Last Updated Sep 21, 2017 · Written by Rob Schneider
We have more gadgets and appliances than we had in the past. An older home or even a newer home might not have enough power points to handle all those gadgets. Only a licensed electrician can install power points for you. How much does it cost to install a power point?
Installing one power point or replacing a single power point with a double power point might not be a problem. If you need to install several power points, you could overload your electrical system. That could lead to power outages or even a fire.
If you live in an older home, your electrical wiring may not be able to handle the load placed on it by modern appliances or computers. In that case, you may need to have your home rewired. If you're installing several power points throughout the house, you may also need to have an electrician inspect your switchboard. Switchboards are there for a reason. Should any of the following happen, you may need to replace the switchboard:
These are problems that need to be addressed. The wiring or switchboard can overheat and create a fire hazard. You also may need to replace a switchboard if you are still using old ceramic fuses. They are not designed for many modern appliances. How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Switchboard? covers the reasons why it might be time to get a new switchboard and the approximate costs involved.
Ask whether you want to install just one power point or whether your electrical system needs a complete overhaul. Today, we have many new appliances we may not have had in the past. They can include air conditioning, home theatre systems, computers, kitchen appliances, home automation, security systems and power hungry electrical appliances. If you want to add these items to your home, you should have your wiring and switchboard inspected by an electrician. What to Consider When Planning Your Home's Electrical System covers most of the things you should think about when installing a new electrical system or giving your existing system a new lease on modern life.
Electricians have set rates for certain jobs. They also charge "call out rates" or "service fees" for jobs that take just a few minutes of their time. The call out rate can be as much as $100 plus their hourly rate calculated in 15 minute increments. The service fee can be much higher if they work outside normal working hours. In some cases, the service fee can be as high as $265 outside of normal working hours and the electrician will also charge a higher hourly rate.
Installing a single power point only takes an electrician 20 minutes to up to an hour. When you pay a service fee on top of that, you are paying far more than you need to pay. Before calling an electrician to install a single power point, think about other electrical work that needs doing around the house. If the electrician has more work to do, they will not charge the service fee.
As mentioned above, if you have a single power point installed, the electrician will charge a service fee (or call out rate) of up to $100. On average, electricians charge $80 per hour. Some may charge more and some less, but that's the average rate. They charge in 15 minute increments. A single point point takes at least 20 minutes to install. They will charge for two 15 minute increments if it's a quick job, so the total cost could be as much as $140 for a single power point. It could be up to $180 or more if it's a more complicated job.
If an electrician has more jobs to do, installing a double power point can cost as little as $75 or, if it's a harder installation, it could cost as much as $125. That's still a significant savings over the cost of a single power point.
Because of the extra cost involved in installing just a power point, have a look around your house and find other jobs an electrician can do.
As mentioned above, if you have an older home, the electrician may need to rewire the home and/or install a new switchboard. These have significant costs, but may not be necessary. If your wiring and switchboard are in good condition, what other jobs can an electrician do for you and how much do they cost?
Larger jobs will cost more. For example, if you're renovating your kitchen, an electrician can connect the oven and cooktop and install five power points for between $450 and $850.
Also look for places where you have power boards installed. A power board can have up to six plugs. While it's an inexpensive way to add plugs to the electrical system, power boards can be dangerous. It's better to have power points than an overloaded power board. If you decide not to get extra power points, be sure to buy a power board that has surge protection. This will help protect your computer or other appliances.
There are large variations in prices. Get quotes from several electricians and you may save money. However, you want to know the work they do conforms to or exceeds Australian standards. When hiring an electrician, ask them:
Every licensed electrician should carry insurance and certificates of electrical safety are required by law. A good electrician will stand behind their work and offer a workmanship guarantee. An electrician who has been working in your area for a long time is usually an electrician you can trust to do a good job. They have an established reputation and work hard to ensure customer satisfaction.
An electrician won't install power points if they feel the wiring or switchboard can't handle the extra load. They will suggest rewiring, installing a new switchboard or improving your existing switchboard. If you're in doubt, you can always get another quote, but if two or more electricians recommend the same thing, take their advice seriously. Electricity isn't something to take for granted. It must be able to handle the load or there could be serious problems.
*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.