circuit breaker replacement

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I have a rental house that I suspect 1 or 2 circuit breakers gone bad. This house is near Houston. I already made an appointment with an electrician to look at it but before he comes, anyone have any idea what he might charge to replace 2 bad breakers? Panel is on the outside of house. I know how to do this but I don't want to do it for other reasons.
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On 3/18/2013 6:58 PM, Doug wrote:

In downstate NY for a minor service charge, which is less than 1/2 hour on the job, I charge $125 + tax. If the breakers are standard single pole I'll get $8 each
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Thanks for the price check. I'm in Western NYS. I don't do electrical, but it's interesting to know what the trades charge.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
In downstate NY for a minor service charge, which is less than 1/2 hour on the job, I charge $125 + tax. If the breakers are standard single pole I'll get $8 each
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Appreciate the info !!
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Doug wrote:

If he is local, my guess is one hour of time at his regular hourly rate plus the cost of any circuit breakers that he has to replace.
It probably wouldn't hurt to either let him know in advance what type (brand) and size circuit breakers you have and what sizes you think you may need. Or, buy some of the same brand, type, and size at Home Depot etc. and have them there for him in case he needs to replace them. I am not sure, but I think you can always return them to HD if you don't need them if it is clear that they are still brand new and obviously haven't been used.
And, since it is an outdoor panel, I guess one possible issue or cause for the problems is water getting into the panel.
Let us know what he does and what he ends up charging for the service call.
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Will do. And if I forget, feel free to remind me !!!
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TomR wrote:

Home Depot does not accept returns of circuit breakers. At least that's my understanding.
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On Monday, March 18, 2013 3:58:39 PM UTC-7, Doug wrote:

I don’t know about Houston but here in Pasadena California, you need to take out an electrical permit to replace a breaker. You’re lucky if you only have to pay for the electrician.
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On Mon, 18 Mar 2013 17:21:34 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Another *GOOD* reason to leave that swamp.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Well, I'll tell you about Houston. You don't need a permit to replace the entire load center box!*
The city cares not a fig about anything done within your four walls, nor, evidently, anything attached to the outside of the four walls.
Now if your NG has been off for any length of time (i.e., house is vacant), the gas company won't reconnect without a pressure test, but, again, the city's not involved.
--------- * My son and I have done this to two: his house and mine. We got rid of that hideous Federal Pacific crap from the '60's, replacing it with Square-D 200A service. Each house took about four hours, including a couple of trips to the box store for funny-looking parts we overlooked. Total out-of-pocket cost for each house was less than $350, compared to $1300 quoted by a couple of companies that do this for a living.
For those contemplating a similar project - and who have both reasonable skills and a healthy regard for electricity - be advised that the endeavor is not complicated. Actually, it's pretty straightforward. Just label everything, including the wires, and take plenty of pictures.
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wrote:

Most won't show up for less than $100. It is a quick job if he has the breakers with him. My guy is $75 an hour. Most tradesmen in our area are $60 to $90 plus travel time.
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Thanks Ed.
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Doug wrote:

Afraid? I am not an electrician so I won't try to replace the breaker while the box is hot, like they do. I have replaced breakers in my panel a few times. 1. Turn off the main breaker. Result: No electricity to the box. 2. Pull out the bad breaker. Result: a hole where the breaker was. 3. Put the new one in. Result: You filled the hole. 4. Turn the main breaker back on. Result: The circuit should work.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

Thanks Bill but for other reasons I won't do it but I'm NOT afraid. I've done a dbl pole once or twice on my own house and watched my dad replace a MAIN breaker, years ago. The MAIN might make me think twice but in a pinch, I might even do that one too.
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Doug wrote:

NP. Just trying to give you some encouragement. :-) I forgot No. 5 5. Go and reset all the electric clocks in the house. :-)
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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or

think

Easiest way to do the whole box is to pull the electric meter, and then call the electric co to tell them after the fact so they know why the seal has been broken when they come to read it the next cycle.
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Some meters, just cut the plastic tag. Other meters have a hardened ring and that goofy lock with the hole in the end. Might not be a simple action to pull the meter.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Easiest way to do the whole box is to pull the electric meter, and then call the electric co to tell them after the fact so they know why the seal has been broken when they come to read it the next cycle.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

The Houston area has hardened seals that cannot be (easily) removed.
The way it's done here is to call Centerpoint and request a meter un-sealing. Within six hours a utility truck will show up and the driver will remove the seal.
When you're done with your electrical business, call them back to re-seal the meter. They will (should) respond within 12 hours.
Centerpoint does NOT want to see permits, signatures of licensed electricians, or anything else.
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I wished I had done that. I worked on an old box that didn't have main breaker. I was actually replacing a bad terminal on one hot lead. I was very careful, but still foolish. Later I had the box replaced by electrician. A coworker was expelling the term plasma.
Greg
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Doug wrote:

I can think of a number of good reasons why you may not want to do this yourself even though you know how to it. So, your decision to call a licensed electrician makes sense to me. Since it is a rental property, it makes sense to me to use extra caution and use a licensed electrician. It is better from a liability standpoint; it clarifies for the tenant that you used a qualified professional to look at, diagnose, and fix whatever the problem is; the cost is a deductible business expense; etc.
In thinking more about your original post, it occurred to me that there may be another reason why 1 or 2 of the breakers (or more) are having a problem. For example, if one of the breakers had a loose connection in the panel, it could cause arcing and heat that in turn can cause the contact in the panel (is it called the bus bar?) to actually melt. If that is going on, an electrician will see that problem and be able to tell you what your options are in terms of safely fixing the problem. I think in that scenario it may be possible for an electrician to move the breakers to a new position in the panel and cover up the old breaker slots, or maybe a whole new panel will be needed -- or some solution in between those two options.
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