(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Here is the problem, and here is how much $$$ to fix..is this fair?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Hailo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    4

    Default Here is the problem, and here is how much $$$ to fix..is this fair?

    a couple of days ago, i seeked advice on a bad odor smell that is backing up in my tub drain and toilet. i got a plumber out today. he ran a snake line thru the main line. he asked me to flush some paper down the toilet so he can see if it comes out. nothing happened. water is just trickling down the waste line. he ran a camera from the outside all the way to the inside of the house and said there was a "breakage". he quoted $7,000 to dig a tunnel underneath the slab and replace the broken pipe and hang it. is this a fair price or am i being way over charged?

    thanks for ur opinions.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    There is no way we can give you a real answer to this question. Labor costs vary greatly from place to place and there is no way to tell what problems may be encountered. What might be a fair price in one place, might be very low in another and very high somewhere else. Your best course of action is to get at least 3 estimates, making sure each estimate is for the same amount of work and materials. Be very suspect if one estimate is either very much lower or very much higher. Too low may indicate the contractor isn't very experienced, too high might mean the guy really doesn't want the job but will do it for premium money. Experienced contractors should be fairly close.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default

    We don't even know if his diagnosis is correct, at least until we see a copy of the video inspection. My initial reaction, using your description, is that he MAY be trying to pay off his truck with the money he wants to charge you. A "broken line" would NOT cause an odor at your toilet and tub, or almost anywhere else.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Hailo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    thanks for u guys' opinions. i will have another guy come out and get another quote. i dont know about forum rules on naming company but was i suppose to get a copy of the video of the broken pipe? this company is one of the larger business company...not sure if they specialize in tunnelling.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default

    The size of the company is not relevent. The ability of the guy you had there, and his integrity, is what will determine whether you get "taken" or not. There are a lot of plumbers who use their "expertise" as an excuse to perform expensive, but needless, work in order to make their paycheck look better at the end of the week, and they can be in ANY company.

  6. #6
    George the Plumber Gsalet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Price is not as important as doing the job correctly and safely. Not to mention does he have insurance in case the floor collapses, I would suggest checking references, BBB and your local State License board.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default

    The floor is NOT going to "collapse", but the important thing is to verify that the work is necessary in the first place. Get a second opinion even if you have to pay for it. I have my video inspections done by a company that only does that, and recommend that others do the same, so that the company can be completely objective, and has no vested interest in trying to find something that is not there.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Hailo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    hi. thx for the suggestions. i did get another technician that was recommended by a coworker of mine. the price was less than half. he was more informative and was more thorough. he is with BBB and is licensed and insured. he even made me a recording of the plumbing of my house. the only thing is..is it common for a company to sub contract it to another company? i mean, he had a group of ppl (under a diff company name that couldn"t speak english) to dig up the trench and remove the damage pipe. so far he is yet to get his hands dirty. so i asked if he was going to be the one to install the new pipe and he told me "yes".

    the 3 guys dug the hole in 3hrs. they were piolite and did a good job. today they should be finished with everything. i did go underneath the house to check out the broken pipe. i had a better appreciation for plumbers after that.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,412

    Default

    A plumber's hourly rate (all things being fair) SHOULD be higher than a ditch digger, at least in our society. Doesn't make one or the other a better person, but in our society, we tend to pay more for schooling, skill, experience, and knowledge. Why would a plumber spend his time doing a manual unskilled labor job he can get done for much less. My guess is that it is one reason why you got a better price. Paying a plumber something like $100/hour verses maybe $20/hour (rates depend a lot on where you live) just makes sense for both of you. While that trench is being dug, he can be making his $100/hour, you save money, are happier, and give good references.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

Similar Threads

  1. Fair price for a slab leak repair
    By jag_man653 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-23-2010, 08:16 AM
  2. what's fair?
    By sbjoe1 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-05-2010, 02:03 PM
  3. What is the fair solution?
    By spokane in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-26-2009, 09:00 AM
  4. No air ? flush no fair
    By Lo Flo Jo in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-12-2009, 09:59 AM
  5. Fair practice?
    By drdodson in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 10-29-2005, 04:19 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •