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Paid LFS to plumb my tank...did I get ripped off?

Fishko

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No you couldn’t get all that for that price :D
Depends what tank size, i think for a 90g you could with 1in plumbing. The spears unions can be bought online for 2.99each. Spears gate valve for 29$, depends how many you want. Colored pvc goes on sale on brs pretty often. Probably most expensive part. But thats assuming you are doing all the work.
 

Adamantium

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How's this coming along, @Uptowngirl? I'm kind of invested at this point haha

I know that in my area, that would still be a lot, but not as much as some are saying. I think a lot of this depends on where you're located.
 
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Uptowngirl

Uptowngirl

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I got a voicemail today while I was at work from the LFS. Let me quote some of the voicemail for ya:
“We don’t use rigid plumbing because it can leak. It can also be used like a crowbar and break the bottom of the tank.”
“Flexible tubing has been industry standard for 30 years”
“We occasionally use schedule 40 for commercial jobs“.
He also claimed I was using furniture grade pvc even though it was all schedule 40 from BRS.
I’m not really sure what to say to all of this, I really thought most people used pvc for their plumbing. In all of my research on this site when I tried to do it myself it was all pvc.
Am I wrong?

Part of the reason I got into this hobby is because I find looking at a reef and watching the fish and coral so peaceful. I have bad anxiety and thiswhole experience has been so stressful for me. I am never the type of person to complain but I just really want this done right where I don’t have to worry!

B4F58A52-FD31-4A5A-B97F-A5D7BC5F0E38.jpeg
 

Reef.

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Agreed.

I think we've already seen in this thread how people try to 'justify' it -- by adding up all expenses their business has, and trying to cover all those expenses on this one job. Creative accounting!
no one in this thread has justified the price of $330, even the electrician who explained some of their costs said this job was a $150 job.
 

h2so4hurts

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Eh, threaten to leave 1 star reviews everywhere until you're satisfied. That's surprisingly effective these days. Or maybe they won't care and they'll be out of business soon. I think in the future ask for an on site consult before they do work, or make them provide an estimate. That will let you have an idea of what it will cost and anchor the price to something reasonable.
 

Reef.

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From the voicemail, I don’t think a threat to leave bad reviews will help here, in general I don’t think that tactic works, I know it would just make me more determined to stick to my guns.

I would go to the shop, harder to turn you down face to face, take a friend with you, they are less likely to fob you off with a witness there, I would aim for a part refund, if that is looking unlikely see if the job can be fixed to your liking.

if that fails, if paid with card, try a charge back, or get the card company involved, will at least give the shop some hassle dealing with that.

if all that fails, then leave a suitable review on as many sites as you can.
 

Inkgirl

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Omg I cannot stand people/businesses who take advantage of people! I would talk to the LFS about getting at least a partial refund, but I would not let them come near my home again. Too many people here to help you. From what I saw of some of the pics you posted, you did a fine job yourself, leaks happen, and you learn from them. I did mine and only had 1 small small leak and it was literally because I hadn’t tightened a Union down.
 

OREGONIC

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I am an electrical contractor and have run into the cost issue many times.

I am not defending the LFS in any way, and yes it seems to be a tad high on the cost. IMO.

But here is my take and I will use my trade as the example.
I get customers that call and they want to me to install a celling fan.
I charge a base price of $225.00 for this service with a customer provided fan and a existing ceiling outlet that is rated for the weight of the fan, and in town. Most will claim highway robbery.

Here is my breakdown.
Labor starts from when my employee leaves and heads to the job.
Is this fair, I think so but you tell me, some say no way but, my employee gets paid for every hour he is working.
That's if he is driving to a job or on the job. So if he is being paid I have to charge for this time.
Sometimes it can take better than an hour to get to around due to traffic and so fourth.
It also averages an hour and a half onsite to, introduce oneself, bring in ladder, and tools, inevitably move furniture, and or cover furniture and floors with tarps, remove the old fixture or fan, assemble the new fan, Balance the thing remove tools and clean up.
Then there are the other expenses, some were mentioned already.
Fuel
Truck insurance
Truck maintenance.
City business license.
Contractors license.
The big one Liability insurance.
If that fan comes down or a blade comes off, it will severely injure a person, and I am done for.
The cheaper the fan the more risk involved for failure.
One electrical contractor was put out of business because one of the sticky weights flew off the top of the blade and and blinded the resident in one eye. Unfortunate situation for both, but that's the risk.
So am I going to take that risk! Yes but not for a few measly bucks.
IF something gets broken bringing in tools and ladders, or a floor gets scratched, its on me to repair or replace.
My deductible for this type of thing is $2,500.00, so yes its an out of pocket expense.

But in the end most will seek another as I am considered way to expensive. But am I ???
Anyway that's ok with me.

Now I know this is not an apples to apples comparison.
The LFS person I doubt makes skilled tradesmen wages, and is probably in there own car or the owners car not a service truck with a 3 million dollar insurance policy, and doubt there is any general liability policy of any kind.
But IMO as a business I would probably charge $150.00 for this plumbing job.
I’m sure you are not providing a sub par service tho. This was clearly sub par. If this LFS took pride in their work they would charge more and explain why they charge what they charge. Most hobbiest who want quality would happily pay an additional 100-200 to have it properly done. Just the use of a ss hose clamp shows they take no pride in their work. This LFS literally setup this tank for future failure.
 

coralfarmer

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I will say, PVC can be cheap but extra supports and such cost more. I do charge a premium for install services, but that’s to get it professionally done in a timely manner. Although, my installs I do feel are a bit higher quality than this one

68B15286-97E1-4F0B-B1DC-45634BBE6D03.jpeg 73E3E67D-B5C6-41B6-879F-25578F1B9B89.jpeg
I’ve seen that bottom pic before , very nice .
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Kris 2020

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I've never paid anyone to plumb, so I don't know about the price. My tank is hard plumbed to the basement sump, then flex back up to the tank. I used flex back up to try and reduce head pressure on the pump, gradual turns instead of 90s on the pvc. I did my own plumbing. That being said, I feel like no shut off or water control valves on these lines is a big no no. Also you didn't get the kind of drain you wanted. I know having a leak right off probably made you think "I dont know what im doing so I better call someone who does", but it’s not unusual to have a leak at first water test, even experienced peeps get that. You might have to cut your losses with the lfs that plumbed the tank, since it doesn’t seem like they will stand behind their work. If it were me I would replumb the tank the way you want it.
 

sfin52

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Agree with everybody. That's not a quality job. If my shop that would be embarrassing to have my stores name and pic associated with that job


You did a fine job. Leaks happen when installing thats why we do leak tests. Somebody here will be able to walk you through it help trouble shoot it.
 

anthonygf

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This last picture shows all the bubbles from the return. The Durso standpipe came from a box kit, he pulled out so no measuring was done for my tank at all.
What can I replace the metal hose clamp with that won’t leech anything in the water but will also be secure?
Move the return hose away from electrical outlet and keep the hose above sump in case of leak.
 
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