How can plumbers quote be so high??

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    • #278051
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        Okay, help me understand this:

        I bought an outdoor grill which I want to connect to my natural gas line in my home (stove, furnace and water heater run on existing lines 3/4″ black lines). I had a Roto-Rooter plumber come out to provide an estimate for the job. The job is very easy, I have a large crawl space w/easy access, there are multiple points on the gas line to replace a 90 degree elbow w/a ‘T’ fitting and extend the new gas line through a crawl space vent which leads directly under my deck, which the grill sits directly on top of. I proced the materials at Home Depot and they come to around $40, including pipe sealant. There are no unique angles or other issues to contend with. The existing pipe line does not extend for more than 6′ in any direction without a connection point where the new line would be connected, so it’s not like he has to disassemble the entire line to a range or the furnace to add the ‘T’ fitting. The permit in Oakland, CA costs $85. The quote for the job was $600 to $800 dollars. Help me understand why this job would be so expensive (the plumber did not indicate this would be a tough job).


      • #297587
        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

          Wow Yoderman, I happen to agree with you on this posting. You see I always felt most of the franchise drain cleaners are not really “plumbers.”

          To be a “plumber” requires a license. To be a plumber requires at least a BONIFIDE Apprenticeship training program of 5 years to be even considered a Journeyman plumber. A Master Plumber then Hires these Journeymen to work under his/ her license.

          For example before I was even allowed to take the Masters exam I had to be working in plumbing for 10 YEARS prior to taking the Masters exams (Writtten and practical)

          The drain guys I know told me they are considered “plumbers” after only 12 weeks of “training” DUH

          Knowing how California feels about letting ANY STUMBLE bum dabble in plumbing I would seriously consider finding out about doing it myself rather than letting any 12 week person dabble in my home

          Sir even if you NEVER threaded a pipe YOUR more than Qualified over the majority the so called “techs” that some low life contractors are trying to push on the unsuspecting public.

          From what I have read California lets ANYONE do plumbing up to $500 per call. I PERSONALLY would hire an illegal alien before I would let drain guy even think of doing any gas work in my home.

          Now let me explain the real facts of life regarding Gas work and Using ONLY the licensed Master
          plumber NOT some wanna be flunky trying to get over with deceit.

          All gas fired appliances are based on a firing rate in CU FT PER HR and the gas piping is also based not only on the specific gravity BUT the developed length and the number of BTU’s to be carried so you can have complete combustion and sizing the piping accordingly.
          The pipe sizing is critical in this type of applications.

          I think it would be a great idea to find a REAL Master plumber and have him / her give you a price for a professionally installed gas line so you know it was installed properly at the right price.
          Try this article below.

          If you want you can E mail me and ILL give you the name of REAL plumbers in the Left coast state. California is amazing. The cops catch a guy in a stolen car on crack and subdue him and the cops go to jail and the crack head gets money from the state God Bless America HUH?
          Dianne Feinstein has more plans for YOUR “rights” Take away your rights and give others “entitlements” go figure.

          [Edited by SylvanLMP on 06 May 2000]

        • #297588
          Avatar photoArt_xyz

            Firstly, I have no affiliation with Roto-Rooter but I am aware that some franchises are run by MASTER PLUMBERS. As for the gas piping job, you stated you have a crawl space, this will add to the cost of ANY job; You should also be aware that it is possible your existing gas piping is undersized. It is possible your existing gas piping does not meet code. It is possible that, depending on your local codes, it may take a couple of hours just to preasure test the work. It is possible the bar-b-q needs to be converted. Also it is possible that he is a Master Plumber who doesn’t work for free. Lastly, it is possible his price is high. Get another estimate or two and you’ll have your answer.

          • #297589
            Avatar photohj

              It is probable that his price is high, since most of the employees in franchises work on commission. It is to his advantage to give a high quote for the material in order to increase his percentage. But, some of the hardest jobs I have had have been the ones where the customer says, over the phone, “It should only take (fill in the time).” Invariably, they have left out some little item, such as a water softener in front of the water heater, undersized doors that prevent proper access, or crawl spaces that are really “crawl spaces”. In addition, when you ask for an estimate, the plumber has to include all possible problems in the estimate. If he didn’t and something developed to make the easy job more difficult, I do no think you would be amenable to having him increase his estimate. If you trust your plumber, then time and material is the cheapest way to go. If it is really easy, it will be inexpensive, but if it becomes a nightmare, then his price will go up, but an estimate should already have been that much.

            • #297590
              Avatar photoTheLocalPlumber

                Ok Yoderman, Let me get this straight. The plumber comes out to your house, probably in the Hills of Oakland, and chit chats with you about the new grill and where you want it. Looks under the house and sees the job. If this job is going to take a couple pieces of pipe he may prefab it in his shop or he might drag his pipe threader to the job, he has to go to the supply house, go to the city and pull a permit, meet the guys down at city hall. Complete the job, pressure test the pipe and depending on the inspector maybe test the whole house from the meter to make sure the system is sound. Wait for the inspector to check the pressure test, which might be the next day. Go back and complete the connection, maybe even the next day. Then wait for you to pay him, maybe even the next month.
                Now every circumstance is different, that is why in America you have the option to work with, who ever you want.
                Get another proposal.
                The Local Plumber
                Tustin, California
                [Edited by TheLocalPlumber on 10 June 2000]

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