Question about electrician rates

An electrician gave me a $400 estimate to run a new 15A circuit from the breaker panel in the living room, down into an unfinished basement directly below, and then up to a new washer outlet in the bathroom, all about 25 feet away. I thought this estimate was rather high, considering there was a minimum amount of in-wall wiring required. Does this estimate sound ok? --- John
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From what you've provided, who can say?
It doesn't sound as if running the wire in the basement will be a problem. But how much tearing up of your living room wall will he have to go to get the wire into the panel? If he's got to cut and patch some drywall, that may require several trips out, in which case $400 would certainly be justified.
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wrote on 25 Jan 2005:

Sorry, I should clarify. There wouldn't be any tearing or re-patching drywall, he would just fish the Romex through the same hole in the basement ceiling under the LR panel that the existing wires use. He would run the other end to an existing access hole in the basement ceiling under the bathroom wall.--- John
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John wrote:

In that case, $300 should be a maximum. Any non-professional, reasonably accomplished, could do it in a couple of hours with a maximum of $50 of materials.
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Now John, How on earth is anyone in here going to know the answer to that question? We cant see it and dont know the amount of work involved. Get two other estimates and then compare. Remember...........if it was that easy, you would be doing it yourself and you ARENT doing it yourself now, are you? "Its too high, Its too low, Its ok." Bubba
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$400.00 sounds about right for that.
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If it is as straight forward as you say, it might be a tad high. But... last year I changed a single switch to a 3 way, thinking it would take me a couple hours. It ended up taking all day. Since he has no idea what problems he will encounter, it is reasonable to charge a bit more than what it will take if everything goes perfectly.
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It may be OK. The question is more about time than materials. 25 feet is nothing, but if he needs a helper to assist in fishing the wire it suddenly is getting more expensive.
If you think it is high, get another price.
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John wrote:

Price the components and see for yourself. 100 foot length of #12 cable (or #`14 of you are cheap), 1 breaker, outlet box, and receptacle with plate. Then look at the work, is there room in the box? how hard is it to drill a hole and fish the wire? what do you have to do to get the wire to the area below the washer? And how much problem to put the box in?
Depends on where you live, but, yes it is high. Materials cost would be less than $100, repair material would be less than $20, labor probably less than 2 hours. I see the biggest problem (expense or labor time) as the wire run in basement depending on how run direction compared to the floor joists.
If it were my house, I would do it myself since I have done some wiring, and depending on how badly I tore up walls, get a drywall guy to repair the wall (Hate drywall finishing).
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I too am faced with putting in a couple new circuits for a whirlpool bathtub. Got 2 quotes, one for $800, the other $600. This is in So. Calif.
I'm thinking about doing it myself. I've put in new outlets tied into existing ones, and done quite a bit of pulling wire through the walls and attic while putting in a home theater system. Only new part for me would be working in the main breaker box, installing the new breakers. Am I crazy to be thinking about taking this on?
TIS
Ed
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Installing the breakers is the easy part. If you can do the rest you've got it made. That said, there are plenty of codes about how to protect the wires etc. etc. Read up so you know about these; after all, 120v cables are not as harmless as the wires for your home theater. Are you planning on getting it inspected? Might be prudent for a whirlpool.
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Not difficult at all. Just be sure to use the right material, follow the code, especially for the tub that may require ground fault protection. Just remember that there will be live wires inside the box, usually above the main breaker even if you shut off the main.
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I guarantee that your locality requires a permit for this work. You haven't mentioned GFCI protection for the circuits, which is also certainly required. That suggests that you really don't know what you're doing here.
This kind of work should always be done with a permit whether you do it yourself or have it done. If done improperly, you could endanger someone's life. This isn't a home theater. I'd recommend that you hire a pro.
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Depends where you live. In the Boston area where cost of living is high and we don't have enough contractors, that's seems reasonable.
dv
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The marketplace determines whether the price is OK. The surest way to get the answer to your question is to get a couple more quotes if possible. Getting more than one quote can have a number of other benefits. Different contractors often have different takes on the same situation and sometimes the results are surprising and educational, so in addition to gaining perspective on how good the price quotes are, you often learn something besides. Other factors enter too -- quality, responsiveness, reliability, etc., and your chances for being satisfied with the final job can really be improved by doing some comparing.
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Patching, sanding, painting drywall can be time-consuming. You could offer to do the patchwork and painting, leaving just the wiring for the electrician--it may cut the cost in half.
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