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Discussion Starter #1
New member and i have reviewed rules. I see no prohibition regarding discussion on price so here we go:

This past weekend had some odd electrical activity in my house. lights flashing, refrigerator stopped cooling etc. In an attempt to find issue I read a lot on line and I thought I had a loose neutral. This is apparently an unsafe situation.

I called several local electricians and all were "booked"for the next 3-4 weeks.

Even though i mention "loose neutral"they were not at all motivated.

I finally found a franchise ( Mr. Sparky) and he arrived within 2 hours.

As funds are short I was concerned about cost but my safety is paramount !!

Nice guy, professional uniform, ID so far so good.

Best of all he said he would give me pricing after diagnostics and I owed nothing not even for the service call if i did not use him.

He checked outlets looked over panel box etc.

He is what he found (and showed me upon inspection)

Be advised this was clearly not built to code and I failed to get an inspection prior to purchase. It was a cash deal.Yes price as too good to be true

1. I have 200 amp service which is being feed by wire suitable 100 amp service.

The neutral wires in panel are "double tapped". While not necessarily unsafe not up to code.

3. Lines coming in from meter box are not protected by bushing rather they re just sitting on sharp metal edge of hole in the box.

4. Problem with outside wiring to pond and barn. Not in conduit or buried 24 inches as required.

5, under counter lights not in box just pigtailed with wire nut and pushed up out of view.

He found no open neutral and is sure I experienced a surge which appears to have fried my new refrig and oven. That is $2200 for these 2 appliances. Certified repair guys coming out next week, Hopefully just a new board or 2.

Interesting that my expensive computer, TV and wireless router were not fried. However the surge strips are no longer working. I suppose they did their job.

I told him I did not want a quick fix and wanted things made right as my safety and peace of mind are priceless.

He did have 3 different choices but went for the whole 9 yards so i can sleep at night.

Cost? $3,000 to run proper gauge wire to 200 amp breakers ,pull required permits, run service line in proper conduit with bushing, eliminate double tapped neutrals, fix counter light issue, fix outdoor wiring issues, become code current with 2 grounding rods ( I currently have one which is encased in concrete and new ones will be driven I believe 8 feet into earth.

In addition whole house surge protector at panel with folowing specs :
MCOV 150 VAC
IMAX 100 KA
In 20 KA

Above minimum required specs from what I have read

Includes max $1000,000 coverage for household and if unit gets damaged due to surge they replace.

Now I could have rented a meter based surge protector from power company but this just in a sense makes more sense to me. I own it.

Yes maybe I could done better price wise but i was given a total cost. I did not ask for breakdown as far as hourly cost, materials etc.

Fact is hourly he could just drag his feet to up price.

In the end do you think i am overpaying or does this seem fair?

I have committed but just curious as to your thoughts.

Remember he is the only one to actually show up in a timely manner and while i am far from rich I want to be safe.

Thanks for your opinions
 

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retired framer
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When no one will show up, they must be busy and do not need more work, expect to pay a premium in times like that. If you had 2 guys you could get quotes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When no one will show up, they must be busy and do not need more work, expect to pay a premium in times like that. If you had 2 guys you could get quotes.
Appreciate the reply.

Firstly, I was concerned about my safety and already experienced a loose neutral, surge whatever and was not in a position to get quotes. I needed my place made safe. I am not complaining about price just curious as to how i did price wise.

Secondly I would think that if a loose or open neutral is truly an unsafe condition any self respecting electrician would juggle their schedule to see if in fact a dangerous condition existed. I dd mention possible loose neutral all companies I called.

It's like triage in the ER.

You are suturing or about to suture a laceration on the leg and guy comes in with chest pain. Sorry you have to wait i am booked up.

Is it unreasonable to expect an electrician to check out a potentially unsafe situation ASAP?

If not unsafe reassure me and let me know you will come back later but if I mentioned loose neutral to just blow it off? I'd gladly pay $75-$125 whatever for the reassurance alone.

Maybe I'm wrong correct me but is not a loose neutral an unsafe condition??

Again thanks for chiming in
 

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Super Moderator
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21,785 Posts
None of the described problem would account for original issues.
I have no idea about the pricing but it does not sounds unreasonable for the amount of work. Just make sure they are not going to be having additions that raise the price after they start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
None of the described problem would account for original issues.
I have no idea about the pricing but it does not sounds unreasonable for the amount of work. Just make sure they are not going to be having additions that raise the price after they start.
Actually per Mr. Sparky all issues are accounted for.
Kitchen lights flashing(pulsing) Common problem with LED. He did check and i have an LED dimmer but still can happen.

He found NO OPEN NEUTRAL however power surge would account for fried surge strips on sensitive electronics as well as fried circuit boards on fridge and range.

As to price i feel price is fair until i figure labor at even 200 an hour that is 10 hours work and allows for 1000 for material (wire, wirenuts, surge protector etc.

As mentioned i am not unhappy as work is being completed tomorrow.

Just wondering if i could have done better but certainly not unhappy esp with the rapid response and fix in timely manner/
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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16,337 Posts
Not knowing where you are, I say that 200$ an hour is CHEAP for emergency work.

He has to stop what he was doing, and attend to your problems, which might put him behind on any other projects.

Did you have a lightening storm recently, even 10 miles away.

That is what surges here at least once a year, I've seen it blow a transformer off the pole, right into my yard. :vs_whistle:

Scared the bejeebers out of me, and that is not easy.


ED
 

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Registered
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5,468 Posts
his concerns seem reasonable,
the price is not cheap but its not rip off either,
The price is up there, but considering you got urgent attention
means this price is justified.
So far he seems professional and concerned with doing it right.
so you get what you pay for,
it will be interesting to see if your fried boards problem is solved
only time will tell !


:glasses:
 
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