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Electricians Ripping Off EV Owners

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Sharkbait, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    First, I have to say that I have a good electrician but he recently quoted me almost $500 to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet, not including the $115 the city wanted for a permit. WTF? Once on site this is a one hour job if you know what you're doing and fairly close to the main panel. How do they justify brain surgeon hourly rates? Yes, because they can get away it. I'll admit that long runs of conduit take extra time but.... Most people I know charge overnight in their garage, and the main panel is usually located on an exterior wall of the garage. If not, I guess I'm lucky.

    Got the permit and went down to my local Home Depot and picked up $40 worth of quality parts. Installation took about an hour. I'm not an electrician. Used a circular hole saw from inside my panel to the interior wall, a small metal conduit with nuts and nipples (to prevent wire insulation chaffing). My receptacle was installed directly behind the main panel, two legs of 120V on a 50 amp breaker, a neutral and a ground using 6 AWG wire. All ready for the city inspector. My advice is to stay as close to the main panel as you can to keep the cost down. But really, $500-$1,000?

    If you know absolutely nothing about electricity, hire an electrician. Pay the vultures but do a search for better prices. Angie's List often has deals for licensed contractors that will do a great job for far less. Better yet, take out your own permit, hire a good DIY guy with the agreement that he only gets paid after the inspector signs off. Plenty of videos on this topic as well.

    Inspector coming coming tomorrow and S75 being delivered on Friday. I guarantee I'll be charging on Friday night, all for $155 (including permit) and a little of my time.
     
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  2. cmorgan

    cmorgan Member

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    I think people have reported a range of electrical prices. I got three quotes for a hpwc install, along with a run of maybe 70' of wire, with a pretty big variation between the three. You might have received a lower quote from another electrician, or it may be that the job was too small to quote for just the time spent on the work due to the other costs like travel, pulling the permit, showing up for inspection (if that is required for your area).
     
  3. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    $650 all in incl permit is fair. A lot of cities require a licensed electrian and considering its a $100+ car it's not that much money. Good luck and welcome.
     
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  4. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

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    What does the permit do for you? I put in my own 50amp but never bothered with any permit.
     
  5. cmorgan

    cmorgan Member

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    If you end up with a fire and don't have a permit there is always a chance your insurance company won't pay. Plus the permit typically comes with an inspection, so a double check on the quality of the work. Given how hot the shutoff breaker on my setup gets its good to make sure high amperage stuff is well wired.
     
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  6. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Huh? $650 is indeed a ripoff for $40 worth of parts and minimum labor. It has nothing to do with the value of the car. BTW, these same electricians will be quoting similar prices for your $29,000 Bolt after rebates and tax credits.
     
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  7. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    I think it's a liability to connect an EV to a outlet that was never permitted. If there's a problem with your EV electrically after connecting to an electrical circuit that was never inspected by a licensed inspector, it could be a significant $$$ liability fight with your EV's manufacturer. Sure, slight but possible. $115 for certified inspection is "mouse nuts" IMO.
     
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  8. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    My city requires a very short application and one inspection. That means I complete all the work but leave the wired receptacle hanging out of the enclosure so the inspector can verify the hot, neutral, and ground positions on the receptacle, the breaker (turned off) and bus bar. Once he makes the sign of the cross and signs off, you can flip the breaker and start charging. Easy peasy. Yes, of course, the liability of fire would be another, more important reason why you would want to pull a permit. CYA.
     
  9. iwannam3

    iwannam3 Member

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    Most States have disclosure requirements when selling, including stating all electrical work was done with permits. You can do it yourself, but it needs to be inspected.
     
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  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    California is pretty strict on this point. You don't need to skimp or skirt a city or county inspection. It verifies the DIY you did is up to code and you're good to go. Besides the safety issues and loss to property, why wouldn't you get it inspected? As an improvement to my home, the $40 I paid for parts will increase my annual assessment by about 1.3% or 52 cents a year and not worth discussing. Come to think of it, EV associated enhancements to one's home in CA, like solar, might be exempt from property tax.
     
  11. DrManhattan

    DrManhattan Member

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    Giving you a quote is not ripping you off.
     
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  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    True, it doesn't need to be if you have alternatives, like DIY. Many here will just pay whatever the quote is. I call that lazy and foolish. This provides license for the electrician to keep demanding that price, which hurts others buying something less than a P100DL, say a Bolt as I said earlier.

    Don't get me wrong; profit isn't a nasty word. But for my money, I rather do the work myself and put the $500 toward my Model 3 reservation. At the end of the day, the money is better in my pocket than in the electrician's pocket. I was born poor. But no more.
     
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  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I feel ya. I also think that an absurd quote is a half-step away from trying to pull my wallet from my pocket... Did you try to haggle a bit? HVAC guys are even worse than electricians. I got an initial quote for a heat pump of $16k. I was able to talk them down to $12. Still high... but tolerable.
     
  14. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    I am not sure haggling yields the benefits one may expect. Besides, if I can do the job for less than 1/10th of the asking price ($40 vs $500), I seriously doubt one would get a cheaper quote as the electrician walked away laughing. Call it a day and DIY. Otherwise, get three to four quotes before making a decision, and make sure your contractor understands exactly what you want. Put it in writing.
     
  15. Sugacookie

    Sugacookie Member

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    I'm in CA, bay area. To install a HPWC I was quoted $3k to $1200 to install a 50amp circuit, run the wire behind the wall, into a storage area and back out. Maybe a little more then 100ft of wire. I wish I was quoted $650!
    I bet I got over charged some but they did nice clean work.
     
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  16. Nick Deng

    Nick Deng Member

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    I'm at LA too, follow the required #6 wire 50ft about $5 per ft, sucket, enclosure, protective tube etc total cost about $500, hires an electrian for two hrs so $700 plus my help working on all, done!
     
  17. Nick Deng

    Nick Deng Member

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    Well, pay attention on the wire, #6 wire kind expensive, I did 50ft and cost $300 just on the wire so don't use cheap one or lower grade. How far do you need wire out? Like required 15ft away?
     
  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    That's a bit steep... I bought 125' of #6 Romex at Home Depot for $170.
     
  19. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

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    While I agree $600 is high if you know the work involved to install the 50 amp outlet, the cost from electrician's point of view is also high.

    1 - Cost/time of sales to come onsite to provide an estimate
    2 - Cost / time to go to city hall and apply and pay for permits
    3 - Cost to install the outlet and materials
    4 - Cost / time to come back for the inspector
    5 - Insurance, gas, and many other business expenses.

    Just saying the going rate is around $75/hr in Socal. Figure 6 hours for all of the time above plus materials and g&a overhead.
     
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  20. outie

    outie Member

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    As for inspection being a check for quality of work... I don't know about that. I got a 200A panel upgrade and a solar system installed. The inspector spent 5min at most for each checking the labels only. They don't seem to care the actual work. Maybe they are so experienced they can tell if the work is good or not by checking the labels. Or it's because the work is performed by licensed electricians. I don't know.
     

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