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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I've had two times this winter when I had pipes freeze, burst, and flood my downstairs. Stupid builder ran pipes for one bathroom next to an exterior wall OUTSIDE THE INSULATION (yes, I'm shouting). I've got a plumber coming Monday to replace all the pipes in that section with PEX and reroute them inside the insulation, but he's also trying to sell me a $2700 "leak defender" system that automatically shuts off the water if it detects constant flow longer than a certain time.

I'm inclined to get it, because I've lost several days of work hanging around the homestead while things were getting repaired and I'm worried about what our insurance company is going to think of us if we get another leak. My wife says $2700 is a lot of money and getting things properly insulated and replaced with PEX should do the job.

So I figure I'll ask a bunch of bicyclists on the interwebs for advice.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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i totally thought this thread was going to be about something else...

but things being as they are....i have nothing to add...sorry
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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5,887 Posts
Is insurance paying for the repairs this time? If so I would be inclined to ask them to kick in for the leak prevention system. Sell it to them on the "how long and often do you want to keep paying for this sh!t" plan.
 

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midnight melon mounter
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6,621 Posts
Four things -

If you're actually fixing the problem, you won't need the leak defender.

You've got teenage kids, right? Better set that shut-off timer at 45 minutes or you're going to interrupt their showers.

In the event of a break, even 45 minutes of leakage will be enough to make you miss work to fix the problem.

And $2,700 sounds like an absurd amount of money for this thing. What is it, a little flow meter with a mechanical shut-off valve? That sounds like a $150 piece of equipment.
 

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corning my own beef
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5,713 Posts
I suppose I would consider the likelihood (?) that the labor being done will take care of the problem in the long term. Has the frozen pipe frozen right at the same location (where it was not protected) each time? What is the likelihood of further freezing (in another location)?

I guess if you're confiedent that the work is going to remedy the problem, a detection/prevention system might be unecessary. But if the problem might migrate elsewhere, ...... well, you know that $2700 doesn't pay for a helluva lot of plumbing.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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19,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the advice.

The problem is only in one bathroom. It's happened twice at one particular place and nowhere else. There's no plumbing in exterior walls anywhere else in the house.

My wife, who's much smarter than me, pointed out that I could just manually flip the shutoff and drain the lines if we're going away for the weekend.

I asked the insurance company if they'd give me a discount for having the leak-defender and they said no, so I think I'm going to save the $2700 for the time being.

//EDIT: A little googling produces the information that I can buy a device like this on line for around $500 with all the bells and whistles. Splicing it into the main water line is pretty trivial and I can do it myself. Upshot: $2200 saved.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
mohair_chair said:
$2700 is absurd for something you don't need.
I swear some plumbers have a better racket going than the mafia. Not many are all that wise on costs for these kinds of things--an unethical plumber can rake in the dough. I learned this from my water heater experience. Thankfully I got some good advice from here before I got fleeced.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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19,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chain said:
Check this out. http://www.watercop.com/ $335 for the valve, $60 for each sensor. A lot cheaper than $2700.

They also have freeze sensors.
Thanks. That's where I got my $500-ish number: $355 for the valve and three sensors at $50-80 each.
 

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Shirtcocker
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Fredke said:
Thanks. That's where I got my $500-ish number: $355 for the valve and three sensors at $50-80 each.
So the plumber is basically charging $2200 for labor. :cryin:
 

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2 busy workin' 2 hang out
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12,638 Posts
After reading the thread, I'd think about canceling this guy/gal and getting someone else. S/he obviously tried to rip you off big time so I wouldn't trust 'em.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
Henry Porter said:
After reading the thread, I'd think about canceling this guy/gal and getting someone else. S/he obviously tried to rip you off big time so I wouldn't trust 'em.
Yup...I'll never call the plumbing outfit that tried to scew me ever again and I'll also tell anyone else contemplating using them about my experience.
 

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Seat's not level
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19,372 Posts
Bocephus Jones II said:
So the plumber is basically charging $2200 for labor. :cryin:
For a one hour job... what do you make an hour? :D That's the price of fist class H&B
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Henry Porter said:
After reading the thread, I'd think about canceling this guy/gal and getting someone else. S/he obviously tried to rip you off big time so I wouldn't trust 'em.
It's not that simple.

This outfit is one of the best respected in town. They've done some very good HVAC work for me before and when I asked my insurance adjuster for a recommendation he said these are the people he calls when he has a very difficult problem that other plumbers can't fix properly, like figuring out where an intermittent leak is coming from.

I had a different plumber fix my pipes from the first leak and he just cut out a six inch section and replaced it with PEX. I had a plumber from this outfit come and do the second leak and he not only found the leak, but also got three other sections of pipe where it had frozen and swelled the copper, but hadn't burst it.

Yeah, this might be a rip-off attempt, but the company as a whole does very good work and I've been very happy with them for other work around my house.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
Fredke said:
It's not that simple.

This outfit is one of the best respected in town. They've done some very good HVAC work for me before and when I asked my insurance adjuster for a recommendation he said these are the people he calls when he has a very difficult problem that other plumbers can't fix properly, like figuring out where an intermittent leak is coming from.

I had a different plumber fix my pipes from the first leak and he just cut out a six inch section and replaced it with PEX. I had a plumber from this outfit come and do the second leak and he not only found the leak, but also got three other sections of pipe where it had frozen and swelled the copper, but hadn't burst it.

Yeah, this might be a rip-off attempt, but the company as a whole does very good work and I've been very happy with them for other work around my house.
The one that tried to rip me off is one of the highest profile companies in town also--I understand they need to pay for all the advertising they do, but when it doubles the price I'll go elsewhere.
 

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Back from the dead
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Bocephus Jones II said:
I swear some plumbers have a better racket going than the mafia. Not many are all that wise on costs for these kinds of things--an unethical plumber can rake in the dough. I learned this from my water heater experience. Thankfully I got some good advice from here before I got fleeced.
Someone has to make the boat payments. Might as well be you!
 

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Registered
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1,388 Posts
You are going to have enough damage caused by the time that valve kicks in that it makes them mostly useless. I'm speaking from experience.
And $2700 is stoopid.
 
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