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Old 02-24-2013, 12:57 PM   #16
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
It actually IS pretty specialized work. If you consider it so simple, and you bought the material, why didn't you do it??
I did try. ANd I tried having my electrician friends do it. The city forbid all of it because they aren't master electricians licensed in the state and city!

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Old 02-24-2013, 01:01 PM   #17
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Do you really think the company you work for bills for your work at the same rate they pay you? Wake up. Companies need to cover overhead costs like gas, trucks, materials, insurance, benefits and a myriad of other expenses besides salaries even before making a profit.

Now here is the code article the inspector should have cited.

312.5 Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket Enclosures.
Conductors entering enclosures within the scope of
this article shall be protected from abrasion and shall comply
with 312.5(A) through (C).
(A) Openings to Be Closed. Openings through which conductors
enter shall be adequately closed.
(B) Metal Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket
Enclosures. Where metal enclosures within the scope of
this article are installed with messenger-supported wiring,
open wiring on insulators, or concealed knob-and-tube wiring,
conductors shall enter through insulating bushings or,
in dry locations, through flexible tubing extending from the
last insulating support and firmly secured to the enclosure.
(C) Cables. Where cable is used, each cable shall be secured
to the cabinet, cutout box, or meter socket enclosure.
Exception: Cables with entirely nonmetallic sheaths shall
be permitted to enter the top of a surface-mounted enclosure
through one or more nonflexible raceways not less
than 450 mm (18 in.) and not more than 3.0 m (10 ft) in
length, provided all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Each cable is fastened within 300 mm (12 in.),
measured along the sheath, of the outer end of the raceway.
(b) The raceway extends directly above the enclosure
and does not penetrate a structural ceiling.
(c) A fitting is provided on each end of the raceway to
protect the cable(s) from abrasion and the fittings remain
accessible after installation.
(d) The raceway is sealed or plugged at the outer end
using approved means so as to prevent access to the enclosure
through the raceway.
(e) The cable sheath is continuous through the raceway
and extends into the enclosure beyond the fitting not
less than 6 mm (1⁄4 in.).
(f) The raceway is fastened at its outer end and at
other points in accordance with the applicable article.
(g) Where installed as conduit or tubing, the allowable
cable fill does not exceed that permitted for complete conduit
or tubing systems by Table 1 of Chapter 9 of this Code
and all applicable notes thereto.
Thanks, Jim. Sorry I missed this. Thank you for responding to the question. I appreciate it. I should really have left my personal opinions out of the original post. The thing is though, neither could cite the code or answer the 'why' The wiring doesn't seem to be stuffed tight, but I don't know what allowable number of wires is according to that table and the inspector certainly didn't climb u on a ladder to check and see how many wires were in the conduit or how wide the diameter was. He just looked at the tube from 15 feet away and got pissed and said no tubes are ever allowed in any situation other than odd basements.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #18
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


Thats totally understandable as in some areas you can do your own work and others areas you must have an actual liscensed electrician do the work. Its really better in my opinion to have the pros do it because they are experienced and also insured so if they do something that causes a severe short, they have the insurance to cover it. But I dont see how the city can force you to use this particular company. You have the right to shop around and decide on which you want to use.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #19
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
I posted the reasons it was wrong 20 minutes ago. Did you read it?
Yes I did (but I wanted to brag about how much I get whored out for).....and thanks for the NEC reference

Now....go have a Snickers....
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:05 PM   #20
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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I really didn't intend for this to be a fight at all. I apologize. It was the guy's own company. What he bills goes towards his business and his bills. 100/hr is too much, in my opinion, but he can charge it because the city forces me to use him for these jobs even though there are plenty of people out there who would (and could) do it right for less, so he (and other master electricians) can charge higher and higher prices for a routine job. That is a fact.
No it isn't. That is your opinion.

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And he screwed up anyway.
Maybe not. I'll be honest with you here. Inspectors do not like it when homeowner's cause problems. I've had inspectors tell me they would have let something go, but because they had inundated their office with calls, they were enforcing the job to the exact letter of the law.

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I think the inspector was just being a dick,
Could be...see above.

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the conduit is fine in my opinion
Your opinion doesn't matter. The bundling of wire can become a fire hazard.

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I am not belittling your craft at all
Yes you are. Its like saying,"No offense, but it looks like you have gained weight."

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And, having known actual rocket scientists at Boeing and NG and NASA, I can tell you: most of them aren't making 100/hr unless they are at the top of the food chain and doing more than just routine jobs and calculations.
Again, no electrician I've ever heard of makes $100/hr.

Quote:
100/hr is disproportionate as a cost, even factoring in insurance and continued education etc.
And you know this how? Do you know how much his cost of doing business is?

Quote:
Changing a box doesn't require any really specialized electrical tools at all that most people don't already have in their shop.
So, in your opinion, each type of job an electrician does should have a different hourly rate. Interesting.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jason34 View Post
You dont have to be a rocket scientist to know that either. Im not sure how it works when you go to a company to have electrical work done. But when I had mine replaced I payed for the panel ($450). I have read that anytime you get a panel replaced it costs around $1000 so I am not sure if that means you pay for the panel they get. In any case the company charging say $100 doesnt mean the electrician gets that money. He might only get $25 worth of that hourly $100. I dont know exactly. But still if it was that simple then you could have done it yourself. Not trying to sound nasty but you come on here wanting their help and right off the bat you blast them with what you think is a high price. Dont get me wrong I think its high BUT you can either have it done by a professional the first time (remember they are insured) or do it yourself and have that risk that something goes wrong.
This is true. In the end, this was a lot cheaper than other contractors were going to charge for the job (some wanted 2000) and my electrician really was good at his job and a very nice guy who I trust. I don't dispute this at all.

But I can say that of a lot of people who I have worked with and they don't charge anywhere close to what he charges, and they all have the same kind of bills and liabilities that he does for their contracting businesses.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #22
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
No it isn't. That is your opinion.



Maybe not. I'll be honest with you here. Inspectors do not like it when homeowner's cause problems. I've had inspectors tell me they would have let something go, but because they had inundated their office with calls, they were enforcing the job to the exact letter of the law.



Could be...see above.



Your opinion doesn't matter. The bundling of wire can become a fire hazard.



Yes you are. Its like saying,"No offense, but it looks like you have gained weight."



Again, no electrician I've ever heard of makes $100/hr.



And you know this how? Do you know how much his cost of doing business is?



So, in your opinion, each type of job an electrician does should have a different hourly rate. Interesting.
Look, I am not going to go line by line here. I am not belittling your craft, only saying that it isn't any more (!OR LESS!) important than many other important crafts out there that charge a helluva lot less. That is a fair criticism since the estimate from my electrician was by far the lowest of all the electricians' estimates in this city, so this electrician had no problem with me. I am a swell guy, didn't you know?

If the city didn't require me to use one of the few master electricians in town who have a monopoly on this kind of a job, I could have done it for 1/4 the cost and had the job done better (by code standards), since my journeyman electrician friends all knew not to use the conduit for all the wires and followed the code, which they also know well, though they aren't sure they know exactly why this code is there either.

Last edited by Bradeno; 02-24-2013 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:26 PM   #23
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


Did I miss something ....

I don't want to continue causing friction but did anybody laugh as hard as I did when an engineer stated this after saying he and his electrician friends could do this routine job ....

Quote:
I was guessing it was something like that, however I tugged on the wires above the conduit after he left and it seem like it would be very easy to pull one out of the conduit were I to ever have the need. I have 16 wires in there and the diameter is nearly 2.5". Would that violate code? It is more than enough area (nearly 5 sq-in) for wires that are only about .5 cm-sq each, doesn't it?
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #24
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


'The engineer'

...Here we go...always a mistake to use this word, isn't it?

Pardon my off the cuff head approximations while writing a forum post if it wasn't perfect. Good Lord.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #25
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


I will be completly honest with you. If I had to change out my panel I bet I could do it myself. Im pretty good with electrical stuff as I have wired up my finish basement, wired my shed, and plenty of other things and when I got it inspected and told him that I did all the wiring he said it looks like a liscensed electrician did it. With that said there is still that thought of screwing something up to where there is a fire or what not. And saying that the panel could be installed using basic tools you can find around the house is a down right lie. What is you needed to shorten the power leads thus needing a racheting cutters? Torque wrenches and hex sockets arent things most homeowners have in their house.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:42 PM   #26
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Jason34 View Post
I will be completly honest with you. If I had to change out my panel I bet I could do it myself. Im pretty good with electrical stuff as I have wired up my finish basement, wired my shed, and plenty of other things and when I got it inspected and told him that I did all the wiring he said it looks like a liscensed electrician did it. With that said there is still that thought of screwing something up to where there is a fire or what not. And saying that the panel could be installed using basic tools you can find around the house is a down right lie. What is you needed to shorten the power leads thus needing a racheting cutters? Torque wrenches and hex sockets arent things most homeowners have in their house.
Other than the ratchet cutters, I have all the rest of it in my tools. And the cutters are only 50 bucks or so, but I could have borrowed those from friends in the trades. Not a big deal. But you are right, most people would not have them. Still would have saved several hundred (or a thousand) dollars after purchasing that tool.

If I remember right though, the electrician actually didn't use a ratchet cutter on the main power leads, only scored it a bunch of times with a utility knife; I remember watching him do it.

Last edited by Bradeno; 02-24-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:04 PM   #27
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


This is a curious thread. Several complaints about the amount charged by a professional electrician. Complaints that an engineer does not make $100 an hour. A rather esoteric discussion about the use of conduit.

The electrician is free to charge whatever he wants. This is still a capitalist economy, at least some of it is. As the homeowner, you are free to negotiate a different price, or hire someone else. You are also free to hire a non-licensed person, but you need to be prepared to suffer the consequences, which could include inferior work, loss of insurance coverage, fines and penalties. But you can do it.

As for engineering rates, I have never "made" $100 an hour when working for someone else, but I have been billed out at $225 an hour on some projects. Again, the client is free to negotiate a different rate, get another engineer, or do the work themselves if they are capable of doing so. That is how capitalism works. There is never a need to apologize or explain why you charge what you do, if the client does not like it, they should get someone else. And as for electricians doing "simple" work, anything is simple if you know how to do it. Getting to the point where it is simple takes years of experience and constant training on code issues and techniques.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:16 PM   #28
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


. There is never a need to apologize or explain why you charge what you do, if the client does not like it, they should get someone else. And as for electricians doing "simple" work, anything is simple if you know how to do it. Getting to the point where it is simple takes years of experience and constant training on code issues and techniques.[/QUOTE]

Well said
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #29
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


The whole point of this post was to complain that he was making less money than an electrician. I love how some people think they are not making enough money so instead of fighting to get more of what they think they deserve, they make the argument that the other guy should be making less. Classic example of jealousy.
Or was it "How dare some blue collar guy get paid that kind of money just for going to school for years and then putting in a minimum of 8000 hours of apprentice time to become an overpaid journeyman". "Then work many more hours in the trade as a journeyman and go to school to become an overpaid master electrician". "Don't they realize that I am a brilliant engineer".
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:06 PM   #30
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Bradeno View Post
100/hr is disproportionate as a cost, even factoring in insurance and continued education etc. Changing a box doesn't require any really specialized electrical tools at all that most people don't already have in their shop.
How much does a doctor charge you to do a physical. Don't need any special tools, a stethscope is easy to find, blood pressure machine is easy to come buy, I have a hammer to check your reflexes. SO next time you need a phyiscal call me up and I will have it done for $25 dollars.

I hate when people come on here and say that electricians charge to much, it those people who don't understand how much training we go through, how much tools are, running a business is not cheap.

He made a simple mistake, let him correct it. If he refuses or wants to charge you an arm and leg then complain.

I have done things on one jobsite that may not be 100% to code and the inspectors are fine with it, on the next job a different inspectors does not like it and makes us change it. So maybe he has done in the past and the inspector lets it slide.

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