Nick's Plumbing Live Video Transcription:
On today’s show. This is part one of our plumbing cost guide in Houston.
I’m Richard Saad, I’m John Eccles back again, man. Richard, of all the questions we get from our customers, right? Whether it’s on the phone or in the field, how much is this going to cost me is easily number one that we hear the most. We get a lot of phone calls on that. Oh absolutely. How much is this? How much is that? Absolutely. That’s number one a and the second most common question is probably, is there any kind of plumbing cost guide for the work that you do that I can look at? You know, they want to know kind of up to the up to speed before we get out there. That’s exactly right. Now I will say on our website, we do have averages. You guys, so you can always go to our website and not every single job in the plumbing industry is going to be in there, but we’ve got a lot.
Yeah, and you know that. That’s what I was going to say next is that in the plumbing industry, there’s so many variables that come into play when you’re pricing a job, it makes it impossible to lock in a fixed plumbing costs for every single particular job. I agree. And any company that gives you a locked in cost over the phone, you need to be skeptical. Yeah. They haven’t seen it. They don’t know what it’s about and every house is different. Absolutely. Right. Absolutely. Every house is not the same. Well, you know, for example, replacing the sewer pipe that runs from your house out to the city main line, right, might only cost $6,000 by itself, but you start factoring in the cost of excavation. Where are we digging up? Is there concrete, a patio or a driveway, landscaping. There’s all these different things that might need to be removed and replaced. All of a sudden $6,000 sewer line becomes a 10 $20,000 emergency. That’s exactly right. What people fail to mention a lot of times over the phone is they will tell us, hey, how much does this cost? And they out about 10 other things that were important to that question. Yeah. To be able to base a decision on cost. Yeah. That’s why it’s so important that we send somebody out there and we can take a look at it.
Yeah. You know, week after week, usually on this show we try to inform you about ways to avoid the pitfalls of have plumbing cost repairs, you know, by doing proper maintenance, um, and stuff of that nature. Now today we’re going to try to prepare you for the realities of plumbing repair costs. That’s exactly right.
Obviously we don’t have enough time on a single show to list every price, like we said a few minutes ago, of every service that any plumbing company offers. Right. But some of the most common jobs we do, we’ll give you a range of what to expect should you need plumbing services.
Absolutely. Right. Let’s start with the particular pricey project for our first example that a lot of people are getting done. Whole House Repiping that’s a big one. Oh yeah. Oh, it’s a costly, absolutely. You know, and as the term suggests, whole house repiping involves replacing all of the water pipes that make up your entire water plumbing system. Right. When we do this, we’re going to go into your home. We’re going to expose all of the plumbing that we need to get in there so that way we can make a good cut in your system to remove old piping, to get new piping in, which is a lot of demo. Um, so maybe though, yeah, sometimes we, well we keep it minimal. Obviously we’re not trying to Swiss cheese your house. We keep it minimum as possible. I like that. Swiss cheese. Yeah. We keep it as minimum as possible.
So it’s not a big old, you know, heartache for you, but all that old piping, you know, that, that that’s in the structure has to be removed where possible or bypassed if we can, if it’s going to cause more damage to remove it, why would I want to tear apart my whole house? Right. To rip out all the plumbing and replace it all. Right. Right. Why would I want to do that? Well, especially if you’re thinking that the plumbing works just fine. So that’s a great question. But the fact that your plumbing is working just fine right now, the best time to get a whole house re pipe is before it actually fails because once it fails, we’re talking about a flood in your home that can be released in thousands of gallons of water into the interior home. And that’s what we don’t want. So what you’re saying is if I have galvanized piping, which that’s the number one pipe to fail, right. That over time it is going to fail. Yup. And I’m going to have problems. Absolutely. No question. You know, we’re asking our customers to be a little bit, and not everybody does it, but you want to be proactive, not reactive. What? I don’t want my house to flood. No, no.
So if you’re in a home that was built prior to 1970 you have galvanized pipe. Yeah. You know your supply and your drain system. Yeah. And your drain also has cast irons. Right? Right. But the galvanized pipes make it a greater chance of that house flooding. Absolutely. Right. And creating some major damage. In fact, my parents house and I tell people, I give them two leaks. So one leak. Okay. Secondly, you get a whole new system. Yeah. You know it’s a ticking time bomb from there. Absolutely. So what it does is it corrodes the coating comes off in the middle and it actually exposes that steel pipe. Right. And that’s what creates the failure over time.
You know, even if you’ve had interim work done to replace section of the pipe, a whole house re pipe or return your home’s plumbing to brand new condition. I mean you’re talking about taking out, ripping out the entire old system regardless of its past or not and putting all new. So that supply system is new. Now the starting costs for a basic whole house raid pipe depending on size of home. Again, these is, these are things where there’s several variables that come into play regarding it, but they range from probably 4,500 up to the pin on the size of the house and material to use in the variables can get into twenties easily. You know, and I’m sure that there’s houses out there that could probably be more, you know, it depends how many bathrooms. Yep. Right. Yeah. Depends on square footage. Yep. Depends on access. Yeah. Those are all things you need, you guys need to think about. So there is no way to give you a cost on this over the phone. You must have somebody come out and look at it. Yeah. You know, we actually get those questions, you guys from people, uh, how much does this cost over the phone? Oh yeah. You know, and there needs to be a level of understanding. There’s so much more that goes behind the scenes and in the scenes to be able to put up cost structure to that together.
Well, yeah, if you say you have a two bath house, you know, the two bath house with her back to bag versus one where they’re separated across the house, I try. That’s a totally different situation. Right.
Or if you’ve got two bathrooms downstairs, three bathrooms upstairs, half bath over here to laundries. I mean it’s, those all impact the cost. Absolutely. Right? So any plumbing that’s located behind the walls and ceilings will result in the cost structure, uh, on the repiping of the job. Yeah. And we have to look at that to see, you know, if there’s any leaks that are hiding behind the walls or ceiling, you’re definitely going to have to repair any would that might’ve been damaged if depending on how long it’s leaked and stuff. And guess what that also adds to the cost. You know, all those different things. And again, if you’ve never had to deal with it, you might not know. You know, you might not expect, but you know, along with being costly, it’s, it’s somewhat lengthy, right? It’s messy and it’s expensive. But the one true upside is that you only probably have to do it once in your lifetime. As long as you own that particular home.
It’s exactly what I was going to send out. But let’s go one step further. That home probably never have to be upgraded from the water supply. In other words, you can move. Yeah. But the new owner will get the benefit. Absolutely. Never have to do it. That’s right. Yeah. And unless it was done wrong. That’s correct. It was done wrong. That makes a difference. Of course. Yeah. And we see that, oh yeah. Improper installs. A big part of our business cause a premature failure of your new piping structure. Absolutely. You know, so I see it mostly in copper guys, not reaming pipe properly. They’re not sweating pipe properly. Not Putting it together properly. This new peck stuff makes it kind of dummy proof somewhat. Somewhat, but I’m still seeing mess up that still sees him as, yeah, absolutely. But I’d like to say the most difficult hall house Repiping job with copper are actually is with copper.
Yeah, but it’s also the best material. What is it? What do I like to say about copper? And I’m going to say are wrong. I know that anti anti bacterial, absolutely. It’s the only material that we have left. It’s antibacterial. We had a customer actually call about an assessment for re pipe and he was aware of that, which I thought was pretty cool. Yeah. He wanted copper. He requested. He wasn’t sold on the pecs quite yet and so he was, he was in question copper. That’s exactly right. So the pricing structure is all going to depend on what material that you pick out. Yeah. And access how many bathrooms? Square footage. I hope we’re getting the message across. There’s no way to give you a cost structure on this on the phone, right? Right.
Yeah. I mean again the plumbing price guide that we have on our website and the answers that you’re going to get from us, we’ll be very vague and we’ll definitely want to come out to your house and see it, you know from pricing is the way we want to do it. That’s all we offer it for free. We come out for free. That’s exactly right. That’s right. Free. You said free. Yeah. Would come out for free. That’s it. So take advantage of that.
The second task that we want to give you a cost, you know, plumbing cost estimate for is going to be replacement of your sewer line. Yeah. Another big ticket item.
Well wait, you just re pipe my whole house.
Yeah we did. But that has nothing to do with your sewer line. Right? Oh, so you’re, you’re water reed piping system is what takes pottable water from the city to your fixture. The sewer line is after it turns in the gray water, non potable takes it from your house back out to the city.
I just learned something today. That’s how it works. That’s how it works. So water comes in and it goes through these things and then it hits whatever and it goes out to the city and it’s right. Wow. Wow.
But again, this is a one more time about these major jobs or these variables get tricky. So given a price over the phone is very, very difficult just because there’s a lot of variables. What kind of landscapings in the way, is there any concrete? Is there any routes? Um, patio? Yep. Depth of the sewer line. I mean, there’s a lot of things that go into it that can change that. Pricing. How many feet apps? Oh yeah. Lynn linear feeds another big one. You know. Um, are we talking about the part of the sewer line that might be under the slab? Right. Which is actually called your your sewer drain, not your sewer line. Anyway, that’s a little technical. Anyhow, those variables tend to change the price a lot. Now ideal situation, it’s nothing but soil and a little bit of sod on top and you’re going, but I’m telling you right now from experience that doesn’t happen a whole heck of a lot.
So really there’s not too many sewer jobs that are identical. Just like the repiping and a lot of thing. None of them are. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that go into those. So again, if you call us, we can kind of guide you in just like our website guide you and give you some ballparks, but from estimates are best to have a guy come out and take a look at those. Absolutely. And for verification. Yeah, add to make sure you even need it. How many times in the past three months if we’ve been behind guys that actually said they needed a total sewer line replacement and they did not more than one. One was like 25 grand and we fixed it for grant. Yeah. Cause he didn’t need a whole line replacement. Yeah, and that happens a lot. You guys there is, it’s helpers help and help raise these days.
So that’s the problem. Yeah. You know, so you want them to you weed. That’s another reason why we liked the verify. We want to make sure what we’re saying is accurate and you need what needs to be done. That’s exactly right. So the third plumbing job we want to give you a little pricing info about is slab leak repair. Oh my goodness. Slab leak repair. I’ve already read piped, God knew. Sure. Now I got a drain problem. I can buy a new house almost for this. John, this is really adding up today as well. Let you know the tickets are adding higher and higher. That’s exactly right. Most of our homes are built on slabs and Houston, but we are located in the heights, which is one of the older parts of Houston. So you’re looking at heights, Montrose, west, you, river oaks. Most homes around us are going to be appearing.
Been correct. The further you go out west and south and north. Yeah, they’re going to be on slab. Correct. Right. Or anything that they’re tearing down and rebuilding. A lot of times I put slabs. That’s exactly right. Now still around us. They’re not right. They’re still building a stair and beam around us. That’s exactly right. So what’s it going to take to fix my under slab piping? Well, the first thing is making access is almost impossible without some sort of excavation work, right? To make access there, you’re going to have to excavate at some sort, whether it be interior from exterior going underneath, there’s to be some sort of bust out demo, something like that to happen. Um, you know, the easiest way to know that you have a slab leak Riaz obviously you start seeing pulling water somewhere. Um, and that’s a thing. Yeah.
Shifting. You know the, the funny thing is is I know that we talked about Walter Reed pipes and stuff like that, but you can actually have a slab leak. Could be fresh water or it could be sure water, right? It could be either or out in Katy or running a lot of the high pressure water domestic under the slab. Yeah. So when you’re doing that, that’s another thing that might be able to give you a tale is when you see that pool of water, does it look like gray water? Does it smell like gray water, meaning something that has equal manner in it, right? Or is it fresh water that has no smell? It’s clear in color. You think you got a dirty job. I know that tried, hey it happens. But these slab leaks are a very tricky a repair and they’re difficult. Determine where the source can come from without digging in under the slab and doing some isolation testing.
You know, it’s very, very, uh, technical and it takes normally a really experienced plumber to do this. I, it’s not snip, snip here, there snip, snip. Uh, no, I’m not going to get one of those here. No, I agree. The, the, the repair, the physical link beneath your slab though, um, is going to be the least expensive part of the slab repair. Honestly. You know, you’re talking about, um, the snip snip part, but the locating, figuring it out, figuring out, isolate any, where’s it happening and then getting to it. That’s right. That’s, that’s expensive. That is absolutely it because you’re talking about a piece of your plumbing that is not normally needed or accessed. Right. And it’s put under there for a reason because we don’t, you know, we see it quite often because we’re a plumbing company, but as a homeowner, if you live in two houses that have this problem, you’re probably really unlucky, right.
When you say where you’re in Marlene, I’m, that’s true. That’s true. But a, again, this is a, a major fix, right? It’s going to incur a lot of costs. A lot of labor goes into these jobs. Um, so, and it should be a onetime event in our lifetime should be absolutely. Again, done properly done. The improper installed piece comes back. If you have a company that’s maybe not qualified to handle it, then it’s gunna where they got helpers helping helpers unqualified unqualify the handle it is what I like to say. Most people are outbursts helping help present days. But, um, that’s why it’s very important, you know? That’s exactly right. Yeah. So moving on to the plumbing cost guide listed as an item that needs to be replaced every seven to 12 years, what could that be? What is it, John? I think, what are we talking about? Are you possibly talking about water heaters? Yes.
So now this is one that I felt people, 10 years manufacturers will tell you 12 I’m telling you, 10 get rid of it. And 10, no matter what [inaudible] I’m a check at seven be ready it for sure. And then at 10 and he’s the go to. Exactly right. But this is one probably more of our customers are aware of, or I, this is something that I think more and more people do. Yeah. You know, now this is probably not the most expensive repair or replacement and your plumbing system, but it’s something that requires regular attention, regular maintenance. And it’s still costly though. But what I would say is the most costly part of the plumbing system on the interior of the home. Yes. And unless you go get one of those real fancy Vail Kohler toilets, I’m giving color a shout out today. Right, right.
That’s got the big day. Oh yeah. It’s like three times the cost of a water heater. Right. Whether that’s, that’s typically in peoples homes, water heaters are the most costly item to the plumbing system on the inside. Right, right, right. So now we’ve covered, besides the water piping, we got sewer on the outside drains underneath. Now we’re under water heaters. Yeah. So, and I mean the, and this is something, you know, of course you use all of them every day, but it’s something that again, has a bunch of different variables in it. Right? That’s right. So what style of water heater do you have? Is it a tank type of variety? Is it 40 is it 70 gallons is a 50 gallons. Where’s it located? 30 gallons. Yeah, yeah, yeah. One bathroom homes around us. Some of them have 30 is it located in your kitchen? Is it located in a closet?
Is it located in the garage? The addict? I mean there’s, there’s it all up to code. Yeah. It’s endless. The different things. We have gas regulations that are regulated by the state that we have to abide by. Absolutely. We just can’t go snip, snip, cut and cut, put in and not bring everything else up to current regulation that’s putting us in jeopardy big time. So when you’re doing a replacement of your water heater, there is a bunch of things to look at, not just snip, snip, pull this 50 gallon, 40, 30 gallon tank, whatever you’ve got out and put a new one. Yeah, we didn’t even mention is it electric versus gas? Is it a tankless? Maybe. I mean there’s again, there’s pungent sets, right? Hundred and on top of that there’s different btu loads on water heaters as well. So what does that mean you guys?
Btu I should say bt requirement or delivery actually delivers the right word. Right? Right. So some have, a lot of them are at 38,000 BTUs and I go up to typically 199,000 BTUs and that’s going to be a commercial, a unit typically for a kitchen in, in, uh, um, restaurant or a tankless, tankless or a tankless too. We’ll go to one 99 and some go higher. Yeah, somewhere a little bit lower. But all those items will impact the cost structure. So I would ask you guys, how over the phone are you going to get an accurate price? But we get tons of phone calls. How much is your water heater?
Well, okay it, what about these 20 other questions that you can’t answer for us to be accurate on? That’s why we have to get somebody out there. Right? For sure.
So you know the, you know, the biggest thing is is when you’re replacing, you know, Italian type heater did the actual heater in that the replacement isn’t horribly expensive but usually run in, you know, probably 1,820 $500 or so. But you know, when, when you’re talking about all the other variables that go into it, then that changes things. Yeah. Right. You know, we try to steer our customers in a direction of of different things and if the cost of replacing heater gets so high, you know, we, we like to, we like to at least give the option of the tankless just because of the benefits from it. That’s exactly right. I know there’s a lot of benefits that come with a tankless heater and if you’re one of those people that haven’t had a water heater in a long time and it’s going to require a lot of code upgrades and stuff, then a tankless unit not only can save you money, do your energy bills and stuff, but their lifespan is forever.
Yeah. North of 20 years is what they say. Yeah. Which is gaining, if you put a softening piece on that house and you get them maintenanced eyes, you’re supposed to, I think you’d get maybe 50 years out of it. Cause it’s just component replacements. Yeah. At that point it’s just, they’re just plugging pay and play components. So if a component goes at, you’d pull it out, put a new component. Yeah. Not to mention 24 hour a day. Hot Water as much as you can have. Yes. So anybody that’s got that 150 gallon soaking tub, yeah. You can stay in there forever. Yeah. And it will keep you hot.
And full of hot. It is nice for the, the big soaker tubs especially, you know, we get customers that complained that they run out of water halfway through and stuff like that. Yeah. You know, those tankless units where they’re more expensive up front, the savings actually comes the longer you own it, own it. Obviously the more you’re going to save because of different reasons, you know, energy. The same thing we just talked about. Um, you know, with though with those pricings they’d probably start around four. Right, right. And again, they can go as high as six, seven, depending on more than one unit. How big of a unit, you know, how many units you have or how many of the units that you need. Yeah. But how big as the house, how many bathrooms? Again, what are we feeding? What’s in the bathrooms? Yeah. Lot of engineering goes into going from a tank to a tankless. Absolutely. It’s just not snip, snip, but put nope. But that’s why we always say [inaudible] the end of every one of our shows is what we’re here for you. Right? Right. If you need anything, you have questions, concerns. We want to be your knowledge bank. We want to be able to tell you you need to do this with your sewer line. Hey, did they add, hey, I had a company I will. Did they ask you this? Did you ask them bad? Uh, your whole House repiping piping, you know, did they offer this? Okay. Uh, what are your concerns in the future or that maybe you should think about copper, all those things. We want to work through you and make sure that you’re making the best decision for you, your household, your family, your financial situation, whatever that is. That way you’re taking care of, ask as many questions and we are here to answer them whether you use us or not. We will continue to preach that you use this or not. We are going to answer the questions. We are going to help you give us a call.