Plumber coming tomorrow; my late husband used to do ALL these type repairs/remodels..

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jenraider72, May 13, 2014.

  1. jenraider72

    jenraider72 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New Jersey
    20140513_204256.jpg 20140514_113310.jpg 20140514_113321.jpg 20140514_113342.jpg 20140514_113333.jpg View attachment 24773 View attachment 24774 View attachment 24775 View attachment 24776 View attachment 24777

    UPDATE
    ***Job is done... First pic is before, rest are after job completed He did it in less than an hour; used the water hose I had and it looks like he put the same p trap and nuts back on but I guess that doesn't matter. Total cost for job which I said I'd pay cash for: $225.00. That's a lot better than the first estimate, and it is the easier route rather than the "raising the t through the wall" route. If I get some water up through the drain when the dishwasher runs,which he said would likely happen, I really don't care, as long as it isn't damaging anything. I think it was fair and I think he should hopefully be happy making that for less than an hour of work. Pictures above of finished work as well.*****



    So, my husband was a mason by trade-union member since early 80s and he could do basically anything as far as home/auto repair. He also redid many areas of the house such as the basement, master bed/bathroom etc. He did all his work without cutting corners and everything looks professional. He passed away 2 months ago after a year long battle with cancer. Now i find myself in a foreign situation in that i need a plumber, as I will not ask anyone for help since my husband was the one who everyone called when they needed something fixed because he could do it all. We never asked for help. So I will pay. I got a great deal on a dishwasher and paid for it with installation. The old unit in the house was here from before my husband bought the house from his parents, and it never worked properly since before I moved in 15 yrs ago. At some point, the pipe below the sink basket which would have had the waste line branch was removed altogether. There is copper piping running to the old dishwasher which I guess is still attached. I figured this is a simple change I can do myself and I bought parts from Lowes/HDepot. I wanted to use another metal pipe, but alas I can't find a pipe cutter big enough in his tools. So, plastic-fine. Nope. I can get that pipe in place, but then the trap no longer lines up with the line that runs from the wall. It's like a 2 in gap I need to fill. Can't find anything to make the conection from trap to the flared end of the pipe that used to just attach to the trap. Also, the exit side of that trap is shallow and no pipe can really get seated in it far enough anyway. So I have all these pieces that I cannot use and I called for an estimate.

    Nice guy from larger company(didn't realize they were a bigger company) comes and sees the problem. He says he can do it the "non kosher" way and not warranty it for $495. This also includes changing that copper water line as he says it will be too large for the new dishwasher. (I went out and bought an 8 ft stainless steel water line for that connection now). He says that to do it correctly, he needs to go behind the wall-move stove- and raise the tee. This would cost around $995. The written estimate does not mention the water line though, like it does in the cheaper estimate below, but i hope it included that. This guy was very nice and said that his company is actually a bit on the higher end , pricing wise and i should call a cheaper plumber. I appreciated that and did so.
    Call other place and woman answers and i describe above and what the initial plumber said. She said it sounded like i "got a good one" as far as the plumber went. She says she can have her guy come Mon or Tues and she'll put it in for an hour to maybe and hour and a half of work and that they charge $150. / hour plus parts. says the guy will call me on weekend and set it up. No call. no one comes Mon or Tues and I don't call until Tues afternoon and nicely leave a message because i read horror story reviews of people not being called back by plumber or plumber's phone rep having a "you don't like it call someone else" type tone. Now a few hours later the plumber himself calls me and i explain everything and he says he can come tomorrow and once again makes sure I know he's $150/hr plus parts. Ok I say, but do you give an estimate for free? He says, well i have to come to that town anyway so i'll probably be able to do it all tomorrow and yea, i'll come take a look. I must say that he did not sound pleasant, which makes me nervous.
    I also called a third place today after i didn't hear back from #2 and i left a message but hadn't heard back before or after plumber #2 called me back.
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    It is hard to tell but it looks like if the trap arm was longer that everything might line up fine. Hourly rates are a bit meaningless when the guys that are not very practiced can take longer and charge more than skilled workers who are quick and good.

    The answer to your questions will depend largely on whether the plumber decides to professional work (which might mean replacing everything there) or if he just wants to a quick repair and move on to the next job.
    Depending on how one looks at things, neither way is wrong.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,799
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    Dearborn makes a reversible p-trap that will give you a little more room.
  4. jenraider72

    jenraider72 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yes, yes...that hits the nail on the head. Where is this magical piece of plumbing? I just saw this and had to reply- I'll look it up, of course. That is exactly what I would need to assemble it myself assuming i could get away with doing it that way-which i don't see why not. The copper water pipes, however, are they truly going to be a problem fitting with a newer dishwasher? thank you, by the way
  5. jenraider72

    jenraider72 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for answering. Yes, that is exactly it- it is too shallow to make a connection with a different pipe other than the flared one it connects to now. If either way is not wrong, then....I'll take option B and go the quick repair route. Thanks again
  6. jenraider72

    jenraider72 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Home Depot has one for less than $5. but online only. That really will work. I'd like to use the metal waste line tailpiece if possible-that should be ok, yes? Or if plastic is better, I have that too, along with half the other 1 1/2 in pipes along that whole store aisle, but i would need that pipe cutter for the metal- or will a hacksaw cut that as well? I know I can do this myself if that will indeed fit. I will let plumber know that i know of this part and it's price and see what he'll charge for the water line alone, since he's coming over. Maybe he'll give me an honest assesment for the p trap as well and do both at a reasonable pric saving me time for shipping. I'm happy to pay a fair wage for a good job as long as the guy is not as abrasive as he sounds on the phone. Thanks again...jen
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,799
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The PVC is fine. I find they last longer than brass on kitchens.

    As far as the water supply to the dishwasher, you can cut that off and use a dishwasher supply with compression ends. Your plumber will know abut that.
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    Location:
    IL
    If I were doing that kind of business, I would think it would be hard to balance being social vs being able to move on to the next customer to solve another problem and getting another check.

    I suggest letting him do his job, and respect his time. Charging by the hour would go a long way to getting respect for his time. :) I expect charging by the job requires extra skill to not get bogged down by chatty clients while not seeming brusque.
  9. jenraider72

    jenraider72 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Maybe I misspoke above. I thought he sounded unpleasant and worried because of my inexperience having a pro in the home to do work and I read a lot of stories of people having bad experiences with some professionals, as well as others' experiences with pleasant, nice professionals who would call on them again and again. I did not chat up these guys at all, save to quickly give the overview and show him the parts i had on hand- which he said- "what have you got here?". I made it a point, in fact to go in the other room or outside to make a call , so i could leave them to do their work and not feel like they had someone over their shoulder as i think that would be extremely annoying. I also thought the price was fair and when i paid him I had $250. even and even said that if he didn't have change, not to worry about it, since i just appreciated the work getting done. I am not a social person myself, and don't want to sit around yakking with anybody either. I hate talking on the phone too, but when I do I am pleasant. If he had come in and was dismissive or acting as if I was wasting his time, which is how it seemed from the initial call, then yes i'd rather pay someone else more money to do the same job. He really didn't have much to say at all, just that he could do it and then the price. I didn't speak to him again until he said it's done. His helper- an apprentice it would seem- was actually first in and seemed friendly when I explained what i was trying to achieve- maybe 2 minutes in explanation time. if you read reviews for plumbers you see many customers do care whether or not the professional is at least courteous and I did take reviews into consideration when choosing a plumber initially, so it must mean something. Can't assume every customer is going to be a pain in the a** and make a job difficult. I prefer not having to make conversation and would've paid $325. to get the job done as long as the guy treats me with the respect I give to him for being a skilled professional. Is that really that wrong? Again, I'm new to this and my husband didn't do residential work so I never heard him speak of customer interactions. Thanks for your input, though. have a good day...Jen
  10. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    I think his reaction was because of a free quote. Many home owners will take advantage of guys that are willing to give a quote so they are apprehensive about doing them.
  11. jenraider72

    jenraider72 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New Jersey
    If you have a chance to look at the finished job pictures...the installation team is here for the dishwasher and the first tech made the second cone and look at the plumbing work because he was surprised to see the soldering done to that waste line and was pointing to the nut below the sink basket with all the -silicone, I guess- globbed around it. I had four of the waste line tees on the counter at the time- brass and plastic.
    I never said I wanted the job done as cheap as possible, in fact I told them that if they can just beat the original quote and come down some from the $995 since he himself said it was high, I would just pay it to get it done correctly. The installation tech here now said that he'd do it but that it usually doesn't hold and can easily break off. What happens if I call and ask why it was done that way? Is that rude? Should I just cut my losses, start over and hire another plumber to do it again? I didn't notice the solder initially. I just gave it a quick once-over and paid the guys so they could leave. What should I do? Is this really an issue or should I just let it go and hope for the best? Maybe it'll last a few years.
    I would have paid more for a more thorough job like the initial, more expensive 2 tier quote offered, so as to avoid more installation issues like the look this guy today just gave after checking the plumbing. I did say on the phone that I didn't want the first plumber's " non-kosher" hook up that may give a problem, and told them how he was nice enough to suggest I hire another service and that I'd most likely get a better price. I remember saying if you can do it for less, I just need it done. The woman said she was putting me in for that Mon or Tues and assuming that the work would be done- like I was making an appointment without an estimate. I said , "so if he comes and it is near the $995 and i don't want to pay that then I can just pay whatever the fee is for him to come out and that's it, right?" and she said "No, no...I'm putting it in for about an hour to hour 1/2 work and we charge $150./hr plus parts. It won't be that much money". I remember this clearly. I said fine, sounds good- and that's when no one called or showed up until I called again and he said he'd stop by since he was coming to my town anyway. What should I do- leave it alone or redo it? Thanks for your advice and I promise I won't bother you guys anymore after this- I just have no one else to ask now. thanks again
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    Location:
    IL
    It doesn't leak. Dishwasher and drain work well. In my non-pro opinion it looks fine. You paid less than half of what you expected. Be happy.

    If there is a glob of RTV that bothers you, trim it with a single-edge razor blade.
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