I need expert electrical advise... need it fast.Why?

johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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I am in the process of trying to buy a house. Actually a "weekend house" in a reverse commute situation. (this is unimportant ). I have found something that would work for me BUT... I need to offer a price next week and here is my problem.The electrical system would need to be upgraded big time. This is a two level house of about 2500 SQF. Block construction and finished to the extent that I can't go opening holes of any size in the floor on either level. The "panel box" is located in the kitchen with (4) 20 amp breakers). Upstairs there a 3 bedrooms and two baths and a sitting are that would be used for quiet time readings and small TV. This area would need one sheet rock wall to accommodate the tv and some audio devises. First floor needs upgraded electrical for the usual kitchen, bath dining room etc.

I have called in an electrician for a meeting on Friday so that we can estimate what this job would cost. I am not at all familiar with getting this work done on a finished house constructed of block. (I asume that block is filled with concrete).My entire life/career was one of sheet rock walls, crawl spaces and access via the attic. Does this mean all these new lines will be housed using raceways? And/or other types of enclosure to "hide" the wiring around the house?
1. Hiding the wire and cables.
2. How do I get, if needed, a new service line from the street?
3. In general is there any kind of code that is followed?
4.Inspection by power company or gov agency?
5. What size service box would be common here on a new construction.
6. How do I plan for future cooling issues and solar power?Should I be thinking about that now in regards to the number of breakers (blanks) I should be getting ?

I don't own this house yet but I see the above needing to be done in order to move in. As such I want to examine the estimated cost as part of my offer.
Many thanks in advance for advise you may give me.
 

vermontmark

Member
Aug 23, 2022
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Puerto Plata
I am on the north coast outside Puerto Plata. I have an electrician that I trust, seems very skilled, and does work from PP to Sosua, so presumably expats as well. If you are in this area I could provide a possible referral.
 

johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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I am on the north coast outside Puerto Plata. I have an electrician that I trust, seems very skilled, and does work from PP to Sosua, so presumably expats as well. If you are in this area I could provide a possible referral.
Ah, thanks. No, Ihave an electrian set for fri, Need to personally know what I should be asking of him to give me an estiamte
 

ese tipo

Newbie
Apr 12, 2019
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Running new wire in block walls in the states is often times a breeze and the simplest rewire situation an electrician can encounter.Most older homes which are block and or concrete walls have metallic conduit which is a set it and forget it rewire, out with old in with the new.If you're fortunate enough to have smooth interior conduit running through the house, then, anchors away! if not, it'll be a headache at best, nightmare at worst.From my experience having seen new block const. they either use a corrugated tubing or worse still, cpvc water pipe which is for plumbing and has very small elbows as opposed to electrical tubing which have a broader sweeping bends. If you can imagine repulling wires in a small plumbing elbow.... yes it's nearly impossible not to mention non code compliant.

As far as your panel,again, this is where electrical construction is severely lacking on the island.Because most if not all service panels are installed in the block or whichever aggregate they usually opt for they undersize the panels I've actually seen where they chisel out the block instead of setting as the rows go up, therefore the smaller the panel the less grunt work to hammer and chisel.Believe it or not your panel is easier to upgrade than your wiring is.surface mounting a larger panel IE 12-20 or even 30 circuit should you want will allow for future expansion and not to mention much more air circulation, vital if your thinking of solar especially so if your looking to grid tie.

All that being said, there are some very good pros on the island and I hope someone can lead you to one.some of these guys have done this enough to where it's second nature to them and they can work wonders.good luck with it all.
 

chico bill

Dogs Better than People
May 6, 2016
12,846
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Running new wire in block walls in the states is often times a breeze and the simplest rewire situation an electrician can encounter.Most older homes which are block and or concrete walls have metallic conduit which is a set it and forget it rewire, out with old in with the new.If you're fortunate enough to have smooth interior conduit running through the house, then, anchors away! if not, it'll be a headache at best, nightmare at worst.From my experience having seen new block const. they either use a corrugated tubing or worse still, cpvc water pipe which is for plumbing and has very small elbows as opposed to electrical tubing which have a broader sweeping bends. If you can imagine repulling wires in a small plumbing elbow.... yes it's nearly impossible not to mention non code compliant.

As far as your panel,again, this is where electrical construction is severely lacking on the island.Because most if not all service panels are installed in the block or whichever aggregate they usually opt for they undersize the panels I've actually seen where they chisel out the block instead of setting as the rows go up, therefore the smaller the panel the less grunt work to hammer and chisel.Believe it or not your panel is easier to upgrade than your wiring is.surface mounting a larger panel IE 12-20 or even 30 circuit should you want will allow for future expansion and not to mention much more air circulation, vital if your thinking of solar especially so if your looking to grid tie.

All that being said, there are some very good pros on the island and I hope someone can lead you to one.some of these guys have done this enough to where it's second nature to them and they can work wonders.good luck with it all.
Very good pros on the island for electrical work?
Sorry they are more rare than Bigfoot
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
7,171
3,024
113
Running new wire in block walls in the states is often times a breeze and the simplest rewire situation an electrician can encounter.Most older homes which are block and or concrete walls have metallic conduit which is a set it and forget it rewire, out with old in with the new.If you're fortunate enough to have smooth interior conduit running through the house, then, anchors away! if not, it'll be a headache at best, nightmare at worst.From my experience having seen new block const. they either use a corrugated tubing or worse still, cpvc water pipe which is for plumbing and has very small elbows as opposed to electrical tubing which have a broader sweeping bends. If you can imagine repulling wires in a small plumbing elbow.... yes it's nearly impossible not to mention non code compliant.

As far as your panel,again, this is where electrical construction is severely lacking on the island.Because most if not all service panels are installed in the block or whichever aggregate they usually opt for they undersize the panels I've actually seen where they chisel out the block instead of setting as the rows go up, therefore the smaller the panel the less grunt work to hammer and chisel.Believe it or not your panel is easier to upgrade than your wiring is.surface mounting a larger panel IE 12-20 or even 30 circuit should you want will allow for future expansion and not to mention much more air circulation, vital if your thinking of solar especially so if your looking to grid tie.

All that being said, there are some very good pros on the island and I hope someone can lead you to one.some of these guys have done this enough to where it's second nature to them and they can work wonders.good luck with it all.
Many thanks. I'm afraid thru the wall would be at "disaster level".
 

Manuel01

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2009
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939
93
Ah, thanks. No, Ihave an electrian set for fri, Need to personally know what I should be asking of him to give me an estiamte
This "Electrician" will eat you alive the moment he finds out that you have no clue about the subject. Find somebody to be with you when he shows that knows .
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
7,171
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In the past I have had good results with electricians who are Electrical Engineers. Well worth the added cost. Word to the wise.
I would agree but I need some information before I make an offer. I am "estimating" $10,000,usd. Why? My estimate in the Savannah ga would be $15, 000.
This "Electrician" will eat you alive the moment he finds out that you have no clue about the subject. Find somebody to be with you when he shows that knows the subject.

I am not contracting now. Estimate and advise only.
I know the electrician.
Quite honestly I know a great deal about this subject...but not in the DR way of doing things which is below sub-standard. Lets wait till I meet with him.
 

JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
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An engineer should supply a list of materials required with their cost, and the cost of labor in an estimate.

I'm wondering why you would make an offer?
 

johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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An engineer should supply a list of materials required with their cost, and the cost of labor in an estimate.

I'm wondering why you would make an offer?
The house is for sale. I went thru it twice.I would like to buy. Want to give seller my offer price to start the mating game...but before that want to get an estimate of what I would face on the electrical issue
 
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johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
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The house is for sale. I went thru it twice.I would like to buy. Want to give seller my offer price to start the mating game...but before that want to get an estimate of what I would face on the electrical issue
JD
I'm looking to see how to reduce the price of the house without insulting the seller. Right now half of the outlets in the house have just the wires sticking out. In the house just about all the rooms have only one outlet. So...Mr. Seller you didn't finish the remodeling. Hope that explains my thinking.
 
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FGUnsworth1

Active member
Oct 18, 2003
154
89
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Very good pros on the island for electrical work?
Sorry they are more rare than Bigfoot
I don't think licensed electricians exists in Dominican Republic, although I have heard rumors it might be a good time to start.
I have heard rumors are likened to pipe dreams here.
 

chico bill

Dogs Better than People
May 6, 2016
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Chip your walls and run flex conduit horizontally to add plugs make sure wire sizes are adequate for fans, tvs hair dryers all you USB chargers and vacuums..

Hire a Haitian to patch the cement and let dry a couple weeks before painting. Your electrician will do a crap job of patching.

If your lucky the wires sticking out of the walls can be pulled to see if they are free and maybe pull new wires or pull tape if needed.

A new sub panel can be chipped into the wall carefully so not to break any existing wires, conduits or drop broken cement into conduits. Or use a surface mount type
Going between floors could be an outside conduit (galvanized conduit) or open up a wall enough to get a rotohammer with a right-angle attachment to drill down in the wall line.
This can be patched without tearing up tiles.
Get someone with skill and TOOLS - so many guys who call themselves experts show up with a teenager's tool box. If he has a flimsy 12' tape a hammer and one rusty screwdriver with him sent him packing.
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
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Chip your walls and run flex conduit horizontally to add plugs make sure wire sizes are adequate for fans, tvs hair dryers all you USB chargers and vacuums..

Hire a Haitian to patch the cement and let dry a couple weeks before painting. Your electrician will do a crap job of patching.

If your lucky the wires sticking out of the walls can be pulled to see if they are free and maybe pull new wires or pull tape if needed.

A new sub panel can be chipped into the wall carefully so not to break any existing wires, conduits or drop broken cement into conduits. Or use a surface mount type
Going between floors could be an outside conduit (galvanized conduit) or open up a wall enough to get a rotohammer with a right-angle attachment to drill down in the wall line.
This can be patched without tearing up tiles.
Get someone with skill and TOOLS - so many guys who call themselves experts show up with a teenager's tool box. If he has a flimsy 12' tape a hammer and one rusty screwdriver with him sent him packing.
I knew you would come up with a practical idea. CB what's your thoughts on having one service box down stairs and another new and separte one on second floor. Might that cut down on the cutting, chipping and patching? Can the service line be divided coming into the house be split (like a two family house, A and B?)
 
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johne

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CB. Current box. In kitchen
IMG_3489.JPG
 

JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
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Did you notice the 15 amp breaker is tripped?

Honestly, that doesn't look to bad. I'd love to see the wiring inside.

Does the house have an inverter?
 

ese tipo

Newbie
Apr 12, 2019
97
58
28
CB. Current box. In kitchenView attachment 7663
As with most services there I see no main breaker, I see eight breakers but I can almost assure you that under each breaker is perhaps two or three wires. You mentioned having a 2500 square-foot house that kind of floor space usually has ample receptacles throughout which leads me to believe you have many circuits in the panel they just are being shared under a common breaker. If you are considering chipping out concrete block and using as was suggested here a "Hatian" then be prepared for dust bowl conditions. you have my condolences. If on the other hand you are considering surface mounted conduits, wire mold brand makes some stylish and contemporary conduit which will allow you to run surface mount, paintable and quite attractive. Yes there are some handyman posing as electricians there and everywhere else around the globe for that matter. But having had conversations with some very knowledgeable folks on the island I can assure you the well-educated pros are out there, it just may require a little bit of legwork to Find.
 
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johne

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Jun 28, 2003
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Did you notice the 15 amp breaker is tripped?

Honestly, that doesn't look to bad. I'd love to see the wiring inside.

Does the house have an inverter?
I'll give you more intelligent answers on Saturday after I spend some time there Friday afternoon.
 
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