Reasonable cost of installing new water pressure bladder tank from well

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by dmojr, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. dmojr

    dmojr New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Whitehouse Station, NJ
    Recently had to replace bladder type water pressure tank from well.
    Plumber ordered and installed 50 gallon Flex Lite tank (disposing of the old tank).
    We were charged $1200. A friend questions this price as way too high.
    We got plumber on recommendation of neighbor and our new to this.
    Was this a reasonable price?

    Thank you.

    Dmojr
  2. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    And Who is this friend to say what's right ? Friend a plumber ,plumbing estimator ? How many crews He running these days ???
  3. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    It isn't hard to DIY. The proper question is how much does the tank cost? The rest is installation. It has been about 30 years since I had to do this when we were on a well, but the price sounds high to me. It ain't rocket science...
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,971
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    According to froogle, somewhere between $350 and $450.

    As for the labour part, depends on the hole he had to work in and pull the old dead tank out of. A 50 gallon tank with a busted bladder can get pretty heavy and not easy to drain. Then there's the cost of the truck roll.

    Oh! I forgot to factor shipping. It could add considerably to the price.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  5. mikeplummer

    mikeplummer Plumber

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    i don't usually comment on prices as i'm in Canada and prices are different....but... this doesn't sound too crazy to me...if they did a good job, everything works properly, and you're happy with it, then it's fair...no? maybe your friend should try paying the operating costs for a plumbing business and for skilled workers and then comment on the price...
  6. dmojr

    dmojr New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Whitehouse Station, NJ
    Thanks for all your comments. It sounds like may have been a little on high side, but not unreasonable. The job was well done and in a timely fashion. Glad I joined the forum. Very helpful.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,614
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I do NOT give prices before starting the job, UNLESS they are high enough to cover ANY eventuality that might occur, which means, by definition, that it should be higher than the time and material price given at the conclusion of the job. WE do NOT know what the tank cost him, what his profit markup is, how long it took to install it, OR what materials he used, (and the cost of that material), therefore we have absolutely NOTHING to compare his price to.
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    A good DIAPHRAGM USA tank from amazon delivered in that size is 449$ or so. Most anyone can change it in an hour or 2. assuming a "plumber" [Never call a plumber for well work - call the WELL man] and a kid, thats about $225$ an hour. Looks like you hired a lawyer.

    I can get my car transmission rebuilt for about 1200$. THAT takes some skill.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  9. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Exactly. Way too much markup.

    Responding to earlier comments: It isn't that hard to get a tank out or empty it...anyone ever heard of making a hole or two in a tank that is being disposed of before you pull it? And from what I recall there is an air tap on the tank for charging...so if the diaphragm is shot you can still push the water out.

    And when it comes to the "truck roll" that's the part that is the most objectionable many times, particularly since the norm is for the plumbing truck/van to not being carrying the parts and tools needed for a scheduled/pre-planned job.
  10. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    The cost of the tank and fittings has very little to do with the final price. 99% of plumbers base their pricing on the cost of doing business. There are often mitigating circumstances involved that folks not in the trades do not take into account. Discussing pricing on a forum such as this is futile exercise in speculation. Rebuilding your transmission does take some skill but in most states it does not require a 4 year apprenticeship and 8000 hours of OJT, neither does it require a license.

    Never call a plumber for well work? What planet do you live on? I don't know ANY plumbers in the area (and I know a lot of them) that don't do "well work" Well work IS plumbing. Where would you get the notion that the pump, piping, tank etc are not plumbing? You need a special license here to install pumps, tanks etc or you need a plumbing license. Guess which one trumps the other LOL
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    changing a water tank requires a 15 minute apprenticeship, a 4$ set of harbor fright tools, and 4 hours of OJT, and a few beers.

    I just wonder what a Plumber would do when he encouters this device in the pumphouse:

    http://www.electricmotorwholesale.com/SymCom-233P-ENCL/

    Plumbers dont know a ammeter, capacitor, relay, or multi meter from a Venetian opera. If they DO, they dont have the Franklin aim book in their truck, so its all shoot from the hip "Yah, time to pull it all out" to the waterless weepy home mom.

    Plumbers know pipe, solder, valves [well, some] and glue. And how to get a turd out of a 3" line. the WELL man stocks the tanks, and will be in and out in an hour. And an honest one will find an electrical issue 99% of the time when there is no water. Never met a plumber that could trouble shoot pump power and amp draw.

    The well and pump man is a surgeon. The plumber is the guy that puts the stitches in.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine

    You need to get off the reservation a little more often. Either that or you are begining to believe Slusser's misguided rhetoric LOL I have 13 licensed plumbers working for me and they can all read and interpret a multi-meter as well as troubleshoot pumps and motors. Most don't have the Franklin Manual in the truck though and darn few other ones either because they all carry tablets and that stuff's all online. Pump savers have been around for quite awhile. Troubleshooting one is not particularly difficult either.

    You have it backward. The pump man is an unlicensed guy that may or may not know what he's doing. A plumber is licensed and has to know what he is doing to get his license. Every single plumbing textbook I have (and I think I have them all) has at least one chapter and most 3 that explain water pumps, tanks, switches etc. Most of us plumbers also work on heat and AC and we are very familiar with testing equipment and controls.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Pumps and wells have their own, well deserved license in most states. Sounds like Maine is the reservation. WELL pumps are way beyond the guy that spends 98% of his time fooling with pipe.

    If your plumber brings a industrial electrician with him, then I'd say the fix might get right. The plumbers around here just catch flys in their mouth when you ask them to troubleshoot a deep well pump. Unless he is really hungry and ethically bankrupt. Plumbers and painters - the bane of the trades. In these parts, "good plumber" is an oxymoron.

    I had sold a submersible pump to a friend, but she decided to let the 'plumber' hook it up. Not knowing how a franklin motor is wired, he scammed her for wire 3x larger than needed by the AIM book. Ton of cash up her kazoo. Never could get the controls right - had to go in and make it right. 50 bucks an hour and he deserved burger kings grill job.
  14. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    I'll let some of the other plumbers here have at you. ;)
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Send the painters over too, but I don't think they know how to operate computers. Send me an honest plumber that will say "I don't fool with submersible pumps" Many of them cannot because its against the law.

    I mentioned I had a great well driller, and I have a incredible framer/mechanical contractor I use at times, but unless you have 13 dedicated sober plumbers in uniforms, [ who most likely are union, doing commercial and govt jobs] its off to the casino called the phone book for anyone in a small town.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    Here's some work done by a plumber. I know of zero well and pump guys capable of this and even if they were they couldn't touch it without a plumbing license. Maybe you should move out of hillbilly county LOL


    ForumRunner_20120814_163713.jpg ForumRunner_20120814_163743.jpg
  17. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    While I'm not doubting your folks do good work, in my experience they are the exception rather than the rule.

    I suspect the work shown above would not pass in CA because of seismic zone considerations--I'm not seeing straps and the like.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  18. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,172
    Location:
    Maine
    Wasn't done in California. An experienced, licensed professional plumber from Connecticut did that work. What you don't see is the pump and piping in the well which he also did. I can't speak for California but in the North East I'd bet that better than 75% of the plumbers regularly sell, install and service pumps and filtration equipment. My own company has 13 plumbers and they all work on such. We sell a lot of pumps, tanks, pipe, filtration and the like. It's part of the trade and where some folks get the notion that it is not is beyond me or more likely just ignorance on their part.
  19. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    A good plumber can follow a blueprint, which this extraordinarily weird setup had to have. That pump went out of favor about 40 years ago, by the way. Must be a regional thing. The sticks is MAINE, by the way.

    Plumbers, in most parts do not touch wells, thanks be to god. And foolish to say a pump and well guy cant do that bizarre concoction of pipes.
  20. Spydrweb1977

    Spydrweb1977 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    NJ
    Mine is bigger than yours... Lol, :p
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