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Old 12-21-2023, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
5,332 posts, read 6,031,838 times
Reputation: 10983

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmellc View Post
Electrician here. I have replaced dozens, if not hundreds, of receptacles and switches burned up by backstabbing. Some hold up ok if lightly loaded and not subject to vibration, but these factors can never be guaranteed. A few devices have a clamp where you can still stab, but also tighten down a screw. These are ideal. Some were also "protected" by arc fault breakers, the biggest ripoff authorities have forced on us. This is part of the reason for higher costs. A typical arc fault breaker is about $50-60, opposed to $5-10 for a standard breaker.

Part of higher costs too, are the costs of doing business. Worker's comp insurance is very expensive, so is liability insurance. We all know about fuel costs. My first set of tools in the 1970's was $65. Same tools now run $250-300.

I ran my business for 5 years and had to hang it up. I shut down owing a lot of money and having 5 years of lost income. That was 2013. I should have shut it down by 3 years.
Gee, I wonder if this is why my 4 prong outlet and stacked washer and dryer plug melted down into an unrecognizable black glob.
Also, the electrician who repaired the mess overcharged me by an adding 2 hrs of labor to the invoice, even though he was not present for those additional 2 hrs. I'd blow it off, but he's not the first to take advantage of my being a single, older female. This is the third time I've been taken advantage of, and I'm finally taking a stand. Thank God for the Ring doorbell videos.
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Old 12-22-2023, 09:58 AM
 
23,615 posts, read 70,504,176 times
Reputation: 49333
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Gee, I wonder if this is why my 4 prong outlet and stacked washer and dryer plug melted down into an unrecognizable black glob.
Also, the electrician who repaired the mess overcharged me by an adding 2 hrs of labor to the invoice, even though he was not present for those additional 2 hrs. I'd blow it off, but he's not the first to take advantage of my being a single, older female. This is the third time I've been taken advantage of, and I'm finally taking a stand. Thank God for the Ring doorbell videos.
No, such high wattage outlets have no back-stab, AFAIK. My experience is that the plugs depend upon spring action in the plug keeping proper contact. Over time, with the heat of worsening connections, that fails and it becomes a cascading issue. YMMV
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Old 12-22-2023, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
5,332 posts, read 6,031,838 times
Reputation: 10983
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
No, such high wattage outlets have no back-stab, AFAIK. My experience is that the plugs depend upon spring action in the plug keeping proper contact. Over time, with the heat of worsening connections, that fails and it becomes a cascading issue. YMMV
Harry, do other appliances have high wattage outlets?
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Old 12-22-2023, 08:19 PM
 
23,615 posts, read 70,504,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Harry, do other appliances have high wattage outlets?
Electric stoves. Most other high wattage appliances are hard wired.
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Old 12-22-2023, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Del Rio, TN
39,876 posts, read 26,554,573 times
Reputation: 25779
Frankly, I can't imagine the cost of getting by without at least basic DIY skills. A contractor has to make good money, and much of the cost isn't the labor for the project itself, it's travel time, overhead, taxes, his maintenance on vehicles/shop space, etc. I have no issue with a $200-300 for a basic service call-after all they have to make a living. I just much prefer to do a job myself rather than pay for it! Partly because I'm frugal, partly out of satisfaction of doing it myself. It's also more convenient to do small projects rather than waiting around for a technician to come out and do them.

My wife and I built nearly all of our last house. Did the excavating, formed the footings and foundation walls (ICFs), did the framing (except roof sheathing, ran out of time), all the siding, wiring, plumbing, finish carpentry, tile. Had the basement floor poured, the roof and sheetrock done. I used to do all my own auto mechanic work, including engine rebuilds a couple times (not transmissions!). These days, a lot of things are more involved. Youtube and a scan tool are a good start, but sometimes more advanced test equipment is needed that I don't have the desire to spend the money on. Still do the basics, oil and filter changes, air filters, plugs, tire rotations, brakes. But that's about as deep as I want to dig these days. I do more on motorcycles, including tire changes and balancing. A lot of that is because I can do these things in less time than I can ride/drive to a dealership and wait around to have the work done. And I enjoy tinkering with bikes. Bike tires don't last that long, so doing 2-3 sets a year makes it worth while.

Some jobs...I put off because I hadn't tackled them before-and if it went badly it was a big, expensive deal! I did a walk-in shower with a mud-base at my last home. Watched a bunch of youtube videos-unfortunately, different experts had different approaches to the same job. Once I finally jumped in and did, it, I found it wasn't all that bad (though still took me a while).

I also heat with a wood stove, and cut and split my own firewood. Heck, I'm on acreage, and have enough downed trees or ones that need thinned anyway to provide my wood. And enjoy yard work-and both give me an excuse for toys (wood splitter, tractor with front loader, etc). I used to live in Idaho, and the one chore I got sick of was snow removal. Took a lot of seat time on the tractor to clear 3/8 mile of driveway.

Current project isn't too big. I have a home with a daylight basement and basement garage (small). Knocked out part of the garage wall to expand it and have a small workshop in the basement. Framed up a new wall, wired, hung sheetrock, insulated the ceiling (amazed that hadn't been done when the house was built). Still need to tape/texture, paint and install outlets.

Next year I hope to put in a garage/shop, probably about 32x50. I'll pay to have that erected, too many things take more hands than I have. And the people that do that for a living are good at it. Probably just do the wiring and any interior partitions. I had a 40x40 at my last place and really miss having that space, really want to get my woodworking equipment out of the basement.

Anyway, I understand the desire to avoid more involved tasks. But simple stuff like replacing an outlet, switch or light fixture, or replace a faucet or clear a clogged drain are simple, don't take a lot of specialized tools and are a lot less expensive, and IMO less annoying to do yourself.
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Old 12-24-2023, 08:51 AM
 
Location: USA
9,209 posts, read 6,243,878 times
Reputation: 30251
Sometimes, we don't want the cheapest solution but it is forced on us.

I've subscribed to the "DO IT FAST, DO IT CHEAP, DO IT WELL: PICK TWO" philosophy of life.

I don't mind paying more for a faster solution than I'd pay for a slower solution.

I don't mind paying more for a longer-lasting solution than for a short-term fix.


Unfortunately, I'm rarely given that choice.

My service providers seem to assume that I'm looking for the cheapest solution. Perhaps because I am a retired woman?


Trying to get service providers to upgrade their services and products is, well, very trying! Eventually I give up.
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Old 12-25-2023, 09:11 AM
 
22,667 posts, read 24,639,634 times
Reputation: 20358
I try to weigh the cost, practicality and need for whatever DIY project I am doing.

Maybe I am not doing it the "best" way according to the experts, but as a "patch" that may be adequate for several years, that is good enough most of the time.

For example, the old bricks in my basement are, for the most part, in ok shape, not cracked or going to crumble-up and fall away from the foundation. But, the surface-areas of most of them was shedding away and leaving a lot of red brick-dust all over the ground.

So, I cleaned the bricks very well and let them dry. Then I used a PVA-based sealant on them....and it totally stopped all of the surface-shedding the bricks were doing. Is that the "best" solution, probable replacing would be better, but that is not practical, so I did
the DIY fix that is basically a patchjob.
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Old 01-02-2024, 06:35 PM
 
972 posts, read 544,083 times
Reputation: 1844
I couldn't venture a guess about how much the decline in DIY factors into the average person's cost of living. For people who are looking for ways to save, it's definitely worth a look. The classic example these days is the $5-15 cafe stop for breakfast. If you need to have breakfast on the run, put a bagel in the toaster, pour some coffee in a thermos, and save the $12-13.

Last edited by Masamune; 01-02-2024 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 01-05-2024, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,623 posts, read 3,155,855 times
Reputation: 3631
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Gee, I wonder if this is why my 4 prong outlet and stacked washer and dryer plug melted down into an unrecognizable black glob.
Also, the electrician who repaired the mess overcharged me by an adding 2 hrs of labor to the invoice, even though he was not present for those additional 2 hrs. I'd blow it off, but he's not the first to take advantage of my being a single, older female. This is the third time I've been taken advantage of, and I'm finally taking a stand. Thank God for the Ring doorbell videos.
Did he already have the outlet and new cord/plug on his truck or did he have to go get it? Riding out for supplies does take time & we can't have every possible item all the time. How far did he have to drive to get to you and how far was the store? Replacing the outlet means killing power and swapping the device. How much stuff did he have to move to get to the outlet? Replacing the cord/plug means opening up the back of the unit. Sometimes have to remove the vent hose to pull unit out enough to do this. Then put hose back on. I've seen all this many times. I still tried to keep labor down a bit for those obviously having a hard time. I understand the sticker shock though. I've had to put off a lot of work at our house for not having the money.
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Old 01-06-2024, 10:56 AM
 
7,182 posts, read 4,581,322 times
Reputation: 23502
A few years ago I had my son remodel my bathroom economically. He put in a new toilet, sink, faucet, lights and towel bars. I love the stone top on my vanity but hate the cabinet. So I am in the process of sanding and painting the vanity. I bought a beautiful mirror to hang over it and will have to hire that done because my son no longer lives locally.
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