Best Electric in Cape Coral, Florida with Reviews - YP.com

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07/06/2013
By: acraelectric
ACRA Electric Inc
Company Response: This is a home built in 1998 with an aluminum buss Challenger panel. The owner had a whole house instant hot water heater installed about 2 years ago. We could not find evidence of a permit or inspection for this work, so we are not sure if the work was done by a licensed contractor or not. After we installed a new circuit breaker for the boat lift the instant hot water heater stopped working. We examined the panel and discovered that the 2 pole 60 amp breaker feeding the instant hot water heater was burned, as well as the aluminum buss that it was installed on. My electrician got a new circuit breaker out of the truck and installed it on a clean section of the buss below the overheated section and reconnected the instant hot. He also installed blanks on the panel cover to fill the unused spaces. We left the job and received our city inspection for our completed work. After returning to the office he relayed the information to us and we reviewed photographs that were taken the day we did the estimate. Upon zooming in to the 2 pole 60 amp circuit breaker at the bottom of the panel we noticed that the exposed part of the buss was discolored, showing evidence of heating which we did not notice at the time of the estimate. We have done many panel changes over the years and especially with the older challenger and ITE panels we see evidence of overheating and burned buss bars where the circuit breakers clamp on, especially the breakers feeding high ampacity loads like ac units and air handlers with heat strips. In this case the whole house instant hot water heater draws a lot of current and over time if the conditions are not perfect, as is the case with an older aluminum buss panel, the breaker will begin to heat at the spring loaded connections to the buss. Over time the spring tension holding the circuit breaker to the buss weakens and eventually the circuit breaker will fail. In the process of doing our work on this panel we disturbed the already compromised circuit breaker and the customer has now expected us to replace this entire panel at no charge. The act of removing the panel cover alone is not enough to make a circuit breaker fail, and if it does it is proof that something is going wrong in the panel, which the photographic evidence proved. We are extremely aware and sensitive to having a great relationship and pleasing experience with all of our customers and I personally apologized to this customer for the time he had to wait for his job to be done. We also installed the new circuit breaker and panel blanks at no additional charge, and even offered a discount for his trouble, however I do not feel that we should be taken advantage of by having to replace a panel that was installed in 1998 and that we were the lucky ones to identify and correct a potential problem. Also, our electrician is a licensed journeyman who is qualified to work in energized panels. Occasionally with the older panels, when the main is turned off it sometimes will fail to reset, so if we don't have to turn off the panel to work on it we won't. The journeyman was taken by surprise when the owner quickly reached in to the panel before he could warn him to stop. Even with the main turned off there are energized parts in a panel, so never reach in to any electrical equipment unless you are qualified to do so.We hope that in this case the customer will reconsider his position and pay us so we can avoid legal action.If you have any questions about this or any other electrical issues please feel free to call me.Robert GrecoPresident, ACRA Electric, Inc.239-542-1624
Tips & Advices
Keep the following tips in mind:
  • Do not operate any electrical equipment while sitting or standing in water.
  • Don't overload extension cords or surge protectors.
  • Put caps on your electrical outlets if you have small children.
  • Call an electrician if you notice your sockets or switches are warm to the touch, discolored or if they make noise.
  • Keep electrical cords away from stoves, ovens and other sources of heat.
  • Do not use an appliance that has a frayed cord.
  • Do not staple extension cords into place or cover them with carpets or furniture.
  • When using extension cords, make sure to unwrap them before plugging them in.
  • Don't overuse extension cords. Have an electrician install extra outlets if you need a power source closer to you.
  • Only use light bulbs with the correct wattage for your lamps and light fixtures.
  • Contact a licensed electrician if you frequently blow fuses, since this can be a sign of an electrical wiring problem.
  • Have an electrician look at your fuse box to ensure you have the right size fuses and circuit breakers. The wrong size fuse or breaker can be a fire hazard.
  • If you have fault circuit interrupters installed in your electrical panel, make sure you test them at least once a month by turning them on and off.
It can cost from $40-$100 an hour depending on the job. This does not include additional costs for parts or trip fees. Make sure to ask in advance what they charge for or if they will provide a free quote.
In order to become a full-fledged professional, a person must undergo an apprenticeship with master and journeyman electricians. An apprentice needs 8,000 hours of practical work before graduating to the journeyman level. If an apprentice reaches journeyman status, he or she can complete most electrical work, but cannot design it until completing more testing along with 2,000 more on-the-job hours.
Yes. While all electricians need a license, not all of them do the same types of jobs.
  • Outside: These types of electricians work outdoors on electrical lines that connect to power plants.
  • Inside: Inside experts typically focus on commercial and industrial buildings that require a lot of power.
  • Residential: Residential electricians work with low-voltage systems and wiring to install fuse boxes and light fixtures.
Watch out for contractors that greatly underbid other electricians. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, always remember to get the estimate in writing before settling on a company.

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