Ping John Grabowski


Hi, John..posted this discussion a few weeks ago and it was suggested I contact you, since you're in Jersey and may be able to tell me what to expect as an estimate...
<<Recently solicited estimates for an electrical service upgrade from our 150amp, 20 circuit box to 30/36 circuits, including installation of new water meter grounding as per code, and reattaching the exterior service head left unsupported when our siding was installed about 15 years ago.
Received 5 estimates, ranging from 3200 to 800.
I inherited the house from my parents, and don't really know enough about it all to make an intelligent decision, rather than going for the guy in the middle. Is it ok to negotiate one of the higher estimates down? Since a permit is involved and the work will be inspected, should I expect all of the service to be about the same?>>
Thanks for your thoughts.. Marsha
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Hi Marsha. Thanks for asking. If you go back to your original posting and read my comments you will see that I have already answered all of your questions. In a nutshell with the price range that you have received it appears that you're not comparing apples to apples. The low price may be just to change the panel while the higher price is for changing everything. The work should have been spelled out in the written proposals that you received.
Here's the link to your original posting: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_thread/thread/5bdc215e55f5bce3/3e000b4762053467?hl=en&lnk=gst&q=john+grabowski#3e000b4762053467
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Ping-John-Grabowski-445603-.htm mpenny wrote: So sorry, John! Didn't see that.
This is what was included on the estimates I received, along with the estimate price:
$3,100 Upgrade 150 Amp service due to weather head not attached to house which cannot be repaired and panel only 20 circuit and overloaded. Install 150 Amp service upgrade. This includes outside service in PVC pipe. 30 circuit Sg. D. Homeline panel with upgrade of grounding system. Permit fee is additional.
$1,500 Replace Electrical service to above address New service to be 240 volt , 150 amp service installed in 11/4 inch pvc conduit New 150 amp ,, 36 circuit main circuit breaker panel Up dated grounding to Electrical Codes
$800 Install 30 Circuit 150amp Panel : Includes all parts ,labor,& permit costs. Scope Of work: Remove existing 150 amp 18 Circuit Panel & replace with new 30 Circuit 150 amp panel with new circuit breakers. Install outside ground rods and equipment grounding system.Install new water meter grounding as per code. Re-attach exterior Service head left unsupported by new siding.
I think they are the same. Only the $1,500 electrician gave me a referral, but just one, a new house behind me. He didn't seem to include the exterior service head, but when we talked he did so I would have him redo the estimate to include that, plus there's an additional charge from him for the permit. The circuits are different, but I wouldn't figure that to be a 1,500 or 700 dollar difference.
Regards, Marsha
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On 06/05/2010 07:06 PM, mpenny wrote:

I'm not John, but after skimming that, I have to ask - if you are having new service wires pulled and a new panel installed, why are you not just upgrading to 200A? Also what is the panel the 2nd electrician is going to use? Others may have other preferences but at least within the Square-D line, I believe that QO is considered to be a higher-end panel than Homeline.
I'm not trying to spend your money, honestly - but it seems odd that you'd have a new 150A service and panel put in when most of what you're paying for is likely labor, not the materials themselves.
nate
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Ping-John-Grabowski-445603-.htm mpenny wrote: Nate,
I'm clueless so any tips are appreciated! All said 200A were not necessary for the size of our house, even if we were to put on an additional bedroom and bathroom. They were upgrading the circuits..if you look at the original post John provided the link for, you'll see my BIL suggested the upgrade.
So I guess I am really comparing apples to oranges...
Marsha
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Ping-John-Grabowski-445603-.htm mpenny wrote: I requested the following: You visited my house in April and gave me an estimate of $800 on some

He replied: <<I'm not sure as to what you have modified for the Quote. I Believe you Have an existing 150 Amp Service coming into your home, We have in our price to replace the existing panel with 150amp main 30 circuit panel, grounding, service head repair & permit costs included. Overloaded circuits will still remain as overloaded circuits untill you split those circuits up by adding new circuits. A 100 amp main breaker and service would be less than what you have now. Please feel free to call if you have any questions and thank you for allowing us to service your electrical needs.>>
I then replied: <<Sorry..I originally wanted the existing replaced by with one with more circuits..now I just wanted an estimate on replacing it with a 200 amp main (sorry for the typo) and an added subpanel with 24-30 circuits for the overloaded circuits.
Also, any references you can give me..>>
He then said the following. I did mention a subpanel but he didn't include that service. Didn't ask for a 40 Circuit..
<<Install 40 Circuit 200amp Panel : Includes all parts ,labor,& permit costs. Scope Of work: Remove existing 150 amp 18 Circuit Panel & replace with new 40 Circuit 200 amp panel with new circuit breakers,Service entrance & 200 amp meter. Install outside ground rods and equipment grounding system.Install new water meter grounding as per code. 1 Splitting 1 overloaded circuit>>
Cost: 1,525.00 (up from $800)
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*His price is almost identical to the one in the middle and it is for similar work. Now your comparing apples to apples.
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service with another, except for a larger panel, and upgraded grounding system. Despite your electrical needs, I would never install a 150 amp service, as the difference between it, and a 200 amp service are literally pennies.
It sounds like the weatherhead is broken, so it needs to be disconnected from the service drop and replaced, then reattached.
From the information the three estimates provide, it seems that your panel is overloaded, not your service. I would ask for a price from each of these contractors for replacing the broken head and reattaching it, adding a 16 full circuit sub panel with 100 amp main, and transferring overloaded circuits to the new panel, and upgrading the grounding system. All work is to include permits and inspections.
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*Marsha I agree with RBM. I would make one change though. I would install a 24 or 30 circuit sub-panel since you plan to add a bedroom down the road.
Price #3 is in the ballpark, but low and price #2 ($1500.) seems too good to be true. Price #1 is in the ballpark for a 200 amp upgrade complete. If price #1 is the company that you want to use, I would ask them to change it to a 200 amp service for the same price as the 150 amp.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Ping-John-Grabowski-445603-.htm mpenny wrote: I actually thought #1 was overpriced, and liked #2 best, plus his cost was better. Thought #3 was too cheap and it made me wary.
I will ask for what you all have suggested, 200 amp, subpanel, weatherhead, permit and inspections.
I will come back with what they say. Thanks for the feedback! ; -)
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