per outlet. These outlets have built-in circuit interrupter technology to stop the flow of electricity when the monitoring system detects an electrical imbalance or surge. This simple function can prevent accidental electrocution, and it can also protect connected electrical devices from short-circuiting or catching fire.
Installing a tamper-resistant GFCI outlet is a great choice for homes with kids or pets because these outlets are made with built-in shutter mechanisms to help prevent accidental electrocution. The built-in shutters are designed to only open when the prongs of an electrical plug push against them and to remain closed to any other foreign objects. Standard tamper-resistant outlets cost just $3 to $5, but GFCI tamper-resistant outlets typically cost about 50 cents more than basic GFCI receptacles.
The purpose of weather-resistant GFCI outlets is right in the name. Homeowners can have these outlets installed on the patio, porch, balcony, or any other locations that may be exposed to rain, wind, snow, or sleet. These outlets are designed with weather-resistant covers and are able to stand up in extreme cold, heat, or even mildly corrosive environments without failing. The cost of a weather-resistant GFCI outlet depends primarily on the manufacturer, so customers can source weather-resistant GFCI outlets for around $7 to $25.
Self-testing GFCI outlets are a specialized type of GFCI outlet designed to regularly test the operational status of the surge shutdown system to ensure that the outlet is functioning properly. This self-testing GFCI outlet periodically tests the functionality of the outlet before resetting to the normal operating state. Given that GFCI outlets are intended to protect users and connected devices in the event of an emergency, it’s always good to know that the outlet functions properly. Invest in this type of GFCI outlet for peace of mind, but homeowners will want to be prepared to pay about $10 to $25 per outlet.
Benefits of GFCI Outlet Installation
Before hiring an electrician to complete this upgrade, it’s important for a homeowner to understand when and where GFCI outlets are recommended to be used. “How does a GFCI outlet work?” may be a better question than “How much do GFCI outlets cost?” if a homeowner isn’t certain about the benefits of installing a GFCI outlet in the bathroom, kitchen, or any other areas that may be prone to moisture. The addition of this upgraded outlet can help protect users from injury, but it can also help prevent damage to the home and any electrical devices connected to the outlet.
There is always a risk of accidental electrocution when there are electrical outlets in the bathroom, kitchen, or other wet or damp locations in the home, which is why it’s recommended to install GFCI outlets in these locations. GFCI outlets will cut the flow of electricity as soon as an electrical imbalance or surge is detected, reducing the risk to any people or objects that are touching or connected to the outlet.
Adherence to Electrical Codes
Depending on the location, GFCI outlets may be a requirement to ensure the home is up to the current electrical codes. If the home is not up to code, it can create time delays and additional expenses during a sale or purchase. Even in areas where GFCI outlets are not required, having these additions to the home can add to appeal, especially for buyers who are interested in home safety.
Appliance and Electrical Device Protection
One of the first reasons to have a GFCI outlet installed in place of a standard outlet is personal safety, but this addition to the home tends to get more use protecting appliances and connected electrical devices from surges. GFCI outlets can also reduce the risk of fire by cutting off the power to the outlet within milliseconds of detecting a potentially dangerous electric current.
GFCI Outlet Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Knowledgeable DIYers can often tackle the majority of repairs, maintenance tasks, and upgrades around the home, so it may seem beneficial to take on the installation of new GFCI outlets as a DIY project. While it’s true that handling this job as a DIY task cuts down on the cost of the project, there are significant risks involved with working on the home electrical system, including accidental electrocution and fire hazards.
Generally, the benefits of having a professional electrician complete the work will outweigh the additional cost. Licensed electricians know exactly how to replace an electrical outlet and how to wire an outlet. They will be able to handle old and new wiring, as well as work with any complex connections within the home electrical circuit to ensure the successful installation of the new GFCI outlet. Additionally, licensed electricians will know if the project requires permits or an inspection, and they can inform the customer about any potential problems with the existing electrical system that may otherwise go unnoticed.
How to Save Money on GFCI Outlet Cost
While researching the cost to replace an outlet with GFCI, it’s a good idea to look into potential ways to keep the cost of the installation within budget. The following tips can help to save money on the GFCI outlet cost.
- Bundle electrical work. Keep individual repair and upgrade costs low by having multiple jobs completed during the same visit. If the home requires more electrical work than just changing outlets to GFCI, then you can save on the labor costs by hiring an electrician to complete several electrical repairs and upgrades during the same visit.
- Get a fixed-price quote. Asking for a fixed-price quote can lock in an agreed-upon rate. Instead of an estimated cost to convert outlets to GFCI, a fixed-price quote will ensure the customer pays the agreed-upon GFCI outlet installation cost, regardless of whether the work is straightforward or complications arise.
- Prepare the area. Ensuring the work area is clean and clear of any obstructions reduces the amount of time the electrician spends on the job. Cleaning the location, moving any furniture, and putting covers over any nearby objects makes it easy for the electrician to come in and get right to work, reducing the overall time and money spent on the appointment.
Questions to Ask About GFCI Outlet Installation
Before hiring an electrician to install GFCI outlets in the home, there are some questions that homeowners can ask to ensure that they have all the information necessary to make an informed decision. The following list of questions can help homeowners get the answers they need.
- Will the job require permits or an inspection?
- Is the electrician bonded, licensed, and insured?
- Is there a guarantee on the work or a warranty on the parts?
- How long have you been in business?
- What is the timeline for completion?
- What kind of training and experience do you have?
- Do you have available references?
- What type of work are you most familiar with?
- Will any other workers be required to complete the job?
- Does your liability insurance cover subcontractors?
- Can I get the estimate in writing?
Having a clear breakdown of the average cost of GFCI outlet installation, including the labor cost to replace a GFCI outlet in the home, is a great help in determining the budget for this upgrade. However, before searching for “electricians near me” or getting an estimated cost to replace an electrical outlet with GFCI, it’s good for a homeowner to have a clear understanding of why GFCI outlets are important for the safety and functionality of the home. Homeowners can take some time to read the answers to these frequently asked questions about GFCI outlets.
Q. Does every outlet in a kitchen need to be GFCI?
Not every outlet in a kitchen needs to be a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets are designed for installation in wet locations, so it’s a good idea to install GFCI outlets near the sink, above the countertops, and in any other areas where they may come in contact with water. Other outlets in the kitchen that are not located near sources of water or at risk of getting wet during food preparation do not need to be GFCI outlets.
Q. Does a dishwasher need GFCI protection?
In most cases, a dishwasher will need a GFCI outlet because these appliances are commonly located near the kitchen sink. However, if the dishwasher is positioned more than 6 feet from the sink and the outlet is located below the counter, then the dishwasher does not require a GFCI outlet.
Q. Can a handyman replace a GFCI outlet?
The title of handyman or handyperson is a broad term that implies general knowledge about home maintenance and repairs, but the specific skills and licenses held by the individual can vary among professionals with this title. Whether a handyman can replace a GFCI outlet or not is dependent on their skill, knowledge, experience, and if they are licensed to do electrical work. It’s advisable for a homeowner to check with the best handyman services in their area to find one who is licensed to work with electricity.
Q. Does a refrigerator need a GFCI?
GFCI outlets are generally used for wet areas. Ideally, an outlet for the refrigerator should be positioned directly behind the fridge, so a homeowner will likely not need a GFCI outlet in this location. However, if the refrigerator is plugged into a countertop receptacle, then it’s a good idea to consider installing a GFCI outlet.
Q. Why does my refrigerator keep tripping my GFCI outlet?
When multiple appliances are plugged into one circuit, the electrical load on the outlet can cause the GFCI to trip. If this happens regularly, or the GFCI won’t reset after being tripped, it’s a good idea for the homeowner to put the fridge on a dedicated circuit to better balance the power demands of the home.
Q. Can I install my own GFCI outlet?
Experienced DIYers with the knowledge and skill to work on the home electrical system may be able to replace a standard outlet with a GFCI outlet. However, old wiring, old outlets, and a confluence of network circuits and wires could make the job more complicated than the average homeowner can handle. It’s recommended for homeowners to hire a licensed electrician to complete this work.
Sources: Angi (1 and 2), HomeAdvisor