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Need a referral to an electrician

This topic contains 15 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  ginmart 8 years ago.

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  • #171729

    tlavery
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    We are renting a home in Wilton that shares an electrical account with the cottage on the same property. I have reached my LIMIT with this situation and are willing to (at our expense) split the electrical service! I’ve had SMUD out here to do an inspection so we know what needs to be done to meet our goal of two separate SMUD accounts. They told me that we would need either a meter main panel or a duplex panel.

    We have a friend that used to do commercial electrical work at the Cow Palace, so this installation should be something he can do for us, but I would like to see if I can find a licensed electrician that can give us an estimate in case the landlord requires that the work be done by a licensed electrician.

    I called Greybar today and got some prices on the panels that we will likely need. The Duplex panel will be $272.66 (includes 2 meter sockets). We will still need to purchase 2 main breakers at $200 each. If we decided to purchase 2 meter main panel2 the cost would be $169.80 each. The two main breakers for those panels would cost $152.42 each. So just the cost of the equipment Greybar is telling me we will need is going to be between $650 and $700.

    I haven’t gotten over to the permit office……with the cost of the equipment I’m afraid to even ASK what the permit is going to cost. Does anyone have any suggestions??

  • #228813

    tomwaltman
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    I assume you have gotten the permission of the owner prior to doing this. I would suggest a licensed electrician do the work, as the risk is just too high if something happens. I will PM you the name of one of our residential contractors.

  • #228807

    LC
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    Yes, get a real electrician for this one. I used unlicensed people all the time for non-critical work (residential), but never for electrical. Also, you might be able to get a salvage panel on CL or from one of the yards around 12th street. I would not have a problem with that. Breakers (unless Zinsco) are cheap if those need a replacement. Try to find a panel with GE breakers–everyone has those. You may see some Zinsco panels around too–don’t touch them. Those breakers run $200 each or so now.

    The actual permit will be cheap. The labor won’t be.

  • #228814

    tlavery
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    LC can you tell me what places you are referring to (yards around 12th street) where I might be able to get a used panel and breakers? Are they some type of salvage yards?

    Thank you for all the advice and the referral from Tom! It’s MUCH appreciated 😉

  • #228808

    LC
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    Salvage yards yes, names—-drawing a blank mostly. I hope it comes to me, sorry. One is Circuit Breakers Plus 567-0771. Wood Bros has mostly floor covering but they may have a referral. 443-2031.

  • #228820

    ginmart
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    How bad is the situation and how high are your bills that you would go to this kind of expense on a rental?

  • #228805

    EGL Admin
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    it could pay for itself very quickly if you are suspecting them of using more than their fair share. It makes it an untenable situation if you have to constantly wonder how high their heater or AC is. You could be freezing your house and they are cozy at 72 and you pay the same as them. It’s definitely worth it for peace of mind as well.

  • #228809

    LC
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    Back up a moment.

    Are you in the City of EG or the County of Sacramento? I think you’re in the County, and subject to their codes. Call County Building Inspection first and determine if this is even allowed in the County if there are two addresses. You might find the landlord at fault here. SMUD would not necessarily know or care, and the electrical codes are different in Elk Grove.

  • #228815

    tlavery
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    Thank for the replies everyone! We are in Wilton, so I believe we are considered in the county. The address is the same even though there are two buildings on the property, so not sure how that would affect whether or not the landlord has to split the service but it sure doesn’t seem right to me. They are like family to us, so even if they are at fault it is worth it to me to just get it done and have piece of mind that we are only paying for what we use.

    The tenants next door are very young and broke which makes me wonder WHY it is that every time I look over there when they are gone ALL WEEKEND that every damn light is on in that house! They have a cat and I guess the feel it needs the lights on…….just makes me wonder if the heater is set at 75 for the poor dear too! And on the days they ARE home they leave a garage light on all night every night…….how much other unnecessary electricity is being used??

    I am very careful not to use electricity unnecessarily because I know our usage will affect them. They obviously aren’t as contentious as we are! VERY frustrating to say the least!!

    LC thanks for the names of those places. I’ll give them a call today and see if they have anything we can use or referrals to someone who would have what we need!

  • #228810

    LC
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    If the address is the same, the structures are on the same lot, and one is considered an outbuilding and not a main structure then the owner can probably maintain one utility account for both.

    I would also ask SMUD if they have a “sub meter” program which would not require anything but a meter socket for the structure without one, wherein there is one bill and two meters. I know those are used in large projects, but I’m not sure if SMUD supports this program.

  • #228816

    tlavery
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    I called Circuit Breakers Plus and he may have the panel I need in his other warehouse although it is a Zinsco which LC said not to get because the breakers were too expensive. I mentioned my concern about the price of the breakers and he said that he sells the breakers for $140, so if I can’t find a combination of equipment that beats the price he comes up with for everything that may be what we end up doing.

  • #228817

    tlavery
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    @lc 54797 wrote:

    If the address is the same, the structures are on the same lot, and one is considered an outbuilding and not a main structure then the owner can probably maintain one utility account for both.

    I would also ask SMUD if they have a “sub meter” program which would not require anything but a meter socket for the structure without one, wherein there is one bill and two meters. I know those are used in large projects, but I’m not sure if SMUD supports this program.

    OH Good idea. I have the number for the construction department and will call them right now to see if that’s a possibility. THANKS!

  • #228806

    EGL Admin
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    You can have two structures with same address and separate SMUD accounts.

  • #228811

    LC
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    @tlavery 54798 wrote:

    I called Circuit Breakers Plus and he may have the panel I need in his other warehouse although it is a Zinsco which LC said not to get because the breakers were too expensive. I mentioned my concern about the price of the breakers and he said that he sells the breakers for $140, so if I can’t find a combination of equipment that beats the price he comes up with for everything that may be what we end up doing.

    I would sure recommend against it. What happens when you need a new one? Those breakers go out. You can buy a similar one at Depot for $20. Cheap up front but if you’re going to stay there any time it could get expensive.

  • #228818

    tlavery
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    @lc 54811 wrote:

    I would sure recommend against it. What happens when you need a new one? Those breakers go out. You can buy a similar one at Depot for $20. Cheap up front but if you’re going to stay there any time it could get expensive.

    I can buy main breakers at Home Depot for $20?? I called Greybar and they quoted me $200 for main breakers. Now I’m confused. We already have separate electrical panels, so all we need are two main breakers. Do those go out a lot?

  • #228812

    LC
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    $140 is cheap for the Zinsco main–I thought you were talking the panel breakers. Might be OK then. The main usually doesn’t go out. I paid that for Zinsco panel breakers 8 years ago.

  • #228819

    tlavery
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    @lc 54818 wrote:

    $140 is cheap for the Zinsco main–I thought you were talking the panel breakers. Might be OK then. The main usually doesn’t go out. I paid that for Zinsco panel breakers 8 years ago.

    Oh ok cool…..I’ll call him back and see what he wants for the used meter main panel he has and then head to the permit office and see what they are going to charge us.

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