When an electrician performs a job, they may not be doing it up to code. There are many electricians in my area that under bid jobs by not doing what code requires. In other words, they reduce the quality of the job so they can charge a homeowner cheaper. But in doing so, they are not covering what could happen in the future as a result of a bad performance by not bringing a job up to code. If every electrician performed every job up to code, each electrical estimate would be comparable to the rest of the electricians and not with a big difference in price.
Electricians Frustrate Me
Every electrician should be doing their work according to N.E.C. or National Electric Code. Code is the standard to follow for all electrical work in the U.S. When getting an estimate, you must consider apples for apples instead of apples to oranges. If an electrician looks at a job and sees a problem, he would quote a cost of “XYZ” to fix it. Then, another electrician comes in and says I can rig this and tie this in there and do that for “X” and fix it. I understand why homeowners say ‘electricians frustrate me.’
For example, let’s say a panel was burned up because it melted the buss in the panel and the breaker probably shorted and melted the buss. The first electrician (electrician A) on the job considers changing the panel which you should do by code because the integrity of the panel has been damaged. Therefore, you should change the whole panel. A second electrician (electrician B) comes to quote the job. He wants to plug another breaker into a spot by moving other breakers around in the panel. But that’s not the right thing to do.
The right thing to do is to quote the customer the price on changing out the panel, not just stick another breaker in it in another spot. Because the integrity of the panel has been loss, the panel is no longer up to what it would have been or could have been. It could easily be melted again. Its integrity is gone and it is weaker. Every time you heat up a buss, it weakens the part on the buss on the panel. It weakens the buss making it easily turned causing it to fall off. I have seen that happen.
Decisions That Frustrate Homeowners
So, here you have electrician B who wants to quickly make a buck by merely adding a breaker in the panel. The integrity of the panel has been compromised by overheating. So, if the integrity of the panel has been compromised, you’ve got electrician B saying I’ll stick in another breaker. Well, he’s wrong: code wise, electrical wise, dangerous wise, law wise. That panel can heat up again and burn those people alive in that house. He would be responsible. But yet he doesn’t care. He a fly-by-night looking to make a few bucks.
What does the customer think? What should a customer do? From the standpoint of the homeowner, he sees electrician A as way over priced because he wants to charge them $1500 to change a panel. The homeowner sees electrician B as wanting to charge the homeowner $200 and will plug in a breaker in a lower part of the panel. The homeowner might be considering the $200 job based on cost alone. What’s right?
Here’s another example: let’s say you had a tire that blew out on your car but not completely blown out. Well, one tire dealer says he can put a tube in that tire and make it last another 50 to 100 miles. He quotes a price of $15. Well, that tube isn’t going to last 6 months. Yes, it gives air to the tire but the integrity of the tire has been compromised by the heat and breakage is all over the tire. In actuality, no tire business will take that liability.
Electricians Should Not Compromise
As an electrician, I would not take that liability for not changing that panel, because that’s liability on my insurance. I could lose my license if I compromise my ideas just to give customers a break and their house burns down.
Should you compromise the customer’s life and put his life in his hands just so you can make $10 more today? No, definitely not! Electricians need to be more code wise.
Electricians: do not compromise so that the customer can get a job done for a $1 cheaper. Do not compromise your liability toward that job so they can save a dollar. That’s not right for safety reasons.
Homeowners, has this happened to you?