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Question DetailsAsked on 3/8/2017

Is $2500--$3000 too much for a gas leak repair? Leak is from meter that's in backyard to house. I live in el

Everyone I've talk thinks it too $$. But this quote includes getting water heater up to code which I didn't know was not. Also a pinhole leak in pipe under one toliet, replace pipes under kitchen sink, replace garage disposal.

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Where you live did not come through - only the "el" part showed, so if one of the El xxxx cities in CA my numbers are probably pretty decent, if Elmwood Park or Elizabethtown NJ or Elmwood IL probably need a bit of a bumpup. If El Paso or other El xxxx towns in the Southwest, you would likely be on the low end of my numbers or even a bit lower.


Well - quite a laundry list here. I am just going to throw out some ballparks $'s here, not ranges - obviously could be higher or lower by maybe -25% to +50% in cheapest to really most expensive areas, and assumes reasonable access, and that all work will be done in one callout during regular business hours (which at plumber's choice would likely cover more than one day but only one service callout charge).


First - gas meters almost always belong to the utility, and are replaced for free unless you damaged it, in which case probably about $200-300 replacement utility charge. If for some reason it belongs to you (I can't imagine why it would), typically about $90-125 for the meter (normal residential sized) and 1/2 hour to change it out max - so maybe same $200-300 cost again. This assumes the meter itself is leaking (not legally repairable without sending back to factory or authorized utility shop so cheaper to go with new one). Iif just a leak at a fitting that is a 5-10 minutes work in almost all cases (unless badly corroded so pipe needs replacing) for about $25-50 contribution to your project cost.


Pinhole leak under toilet - depending on access, unless in/under concrete probably about $50-100 repair (on same visit) assuming he does not find a lot of deteriorated pipe that has to come out to get to "good" pipe - plus maybe a couple hundred drywall repair and repainting to patch the access hole if needed. Or if the leak is under the toilet - usually due to leaking wax seal, around $50-100 charge for that too, so about same either way for this part of the job.


Bring water heater up to code - not knowing what is wrong - could need new code gas shutoff valve and flex tubing, or maybe an expansion tank as two common things for this issue, but typically $150-250 installed for both or $75-150 for one or the either. More like $100-200 additional if a platform has to be built to get it up above a garage floor for gasoline fume protection.


Kitchen sink area - probably $75-150 to replace piping to sink from shutoff valves under sink, or $150-300 to replace water pipes from the wall to the sink including new shutoff valves.


If you mean replace drain lines under sink, complete to the wall, probably more like $250-400 range. Garbage disposal - about $150-250 additional either way - maybe a bit less if replacing drain lines at same time.


So - rough range - I get about $375 on the low end (for minimum work needed for each item) to about $1650 on the high end (which includes replacing meter and replacing ALL pipes under sink plus a platform under the water heater on the high end estimate) - so yeah, even if you bump that up 50% for NYC or SFO such, still only in the $560-$2475 range for all that by the plumber - not including any needed drywall repair/repainting, if any.


Only the high end gets close to your bid total - so I would definitely be looking another couple of bids. And if everyone says it sounds like it is too much, either it probably is - or there is some issue bumping the cost up which you are not telling them (and maybe you don't know about), so maybe time to talk to the original plumber about detailing WHY his bid is so high - could be he did a math error somewhere.


It is VERRRYY common for contractors (especially in the field) to run out an estimate and write the number from the calculator down without first having eyeballed a ballpark number as a comparison. I have seen thousands of $ errors (either way) because of a fat finger or trying to use a calculator app on a small cellphone - including several cases on multi-hundred million $ jobs where a contractor lost the job because of a fat finger or sticking key or lost decimal running the total too high, and a couple where a contractor got the job (but did not want it at that price) because of missing digits in his calculations - sometimes costing them 10-25% of job cost in loss or in money left on the table because of the error.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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