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Avoid Home Improvement Electrical Wiring Problems

Home Improvement Electrical Projects – In my experience this job would have taken more than 5 hours….

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How to Avoid Home Improvement Electrical Problems
Electrical Question: A good friend of mine who has stage 4 lung cancer hired this so called electrician, she was doing the upstairs wiring for two bedrooms and a bath. She is doing this project to prove that people with cancer can still live.

I hope this makes sense to you. To make a long story short, the electrician came to install the wiring for the new light switches outlets and ceiling lights, what do we do next?

Thank you so much.

Background: Judy, a Homeowner from Rocky Point N.

Additional Comments: It is very helpful.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Judy,
Best wishes for your Lady Friend and her battle against Cancer, her attitude will keep her going strong, and Good For You to be there to help her out with all of this!

Home Improvement Electrical Projects

Judy – You would like to how much it will cost for your answer because you are doing this for a friend as explained in the above question.

I can tell you that from looking at your situation that it would be very hard to know exactly how the wiring was installed and what needs to be completed, however if the electrician that was hired knew what he was doing then a lot of the connections are pretty straight forward.The best thing is to get the electrician back on the job to complete the project – with an understanding about what he will do and how much he will charge, and get it in writing! – and do NOT pay until the project has passed inspection.Judy – I must tell you based on experience that from what you have described it must have taken the electrician more that 5 hours to do this work unless the walls are totally open and he had easy access to the panel for installing the circuits. The amount you stated was $1600 at 5 hours – that comes to $320 per hour – which would be incredibly wrong. Like I said, in my experience this job would have taken more than 5 hours, but would have cost about the same amount of money. Just for quick figures – in my area it generally costs about $50 PER Outlet, Light, Switch, Ceiling fan and about $75 per circuit to the panel to install wiring for a remodel project along with other additional job related costs. It all depends on access, distance to run the wiring, type of construction, if the area is free from obstacles, etc.. So you can do the math, but I’ll bet the cost is very close to what you have paid.
My advice at this point: Do not insulate or sheet rock until the wiring is understood and the connections made and tested.
Then the inspection must take place to verify the work before the insulation is installed and the walls are closed up.

In Summary of this situation from my perspective:

  • I see this happen over and over again, and the reason is because there was no signed contract, agreement or understanding as to the estimated charges, basically no documentation and possibly no working plan from which a bid or estimate the project. The electrician can be held responsible for the project to pass inspection when there is a signed contract.
  • One item that I saw which presents a lot of concern is when a homeowner provides the materials, and here’s why: The homeowner is hiring someone else to do the job because they do not know how, so how in the world can they provide the correct materials to do the job? Every electrician I know would rather use their own materials because they will be the right type based on their experience and there personal and professional preference. Honestly, there are (some) cheep materials that are sold at most hardware stores that I would NEVER install on a job because they are not the NEMA Industry Standard and because there are a lot of counterfeited materials that are coming into the country that are not genuinely UL Approved.
  • So – Buyer Beware! – and yet, how would YOU know? Well, that my friends is what this website is ALL about. It is my goal to help you understand the right way electrical projects are installed according to code so that when the time comes for you to plan an electrical project you will make the right decisions about what it takes to do the electrical job and who is Best Qualified to do that job, which in most cases is a LICENSED Electrical Contractor!

My motto: Do it right the First Time – you will sleep better at night (and you won’t smell smoke)!

I have also provided the following links that lead to fully detailed information on this website that will assist you with your home electrical wiring project


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Wiring GFCI Outlets
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2 Responses to “Avoid Home Improvement Electrical Wiring Problems”
  1. joseph says:

    I am wiring garbage disposal there are two leads at switch bk/ white there are are three leads at receptacle red, black and white. Only the red lead is hot so I can not wire the conventional way. I did brake tab on brass side. Please help

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