$450 is a Lot of Money*


Perhaps I should have been a plumber (despite the fact that I hate working on plumbing).

My lunch break today, such as it is, involves meeting a plumber who is moving the gas line for my stove from one wall to the opposite wall in the kitchen.

See the back of the stove in the picture above? It’s pulled out about 3′ from its current and soon-to-be-former location. See the plug on the opposite wall, and the piece of tape just above the baseboard denoting the position of the new pipe? That’s where the stove is going. And all pipes, valves, etc. are easily accessible from the basement.

After assessing the work, said plumber has determined it will take around 18′-20′ of flexible piping, 8″ of iron pipe and a shutoff valve.

It will cost between $450 and $500, and take about an hour and a half.

When I bought this place 13 years ago, it had an electric range, and I prefer cooking with gas. So I had to have a line installed (off the existing service for the furnace and water heater). It cost $75. I still have the receipt. Unfortunately, that fellow retired so I was forced to find a new plumber.

I realize it’s been more than a decade…but $450+ seems like a lot of money. Is this local and respectable (according to Angie’s List) business overcharging me? Did the cost of flexible piping skyrocket? Are valves now at a premium?

I know I should send this guy on his way and get a second (and maybe a third) estimate… but I dearly want to be able to finish installing the cabinets on the wall from which the stove is about to move, and need the old gas pipe out of the way to do it. I also want to be able to make a proper pot of Earl Grey when I get (back) home from work this evening. But a $450+ check for the privilege will likely see my crying into my cider instead…which will preclude installing anything.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

* With apologies to Wilbur Pan

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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16 Responses to $450 is a Lot of Money*

  1. Tom Dickey says:

    I live in the north east and up here 18 to 20′ of flex is a major no no. Inspectors would not pass the job. Should be ALL black pipe with 3′ of flex for the actual connection. Flex is 2 to 3 times the cost of black pipe. Why can’t he reuse the valve?

    • fitz says:

      It’s “Tracpipe,” which he assured me is to code. I dunno why he feels that’s the best choice. I’m just writing a check.

  2. freonguy says:

    I am a gas fitter in Canada at a Mill, so I don’t get into the pricing, but was in business for 20 years prior, so I have a good idea ‘ what it takes ‘ so to speak.
    Flex line is approved here, so if he is legit, it likely is in your jurisdiction.
    What wanted to say though is $450, while lots of $$, is not too out of line.
    He will have at least two hours in it by the time he is done, plus materials, vehicle expense, likely a $50 ( plus ?) gas permit , and be a bonded, insured business.
    Labour is $100.00 per hour around here ( not sure about your area ) for a bonded guy with the right stuff, so unfortunately, you get to five hundred bucks, fast!!
    Sorry, but the old guys are few and far between anymore. You may have to shop around.
    Good luck.

  3. miathet says:

    I would think that is very high unless he is replacing all the gas because you have all 1/2 inch pipe. In general the flexible pipe has lowered the cost of install by trading labour for somewhat more expensive pipe. 450 USD to redo your whole house isn’t bad but I paid 175 USD to move our range 12 ft but our core pipe was 3/4″.

    The only other reason to raise the cost would be if there a cost with that wall in particular.

  4. OUCH! That certainly hurts the pocketbook. Get FW Media to give you a much deserved raise immediately to cover such incidentals. Russell

  5. Jeremy says:

    To any young gents asking for career advice I always point them to plumbing. There’s always a shortage of clean cut, on-time plumbers and those that can be found make great money (and don’t have excessive student loans). That said if 20′ of flex pipe is allowed (I don’t think it is in my area) there really is no reason to hire it out, flex pipe in open areas is connecting the dots. Also thanks for the W Pan link that was perfect.

    • fitz says:

      Yeah, but I draw the line at DIY when a mishap could blow up the neighbors’ houses. (Were I to electrocute myself, well, I’m the only one suffering…or not suffering anything anymore.)

  6. John Horst says:

    I agree-do it yourself. Pull info up on the net as to what joint compound is best and check for leaks at the joints with soap suds or the like.Have a friend work with you if it will help your confidence.

  7. pracofnia says:

    Well having an actual offer in Poland where average income is around 1200 USD gross/ 900 USD net is for the same length of piping and installing a gas stove in the kitchen 320 USD. So I don’t think that 450 is that expensive in the US.

  8. Derek says:

    Hi Megan,

    Sorry for your reno hassles…nothing is easy, eh? I’d be happy with your $500 bill….I thought I would go efficient and get a gass clothes dryer to replace the old electric one that died. Figured it would be easy to install, since we have a gas water heater, so the plumbing is already in place in the laundry room. Silly me. I bought the dryer, had it delivered, then called the plumber to come hook it up.

    The dryer is diretly across the 5′ room from the water heater.

    The bill? $850. Of course, I was away at the time, so my wife just wrote a check. Then again, what are you supposed to do, with the new unit already there! Oh well….I’ll have to do a lot of laundry to make up that bill!

    I’m in Maryland, by the way.

    Good luck!


  9. toolnut says:

    Get a couple of quotes. Buy your tea at Starbucks on the way home.

  10. billlattpa says:

    That one is hard to say. Electrically, moving a line I probably would’ve charged $100 for labor (roughly) and the material cost. I hate to speak for somebody else, but I actually did ask somebody and he said he would have charged around $200 give or take material cost. Hope this helps.

    • fitz says:

      Thanks Bill. I wrote the check…it was more than a week ago, and it’s done. My stove works, it’s where I want it, so I guess I’m pretty much over it. Pretty much.

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