Electrical work for new electric hot water heater?


Old 06-15-05, 06:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: usa
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Electrical work for new electric hot water heater?

I was charged $835 for the electrical work. This invovled running a wire from my fuse box, through about 10 feet of drop ceiling, then into a box (not sure what it is called) next to the water heater.

I live north of Boston Ma.
The price sounds a little high to me.
Can anyone tell me if I should question the company about this?

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Old 06-15-05, 06:46 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Derry, New Hampshire
Posts: 291
Sounds high to me, I just installed an electric tank for a neighbor, ran 24 feet of 10-3 romex, purchased a new 30 amp breaker and had it done in an hour. Total supplies were less than $50.00 , not includeing the tank which my neighbor paid $300 for. I'd definately check. Unless of course your price included a brand new large tank.
Old 06-15-05, 07:24 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 249
Why would you need to heat hot water?
Old 06-15-05, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
Hard to tell sight unseen. Did they give you an itemized parts and labor breakdown? Seems a little high based on your brief description of the work, but was a service call charge or drive time part of it? If this is a company which just "pulls a number out ot the hat" you have a right to ask for a more detailed explanation of charges.

I am not automatically condemning the contractor. Homeowners often do not fully understand the concept of overhead for a contractor: he pays a decent salary to a qualified and experienced tech; he pays the labor overhead: 7% soc. sec., unemployment insurance, workerks comp is HIGH, liability insurance, etc.;he pays for the truck; he pays for specialized tools and equipment; he pays to inventory the parts so you don't have to pay an hourly labor rate for a shopping trip; as a business owner he expects to take home a living wage himself as well as have some money left to reinvest in the business so he can provide a JOB to more people. It's all called capitalism.

What area are you in. I grew up in Newbury ( on the coast up towards Salisbury Beach and NH). Been in Calif. for 35 years. Visited for clams and lobster last October.
Old 06-15-05, 08:46 AM
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That seems pretty darn high to me -- how long was the electrician there? Did you have a written quote before the job started?
Old 06-15-05, 09:02 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Derry, New Hampshire
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Greetings, 594Tough, When I am not doing a DIY JOB , my favorite place to hang out is the boardwalk in Newburyport. It's a darn nice town.
Old 06-15-05, 09:44 AM
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Location: Tujunga, CA, USA
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Was obtaining a permit part of the cost? Did they quote you a flat-rate price before they did the work or did they charge time and materials?
Old 06-15-05, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744

Hmmm....did the Electrician wire up the Water Heater also.....did he put a disconnect at it if needed??? and did he run Romax above the dropped ceiling???? or did he pipe it in.

New codes get spastic on running Romax above dropped ceilings....eitherway.....If it was wide open and only 10' and accessable from a dropped ceiling lets say and all open and exposed basically I would say that is rather high...

Probably would take all of about 1 hour at the max being only 10'......we charge $ 48.00 hr plus material on those types of jobs....we treat them as service calls and so on.

Again as the others have said...nothing against the contractor ( if they were an actual contractor ) but that does seem high.....not that we would not like to get that but just seems excessive for the little work you have listed.

P.S......Just as an add on...is the Water Heater within sight of the service panel?
Old 06-15-05, 12:08 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 15
Thanks for the help!

The fuse box is in a small room in the basement and the water heater is in another room, the rooms are next to each other, about 15 feet.

The electrician just ran the electrical wire to the disconnect box(a small box next to the water heater) then connected a wire to the water heater.
They first quoted me $910 for the electrical work because they said I need another small fuse box installed because my main fuse box was full. The electrician said he was able to fit another fuse in the main box so he didn't have to install a new one.

The billing was all through the plumbing, company and when I called up and asked how much of a refund I would get he said $75. That still seems like I am getting ripped off.

The plumbing company said they will have the electrical company they use call me to give a detailed list of how they got to the $835 ($910-$75) cost. Still waiting on that call but its only been a few hours.

Any help would be great because I have never had a water heater installed.

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