04:29PM | 11/22/06
Member Since: 09/24/06
50 lifetime posts
If anyone was reading my thread about the electric current in my tap, this is a continuation.

As I was saying, I had an electrical current through my taps and floor, so when I touched the taps in my bathroom, I got a shock.

I had an electrician to come in and look at it.

First of all, I asked him for an estimate to fix the problem. I told him I wanted the problem fixed, and he told me he wasn't sure what it was. He didn't give me an estimate, but told me he "works by the hour".

He walked around the house for almost an hour, testing things and trying to find the source of the problem.

Eventually he decided the problem was that the pipes weren't bonded, so he took a copper wire section about 2 ft long and clamped it between the water main and the hot water pipe.

He told me this should solve the problem, and that he would send the bill.

For 2 or 3 weeks everything was fine, and I didn't notice any current. Then, one day, I was taking a shower, and my bare feet touched the metal threshold plate on the bathroom floor while my hands were touching the taps.

I got shocked again.

I got the bill in the mail about that time from the electrician for 109 bucks. When I questioned him about the cost, he informed me that he charged 5 bucks for parts(the copper wire) and 50 dollars per man hour. There was some kid hanging around and doing nothing else but hand the electrician tools. So I got charged for 2 man hours at 50 bucks an hour, where 1 person only did less than an hour of real work. And at the end of it, the problem still was not fixed.

I called up the electrician and told him the problem wasn't fixed. He said he didn't know what it was, and could only guess. I said I would not pay him until he came back and fixed the problem, at which point he said

"I'm not sending a guy out there to chase ghosts. You just decided you don't want to pay your bill. You can fix the problem yourself, but you still owe us".

Do I need to pay him? I never signed anything on paper, and he keeps sending me bills in the mail.

I'm not paying essentially 100 dollars for a 2 ft piece of copper wire. That's ridiculous.

Any opinions? I'm just worried about getting a lien against my house, or a letter from the collection agency.

Thanks for your input.


07:40PM | 11/22/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Interesting question.

In a case like this it would have been foolish for the electrican to do this other than hourly.

And he did some work. Althoug I question the need to bond the hot water to the cold. But I really don't know what the conditions where or what he saw.

His failure, as I see it, was not verifying that this was really the source of the problem. Or if he could not verify that it was the complete solution should have said something like "I found so and so and when I fix it it solved the immediate problem. But from what I have seen there might still be others. So let me know immediately if you have anyother problem."

But with unknow conditions he could not give a quarantee that there aren't other problems.

It sounds like he did the work. It might have been in the right direction and might have been needed. But apparently more work is needed and that would be more cost.

So I am saying that he probably should be paid. But that he did not so a full job in verifying that this was the solution.

But the common about "chasing ghost" makes me think that he was not the right electrican in the first place.

I might have said this in the orginal thread to find one that does lots of work with old house wiring. And one that like problem solving. One that finds that it is challange to solve.

The price was not excessive once you figure the overhead cost in running a business. But I wonder why he brought alow a 2nd person for a job like this.

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