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I think the electrician is overcharging me considerably


Mark Holiday
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The job: to install 6 GFI outlets on the exterior side of the garage and to connect those outlets to existing unused 20 amp breakers on an existing panel on the other side of the garage (25 feet away) using 12 gauge wire. To get from the outlets to the breaker panel, all that is needed is to run the wire up the side of the wall on the inside of the garage, into the attic over the garage, across, and down into the existing pipe that leads a few feet down to the breaker panel. I'm not even asking to feed the wires through the wall.... just on the side of the wall using a small piece of pipe.

The price he quoted me: $1 grand for just that job (and we were going to have him do several other jobs at the house such as installing wiring for a generator and replacing some outdoor landscaping fixtures that have broken. He hasn't even given a quote for those jobs yet. Just the 1 grand quote for the 6 outlets to an existing panel. I'm afraid to find out what the other quotes are.

For 6 outlets to be placed 25 feet from the panel - $1 grand? Does that sound right? It sounds high to me, but I may be wrong.

I'm having somebody else come out this week to see what they quote.

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Depends upon the area, the electrician, and how bad he wants the job

Common seems to be $50-100 per outlet/run

So there will be 6 circuits?, say 40' each run - 1 roll costs around $75

Each GFCI box/outlet = maybe $20 so another $120 in materials

Always get a few quotes

I do my own work because the prices everyon charges are outrageous around here

Simple plumbing job, guy wanted $5k + materials

It was a $500 job MAX

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My coworker just had 4 circuits/GFCI outlets installed. I had checked it out last year so I'm familiar with the job. Panel in garage, garage walls were unfinished, ceiling finished. Job involved cutting an access hole in finished ceiling, running wires up from the panel into attic space, across attic (3 stalls wide) down wall, and through exterior wall. 20A circuits were used.

Total cost was between $500-$550 dollars (he told me but I fogot the exact amount). He had a couple of other quotes in the same ballpark.

Based on that, $1Kinyour situation seems high for this area, even for 2 extra circuits.

-Tim

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It depends a lot on the difficulty of the installation. Fishing through walls is expensive. Exposed cable is in MC or conduit, waterproof boxes are more expensive and any unknowns are priced higher. I WAG estimate $100/hr for my union electricians here. You might have8 hours of work there plus $200 in materials.

Still, I'd get another estimate. They're free.

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My electrician doesn't charge me so I can't tell you what I pay (he's a good friend of mine), but around a 50 to 100 per outlet sounds about right. If the electrician is just putting in outlets for you for the lights have him do what mine does. Have them run 10-3 wire. By doing this, they connect 2 GFCIs to the one wire and patch that wire into two separate 20 amp breakers on your panel. It's a 3 wire connection on a 10 gauge wire. You'd save a ton of money.

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my family and I got 2 more estimates.

1 from Chuck's recommended electrician who was about $200-$300 less (thanks Chuck), and one from somebody my father knows who wanted almost $2000 (ridiculous... he claims that the actual outlet-boxes are $65-$75 each).

My father and I discussed it and decided the original electrician is at least somebody we know, so we decided to just deal with the slightly high price.

We're going to actually have 7 outlets done, each supporting 20 amps, and I have another 2 outlets each supporting 20 amps, so I should have 160 amps this year.

Which should be more than enough for my lights. I originally planned 20,000, but it's looking like it's going to be closer to 25k-30k

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Lawkid wrote:

For 6 outlets to be placed 25 feet from the panel - $1 grand? Does that sound right? It sounds high to me, but I may be wrong.

I'm having somebody else come out this week to see what they quote.

Good God I am in the wrong business. A 2 hour job $1 grand.... well maybe counting cost of materialstoo...

Reading that makes me want to take a class and become and electrician.

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cmd1971 wrote:

My electrician doesn't charge me so I can't tell you what I pay (he's a good friend of mine), but around a 50 to 100 per outlet sounds about right. If the electrician is just putting in outlets for you for the lights have him do what mine does. Have them run 10-3 wire. By doing this, they connect 2 GFCIs to the one wire and patch that wire into two separate 20 amp breakers on your panel. It's a 3 wire connection on a 10 gauge wire. You'd save a ton of money.

I just finished installing#10 wiring to some backyard outlets and it was like $175 for 250 ft of #10 wire. 10 years ago when I wired my other outlets it was closer to about $75... price of copper wiring, especially #10 which is a pretty thick 30 amp wire weights heavy on the copper.

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Joseph Ayo wrote:

Lawkid wrote:

Good God I am in the wrong business. A 2 hour job $1 grand.... well maybe counting cost of materialstoo...

Reading that makes me want to take a class and become and electrician.

The sad part is that it's realllly easy to do this job. I may not be fast in finishing, and I'd bet it would take me the better part of a day.... but it would get done.

The only reason I'm not doing it is that the family is concerned about the applicable codes, and insurance issues, so they want a professional to do it.

:)This is just like that time that I had appendicitis and I read up on it and was sure I could take out my appendix on my own with asteak knife and a good bottle of scotch... but no.... the family wouldn't have it... they insisted on the whole hospital thing. The problem was something about safety or something ridiculous like that. :P

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Lawkid wrote:

The sad part is that it's realllly easy to do this job. I may not be fast in finishing, and I'd bet it would take me the better part of a day.... but it would get done.

The only reason I'm not doing it is that the family is concerned about the applicable codes, and insurance issues, so they want a professional to do it.

:)This is just like that time that I had appendicitis and I read up on it and was sure I could take out my appendix on my own with asteak knife and a good bottle of scotch... but no.... the family wouldn't have it... they insisted on the whole hospital thing. The problem was something about safety or something ridiculous like that. :P

How about this and this might be acceptable to the family. Get the parts, the wire, the conduit, wire the outside portion of the stuff but dont connect the outlets, just thread the wiring and leave it hanging out ready for the electrician, bring the wire leaving 4 foot more then needed to reach breaker box... Do most of the trenching, laying pipe, mounting the waterproof housing and "then" call the electrician to install the outlets, inspect or correct your worksmanship and then install the breaker. I bet you, you'll get the man to requote it at or under $400... actually doing this - ALL electricians will give you a break because you did the "dirty work" that runs up the clock at $100+ an hour.

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ChristmasHouse wrote:

I would do what Joseph Ayo said and run the wires myself and just have the electrician make all the connections.

I just upgraded my service from 100amp to 200amp and it only cost me $1,200.

Good luck with everything!

I did mine for about $300... I removed the meter myself, replaced the entire breaker box, prepped a replacement meter box and line and then the $300 for the electrician to inspect my work, make corrections, cut the live wire off the pole and hook it to the new work... Would have been $1700 if I stayed out of it, but saved a fortune doing the "dirty work" and well worth the $300 for the inspection, oversight and of course I couldnt deal with the live off the pole wiring.

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