Austin electrician, homeowner disagree about service charge
I accepted a proposal from Decker Electric of Austin, Texas, to replace two breaker boxes with two new breaker panels with 100-amp main breakers.
At the end of this one-day job, the owner, Reid Holm, gave me a bill for $1,050 more than the proposed cost. He said he installed 125-amp main breakers, and that I caused work delays.
When I received another proposal to install two new 200-amp breaker boxes, I asked him about more amps. He told me he thought the 100 amps would work.
I only learned he installed 125 amps, without my prior knowledge or approval, when I received the bill.
I want Decker Electric to honor their proposal and refund the $1,050.
Shirley Koeller, Austin
We agreed to replace the member’s electrical breaker boxes with a 200-amps service, with 100 amps feeding each unit. We discussed the process at least four times prior to doing the work, and each time the member expressed concerned that the size of the amp service was too small, even though I explained that it was more than adequate and allowed for circuit expansion.
I also explained the process, the amount of time needed to complete the job and reminded her that we needed access to the house. Again, she asked about the service size. When I told her it was fine, she told me to do what I thought was best.
To ease the member’s mind, I decided to make it a 250-amp service. Also, when the utility company arrived the next day, I was instructed to build the service differently than I anticipated. The crew disconnecting power always has final say on the rebuild, even though it may differ from the initial instructions.
I tried to inform the member, but she had left the house and locked the door. I couldn’t contact her by telephone. Being locked out caused a delay.
I went over the bill with the member, explaining that the service we built had a larger amperage size and required more material to meet the utility company’s requirements. That is the reason for the price increase. However, I offered the member two hours of free electrical service. She declined.
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