How much does it cost to change 15amp circuit to 20 amp

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Hi I just moved to Seattle and we bought a treadmill which we've kept in the garage. Now the garage has a 15amp circuit but the treadmill needs a 20 amp one. We asked an electrician to give us a quote to change from 15 to 20 and he has quoted $600 for the wall closet to the door and $900 for a wall further.
I am novice at this, could someone tell me what would be a good price to pay for this?
Thanks Rashmi
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RS wrote:

it all depends on how far and difficult it is to replace wiring and outlet....... plus does your breaker box have any unused slots?
is the wire exposed? or hidden?
Frankly unless your treadmill is a PRO model its hard to believe it will really need 20 amps.
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I guess he will dump energy back to the grid when he is on the treadmill. I would not tangle with him!
Seriously, 20A seems a bit much.
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wrote:

And to think, there was a time when they used treadmills to GENERATE power.....
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RS wrote:

The material cost on this would be fairly small. The vast majority of the cost would be in labour.
In any case, you should probably get a few more estimates.
Do you know anyone else there? Find out if they have had electrical work done, who they hired to do it, and what they thought of them.
Chris
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A dedicated 20 amp cable must be run from the circuit breaker panel to the location of the outlet. The easier and quicker it is to do this, the less it will cost. I would suggest getting another estimate

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RS wrote:

It's not at all possible to even guess at an answer to that question. If there is a circuit breaker panel in the garage and the garage walls are unfinished, I would say that's way too much. On the otherhand, if the breaker panel is in the house and he has to fish cable through the attic and walls, it might be a reasonable price.
If the breaker panel is in the house, I would consider spending some extra money and running a heavy cable to the garage and installing a new breaker panel in the garage. While you are at it, you might want to considering adding a provision for future wiring to a backyard shed.
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Thank you for all the replies. Yes the treadmill is a PRO model - it's a Sole F85! The wires are concealed and the distance from the circuit breaker for the 2 wall will be approximately 10 feet and 17 feet. Also the electrician mentioned getting a permit from the city electric board - I wasn't aware we had to do that!
Rashmi
(RS wrote:

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Since the wires are concealed, he's going to have to open up the wall at some point -- which means repairing it after he's done. His quote seems a bit steep to me, though, even accounting for that. I wonder if he considered running the new cable up from the breaker panel to the attic over the garage (assuming you *have* an attic up there!), and from there back down to wherever you want the outlet. That should be less expensive, even though it takes more wire, because there won't be nearly as much labor in opening up walls and repairing afterward.

In most cities, it's the contractor's responsibility to get the permit, not the homeowner's.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Finding the keyboard operational Doug Miller entered:

I am used to contractors charging for their time if they get the permit but they doen't charge it the homeowner gets it. What worries me if I get my ow permit is that I do it wrong, I would be the responsible party. Bob
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RS wrote:

Jeepers, a 3.5 HP motor for a one person treadmill?
Hard to believe, but that's what they claim:
http://www.soletreadmills.com/details.php?name 5
I bet that's the same "peak starting" horsepower "BS" claimed for many cheap air compressors and some vacuum cleaners too.
3.5 HP is 2611 watts (at 100% efficiency no less). You can't take that much continuously from a 20 amp 120 volt circuit without popping the breaker.
Before you spend money on new wiring I'd suggest you find someone with an ac ammeter, plug the treadmill into your present 15 amp circuit, and have them measure the actual current it's drawing when during typical usage. At worst you'll pop the breaker if my assumption about that horsepower "hype" is incorrect.
You might just be pleasantly suprised to find out it never draws enough current to overload a 15 amp circuit.
If it does, then spend the money on new wiring.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

What the OP needs to do is look at the ampere rating, not the HP rating of the motor. You are probably right about them using peak horsepower. My 5hp compressor works fine on 15 amps even on a 50 foot extension cord.
An actual 3.5 HP motor would require a 30 amp circuit.
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RS wrote:

I gotta tell ya, at first I thought you were being raked over the coals by that contractor, but after viewing the website for Seattle's Building Dept.:
https://egov1.seattle.gov/dpd/OnlinePermitting/faq.asp#WhatKindOfWork
Indeed, any electrical work short of replacing a switch, receptacle, ballast, or fuse requires an electrical permit in Seattle!
That explains the ridiculous prices that you were quoted. Try to get some more bids to see if that price is in the ballpark for your area. In my area $300(US) will get one a 20 amp circuit anywhere in any house.
Good luck, you're gonna need it.
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I used to hear that the suicide rate in Seattle was the highest in the country, but I thought it was because of the weather

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RBM (remove this) wrote:

LOL. I wonder how many of those suicides result from dealing with the building department. Permit fees are more than 10% of the OP's low bid of $600......$68.85 = $56.65 for Admin fees, $10.80 for the circuit and $1.40 for the receptacle connect.
With approx. $70 for the permit and $50 for the materials, I guess about $500 for an hour of work ain't bad.

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You might be able to do it yourself. The first thing you should do (with the power off) is pull out the receptacle. If it has #12 wire then changing the outlet and the breaker is all that is needed. You should also find out what does not work with the power off.
A treadmill is something you don't need to use if anything else is on the circuit that carries a big load.
If you have #14 gauge wire then you might still be able to use the treadmill by only changing the receptacle. You should not change the breaker in this case.
--
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NO NO NO NO NO !!!! This is UNSAFE, because it enables plugging in a load that will draw more current than the wire can safely carry. DO NOT put a 20amp plug on a circuit that has only 14ga wire. UNSAFE. ILLEGAL.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I seriously doubt you will find 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp breaker.......
Such projects require creative thinking on how easily to run cable or even a better location for the treadmill.
.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You wouldn't think so. But, I have found 14 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker. So, it's at least worth a look.
-Felder
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That is certainly not true. When copper was cheaper some electricians didn't bother to stock 14 & 12; they just ran 12 everywhere.
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