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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #1
Our last house was new and outlets were well distributed over almost 30 breakers, meaning it would be hard to overload. Plus, the garage was 20A, for running power tools.

The house we are in now is old and only has a couple breakers. For instance, one half the house seems to be on one circuit! We can't run a space heater and a hair dryer in the mater bath without blacking out half the house.

I am wary about setting up shop outside when the outlet on the porch is connected to the lights in the kitchen. The garage has ONE OUTLET. The previous owner started some wiring, but never finished.

Any idea, just ballpark guess, what it would cost to get an electrician out to add another outlet outside with it's own allotted 15 or 20A breaker?

I don't think I'll be able to run both a fog machine and an air compressor with the current setup. I'd literally need to run cords from upstairs and over the house or something. Dang, I miss the last house!
 

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Undead Handyman
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556 Posts
Cost is going to largely depend on the existing panel and whether there's room for another breaker and if you have standard or slim breakers already.
 

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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #3
It's a standard square d setup with lots of space.
I have never seen so few breakers in a panel.
 

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I know most of the electrical companies that I have worked for charge about $60 to $65 per hour of time. Now they would come out, check your existing panel, the distance of the wire run and how difficult it is going to be to make that run before they can even estimate how many hours. Then you have the cost of parts, wire, breaker, G.F.C.I. recept, box, exc. It also depends on if they told you that you would need to upgrade your service. Just rough guessing but I would say atleast a couple hundred and that is if it is short and easy..
 

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Hauntless
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I embarrassed to say this 'cause I think I overpaid. It cost around $400 to put in a double 20 amp circuit for the outside. Now, I also talked to the electrician for an an hour asking him all about wattage etc. so that, I'm sure, added to the cost.

My suggestion: Do not do what I did and just tell him to do it and then he bills you later. That was one yucky surprise I got in the mail. Get an estimate first :)
 

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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #7
I was guesstimating 200-300 bucks, mainly because they can. Ordinarily, this would be a DIY project for me/brother/dad/etc. (licensed, experienced, etc)

Since we are just renting, I would have to get an electrician to do it. The owner says it's okay since he really wants us to buy the house if ours ever sells.

It would be an easy job. The house has a crawl space, and the total distance from the breaker to the desired location isn't very far. I already have 100ft of 12-2, flexible conduit and such from a project that never got started. (running electric to light b-ball court).
 

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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #8
It is always good advice to get a quote from anyone billing by the hour. :)
Never tell a mechanic, plumber, electrician, lawyer, etc... to "do whatever it takes."

Heck... I took my dog to the vet after she lost a tooth.
1. They wouldn't treat her without updating her shots
2. Had to do bloodwork
3. Gave her shots
4. Cleaned her teeth, found 4 that needed to be pulled
5. Pulled teeth
6. Clipped nails, etc, while she was under.

Almost $500 later... my dog had minty breath. All I wanted was a frikkin' toothbrush to her teeth.
 

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What would help you out would be that you have the wire. You could figure that they would charge you somewhere between $1.50 -$2.00 per foot for the 12-2. You would think they are using gold instead of copper.:rolleyes:
 

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Undead Handyman
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556 Posts
If its just a matter of adding a breaker and outlet, then I'd estimate $300-$600 depending on the price of the breaker itself, the GFCI outlet, the cost of the permit (if any) and how far away the new outlet is from the panel itself. You could save money by having the electrition install an outlet close to the panel and running Romex cable yourself to a second, more convenient outlet. Or....if you really want to save money and you already have a dedicated 220volt dryer outlet in your garage, you can get what is referred to as a pigtail (I think yours would require a double reverse Y-adapter.) This would effectively turn your dryer outlet into two 110volt 15amp outlets which you could easily run a fog machine and several other props. They are usually available at Boating or Marine Hardware stores and websites. You wouldn't be able to dry laundry Halloween night and I would ask an expert about the exact type of pigtail you would need. They aren't cheap, but it could be considerably less than adding the breaker.;)
 

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If its just a matter of adding a breaker and outlet, then I'd estimate $300-$600 depending on the price of the breaker itself, the GFCI outlet, the cost of the permit (if any) and how far away the new outlet is from the panel itself. You could save money by having the electrition install an outlet close to the panel and running Romex cable yourself to a second, more convenient outlet. Or....if you really want to save money and you already have a dedicated 220volt dryer outlet in your garage, you can get what is referred to as a pigtail (I think yours would require a double reverse Y-adapter.) This would effectively turn your dryer outlet into two 110volt 15amp outlets which you could easily run a fog machine and several other props. They are usually available at Boating or Marine Hardware stores and websites. You wouldn't be able to dry laundry Halloween night and I would ask an expert about the exact type of pigtail you would need. They aren't cheap, but it could be considerably less than adding the breaker.;)
Not to argue with you WC but that is not a safe thing to do because then he would be using a double pole breaker as 2 singles and running an un balanced load. Also a dryer runs on a double 30 amp breaker not a double 15 so to do what you are saying it would be like 2 120v 30 amp circuits..
 

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Undead Handyman
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The adapter takes it down to two 15amp circuits, but you are correct about the unbalanced load....and yet I know several contractors who use them regularly. I guess its no big deal when its not your own property.
 

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If you have Craigslist.com in your area, put a request out in the 'barter' section, or the 'labor gigs' section. You might be able to trade some thing or a skill you have and get it for nothing! I always get lots of great responses when ever I post a request to Craigslist.
 

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The adapter takes it down to two 15amp circuits, but you are correct about the unbalanced load....and yet I know several contractors who use them regularly. I guess its no big deal when its not your own property.
How does it drop it down to 15 amps when you have a 30 amp breaker. Your max load would be 30 amps unless that adapter you are talking about has 15 amp breakers on it.
 

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I embarrassed to say this 'cause I think I overpaid. It cost around $400 to put in a double 20 amp circuit for the outside. Now, I also talked to the electrician for an an hour asking him all about wattage etc. so that, I'm sure, added to the cost.

My suggestion: Do not do what I did and just tell him to do it and then he bills you later. That was one yucky surprise I got in the mail. Get an estimate first :)
Don't feel too bad Terra...my brother recently needed an electrician on a sunday because even tho' he knows how to fix anything...he just couldn't find the problem. The guy shows up and was too heavy to fit into the attic access so my brother got up there and did all the work while the electrician yelled instructions. It ended up costing my brother $300 to just connect a loose wire!
 

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That is correct. Each plug on the adapter has a 15amp internal breaker.
OK, I got it, now I see that would be fine as long as it has 2 breakers. In almost 19 years in the trade I have never seen/used the adapter you are talking about, thats cool though. I have seen where people have tried to take a double pole breaker and turn it into 2 single circuits and over load one side and only that side try and trip and it get jamed and start a fire, mainly Federial Pacific breakers. That was what I was thinking about earlyer..
 

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If you have a 4 wire dryer receptacle, you can make up a 10/3 w /ground romex with the 4 wire plug on one end. Hard wire the other end to a 4 circuit panel. This will give you 2 hot legs a neutral and a ground. Your dryer requires a 30 amp breaker. Use a 10/3 romex with ground. You now have 30 amps on each leg. You can set this panel in your garage or outside if it is a NEMA 3R panel. This falls under the code in the NEC 527.3 (b) for temporary wiring. Also remember to isolate your neutral from the ground in the panel. This is a subpanel

DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ONLY HAVE A # WIRE DRYER PLUG. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A NEUTRAL AND A GROUND.

You can always have an electrician in your area build this for you. Then you have it every year to use.

ELECTRICITY CAN KILL! Don't be afraid to call a pro. An estimate shouldn't cost you anything.
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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I'm fairly handy around the house, so I bypassed the "electrician" and just did it myself. I added a 20 AMP breaker to my main and ran the 12 gauge wire myself. The new breaker cost about $10 and the 100 ft of wire cost about $30.
 

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There ya go....if its a protected crawl space, I don't even think you need conduit.



I'm fairly handy around the house, so I bypassed the "electrician" and just did it myself. I added a 20 AMP breaker to my main and ran the 12 gauge wire myself. The new breaker cost about $10 and the 100 ft of wire cost about $30.
 
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