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Old 07.11.2012, 16:08
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Re-wiring of house - costs?

Hey all,
Today I had an electrician around for a site survey and quotation. Basically the electrics in the house are in good order, but from the late 70's, of particular concern was the fact that half the fuses are 6A and remainder 10A. Not sure what this really means in real terms, but I'm guessing that running too many modern appliances simulataneously might result in an abrupt halt.

Anyway, the electrician recommended replacing the fuses boxes in the cellar (CHF7k) and approx CHF23k to rewire the house Are these quotations normal for a standard family home as they seem a little on the high side. We rewired our entire house in the UK, with data points etc.. for £4k
Cheers
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Old 07.11.2012, 16:22
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Jesus, my monthly rates are going up for the Swiss
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Old 07.11.2012, 16:24
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

We were quoted around CHF7,000 to do our house last year; similar to yours in that we also had the main fusebox updated to circuit breaker system. We don't have the second box though. Final bill came in at just over CHF6,300. Ours is a 1950 built house and I don't think the wiring had been changed since it was built.
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Old 07.11.2012, 16:25
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Depending on how much your electrician charges you for the quotation, I'd get a couple more for comparison.

And then I'd get a personal recommendation as some electricians here appear not to have a clue.
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Old 07.11.2012, 16:30
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Thanks both, I'll certainly get a second opinion. He actually didn't think it would require any masonry work (i.e. ripping through walls) as they would trace the old wiring with new. However he did estimate that it would take 3-5 weeks so I'm guessing its all labour and just to add it would include changing the plug sockets and light switch fascias throughout but no additional points.
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Old 07.11.2012, 17:11
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

To give you a comparison, we updated our house wiring 8 years ago - not a complete rewire, but mostly so. The house was then 20 years old, we had a mix of fuses that looked like yours and some of the up-and-down more modern ones.

Included in the work was the certification required by the Gemeinde... and IIRC it came to about 25,000. This also included the addition of new plugs in every room, fiddling with existing plugs, a new electric panel thingy and a bunch of computer related stuff.

(You can tell I don't know much about electrical work can't you? )

Soooo - that quote may not be far off ball-park. But do get additional quotes. If I learned anything from that renovation job, it's that there is no rhyme or reason to construction charges. You can find quotes differing by factors of 3 or more for the same job.

(And don't forget to ask if there is a charge for the quote. )
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Old 07.11.2012, 17:27
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

About 10K, 12yrs. back, with everything done from scratch. 80 yr. old house with minimum electrics.
It was a local one-man band, and it was done in dribs and drabs over the course of a year long renovation.

However for my new house the sparkies were criminal and would charge you for farting. I'm sure this was well over 20K.

So take your pick or just think of a number and double it - it's any ones guess.
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Old 07.11.2012, 17:41
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Our landlord's just been quoted 12 000 for replacing the fuse box (which looks remarkably similar to that one) and rewiring the house. The house was built in the eighties.
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Old 07.11.2012, 18:33
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

You may well have enough power as it is, whilst a modern fuse box with trip switches is cool, it may well not be needed.

Most modern electronic gadgets are less than 1amp in any case.....

If a particular room needs more power, then just add an extra circuit. If you want a new fuse box just do the fuse box. I guess the lighting circuits are 6a & the power points 10a, probably EXACTLY what they will give you again.
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Old 07.11.2012, 18:54
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

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You may well have enough power as it is, whilst a modern fuse box with trip switches is cool, it may well not be needed.

Most modern electronic gadgets are less than 1amp in any case.....

If a particular room needs more power, then just add an extra circuit. If you want a new fuse box just do the fuse box!
Thanks FMF, my German isn't up to much, but from what I could understand this isn't critical but needed to get the electrics upto modern standards. What I wasn't able to get through to him was whether that's needed to pass the control, stipulated by our new Gemeinde.
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Old 07.11.2012, 18:56
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Hi Castro.
I think Fr.7k for the 2 fuse boards is not too high. With FI switches, 10amp and 16amp fuses, this price is not bad.

From what I can see from your photo, the fuse boards are from around 1965-1970. At this time here in Switzerland most sockets were only 6amp.
This in such is not a problem; one changes simply the cables for thicker ones.
The main problem could be that you have no EARTH cable in the house.
(The NUL cable is used as EARTH)
In new installations one must have a separate EARTH cable.
In your case the electrician must install in the old tubes, an extra cable, plus replace the old cables with thicker ones.
I think in his quotation he took this into consideration, the extra cable could give problems.

Salut Zämma

Last edited by Big Mara; 07.11.2012 at 19:21.
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Old 07.11.2012, 19:00
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

We've just had the compulsory 'electrics control' done by the Canton. We were terrified- as we have one of those mixed fuse box and as it often trips if I have the washing machine on and I switch on the Hoover (annoying as I have to climb the stairs to re-set). Got an almost clean bill of electrical wealth - valid for 20 years. Just a few bits and pieces to do, like line a plug box which is set in wood panelling. Pheeeeeeeew. And thank goodness I have an old school friend who will do me 'mate's rates'.

It could well be the work does not actually need doing, as said above. Ask if it would pass the official Kanton test.

If your German is not up to scratch - really it would pay dividends to ask a friend who does to be there whenever you need a quote, etc. Much easier and can avoid nasty surprises.

Anyway, as you earn a fortune like most EFers - the higher the bill the better, so you can put it against tax

Last edited by Odile; 07.11.2012 at 20:16.
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Old 07.11.2012, 19:02
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

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Thanks both, I'll certainly get a second opinion. He actually didn't think it would require any masonry work (i.e. ripping through walls) as they would trace the old wiring with new. However he did estimate that it would take 3-5 weeks so I'm guessing its all labour and just to add it would include changing the plug sockets and light switch fascias throughout but no additional points.
Same for us: tracing through the wires, changing some of the plug sockets and switches and it only took one master and two apprentice electricians 4 and a half days to do and that was a day and half over the estimate. All I can say is they must be slow and expensive in other parts of Switzerland! Or else we got an extremely good deal.
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Old 07.11.2012, 20:10
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

We rewired a single family house four years ago, I did most of the wire changing myself but a monster switch board (3 separate 380v circuits with all the safety stuff) was only 2500 made to order by a mate of my electrician, so 7k is a bit high IMHO.
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Old 07.11.2012, 20:40
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

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Thanks FMF, my German isn't up to much, but from what I could understand this isn't critical but needed to get the electrics upto modern standards. What I wasn't able to get through to him was whether that's needed to pass the control, stipulated by our new Gemeinde.
My apartment building has much worse looking fuse boxes etc than in your photos. It passed about 2 years ago without any issues.

I would wait for for the test & do only & exactly what is required, rather like taking a car for a MFK test
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Old 07.11.2012, 20:45
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

If anyone can recommend a decent electrician (perhaps self employed) who is happy to work in Basel Land (Liestal), please let me know
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Old 07.11.2012, 22:08
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Our Gemeinde has a list of electricians they accept to do the certification - if yours does the same, perhaps you could contact one of them and have the control done before commiting to anything else. That way you would know what exactly needed to be done. IIRC, the certificaton portion of our bill was CHF 500. Yes, it might be 500 out the window... but it also might be the reality check that saves you much more.
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Old 07.11.2012, 22:33
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Oh boy.....most of you guys have either been too long in Switzerland and become used to the prices or don't have a clue about how little work it actually require to regroup the fuse boxes and upgrade the same.

As long as you don't have to rewire anything you should in a real world not be any way near 7K CHF.

An automatic fuse box which in other countries are sold for 10-20 CHF are marked up here to minimum twice as much and when you on top of that add sparkys margin and his hours......wow.......7K CHF.

PS; don't tell me.....my post is useless....I know ;-)
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Old 09.11.2012, 08:48
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

Hi Castro

This person speaks some English and they may be able to help you, but as they specialise in fitting lights and electrical equipment they could direct you to another firm. We used him recently and he was very honest and knew his stuff.

http://www.elektro-kaufmann.ch/index.html

I will send you a PM

Regards

Annie
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Old 09.11.2012, 09:35
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Re: Re-wiring of house - costs?

A friend of mine had his house re-wired; came to 15K. This was a basic rewire, plus new extension and relocation of the distribution board.

I did our house myself (according to the NIN 2010 Swiss standards (mainly the same as the IEC standards, incidentally)), but bought all of the kit from the same electrician that did my friend's house. The worst part of the work is channeling through concrete and drilling 25mm+ diameter holes in solid concrete (I hit rebar about three times). It's bloody awful work. And the electrician was glad I was doing it rather than him.

Do not underestimate the work required! Quite often, you find the existing conduits have kinks in them, nails through them, have small stones, dust, etc, lying in them. All of which makes a simple job excrutiatingly difficult.. One conduit (20mm diameter) had 15 single cables in it! How the hell they got them in in the first place is beyond me, but the only way to remove them was to bind the ends of the cables around a 2m steel pole, wedge one end against the wall and repeatedly smack the other end with a large hammer..

The house was built in the early 80's so wasn't too bad to start off with, but this was that time when they were just starting to realise that one single socket below the light switch just wasn't quite enough.. Even so, the existing conduit installation was absolutely minimal, meaning that we had to install a lot of extra conduit.

I think our costs came to 10K - this was full rewire, lots of additonal sockets, full cablecom installation in every room, CAT7 network installation in every room (this alone was 600m of cable plus 19" rack cabinet), rebuild of the distribution board, all of the installation for the electric roller blinds (I installed drive motors in all ten roller blinds), outside lighting, a supply to the garden shed, etc. As we were installing additional insulation on the outside of the house, we installed a lot of the new conduit (mainly for the network, cablecom and roller blinds) within the old insulation outside, which is now covered with new insulation (this is perfectly fine and acceptable to do). Underground, in the cellar, it is all 'aufputz', with cable trunking and cable tray for the network/cablecom stuff.

I dread to think what this would have cost of we had an electrician to do the same work; probably easily ten times the cost.

Incidentally, I asked the electrician about certification - he looked at me puzzled and asked why. I said, ' we have to have it done, do we not?'. He said that we don't need it done for another 20 years, as we just had it certified as part of the conditions of buying the house. Again, I told him that we had replaced pretty much everything, does this not mean that the original certification was invalid? His comment? Now you understand the loophole...

Finally, watch out for the old (pre-1980) standards; awful. I know one person at work who still has fuses with rubber and cotton-covered cables - still passed the 20yr certification !
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