About a month ago when we had our major plumbing problem, we just picked a plumber to do the work and didn’t shop around. We didn’t have much of a choice as we needed the water back on. We chose Rescue Rooter and the plumber did a good job. When he was doing the work, I was trying to do some calculations to see what it really should have cost based on say $85/hour for a plumber (that’s what I was charged in the past for non-emergency work). The plumber said the rate was the same if it was an emergency or non-emergency. The repair cost a lot, but I started to forget about it.
On Friday, I had Rescue Rooter come out to give me an estimate on putting a T in the main water line to hook up sprinklers to prepare for redoing our front lawn. I almost fell over when he gave me the estimate. It was $520. He knocked $50 off and I said I’d get other estimates. I got a call back and the price dropped to $395. Still, this seemed way out of line. I had already dug the hole to expose the pipe, there was maybe $50 in parts and worst case 2 hours of work. At $100/hour, that’s a total (including parts) of $250. I just got an estimate from another plumber (without seeing it) of around $200; this estimate is much more in line with what I’d expect.
So, it looks like Rescue Rooter ripped me off big time to fix our plumbing issue. Of course, there is nothing I can do about it except write this post. Bottom line, even in a plumbing emergency, shop around if you think the number is out of line. In addition, don’t use Rescue Rooter.