Author Topic: We don't need no stinking plumbers  (Read 1911 times)

Duke03

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We don't need no stinking plumbers
« on: November 20, 2018, 06:24:53 PM »
My sister called me this morning and I could hear the panic in her voice.  For a second I thought something was wrong with my mom.  She said real quick my hot water heater died and the plumper is telling me it will be $1900 to replace it.  I laughed and told her to tell him to pound sand.  Mind you the water heater is in the garage.  So 3 wires and two water pipes.  She called around and the lowest she could find was $1400.  I guess I should start a plumbing business.  Long story short I told her I'd go buy a water heater the parts she needs and change it out for her like a good little brother.  I just can't stand to watch my sister get taken advantage of.  I use to do plumbing, but that was close to 15 years ago.  Anyways got her back up in running with a new water heater and all new piping for $476.  She insisted on writing me a check for $700 which I told her she didn't need to do, but oh well I'll just turn around and spend it on her kids for Christmas. 

I guess in the end I'm kind of glad I grew up dirt poor.  I learned how to fix things aka plumbing, electrical, a/c and mechanic work because there was no other choice.  There was never enough money to pay someone else to do it that's for sure.  I just can't see how these plumbing companies get away with charging close to $1000 for at most 2hrs of work.

beekayworld

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 09:43:27 AM »
Good job! And good brother!

Plumbing companies charge more than a handyman because of the "showing up" factor.  A lot of handymen know how to do certain jobs and will charge a reasonable rate, but will not show up in the time window or even on the day they promised.

One example: my ex-husband's secretary's husband was hired to paint our house.  He had worked for a company but decided he could work for himself and make more money.  Problem was he didn't have the work ethic or management skills or something to show up regularly.

Since it was exterior,  I didn't nag him for the first couple of months (yes, months) after he'd started the job and left his ladders, radio, etc around the house.

But then it was 1)his mailbox was full (had to go through his wife) 2) his horse died 3) there was a hail storm and his neighbor's fence was down....I think this may have involved livestock 4) Had to bail a buddy out of jail  5)his truck broke down...

When I sold a house in 2007, the realtor recommended a handyman for some interior painting and other assorted jobs.  He loved some of my furniture so we made a deal of the work in exchange for the furniture. He came with a crew and stayed until midnight getting it all done.

Then...crickets! Neither I nor the realtor could reach him to either give him the furniture or pay him.  She didn't have his address. His cell went to voicemail and eventually mailbox was full.  We couldn't find him on the internet.

The house was on the market for 6 months.  I had the same phone number for 8 years.  He was just gone.  He never came back by my house or called me. I used to check obituaries but didn't find him. It's a mystery.

There's an old adage about handymen: You can have 2 of these 3 virtues but never ALL: 1. Shows up when he said he would 2.Does good work 3.Doesn't charge an arm and a leg.

#2 good work is the most important to me and then I vary between #1 and #3. For a plumbing issue, I will use a "phone book" company. One with a website, phone number, Yelp reviews, sometimes a guarantee of arrival time (Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Dallas gave a credit if the arrival window wasn't met).  For something less urgent, I will be laid-back about the time/day if I'm going to be around the house anyway.


simplyjay

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 07:40:51 PM »
Good job! And good brother!

Plumbing companies charge more than a handyman because of the "showing up" factor.  A lot of handymen know how to do certain jobs and will charge a reasonable rate, but will not show up in the time window or even on the day they promised.

One example: my ex-husband's secretary's husband was hired to paint our house.  He had worked for a company but decided he could work for himself and make more money.  Problem was he didn't have the work ethic or management skills or something to show up regularly.

Since it was exterior,  I didn't nag him for the first couple of months (yes, months) after he'd started the job and left his ladders, radio, etc around the house.

But then it was 1)his mailbox was full (had to go through his wife) 2) his horse died 3) there was a hail storm and his neighbor's fence was down....I think this may have involved livestock 4) Had to bail a buddy out of jail  5)his truck broke down...

When I sold a house in 2007, the realtor recommended a handyman for some interior painting and other assorted jobs.  He loved some of my furniture so we made a deal of the work in exchange for the furniture. He came with a crew and stayed until midnight getting it all done.

Then...crickets! Neither I nor the realtor could reach him to either give him the furniture or pay him.  She didn't have his address. His cell went to voicemail and eventually mailbox was full.  We couldn't find him on the internet.

The house was on the market for 6 months.  I had the same phone number for 8 years.  He was just gone.  He never came back by my house or called me. I used to check obituaries but didn't find him. It's a mystery.

There's an old adage about handymen: You can have 2 of these 3 virtues but never ALL: 1. Shows up when he said he would 2.Does good work 3.Doesn't charge an arm and a leg.

#2 good work is the most important to me and then I vary between #1 and #3. For a plumbing issue, I will use a "phone book" company. One with a website, phone number, Yelp reviews, sometimes a guarantee of arrival time (Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Dallas gave a credit if the arrival window wasn't met).  For something less urgent, I will be laid-back about the time/day if I'm going to be around the house anyway.


haha wow is this true. i had to knock the door down tonight just to get a hold of my handy man.. he just goes missing for weeks on end and leaves me in the air.  any suggestions on how to go about finding another one? lol

simplyjay

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 07:42:05 PM »
My sister called me this morning and I could hear the panic in her voice.  For a second I thought something was wrong with my mom.  She said real quick my hot water heater died and the plumper is telling me it will be $1900 to replace it.  I laughed and told her to tell him to pound sand.  Mind you the water heater is in the garage.  So 3 wires and two water pipes.  She called around and the lowest she could find was $1400.  I guess I should start a plumbing business.  Long story short I told her I'd go buy a water heater the parts she needs and change it out for her like a good little brother.  I just can't stand to watch my sister get taken advantage of.  I use to do plumbing, but that was close to 15 years ago.  Anyways got her back up in running with a new water heater and all new piping for $476.  She insisted on writing me a check for $700 which I told her she didn't need to do, but oh well I'll just turn around and spend it on her kids for Christmas. 

I guess in the end I'm kind of glad I grew up dirt poor.  I learned how to fix things aka plumbing, electrical, a/c and mechanic work because there was no other choice.  There was never enough money to pay someone else to do it that's for sure.  I just can't see how these plumbing companies get away with charging close to $1000 for at most 2hrs of work.

you both won! good job man nothing like someone reliable in the family. plumbers and electricians are out of control with their prices... i don't understand how they base their prices on jobs.

anonymouscow

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 07:11:34 AM »
Did you need a permit and/or have it inspected?

Not sure if there is any truth to this, but I heard some places if they see a water heater outside of your house on trash day they will check and see if you had a permit to replace it.

AM43

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 09:02:27 AM »
I've replaced at least half a dozen water heaters on my own, both electric and natural gas.
I don't understand how plumbing companies charge so much.
Its no more than 2-3 hours job at most and even at $120 per hour should not cost more than $360 + water heater.
Depending on water heater you choose, 40-50 gal tank, its $900 tops.
Not sure where they get this $1400-$1900 numbers from.

J Boogie

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 03:53:49 PM »
The market creates these rates for plumbers. They're in demand for bigger projects, so this one-off 2-3 hour job isn't worth the administrative and logistical opportunity cost for them to make room in their busy schedule unless they can bill accordingly.

Also, if they're union guys, they probably have a rule that two of them are needed to carry a water heater down into a basement with stairs that probably don't meet code but got grandfathered in.



Duke03

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 06:27:19 PM »
Did you need a permit and/or have it inspected?

Not sure if there is any truth to this, but I heard some places if they see a water heater outside of your house on trash day they will check and see if you had a permit to replace it.

I'm smarter than the average bear....that water heater disappeared quicker than the shrimp on an all you can eat buffet.....

Versatile

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2019, 09:30:33 PM »
Did you need a permit and/or have it inspected?

Not sure if there is any truth to this, but I heard some places if they see a water heater outside of your house on trash day they will check and see if you had a permit to replace it.

I'm smarter than the average bear....that water heater disappeared quicker than the shrimp on an all you can eat buffet.....

You are my kind of people right there. Bravo.

ilsy

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 12:52:49 PM »
Did you need a permit and/or have it inspected?

Not sure if there is any truth to this, but I heard some places if they see a water heater outside of your house on trash day they will check and see if you had a permit to replace it.
In my area installation of water heater has to be permitted and inspected, and you can't pull a permit unless you have a master plumber license. I don't know the exact process, since I'm not a master plumber or a plumber for that matter, but a master plumber has to pass some exams, I think, on an annual basis, be registered and bonded with the city and staff like that. So, for a plumbing company to have a master plumber on staff is not free, plus add permit fees (not much, but still), add inspection fees, plus add that they actually give a warranty on installation. So, I do see how a plumbing company might come up with some high numbers. Look at it like at a clinic that has to have some specialist doctor on staff to get prescriptions and orders signed.

I have never installed a water heater in my personal property or in any of my rentals. First, I'm not good at soldering copper gas pipes. And, second, I don't want to have a headache of trying to get it permitted after it has been installed for several years, so I can sell the property.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2019, 01:05:15 PM »
Did you need a permit and/or have it inspected?

Not sure if there is any truth to this, but I heard some places if they see a water heater outside of your house on trash day they will check and see if you had a permit to replace it.
In my area installation of water heater has to be permitted and inspected, and you can't pull a permit unless you have a master plumber license. I don't know the exact process, since I'm not a master plumber or a plumber for that matter, but a master plumber has to pass some exams, I think, on an annual basis, be registered and bonded with the city and staff like that. So, for a plumbing company to have a master plumber on staff is not free, plus add permit fees (not much, but still), add inspection fees, plus add that they actually give a warranty on installation. So, I do see how a plumbing company might come up with some high numbers. Look at it like at a clinic that has to have some specialist doctor on staff to get prescriptions and orders signed.

I have never installed a water heater in my personal property or in any of my rentals. First, I'm not good at soldering copper gas pipes. And, second, I don't want to have a headache of trying to get it permitted after it has been installed for several years, so I can sell the property.

I've installed a couple water heaters. Never soldered a copper pipe in my life. I've also never owned a home with copper pipes, but if you've got them, SharkBite fittings are a godsend. Never lived in a place where a permit was required for water heater installation either. It's about as simple as a plumbing job gets, unless you're in a tight space. Just be sure to flip the breaker before you go mucking with the wiring (as always).

ilsy

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Re: We don't need no stinking plumbers
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2019, 01:53:35 PM »
Did you need a permit and/or have it inspected?

Not sure if there is any truth to this, but I heard some places if they see a water heater outside of your house on trash day they will check and see if you had a permit to replace it.
In my area installation of water heater has to be permitted and inspected, and you can't pull a permit unless you have a master plumber license. I don't know the exact process, since I'm not a master plumber or a plumber for that matter, but a master plumber has to pass some exams, I think, on an annual basis, be registered and bonded with the city and staff like that. So, for a plumbing company to have a master plumber on staff is not free, plus add permit fees (not much, but still), add inspection fees, plus add that they actually give a warranty on installation. So, I do see how a plumbing company might come up with some high numbers. Look at it like at a clinic that has to have some specialist doctor on staff to get prescriptions and orders signed.

I have never installed a water heater in my personal property or in any of my rentals. First, I'm not good at soldering copper gas pipes. And, second, I don't want to have a headache of trying to get it permitted after it has been installed for several years, so I can sell the property.

I've installed a couple water heaters. Never soldered a copper pipe in my life. I've also never owned a home with copper pipes, but if you've got them, SharkBite fittings are a godsend. Never lived in a place where a permit was required for water heater installation either. It's about as simple as a plumbing job gets, unless you're in a tight space. Just be sure to flip the breaker before you go mucking with the wiring (as always).
If they are permitted by the code of our city. I have recently witnessed how my plumbing inspector was checking the numbers on my pex fittings to make sure they were the correct type even though they looked like the correct type. Long story short, I have a new found respect for my master plumber. Those inspectors are a pain. One time we accidentally screwed a durock screw into a hot water pipe supplying the shower head in the bathtub, and off course, we had no idea until all fixtures were installed and walls closed and tiled. And at the very moment of truth when we opened the hot water, we got a strong fountain coming from the upper floor. My master plumber put a fitting in order to fix the hole, but said that this fitting is totally fine to use in Colorado, but isn't permitted in our city. I was fine with him using it, since the only way to see that fitting would be when the walls are open, and it saved time and effort of redoing all hot water supply lines to the shower head.