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Installing new powerpoints.

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  1. #1
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    Default Installing new powerpoints.

    Hi everyone,

    I live in an old unit (built in 1963) with not many powerpoints. I want to add 8 more powerpoints to various rooms. I have had two quotes so far. The first electrician said to do this work I would first need to get another circuit added because I currently only have one 10amp circuit, (all this means nothing to me) and quoted me a total of $2200 for installling the new circuit and the powerpoint installation. He mentioned something about the law requires a second circuit for more than 8 powerpoints..... etc etc. The second electrician didn't mention anything about needing a new circuit and quoted me $669 + GST to do the powerpoints.

    Who is correct? Do I really need to spend the extra $1500 for a second circuit?
    Are these fair prices?

    Also I am considering getting a new electric oven which requires a hardwire. My current oven is gas. What is a fair price for an electrician to do this? The oven I estimate will be about 6 metres from the meter box. Hope you can help, thanks.

  2. #2
    Golden Member nev25's Avatar
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    I would ask both Electricians and how they where going to do it.

    Under the new Regs to install a additional power point it has to be protected by an RCD (safety switch)

    From what I am led to believe there can be up to 20 power point on a domestic circuit protected be a 16amp protection device.

    However I'm pretty sure there is a reg somewhere that states there must be minimum of 2 power circuits in a installation (even thou I couldn't find a reg that backs this up).

    I can only assume the first quote was for a new switchboard
    The second was for a power point/Rcd Combo unit.

    I would recommend a new switchboard then the whole house is protected (light circuits as well).

    If you only have a few power point and a few lights I can only assume you have a small capacity mains coming in from the street

    So when you have the new oven installed it could possible mean new mains
    In your case may mean a new switchboard anyway

  3. #3
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    I would also guess one is going to surface mount a load of conduit on your walls, and the other is going to install it properly. Makes a huge difference in price, because it takes a LOT longer to do the job. Is your unit brick or timber?

  4. #4
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    Thanks very much for the help so far. Yes, the first quote included a new switchboard. But do I need it?

    Both quotes were for chasing the cabling into the brick walls, but not for rendering over the chasing as I am getting a renderer in anyway for some other work and he can do the whole lot at once.

    Regarding my single 10amp circuit. (Once again, this all means nothing to me), I currently have a gas oven and cooktop so these therefore do not put hardly any load on my current circuit. (apart from the ignition switch and the light in the rangehood and oven). If I want to get a new oven, most of which I have been told are 15 amps, then from what I understand my 10 amp circuit will obviously not be enough, meaning I will need to get a hardwire installed. Is this correct, and how much should a hardwire cost approximately?

    I went to Bing Lee and explained my problem and I was shown an new 10 amp oven made by Lofra which plugs into a normal powerpoint and does not need a hardwire. Would this overload my current single 10amp circuit?

  5. #5
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    You may also need approval from your body corp, I was told I had to, I recently applied and most of the voted no and it wasn't approved, all the owners are old people.. They all thought that chasing the walls could jepordise (sp?) the structural integrety (sp?) of the wall. I couldn't be bothered fighting it and didn't get it done, it's only a rental so I don't have to live with one power point in the whole living area.

    Not sure what the rules are in NSW but if you go ahead with it and you were meant to get approval you could face some problems.

  6. #6
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
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    Why would you convert from a gas stove to an electric? Unless you are going to use an induction cooktop the gas is much cheaper to run and more efficient than electricity.

    As to plug-in stove - well the total load on your circuit should not be exceeded and my guess is that a plug in stove would be 2000w or maybe even 2400W - the rated value for the circuit. If you get an electric stove the you will need an independent circuit for it.

    I would be getting the 2nd circuit at least, and the RCD (which is compulsory anyway) and staying with gas. A new gas stove might need a power point for the oven fan and clock and perhaps for ignition (depending on type), but the load will be small.

    In most modern house you will have separate circuit for the kitchen (and often an extra for the dishwasher too depending whether it has a heater element) and the laundry then two for general GPOs in the rest of the house.

    And what Nev25 says - best to get a new board and RCD for the whole house. Cheaper, safer and easier in the long run. And you need to compare itemised quotes for a like to like assessment of what they are doing.

    The rate for just the powerpoints seems pretty reasonable - my sparky charges at $110 a point for standard access. But so long as you are allowed to by the body corporate upgrade the lot if you can afford it. If you can't just make sure the guy is licensed and do what you can afford.

  7. #7
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Hi VI

    It should be worth you getting new quotes from both your electricians to install both the powerpoints and the electric oven. I am pretty sure that the oven will require a separate circuit and this alone may necessitate a new switchboard. That may negate the cheaper quote. Nev can probably confirm this.

    In any case, you will probably get a better and cheaper result by having both jobs done at the same time.

    The previous owner of our place had a fetish about powerpoints. Once he had a powerpoint installed he ran wire along behind the skirting and had another installed at the other end of the wall; he also drilled a hole through the wall behind each powerpoint and put another in the next room. It is very convenient having at least four double powerpoints in every room.

    Cheers

    Graeme

    PS: Are you going, like everyone else, to an electric oven and gas cooktop?

  8. #8
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    It cost me about $2500 a year ago when I replaced my all-gas oven with an electric oven/gas burner setup. My oven is only 10 amps, and I was advised that you should always run ovens on their own circuit, according to everyone I have asked and the electricians that did the job. We had to have a new supply brought in from the street and a new circuit board as well... hence the high cost. If I had known of the cost up front I may have just stuck with all-gas.

    So your quote doesn't sound that bad really, considering that the cabling will have to be run into the walls.

  9. #9
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    Nev, I thought you'd have this one covered!! AS3018 6.6.3 states that a minimum of two circuits shall be provided to supply 10A socket outlets.

    Just be aware that your new oven may plug into a GPO, but what about your new hotplates? New electric hotplates must have an isolating switch within 2m of the hotplates, and this switch must be installed in a position where you don't have to lean over the hotplates...

    I don't know where your electrician is getting the 8 GPO's on a subciruit from. Ask him which section of the standards this comes from... Its more like 15 on a 2.5mm 16A circuit, or unlimited on a 2.5mm 20A circuit... both dependant on the method of installation!!

  10. #10
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    Sorry to hijack the post, but oldboss's contribution got me thinking. Is there a layman's guide that explains what you can and can't plug into your powerpoints depending on your circuits? I want to buy a portable heater and wouldn't have a clue about the maximum "wattage", and I'd rather not rely on the bloke at the Good Guys. But not just the heater - is there some standard that says "your appliances combined cannot exceed X units on a 10A circuit"?

  11. #11
    Tool Whore - 1K Club Member Vernonv's Avatar
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    The bottom line phillta, is that if an appliance has a normal 10amp plug on it it can be plugged into any GPO. Now if your power circuit is up to standard and you overload that circuit, then the circuit breaker will trip (or the fuse will blow) and protect the wiring from damage. So effectively you can safely connect as many appliances to a circuit as you wish and it will tell you when you have gone too far.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  12. #12
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
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    If you have fuses rather than circuit breakers you'll find out sooner and their blowing will irritate you more.

    But some examples - in a kitchen you will have number of plug in appliances each of which will be at or near the rated circuit capacity eg: an electric kettle/jug often 2000-2400W, a toaster often 1500-2000W, a microwave 900-1300W, electric frying pan - 1800-2000W, deep fryer 1800-2400W, sandwich grill 1800-2200W and so on.

    Circuits are designed to match the irregular use of these and with sufficient capacity to have a higher load for reasonable periods without any problems.

    In my house for example, which was built in the late 70s the kitchen and laundry were on a single circuit with a 15amp fuse. On moving in and having a few fuse blows I changed all the fuses to breakers (using plug-ins replacements) and the problem went away unless we used the dryer (rarely and we now don't have one) which cause a breaker to trip if we used another appliance. So I had a sparky come in to review all my circuits and run a couple of new ones.

    As Venonv says this is a self-limiting issue with good safety margins - so long as no improper work has been done (whether by a licensed electrician or others - and I have seen many examples of both).

    Not really what you are after, but this has some good info: http://www.energyrating.gov.au
    and this one shows some typical ratings: http://www.horizonpower.com.au/envir...ing_costs.html

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the tips so far. Below is the actual quote I recieved today. As I have already mentioned, I live in an old unit with not many powerpoints. I want to put in 8 more powerpoints to various rooms and also renovate and update the kitchen with all the appliances that goes with that, such as a dishwasher etc. I have been told I currently only have a single 10amp circuit.

    I want to be sure that all these new powerpoints and appliances I am installing (such as the dishwasher) will not overload my current circuit. I have since learned that standard practise today is to have two circuits and two safety switches. (All this means nothing to me). If it is not too expensive I would also like to get a new oven and cooktop as well, I have been told to do this I will need a 15 amp hardwire for most new ovens today.

    If getting the hardwire installed is too expensive. then I can either get a 10amp plug in oven instead such as this one, which apparently will run fine on its own 10amp circuit

    http://www.lofraappliances.com.au/lofra/products.aspx

    or I can just stick with the gas oven.

    Here is the quote I recieved today. It does not include the powerpoints which are being quoted separately, but will cost $120 each installed. The electrician has told me that to modernise my electricity supply and bring it up to todays standards, and for todays requirements I will need the following.


    • Supply and fit new consumer switch panel with circuit breakers and safety switches on power circuits

    • Run new 20 amp oven circuit from downstairs switchboard to kitchen and complete connections

    • Run additional 20 amp cable to split existing power circuit into two at kitchen area


    TOTAL COST: $1500.00 (Incl. GST)


    Is this price reasonable? And is $120 per powerpoint (chased into the walls) about right?

    Thanks to all the helpful people on this site. Us idiots appreciate your advice and knowledge.

  14. #14
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    I guess one of the best things you can do is to get at least 2 quotes for something like this!

  15. #15
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    And from another idiot: thanks to Vernonv & oldboss for replying to my aside. I'll be much more confident plugging stuff in now (don't worry...not that confident).

    Cheers
    Tim

  16. #16
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
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    That quote seems about right to me if you are happy not to get another.

    As to 'idiots' - don't think that's the right word. My dear old departed Dah used to say many wise things including:

    "The only wrong question is the one you didn't ask!" (because then you'll go ahead without an answer)

    and

    "We are all ignorant. It's just that so many of us don't know it."

    and

    "Ignorance can be changed with teaching - stupidity can't".

    These forums help with the teaching - and the learning.

  17. #17
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbloss View Post
    That quote seems about right to me if you are happy not to get another.

    As to 'idiots' - don't think that's the right word. My dear old departed Dah used to say many wise things including:

    "The only wrong question is the one you didn't ask!" (because then you'll go ahead without an answer)

    and

    "We are all ignorant. It's just that so many of us don't know it."

    and

    "Ignorance can be changed with teaching - stupidity can't".

    These forums help with the teaching - and the learning.

    Haer, Hear, OldBoss.


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