What is the cost for adding an Electrical Outlet

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How much should it cost for an electrician to add an electrical outlet about 2 feet away from the electical panel in my basement. When I called to ask how much it was initially I could have sworn they said about $90. Then I receive a bill for $160. The job took about 30 minutes.
Thanks for any help.....
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It breaks down this way:
$15 for materials--maybe less $75 to show up at your house $60 to cover his expertise.
He made some profit to stay in business. Seems reasonable.
Dave
jo wrote:

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I had 9 3-prong electrical outlets put in my home. 4 placed upstairs, 5 in the basement, 2 new breakers. Cost - $450.00.

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Could you have done it in 30 minutes for between $90 and $160?
;-)
Seriously, if you have a problem with the bill, call them and discuss it. Be calm and reasonable about things. Tell them you recall being told $90 and you were siurprised to receive a bill for $160, and ask them to please itemize the charges.
Keep in mind that quoting over the phone and actually getting into the job are two very different things.
Last summer, I had a problem with a rail car full of newsprint (pics at <http://www.producer.com/free/paper_rolls/ ... Have a look.) and ourprinter was concerned (rightly so) about the entire load shifting and injuring someone.
I called a salvage company recommended by the rail company and asked if he would give me an estimate on removing the rolls (average mass per roll is 520 kg). His answer was "it will be under one million dollars". He then explained that he no longer is willing to give an estimate because he has no way to know what's inside the job. In this case, he was able to pull all the rolls out without incident, but if you look at the pics it sure apppears like 30 metrics tons of newsprint is ready to fall as soon as that top roll is moved.
I have no idea what your electrical job looks/looked like, so I offer this only as an anecdote to illustrate why a phone quote could be distant from the reality discovered on-site.
I'll repeat myself... Call them, be polite, and ask them to explain the charges and the difference between the bill and the quote.
You'll get a better answer than this rambling bit of nonsense... :-)
--
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wrote:

LOL...
You were billed for his travel time in addition to his actual on site time plus someone has to pay for that Plus his truck, his insurance, his telephone, his gasoline, and even for his screwdriver....
I bet that if you had him install 2 outlets instead of 1 your total cost would have been under 170 Bucks...
I am not a tradsman of any sort BUT I did run a business before I retired....The cost of doing business has to be paid by the customer
Bob G.
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I had three outlets installed and he charged me $15 each.
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have said, he has to figure something in for his travel time, and that might have been more than the work. It could easily have been $160.
However... If you estimated $90, then $160 is outrageous. It couldn't possibly have cost $70 more than he expected. If you are certain he said $90, then talk to him. If he won't be reasonable, don't pay it; but expect to visit small claims court, where the judge may or may not believe you.
Now, did he get it inspected like your town almost certainly requires. Not doing that might make it more difficult to sue you. Now of course, nobody gets it inspected, and I doubt your town will care, but it is still illegal. Check your town's website to see their requirements for electrical work.
BTW, I obviously haven't seen it, but installing an outlet 2 feet from your breaker box is pretty simple. I expect you could have gotten a perfectly competent handyman to do it for $15-$40, depending on exactly what was involved.
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That should be "if he estimated", not "you" It makes difference what you estimated. Sorry.
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Does anyone else see a contradiciton here? :-)

Ever seen a breaker box flush-mounted in drywall? Installing an outlet two feet away means opening the drywall at the box and drilling through two studs, just to run the cable from the breaker box to the site of the new outlet. Job's even worse if the wall is lath and plaster.
I doubt you'll find even an INcompetent handyman who'd do that for fifteen bucks.
It's not all that simple if everything is exposed, either. Suppose it's exposed on a poured-concrete basement wall. Can't use NM (Romex) cable for that: gotta use BX, MC, or conduit of some type, and whatever you use must be secured to the wall. That means a hammer drill and a couple of plastic or lead anchors. And of course the receptacle box must be secured to the wall. More drilling, more anchors.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Or what if the outlet is in an area with explosive gases? Or on the outside of the International Space Station? Nah, $160 is cheap, it could have cost you a couple of million.
-j
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Yeah, like I said, I haven't seen it; but odds are it is pretty simple and a handyman could do it for $15-$40. If any concrete had to be cut away, or even drywall worked around, the OP would have mentioned it and the electrician wouldn't have estimated $90. Why are you so obsessed with what I have to say, but completely disregard what the OP says? (I know, I know; you have a duty to protect the innocents from my advice to follow the manufacturer's instructions and the like.)
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Wade, when are you going to outgrow this junior high school name calling phase? My 13yo son got past that a *long* time ago.

Speaking of foolish... how about telling the guy the price he was charged is "outrageous" when you yourself admit that you don't have the first idea what the conditions of the installation are?

You're ASSuming an awful lot here.
I never said anything about cutting concrete away. But it's a fact that a Code-compliant installation (something that you are clearly unacquainted with) on a concrete block wall requires that the conductors be protected in *something*, and that both the box and the conduit be secured to the wall. That's well out of "$15-$40" territory already.

Why are you so obsessed with trying to give people electrical advice, when you don't have the first idea what you're talking about? Stick to offering advice on subjects you know something about. If you can find one.
In this case, I didn't even realize it was you I was responding to, until afterward.

If nobody corrects the nonsense you post, someday someone will be hurt or killed by following your instructions.

If you *would* advise people to follow the manufacturer's instructions, you wouldn't be nearly so dangerous. The problem arises when your so-called advice _directly_contradicts_ the manufacturer's instructions and the Code - like when you told the guy installing his range hood to connect the equipment ground to the circuit *neutral* despite the manufacturer's instructions which he quoted directing that it be attached to the *ground*.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Or inside the vessel of a nuclear reactor on board a submarine currently submerged 100m under the North Polar ice cap? I can be as ridiculous as you.
The situations I described, though, are *common* situations in many homes. And to say blithely with no knowledge whatsoever of the installation requirements that $160 is an "outrageous" charge for installing a single outlet demonstates a certain lack of understanding and thinking.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I agree. It's an "outrageous fee" because he only had one outlet installed. There's a standard fees for travelling time, standard fees for showing up, standard fees for installing an outlet. Only way to mediate those fees would have been to have a number of outlets installed at the same time. Electricians do it, plumbers do it and a few other trades do it too.
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Charging $160 is outrageous because he was quoted $90 for a job that took 20 minutes. Where did the extra $70 come from? Labor? Materials? How could a 20 minute job quoted at $90 minutes change to $160? If his travel time doubled, that is not the OP's problem.
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So why didn't the OP ask for an explanation of the final charges? To blithely accept those charges without requesting an explanation puts the ball in the OP's court. Coming to this newsgroup to complain or request an explanation is fruitless without knowing all the details.
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wrote in message

same question several times; they had some work done, the price was higher than they were told, and they want to know if it is fair. Most women (and many men as well) can't stand confrontation and would just take the bill without asking. Besides, they wouldn't understand the electrician's explanation anyhow. (It is usually on auto repair, which I don't know much more about than they do...)
But, if he quoted $90 and actually did the job in 20 minutes (two big IFs admittedly) than there is probably no explanation for the $160.
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Ok, I know some people have real difficulty asking for an explanation. But when it happens often enough, the time comes when they have to overcome that hesitation one way or another. Suggestion for people with that difficulty is to have a friend on hand or have prepared questions written down. Another way to look at it is not as confrontation, but as a learning experience. The failure to learn will come next time something similar happens and an explanation is not requested. Can't suggest anything else.
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:) I'd bet you a case of beer the electrician has an explanation for the charges.
Dave
toller wrote:

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The OP wrote "When I called ... I could've sworn they said about $90".
Note the following: a) It's an estimate, not a quote. b) It was made over the phone, *without* seeing the job. c) The OP has not provided *any* details. d) The figure is approximate. That's what "about" means. e) The OP seems to have some uncertainty over the amount of the estimate he was given. ("... I could've sworn...")
And it was 30 minutes, not 20.

And how can you say it's outrageous? You don't know anything about the situation, other than the numbers. You have _no_basis_ for saying that it's a ripoff, a good deal, or anything else.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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