was I ripped off?

hunterdonnjAugust 23, 2010

Hi. I was away on vacation and our home lost power. It was a Sunday, really hot. Our house sitter called around for an electrician to come. One came, and quoted us $1309.00 to repair a main breaker. Now I am not sure what this exactly entails, but when I called the electric company, they estimated it should cost about $300-$400 to fix such a thing. Was I ripped off? We live in Central NJ.

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The power company did not come to look at it, right? And those reading this forum have not looked at it. We really have very little specific information about your situation. It is entirely possible that the electrician in question is an opportunist. Finding new breakers on Sunday is not quick not easy unless Lowes or HomerD has the particular one.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 5:35PM
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i don't know what the labor rates are in your area, but in some areas, I've heard $75 to $100 an hour for a service call is the norm. Then take into account that Sunday will be billed at time and a half or perhaps double time and the electrician could be getting paid a minimum of 4 hours just to be called out. Adds up pretty quick. My supplier will open up any time of the day on any day, and will charge accordingly. This can turn a $100 breaker into a $200 breaker.

Bus Driver summed it up pretty well.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 5:54PM
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Well, it sounds a bit high, but of course local area is a big factor, as well as what bus driver and tom o have mentioned. I am in southwestern PA, and have a rental house where the main breaker failed on a Saturday evening. I called the electrician that I use exclusively, and he replaced a 100 amp Murray breaker for a total of $165. The breaker was $33, the rest was service call / labor, etc. I thought that was very fair. I would venture the cost of living in Central Jersey is much higher than southwestern PA. Also, since I give him a lot of business, I think he cuts me a break where he can.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 7:28PM
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Dan, I think you guy cut you a HUGE break. I would not get up out of my easy chair for $165 on a Saturday night.

I think the OP Is not giving us all the info. $1300 to "repair" a main breaker??? Yeah right.

I bet the quote was to replace the panel. You do NOT repair a main breaker. You either replace it, or you replace the whole panel.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 8:41PM
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I know it was a really good price. Keep in mind though, I have 5 rentals, and all but one needed electrical work / rewiring when I bought them, he also put the new 200 amp 40 position panel and subpanel in my house, and I have referred about 8 friends to him for service entrance upgrades. He works for himself, so he can adjust prices low. When he did the panel in my house, he had brought his dog, who played with my dogs, and I bought him lunch, so we have a good relationship. I believe you always have to keep your electrician happy.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 9:11PM
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what co panel was put in

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 11:58PM
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