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Question DetailsAsked on 7/17/2014

Is $70.00 an hour the standard rate to fix and move sprinkler heads

We put in a new fence not knowing the sprinklers were behind the fence we had them fixed and the bill was over $9000.00 they charged $70.00 an hour for labor and new equipment was $2200.00 is this excessive

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2 Answers


$70/hr is about 25-50% over what I am used to seeing for that type of contractor, unless this was a plumber doing it. You don't say how big the job is, but as a ROUGH ballpark, new sprinkler systems (including the controller) cost about $500-1000/zone of 5-6 sprinkler heads or about $100-200 per head (averaged over system cost), so basically you are talking some ditch digging, new pipe (not worth salvaging old), assembling the system.

I would expect that would cost about $300-1000 for a typical 120' or so fence run depending on whether those sprinklers were all on one zone or one different zones and which way the pipes ran. Simplest would have been if pipes ran under fence so they just had to dig down to the pipe, move the heads to the new location and glue them in (assuming PVC pipe or flex tubing), and fill the hole at the old location. Secondmost expensive would be if it was a single zone, so just dig a trench along the frontof the fence for a new line and reinstall the heads on it. Most expensive would be if all on different zones, and piping had to be run to the new head locations from the old head locations, each a different run.

Materials - 3/4" PCV pipe runs less than $1/foot including fittings and glue, and normal sprinkler heads are about $3-10 each - more like $20-35 if the Rainbird long-reach type, so you could ballpark the materials cost from that.

Labor would normally be maybe 6-12 manhours for this job, so even at your rate of $70 that would only come to less than $1000 so I don't see where they got almost $7000 in labor, or 100 manhours ! That is probably 3-4 times as much as an entire system install normally takes.

I would say, offhand and not knowing the dimensions of your job or number of heads, that your $9000 bill is 3-4 times the normal COMPLETE home sprinkler installation cost from scratch so yes, my gut feeling is you overpaid by far more than a little.

What you can do about it beyond posting a bad review, assuming this was under contract for a fixed price and not cost-plus, is dubious unless you can prove they overcharged you knowlingly - like the materials they charged for are not in the ground, or they did not spend 100 manhours on-site.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


Yes it's quite excessive. $70/hour is $140,000 a year. A LOT more than it takes for relatively unskilled labor. Someone should be able to do that work, with some looking, for 1/3 to 1/2 that cost.

Good luck!


Answered 4 years ago by Jefferson

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