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Added Jan 17 2018

Hello, i'm getting a waterline install quote for a 3 flat in the Northside of Chicago. Looking for economical referrals if anyone has any. I've already gotten pricey quotes from Apex, and Parks Plumbing but am wondering if a smaller company can do better. Thanks everyone.

  • First National Plumbing is outstanding.

  • If you're replacing the galvanized pipes with copper then I suggest you keep new pipe lines away from the external brick walls as they will most likely freeze and caused big problems for you down the road. If they are behind the drywall and next to the bricks then they won't get any heat and will most likely freeze in weather like we are having lately. I had mine run along the center line of the basement, well protected from the freeze. Also the copper tubing comes in two thickness, the thicker is little expensive but better in the long run as less likely to leak/burst/less noisy. So make sure they use the thicker one. One has blue line across the length of the pipe and another one has red line. I forgot which color is better one but you can ask the plumbing person or big box store guys.

  • JoeFlatwoods Love my Albany Park Neighborhood

    A good quality plumber, electrician, etc, is not going to be cheap. The companies you mentioned have very good ratings on Yelp. Why cheap out on something that needs to be done well?

  • Replacing water services is usually pretty expensive, especially if they have to open up the street. The city requires special licenses for that and permits are costly. We use Bubba and Wayne 773-267-1010 for both new water service and flood control systems ad have always been happy with their work.

  • About a 1/3 of your quote is charge by the Great City of Chicago in fees. Not gonna change, the Democratic machine is too strong!

  • @HI B Field, what job did you use them for?

    @RTHamilton can you quote the cities fees? I could only find one which was the permit for breaking open the street which comes to $526.00.I have yet to find reference to water department fees or any other fee/permits that may be required. I'd love for this post to be a good resource for any future people looking for this type of work.

    @39th Warder thanks for the info. This was done already. Pipes already running along the I-beam of the home.

    @JoeFlats lets not confuse competitive pricing with an ability to do a job well. I know many people who are in the trades who offer a very good competitive price, have a low overhead, and offer amazing skills for priced job. I urge everyone to push contractors to compete for your business. This is a very big city with many amazing small businesses to be tapped into. It is important to properly vet any company that is too economically priced compared to the competition. The gamut can run in both directions when it comes to quality of work so lets not dismiss the small fries.

    If I find out more i'll defiantly update the post with how the job turned out.

  • Shawn60625 Proud dad and LS resident

    I spoke to a plumber about doing this for my 2-flat once and he ball-parked it at $15k-$20k. I think there are a number of things driving up the base cost for this. A couple that I'm aware of are:
    1) City permit fee for replacement of an MEP system, without alteration
    2) City Permit for the sidewalk work, as you mentioned
    3) Sidewalk repair (and possibly curb, gutter, and street, depending on where the shutoff is located) has to be done to city standards by a contractor that is pre-approved by the city to do the work (=$$$ for the actual work being done)
    4) Very labor intensive work. At a minimum, they will be trenching from the shutoff to the face of your building and penetrating/repairing your basement floor where the main comes up through)
    5) Any other various permits I don't know about

    I think weather you have a cheap or expensive contractor, there is no way around this having a high 'starting' cost.

  • May I ask why the street to house line needs to be replaced? Is it leaking before reaching the house or having low pressure issue? When I replaced the lines in my building we did it from the point where it entering the house to all the fixtures and the boiler room.

  • Mike Goode Owner of Goode Plumbing in Chicago

    When you say waterline, are you referring to the water service? This is the line that brings water from the municipal main to your building. If that’s the case, then your choices among plumbing contractors is going to be more limited than for work that does not involve going into the public way, which is required to replace a water service. Depending on the current size and fixture count, you may we’ll need to go into the street, requiring a street opening permit among other things. I’m not certain of the age of your 3 flat, but many older buildings in Chicago have a 1 inch lead (or iron) water service which no longer meets current code. You will need to bring things up to current code once you expose it. We do not do water services yet-it is one of the very few services we do not offer (but are looking to in the not too distant future) but would be happy to refer you to someone. If you are looking for inside plumbing, I’d be happy to give you any advice or take a look at things if you’d like.

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