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Old 11-14-2010, 09:57 PM
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
3,455 posts, read 5,090,042 times
Reputation: 2048


I wanted to replace by nearly 50 year old Federal Pacific box along with adding some interior circuits for a kitchen relocatiol/new tankless and wanted to get feedback on this estimate:

125 amp main breaker with ground rod: $2132

Install 2 circuits for washer dryer and tankless: $471

Kitchen Remodel -
2 circuits for small appliances: $406
1 circuit for microwave: $147
1 circuit for fridge: $131
1 circuit for gas range and vented hood: $157
1 circuit for disposal: $126
1 circuit for dishwasher $126

Total $3700 ($2669 for labor and $1030 for materials)

Also I actually have a non-GFI plug or two in that area to be remodeled. Can they be repurposed?

I was told by another potential contract that I might have to upgrade the wiring to the pole to handle the increased load, but this wasn't mentioned or included in the above estimate. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:44 PM
Location: Jacksonville, FL
6,695 posts, read 7,350,890 times
Reputation: 5443
The downside in asking for opinions in this forum is that most of us are spread across the country (and a few outside of it). So, it's hard for any of us to say what a good quote is.

Your best bet is to get several different quotes from reputable electricians and compare them. Get the quotes in writing, and when you start negotiating prices, have those other quotes in hand. You may get a much better deal that way.

Also, don't forget to ask for references and make sure you call those numbers. Too many guys out there give out bogus numbers knowing that people won't actually call them.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:04 PM
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,855 posts, read 5,670,655 times
Reputation: 3060
JimRom is correct to obtain several estimates for the work. I would also have them specify the materials they will beusing for the upgrades. There are various distribution panels available, wiring and methods, etc. This individual might be quoting you good materials when the next might be quoting you junk or knockoffs or used. Obviously the second would wind up being cheaper and many people would fall for it.

I will say one thing about the little you provided for this estimate. The Electrician you have the quote from is laying it all out so you can see what each run/correction part will cost you. In my opinion that is the mark of a professional not trying to hide anything. You can easily compare that to what you can afford, what others quote you, and make good decisions. I would be very leery of a business that gave lump sum quotes.

Not sure what outlet locations you are considering changing purposes for but as long as all 15 and 20 Amp receptacles (outlets) serving counter tops in the kitchen are protected by GFCI then other outlets should not be a concern.

As for upgrading the service entrance and/or service drop wires it might need to be done. I would ask your electricians estimating to explain why. Keep in mind that the amperage capability of any home is only as high as the weakest component. If your service entrance/service drop wiring is not capable of handling the maximum expected load for the new panel and loads added then it can potentially go first in an overload condition at the panel entrance.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:07 PM
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18188
Just for your own piece of mind I would price out the materials at several discount electrical supply houses. I would also like to see the hourly rate for the labor. By my estimates the work listed does not constitute three full one man days, and the rate would be over $111...
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:09 AM
Location: Knoxville
4,134 posts, read 19,720,058 times
Reputation: 4727
In my area, putting in a new 200 amp 240V panel usually runs in the $800 - 1500 range. Many time they have to add a new weather head and riser to hold the larger wires. The utility company sometimes has to run new wires from the pole to the house.

Adding additional circuits can be fairly easy, or a whole lot of labor depending on the conditions.

I added a couple circuits in my house to add another heat pump, and some additional lighting in my basement workshop. Two guys were there most of the day and they charged me $450 and I furnished most (not all) of the materials. And this was with an unfinished basement, so running the wires was pretty easy for them.

Of course the labor rates in your area may be totally different than in mine. Ask any friends that may have had electrical work in the past for referrals. You might also call some home inspectors and ask them if they know any good electricians. We run into trade guys all the time, and after a while have a pretty good idea of who is good and who isn't.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:33 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,717 posts, read 59,563,864 times
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The price depends on the configuration of your house. How much of the wiring that needs to be done cna be runn fromt he basement or crawl space (or attic)? Does the price include repair of any holes made for access? Does it include pait or walpaper replacement? How many circuits need to be connected in the main box?

There are simply too many variables.

For me a new circuit has cost between $0 and over $500. ($0 when I did it myself and already had the wire left over from another project. $500 when there was a lot of wall repair, crawling in the attic, etc. )

I would suggest that you put in a 200 amp panel not 125. 125 is out of date and leaves you little or no room for future expansion. Besides if you go to sell your house, people expect a 200 amp panel. The cost difference is miniscule.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:23 AM
Location: Durham
1,710 posts, read 2,099,375 times
Reputation: 1735
Sounds a little high but maybe not for your area. Costs vary a lot by cost of doing business in a given location.

If he's using Square D or Cutler Hammer CH panel & breakers, the price is a better deal than if he's using GE. SD and Cutler are generally the better equipment. GE is the cheapest, lowest quality generally out there today, at least in my area. Siemens is fair, Cutler Hammer BR not too bad. Federal Pacific & Zinsco were some of the worst ever made & fortunately are no more.

Most places in NC, wiring to the pole would be supplied by power company at no cost to you. Wiring from meter base to overhead connection is your cost.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:05 PM
Location: Ocean County, NJ
621 posts, read 1,880,775 times
Reputation: 194
Fed Pac panels are fire hazards. I've replace countless fed pac panels. That quote isn't too bad. I'm assuming they will use a Square D panel
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:13 PM
Location: In a state of mind
5,998 posts, read 6,357,816 times
Reputation: 11253
I had a guy once quote me $1,000 to dig a trench in sandy dirt 4X2X30 for some pipes. I did it in an afternoon with a friend for a couple of beers and lunch.

Point being price can vary. Keep getting estimates until you get one that fits your price.

Personally I have quite a bit of construction experience. I usually buy all materials myself, then I go on Craigslist and hire a journeyman electrician (in this case) who wants a moonlight job on a weekend. Such guys will work in SoCal for around $18 an hour, instead of $60 for a full contractor. Yet they are the guys doing the work for the contractor.

Rewiring a house is not an easy task. It can often require a lot of wall cutting and repair. Requires pulling wire through frustrating spaces and needs to be hooked up right or you will have a pile of ashes. So you don't want the wrong guy doing it.

$2669 is 44 hours labor at $60 an hour. Do you think it will take 44 hours?

$2669 at $18 an hour is 148 hours or about $800 labor for 44 hours.

Bear in mind that you need to pull a permit for electric (and should to be sure it's done right). There are some things where the bottom price is not always the best price.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:09 PM
Location: sowf jawja
1,940 posts, read 7,965,006 times
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Price looks good to me.

As for the upgraded wiring outside; if its between the mast and the transformer, its not the electrical contractor's decision as to whether that gets upgraded. they can put in a request w/ the power company, which is who decides if its adequate.

Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Just for your own piece of mind I would price out the materials at several discount electrical supply houses. I would also like to see the hourly rate for the labor. By my estimates the work listed does not constitute three full one man days, and the rate would be over $111...
I think that's a waste of time. Of course the contractor is going to have a markup on materials, and our labor is well over $100/hr. Looking at the numbers quoted, i'm sure they're flat-rate, and actual labor hours should always be less than estimated hours. I don't see the purpose in the actual material/labor breakdown. It is what it is. I guess some people feel better if they think the contractor isn't making that much money.

If a customer says to me, "well I know materials only cost $XX", its just in one ear and out the other. That may sound rude, but you can't let a customer dictate your profit margins. I don't know about you, but I don't want someone going broke on my job. That's incentive to send johnny cutcorners out to do the work.

I say pick the contractor that you feel is giving you their undivided attention and makes you feel comfortable, all at a price you can afford.
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