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  • reasonable charge?

    Hi,
    First, let me say I live in New Orleans, and contractor professionals in any trade are in great demand due to Hurricane Katrina.
    I had backup from waste removal line into bathtub and toilet of downstairs apt. Video cam found the blockage. I was quoted a price of $3300 to repair blockage (under the stamped concrete sidewalk, but they went at it from the side and didn't ruin sidewalk). Upon repair attempt, they found that 78 feet of terra cotta pipe was busted and needed to be replaced. $12,800 is the price I am now looking to pay.
    The company is a long-standing, reputable company listed with the Better Business Bureau; my concern is whether I'm being taken advantage of because of 1. emergency nature of job; 2. price gouging due to Katrina. Unfortunately, I could not get different bids from plumbing contractors because, as I said, at this time, every tradesman/company is slammed with work, and I was lucky to get this company in such a relatively short time; and then, of course, the emergency nature of the problem. Raw sewerage was just flooding the apartment and I wasn't able to wait weeks for estimates.
    I just would like a little peace of mind in re: the reasonableness of this charge, if anyone can help me out.
    Thanks very much.
    __________________
    Cathy

  • #2
    Cathy,

    It would be hard to give you an opinion without more information. If all they are doing is replacing the line it is very expensive. If they are breaking concrete and replacing stamped concrete when they are done it may not be.

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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Cathy,

      There is another gentleman on the site who does pipe-bursting. He can better explain that process but if you can find someone to pipe-burst your line you may not need to remove or replace any concrete.

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        crpccr, first question is why couldn't they clear the line with a snake? is it something that you feel is related to the hurricane? usually before you have a serious problem, you have a track record of prior problems. typically it doesn't go from working with no issues tobroken with lots of issues. so once again is this a problem due to the floods?

        normally the line would need to be cleared to get any real good pictures of the conditions of the sewer line. a line full of waste will only give you a location where the camera is located and its depth. until you can get the line flowing, you can't see the extent of the problem. evry clay line i video, i can find an issue with. the real issue is, does this keep the line from functioning properly. every line is going to have roots at some joints. is the line so offset that that snaking is not going to fix the major offsets?

        my opinion is to get a second opinion. is the line flowing now? if so, then you can wait.

        rick.

        Comment


        • #5
          crpccr was directed here by me from another site. i asked him to have plumber Rick explane pipe bursting as one option to save the concrete. thank's all
          tool
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

          Comment


          • #6
            cathy, not sure if you already signed a contract for the $12,000 job. if the line is flowing, i would get a second opinion.

            pipe bursting is a process of replacing a sewer pipe without digging up the whole system. it splits the existing pipe into the surrounding ground allowing the new pipe to follow in the path of the old. an opening of approx. 2' wide x 4' long x 6'' deeper than the existing pipe needs to be dug at one end. the other end is a ditch that would need to be opened up large enough to allow for reconnection to the other end. this is also the end that the new piping is being fed in from.

            i charge approx. $50.00 a foot plus the cost of excavating the 2 ditches. so it does sound steep on your first post. since none of us know the working conditions of your job, you can only use these numbers as a rough estimate.

            rick.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by toolaholic:
              crpccr was directed here by me from another site. i asked him to have plumber Rick explane pipe bursting as one option to save the concrete. thank's all
              tool
              I can't be sure but I believe Cathy is a her as opposed to a him. [img]smile.gif[/img]

              Mark

              [ 12-10-2005, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: ToUtahNow ]
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

              Comment


              • #8
                thank's mark and sorry kathy. this is the 2nd week of 7days, long ones, way too much work out here!
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks to everyone for the input.
                  To answer some of the questions:
                  Yes, I have had to have this line snaked before, at least twice.
                  They are "not" busting up sidewalk/stamped pathway, but are tunneling underneath, starting at a point to the side of the pathway.
                  The going rate around here, both pre-Katrina and post, is $100 per foot under slab repair.
                  The line was blocked because the terra cotta pipe has pretty much disintegrated due to roots, etc. I suspect this pipe has been in place close to 40 years.
                  The invoice lists several items, such as hangers, foam tub box, install cleanout/sewer box, but the two biggest charges are for the tunneling under the slab, and also a charge of 1,050 listed as pump sand to backfill.
                  There was no way I could get another opinion, because the raw waste was just pouring into the bathroom, for one thing, but more importantly, at this particular time, people are lucky to get 'any' tradesman or skilled craft or laborer to do anything, especially on an emergency basis. I had called other plumbers (2) before this one, and the other two would not have even come to run a video for at least two weeks.
                  So, after ck'g around with other local people who have had work of this type performed, apparently this charge is not out of line. Darn it.
                  Cathy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cathy,

                    My guess is you are paying at least twice what the job is worth. Having worked through two earthquakes here in California I believe it is inexcusable to take advantage of your customers because you can get away with it.

                    When the emergency is over I certainly hope you remember which trades person took care of you and which ones just took you.

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

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

                    Comment

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