This is a question for professional plumbers.
I had a problem with a kitchen drain that was ultimately diagnosed as a
separation of the drain from the sewer beneath the house. The conclusion
was to reroute the 2" kitchen drain into a 4" (I think) metal drainpipe in
the basement. The estimate was for some amount of labor plus $200 in parts.
I agreed, so he came back a couple of days later to do the job.
When we opened the wall, we saw that there was another 2" drain already
built in (apparently for a future bathroom) and was merely capped off. The
decision was made to route the kitchen drain into that drain, which was a
much simpler job.
I noted the parts that were used for the job. He used about 12 to 15 PVC
elbows, and 4 rubber junctions (not sure what they are really called) to
connect the old copper pipe to the new PVC replacement pipe. The plumber
also used about 12 feet of 2" PVC pipe.
When he wrote the bill, he used the $200 figure for the parts. I was
certain that the task was easier than originally though, as it did not
require cutting into the existing 4" pipe nor require whatever parts were
needed to hook that all up again. In fact, the 12 to 15 elbows, at Home
Depot's retail price, are about 80 cents each. The rubber junctions were
about $2.50 each. This adds up to about $22.00, plus whatever 12 feet of
2" PVC costs. which I think is not that much. I did not feel that the labor
charges were unfair, but the price for the parts left me feeling a bit
Should I feel that way, or are plumbing parts typically priced with a 600 to
800 percent markup? I complained to the plumber, but he essentially said
that since I had agreed to pay $200 for parts, I have to pay it. (I asked,
does this mean if he discovered that all he had to do was replace a washer,
that it would've been $200 because I had agreed to it? He refused to answer
Of course, I am quite thankful the job didn't cost thousands, as one plumber
had estimated (he was going to dig up the basement, destroying a finished
bathroom in the process). But I still would like to pay a fair price for
what I got. Should I feel ripped off?