electrician/DIY

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  #1  
Old 05-25-05, 03:57 AM
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electrician/DIY

Hello - I'm in the process of finishing a room in my basement(I just finished framing it), and I've been debating about doing the electrical myself or having an electrician come in and do it.

I've got all the parts and planned the circuit - it's basically adding 5 15amp outlets and a new 15amp GFCI breaker, all run with 14/2 NM. The room is framed, so running the NM shouldn't be too difficult - and it's fairly small at about 13x13.

I got an estimate from an electrician - he's quoting me $50 per outlet...I'm just wondering if this is a fair rate or if it seems too expensive?
I tried to get another electrician to give me a quote - but he wouldn't give one over the phone and he also wanted to charge me $75 just to come out and give the estimate, which of course would be deducted if I used him.

In either case, I'm paying for the electrical permit as well...

Thanks for any advice!
Josh
 
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  #2  
Old 05-25-05, 04:42 AM
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Let me make several comments first.

I would wire this (or have it wired) with 12 gage wire and put it on a 20 amp breaker. The cost difference in materials is minimal and the extra capacity is well worth having.

You didn't discuss a switch or a light, but you most likely need at least a switch controlling one of the receptacles (or at least half of one of the receptacles). Depending on the purpose of the room, I would consider a ceiling light.

An electrician may not want to use your materials. He or she might prefer different size or style junction boxes than you purchased, or might prefer different receptacles, or whatever.

You want this to be done properly. Since it is being inspected the inspector will , of course, require this. But even if it weren't being inspected you want it done right. If you do this yourself, please make sure that you know what you are doing. There are lots of small points in the code that are easy to miss.

If this is your time with a job like this, you might consider letting an electrician do the work, but being very involved in the job. By that I don't mean being a shadow, but plan out how you would do it and see if the electrician agrees. It's your house, so you should be involved anyway. Plan where you want the receptacles and the switch and how you would run the wires. If you don;t understand why the electrician wants to do it differently then please ask.

$50 per outlet is a reasonable price.
 
  #3  
Old 05-25-05, 05:15 AM
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Thanks for the response...

As to your questions, I'll see if I can answer them...

As for the additional capacity - it was something that I considered, but after discussing it with the electrician, he agreed that the 15A was sufficient for the outlets.

The room was half roughed in when it was built. There is already an existing 20A circuit that has a switch and 2 regular ceiling lights in the room - the circuit also goes into the garage, where it has a bunch of other outlets/lights/switches on it - that was why I decided to add the new circuit for the outlets. I'm planning on using the room as an office, and since there are already switched lights, I wasn't planning on making any of the outlets switched.

Once I finish doing the ceiling grid for the suspended ceiling (I don't anticipate doing this for a few more months), I'm planning on replacing the existing 2 lights with 4 recessed cans. Since the lights are on a different circuit than the new one that I'm adding, I didn't feel that I needed the 20A circuit for just the oulets - please correct me if you still think that upgrading is a good idea and I'll go grab the 20A parts and return the others.

As far as the materials - he said that what I purchased was fine and that he didn't have a problem using any of it. I had actually gotten it prior to talking to an electrician since I originally planned on doing this job myself.

The only part of this project that I wasn't really comfortable with was running the romex, other than that I have no problem doing any of the work myself.

Thanks again for the response!
 
  #4  
Old 05-25-05, 05:51 AM
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Since there are already lights in the room you won't need a switched receptacle.

The term office is vague. My office has a dedicated computer circuit. I run two computers, two printers, various assorted peripherals plus on occasion my wife's laptop, all on a separate dedicated circuit. The regular circuit has lights, an answering machine, and other items on it.

I have no idea what you plan for your office, but you do, at least for starters. Consider all the equipment you use, and allow for expansion. Also consider that you may need to put the lights on this same circuit, if say you find that adding the four cans push the circuit close to the limit or if the garage door openers dim the lights or whatever.

Bottom line is that I would make the circuit 20 amp. You can, of course, do what you want.

If the electrician is willing to use your parts then fine.
 
  #5  
Old 05-25-05, 06:12 AM
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Makes sense - I'll pick up the 20A parts.

Thanks again for the advice. I also decided just to let the electrician do the wiring...I'll "watch" so that next time, I'll feel more comfortable actually doing it myself.

Josh
 
  #6  
Old 05-25-05, 07:16 AM
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You only need to change the wire to 12 gauge and the breaker to 20A. The 15A receptacles are fine on a 20A circuit, and it is extremely unlikely that you would ever be plugging in a device with a 20A plug...
 
  #7  
Old 05-25-05, 08:33 AM
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Is there any benefit to using 20A outlets?
 
  #8  
Old 05-25-05, 10:02 AM
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The only benefit is that if you ever need to use a device that requires a 20 amp receptacle, you will be able to use it without replacing a receptacle.

In my own house I have 20 amp receptacles in the garage wall and in the unfinished portion of the basement, but have 15 amp receptacles elsewhere.
 
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