Service upgrade cost


Old 09-05-02, 01:38 PM
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Service upgrade cost

I am looking into a service upgrade from 100amp to 200amp and had a question about the cost. I have a quote that includes:

trench 36" deep w/ new conduit
new line from pole to meter
new 40 space panel with +/-20 breakers
200amp main breaker
upgrade grounding to code if needed.

The quote from a local electrical firm was just shy of $4000.00. Does this sound about right? They want to charge $1600.00 for the trenching alone which is less than 100' long. I want this done right and this company was recommended to me from a coworker who had good luck with them in the past.

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Old 09-05-02, 02:06 PM
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Seems a little high.

We have a 200 amp service. One panel was for the large appliances (heat pump, dryer, cooktop etc) and the other panel was for the general lighting.

The main breaker for the panel for the major appliances shot craps and a replacement could not be found, so the panel had to be replaced.

The total cost for about $1400. A lot less work than your bid, but still expensive(in my opinion) when the electrician was there for only about 3 hours. I did not sweat the cost because our homeowners warranty picked up the cost less the $50 deductible.

I would get a couple of more bids from licensed contractors and then make a decision.
Old 09-05-02, 02:32 PM
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Two options on the trenching:

1. Rent a ditch witch and do the trenching yourself.
2. Pay someone, other than the electrician, to do the trenching.
I paid 15 cents per foot a couple of years ago.
Old 09-05-02, 07:05 PM
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Where is this trencher for 15 cents? I have a job for him. Probably a 1.50 is more like it. And 1600 I be glad to come and do it. I fly there and do it for that.
Old 09-05-02, 07:06 PM
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For 1600 dig it by hand. Have even done that. A man can do it in a day depending on soil conditions.
Old 09-06-02, 09:44 PM
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Not sure of your location, cost can vary from location to location.
Look for insurance, and donít be scared to ask, Work of mouth is good. Have every thing in writing, Donít forget an estimate is just that, things can happen for the cost to go up, and even down. Get two more bids before you commit to this one, may be worth it. Can't really say if the price is good or not, cant see the same thing the contractor is biding.
Old 09-07-02, 08:51 PM
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just wondering why he is charging you to put lines in from the pole to the meter? This is not your responsibility. If this is underground, the power co will charge you directly and put it in themselves. You should call your power co. and see what they require to be done. Sometimes you can dig the trench for them and they will do it cheaper, but the lines comming from the pole to the meter will be installed py your power co. Just a thought. An overhead service drop is provided at no cost. All you have to do is provide a point of attachment.
Old 09-07-02, 09:48 PM
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Good idea Bwet,,,, it all done during working hours,,, if you at work they can charge for work the poco did, pay poco 6$ per ft, charge you 16, by the time you get home it a done deal. An extra grand on top of the grand you gonna make,,, good day,,, I gotta get in this racket.
Old 09-08-02, 02:26 PM
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Some poco require the contractor to install conduit and wire at the customers expense.I have had to do the underground on many jobs in the Houston area.Each poco has different rules!!If the contractor is supplying trenching,conduit,service riser @Utility pole.wire,panel,etc.,then the price just might not be so high.Just my opinion without knowing all the details.
Old 09-09-02, 07:43 PM
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Most Electricians don't like to dig myself included, I.E. there's ALWAYS a large rock or to......1600 covers any conditions not seen from the surface. Take Thin man's sugestion and dig it yourself to save some money just don't try it by hand. Fitting your legs into a narrow trench at the 2-1/2 foot mark reaching for 3 feet deep is hard work.
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