main water line replacement cost?

When the guy from San Jose Water Company came out to see why water-flow was inadequate for our new sprinker system he blamed the galvanized steel main water line, and said he expected a plumber to charge us about $1200 to replace it (it's about 70 feet from the meter to the house). So far we've had one plumber come out to give us an estimate, and he first said $2800, then $2500, and finally $2000. I'll ask other companies for estimates, of course, but was wondering if anyone in here has had this work done recently, and how much it ended up costing.
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If this had been me, I would have asked the plumber what shortcuts was he intending to use to get the lower price. Unless $$ is tight, you want copper pipe (probably 1 inch) from the meter to the house.
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The price was for 1 inch type L copper pipe. He started out at $2800, then went to $2500 when I expressed my surprise at this price (since the water company guy had led me to expect a much lower price). Then later he called me back and said he talked to his boss, who had told him they would do it for $2000 if I gave them the OK today.
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On 06 Sep 2004 23:58:48 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@xs4a11.nl wrote:

Then later he

Shouldn't that tell you something? You're not buying a car at some hack lot.
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It tells me that his first two bids were too high. But is $2000 still too high? I don't know. That's why I'm asking what other people have been paying for jobs like this.
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Not exactly the answer you're looking for, but here's my recent (8/04) experience having a water line put in for a new service in upstate NY (lots of rock in the yard)
Backhoe dug a 165 ft trench 5 ft down through multiple layers of flat rock with some dirt (it was more rock than dirt). The copper pipe installed was type K, 1 inch that came in 100 ft coils.
Total price, digging, laying pipe and backfilling was $10/ft or $1650.00. That price did not include plumbing work inside. THe pipe was inserted into the house, flared and a shutoff installed. The rest was up to me.
Since this was NY and not CA, your mileage may vary.
Tony
On 07 Sep 2004 14:39:53 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@xs4a11.nl wrote:

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wrote:

I should have known you would show up for a Pipes thread.

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This is not rocket science. All you need to do is dig a ditch (good exercise BTW) lay in a new larger pipe and connect it. Also may need a building permit in some areas.
I would do it myself including digging the ditch with a shovel. I have done this before, spent several weeks digging the ditch, but felt great after all that exercise!
I would replace it with galvanized pipe 1" or larger (easier for do-it-yourself), plus get a larger water meter from the water company to equal the size of the new pipe.
(May be 1" pipe from the water main to the water meter, but a 3/4" water meter? Ask water company what you have and ask for advice about what you plan to do. If you have a 3/4 water main pipe going to the street, it would be silly to install a 1" pipe from there to your house unless you also replace the pipe to the water main and the water meter with 1".)

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wrote:

Personally, I had a laborer dig the trench, total cost of labor and materials was right at $220. 1" PVC (We don't freeze, not sure if San Jose would allow PVC...).
Jeff
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How much water do you normally use during one sprinkling session? Get a pressure tank that big and it won't matter what your service line looks like. Or zone the sprinkler system so that it only drives half the lines at once. That should be cheaper than a new $2000 main.

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In alt.home.repair snipped-for-privacy@xs4a11.nl wrote:

So I called a few other companies, and got quotes ranging from $1100 to over $4000. I went with the lowest one, and so I ended up hiring DrainWorks (408-927-9999, they're in the local "valley yellow pages", but not in SBC's "smart" yellow pages). A guy by the name of Ivan did the work. Well, he had a helper who did most of the digging), and am very pleased with the way it turned out. They took care to not damage my plants (temporarily digging up and replanting where needed), and when everything was done it was like nothing ever happened. Except now I have a nice big pipe to feed the sprinklers.
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