Circuit Breaker Replacement Cost

Having a circuit breaker that trips can be a frustrating thing to have happen.  All of a sudden, you have to make an unplanned trip to the breaker panel box and flip the switch.

What Circuit Breakers Do

But a breaker is there to prevent a problem.  It is designed to trip when there is a current overload, or a short in the system to prevent further damage to the system, or even a fire.

open breaker box panel

Turn Off All Lights & Unplug All Appliances on the Circuit

If you happen to have a tripping breaker, the first thing you need to do is unplug all of the appliances and turn off all lights that are on that breaker.

Most times the breakers are labeled inside of the service panel box, but sometimes you may have to go through and figure out which breaker controls a certain area of the house or business.

If you have to go through and identify your breakers, be sure to label them somehow so you won’t have to go through that again.

Reset the Breaker

Next you will want to reset the breaker.  You will hear a click when you toggle the switch between the off and on position.  To find the tripped breaker, most are manufactured so it will show a little red or orange tab.  Flip it to the off position, and then back to the on position.

Did the Breaker Trip Again?

uninstalled circuit breaker - 20 amp
Circuit Breaker Switch

Once you have reset the breaker, if it does not trip again right away, then the problem is an overloaded circuit.

If you recently added an item to that circuit, you may have to move it, or consider hiring an electrician to change out the breaker to a bigger size so it can handle the load.

If the circuit does trip right away, then the problem is either a bad breaker that needs changed out, or a short in the system.

Whichever the case, this is a job best left to a professional licensed electrician.

Beware of Hot Circuit Breakers

Another thing to be aware of is that if your circuit breaker is Hot to the touch, it is likely that is needs changed out.

But, it is perfectly normal for a breaker to be a little warm if power is being used on the circuit at the time.  But if it is hot, that is a problem.

Circuit Breaker Replacement Cost in Houston

save money on electrical circuit breaker replacementTypically a licensed electrician in the Houston area can identify and replace a faulty breaker switch within an hour.

So typically you would pay for the service call which normally runs anywhere from $100 – $200 for the first hour, and then the cost of the breaker itself and needed supplies.

So a rule of thumb for circuit breaker replacement cost in Houston is about $175 – $300.  But there can be factors that increase the cost such as outdated breaker switches that are harder to find.

A really good idea is if you should have to have an electrician come out to replace a breaker, then let him do whatever other electrical projects you have been putting off if your budget allows.

It is cheaper to have any contractor do multiple projects on one trip, rather than having them out several times because you avoid the initial service call fee which takes into account their travel.

A great tool for estimating your project can be found here: homewyse.com -Circuit Breaker Replacement Cost Tool

Beware of Companies That Sound Too Good to be True

Many times a company will give you a low ball hourly rate over the phone to get the job.

But a low hourly rate does not constitute a lower overall total bill.  Would you rather have an experienced electrician who

  1. can get the job done right the first time?
  2. is up front with you about the pricing?
  3. can do the job in 1/2 or even 1/3 the time of the more inexperienced electricians?

On the surface a low hourly rate may be appealing, but it can be fool’s gold. Be sure to check out the company online BEFORE you have them out to do any work on your home or business.

A Big Electrical Company is Not Necessarily Better

Just because a company does a lot of radio and tv advertising, does not necessarily make that a good company to hire either.

Often these organizations have their technicians on commission for up-sells that they make in the field.

As always, do your due diligence and check for online reviews and look for other satisfied customers.  Sometimes you can save some money and still get a great electrical contractor by going with a bit smaller company.

If they have good reviews, then they will probably be ok, but be sure to ask what costs to expect before they come out to do the circuit breaker replacement.pucketts electric banner

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