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Thread: Is this cost estimate Reasonable? Repipe waste in crawlspace

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member DanMcD's Avatar
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    Default Is this cost estimate Reasonable? Repipe waste in crawlspace

    $8400 to replce all the cast sewer pipe im my crawl space and boot the connection outside of my foundation wall (which will require some outside digging)

    I have about 25ft of cast pipe for the main sewer sections, plus connections to: 2 baths; my 2 inch cast laundry room pipe; and the kitchen. They will replace the cast to the toilet in the main math but keep the copper drains in the 2nd bath. They also will replace the vent pipe to the roof.

    They said it would take almost 5 days (4 to 5) to do the work. For two guys (one master plumber and another), that would be $200/hr to pay the 2 workers

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with the per hour rate, but I question why it would take a whole week to do it, ESPECIALLY with two workers.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member DanMcD's Avatar
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    I do not know why it would take a week to do this. If it is less than a week, than the $200/hr rate is way off because the cost is mainly labor and schesule 40 pipe is relatively cheap. Maybe working in a crawl space and digging up the yard outsde to replace the cast pipe through the cinder block foundation wall is why.

    I did leave a few things off my prvious list since I did not think they would cost that much. They are:

    1) Replace two exterior faucets and the facet on my laundry tub inside the house.

    2) Inspect and replace any bad copper pipe for my water lines. There really is not that much copper here, and the plumber said that would add about $500 depending on how much there is to do.

    3) They will need to take off the main bathroom toilet to put in the new PVC flange in the floor. Then put the toilet back on.

    4) They will need to remove the main bathroom sink cabinet, then put it back on.

    5) The conection to the 2nd bath is to 3 inch copper (or is thta 4 ich>) and not to cast iron. I'm not sure the connection of scedule 40 3 inch to copper is more difficult.

    That is about it.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Your "oh by the way" list added about $2k !!!!!!!!!!

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I'll do it for $ 8,399.99
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I would get a couple of other estimates. Connecting to copper is NO MORE difficult than connecting to cast iron, and neither is all that difficult.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member DanMcD's Avatar
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    Update on my past thread: Is this cost estimate Reasonable?

    The plumbers are all done.

    What they did for $8400: (1) on the 1st day, it took two plumbers the whole day to replace all the cast under the crawlspace with schedule 40 PVC. (2) Then they ran a camera down to the street to inspect the old clay pipes. I saw for myself how bad they were. It is amazing I have not had a clog with all those tree roots I saw. Since I would also need to get the pipes to the street replaced, they the connection to my crawlspace pipe left for later. This connection would be done outside my foundation wall. (2) On the second day, they replaced two external house faucets, put in the new laundry tub faucet, replaced several copper water lines that were bad, and replaced a seal for one of the toilets. They did not have to remove all of the cast iron vent pipe that went up through my roof because it was in great condition. They also did not have to remove my bathroom vanity to get at any old cast pipe. So these two items should save me a little money on the final bill of $8400.

    For an additional. $6000, and two weeks late, the plumbers did the sewer line to the street. It was about 75-90 feet long and the depth varied from 3-10 feet. They did not have to dig up the steet becase the 8 feet of clay pipe under the street was clean an in great condition. During this job, the plumbers also made the connection through the foundation wall (part of the first job above). Schedule 40 was used through the foundation to the outside and then schedule SDR 35 was used to the street. All pipes were 4 inches.

    I now have a two foot tall pile of dirt along the trench they dug. They said it would sink over the winter. I sure hope so.

    All my plumbing problems are now solved, but it sure was very expensive. $14,000 total.

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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you are happy with the work. Hopefully, you did get more than one estimate.

    As for the price, I would of done the work myself for probably 10-20% of what you paid. However, it would have been for the enjoyment and challenge, not strictly because of economics. If you took the number of hours it would take me times the hourly rate I make working in my profession (as an employee), I would have more money in my pocket if I could work on a "side job" instead and pay someone else what you did for the work. On top of that, consider that you paid a business, not an employee...

    I'm not sure the ditch will settle two feet -- I'd guess more like six inches. Maybe you have different soil.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Here's a story that will make you feel better. When I was young, I decided to quit using my septic tank and connect to the main sewer and replace my 360 foot long water service. The nearest sewer line was 240 feet away. Materials were not very much. I hired a backhoe with operator and he dug all the ditching down my long driveway. The driveway was 300 feet long.

    The ditching was knocked out in a day, and I preceded to lay all the pipe, and make the connection to the main sewer. When the inspector came out, I was told to bed the entire 240 feet length of pipe with pea gravel.
    I had gravel dropped off at the end of my driveway, and spent hours every day after work, wheel barreling pea gravel down and up my long driveway. My driveway was two big hills; high on both ends and way low in the middle. The dirt that was lifted from the ditch was in piles and I had to navigate the hills of dirt with my wheel barrel, sometimes wheeling over the tops of them. If I had known about the p-gravel, I would at least have had the gravel dumped in the middle, or in several locations. My soil was all sand, much smaller granules then the the pea gravel that I was using to bed the pipe with. Oh, and in the low part of the driveway, I had some clay. When the Fall rains came, it started turning slick. Too slick to walk on with a wheel barrel.
    I was accessing my home by walking through the neighbors property, bringing in groceries that way too. I was parking my cars about five hundred feet from my front door step. Sad to say, I think this went on for weeks, and finally I decided that trying to "back fill" rain hardened dirt that long of a distance was too much. I brought in a dozer with operator and finally pushed all the dirt back in and graded the driveway. It was months before I could drive on it though. The mud that was pushed back in could no longer be driven on.

    I saved some money I guess, and when you are young, you have more time and patience then cent$.

    The whole project was started when my old galvanized water line was leaking to the house. I figured to kill two birds with one stone.
    I can laugh about it now.
    Last edited by Terry; 10-27-2012 at 12:03 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not exactly young -- 50 something. My wife and three year old are at the beach this weekend. I'll by in the crawl-space stapling romex to joists and a few other odds & ends. After the inspection on Monday, I can patch the swiss-cheesed drywall in the bedrooms and bathrooms.

    If I wasn't miserable doing this sort of thing, I'd go crazy from all that's going on a work, so I guess its worth it!?

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