how much does a 20 amp circuit breaker cost



When it comes to electrical circuits, safety is always a top priority. Circuit breakers play a crucial role in protecting our homes and devices from electrical overloads and potential dangers. A 20 amp circuit breaker is a common type used for residential purposes, capable of handling up to 20 amperes of current. But how much does a 20 amp circuit breaker cost? In this article, we'll explore the factors that influence the price of a 20 amp circuit breaker, the different types available, and some essential considerations to keep in mind while purchasing one.

The Factors Influencing the Cost

When it comes to determining the cost of a 20 amp circuit breaker, several factors come into play. Let's delve into each one and understand how they affect the overall pricing.

Type of Circuit Breaker

There are different types of circuit breakers available in the market, and each type comes at a varying cost. Some common types include thermal magnetic, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), and combination AFCI/GFCIs. Thermal magnetic circuit breakers are the most commonly used and generally come at a more affordable price compared to AFCIs or combination AFCI/GFCIs, which offer additional safety features.

Brand and Quality

The brand and quality of a circuit breaker also play a significant role in its price. Well-established and reputable brands tend to offer higher-quality products that often come with a higher price tag. These brands invest in research and development, ensuring their circuit breakers meet industry standards and exhibit superior performance and longevity.

Installation Method

The installation method of the circuit breaker can impact the overall cost associated with it. Circuit breakers come in two forms: plug-in and hard-wired. Plug-in circuit breakers are relatively easier to install and replace, making them more affordable. On the other hand, hard-wired circuit breakers require professional electrical work, which can increase the cost due to labor charges.

Special Features and Functionality

Certain circuit breakers come equipped with specialized features that enhance safety or offer convenience. For instance, some circuit breakers have self-testing capabilities to ensure they are functioning correctly, while others provide advanced protection against arc faults or ground faults. These additional features can drive up the cost of the circuit breaker.

Market Conditions and Supplier

Market conditions and the supplier you choose can also impact the cost of a 20 amp circuit breaker. Prices can vary from one supplier to another, so it's essential to research and compare prices from different sources. Additionally, market conditions such as supply and demand may influence pricing fluctuations.

Now that we have a better understanding of the factors influencing the cost, let's explore the different types of 20 amp circuit breakers available in the market.

Types of 20 Amp Circuit Breakers

There are various types of 20 amp circuit breakers designed to suit different electrical applications and safety requirements. Here are some common types and their unique characteristics:

1. Thermal Magnetic Circuit Breakers

Thermal magnetic circuit breakers are the most widely used type of circuit breakers in residential and commercial applications. These breakers use both thermal and magnetic mechanisms to detect abnormal currents and protect the circuit. They are capable of handling short circuits as well as overcurrent situations. Thermal magnetic circuit breakers come in different sizes and trip curves to accommodate specific needs.

These circuit breakers are known for their durability and reliability. They are often available at a more affordable price compared to other types, making them a popular choice among homeowners and electricians alike.

2. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are specialized circuit breakers designed specifically for areas where electrical circuits might come into contact with water, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or outdoor outlets. GFCIs monitor the current flowing through the circuit and quickly shut off the power if an imbalance or leakage is detected.

GFCIs are crucial for preventing electrical shocks and are required by electrical codes in certain areas of a home. The additional safety features of GFCIs often make them relatively more expensive compared to standard circuit breakers.

3. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are designed to detect and prevent the occurrence of dangerous electrical arcs. These arcs can cause fires, and AFCIs play a vital role in reducing such fire hazards. They monitor the circuit for any abnormal arcing conditions and quickly interrupt the power flow to prevent any accidents.

AFCIs are typically required in bedrooms, living rooms, and other living spaces where fires can pose a significant risk. These circuit breakers are regarded as a safety upgrade in modern homes, but their extra functionalities make them relatively more expensive.

4. Combination AFCI/GFCIs

Combination AFCI/GFCIs combine the safety features of both AFCIs and GFCIs into a single device. These breakers provide protection against both electrical arcs and ground faults, offering a comprehensive electrical safety solution. Combination AFCI/GFCIs are typically used in areas where both arc faults and ground faults are potential risks, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.

Due to their advanced features and dual functionality, combination AFCI/GFCIs have a higher price compared to standard circuit breakers or individual AFCIs/GFCIs.

Cost Comparison

Now that we are aware of the types of 20 amp circuit breakers available, it's time to discuss their respective costs. It's important to note that the prices mentioned here are approximate and can vary based on the factors mentioned earlier, such as brand, quality, and special features.

1. Thermal Magnetic Circuit Breakers: These circuit breakers are generally the most cost-effective option, with prices ranging from $5 to $30, depending on the brand and quality.

2. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): GFCIs, designed specifically for safety in wet areas, are typically priced higher than thermal magnetic circuit breakers. Prices can range from $20 to $80, depending on the brand and additional features.

3. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs): The advanced technology used in AFCIs makes them relatively more expensive. Prices for AFCIs can range from $30 to $100 or more, depending on the brand and features.

4. Combination AFCI/GFCIs: These circuit breakers that offer dual protection against arc faults and ground faults are generally the most expensive option. Prices can range from $60 to $150 or more, depending on the brand and added functionalities.

It's important to consider your electrical needs, safety requirements, and budget while choosing the right circuit breaker for your specific application. Consulting with a licensed electrician can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

Summarizing the Article

In conclusion, the cost of a 20 amp circuit breaker can vary depending on several factors. The type of circuit breaker, brand, quality, installation method, special features, market conditions, and supplier all contribute to the overall price. Thermal magnetic circuit breakers are the most commonly used and generally the most affordable option. GFCIs, AFCIs, and combination AFCI/GFCIs offer additional safety features but come at a higher cost.

It's crucial to choose a circuit breaker that meets the electrical requirements of your space and adheres to safety standards. Investing in a high-quality circuit breaker ensures the protection of your home, devices, and loved ones.

When purchasing a 20 amp circuit breaker, researching different brands, comparing prices, and consulting with professionals can help you find the right balance between cost and performance. Prioritizing safety over cost is crucial when it comes to electrical systems, so it's advisable not to compromise on quality. With the right circuit breaker in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your electrical system is well-protected.


Just tell us your requirements, we can do more than you can imagine.
Send your inquiry

Send your inquiry

Choose a different language
Current language:English