Do you have to have an electrician every time you need to replace a socket or move a socket in your home?
The price depends on your location and where the socket is placed, but the cost can range from £40 – £200. You can’t do the job yourself if you need to extend circuits because it comes under part P of the building regulations and requires a qualified electrician to complete the job.
How much would an electrician charge to install an outlet in the UK?
It really depends on where you are in the country to some extent. If you are in and around London, you can expect to pay a higher rate than those living north of London and to the west and east.
The table below represents the charges you could expect to replace a power outlet in your home.
|Job||Details||Price range||Time to dojob|
|Install two extra double sockets||Supply and fit two double sockets (white) in the lounge.||£110-£165||2–4 hours|
|Install an outdoor power socket||Fit a double socket on an external wall.||£85-£135||1-3 hours|
|Repair power cable||Fix damaged cable on a vacuum cleaner or similar appliance||£35-£55||0.5-1 hour|
|Fit an electric cooker||Fit a single fan electric oven, where power is already in place and the customer supplies the oven.||£35-£65||1 hour|
|Install electric shower||Supply and fit an 8.5kw electric shower.||£265-£415||0.5-1 day|
The average labour charge outside of London is approximately £40.00 per hour, which is not very expensive for a qualified electrician who will also certify his work and issue a certificate.
How much does it cost to have an electrician move a light fitting?
Prices vary slightly depending on the length of cable needed and the type of switch the customer specifies, but the table does give a fair indication of the process of moving a light fitting.
Dependent on how close the light is to the electrical supply and the cable length required.
|Job||Details||Price range||Time to dojob|
|Replace light fitting||Remove standard fitting and replace with the new one supplied by the customer.||£35-£55||0.5-1 hour|
|Install dimmer switch||Replace standard light switch with a dimmer.||£35-£65||0.5-1 hour|
|Install a light in loft||Supply and fit the light in the loft with a switch outside the loft hatch; assumes no light already exists.||£75-£1502-3 hours Install downlighters Replace old strip lighting in the kitchen with LED downlights.||£275-£440||5-8 hours|
|Install an external security light||Supply and fit an external security light – movement sensitive.||£85-£140||1-3 hours*|
Dependent on how close the light is to the electrical supply and the length of cable required.
Is it legal to change a plug socket in the UK?
Providing the new socket does not fall under part P of the building regulation, including the kitchen, bathrooms and outdoors, you can replace a wall socket yourself.
To replace a wall socket, you just need to isolate the main power from the consumer unit. You will see a row of switches that are in the down position.
There will be a double red switch on your right-hand side. Flip this switch to the up position and not the power is off to the entire house.
If you are working in the living room or dining room, you can even fit a fused spur yourself if you wish. This is permissible under the building regulations.
There is one caveat, you should be a competent electrical DIY enthusiast to take this type of job.
Do you have to be a qualified electrician to change a plug?
No, you don’t. A competent electrical enthusiast can change wall sockets in the living room, dining room, bedrooms and hallway without any problems providing they are confident in their abilities.
You don’t need an electrician to replace light sockets, accessories and fittings such as wall lights.
However, if you want to extend the circuit or add a new circuit, you will need a qualified electrician to do the work.
Why do you need a qualified electrician to extend a circuit?
This is mainly because part p of the building regulations has some restrictions on who needs to do the work.
Page 6, section 2.5 12 (6A) states that extending circuits is notifiable under regulations and should only be carried out by a qualified, competent electrician accredited to undertake such work.
When you add an extension to a circuit that has already been designed for a certain resistive load, the parameters change.
Hence, an electrician may need to install a higher rated RCBO in the consumer unit/ fuse board.
Why do UK outlets have switches?
It’s an added layer of security to prevent potential electrocution. UK power supply is more dangerous than that of an American home circuit of 110 volts.
If the socket does not have a switch, that would mean the socket is permanently live, this is not illegal, but the preferred choice is to have an outlet with switches.
Which country has the safest electrical sockets?
England, Scotland and Wales have the safest out sockets. Just the rigid construction set them apart from sockets found in other countries.
The UK outlet socket has shutters from eating and fused plugs to prevent inquisitive minds from poking their fingers into an outlet or placing a toy in an outlet.
How can you save money when hiring an electrician?
With most electricians charging by the hour or per day, you can impact the charges if you do some work yourself.
Move furniture and pull up carpets. Invest in some dust sheets or polythene to cover your furniture.
Make it possible for your electrician to come to your home and start work immediately. Much to the chagrin of many electricians, they don’t need a cup of tea every hour, so be hospitable and make a mid-morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon cupper.
Most electricians will thank you for your hospitality and for not disturbing them with idle chit chat for hours during the day, and the net result is your final bill should be smaller.
How to hire an electrician
Ask questions, lots of questions and use these pointers to help you:
- Ask how long they have been trading.
- Ask if they are certified to undertake part P work.
- Ask to see their licence and accreditation.
- Ask to see a copy of their public liability insurance to protect your home.
- Ask to see references, including a list of phone numbers you can call to speak with past clients.
- Ask for a free survey before they quote for the work.
- Get three quotes.