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Old 02-24-2013, 02:23 PM   #31
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


Lots to read here. You obviously feel that someone that is required to be licensed and insured and pay their health benefits along with all the other overhead is overpaid. He probably sees less than half of that.

Why don't you post pictures so we can get a better idea what is going on here.

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Old 02-24-2013, 02:53 PM   #32
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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I posted the reasons it was wrong 20 minutes ago. Did you read it?

BTW, the 2008 NEC was over 700 pages and it changes every 3 years. Keeping up with it is nothing complicated like engineering. IIRC the field guys are where the engineering mistakes get fixed.

Jim I read it, it is not code because the wires were not secured with a clamping method and lose in the conduit. Is my understanding correct?
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #33
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


Well, other than managing to piss off all the pros here, did you get your answer? I understand your opinion, but sometimes silence is golden. Let me offer another perspective if possible. I was the maintenance manager of a chain of hardware stores in Illinois. Before we were a chain I did the electrical, hvac, and plumbing repairs and service. As we got larger my time was spent making calls to have the work done, rather than do it myself. Often I worked side by side with the trades, when they allowed. And very often what I was did for $15.00 an hour, they were there to do at 75 or $100 per hour. It's not that they did it any different ways of doing it, or even more skill. Sure, they made their $20 an hour, but there is way more to it than that. Fuel, liability, insurance, warranty, health insurance, utilities, workers comp, truck maintenance, licenses, training, and last but not least, the tax man. So the $100 you pay actually is a good deal, considering everything that has to be accounted for before that truck pulls up to your home. And I'm sure I missed a few things, but I think you get the point.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #34
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Well, other than managing to piss off all the pros here, did you get your answer? I understand your opinion, but sometimes silence is golden. Let me offer another perspective if possible. I was the maintenance manager of a chain of hardware stores in Illinois. Before we were a chain I did the electrical, hvac, and plumbing repairs and service. As we got larger my time was spent making calls to have the work done, rather than do it myself. Often I worked side by side with the trades, when they allowed. And very often what I was did for $15.00 an hour, they were there to do at 75 or $100 per hour. It's not that they did it any different ways of doing it, or even more skill. Sure, they made their $20 an hour, but there is way more to it than that. Fuel, liability, insurance, warranty, health insurance, utilities, workers comp, truck maintenance, licenses, training, and last but not least, the tax man. So the $100 you pay actually is a good deal, considering everything that has to be accounted for before that truck pulls up to your home. And I'm sure I missed a few things, but I think you get the point.
Dang it my torque wrench is out of calibration There goes another $100 bill so I can make sure I am doing the job right. Sometimes it's all the small stuff that nickels and dimes us that makes it expensive to do business and it adds up quick.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:59 PM   #35
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by rrolleston View Post
Dang it my torque wrench is out of calibration There goes another $100 bill so I can make sure I am doing the job right. Sometimes it's all the small stuff that nickels and dimes us that makes it expensive to do business and it adds up quick.
I realized long ago that people don't care about that trivial crap.

All that matters to most:
How long were you at my house?
Does it work?
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:25 PM   #36
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I realized long ago that people don't care about that trivial crap.

All that matters to most:
How long were you at my house?
Does it work?
How much does it cost?

Fixed it for you....
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #37
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
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.
This is inaccurate. I am not really free to negotiate anything. The city requires a master electrician and there are only a few in town so they can pretty much charge whatever they want because they know I am not allowed to do it myself.

Like I said, I am not angry at the electrician, he is a nice guy who knows his work and didn't milk the meter, but the rate his company charges, in my opinion, is too high. But this really has nothing to do with what my post was supposed to be about. It was a superfluous comment I made. There is way to much testosterone here.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #38
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by rrolleston View Post
Lots to read here. You obviously feel that someone that is required to be licensed and insured and pay their health benefits along with all the other overhead is overpaid. He probably sees less than half of that.

Why don't you post pictures so we can get a better idea what is going on here.
No, I understand all of that and respect it. I am a capitalist. But capitalism doesn't work when the market is artificially rigged by the government (who doesn't even know why some codes exist anymore and requires a master electrician in city and state), as it is here in this case, and monopolies exist.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #39
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Sorry, but I have lots of experience, schooling, and knowledge as an engineer and I don't make anywhere near 100/hr (nor do I believe I should) and peoples' lives routinely depend upon my work (which includes tools, knowledge, insurance, time, and licensing) , just like an electrician. I don't have a problem with people making good money, but 100/hr for such a routine job that I or my journeyman electrician friends could have done easily is way too much to me. But if this realistic opinion means that means you can't answer my question, so be it. Thanks for the help, buddy.
You don't know much. I am both a Master Electrician and I have BS and MS in electrical engineering. I have two jobs. In my engineering job, I make $78 an hour plus benefits (health insurance, life insurance, 401K matching, pension). That is easily $100 an hour.

In my electrical contracting business, I happen to charge $100 an hour. After all the costs, fees taxes and insurance, I cleared $34 per hour last year and that doesn't include all the hours that aren't billable; shopping, traveling, bookkeeping, accounting, inventory, planning, estimating and sales.

You really shouldn't talk about what you know nothing about.

Mark
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Last edited by busman; 02-24-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #40
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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There is way to much testosterone here.

No, there are way to many licensed and qualified electricians who volunteer their time here to try to keep the DIY out of trouble (when they gain nothing) who have spent a major portion of their lives devoted to mastering their trade.

With that said, if you will post a picture of the conduit, we might be able to figure out whether the code was violated.

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Old 02-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #41
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
Well, other than managing to piss off all the pros here, did you get your answer? I understand your opinion, but sometimes silence is golden. Let me offer another perspective if possible. I was the maintenance manager of a chain of hardware stores in Illinois. Before we were a chain I did the electrical, hvac, and plumbing repairs and service. As we got larger my time was spent making calls to have the work done, rather than do it myself. Often I worked side by side with the trades, when they allowed. And very often what I was did for $15.00 an hour, they were there to do at 75 or $100 per hour. It's not that they did it any different ways of doing it, or even more skill. Sure, they made their $20 an hour, but there is way more to it than that. Fuel, liability, insurance, warranty, health insurance, utilities, workers comp, truck maintenance, licenses, training, and last but not least, the tax man. So the $100 you pay actually is a good deal, considering everything that has to be accounted for before that truck pulls up to your home. And I'm sure I missed a few things, but I think you get the point.
Oops. I did manage to start something useless, didn't I?

I get the point, but no other contractors in this town charge what electricians charge, even though risk and liability is involved in their work as well, so at some point it is just taking advantage of the customer and the giant monopoly induced artificially by the government. There is always a limit to what a job is worth. What everyone here seems to be insisting is that there is not and that whatever electricians charge must be reasonable.

My gripe is not with the worker, his work, his efficiency, or his attitude. It is with the artificially high price his COMPANY charges for their routine work and the fact that government regulations allow this inefficiency to flourish and thrive when plenty of other skilled and competent people aching for a job would have done it for much less, but would be fined and lose their licenses for doing so.

And I still haven't really gotten a good answer to the question, but I might have missed it in all the mess I created by blowing off steam with my silly superfluous comment.

Last edited by Bradeno; 02-24-2013 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #42
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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There is way to much testosterone here.
What a truly idiotic statement. You sure do have a way with people, don't you?

How about there is way too much professional pride here? That is an accurate statement.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #43
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Question about changing a service panel (breaker box)


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You don't know much. I am both a Master Electrician and I have BS and MS in electrical engineering. I have two jobs. In my engineering job, I make $78 an hour plus benefits (health insurance, life insurance, 401K matching, pension). That is easily $100 an hour.

In my electrical contracting business, I happen to charge $100 an hour. After all the costs, fees taxes and insurance, I cleared $34 per hour last year and that doesn't include all the hours that aren't billable; shopping, traveling, bookkeeping, accounting, inventory, planning, estimating and sales.

You really shouldn't talk about what you know nothing about.

Mark
And how much of all that 'expense' did you right off on your taxes? It sounds like you are treated much better than most equally hardworking people who hire you who have no pensions, make 30K/year, have no 401K etc etc. Why do you deserve all these things but others do not? Why do you feel you are better than them and allowed to demand more? These are all choices your company makes to keep you on because you are exceptionally good at what you do, I assume. Great. I can only assume that you deserve it because there are tasks you do that are much more difficult than this one, or you can do them much more efficiently.

The problem in this case is the lack of free market to keep prices fair.

But you don't have to be exceptionally good at being an electrical engineer or electrician to change a service panel in 6 hours. That is all I am saying. You don't need two degrees or accounting or inventory etc etc etc. If master electricians did not have a monopoly on such a routine electrical installation, the price would be much less, and the quality would be equivalent. A journeyman electrician should be fine. And, considering I have to take out the permit and the inspector is there 4 times throughout the day anyway to make sure things go smoothly from beginning to end, it is difficult to see how a journeyman electrician could screw it up.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:53 PM   #44
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What a truly idiotic statement. You sure do have a way with people, don't you?

How about there is way too much professional pride here? That is an accurate statement.
I take pride in the outcome of my work and welcome criticism because it makes me better at my job. I am not even criticizing the work here. Only the price. Come on.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:56 PM   #45
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Dang it my torque wrench is out of calibration There goes another $100 bill so I can make sure I am doing the job right. Sometimes it's all the small stuff that nickels and dimes us that makes it expensive to do business and it adds up quick.
Absolutely true. There is a big value in not having to deal with the hassles yourself. And they do crop up, no doubt about it.

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