Individuals tend not to think about the cost to replace old electrical wiring running through their building. They tend not to think about the wiring at all. Every time they flip a switch or turn on an appliance, they’re thinking about their job, not electricity. But it’s good to consider the building’s electrical system from time to time because if it’s old or is damage, it can cause problems. Electrical fires, for instance, are a consequence of degraded wiring, and they occur too often.
Recently, vacant house in Lebanon, Indiana, caught fire because of bad electrical wiring. Although firefighters extinguished the blaze within 20 minutes, the flames did an estimated $30,000 in property damage.
Replacing wiring can be an expensive investment, but it’s important that you be able to identify old and damaged electrical wiring before serious damage or harm comes to your building.
Signs of Bad Electrical Wiring
Wires become frayed from age, wear and tear, heat, and corrosion. Damaged wire casing (the plastic covering) exposes the wires, which, when live, can ignite fires and puts people at risk of shock or electrocution.
Every year, 4,000 people are treated for electrical injuries. Bad outlets are one such cause. According to the National Fire Protection Association, discolored outlets (which turn colors when poorly wired circuitry heats up) — conduct electricity, meaning they can carry an electric current. If you notice an outlet turning colors, immediately call an electrician.
Tripped Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers are the main distribution source of electrical circuits in a building. They provide power to all appliances and protect wiring from a becoming overloaded. When the breaker “trips” — when it shuts off the power — it’s protecting the circuit from overheating and causing damage.
If you must constantly reset your circuit breaker, it’s a sign circuits are overloaded and that a professional should asses them.
Costs of Upgrading Electrical Wiring
If you have electrical wiring that is isn’t functioning well or is damaged, it’s time to consider replacing it. Costs for upgrading electrical wiring depend on a number of factors:
- The price of the electrical wires
- The cost of other materials including panels
- The price of your electrician’s hourly rate
According to Home Advisor, new wires typically range from $6 to $8 per foot. Breaker boxes (also called electrical panels), if required, are priced separately. These appliances vary in price depending on what your budget and building necessitate. The average cost of breaker boxes by amperage are:
- 100 amp: $800 to $2,500
- 200 amp: $1,300 to $3,000
- 400 amp: $2,000 to $4,000
Home Advisor also lists average labor costs for electrical jobs. In Indianapolis, Indiana, the average labor cost for basic home wiring ranges from $3,330.87 to $4,037.42. The supplies for such a job average between $1,322.31 to $1,504.22. Prices will vary depending on location and exact job parameters, of course. Ultimately, you will have to ask a licensed electrician for a quote to learn the cost.