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Thread: Plumbers

  1. #1
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Why are plumbers so expensive? my house was built in 1958 and of course needs lots of repair. I got an estimate for $3800.00. the dishwasher started all this. it wouldn't empty. our pipes were all clogged. he had to cut one out and run a new one and put in a new garbage disposal, etc. It was an all day job. it ended up costing $2900.00.
    now my water heater is going out and of course there is a pipe pushing on the heater exhaust and other things and that estimate is $3000.00.
    I'm not working and living on SS and unemployment.sigh.
    I'm going to go to Home Depot or Lowes and see what they have in water heaters and if they install.
    goodness, I can't afford this house!!

  2. #2
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    Oh, dear. It does seem like when one thing needs fixing, a whole lot of other things break down.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Home ownership is not all it's cracked up to be. I call ours the money pit!

  4. #4
    Super Member CAROLJ's Avatar
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    Your costs seem high, can you get another bid? If you are over 65 sometimes the city will help get the work done for a reduced fee. I know they do in my area.

  5. #5
    Pam
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    Super Member Pam's Avatar
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    My husband is a police officer. My brother is a plumber. Brother makes over 4X as much as hubby, go figure.

  6. #6
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    The prices do seem High! You might check w/your local utility co. at times rebates, and help w/replacement
    appliances. Worth a try!

  7. #7
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    New appliances and old pipes just don't work together. I had the same problem when I got a new washer. Plumers in my area charge $85.00 for service call.

  8. #8
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Why? Because no one wants to deal with crap. Seriously.

    $3000 for the water heater sounds way too high.

  9. #9
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    One of my friends told me it was because a plumber deals with a bunch of crap. I figure I better learn to hold my breath and use a wrench.

  10. #10
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I always get 3 quotes and ask millions of questions...I would also check out the different ranges of water heaters. See which is the most efficient and uses less power/fuel...could save some money in the long term.

    Depending on the kind of heater you have, it may be repairable...doesn't hurt to ask before you commit to a big spend.

  11. #11
    quiltilicious's Avatar
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    If it's just a water heater, it does sound too expensive. If they have to replace a bunch of pipes, it's not.

    I spent 5400 on a new boiler 2 months ago, right after the plumber finished putting in a new bathroom for me in the attic, running new pipes to the third floor, and you don't want to know what THAT cost - and that's with my brother-in-law running the drain pipes with my DH (BIL is a plumber, but he didn't have time to finish the job for us because he had too much overtime at his real job).

  12. #12
    Super Member CAROLJ's Avatar
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    We're replacing a water heater with an instant on one, and that includes new pipes and the WH and that is only 1,500. I don't know what the trades are charging there, but their prices have gone down here.

  13. #13
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Being divorced and owning my own home, I cant afford anyone to fix stuff so I am trying to learn on my own. I think the WORST is plumbing.....even sink and bathtub drain stink to high heaven when you clean them. Sticking your hand down the toilet isnt fun....I guess I'd charge alot for that, too, lol.
    The hot water heater seems high though, but it takes along time to do. Or maybe it was just us, we didnt know what we were doing!

  14. #14
    quiltilicious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAROLJ
    We're replacing a water heater with an instant on one, and that includes new pipes and the WH and that is only 1,500. I don't know what the trades are charging there, but their prices have gone down here.
    the on-demand water heater prices are completely dependent on flow rate. the more hot water you need, the more expensive it gets. We paid 1500 just for the heater - didn't include installation or pipes or the gas line. (I learned a whole lot about HVAC, electric, carpentry and plumbing with the last renovation project we did here).

  15. #15
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    Thanks CarolJ. That's good to know. And my husband thinks we only discuss quilting.

  16. #16
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    Also, before getting a water heater, check into which ones qualify for the energy tax rebate. May as well get some of the money back at tax time if you can! Here is a link:

    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...edits.tx_index

    I'm so sorry to hear about your plumbing problems! Yucky!

  17. #17
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    please keep us updated

  18. #18
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Please check around that seems extremely HIGH :shock: I realize things cost different in other areas but around here 50 gallon gas water heaters run around $300.00

  19. #19
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan
    Why are plumbers so expensive? my house was built in 1958 and of course needs lots of repair. I got an estimate for $3800.00. the dishwasher started all this. it wouldn't empty. our pipes were all clogged. he had to cut one out and run a new one and put in a new garbage disposal, etc. It was an all day job. it ended up costing $2900.00.
    now my water heater is going out and of course there is a pipe pushing on the heater exhaust and other things and that estimate is $3000.00.
    I'm not working and living on SS and unemployment.sigh.
    I'm going to go to Home Depot or Lowes and see what they have in water heaters and if they install.
    goodness, I can't afford this house!!
    Thats crazy! When our water heaters went (grandpa owns the apartment building and the heaters went at the same time) I believe they paid about 600.00 a water heater. Of course this is Chicago and prices vary by location. But a Whirlpool water heater is about 600.00 at Lowes. Plus they may deliver and install.

  20. #20
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i got another estimate on water heater and pipes he must reroute and valves that need replacing. $3000.00.
    most of that is labor. water heaters I saw were $300 to $500 and the regulator valve he quoted $600.00 for can be purchased in a plumbing shop for $57.00!!
    i may call another plumber to fix the "now leaking" shut off valve and needed by code regulator and see what price they quote me. i hate leaving plumbers alone in my house because before they leave, something is always leaking that wasn't when they arrived!!!
    and yes, i'm going to Lowe's for a water heater!

  21. #21
    Super Member QBeth's Avatar
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    Be carefull if you use Home Depot (and probably Lowe's) for installation; there have been some real horror stories.

    You might also want to check with your utility company. Some will "rent" a water heater to you for low $$$ fee that includes repairs if anthing goes wrong.

    As for something new leaking after a plumber's visit, it may be the plumber but it could also be repairs/changes made in one area increase water flow/pressure that blows out older connections. Just a thought.

    Best of luck with this! My house is 1962 and I'm always wondering what will go next.

  22. #22
    quiltilicious's Avatar
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    One of my previous homes was a 150 year old farmhouse, that had copper and iron pipes, and well water that had a lot of minerals in it. the copper/iron combination acted like a battery, and the iron pipes filled with rust (and looked like the arteries of a heart attack victim!) and I had to replace ALL of them. I had to replace the pressure tank for the well pump a couple of times.

    My current home is 95 years old, and the plumbing has been redone at least once since being built. When the house was first built, it used coal to fire the steam-heat boiler, and also a coal-burning stove in the kitchen (we still have the original blueprints, that's how I know).

  23. #23
    Beginner64's Avatar
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    You should be able to go to Home Depot and buy the best water heater and they might sub contract the instalation for you. Also move the pipe that is resting on your exhaust for said water heater all for under 1,000 dollars.

  24. #24
    Super Member Alu_Rathbone's Avatar
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    The apartment building we have is from the fifties. We have things that need to be fixed, and no one can afford it. We had the electricity brought up to code (switch box instead of fuses) and our next job is getting windows done. At some point we will need the foundation fixed, floors replaced, and the garage replaced.

    We are doing things one at a time... my grandfather keeps talking about windows, so I have a feeling that's next. Plus theres a possibility that we will be moving into his apartment if my aunt leaves, which means repainting our apartment and what not so that it can be rented out.

  25. #25
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    You should always check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) for people with grievences.

    Does anyone know if plumbers are licensed? If yes, make sure the person has one. My father is a lawyer and I've learned a few things by listening over the years (don't tell him, he might send me a bill):

    1. Never pay up front. There have been a lot of people who get rooked with half-done work or worse and the plumber refuses to finish.
    2. Never sign anything until you are satisfied with the work.
    3. It is best to put in writing (like a contract of sorts) what is expected before the job starts, get a legitimate estimate on paper (not just some verbal yada yada)
    4. If the person is charging you for more than what was on the estimate and agreed upon, there must be some sort of explanation and receipts for parts.

    You get the idea. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it has saved a lot of people a lot of money in the long run. I have to say that I've only had one person refuse to these terms and later learned they were a "fly by night" type of contractor.

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