ALWAYS Get a 2nd Opinion...$2,000 saved

18 Replies

I just wanted to bring up the importance of getting a 2nd opinion when having any type of work done....

One of my units was getting no cold water at all, I called a local plumber (bigger corporate type) and they checked everything out. After a 10 minute long explanation (I'll spare the details), it came down to a $4,000 job which I was able to talk down to $2,000 for an alternative solution with a lower success rate...I said deal. Luckily for me (in a weird way), the plumber had an injury and had to go to the hospital and was unable to start the job on time.

With this extra time I brought in another plumber, a referral from my cousin, and he came over to check it out. I am not kidding when I tell you that all he did was TURN ON THE VALVE AT THE MAIN LINE and there was cold water again...

$2,000 saved. ALWAYS get a 2nd opinion.

Lesson learned.

Cheers!

Great 👍 and I agree with you 

How the valve was shut off. Did you buy the unit recently?

Wow, I'm so glad this worked out in your favor. Remember not to call that first plumber ever again. They either were taking advantage of you or were terrible plumbers.

That's a good story to share. a few years ago the today show did an undercover spot on plumbers. They loosened a valve on the water heater or something, something any plumber would check, and called over a dozen places in the area of suburban new York city. over half of the plumbers said they needed new water heaters, and wouldn't defend themselves when confronted with the truth.

Let me get this straight. You paid a plumber $2000 to turn on a valve and are celebrating because it "saved" you $2000? Is this a special valve that require specialized tools or equipment? Does your city require valves to only be turned by licensed valve turners?

What did the original plumber plan to do for the $4000 (subsequently reduced to $2000 by making a more simple repair)? How did he plan to "fix" no cold water? Glad it worked out for you, but I am interested in the details!

@Brian Pulaski Basically he wanted to replace all the pipes that went from the main line to the unit (kitchen sink, toilet, washer/dryer hookup, vanity, and shower). Most of those are in a crawl space so I guess it would've required more time than usual? Roughly 8 hours of work plus materials and he came up with this magic number...another lesson learned is to have them not only provide a price but a detailed breakdown of what is being done and get it in writing.

Originally posted by @Steve DellaPelle :

I just wanted to bring up the importance of getting a 2nd opinion when having any type of work done....

One of my units was getting no cold water at all, I called a local plumber (bigger corporate type) and they checked everything out. After a 10 minute long explanation (I'll spare the details), it came down to a $4,000 job which I was able to talk down to $2,000 for an alternative solution with a lower success rate...I said deal. Luckily for me (in a weird way), the plumber had an injury and had to go to the hospital and was unable to start the job on time.

With this extra time I brought in another plumber, a referral from my cousin, and he came over to check it out. I am not kidding when I tell you that all he did was TURN ON THE VALVE AT THE MAIN LINE and there was cold water again...

$2,000 saved. ALWAYS get a 2nd opinion.

Lesson learned.

Cheers!

Amazing! Sadly, stories like this happen every single day.

On several occasions, I got to find out, after the fact, that some contractors took advantage of my ignorance 

I had a similar situation once where I was told it would cost $1500 to fix something on the furnace in one of my rentals. Before scheduling the appointment I got another quote and the second person told me to replace a $35 part. I replaced the part and the furnace worked without issues! 

Great job getting a second quote @Steve DellaPelle !

Sometimes they are trying to actively screw you by relying on your lack of knowledge...... other times they are just straight up bad at their jobs and cant diagnose the actual issue, so just throw out repairs with the hope it may fix the issues.

The flip side is that I've seen plenty of guys get second opinions from other companies and go with the cheapest one....only to find out that the more expensive guy was right and now you end up paying even more since the first "cheap guy" fix didn't do jack or even made the issue worse....so it can go both ways....

@Ned J. Thanks for the reply...it's a tricky game to play indeed. I don't doubt that the $2,000 work could be helpful to me because it is definitely an older system and it's something I will probably need to get done in the future BUT the fact that he didn't even consider the basics makes me skeptical...Ideally I'd like to find someone who will 1. Check the basics first and then 2. Offer me the best solution

Sadly, most contractors are crooks.  I have been building/renovating houses for 30 years and it is nearly impossible to find honest, dependable subs.  When you do find one that does great work at a great price-they get super busy and successful and then have to hire more help.  Then, the help is worthless, so you are back to looking for another guy.  And, in my experience, plumbers are the worst.  The best way to find a good one is go to the local plumbing supply house (not big box stores-they are worthless).  Go to the place where the professional plumbers buy parts and tell the guy at the counter what you need.  The counter guys are very knowledgeable and can recommend someone.