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Thread: Replace Main Shut-off Valves - Cost

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Adam123's Avatar
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    Default Replace Main Shut-off Valves - Cost

    I am in the process of remodeling my upstairs bathroom. I was working on installing my vanity the other day, and after shutting off the water to the entire house via the main shut-off valve, I used a mini tube cutter to cut the caps off the two copper pipes from which the water will come for the supply lines. I was unable to finish installing the vanity before I had to leave, and I returned to find that water had begun leaking out of the uncapped pipes and had caused damage to the floor and the ceiling of the room below.

    The water was completely off while I was working and when I left, so it seems that the main shut off valve ceased to function properly. That is what I am told happened by the plumber that I called.

    (Yes, in retrospect I realize I should not have left with the lines uncapped, even with the water turned off at the main valve. You don't need to tell me this.)

    Anyhow, it appears that the insurance will pay to have the floor and ceiling below repaired, but they will not pay for the plumbing itself.

    The valve still will not shut off completely and I have the sink facet open so that the water just goes down the drain for now.

    The plumber tells me that I need to replace everything you see here:



    The one possible exception is the meter, which he says leaks somewhat, but that he can probably just tighten the screws in the bottom and I can continue to use it.

    Everything else though, he says, must be replaced. He says there are actually two valves: the one visible on the left (which is the one I used which apparently no longer works properly), and another one on the right which he says does not have a knob on it and I think he said does not work at all.

    He says it will cost $750 to do this.

    Two questions: Does that seem like it's what needs to be done and if so does that seem like a fair price?

    If I left any key information out please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.

    Here are some more pictures:




  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member Adam123's Avatar
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  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Adam123's Avatar
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    I just realized that I posted this in the toilets section instead of the general plumbing section. I would appreciate it if a moderator could move it to the appropriate section. My apologies.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Looks like 2 to 2.5 hours and parts.

    Insurance never pays for the plumbing. This isn't going to cost much though.
    They do pay for the damage the plumbing caused though.
    Last edited by Terry; 05-12-2010 at 04:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Trouble with asking how much a plumbing repair costs on the internet is every shop has to charge different rates due to the costs of running their business. Costs can vary from two, city, county and state due to cost of living, and other factors. For example gasoline is $3.11 a gallon here, and its $2.70 a gallon in Denver. Now what Terry did by giving you an approximate time it will take to do the job is more helpful than some one giving you a price over the internet. My best recommendation is to get three estimates from local companies, make sure each one is giving an estimate on the same scope of work and materials.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    Who owns the water meter? if it's owned by the water company they are usually responsible for the valve before the meter.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Briandl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shacko View Post
    Who owns the water meter? if it's owned by the water company they are usually responsible for the valve before the meter.
    That's what I've always thought, but I've also never seen a meter inside. In South Texas where I live the meters are out on the street.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Adam123's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses fellas. I called a couple other plumbers as SewerRatz suggested (smaller local plumbers) and they gave me much lower estimates than the original - more in line with Terry's time estimate and what I would have expected to pay in the first place. The cost of living and doing business is quite low in my area relative to the average around the country I believe. The first company that I mentioned in my original post was the one I called the night that I found the damage, and they were a big franchise type company which I'm sure has a lot of overhead, and also may have been rolling the dice hoping that I would just take their bid spur of the moment without getting other estimates since I was somewhat paniced from the leaked water and damage to my house.

    By the way I did talk to the water company and they said they will check out the meter for me when they come out to shut off the water at the curb for the plumber and they will replace it for free if need be. I don't think they handle the inlet valve though for whatever reason. We have cold winters here so I'm guessing that's why the meter is inside.

  9. #9
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam123 View Post
    He says it will cost $750 to do this.
    I would think you can get it done for MUCH cheaper then that. You'd maybe be looking at $75 in parts and like Terry said 2.5 hours of labour.

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