Total Cost to add a plug?

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Posted by: from Bradford
1/15/2017 at 9:47:56 AM

Hello all,

We have a 6 year old home in Bradford and we would like to add a new plug for a counter top microwave in our basement. Our basement is unfinished and empty and the microwave will be installed about 25-30 feet from the electrical breaker panel.

I will be honest and say that we have received 3 quotes (not from trusted pros) so far and the price has been between $100- $800 so this is why we are confused and are seeking your guidance. How does one contractor charge $100 and another $800???

We would like to know what we should be looking at spending for it on the high side and on the low side of the price spectrum.

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Paul from SmithPro in Midhurst
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:09:04 AM

How many plugs are you looking to have installed? You mentioned a fridge and microwave. Typically each plug would be around $100 given that your panel doesn't need updating or breakers adding.

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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:12:10 AM

100% certain that the joker who said $100 has no electrical experience and is not a licensed electrician and should not be in your home. Simply put, by code, you must have an AFCI protected outlet for these new outlets, that breaker alone can cost $80 to $200. A permit for the inspection is $100-150, materials could be $200-300, labour should be $200-500. Your mentioned a Microwave AND Fridge, is it one item or both? Fridges do not require AFCI, but all others do (with a few exceptions).

I recommend getting a list of what they are proposing, not necessarily itemized materials, but what they are offering. Eliminate anyone who does not say ESA permit or AFCI protected wiring and outlet. Then move on to expect $700-1000 for a dedicated AFCI powered outlet with ESA permit and warranty in writing. THAT would be signs of a Pro! A "TrustedPro! :)

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Mirek from Mirek Electric in Mississauga
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:15:50 AM

Hi Allan,

There is no way legitimate contractor will charge only $100.00 when ESA inspection is about $80.00. Also $800 is too high for one outlet in the open basement.

If I were to do the job I would charge you service call $150.00 plus materials which is roughly $90.00 (fridge is exempted from the need of expensive Arc-fault breaker) plus HST and ESA inspection.

So you should be paying around $320.00 plus HST.

Keep in mind there are some so called "jack of all trade" who will work under the table without the proper inspection or materials. And you will be left without certificate and risk of problems or fires.

I hope this helps,

Mirek Electric

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Allan in Bradford
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:22:45 AM

Oh boy this is once again frutrating. In this post I get 3 very different price points.

Paul from SmithPro = $100 (does this assume this person is unlicensed?) I thought trusted pros screened for these things?

Robert from Electrilight Ltd = 700-1000

Mirek from Mirek Electric = $320?

Why are prices for a fairly straight forward install so up and down?

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Pablo from M3 Services in Stouffville
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:26:38 AM

Dear Allan,

It's a competitive world. Not quite sure if these contractors have personally seen the work to be done. If so, and u explained your basement is unfinished, meaning it's just definitely shouldn't cost u $800. However u must consider the length of wire to be used and the type of breaker to be installed also consider the type of plug if it's near a sink. Contractors prices vary, the lowest could mean he can do it himself, and the highest is because he has to hire a licensed electrician. This based on what u said should run you about $200-250 the most.again it's best to take a look at the job to give an accurate quote.

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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:27:07 AM

so is it a Fridge AND Microwave OR only one? You say the home is 6 years old so your panel would be new enough to accept an AFCI breaker. I've provided the pricing layout for you previously. If you want code compliant work, you must have all the items I listed. Oh, and this web site does not screen for Licensed Electrical Contractors, just like any site, you need to check the electricians credentials for license information at

Without an ESA license number, they are not legally allowed to do ANY electrical work.

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Allan in Bradford
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 11:40:11 AM

@ Robert from Electrilight Ltd no it is only a microwave we are installing. I accidentally mentioned a fridge but have since corrected it. I apologize.

@ Pablo from M3 Services If the permit to get the job done is 100 or so dollars, how can you say $200?

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Mirek from Mirek Electric in Mississauga
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 3:04:05 PM

OK so if we talking microwave, the materials will be bit more to accommodate Arc-fault breaker.

I think you should't have to pay more then $450.00.

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Neil from Planet Wiring in Edmonton
Date/Time1/15/2017 at 8:53:35 PM

By code, your new receptacle has to be arc fault protected. It should also be on a dedicated circuit. By law, it needs to be permitted and inspected. Materials and permits can cost $400.00. It's not unreasonable for a legitimate contractor to charge another $400.00 for his time. You are not getting a licensed electrician for $100.00.

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Date/Time1/16/2017 at 9:00:24 PM

I think in a small town like Bradford, this would be a $400 to $500 dollar job. A few factors to consider... is the LEC an ACP contractor? Does the LEC have to make a second trip to accommodate an ESA inspection? Is the area to work in total clear of belongings? Is the home clean and odour free (smoke, cat, etc)? Is the work to be completed during "normal working hours"?

Contractors will charge what the market will bare based on their operating costs. There is no such thing as "the going rate"; larger companies will likely be charging more while smaller companies will be charging slightly less.

If this was a downtown GTA job, I doubt you would even be able to find anyone to do it for $800...

Bradford may be starting to experience the GTA pricing as it gets squeezed from Newmarket and Barrie, so I would not be surprized to see an "higher then average" price in there. Regardless we all agree that the $100 estimate is way out of line.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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