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Thread: Reroute Pipe What is Reasonable

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member johJones's Avatar
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    Default Reroute Pipe What is Reasonable

    I have a leaky pipe in my wall the plumber discovered the location and was able to stop the leaking. He said it was from a copper pipe that comes out of the slab. I took the first plumber I called on since I had no experience with such plumbing issue. I was freaked out about this happening in my house.

    What is reasonable price to pay for the reroute of this pipe?

    Pipe has to be routed from a laundry room through a small bathroom to the wall in the bedroom that backs to the bathroom. The bathroom is between the bedroom and laundry room.

    Here are some photos of the job:

    https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=8f4c2...77CBC2E4%21228

    Thank you.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Trying to price a job, after it has been done, is a "fool's task", because we have absolutely no idea how complex the job was. Pictures ALWAYS make a job look easy. He had to figure out WHICH pipe was leaking so he could disconnect both ends, then determine a route for the new pipe. ALL of that is labor intensive and does not show up in the photos.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    How much did you pay?

    Also, in the future get more than 1 bid, even though some bids may leave the door open for unforeseen difficulties.

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    DIY Senior Member houptee's Avatar
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    Also keep in mind was it an emergency job on a weekend or an evening?
    You said it was a leak.
    It could have caused more expensive property damage to your home if he did not stop it quickly.
    Isn't that worth whatever you paid him?

    What do you do for a living and what do you charge others for your services?

    If you work for someone else, what do you get paid a year for your salary or per hour?
    Do you have any benefits paid by your employer that increase your net salary such as 401k matching, health insurance, life insurance, paid holidays, paid vacation days, paid sick days, travel expenses reimbursement?

    Keep all this in mind when you feel a self-employed tradesman is charging you too much per hour.

    His overhead expenses include: advertising in the yellow pages or wherever you found his name, the insurance on his truck, maintenance of his truck, gas to drive his truck to your house and back to the supply house to get parts, liability insurance, accountant fees, tools, continuing education classes to keep his plumbing license valid, cost of his annual state plumbing license, cell phone, office supplies, and the original cost of his years of training to become a plumber if he attended a vo-tech school.

    Probably a lot more expenses I missed.

    So after deducting all of those costs what did he have left in his pocket as his actual profit?

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member johJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    How much did you pay?

    Also, in the future get more than 1 bid, even though some bids may leave the door open for unforeseen difficulties.
    Yes I would have preferred to get bids. However, I was out of town and my wife was home alone, and I think she kind of got charged very high for this project. The leak was found and stopped within 4 hours time with 4 cuts in the drywall, 3 laundry room and 1 bed room. The reroute took perhaps 1.5 hours with no additional cutting to drywall.

    I am not sure what plumbers charge, but I would assume about $100 per hour plus parts. Is that the going rate? The only parts that were used is whatever is needed to cap the line coming out of the slab to stop leak, and then reroute it with a flexible plastic tube.

    So I was just curious what it would have cost had my wife gotten bids. It seems this would cost about $800 max. Am I off on that?

    Plumber wrote Cold Side 3/4 in copper water line broken under slab. Owner opted to eliminate 3/4 cold line from slab and reroute 3/4 cold line. Otherwise it would have involved demo concrete, expose the line, and make repairs.

    All work was done on Dec 23 and no dry wall repair was done, just plumbing.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by johJones; 12-25-2013 at 10:15 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member johJones's Avatar
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    Thanks and I agree with all that. I am not saying that a plumber should not charge and make a profit, I was just trying to figure out what was reasonable had my wife gotten bids. I have no idea at this point, perhaps I got an excellent deal. Thanks.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Bids could have been all over the map. Especially if it was bid "before" the problem line was located. I'm sure you had some travel time in there too. Time getting there is time they aren't working for somebody else. I sometimes find I've had a thirty minute phone call before I even get in the truck. Time winds up being used in so many ways. If you have ten people come out and bid, that's nine plumbers that wasted their billable hours. We either have to decide which calls we make to prevent the waste of our resources, or make up for it on the calls we do get. When I get people that want me to run out there and give them a bid on what I consider a "service call", I have a tendency to beg off. if it's a service call and I show up, I'm getting paid.
    Customers I have worked for that understand my ethics, I put out special effort for them. They just say, "Come!"

    I wish doctors were as successful at repairing things. I've had a lot better luck with tradesmen then doctors.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-25-2013 at 10:56 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a "free service call" when you have someone come out and look at doing a repair. I charge for my time and then I will probably give a little credit off the final invoice.

    I also come to the job with a truck that holds as much as I can fit into it, that way I can do the job RIGHT NOW which most of the time keeps the customer from getting a 2nd or 3rd bid.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Some jobs are almost impossible to give a "good" estimate ahead of time, and this job would have been one of them. There would be absolutely NO WAY to tell, ahead of time, how long it would take to diagnose the problem, much less how long it would take to fix it, since he would NOT know which line was involved or how it could be repaired or rerouted. ANY "solid" estimate would have had to incorporate so many "ifs" that it would have been ridiculously high. If he itemized the invoice, which I would have, you would know how much time he spent and how much he charged per hour. I tell customer's it would cost almost as much to give an estimate for a repair as it does to do the job, unless it is a major reconstruction.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Keep all this in mind when you feel a self-employed tradesman is charging you too much per hour.

    As my wife says, "Everytime a contractor goes out of business, the next week you see 6 new plumbing companies with magnetic signs on their truck doors". All the former employees want to make the "big bucks" their employer did, and think they can 'undercut' what he charged to do it. And when you start calling the plumbers in the Yellow Pages, half of them are out of business.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The little fishes all trying to swim in the same little pond. Lol

    Our prices are roughly double what the station wagon crowd is quoting but for the price the customer gets unwavering quality and excellence. We refuse to install or use many of the cheapo plastic crap products that other plumbers embrace. We will not install PEX, CSST, AAV 's, flexible supply tubes, plastic pipe hangers and the list goes on and on. We also guarantee everything we sell and do and have been in business since 1956.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Senior Member houptee's Avatar
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    Why no PEX or CSST Tom?
    Just curious if you had seen problems with it.
    My neighbor just demolished his house and built a new one after Sandy and the plumber piped everything with PEX off a manifold and CSST for all the gas.
    Other neighbor across the street gutted and rehabbed his old house, same thing over there all PEX and CSST, different plumber did the job tho.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    They use PEX and CSST because it is fast and cheap. Also the installer does not need more than a sixth grade education to put it in. Just has to know red is hot, blue is cold, and yellow is gas.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member houptee's Avatar
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    Oh I was under the impression that PEX was now used because it is superior to copper in many ways.
    Such as:
    It is color coded to speed correct installation and aid in diagnostic work.
    It can cost effectively be used for individual branch runs for better pressure throughout the house that can be isolated from a central distribution manifold.
    It requires less fittings inside walls that can leak.
    Its more resistant to freezing and bursting.
    No torches in tight spots inside wood frame structures, crawlspaces, attics etc.
    No crappy water soluble flux or lead free solder that flows like crap or wire brushing/emery cloth needed to make a joint.
    PEX comes on rolls that are very lightweight so less chance of workplace injuries transporting it climbing on a ladder or up stairs, one guy can unload the entire truckload of material himself.
    Its way cheaper than copper per foot.

    Whats the cons of PEX as a material itself (not your opinion of the education needed) other than protecting it from UV light and from nails striking it?

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    DIY Senior Member kcodyjr's Avatar
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    PEX is vulnerable to rodents' teeth.

    It's also got much thicker walls, resulting in crappy inner diameter and thus higher water velocity for the same flow rate, magnifying any unarrested water hammer effects. Although the material itself tolerates expansion reasonably well, the typical barb-and-ring fittings really don't seem to like it.

    I can only get two sizes, 1/2" and 3/4", from the local HD or Lowe's. The half inch has an inner diameter more like 1/4", and so IMO is only useful for a bathroom sink. The 3/4" is more like 1/2", maybe a hair bigger, but still insufficient for multiple major fixtures. Basically, all-PEX systems only behave well when you do use a manifold with dedicated branch lines, and no tees.

    I'm not saying PEX doesn't have its proper applications, but it's not a miracle product. For example, IMO it's suitable for single remote fixtures, especially where heat loss is a concern, such as a wet bar in the man-cave over the garage. I don't like it at center of the system, and I'd only consider using it for distribution with an expandable 3/4" manifold.

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