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OUCH!

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EBEBRATT-Ed
EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,844
Guess I have been sitting and watching TV for 4 years since I retired. But I am replacing my water heater now.

I was roaming HD & Lowes with my jaw dragging on the floor from the prices I am seeing for electrical and plumbing material.

I know the rules, no talking prices so just comment in general terms.

My take is we are double+ what things cost 3-4 years ago.

Is that what you guys are seeing?
mattmia2Mad Dog_2MikeAmann

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  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,970
    edited June 2023
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    I bought my house in 2000 and there are a lot of things that are about 5x the price of what they were then. Anything with metal or plastic. Copper pipe used to be relatively cheap, same wit romex. Steel fasteners are so expensive that it almost makes no difference to use stainless for things where it could rust.

    I just bought some paint in rattle cans to repaint some of my snowblower that i had blasted and painted about 15 years ago, spent I think around $150 on paint.
    Mad Dog_2
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,491
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    I think it is okay to mention material prices that are found online, just not job prices, bids ,estimates.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Tom_133WMno57Erin Holohan HaskellJakeCK
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 892
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    In general if you are using numbers for materials from 2 years ago with your bids, you are in deep trouble.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
    Mad Dog_2STEAM DOCTOR
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,251
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    I find some Items 3 to 4 times that.  Did a Burnham Steamex...Near boiler piping Ward Steam fittings 3" & 4" came to $4600.00!!!!!!! Almost keeled over.  Mad Dog 🐕 🤣 
    STEVEusaPA
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 863
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    Yesterday I saw a guy refuse to take two 11-1/2° fittings, 4" PVC pipe fittings that he had special ordered at the supply house. They were $189 per...before tax. An expensive piece of plastic for drain pipe!
  • nde
    nde Member Posts: 86
    edited June 2023
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    "Yesterday's ripoff quote is today's screaming deal"!
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
    edited June 2023
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    If only my income increased by the same percentages... Luckily those of us who own our own homes and have for a while are kind of insulated from inflation. I really feel for those who rent. 
    Mad Dog_2ZmanSlamDunk
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
    edited June 2023
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    Here is a story of someone who tried to protect themselves from inflation by hoarding pennies. ONE MILLION PENNIES (the all copper ones). An illiquid asset with heavy (literally) transaction costs. Now his heirs are left holding the bag(s) of pennies. He should have put the money in an S&P 500 index fund. Or a farmland Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). For example, stock in Weyerheauser (WY) is a timber and land REIT. Are you guys who are working putting the full 6 percent into your 401ks?

    https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/family-finds-1-million-copper-pennies-while-cleaning-out-los-angeles-home/
    ethicalpaul
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,115
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    The ouch has been creeping up steady since covid and to keep in time one must double chk all prices on everything and never assume . Every job ends up costing more in material then excepted and every home owner thinks there getting ripped but they are not it just the rising material costs and inflation and cost of living factored in It s harder every day to make a honest living or at least feel like it when every body and there’s bother wants a better deal but the days of getting a top rate job and getting a deal money wise are far gone the better deal is getting the job done correctly the first time and just paying and stop complaining to the contractor ,better to ask and complain to a politician about the economy since them and corporate have the most to do w it , instead of your contractor he s just trying to make ends meet like every body else keep his head above water ..
    Remember cost is what you pay for the goods not the service and everything that gets paid connected to service is part of the over all picture of being in business and trying to staying in business and survive . It’s extremely easy on even a small job to find yourself behind the 8 ball w just a couple of extra valves and fittings and pipe ouch by trying to be a nice guy and be reasonable priced duh dummy
    As time marches on I highly doubt the good ole days shall return just like a piece of gum that was 1 penny as a child is now 10 cents nothing shall ever return to old like a tide it just rises leaving a ring of Pooh in its lowering .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,041
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    These days, my estimates are only valid for two weeks. Due to price fluctuations. Estimates used to be for three months. 
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,417
    edited June 2023
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    We can blame the fed for this one. They were way to slow to respond. They kept insisting that it was transitory. By the time they finally accepted reality and started to bump interest rates the fire was out of control. I remember having this conversation with my supervisor in 2020. He used to do real estate and his father still did a little on the side and we both watched with our jaws on the floor as the housing stock in our area emptied out and prices began to spiral. At one point I counted less than 5 TOTAL houses listed on the MLS in my small city. That was when the fed should have jacked up the interest rates. Sure we had a lot of cash floating around from stimulus that was supposed to be used to offset losses of the shutdown. But if the interest rates would have been closer to historical averages instead of basically nothing people would have been more likely to save the money instead of going hog wild and stupid. Ultra low interest rates were always going to bite us in the arse at some point. 
    CLamb
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,970
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    I'm looking at outdoor nonmetallic boxes and thinking the prices must be for a 10 pack...
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 669
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    Completely agree. My costs for the pumps I sell have doubled. Leaves me with no choice but to follow suit.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,333
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    How about fifty year POV? Fractional horsepower motor was $100 more or less in seventies? And in those days I could earn $$$ having motor rehabilitated at electric shops, common in those days. Fifties years later price is maybe ten times more and it doesn't pay to repair even if you can find somebody to do that. Housing, own or rent, has probably gone up more than ten times in fifty years.
    If I smoked tobacco or hemp; then I'd grow & roll my own. Same for fifty years ago.
    CLamb
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,750
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    WMno57 said:

    Here is a story of someone who tried to protect themselves from inflation by hoarding pennies. ONE MILLION PENNIES (the all copper ones). An illiquid asset with heavy (literally) transaction costs. Now his heirs are left holding the bag(s) of pennies. He should have put the money in an S&P 500 index fund. Or a farmland Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). For example, stock in Weyerheauser (WY) is a timber and land REIT. Are you guys who are working putting the full 6 percent into your 401ks?

    https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/family-finds-1-million-copper-pennies-while-cleaning-out-los-angeles-home/

    It's higher than 6% has been for many years now. When I worked for a company that had one I was as high as 25% at times.

    The max with your and employers contribution is $61,000.00 or 100% of salary whichever is lower.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulWMno57
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 863
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    All of those pennies? I have that much copper stored myself-- in scrap plumbing!
    I'm guessing those pennies would be about $8k at the scrapper. I think they would be considered #1 copper...no solder, no fittings. Copper holds its value. There's no better common, conductive metal out there than copper. Think of all of those EV's and charging stations...yet to be built!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    psb75 said:

    All of those pennies? I have that much copper stored myself-- in scrap plumbing!
    I'm guessing those pennies would be about $8k at the scrapper. I think they would be considered #1 copper...no solder, no fittings. Copper holds its value. There's no better common, conductive metal out there than copper. Think of all of those EV's and charging stations...yet to be built!

    Aluminum is the better material when it comes to cost vs weight vs resistance.
    That's why it's been chosen for transmission lines for a very long time.


    For generators, motors, transformers I think copper is still #1 but not for transmission.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,390
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    Hi, If I remember correctly, modern pennies are copper clad zinc. They switched over in 1982 to the cheaper penny. 😏 Recycling might not work very well. 🙀

    Yours, Larry
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,511
    edited June 2023
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    There is a saying in economics, "The cure for high prices is high prices." That use to be true when we had open competition in markets and a secure supply chain. Not so today! We don't make our money with production, today, but thru finalization, strip mining merger acquisitions, and stock buy backs.
    I recently read that companies are charging rates higher than production costs and normal profit margins because of the lost profits during the Covid Crisis. You can add future inflation (depreciating currency purchasing power) that companies are factoring into their calculations, too. I concur with those views.
    You could wisely invest in products that you think you are reasonably expect to use in the future. It would be better than having money in a bank paying 50 basis points (1/2%) as you would be buying products at today's prices and selling them to your customers at tomorrow's higher prices. The difference would be your profit (interest on your investment). If you believe that your neurons aren't clicking. There is no profit. You just maintained your wealth.
    I know what your thinking--What do I care about what something costs. The customer bears the costs.
    As I have stated before, "When liquidity dries up, the wheels come off the bus". Say's Law says, "Production precedes consumption". in simple terms. We've been doing it the other way around.
    Knowledge has consequences, but ignorance has consequences, too. Which do you prefer?



    Larry Weingarten
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,970
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    When did plastic outlet boxes get more expensive than metal?
  • FStephenMasek
    FStephenMasek Member Posts: 88
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    WMno57 said:

    Are you guys who are working putting the full 6 percent into your 401ks?

    A few things:
    1) You can put more than 6% into a 401K
    2) You can own real estate in 401K and IRA accounts
    3) Just focusing on stocks and bonds and ignoring real estate is a major mistake too many make

    Author of Illustrated Practical Asbestos: For Consultants, Contractors, Property Managers & Regulators
    WMno57Larry WeingartenHomerJSmith
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,176
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    Back in the day, there was a saying "A penny for your thoughts?" I think these folks must have been asked for their thoughts many times a day! Maybe they were really smart.

    That's my 2 cents worth

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    WMno57JakeCKSolid_Fuel_Man
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,601
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    I saw the penny thing on tv. The young guy who inherited the stash might sell $10000 of pennies for $25000. Some pennies may be rare and worth dollars but who has time to go through ot all? I thought that was a good idea.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,333
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    What Homer posted. Just staying even requires luck.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,844
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    @mattmia2

    I herd a couple of years ago during the pandemic that there are only 2 resin plants in the US that make plastic for electrical boxes. About 2 years ago there was a huge shortage of plastic boxes if you went into HD or Lowes at that time most plastic boxes were not available at all but they had metal boxes.

    I think one of the resin plants had a fire or something.

    Now plastic boxes are available but of course the price will not come back down.

    It's the wire prices that bother me. 12/2 romex was about $140 for a 250 ft coil. And I just saw 500' spools of #12 tHHn at $117/spool.


    Its out of sight.

    Don't know what the scrap yards are paying for copper but it must be up there! Onw of my former co-workers is a big scrapper. I will have to give him a call
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,511
    edited June 2023
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    "The Times They Are A-Changin' "--Thanks, Bobby!
    In a world turned upside down maybe it's better to weather the storm by going back to the "tried and true". Family, trusted friends, and like thinkers.
    https://youtu.be/90WD_ats6eE
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,970
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    It's the wire prices that bother me. 12/2 romex was about $140 for a 250 ft coil. And I just saw 500' spools of #12 tHHn at $117/spool.

    It is because the price of copper is very high. i remember buying a 250' coil of 12/2 romex for like $15
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 863
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    I heard the large resin mfg./handler was a plant in TX that suffered from that freeze-up that occured there.
    Then...there was Uponor running out of red and blue dye for their domestic water pipe! Now it's white/opaque pipe with red or blue "printing" on the side!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    psb75 said:
    I heard the large resin mfg./handler was a plant in TX that suffered from that freeze-up that occured there. Then...there was Uponor running out of red and blue dye for their domestic water pipe! Now it's white/opaque pipe with red or blue "printing" on the side!
    I just use their clear with black print for everything like it's 20 years ago.  :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • mikedo
    mikedo Member Posts: 214
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    i think uponor changed there pipe color because there is a class action lawsuit that it is leaking. the colorization process they used makes pipe brittle after it is expanded
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,924
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    mikedo said:
    i think uponor changed there pipe color because there is a class action lawsuit that it is leaking. the colorization process they used makes pipe brittle after it is expanded
    I seem to recall something about that
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Aluminum wire costs me more than copper of the same gauge did 3 years ago. 

    I ran a bunch of 2.5" PVC conduit for a service, the wire was cheaper than the pipe..... 

    Thankfully some prices have dropped in the last 12 months. 

    Much of it is related to the cost of oil. That drives up manufacturing cost, then shipping costs, etc...

    I did a quote for a 3 phase diesel generator last year, the lead time was 9 months! This is a typical 120Y208 in the 26kW flavor, nothing huge. 

    I bought a used unit 4 states away and paid $3000 to have it shipped. 

    Now, we are back to ridiculous lead times again. 6+ months for common items. Cost almost seems irrelevant when stuff shows up....
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!