Check on estimate for some electrical work?

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I had an electrician give me an estimate for fixing a bunch of items that were found on the inspection of the house I just bought. I'm wondering if the price given is reasonable. Here are the items from the inspection report:
1. The rear door bell does not work.
2. There are several outlet covers missing in the garage that should be replaced.
3. There are some 'zip' type extension cords used for the lights in the garage. These are very light weight and not approved for use for lights. The cords should be removed and the lights 'hard wired' to the power supply.
4. The electrical outlet on the north garage wall has the hot & neutral wire reversed, this should be corrected.
5. There is a 2 prong ungrounded outlet on the west garage wall.
6. The power panel for the garage is the glass fuse type, these are no longer considered safe. Consideration should be given to replacing the panel with a breaker type.
7. The security light on the garage has a damaged lens, consideration should be given to replacing the lens.
8. There is an exposed wire splice near the furnace in what appears to be the power supply wire for the kitchen range. The splice needs to be placed inside of an approved junction box with a cover installed.
9. The 2 electrical outlets on the west dining room wall have the hot & neutral wire reversed, this should be corrected.
10. The west electrical outlet on the south master bedroom wall has the hot & neutral wire reversed, this should be corrected.
11. The electrical outlet on the west master bedroom wall has an open ground, this should be corrected.
12. The electrical outlet at the master bathroom has an open ground and does not allow the GFCI to trip, this should be corrected.
(The garage is a detached garage. It has a seperate power panel from the house, fed off of a 40 amp circuit from the house).
The estimate to do all of these things came to $2355 (plus tax).
Yes, I know that many of these would be easy to do myself, and in fact I probably will do those myself, but 6 and 8 are definitely beyond me, but they included them all in the estimate, so for the sake of determining whether the estimate is reasonable, lets assume that I do none of the work.
So, is $2355 reasonable for this work?
In case it makes a difference, this estimate was made before I had possession of the house. The electrician only had access to the outside of the house, so his estimate was made off of the inspection report. I actually didn't ask for an estimate for all this work. I had him out there to evaluate a possible problem with the electrical feed going into the house, but gave him a copy of the inspection report, and he sent an estimate for doing the items listed above.
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Tim Smith wrote:

Way too much money.
Electricians are just below a HVAC contractor. HVAC contractors are only worth about ten bucks an hour.
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Seems OK. #6 is the real money. What you don't state is the size of the feed to the house. If it is 100A, just replacing the panel is OK, but if less, the feed from the street should be replaced and upgraded to a minimum of 100A.
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Street to house: 200A.
House to garage: 240V 40A.
--
--Tim Smith

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I'd ask for an estimate on those two items only, then. I'm guessing it will be $2000+/- a few bucks.
As for the list, can't see that any except #6 (the new panel) should be anything an even average homeowner w/ modicum of experience in maintenance and repair should have much trouble with other than possibly the missing grounds -- if they're missing because there's been a three wire plug added to a two-wire circuit, depending on the house arrangement getting a ground could be an effort. If it were mine in that case, I'd go back to the two-prong outlets and the GFCI to account. Putting an inline junction box in to enclose a splice (#8) should be a 30-minute job at most -- cut the power to the range, take the splice apart, mount a box, enter the wires and re-splice and cover the box.
I'd consider the condition of the fuse box before jumping in to the knee-jerk replacement. I'm unaware of fuses being considered "unsafe", only that they're obsolete for new work and often don't have sufficient capacity for modern house loads. But in the garage, unless you're putting in a shop or some other new load, seems unnecessary to upgrade to me sight unseen.
Just a question, why didn't you get the seller to fix the issues before closing?
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I haven't had a chance to open the outlets and look yet, but my suspicion is that it will just turn out that ground is not connected. In the rooms that have the missing ground problem, there are also outlets that are fine as far as ground goes, but have other problems (hot and neutral swapped), so we know that whoever worked on that room was a bit careless when it comes to connecting wires to outlets. (That part of the house was an add-on, and my guess is there was some DIY electrical work there).

I think the difficulty on this one for me will depend on just where this problem is. I'm not really an agile guy, so if it is under the house, in the crawl space, I think it would be beyond me.

That's my inclination, too. The garage, at least for a fairly long time, will hold my car, and assorted tools (shovels, lawn mower, that kind of thing), and minor household repair items (caulk, paint, etc), and that's it. Some insurance companies are not happy without breakers, but mine told me they are OK with it--they recommend breakers, but don't require it, and don't charge more for the lack of them.
Someday, I'll want to do things that use a lot of power in the garage, but that will be years from now, so I might just wait on the breaker box until I'm ready for that, and then upgrade at the same time I'm upgrading to more power for the garage. (The house has 200 amp service, and the garage has a 220V 40 amp feed from the house, which is used for the garage door openers, the lights, the outlets, and the well pump).

The price I got the house for, plus the cost of these electrical fixes (if I were to do none myself, and go with the electrician who gave the estimate), plus the cost of everything else that might need to be done (almost all of it is very minor, things like bolts need to be tightened, and things need caulking), even assuming that I don't do any of it, but instead hire overpriced contractors for it all, comes out to a fair bit less than what I, and my agents, think the market value of the place is.
Before finding this house, I looked at a lot of houses in my area. My area is one in which Zillow has those cool 45 degree aerial photos of each house, from four directions, so I was able to check out every place listed and see how the house sat on its lot and in relation to the neighbors. (That was a big factor for me--one of the main things that finally got me off my ass and out looking for a house was to get away from my damn downstairs neighbors in my apartment). Every place that looked good on that and whose interior photos on the real estate sites looked promising, I went and saw. So I think I developed a pretty good sense of what the housing situation was like in the areas I was interested in, in the price range I was willing to consider.
In my area, around this time of year, the housing market tends to come out of its winter lull. Places that have been sitting on the market for months start going, and good new places get multiple offers quickly.
The house I bought is easily the best of any houses that were on the market at the time, even compared to houses that cost quite a bit more. Just considering the house, not the lot, placement on the lot, and neighborhood, it is in the top 3. Good construction. Good siding. Good roof (2 years old). Good appliances. Good decks. Good windows. Good hardwood floors in most of the house. Good carpets. Good cabinets in the kitchen. Lots of good storage space. Even the things that are fairly old (well pump and tank, water heater, heat pump) all seem to be in excellent shape. The ongoing maintenance on this place is going to be well under what I budgeted for.
The other two in the top three were a very nice manufactured home--its floor plan was almost what I would have come up with had I designed my own place, and a new community being developed in my area by Quadrant Homes. Quadrant has one (and only one) floor plan I like, and it is even better than what I would have come up with had I designed my own. However, there were only three lots in the development that allowed that floor plan, and they were among the best lots there. They were long gone before my number came up on the interest list. The manufactured home was eliminated because of its water supply. It had a shared well, and the no one was able to tell me what the legal arrangements were. All I could find out was that one of the four parties currently sharing it (a fifth was due to be added) had informally taken over maintenance, and no one knew what would happen if he ever moved. That situation was just way too scary.
Add to the house itself being so nice the fact that the lot is good, the house is placed nearly perfectly on it, the neighboring houses are well placed, *and* it is in the same small city in which I work, and it becomes a very attractive place. So, taking that into account, and the fact that competition seemed to be picking up among buyers, I decided to try to get it for the price I would be willing to pay for it "as is", and then not draw things out over getting the seller to fix things or adjusting the price, so that everything would go smoothly, the deal would not fall apart, and it would go to me rather than someone else.
(And watching the listings since then bears me out on this. I'm not seeing any good places come on. The good houses have bad locations or lots. The good locations have crappy houses. And all the places I know of that would have been acceptable to me, but that I didn't offer on because I just felt I could do even better, have sold).
I did have the seller fix one thing. I was very unimpressed with the way the electrical wires from the street to the house were routed, and I could not even get an estimate on fixing that, as the electric company is not interested in talking with people other than the owner. The cost of fixing that could have ranged from close to zero (part of the problem was someone, for some unfathomable reason, had installed a make-shift intermediate pole, and simply taking that out and having the electric company tighten the line had a good shot at addressing all the problems), to several thousand dollars (if the electric company's contractors were used to put in a new pole). So I wanted that taken care of, and the electric company to give their approval to the result. That was done, and both the seller and I are happy.
--
--Tim Smith

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says...

::snip long list of reasons::
You're better off doing the repairs yourself (personally/through hire). Especially if there is evidence of sub-par DIY. The seller doesn't have the motivation to do proper repairs that you do.
And that's pretty much true in the general case as well as yours.
Banty
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sounds hi to me i am guessing your gfci's have no ground not that its open they just arent there so no it wont work properly and an inspector should know that. but i doubt it was an electrical inspector whod did the inspection. if under the sink your water pipe is metal you can clamp a wire to the cold water pipe and try to run it into the gfci box and attach it to the gfci grounding screw and they should work. #8 fuses are safer than breakers ppl are just afraid because they look old fuse boxes may dissapear but fuses will be here for some time. your reversed polarity is simply swapping wires from one side to the other. #6 turn off power to range undo splice noting how the wires are paired. buy a 4 inch square box 2 3/4 in romex connectors and a blank plate and install it so you can run the 2 ends into box reconnect tugg on those wires to insure a good connection (loose connections can cause fires especially under large loads) cover with blank reapply power your ready for dinner.
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I hope you got the estimate before purchasing the house, and had the price adjusted down accordingly.
Not knowing where you are, and local labor rates, and not being able to see your place from here, the number seems way high. And ... with the slowdown in housing construction, assuming that's impacting your area, you should have some downward wiggle-room on price.
Most of the items seem straightforward. The one about the fuse-panel sounds bogus. So long as you use proper fuse rating, you should have no problem, assuming the panel and wiring are in good shape. Until, at some convenient time you replace it with a sub-panel with breakers.
I'd not sweat the 2-wire outlets; for the bath, you could go with a gfci- breaker at the panel, and not have to fish cable or whatever.
Of course, you're not going to have the electrician who inspected do the work, are you? It's your money.
HTH, J
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First thing, I wouldn't put to much faith in the findings of a home inspector. Now that you can get in, have a couple of electricians look the place over and give you estimates, for the repairs. The fuse sub panel is not a big deal to replace, however "S" type fuses are perfectly safe, and legal. A couple of things can't be determined without trouble shooting, like the doorbell system, so I would expect anyone giving an estimate would deal with those items on a T and M basis. Overall, from where I'm sitting, the numbers you have sound high.

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Number 6 can run you $500-1000. All the other items are do-it-yourself or hire a handyman($20 an hour). Get more estimates and you'll save money. Important: Make sure to get proof in writing that the worker(s) are insured, licensed and bonded. If you don't want to do that pay someone to check this. The $2355 sounds high, but that electrical panel is not safe it's worth it.
On Thu, 12 Apr 2007 00:36:27 -0000, Tim Smith

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just get a couple more estimates to compare it to. It's probably a bit high. At $50 + an hour, it doesn't take long to get to 2K.
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#6 isn't a saftey issue. Is't more of a convenience or insurance issue. Without knowing more about the box it's hard to say exactly what's involved to replace it.
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On Apr 12, 8:48 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Why would you get an estimate on a house you own without the electrician even getting inside the house to take a look? He winged it with an estimate, not a firm quote, based on what was contained in the inspection report. Under those conditions, he could either bid high to cover himself, or else bid low to get the job, then tell you it's more involved and will cost extra. Such an estimate is close to worthless.
Fix the simple stuff yourself. Ignore the non-issue, like the fuse panel. If there's nothing wrong with it other than that it's fused, I'd leave it alone. Ditto for the cracked lens on the security light. Unless it's some high end deal, the solution to that is to replace the whole thing someday when it stops working, as you generally can't buy a lens for the basic home ones. Then get someone in to give you a firm price on the rest.
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It could, but unlikely. It's only 40A. A simple swapping out of a 4 or 6 slot panel shouldn't cost anywhere near that much.
As another point, a missing ground will _not_ cause a GFCI to fail to trip. It was either miswired (feeding load not line side), or the GFCI is defective. GFCIs do NOT need grounds to operate.
It's hard to tell whether $2300 is high or low - many of the things could take considerable time to fully rectify to current code, which we can't tell without seeing them.
Eg: how _much_ lampwire has to be replaced? What difficulty is there going to be in routing it to code, etc? How much trouble is there going to be in establishing grounds? Can you just slap a box on the range splice, or do you not have enough slack and have to run more cable? Is it even the right wire?
It looks like the electrician guesstimated high to cover their butts for gotchas they didn't have an opportunity to look for, making an assumption that working in a garage will be easier than in the finished part of a house.
But I could certainly see it ending being too low, depending on what "holy crap, lookatthat!"'s they uncover.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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saying is that his plug in tester needs the outlet to be grounded, for the tester to work

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A plugin tester will need a ground in order to make unbalanced current flow in neutral and hot. However, the integrated test button in a GFCI device (breaker or outlet) will work regardless of whether the GFI has a ground, because it can make unbalanced current flow by connecting the "load" hot to the "line" neutral and leaking a bit of current or something like that.
You could make a plugin tester work if you could arrange to get the ground pin connected to something else that's grounded (like a water pipe). Are there any test units with a separate ground lead?
Alternately, if, say, you were trying to prove to an inspector that an ungrounded non-GFI (but GFI-protected) outlet was in fact protected, push the button on the GFI (wherever it is), and demonstrate that the power on the outlet goes off.
--
Chris Lewis,

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And indeed, the GFCI under discussion does trip when the built-in test button is pressed. It is just plug-in test devices that fail to set it off, as is expected.
Oddly enough, in the other bathroom, I've got the opposite situation. Plug-in test devices can trip that GFCI, but the built-in test button does not trip it. Depending on just how it is pressed, it either appears to do nothing at all, or it makes the little light on the GFCI go out until the button is released.
I've noticed another oddity with that one. For some reason I can't even begin to guess at, that GFCI outlet is switched. The switch, on the wall outside the bathroom, that controls the bathroom light also controls that outlet. So, no charging a toothbrush or shaver in that bathroom without leaving the light on! That seems a silly design decision to me.
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I'd suspect that the GFCI is wired really oddly, something like the line hot and load neutral are on the "line" side, "load hot" and "line neutral" are on the "load" side. I'd pull it and check the connections. If it's wrong, fix it. If it's right, replace the GFCI.

It was possibly an upgrade to meet code, and they didn't want to tear walls to reroute. Or the person who designed it didn't think you'd ever want anything running with the lights off. Maybe he didn't shave ;-)
--
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Check-on-estimate-for-some-electrical-work-209125-.htm dblake862 wrote: He probably got the house on an AS IS purchase. You can't ask the seller to do anything to the house in that case. It sounds reasonable to me. I got an AS IS house recentyl, and we needed alot of electrical work. Luckily my uncle is an <a href="http://www.electricianhouston.com /">electrician</a>, and was able to do most of the work at cost for equipment. It adds up fast. I think for outlets, switches, and wiring we spent a total of $500-$600. We replaced everything because it's an old house! But i could imagine with labor and markup costs, it would have cost us 3-4 times as much with another electrician.
Tim Smith wrote:

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