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SavvyCat 01-24-2011 12:58 PM

Adding New Receptacle
Hi guys! It's been a while since I've bothered you, but I have a new question:

I just had a guy out for an estimate on adding a 120v receptacle in the cabinet above my stove. The original house had a 2-in-1 range and microwave that worked from the single 240v outlet, so there isn't one in the overhead cabinet as in most houses. Since then, that unit was replaced with a separate range and vent hood, and the vent hood is plugged into the outlet to the left of the range, while my microwave is plugged into the outlet to the right of the range. Both of those outlets are on the same circuit.

The guy said that I needed the separate circuit (to the tune over over $800) if I wanted to install an over-the-range microwave, because otherwise I'd be flipping the breaker all the time. I don't have that kind of problem now, even when the microwave and hood are running at the same time. So I don't understand why it would have a problem if a receptacle was added to that circuit... for $500 less.

Is the guy just pulling shenanigans, or does just the existence of another outlet add to the circuit load whether anything is plugged in and running?

Anyway, the guy was all miffed at having come out for the estimate and I didn't jump right into having work done. But aside from being suspicious, he was humorless and, frankly, creepy. So no outlet yet.

kok328 01-24-2011 03:20 PM

Adding an additional outlet does not automatically increase the amperage of a circuit.
Only if you plug something extra heavy into the outlet AND run that item when the microwave is in use, will it stand a chance of tripping.
Turn the breaker off and do the job yourself. If you have questions, post a pic here and ask away.

JoeD 01-24-2011 04:54 PM

By code the new receptacle can not be connected to the counter circuits. It needs to be on its own circuit.

SavvyCat 01-25-2011 10:53 AM

Okaaaay. One yes, one no.

I'm sure code varies from place to place. The weasel who came out didn't mention whether it was a code issue. Just that it was strongly recommended. Heck, I'd even sacrifice an outlet to "move" it to the cabinet.

speedy petey 01-25-2011 01:43 PM

I'll add a definite yes that it needs it's own circuit.

I'll add a definite NO that you should not hire the creepy guy. Find a guy who you are more comfortable with.

I have to say, unless this is going to be a BIG P-I-A it should not cost you $800. If it is easy, as in basement below and the panel is in the basement, it should run $300-400 tops, but it should be done.

SavvyCat 01-25-2011 03:30 PM

The panel is in the backyard and the spot is toward the front of the house, but having been up in the attic (no basement) numerous times, it's not a huge P-I-A. But this company touted itself by it's flat rate prices for the job, not hourly (which I would think it standard), and their rate sheet was just simply what it was, with no reference to *** pain. :eek:

The annoying thing is that when I called to take advantage of their $15 estimate sale (rather than $59), I asked if they could ballpark what such a thing might run. She said they have to see it first. But when creepy guy just plopped the rate sheet in front of me and said "it's this or this," and no "having to see" to come up with a price, I don't understand why she didn't just fax it to me. I would have known that even without a new circuit I wasn't interested in paying that. (Plus, the day before my water heater blew up, so the optional upgrades weren't going to happen for a while anyway since the dishwasher repair guy was also coming that day, too. My house fell apart.)

The guy badly disguised that he felt his time was wasted. It wasn't me who did that! I gave him the fifteen bucks and sent him on his way.

speedy petey 01-25-2011 04:46 PM

Flat rate pricing is a joke IMO. Some guys swear by it.

Thing is, the easy jobs make up for the hard ones. So if yours is easy you are overpaying to compensate for the next guy's.

This sounds like a big company that you called. Very few folks charge for estimates unless the drive is really far. Also, that $15 discount is a joke. That is just a formality. $15 is nothing in the scope of things like this.

speedy petey 01-25-2011 04:46 PM

Also, what do you mean by the panel is in the back yard? Is it on the house?
Is this a mobile home?

SavvyCat 01-25-2011 05:12 PM

I meant it's in the back, on the back part of the house outside. Why it's not in the garage protected I have no idea. The people who wired this place were drunk anyway (the circuits don't make any sense--rather than label I had to draw a map) so I'm not all that surprised. Maybe it's because we have buried power. I dunno.

And, yes, it's a semi-large company. I've just had such crummy luck with the "handyman" style workers. The back door still isn't installed right after two different people worked on it.

speedy petey 01-25-2011 07:07 PM

Well, handyman is the other end of the spectrum. You need a real electrician, but not necessarily a big corporate type. Look for a small local legitimate contractor.

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