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Question DetailsAsked on 6/19/2017

how much should it cost for a licensed electrician to ground all outlets in a home, label the panel?

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Below is a link on previous question about labeling panel - takes a lot longer than you might think in most cases, because it means finding every appliance, light and outlet (including ones hidden behind furniture or hard-wired without outlet) and tracing which breaker(s) it is on, making a list as he goes, then abbreviating that down to what will fit on the panel sheet. I do a floor-by-floor sketch of my houses showing each electrical usage point and junction box and put that by the panel in a plastic sheet protector - much better, because the space on the panel label cannot accomodate the odd stray outlet or light or doorbelll transformer or add-onn outlet or such which has been tapped off a not-always obvious circuit.

I also recommend at least having him (or you do it but then you might have to call him back for another visit to fix a few minor things you find if you do not do it first) check at least each convenience (110/120V) outlet for correct wiring and for GFCI protection as applicable - using a handheld plug-in tester. Checking the lighting appliances takes more work per outlet. He needs to do that check anyway to check the grounding he is installing or connecting.

Now - as for the grounding - at typically $75-150/hour he might be able to remove and wire up ground wire to maybe 4-6 outlets/hour, so you are talking at least several hours and for a larger house maybe (with the labeling) pushing a full day's work. This assumes there are ground wires stubbed out into the box (that the outlets were just 2-wire wired). If the ground wires were just snipped off (as many electricians do when wiring 2-wire outlets) or the original wiring had no ground wire at all, then you are looking at the better part of a total house rewiring job and a LOT of drywall repair (unless a one-story with accessible crawlspace/ basement) because the ground wire cannot just be run as may be convenient to the outlets - now (per newer codes) it has to be insulated and has to run with and be tied to the circuit wiring (Romex or THHN or whatever) it is serving - or more commonly (and safer, and required in some areas) has to be in the same outer sheathing - meaning totally new wiring if it is currently 2-wire circuit runs. That can run into the low thousands to around five thousand for a normal or smallish home, and quite a few thousands to ten thousand or more for larger homes, by the time drywall repair and repainting is counted in.

You can find a few previous similar questions about grounding outlets (and light fixtures too - don't forget them) in the Home > Electrical link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

Depending on local code, assuming you are looking for some protection (though not as good as a good grounded system with GFCI too), you may be able to put GFCI protection on each circuit - either as GFCI breakers or by putting a GFCI outlet as the first outlet on each circuit. This provides substantial protection against getting zapped by shorts, but not total protection - for the best protection you really need grounding to minimize the risk of metal items in the house being energized in the event of a short, PLUS GFCI protection (which is now required in about a third to half the areas of a typical house - sometimes required only during requiring, sometimes before resale).

So I would talk to several electricians for not only bids, but FIRST before they work up bids on the job discuss with them what you are trying to accomplish, local codes, resale requirements, and whether your house wiring can readily have a ground connected to outlets or if you need to go with the new wiring or GFCI option - then tell the ones you want to bid which option you want to go with.

You also want to discuss with them how much drywall damage there will be (especially in textured surfaces, which can be tougher to match when repaired).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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