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Thread: Plumber's replacing shower body!?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member kancheta's Avatar
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    Default Plumber's replacing shower body!?

    Hi there,
    This might be a bit of a rant, but I will try to keep it short. First, I am not a plumber, not all that handy and pretty pissed off!
    After a month of locating my "leak", we find that our second bathroom with tub and shower combo has been spewing water behind the wall whenever the tub diverter was used to put in shower mode. We had replaced the tub spout before knowing this. Anyway, after second visit from the pros they discover that the copper pipe we were attempting to put the spout on was just one whole piece that was bent into place. He said he had never encountered this before. Ok, well I just wanted to know how to fix it. Final options are to replace shower valve or install whole new shower body? We chose the latter option. My question is this- does 1100.00 sound about right? Keep in mind on the first trip, they cut through my tub surround to get to the pipes to diagnose. So, this new price tag, is just to do the shower body install. So, I will have exposed pipes and wont even know when we will be able to do replace the tub and tile everything.
    Should I get some estimates, or does this souns right and reasonable?


    Appreciate any feedback,
    Kat

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kancheta View Post
    Hi there,
    This might be a bit of a rant, but I will try to keep it short. First, I am not a plumber, not all that handy and pretty pissed off!
    After a month of locating my "leak", we find that our second bathroom with tub and shower combo has been spewing water behind the wall whenever the tub diverter was used to put in shower mode. We had replaced the tub spout before knowing this. Anyway, after second visit from the pros they discover that the copper pipe we were attempting to put the spout on was just one whole piece that was bent into place. He said he had never encountered this before. Ok, well I just wanted to know how to fix it. Final options are to replace shower valve or install whole new shower body? We chose the latter option. My question is this- does 1100.00 sound about right? Keep in mind on the first trip, they cut through my tub surround to get to the pipes to diagnose. So, this new price tag, is just to do the shower body install. So, I will have exposed pipes and wont even know when we will be able to do replace the tub and tile everything.
    Should I get some estimates, or does this souns right and reasonable?


    Appreciate any feedback,
    Kat
    In my area it would be high, but in yours it may be the going price. Another estimate wouldn't hurt.



    John

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    get 2-3 estimates...the decide...

  4. #4
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Always get second or third estimates to determine the market value in your area. It's also a good idea to get what they are doing in writing - ie. fixing wall, replacing tile, that way you know the complete job and aren't suprised when you get the bill.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member kancheta's Avatar
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    Yes, I will be making some calls. I do have it in writing and work cannot start for 2 weeks because of negative cash flow!
    I have attached some pics to show you guys the damage. The floor is buckling in my entry way due to the water running behind the walls. The hole you see in the bathroom is what I paid 325.00 for first visit. Was not corrected needless to say.
    Thanks for your replies.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by kancheta; 10-21-2009 at 11:01 AM.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Wow!

    What is on the other side of that wall with the gaping hole...

    Please say it's a exterior wall and not a bedroom or closet....

  7. #7
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Getting plumbers out is expensive. I would have (and have paid) plumbers more in my area for similar work.

    What is on the other side of that wall with the gaping hole...

    Please say it's a exterior wall and not a bedroom or closet....
    That's a very good point and perhaps the most important one.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 10-21-2009 at 04:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tub

    They CUT that slot in your tub wall? Were these plumbers or butchers? Once the wall is cut out, it is only a matter of an hour or so, for one plumber, to install the new valve, so do the math once you decide how much the valve will cost.

  9. #9
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I am ASSUMING that the leak was actually something inside the wall? My first reaction was that if it just involved the fitting of the spout, then one solution might have been a Delta spout with soldered on adapter.'

    Anyway, we are way past that. Did they suggest how you are supposed to fix the shower wall? Was there any possiblilty that the valve could have been accessed from the other side of the wall?

    Can't tell for sure from the pic is you have a one piece, or a tub with separate wall kit. If the latter is the case, the only reasonable course of action will be to replace the wall kit. Not a terribly expensive or difficult job.

    A short term, not very "pretty" solution would be to get a piece of 3/16" thick plexiglass, preferably something opaque, wide enough to cover that slot side to side and top to bottom. Cut out for new shower valve and tub spout. Glue it in place. Get adhesive recommendation from the plastic company where you get the plastic.
    Last edited by jimbo; 10-22-2009 at 07:11 AM.

  10. #10
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Even if it is an outside wall the plumbers may not have had to cut the wall like that...they make over sized trim plates that can be used if the problem was only at the valve...if it was in the riser going to the shower head then that is another thing....

  11. #11
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Wow, they should've just broke out the 10lb sledge hammer to do the diagnosis!

    What would have been so hard about taking off the valve trim plate and using an inspection mirror or two to quickly see what was going on inside the valve wall! It's guys like those that give plumbers a bad name, and their compounding bills that freak out homeowners from calling in a proper professional.

    Always get enough estimates so that you can pick a contractor who explains what they are going to do and why, and who gives you a feeling of honesty when they talk to you. There's more than one plumber out there, and the skilled and honest ones are the ones that deserve your business!
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


    www.blackbirdkitchenandbath.com

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what your quote entails, but the damage they did with the first visit is ridiculous and unnecessary. That's why I do my own troubleshooting to identify the source of leaks before calling for help.

    It took about an hour to replace my shower valve when it was leaking. The price was a complete rip off: $350. I supplied the parts, prepared the access, and did the clean up. But it needed to be done that day as there were no shut offs. With plumbing you are often stuck with whoever you can get when you call.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default price

    Why are plumber's prices always a rip off, but doctors and lawyers are reasonable?

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Why are plumber's prices always a rip off, but doctors and lawyers are reasonable?
    Who said they were reasonable?

    But now that you mention it, my most recent doctors visits and some legal work I had done were a "bargain" compared to $350/hr for straightforward plumbing work.

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