I'm just getting around to reading an article in the August '07 NEC Digest regarding AFCIs. To paraphrase...according to people like the int. stds. manager for NEMA the cost to install AFCIs will be minimal...on remodels, in the neighborhood of $15-$30/cct.
The last AFCI I bought was $32.58 + tax. When we include a little travel, circuit research, replacement labor and overhead, it's not going to be cheap.
Anyone care to give a "ballpark" price on changing 20 breakers to AFCIs?
This is what Ive been doing this year. And I like it. It works for me.
I hand the customer a "list of materials". Why? Because you cant make any money running to Home Depot or Lowes or your wholesaler. It is a waste of life.
I did a remodel back in July. The HO/wife was so good at buying EVERYTHING, it was like having a "parts guy" on the job.
I didnt have to sort out wrong parts that my wholesaler's [counter kid] would have given me. Or waste time chasing parts.
This chick was so good I would have hired her
The point? Get the Customer do do as much "work" as you can. They know what those breakers cost, so you cant "mark em up". Making money on parts is a thing of the past. Just make good labor and let the customer purchase as much of the projects material as they can. They shop the Depot/Lowes too.
Even on commercial jobs, the gear, lights, lamps are all shipped via the owner.
Just a thought. I hate wasting time and losing money for shopping parts.
My experience has been HO/businesses could care less about the parts list (ex. a person who doesn't have much money to begin with and need to pinch pennies). They want what they want and you give them a price just like shopping at the store, that's what they're used to. You can pay a little more for a better looking product that will be well designed and problem free for years or pay less in the begining and end up spending more in the long run with a poor, problematic design.
I treat my customers jobs like I'm going to put this in my home, perfectionistic to a point.
Around here, the price for an AFCI circuit breaker is a little higher at around $45.00 each. Add about an hour for installation and check out. That’s totals just a smidge under $1000.00 around here.
In addition: Don’t forget that you need to use tamper resistant receptacles all through the house. They go for about $5.50 each here. Then there are the two minimum GFCI circuit breakers for the kitchen counter receptacles and at least one for the bath receptacles. At around $35.00 each here.
Last edited by KJay; 12/18/0705:29 PM. Reason: spelling error
I see the main cost of converting to AFCI breakers as from effects secondary to the cost of the breakers.
AFCI breakers take up a full space, and that wire pigtail takes up space. The final effect: No more 'skinny' breakers, and a need for additional panels. However you've been wiring houses, you're going to have to make some changes. That 'all in one' is likely to become a main serving two or three subpanels.
As for service work, older panels may not even have AFCI breakers available for them, or there may not be enough spaces on the neutral buss- or the pigtail won't reach it. Wire space will be limited.
If there is room, then your installation (labor) cost ought to be the same as for replacing any other breaker .... wait, Murphy has come into the room ... OOPS - don't forget to allow for some troubleshooting and callbacks, as nuisance trips and mixed circuits trip it. I've had all manner of problems from dimmer switches and crossed neutrals.