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Question DetailsAsked on 6/28/2016

How much should i pay for an electrician to find a short or a interrupted ground

Specifically my hot water heater was charged along with all the pipeline in the garage told me there was a short or a connecting wire to either of being or the pipeline how much should I pay him how much is it going to charge me to fix it and one of my light switches keep blowing a fuse how much is he going to charge me to fix that as well

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OK - if water heater and piping was "HOT", assuming breakers/fuses were correctly wired and working, then you had a short to make it "live", plus a multiple grounding failure - both grounding in the main wiring, and also (in most code areas) a failure to ground the electrical system to the water pipes (assuming they are metal to the earth). If the pipe in the house was live then it is almost certain it is not grounded, AND there is almost certainly a non-conducting piece of pipe between there and the earth - because it should have grounded out through the metal water pipe into the earth outside the house - which should also have tripped the breaker or blown the fuse because that would be a good, high-ampearage capacity ground.

Light switch issue might or might not be related to the other issue - but just a shorted out switch or fixture should cost probably $50-100 or so (as part of the other issue visit) plus the cost of any parts - a few bucks if just the switch, or whatever for a new fixture if it needs replacing (very rarely the case because in most you can access the wiring to be able to repair it).

The other issue - is going to take some tracing to find the problem - the fix should be fairly simple unless your entire house has major wiring problems (like black and white swapped with zero groundwire connections as I have seen several times). Parts likely not more than a hundred $ or so (though rarely up to $200-300 with a few out-of-production makes) even if a bad breaker has to be swapped out - labor you might get lucky and have him find it in a few minutes, might take as much as several hours if he has to start disconnecting circuits to trace which has the short and which is ungrounded (that part is much easier to determine and trace). I would say minimum about $100-150 if VERY simple to find and fix (like a broken or disconnected ground wire and the short is in the water heater elements or wiring), probably more like $200-300 range if it takes some serious tracing down of the bad/cross connections, and in rare cases more than that if due to a problem like a nail penetrating a wire or such - sometimes thst sort of case, in bad access areas, you end up just cutting out the existing wire and replacing with new - which can bring in several hundred $ extra cost afterwards to repair and repaint walls after running the new wiring - but that is not the most common scenario. Usually a wire broke or came loose at a connector (or in the case of the ground was neer done right in the first place).

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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