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  • water main pricing

    I have recently got a couple of over the phone quotes
    from some local plumbers to replace my water main. The
    specs. are as follows, 55' from meter to house with 3/4"
    copper and no obstructions in the way (trees, sidewalks, etc).
    The average cost has been $65 per foot, low is $50 and high
    is $80 per foot. My questions are what is a fair price and is
    there anything other than licensing and insurance that that
    I should be looking for. I am not trying to pay an unreasonable
    price, but at the same time I want to make sure that I get the best
    person for the job. Thanks in advance for your advice.

    This is taking place in Nashville, TN

  • #2
    Re: water main pricing

    Tell them you want the piping inspected by the plumbing division in your state.



    The range of pricing is fairly accurate, given the short distance from meter to house.


    Make darn sure they use bank run, pipe sand for the ditch; no dirt backfill on that line.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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    • #3
      Re: water main pricing

      If you really want a good plumber, then why is the price seem to be your main concern? I recommend getting a relationship with a plumber, that you can count on again and again. Price is secondary to good service and a company you can count on.
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      • #4
        Re: water main pricing

        Originally posted by misinformed View Post
        I have recently got a couple of over the phone quotes
        from some local plumbers to replace my water main. The
        specs. are as follows, 55' from meter to house with 3/4"
        copper and no obstructions in the way (trees, sidewalks, etc).
        The average cost has been $65 per foot, low is $50 and high
        is $80 per foot. My questions are what is a fair price and is
        there anything other than licensing and insurance that that
        I should be looking for. I am not trying to pay an unreasonable
        price, but at the same time I want to make sure that I get the best
        person for the job. Thanks in advance for your advice.

        This is taking place in Nashville, TN
        It would be hard to give you a reasonable price sight (and conditions)unseen. Still if you are getting bids of between $2,500 and $4,400 for a 55' long 3/4" copper water main I just might move to Nashville. Even if the dirt was rock hard and needed to be jackhammered it seems $2,500 would be on the high side.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: water main pricing

          Phone quotes in general are unreliable, as Mark pointed out.
          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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          • #6
            Re: water main pricing

            I'm not in the plumbing trade but will have to agree that phone quotes will always run high. There are too many unforseen things. What might look like a clear path to you may not really be. Also you did not mention if the house end terminated in the basement, under a slab or in a crawl space. Is this new construction or an existing house. Are there inspection fees associated with the install, maybe one was figuring on not getting inspection and onother was. What about any landscaping that has to be delt with, seed and straw grassed areas, flower beds, tree roots (cutting them can kill trees), sod, stepping stones, etc.
            Are you in the middle of town where parking is at a premium, been on service calls and had to leave service truck parked a block away, makes it tough getting tools.
            I have had customers that did not even want you to get on their grass to install underground pipe (6, 8, 10 inch pipe for a fire line).
            Nothing against you personally but I prefer to meet my customers to be, can get a feel of how they will act when I get to the jobsite. If they are too picky or just in left field then the price will go up or might not even take the job on.
            Another thing about phone quotes is most of the time people are just price shopping and contractors get tired of being used for the third price and never getting any work.
            Call a local rental company to see wat a ditch witch rents for by the day, delivered. Then add at least 10% profit ad 10% overhead to it.
            Call a local supply house to see what copper pipe cost then add at least 10% and 10% to that.
            Then figure for two men for eight to ten hours each at......oh say $60 to $90 per man hour. Why so high you ask, have to pay for wages (not only for the workers that show up to do the work but the one who makes out the invoice, the one who answers the phone to give you a quote, the owner), unemployeement, workers comp., liability, work truck, gas, truck insurance, contractors license, business license, office, electrical for the office, telephone service, etc, etc. (makes me wonder if I'm charging enough)
            Might be some inspection fees associated also, could range from $25 to maybe $150.
            If there is an inspection required and a pressure test to be seen by the inspector, then figure on scheduling with the inspector which will lead to day two, more man hours at ........oh say $60 to $90 per man hour.
            If there is anything beyond throwing the dirt back into the ditch add for that also.

            So see its not really that cut and dry because every job is not the same.
            Not trying to rag on you at all but just some of the things us contractors have to take into account.
            I guess this makes it about as clear as mud.

            Good luck with it.

            G3

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: water main pricing

              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
              If you really want a good plumber, then why is the price seem to be your main concern? I recommend getting a relationship with a plumber, that you can count on again and again. Price is secondary to good service and a company you can count on.
              Excellent advice, and I am NOT just backing him because I am a plumber also,

              BUT a plumber is more important then a Doctor , so why does everyone just go for price....

              Do you walk out of the Doctors office when he tell your price ...no....no you don't

              So yes, Build a relationship with your plumber
              Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
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              • #8
                Re: water main pricing

                dig the ditch yourself and then get a price to have the plumber install it.

                you put the dirt back yourself

                i don't mind when the owner farms out the ditch digging.

                i'm a plumber, i charge the same for digging or plumbing.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: water main pricing

                  You didn't mention how deep the tie-in at the meter end is, how deep the ditch is, etc. I assume all the plumbers are familiar with the area and know that information. Although it is not small change, the range of bids...about $2500 to about $4000....that is not a wide range for a job like this, bid site unseen. What if the low bid guy gets there and finds your yard criss-crossed with sprinkler lines? Or a phone or calbe TV cable?

                  Anyway, your biggest concern should be a well-recommended contractor with up to date liability and workers comp insurance and bond. Those things can be verified with the state licensing board. Many states you can check those online. Easy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: water main pricing

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    dig the ditch yourself and then get a price to have the plumber install it.

                    you put the dirt back yourself

                    i don't mind when the owner farms out the ditch digging.

                    i'm a plumber, i charge the same for digging or plumbing.

                    rick.
                    I tried to save a few dollars at a McDonalds that way but the owner would not let me behind the counter.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: water main pricing

                      Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                      I tried to save a few dollars at a McDonalds that way but the owner would not let me behind the counter.

                      Mark
                      LOL , MORE pickles ...more pickles, give me more pickles .....
                      Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
                      New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

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                      • #12
                        Re: water main pricing

                        By the way for anyone wondering the frostline in Nashville is 12".

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: water main pricing

                          My big concern is not the pricing, but rather the quality
                          of the job, sorry if that was not clearly stated in my
                          earlier post. I am a new homeowner as well as new to
                          the area so this is going to be a building block for my
                          relationship with a plumber. What I have gather from
                          your help is that I should verify what back fill they are
                          going to use, license, insurance, and focus on the
                          plumber that is going to physically come to my home
                          for a quote. If I am missing something pleas let me now.
                          Thanks again for all your help

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: water main pricing

                            Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                            Tell them you want the piping inspected by the plumbing division in your state.



                            The range of pricing is fairly accurate, given the short distance from meter to house.


                            Make darn sure they use bank run, pipe sand for the ditch; no dirt backfill on that line.

                            What does the "bank run" mean?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: water main pricing

                              Gotta' say that while sand can be good, I've seen the trenched ground used as the filler and last 30+years. TN is comparable to NC. Just keep the rocks away.

                              NO TRENCHING CAN BE QUOTED ACCURATELY OVER THE PHONE!

                              You 'fellas ever get near one of those "WARNING, FIBER OPTIC CABLE!" signs?

                              Just one of the reasons you need to see the job first.

                              J.C.

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