Estimate Please

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  #1  
Old 09-28-07, 01:56 PM
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Estimate Please

Hi Guys....

Myself and my wife have a very nice Victorian out in the country that needs another meter box installed....the one we have is ancient.

How much roughly will a new box & labor cost ?
I also need at least 2 -220 lines installed.

I have called every electrician in the phone book and nobody seems to have the time to come out and take a look so I can get my estimate.

The home needs updated wiring in certain areas, but I can do that....I just need the ''main'' stuff in the box area done.

Thanks
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:06 PM
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Location is a BIG variable as far as pricing goes, but a general range for a 200A service upgrade is $1500-$3500. The former being a real bargain. The latter being in the higher prices areas such as California and big cities. Most areas are in the $1800-$2200 range.

The circuits run is also a big variable. What does "220" mean? I mean I know this means a 240v circuit but for what? How big, or more accurately, what amperage? This is also a huge variable.
#12cu wire is, let's just say, quite a bit cheaper than #6cu wire.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:07 PM
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Actually your "meter box" may not be what needs replacing. It I suspect it is your fuse box or breaker panel that needs replacing. Depending on a lot of factors you may only need to add a subpanel. That could be a DIY project you could handle if, as you say, you are comfortable with wiring. Post back with full info on your panel including manufacturer and I'm sure one or more of the pros can advise you.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Catzilla View Post
Myself and my wife have a very nice Victorian out in the country that needs another meter box installed....the one we have is ancient.
Old doesn't always mean bad. What is the goal of the project? Do you need more power for new appliances? Do you want breakers instead of fuses? Are you addressing an immediate problem or just planning for the future?

How much roughly will a new box & labor cost ?
This depends a lot on the particular job and the local labor rate; perhaps $1,000 for a simple panel change up to $3,000 for a heavy-up service upgrade. The average is probably about $1,600 for a fairly straightforward service upgrade, but this depends a lot on the labor rate and how much copper wire is required.

I also need at least 2 -220 lines installed.
For what appliances over what distances? Is there an open basement or attic to route wires? These make a big difference.

I have called every electrician in the phone book and nobody seems to have the time to come out and take a look so I can get my estimate.
That's strange that no one would come out; although, I find it refreshing that your local electricians are saying "no" rather than trying to rip you off with outrageous prices. Perhaps there is a labor shortage or construction boom in your area. I've found that people are generally happier with contractors hired based on recommendations than cold calling from the yellow pages. You might want to ask around for electricians your neighbors have been happy with.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:12 PM
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An estimate from us means nothing, as none of us can see what needs to be done and none of us would be doing the work anyway.

The lines to the meter may need to be replaced. The lines from the meter to the main panel may need to be replaced.

The main panel may need to be replaced, or it may be a good idea to replace it.

How long are the 240 volt lines you need? What are they for? Are they 240 volts or are they 120/240 volts?

The list of questions is endless. Okay, may be not endless.

You will eventually find electricians who will come out and provide estimates. Get two or three for comparison.

You could be looking at a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on what you have done and what needs to be done.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:14 PM
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I will guys & thanks....if there is anything I can do myself & I don't know how...I want to learn....I know it's expensive.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:18 PM
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''An estimate from us means nothing, as none of us can see what needs to be done and none of us would be doing the work anyway.''

I know....I was just looking for a rough figure....I will get all the details together & get back with you guys asap....maybe once I get my son in bed....thank you again and I look forward to learning as much as I can.
 
  #8  
Old 09-28-07, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Catzilla View Post
if there is anything I can do myself & I don't know how...I want to learn....I know it's expensive.
A great place to start is the paperback Wiring Simplified; you can pick it up at most of the big box stores for $10. This book covers almost everything you'll need to know about the basics of residential wiring. The Black and Decker Complete Guide to Home Wiring is also a good starting point although a bit less complete in my opinion.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 02:25 PM
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Great advice !

##You might want to ask around for electricians your neighbors have been happy with.##

2 things you want, Knowledge and comfort (personable).

Way too many regional and physical variables.
Give a location and we may narrow it down.

Not a quote, but some may know if you are being ripped off.

The #s I have seen so far are a pretty good indication of this area. So an unscientific study shows , We're not that different.
 
  #10  
Old 09-28-07, 02:35 PM
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I live in Norwood, NC 45 miles SE of Charlotte, ''Lake Tillery'' area....however our home is way out in the country....nothing but corn, cows & cotton.
It would be great if I could do the labor and the electrician was here with me giving instructions !
 
  #11  
Old 09-28-07, 04:07 PM
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I'm Back...Please Bear With Me

OK Guys...

I will try to explain this as clearly as possible...try to bear with me, I know it can be frustrating to you pro's, but I am trying to learn.

_______________________________________________

The whole house is running off a GE Powermark Gold 8 Circut Load Center.

It has 3- 20 amp breakers & 4-30 amp breakers....one slot is empty.

Here are my problems:

At one time current flowed throughout the home, but the only recepticles were on the back porch area & one bedroom, they are modern day recepticles...for everything else we have to use power strips & drop cords ''which I am VERY CAREFUL to not overload''.

We had to tear down one room so what I had to do was of course shut of the power at the breaker box & pull the lines out of the room that we tore down....I capped off the ends with electrical tape and put them to the side in the attic....they are still attached to a junction box.

From this junction box all the way back to the back porch area there is no current....the lighting recepticles do not work which have ceiling fans installed in them.
I can run the air conditioner in the front of the home, BUT if I turn on the microwave or small oven of course the breaker trips....well needless to say I don't run more than one at a time.

Now, one of the 20 amp breakers use to not stay on before I took the line out of the room we tore down, when I removed it and capped it off with electrical tape it did not trip anymore, BUT there is still no power flowing where there once was so of course I leave the breaker off.

The power to the home can not be cut off from a main breaker....the electrical company has to pull the meter to insure all is dead if I replace a breaker....it's that old, BUT it was working.

We do not have a dryer or oven outlet...we cook on a simple hot plate.
An elderly lady use to live in the home and she required very little power.
Some recepticles had modern line running from the ceiling recepticles that the fans are attached to across the ceiling and down the wall into more recepticles that you could plug in to.

So from what I have told you....any idea's ?
I know it may be confusing, but bear with me...I know you can help.
 
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Old 09-28-07, 07:51 PM
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You do not need to cut power to replace individual breakers. I am not a pro but I would suggest if your meter will handle 100a at least temporarily you install a 100 (or 200) amp sub panel next to your existing panel. Transfer all current loads to the new larger panel and place a 100a breaker in the original box to power the sub panel. At a later date an electrician could convert the sub panel to the main panel if you wish. (Even if you go with a 200a panel for future conversion to a main panel I'd stay with a 100a or less in the GE main.)

You might be able to leave some circuits in the main panel. If this idea passes the pros opinions here and you want to consider doing it post back for specifics. I would suggest running all new wiring. Easier IMHO then trying to fix what you have.

I'm not sure if the wiring is as bad as you suggest an electrician would even hook up to it. This would allow you to get the wiring in order before bringing in an electrician.
 
  #13  
Old 09-29-07, 03:23 AM
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Ray2047 Said:

''You do not need to cut power to replace individual breakers''.

_________________________________________________

Thank You Ray for your reply as well as you other guys...I feel like I'm getting somewhere now.
Yes...I do have to cut power to the breaker box because I don't have a main switch inside the breaker box OR outside on the meter box.

Unless you know something I'm missing my friend I ain't replacing any breakers till the power is cut !
 
  #14  
Old 09-29-07, 04:43 AM
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I would never suggest you do something you are uncomfortable doing. If you are not very careful working inside a breaker box can be dangerous. However it is not uncommon to replace or remove individual breakers with the power on. You must first turn the breaker off and confirm it is off with a two wire tester or analog multitester. You must be careful not to touch the bus bars. If you don't feel comfortable doing it don't but but I have changed a lot of breakers and never cut the main power.

If you wanted to try my suggestion (and the pros don't shoot it down) you could set everything up except installing the breaker for the sub panel then have the electric company temporarily remove the meter.

(OK maybe I cut power on a FP stab lock occasionally because they can be a b***h to remove in a controlled manner but GEs usually don't stick. )
 
  #15  
Old 09-29-07, 04:56 AM
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Well....you just taught me something I did not know as to changeing out the breakers....Thank You

I guess we will wait to see how the pro's reply and take everything from that point...again...thank you.
 
  #16  
Old 09-29-07, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
You do not need to cut power to replace individual breakers.
While this is technically correct, I consider it bad advice. The buss bars carrying 120 volts (each) are always live if you do not turn off power. A slip while installing or removing a breaker could get you killed.

I always recommend shutting off the main breaker whenever working inside the panel for any reason (except when necessary to check for or measure power).
 
  #17  
Old 09-29-07, 05:22 AM
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Agreed cause I ain't no pro & would not take the chance anyway, but I am learning quite a bit from you guys and I hope it saves me about $2000.00
 
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Old 09-29-07, 05:51 AM
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Lightbulb My thoughts

If this is as bad/inconvenient as this,You may want to start from the outside in.

Start with a service change/upgrade.This would solve the problem of calling the POCO and speed up your "after work to-do list".
Then move on to the inside 1 room at a time. This will also remove the old as you go.Makeing it more manageable.

Perhaps something you can DIY,
 
  #19  
Old 09-29-07, 06:05 AM
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''Now, one of the 20 amp breakers use to not stay on before I took the line out of the room we tore down, when I removed it and capped it off with electrical tape it did not trip anymore, BUT there is still no power flowing where there once was so of course I leave the breaker off.''

__________________________________________________

I still don't understand the above.....can anyone tell me why this might be...things were not so bad until this happened ?

Just trying to learn more & more fella's....thanks again for all the replies.
 
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Old 09-29-07, 06:11 AM
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#@#We had to tear down one room so what I had to do was of course shut of the power at the breaker box & pull the lines out of the room that we tore down....I capped off the ends with electrical tape and put them to the side in the attic....they are still attached to a junction box.

From this junction box all the way back to the back porch area there is no current....the lighting recepticles do not work which have ceiling fans installed in them.
I can run the air conditioner in the front of the home, BUT if I turn on the microwave or small oven of course the breaker trips....well needless to say I don't run more than one at a time.

Now, one of the 20 amp breakers use to not stay on before I took the line out of the room we tore down, when I removed it and capped it off with electrical tape it did not trip anymore, BUT there is still no power flowing where there once was so of course I leave the breaker [email protected]#@@




You removed the power wire to the junction that goes to the porch. This is where memory comes in. You must trace the ckt from the end (porch) to see where the old feed was. Then refeed it.
 
  #21  
Old 09-29-07, 06:21 AM
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So I should remove the line that I capped off totaly from the junction box , then make sure everything else is connected so the power will feed properly ?
 
  #22  
Old 09-29-07, 06:27 AM
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Circuit breakers (properly functioning ones) trip when you exceed the current rating. A 15 amp breaker trips when you exceed 15 amps, a 20 amp breaker trips when you exceed 20 amps. If you have a breaker tripping, it is because it is either bad or you have exceeded the current allowed for the circuit.

Before anyone jumps on me, breakers do allow some over current, so that motors can start, etc. So they do not necessarily trip immediately when their capacity is exceeded.

A window air conditioner use significant power. Generally you want a window air conditioner on a dedicated circuit, so that you do not have a problem with the breaker tripping. (I urge you when you redo the electrical, to put dedicated circuits where you plan on a window unit.)

Microwaves also use significant power. Attempting to run an air conditioner and a microwave at the same time will almost guarantee a tripped breaker.
 
  #23  
Old 09-29-07, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Catzilla View Post
So I should remove the line that I capped off totaly from the junction box , then make sure everything else is connected so the power will feed properly ?
Gotcha....but what about the above question ?
 
  #24  
Old 09-29-07, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Catzilla View Post
So I should remove the line that I capped off totaly from the junction box , then make sure everything else is connected so the power will feed properly ?

When houses are wired, even years ago, the cables run serially from one location to the next to the next. To save money and labor as well as to avoid excessive cable, the runs are as short as possible. The locations on a circuit closest to the panel are served first, then the locations a little further away, etc. until the locations furthest from the panel are served last.

If you disconnect wires in the middle of a circuit, because you are redoing a room, you will shut off power to anything further out on that circuit. It sounds like this is what you did.

If this is the case, then some of those wires you have disconnected and loose in your attic (I'm glad that you have the ends in junction boxes) need to be connected.

Look at the cables, and try to envision where they come from or where they go to. I bet with a little trial and error you can figure out what needs to be connected to make your other rooms have power again.
 
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Old 09-29-07, 06:43 AM
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Outstanding info & I thank all of you for your time.
I will try this information and get back to everyone.
I know we need an upgrade asap, but things were not really bad until we lost power in the back of the home.

Again....Thank You
 
  #26  
Old 09-29-07, 08:33 AM
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Just one more thing though ?
Would it not make more sence for me to just remove the line that was running into the room that we tore down from the junction box altogether ?
If it was running to a room that it no longer there I can't see how I can attach it to anything else ?
 
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Old 09-29-07, 08:50 AM
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If the wire runs into the room but does not exit then you can certainly completely remove it, and you probably should.

However, if it entered the room and eventually left the room, then you need to do the same, to restore power to the end of the circuit.

Only you (or someone else who can see the situation and investigate it) can determine how the circuit was run.
 
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Old 09-29-07, 08:58 AM
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Thank You, appreciate the help.
 
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Old 09-30-07, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Catzilla View Post
Just one more thing though ?
Would it not make more sence for me to just remove the line that was running into the room that we tore down from the junction box altogether ?
If it was running to a room that it no longer there I can't see how I can attach it to anything else ?

YUP! Notice it was'nt broke untill you fixed it?

Now you do 2 rooms, Presto! Your ahead by falling behind!!!!
 
  #30  
Old 10-01-07, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee View Post
YUP! Notice it was'nt broke untill you fixed it?

Now you do 2 rooms, Presto! Your ahead by falling behind!!!!
I'm going in the attic this morning to try & fix this problem...thanks for all the advice & I will let ya know if it works.
 
  #31  
Old 10-01-07, 07:16 AM
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OK Guys....I removed the line from the junction box that I said I was going to remove that went to the room that we tore down.
I have power coming out of the line that runs into the foyer that the ceiling fan is attched to.

For ''now''....I have a recepticle wired to those lines in which an extension cord is plugged in to which allows us to watch TV & run low voltage stuff.
''If'' we use the hot plate or the AC or anything else that draws a lot of current we are VERY careful to not overload the circuts.

Now, it seems that the line running OUT of the foyer recepticle to the rest of the home is either no good or the 20 amp breaker that we replaced the old one with is not compatible with the box...or it's just bad or maybe even possibly not attached very well.

Everything looks to be in order...the line from the foyer is not carrying power to the rest of the home as we discussed in earlier post.
I know this....it can't be nothing major or I would not have ANY power...everything is running fine....I just can't pin point EXACTLY what is wrong.

I have idea's, but I want to hear from you pros so that I know I am on the right track....I am going to whip this problem, it has to be something simple.
I thank you for spending your time with me because I am learning quite a bit.

Hope to hear from you & thanks again.
 
  #32  
Old 10-01-07, 04:01 PM
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Lectriclee,

I just got an email saying you replied on this thread, but I don't see any reply....it is dated for today @ 6:44 PM

You guys give up on me ?
Come on boys....I'm very close thanks to you guys...help me solve this problem.
Read the post above & get back to me please.
 
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