how much is a 20 amp circuit breaker


What is a 20 Amp Circuit Breaker and How Much Does It Cost?


When it comes to electrical circuits, it is crucial to have the right components in place to ensure safety and prevent any potential hazards. One such vital component is the circuit breaker, which acts as a protective device against excessive current flow. Among the different types of circuit breakers available, the 20 amp circuit breaker is commonly used in residential and commercial settings. In this article, we will explore what a 20 amp circuit breaker is, its importance, and how much it typically costs.

The Importance of Circuit Breakers:

Before delving into the specifics of a 20 amp circuit breaker, it is essential to understand the significance of circuit breakers in electrical systems. Circuit breakers are designed to protect electrical circuits from overloading, short circuits, and potential fires. They automatically interrupt current flow when a fault occurs, preventing damage to wires, appliances, and the overall electrical system.

Circuit breakers are installed in electrical panels, commonly known as breaker boxes or fuse boxes. These boxes serve as the central hub to distribute electrical power throughout a building or premises. Each circuit breaker in the panel is dedicated to protecting a specific circuit, and choosing the appropriate amperage rating for each circuit is crucial to ensuring safety and efficiency.

What Is a 20 Amp Circuit Breaker?

A 20 amp circuit breaker is a type of protective switch that is designed to handle currents up to 20 amperes. Amperage, often referred to as amps, is the unit used to measure electrical current. The amperage rating of a circuit breaker determines the maximum current it can handle before tripping and interrupting the circuit.

In simpler terms, a 20 amp circuit breaker is able to handle a larger electrical load compared to its lower-rated counterparts, such as 15 amp circuit breakers. This makes it suitable for circuits that power appliances and devices that require more current, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and power tools.

Common Uses of 20 Amp Circuit Breakers:

Now that we understand what a 20 amp circuit breaker is, let us explore some common uses for this specific type of breaker. Generally, 20 amp circuit breakers are utilized in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems for circuits that require more power. Here are a few examples:

1. Kitchen Circuits: In residential settings, kitchens often require separate circuits with higher amperage ratings due to the variety of power-hungry appliances they house. A 20 amp circuit breaker may be dedicated to powering outlets that supply energy to appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers.

2. HVAC Systems: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential in controlling the temperature and air quality within a building. These systems can draw significant amounts of current, especially during peak operation. A 20 amp circuit breaker might be used to protect the circuit that powers the HVAC unit.

3. Workshops and Garages: Workshops and garages often house tools and equipment that require higher levels of electrical power. This includes power tools, air compressors, welders, and machinery. A dedicated 20 amp circuit breaker can supply the necessary current for these devices, ensuring safe and efficient operation.

4. Offices and Commercial Spaces: In commercial settings, where multiple workstations, printers, computers, and other electrical devices are in use, 20 amp circuit breakers are often employed to handle the increased demand for power.

5. Outdoor Circuits: A 20 amp circuit breaker may be used for outdoor electrical circuits, such as those supplying power to landscape lighting, irrigation systems, or even outdoor kitchens. These circuits often require a higher amperage rating to accommodate the various electrical devices and appliances found in outdoor environments.

The Cost of a 20 Amp Circuit Breaker:

The cost of a 20 amp circuit breaker can vary depending on several factors, including the brand, type, and where it is purchased. In general, circuit breakers are available at hardware stores, electrical supply shops, and online marketplaces. However, it is important to note that the cost mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only and may not reflect current market prices or specific discounts.

When pricing a 20 amp circuit breaker, it is crucial to consider whether you need a new breaker or a replacement for an existing one. Replacing a faulty or outdated circuit breaker can be a cost-effective solution compared to installing a brand new one. However, if you are installing a circuit breaker for a new circuit, the overall cost will likely include other materials and professional installation fees.

Factors Affecting the Cost:

1. Brand and Quality: Different brands offer circuit breakers with varying prices and qualities. Established and reputable brands may have higher price tags due to their reliability and durability, whereas generic or lesser-known brands might offer more affordable options.

2. Type of Circuit Breaker: The cost can also be influenced by the specific type of circuit breaker you choose. For example, a standard 20 amp single-pole circuit breaker is generally less expensive compared to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breaker, which provide additional safety features.

3. Availability and Location: Prices can vary based on the availability of circuit breakers in your area or country. Local market conditions, taxes, import fees, and shipping costs can all affect the final price.

4. Quantity: If you plan to purchase multiple 20 amp circuit breakers, some suppliers may offer discounts for bulk purchases. It is worth inquiring about such deals to potentially reduce the overall cost.

Price Range:

To give you a rough idea of the cost, the price range for a 20 amp circuit breaker can vary from approximately $10 to $50 or more. This range is an approximate estimation and is subject to change based on the factors mentioned earlier. Additionally, prices may also vary based on whether you choose to purchase a circuit breaker from a physical store or through an online retailer.

Installation Considerations:

While it is possible to replace a circuit breaker yourself, it is recommended to hire a licensed electrician for any electrical work to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations. Professional installation will incur additional costs, such as labor fees and any materials required for the installation.

Electrical work, especially when dealing with the main electrical panel, can be hazardous if not done correctly. A licensed electrician will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to handle electrical connections, safely replace a circuit breaker, and ensure the electrical system is in compliance with local codes and regulations.


In conclusion, a 20 amp circuit breaker is a vital component of electrical systems, providing protection against overloading, short circuits, and potential fires. It is commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings for circuits that require higher levels of current. The cost of a 20 amp circuit breaker can vary based on factors such as brand, type, and location, and typically ranges from approximately $10 to $50 or more.

Remember, safety should always be the top priority when working with electrical systems. If you require a 20 amp circuit breaker replacement or installation, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation and adherence to electrical codes and regulations.


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