Any plumbers on this forum?

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Brew-ta-sauraus

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I have a dilemma (I actually have many) but my current one is that I have a problem parting with money. I am setting up the garage as my home brewery, so I am running hot & cold water and natural gas out to the garage. I usually do most of my home improvements myself, but plumbing (outside of sprinkler/drip systems replacing a garbage disposal, or fixing a leak) I don't have much experience with. So I call this plumber guy I have used in the past for an estimate. The guys gives me a time & materials estimate of $250 - $300 for materials (using flex for the gas line, not black pipe), and 4 to 5 hours labor at $100.00 an hour for two guys. So we are talking $800.00 at the outside for parts & labor, plus I am going to drill the 4" hole for the drain through the foundation myself at $ 100.00 for the equipment. Keep in mind my hot/cold water, drain, & gas is 15 feet from my garage via a 4' crawl space. Am I getting gouged here? I figured just having a plumber do the job would save me the time & hassel of doing it myself, but $900 bucks for the plumbing alone is kind of steep IMO or am I just a cheap skate? $900 buck buy alot of beer porn. Anyone have any opinions?
 

Opherman47

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its more reasonable that some of the quotes i got here in nashville...... they wanted to charge 800 to 1,800 to change out a hot water heater, i laughed in their face and figured out how to change it myself..... but 50 bucks an hour per person.... that seams pretty reasonable to me..... perhaps you could do the water part and just have them do the gas part???? that wouldnt be so bad
 
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Brew-ta-sauraus

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Come on folks 1 reply? I need to get back to my plumber today as I scheduled him to do the install for next Monday. I need your opinions on the price, if you plumbers out there feel it's a little high I want to cancel my appointment with my plumber as soon as possible so he can schedule another job. I have no issue with someone making a profit for there services mind you, I just don't dig getting gouged. Is my plumbers price above fair?
 

bluehouse

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We would charge more. One thing I would ask is if he is getting a permit & if he is insured. If you have work done in your home that requires a permit, and one is not pulled, your homeowners insurace can refuse to cover any future damage to your home. If he is not insured and causes damage or gets hurt in your home, you get to pay. I would not hire a time & material guy, I would get a firm bid. It may be a little higher but you will have a REAL price not a come back after the fact & add more time price.
 

Homercidal

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Sorry, I do all of my own work if I can. I don't remember ever inviting a plumber into my house. Frankly, that doesn't sound too difficult to do on your own if you have time.
 

conpewter

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Water and gas pipe is not too hard to work with really. I have done a fair bit of copper plumbing in my house and it just takes a bit of practice. You could also go with PEX which is fairly easy to use as well. Also I used the CSST tubing to run natural gas out to my shop, it is really nice stuff and also not difficult to work with, just make sure to check for leaks and ground it properly. Make sure you pull the permits and get it all inspected, I had to do this for all of mine. You may not be allowed to run CSST in your area so check on that, get a friend that knows more about plumbing to help out if you can.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I do all my own work. I am sure you can figure it out with a trip to the library and your local hardware store.

If the permit man ever comes a knockin at my house its going to be ugly.
 

conpewter

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I do all my own work. I am sure you can figure it out with a trip to the library and your local hardware store.

If the permit man ever comes a knockin at my house its going to be ugly.
eh? It was that way when I moved in!

I pulled permits since I was digging a trench in the backyard and I have nosey neighbors.
 

Catt22

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Most plumbing work is relatively easy. Drains require a little engineering in order to vent and slope them properly. You can do your own work and still pull a permit and have the work inspected. Some inspectors can be really helpful at times. Most inspectors are proud of their knowledge and experience. They normally will be happy to share what they know especially when they see that you are following the building code.

The price appears to be fair, but its hard to do an accurate estimate without plans and little information about the site. I second the advice to get a firm estimate, do not proceed on a time and materials basis. That type of contract is usually reserved for emergencies when time will not permit the use of bids. Sometimes, a high risk job with a lot of unknowns can only proceed on a T & M basis. IOW, only go to a T & M contract as a last resort or if conditions warrant.

Plumbers must eat just like the rest of us. Most of the cost is labor. The contractor wants two men on the job. It looks like a one man job to me. That could cut the labor in half to $250. Materials and labor now = approx $500. So long as there is no trenching/backfill involved, that number is a lot easier to swallow. The materials price also seems a little high for a fifteen foot run of hot/cold & drain. I don't know the code in your area, but you may be able to use some of the new high tech plastic pipe (I haven't used it, so don't know the names). Plastic pipe will greatly reduce the materials cost and probably speed up the installation. Getting the drain hooked up right will require the most work, but that could probably be plastic (ABS?) pipe also. You can call your building dept and smooze them for some information on what work you can do on your own and what might require a licensed professional.
 

samc

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Plumbing & basic electric are the two home improvement things I tackle on my own if my back does not get in the way. I just had a plumber install a gas flex line because I did not want to squeeze into the crawl space, it cost $270 and was 10 feet away. He told me that flex required a special training course (not sure why) and I could not find any supplier that sold it to end users. That being said in the old days I did a gas line by measuring everything out and having all the pipe cut/threaded to size. Most everyone around here charges $27-$30 foot for gas line install.
 

big_steve

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Menards sell the flex gas pipe and fittings and no special class required. I'm a heating, cooling, plumbing contractor and its tuff to make a living out there now days.
 

socalamcor

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youve got to figure the plumber has more than just material and labor to worry about. there is a lot of fixed overhead to deal with just to drive out to a job. the estimate does seem fair but without more info (pics would help) its hard to say. you must also remembre you arent just paying for the work you are paying for that plumbers knowledge and experience in his field. if a problem pops up chances are the plumber will have an easier time dealing with it as he has most likely run into it before. highly recomend getting a fixed estimate and possibly one to two more.
 
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Brew-ta-sauraus

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Thanks all for the replies. More info on the job is the garage shares a foundation wall with a 4' crawl space. In the crawl space there is alread a 3" drain line, copper hot & cold lines. Thos basically need to be tapped into, and extended 10 - 15'. I am core drilling a 4" hole in the foundation wall to get the drain line through into the garage. The water lines can come through the drywall right above the foundation. The drain hole is njecessary due to the height of the drain in order for it to flow down to the main drain line in the crawl space. There is also a 1/2" steel gas line already in the crawl space. My plan was to tap into that line at the elbow that run the pipe up n my house to my fireplace and replace the elbow with a Tee and extend that 10 - 15" into the garage. No digging, no trenching, just tapping into existing lines and extending them thour the wall to the garage. I may cancel with the guy that priced it and either do it myself or get a hadr bid on the work.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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I too agree that plumbing work is easy however......

"Some" municipalities (mine) require that a licensed contractor pull the permits and install. Otherwise, no inspections.

The water pipe is simple enough and it only takes a few solder joints to get the hang of the process. Gas piping on the other hand is usually threaded. That make it easier unless you don't have the proper tools or can't measure worth a crap.

The Lowes in my area will cut and thread pipe for free with purchase.
 

EcuPirate07

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I worked in sales for Ferguson Enterprises the leading plumbing wholesale store in the nation, so take my advice for what it is worth. If he is using flex pipe which is the yellow pipe I use to sale that in rolls of a hundred feet for oh 200-300 per roll in 1/2 or 3/4 which comes out to 2-3 a foot. Pex pipe sold anywhere from 20-60 cents a foot depending on the plumber most come in 20ft lengths plus fittings run anywhere from 35 cents to a couple of dollars. Gas fittings were insane we sold these from 2-12 dollars depending on the part. Keep in mind this is all plumbers prices, you can expect them to double their prices for you. Plus they have to have a crimp tool for the pex which would run you around 100-150 for the tool. I know plumbers that charge $100 just to come out look at the work, thats before he even touches anything or gives you a price. BAM $100 just to come to your house. Some plumbers charge between $20-$30 an hr depending on the project. Is $800 a lot? Maybe but it also depends on the area you live. I would call a couple other people plumbers are hurting for work so might might find a good deal, just make sure their insured and have their license otherwise your up the creek w/o a paddle if something goes wrong.
 

EcuPirate07

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Plumbing & basic electric are the two home improvement things I tackle on my own if my back does not get in the way. I just had a plumber install a gas flex line because I did not want to squeeze into the crawl space, it cost $270 and was 10 feet away. He told me that flex required a special training course (not sure why) and I could not find any supplier that sold it to end users. That being said in the old days I did a gas line by measuring everything out and having all the pipe cut/threaded to size. Most everyone around here charges $27-$30 foot for gas line install.
Tracpipe does require you to take a class but its free for the plumber and sometimes it only takes a licensed dealer to hand out the "certification" We used to just sign them and hand them over to the plumber when I worked for ferguson. There is no reason to charge extra b/c he had a "training class"
 

Slipgate

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I'd never pull the permit, the only reason for them is to cost you money and to raise your tax rate at some point.

The only thing I would add is that if you ever go to sell, the only issue you might have is that core drill from the crawl space to the garage. It may not be code or may have to be sealed some special way to avoid exhaust gases in the crawl space.
 

bluehouse

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You know how you guys get insulted when people put down homebrew or home brewers, plumbers feel the same way when people say their job is nothing. Also while you screwing with your drain all you can mess up is your own home but when you are screwing with your water and gas you endanger your neighbors home. You may be a great do it yourselfer but how would it be if a neighbor did a bad gas job and blew up the house right on your property line & you got collateral damage? Or what about the neighbor that makes a back siphon happen and you get pollution into the neighborhood drinking water?
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I apologize if I have offended. I did not mean to put down any plumbers.

Plumbing is just one of the things that I enjoy enough to do many of the projects myself. If I was ever doing any major plumbing where I could potentially damage a neighbor, I would call a professional.

I think the OP's project could be a reasonable DIY job. At the same time, I realize that many do not like to or do not have the aptitude for such projects. The world needs plumbers more than they need my profession. Please accept my apology.
 
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Brew-ta-sauraus

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I am going all copper to match the existing plumbing, so no pex. Didnt realize the yellow flex gas line was so expensive. I understood it cost more then black steel pipe, but that it's less labor intensive to install. The existing gas line is black steel pipe so i may just match existing on that as well. I think materals would be cheaper and with the exception of a tee & and elbow and ball valve it's a straight run to where I am going.
 

EcuPirate07

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I am going all copper to match the existing plumbing, so no pex. Didnt realize the yellow flex gas line was so expensive. I understood it cost more then black steel pipe, but that it's less labor intensive to install. The existing gas line is black steel pipe so i may just match existing on that as well. I think materals would be cheaper and with the exception of a tee & and elbow and ball valve it's a straight run to where I am going.
Tell you what man you would be better off going pex and here is why:

-Less expensive (Have you shopped copper latly?)

-As long as your house is standing so will the pex, copper is going to weaken over time and sometimes develop pin holes.

-You can color code ie blue for cold red for hot

-you can bend it into anyshape you want and you dont have to soilder any joints, this will have lots of time esp if he is charging you buy the hour.

-99% of plumbers are are using pex now, really the only copper being used is in hospitals or in commercial setting mostly b/c Pex only goes up to 1"

The only downside to pex is that it has a smaller inside diameter then copper ie the walls are thicker so it restricks water flow a little but not enough to cause you to be able to tell a difference esp if its only for supplying water for your brew.

Just my 2 cents on Pex.:D
 

NJTomatoguy

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In New Jersey, a GasTite(yellow flex pipe) certification is required to purchase and or install. Without a cert card, you can't buy it. Having worked with it, it does go in nice.

Having worked with both CPVC and Pex, they are also nice to work with. Pex would require a rental of a set of crimps/dies, where CPVC glues up. I have installed it in commercial construction. CPVC over pex would be my choice.
 
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