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Thread: Reasonable cost of installing new water pressure bladder tank from well

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dmojr's Avatar
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    Default Reasonable cost of installing new water pressure bladder tank from well

    Recently had to replace bladder type water pressure tank from well.
    Plumber ordered and installed 50 gallon Flex Lite tank (disposing of the old tank).
    We were charged $1200. A friend questions this price as way too high.
    We got plumber on recommendation of neighbor and our new to this.
    Was this a reasonable price?

    Thank you.

    Dmojr

  2. #2

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    And Who is this friend to say what's right ? Friend a plumber ,plumbing estimator ? How many crews He running these days ???

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    It isn't hard to DIY. The proper question is how much does the tank cost? The rest is installation. It has been about 30 years since I had to do this when we were on a well, but the price sounds high to me. It ain't rocket science...

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    The proper question is how much does the tank cost?
    According to froogle, somewhere between $350 and $450.

    As for the labour part, depends on the hole he had to work in and pull the old dead tank out of. A 50 gallon tank with a busted bladder can get pretty heavy and not easy to drain. Then there's the cost of the truck roll.

    Oh! I forgot to factor shipping. It could add considerably to the price.
    Last edited by LLigetfa; 08-10-2012 at 04:59 AM. Reason: I forgot to factor shipping.

  5. #5

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    i don't usually comment on prices as i'm in Canada and prices are different....but... this doesn't sound too crazy to me...if they did a good job, everything works properly, and you're happy with it, then it's fair...no? maybe your friend should try paying the operating costs for a plumbing business and for skilled workers and then comment on the price...

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member dmojr's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your comments. It sounds like may have been a little on high side, but not unreasonable. The job was well done and in a timely fashion. Glad I joined the forum. Very helpful.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I do NOT give prices before starting the job, UNLESS they are high enough to cover ANY eventuality that might occur, which means, by definition, that it should be higher than the time and material price given at the conclusion of the job. WE do NOT know what the tank cost him, what his profit markup is, how long it took to install it, OR what materials he used, (and the cost of that material), therefore we have absolutely NOTHING to compare his price to.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    A good DIAPHRAGM USA tank from amazon delivered in that size is 449$ or so. Most anyone can change it in an hour or 2. assuming a "plumber" [Never call a plumber for well work - call the WELL man] and a kid, thats about $225$ an hour. Looks like you hired a lawyer.

    I can get my car transmission rebuilt for about 1200$. THAT takes some skill.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 08-13-2012 at 12:35 PM.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    A good DAPHRAGM USA tank from amazon delivered in that size is 449$ or so. Most anyone can change it in an hour or 2. assuming a "plumber" [Never call a plumber for well work - call the WELL man] and a kid, thats about $225$ an hour. Looks like you hired a lawyer.

    I can get my car transmission rebuilt for about 1200$. THAT takes some skill.
    Exactly. Way too much markup.

    Responding to earlier comments: It isn't that hard to get a tank out or empty it...anyone ever heard of making a hole or two in a tank that is being disposed of before you pull it? And from what I recall there is an air tap on the tank for charging...so if the diaphragm is shot you can still push the water out.

    And when it comes to the "truck roll" that's the part that is the most objectionable many times, particularly since the norm is for the plumbing truck/van to not being carrying the parts and tools needed for a scheduled/pre-planned job.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The cost of the tank and fittings has very little to do with the final price. 99% of plumbers base their pricing on the cost of doing business. There are often mitigating circumstances involved that folks not in the trades do not take into account. Discussing pricing on a forum such as this is futile exercise in speculation. Rebuilding your transmission does take some skill but in most states it does not require a 4 year apprenticeship and 8000 hours of OJT, neither does it require a license.

    Never call a plumber for well work? What planet do you live on? I don't know ANY plumbers in the area (and I know a lot of them) that don't do "well work" Well work IS plumbing. Where would you get the notion that the pump, piping, tank etc are not plumbing? You need a special license here to install pumps, tanks etc or you need a plumbing license. Guess which one trumps the other LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  11. #11
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    changing a water tank requires a 15 minute apprenticeship, a 4$ set of harbor fright tools, and 4 hours of OJT, and a few beers.

    I just wonder what a Plumber would do when he encouters this device in the pumphouse:

    http://www.electricmotorwholesale.com/SymCom-233P-ENCL/

    Plumbers dont know a ammeter, capacitor, relay, or multi meter from a Venetian opera. If they DO, they dont have the Franklin aim book in their truck, so its all shoot from the hip "Yah, time to pull it all out" to the waterless weepy home mom.

    Plumbers know pipe, solder, valves [well, some] and glue. And how to get a turd out of a 3" line. the WELL man stocks the tanks, and will be in and out in an hour. And an honest one will find an electrical issue 99% of the time when there is no water. Never met a plumber that could trouble shoot pump power and amp draw.

    The well and pump man is a surgeon. The plumber is the guy that puts the stitches in.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 08-13-2012 at 01:02 PM.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    changing a water tank requires a 15 minute apprenticeship, a 4$ set of harbor fright tools, and 4 hours of OJT, and a few beers.

    I just wonder what a Plumber would do when he encouters this device in the pumphouse:

    http://www.electricmotorwholesale.com/SymCom-233P-ENCL/

    Plumbers dont know a ammeter, capacitor, relay, or multi meter from a Venetian opera. If they DO, they dont have the Franklin aim book in their truck, so its all shoot from the hip "Yah, time to pull it all out" to the waterless weepy home mom.

    Plumbers know pipe, solder, valves [well, some] and glue. And how to get a turd out of a 3" line. the WELL man stocks the tanks, and will be in and out in an hour. And an honest one will find an electrical issue 99% of the time when there is no water. Never met a plumber that could trouble shoot pump power and amp draw.

    The well and pump man is a surgeon. The plumber is the guy that puts the stitches in.

    You need to get off the reservation a little more often. Either that or you are begining to believe Slusser's misguided rhetoric LOL I have 13 licensed plumbers working for me and they can all read and interpret a multi-meter as well as troubleshoot pumps and motors. Most don't have the Franklin Manual in the truck though and darn few other ones either because they all carry tablets and that stuff's all online. Pump savers have been around for quite awhile. Troubleshooting one is not particularly difficult either.

    You have it backward. The pump man is an unlicensed guy that may or may not know what he's doing. A plumber is licensed and has to know what he is doing to get his license. Every single plumbing textbook I have (and I think I have them all) has at least one chapter and most 3 that explain water pumps, tanks, switches etc. Most of us plumbers also work on heat and AC and we are very familiar with testing equipment and controls.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 08-13-2012 at 02:26 PM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  13. #13
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Pumps and wells have their own, well deserved license in most states. Sounds like Maine is the reservation. WELL pumps are way beyond the guy that spends 98% of his time fooling with pipe.

    If your plumber brings a industrial electrician with him, then I'd say the fix might get right. The plumbers around here just catch flys in their mouth when you ask them to troubleshoot a deep well pump. Unless he is really hungry and ethically bankrupt. Plumbers and painters - the bane of the trades. In these parts, "good plumber" is an oxymoron.

    I had sold a submersible pump to a friend, but she decided to let the 'plumber' hook it up. Not knowing how a franklin motor is wired, he scammed her for wire 3x larger than needed by the AIM book. Ton of cash up her kazoo. Never could get the controls right - had to go in and make it right. 50 bucks an hour and he deserved burger kings grill job.

  14. #14
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I'll let some of the other plumbers here have at you.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  15. #15
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Send the painters over too, but I don't think they know how to operate computers. Send me an honest plumber that will say "I don't fool with submersible pumps" Many of them cannot because its against the law.

    I mentioned I had a great well driller, and I have a incredible framer/mechanical contractor I use at times, but unless you have 13 dedicated sober plumbers in uniforms, [ who most likely are union, doing commercial and govt jobs] its off to the casino called the phone book for anyone in a small town.

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