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#55128 - 08/16/05 09:43 PM Trade boundaries
Sixer Offline

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 264
Loc: Canada
Hi, new member here. I enjoy reading all of your posts. I've been an electrical contractor in British Columbia for over 12 years.

Question I have is: how far do all you other contractors go when installing equipment which is also other than electrical in nature? One example being exhaust you install the ducting after you've installed and connected it, or do you tell the customer they need to call a heating contractor to install the ducting?
Another example: do you change water heater elements or do you tell the customer to call a plumber?
I'm looking forward to your replies, thanks.

"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#55129 - 08/16/05 11:02 PM Re: Trade boundaries
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9023
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
The one I started the IAEI guys going on was when I suggested the pool steel guys were the ones who set the wet niche forming shells, ladder cups and did all the rebar bonding under the gunite.
The screen cage guys bond the cage.
Greg Fretwell

#55130 - 08/17/05 12:04 AM Re: Trade boundaries
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Bath fan, only for a home-owner, and only if its easy. Not for a GC. Once made the mistake of saying I'd do it all, and had an otherwise quiet remote fan turn jet engine due to duct noise. Definate "No" on range hoods, wont even hang them. Extremy rare for me to patch wall openings, and absolutely never paint. The way I see it, its a value to the customer to get someone in to do a proffessional job in their trade, and at rates comparable to the that trade. Although it seems only Plumbers rates are over, or comparable to ours, I'm no plumber by any stretch.
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#55131 - 08/17/05 04:41 AM Re: Trade boundaries
LearJet9 Offline

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 196
Loc: Millis, MA USA
Duct work is not for us however, an element for a hot water heater is. We have replaced many.

#55132 - 08/17/05 05:17 AM Re: Trade boundaries
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I'm in the same boat with e57
I once bought and ran a 4' piece of flex duct from a bath fan as a favor to a customer that wanted an inspection right away.
The inspector turned it down...No convoluted duct allowed in the County.
Of course I became the "reason" that he didn't get his inspection.
I'm an electrician, so I leave the other work to others. I don't want to see a picture my work on some Plumbers Forum labelled as "hack" work.

Don't forget that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

#55133 - 08/17/05 07:26 AM Re: Trade boundaries
kyme Offline

Registered: 09/25/03
Posts: 40
Loc: Kentucky
Like ELECTURE i am a true believer that no
good deed goes unpunished. Any time someone asks for anything other than electrical, my first instinct is to say NO.
I think if i cant keep from saying yes from now on i will try to sub the jobs out to the correct trade. haha

#55134 - 08/17/05 09:22 AM Re: Trade boundaries
growler Offline

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Marietta, Ga. 30060
"No good deed goes unpunished". I agree with that one. I was at a restautrant working on a problem with the lighting a few years back. Their ice machine was down and the refrigeration man had just left, telling them it would be a few days before he returned. He said the compressor was bad. They asked if I would look at it. I informed them that I don't work on ice machines ( after a little whinning by the owner I take a look and discover that the relay is bad). Jump in the van and drive five miles to an appliance parts place , where I don't have an account and pay $40 for a replacement relay. Come back and install the relay and turn on the machine, it's making ice before I leave. The owner gets mad because I charged him an extra hour of labor to go and purchase and install a part ( that's how long it took ). Never do anything outside the trade and when the invoice is presented it only shows electrical work. For some reason people think that other trades work cheaper than we do. We have an appliance repair company that advertises $35 dollars and hour labor. They just make their money by really over charging for the materials. It comes out about the same in the end.

#55135 - 08/17/05 01:29 PM Re: Trade boundaries
macmikeman Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
Back in the early 70"s I used to work in Lee County FLA. Back then around there the electricians did all vent and range hood duct work on houses. Have no idea if that still is the same now.

#55136 - 08/18/05 07:05 PM Re: Trade boundaries
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Buisness philosophy from day two has been...
"do what we do best......electrical work"
Basically back when we did resi it was..."m'am..we do not patch holes, and the handyman doesn't wire your house"

Comm tin is the HVAC guys; piping is the P&H guys, or the sprinkler fitters, etc.

Yes, we have been known to 'relocate' some ceiling diffusers need be! Paint? no way.


#55137 - 08/19/05 07:24 AM Re: Trade boundaries
Larry Fine Offline

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 684
Loc: Richmond, VA
I'm probably the exception here. We're licensed for home- and commercial-improvement contracting as well as electrical. Two years ago, we built a 400-sq.ft. master bedroom/bathroom addition to a house.

We dug the footing, leveled the footing concrete, did the framing, sheathing, plumbing, electrical (of course), roofing, siding, soffits and gutters, interior and exterior doors, windows, drywall hanging and finishing, finish carpentry, painting, etc.

The only work we subbed out was the new HVAC unit and the foundation brick-work. The best part was that the inspector said this was the first time anyone ever aced a final on the first go-around.

Pictures here:

...and another job here:

When we do work that requires other work, such as venting an exhaust fan or over-the-stove microwave, we do everything ourselves. Being able to do drywall patching makes otherwise-impossible retro work possible, but we routinely do "impossible" fishing when we can.

"We don't need no stinkin' sub-contractors!"
Larry Fine
Fine Electric Co.

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