All of a sudden I'm losing power in my kitchen

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Givemeasec, Jan 4, 2019.

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  1. Jan 7, 2019 #21

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

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    Get your electrician back out there to finish the jpb .

    If he installed a GFCI duplex receptacle , last I noticed , they are around $ 20 . Regular commercial specification grade receptacle ( a residential grade would probably be used ) is a few dollars . The rest labor . That is 2 or 3 times what we can charge and stay in business . Always ask beforehand what a service call costs .

    Best of luck to you , :)
    Wyr
    God bless
     
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  2. Jan 7, 2019 #22

    pjones

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    I guess the price is really subjective depending on how much troubleshooting there was and what kind of access was provided. If all he did was go and replaced the two receptacles them that price seems steep, but if he had to empty the fridge in order to move it out of the way, make the repair, move everything back, empty the counter to replace the other receptacle, open the panel to check connections, and preform other troubleshooting such as tracing out circuits, etc... The time can add up fast and I would expect them to charge for that. Since we don't know exactly what happened while he was there then it's hard to really judge how long he was there for. Since the installation of a GFCI should be a basic task for an electrician I'm going to assume that they were installed correctly and that there is something else that is wrong with the circuit which would have shifted his scope of work more towards troubleshooting. In hind sight I shouldn't have speculated on the pice because we really don't know enough to make a fare judgment. We don't know why he left without determining the cause but there are a thousand and one perfectly reasonable explanations that could answer that. If that is the case then have him back to finish the job since he will be the most familiar with what he has already found and can carry on from where he left off... If he was truly perplexed by the operation of a GFCI however, I suggest you kindly request a different technician to complete the job since more experience may be required to properly diagnose the issue.
     
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  3. Jan 7, 2019 #23

    Givemeasec

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    It's definitely possible I'm not explaining it correctly, but that is my best recollection.

    He came back to look at it and said the new GFCI outlet is also bad and that he'd need to get a new one. He's supposed to be back today to install it. I believe that after disconnecting the new GFCI outlet the other outlets on its circuit were working again. Oddly, the refrigerator was working the whole time, even though it's on the same circuit (I think the fact that the refrigerator was running again is why the electrician assumed he'd fixed everything with the first visit). He didn't mention charging any extra for these additional visits (and I wouldn't accept being charged for them, either).

    Yes, the toaster oven and refrigerator were on the same circuit.

    I'll ask him if the new GFCI came with instructions and, if so, to leave them with me.
     
  4. Jan 7, 2019 #24

    Givemeasec

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    I'd already moved the refrigerator before he arrived and moved it back after he left. As far as troubleshooting, I don't know. The fact that the refrigerator outlet was damaged and had to be replaced was obvious even to me. I noticed shortly before he arrived that the GFCI outlet couldn't be tested or reset, so it may not have been too difficult for him to figure out that it, too, needed replacing. But I don't know how this works, so there may have been other, more serious, things he needed to rule out, as well.

    Additionally, I was able to get someone to my house relatively quickly on a Saturday night. Alot of places I tried wouldn't come out until Monday. I assumed I might pay a premium for that kind of service. Haven't hired an electrician as far back as I can remember, so I don't know if that's the case.

    He comes back today, so I'll ask him to explain again. Maybe I didn't understand him correctly the first time.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2019 #25

    Givemeasec

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    The refrigerator is working now. I think I need to ask him to explain the problem again. Sounds like one or both of us is missing something.
     
  6. Jan 7, 2019 #26

    Givemeasec

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    Maybe it depends on area? I'm in northern Virginia. I feel like things are more expensive around here than many other places (judging by our home prices and rents, at least).

    He also came out on short notice on a Saturday night. Would that make a difference?
     
  7. Jan 7, 2019 #27

    Givemeasec

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    I'm not a very handy person but to save money I try to fix things around the house myself as much as possible (that's why I'm here on houserepairtalk in the first place). And I don't mind messing up if I'm learning along the way. But doing drywall or laying tiles wrong is one thing. When it comes to electrical issues I'm a little more reluctant, given the potential for danger. I have a four-year old daughter in my house and I don't wanna take any chances.
     
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  8. Jan 7, 2019 #28

    zannej

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    Yeah, that's the intelligent approach. Electrical is something you do not want to mess with unless you know what you are doing. I've seen some spectacular screwups before. The expression "better safe than sorry" applies.
     
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  9. Jan 7, 2019 #29

    pjones

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    Yes,
    Where I work, regular business hours are billed out at our regular rate plus travel time to get there. After hours and weekend work is billed at double time and we bill from the time our socks go on until the time our socks come off. That includes travel to and from the location at this rate plus a little bit for having to get the work clothes on and off (if we are covered in insulation or something similar because of the repair and we need a quick shower before we can go back to bed or go back to our daily activities then that too is included so long that it is reasonable). This is standard procedure in my area and it is to compensate the technician for giving there weekend time, down time, and family time away to help the person in need of assistance. We don't mind helping, but we do ask that we be compensated fairly for our time that we give. I'll make an assumption and assume this is probably the reason why the cost was double or triple what WyrTwister was expecting, because there was additional travel time and at weekend rates. This is not my trade but I am in a closely related trade were the billing practices would be closely similar.
     
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  10. Jan 7, 2019 #30

    pjones

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    I'm glad you know your limits and stay within them. At the end of the day the most important thing is that everyone is safe.
     
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  11. Jan 7, 2019 #31

    Givemeasec

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    Okay, that makes sense to me. I agree that special service calls for special compensation. I assumed I'd pay extra when I made the call and I even apologized to the electrician for dragging him out on a Saturday night.

    But I've got maybe around $200 worth of food in the refrigerator. Had alot of it spoiled or melted I don't know if waiting until Monday would have saved me all that much money.
     
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  12. Jan 8, 2019 #32

    pjones

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    I don't question your choice to call him out to help, not even for a second. I have a freezer that has many home made pies and meals in it. The value in food may not be exceptional but the time required to replace it all would take weeks of cooking. That's now weekends and afternoons that would be gone, time now required to be spent replacing the food. That time is worth something too. It may be easy to make the food again but the time is really hard to get back. Plus you have an outlet that is clearly unsafe and a child to protect... If I was in your position, not knowing how to safely troubleshoot and repair the issue, I would have called someone out too.

    I'm glad to hear you got it all resolved now.
     
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  13. Jan 8, 2019 #33

    WyrTwister

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    If the circuit is off , the trip / test and the reset on a GFCI receptacle do not function .

    Wyr
    God bless
     
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  14. Jan 8, 2019 #34

    WyrTwister

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    I was not figuring after hours or weekend , but we do not charge double time for anything .

    We have a standard rate for service call . If it goes beyond that , it transitions to our hourly rate .

    Our city is small enough , driving time , for a city wide service call , is figured into the service call price . Locally , we do nor charge mileage .

    Any time going to the supply house is charged to the customer .

    It is true that a person may be an excellent tradesman , but not that good of a communicator .

    Best of luck , :)
    Wyr
    God bless
     
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  15. Jan 8, 2019 #35

    Givemeasec

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    Oh, wow, I wish I had some homemade pies in my freezer.

    Thanks, me too.
     
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  16. Jan 8, 2019 #36

    Givemeasec

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    The test/reset weren't working even with the circuit on.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2019 #37

    Givemeasec

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    I'll check the invoice later to see how it broke down, but I'm okay with what I paid. I was worried there was a bigger issue than just a bad GFI outlet and I was trying to brace myself to pay alot more.
     
  18. Jan 8, 2019 #38

    Givemeasec

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    Wanna say thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond to this thread. That you guys are willing to share your knowledge and experience means alot to people like me who don't know as much as they should about their homes.
     
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  19. Jan 9, 2019 #39

    zannej

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    No problem. I wish I knew more about electrical (learning more about it is on my To Do list-- I just got a book on it for Xmas). I'm glad that you took the time to come here and ask about the issue and that it was resolved safely.
     
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  20. Jan 9, 2019 #40

    WyrTwister

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    Best of luck to you ! :)

    Wyr
    God bless
     
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