plumbing charges

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by markmark, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. markmark

    markmark New Member

    Dec 7, 2006
    wondering if anyone has a rough cost of having a 3/4" main water shutoff replaced. i took care of contacting the city to have the supply shutoff. Also is it a standard practice to be charged double labour (2 hours) for 20min of work just because two guys show up? Feel like i was over charged here final bill $186. im fron halifax nova scotia if that helps
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    thats ok

    What should have they done this for????

    that seem more than fair....

    on average a plumber wont walk in your door for
    less than about $85 bucks....

    $186.00 is just fine for that kind of job.....

    you got by with murder.....
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  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    It's hard to say not knowing the economy of your area, I know several plumbing companys that would be higher than what you were charged. The best thing you can do is to develope a trusting relationship with a plumber.
  5. markmark

    markmark New Member

    Dec 7, 2006
    is it normal practice to pay for two people when only one is doing the work? If i were to get my oil changed i wouldn't pay 2 mechanics to do the job
  6. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    One was a dummy

    or he was the lookout

    and the other one knew what he was doing.

    Anything after 5pm raises the price considerably.

    If you didn't ask for a generalizing or set price before you committed for services rendered, you have only yourself to blame on buyer's remorse.....something an internet forum will not fix for you.

    That number does not seem high for services rendered. $350-$400 is high....and that charge is given out by some of the more "pristine" national plumbing companies.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2007
  7. dubldare

    dubldare Plumber/Gasfitter

    Sep 14, 2005
    Yes, and think of the quickie lube example you bring up. If you were to have the following service done to your car, (which I have done on my service van for $24.95 in 15 minutes or less, with no appt) how long would it take one person to do:

    supply material and have it ready to go
    change oil (underneath and above vehicle)
    lube chassis
    check for leaks
    top off wiper fluid
    check tires (air and wear)
    clean exterior glass
    check lights
    check air cleaner
    check tranny fluid
    check antifreeze
    vacuum interior
    compose bill
    take money.

    Hmm, I'm pretty handy and do as much as I can on my personal vehicles, but I'd be busting my hump to do that in an hour. In that situation volume is how they get by, replacing air filters, bulbs, tranny flushes, diff lube and other *EXTRAS* are where they make money.

    Now, with plumbers... It is customary to be billed for apprentices/extra man. I will tell you right now as a plumber that nobody is just 'dead weight' when it comes jobs (and if they are they don't last long). The extra man was most likely getting stuff from the truck, cleaning fittings, learning whilst being productive, cleaning up, etc. Without that ancillary work, the job time can increase twice easily, if not more.
    Additionally, we don't have the luxury of having transporters like those space guys on tv. We still have to come to the work, and go back to where we were (like to see the quickie-lube guys do that). Just getting to and fro is a larger and larger cost nowdays.

    $186 canadian, yeah... that's a good deal!
  8. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Assuming you have already paid it.

    It may be a tad high for Halifax, but all I'd shoot for is a slight discount on the next day's work if you bring them back in for something else right away.

    These guys trained for years. That is the past.

    Today, they are available for you. They came right at the time the appointment with the city called for. Both ready, competent and with their wits. Anything could have gone wrong, and they were both there. Other cases were told to wait, or were told "we'll be there sometime within...."

    Where I live, it can be demanded that certain functions only be performed by a Master Plumber, and not by the homeowner. Since you shut city water down, I wonder if that is one of these situations. Master Plumers cannot afford to make mistakes at this level. You had to pay for that level of proficiency. They pay thousands in personal professional insurance too just to cover themselves.

    For them to remain in business, all their overhead has to be covered; it gets spread out among all the customers. A reasonable starting point just to get in the truck, spend time getting to you and then being there with you is a couple hours. It can't be billed to any other "client". I once knew a law firm that billed the time spent on a fire drill to their biggest client; that call was made by the top man at the firm; it had a hundred people on staff who all had to walk down 15 flights of stairs and wait outside in the cold for many minutes.

    To get this level of peace of mind, security and insurance you have to pay a reasonable share of all their costs, past, present and even a bit of the future as mentioned above. My take on this. Just in case you think two hours is a lot of time, being prepared in advance, being ready for you, getting to you, standing around and being available to you right in your house, and not booking time with anyone else.

  9. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Oct 15, 2005
    industrial service plumbing foreman
    exurban Chicago
    Would you have been happier if took 40 minutes? You paid for their time driving and doing the job and the knowledge to get it done in such a short time. That was more than reasonable around here.
  10. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    NY Capital District
    Did you ask the price/rate in advance? Did they charge you differently?

    If you're price sensitive, you have to learn to ask "how much" before saying "I want that". Basic common sense.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    My price starts from the moment I start the truck until I finish the job. If a company has two men in the truck, I personally do not but many do, then the second guy would really like to get paid even though he is not "needed" for that particular job. Either the company has to charge you for one hour each for two men, or double their minimum charge to cover the cost of the second man.
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