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Thread: how much does copper tubing used my plumber to replace shower body cost?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dayexday's Avatar
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    Default how much does copper tubing used my plumber to replace shower body cost?

    when plumber replaced shower body, he maybe cut a foot and a half of copper tubing and used some pre-assembled curved copper tubing to connect the new shower valve to the old pipes. He didn't really use any other material (other than caulk etc). He charged me 50 dollars for "materials". I'm paying the guy anyway but just curious as to if that's a reasonable amount to charge.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    He also used flux, 95% silver solder, emery cloth, some rags, gas in the torch, etc. None of that sruff is free. Most companies in ANY trade have to build in a charge for such materials in some way. Your auto mechanic probably adds a small line item for "shop materials" etc.

    Copper pipe is sold by the 10' piece, not by the foot. Luckily he probably had a few pieces of scrap laying around so did not have to charge you for the whole 10'; but those ells are not free either,

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    This is a classic example of why I went to flat rate pricing 10 years ago. Those questions never come up anymore.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I went to flat rate pricing 10 years ago

    Correct. You hide the $50.00 overcharge in the flat rate. If what the poster states is correct, then there was absolutely no way the materials would sell for $ 50.00, and "shop items" are usually a percentage of the reasonable cost. Garages add a "fudge factor" of about 2% to cover them. Maybe he does math like the cartoon strip this week where the girl charged $2.00 tax on a $1.59 burger and then told him he did not understand the math.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Well, no not really because there is a set price for installing the shower valve that covers the cost of materials and even if it had taken more or less copper or fittings the price is the same.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I don't break out all the parts when I bill. If I'm charging by the hour, just the time to assemble the list of fittings, and then find pricing on everything keeps me from getting to my next job or project. I used some stuff, and after a while I determine a good average of what the jobs take. This job, I've done it enough times that to keep going back to the pricing and changing it by a few bucks up and down, when I'm losing time that could be billed on the next job just doesn't make sense.

    It's also a shorter conversation.
    "How much to do this?"
    Bam! Normally it runs $XXX.XX
    Okay! Let's do this thing!

    Just try to get pricing for a sandwich next time you go to lunch. Ain't going to happen.

    Say I'm installing a toilet, yes I know........
    I can use eight different supply lines, several ways of doing the seal, and perhaps three styles of closet bolts.
    I may shim, I may not shim. I dispose of the old toilet. I may be close to the waste recycle, I may not, and the weight of it may vary, so my cost to dump changes.

    Way, way too much thinking. Just get it done!

    If I'm speaking in front of a group, do I charge more if I'm more eloquent?
    Or is it better to be tight and concise?
    Last edited by Terry; 10-27-2012 at 04:06 PM.

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