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The last 10 posts

Friday, June 11th 2010, 8:26am

by HooKooDooKu

RE: 825Y FIX

If your still needing help, the best thing to do is go down to lowes and by what is called a "Gator Bite" fitting. these are great for homeowner with out a lot of experience with copper. the just push together and your done. They hold great. as far as getting the old one off all you have to do is cut the up right pipe on the discxharge side and spin that peice of copper off, after that hold the male adapter at the house with channel locks and spin the backflow off. That easy


Only problem... now that we know what the city permitting requirements are, this is effectively an illegal suggestion.

Thursday, June 10th 2010, 2:06pm

by DESERTGUY

825Y FIX

If your still needing help, the best thing to do is go down to lowes and by what is called a "Gator Bite" fitting. these are great for homeowner with out a lot of experience with copper. the just push together and your done. They hold great. as far as getting the old one off all you have to do is cut the up right pipe on the discxharge side and spin that peice of copper off, after that hold the male adapter at the house with channel locks and spin the backflow off. That easy

Thursday, June 10th 2010, 12:27pm

by HooKooDooKu

Permits are not a scam... at least not a scam from the plumber. A government scam perhaps because that's where the money goes.

While requirements vary from municipality to municipality, it's not unusual for build permits to be required for this type of work. Frequently, building permits are required when ever you change something in your plumbing, HVAC, or electrical systems. Simple replacements of an outlet of some fixtures might be exempt (say a faucet, a toilet, light fixture, electrical receptical) outlet). But when it comes to parts that are fundimental to the saftey of the system, permits are frequently required.

And if a permit is required, I wouldn't hire a plumber that would attempt to low-ball other offers by doing the work without a permit.

As for the cost of permits... again that varies VERY widely from location to location. A building permit to finish in 600sqft of unfinished basement space recently cost me only $50. But elsewhere, I heard of stories where a homeowner wanted to add an additional electrical receptical. While the parts required were only about $10-$20, and his local codes allowed him to do the work himself, the cost of permits took the project beyond $100... for a single electrical outlet.

However, that said, I would think there is no way in #%!! that a permit adds $100 to this simple job. So when the parts appear to cost about $200 (have you asked local plumbers where their cost is?) plus another $100 just to show up (I've never heard of a plumbing job costing less) that sounds like the cost for the plumber to show-up with the replacement parts should be around $400 (assuming they can buy the parts from thier suppliers for about $200). If the job is < 1 hour, I couldn't under stand why it would be more, unless all the plumbers are padding their basic costs for this type of work because the city requires that they do it.

Thursday, June 10th 2010, 8:56am

by wumpus

RE: DIY Febco 825Y Replacement

Local companies want ~$625 to provide and install the unit.
I further queried the local companies about high cost of replacing the unit. Turns out the county where I live (St. Louis County) requires that backflow devices be installed by licensed plumbers and that a permit from the county is required to perform the work. Sounds like a scam to me but each of them gave me the same excuse reason.

Monday, June 7th 2010, 3:28pm

by HooKooDooKu


On a side note, why are these things so expensive. While it wasn't the Febco's I was looking at, when I was installing my irrigation system a few years ago, I was looking as Watts equipment at my local Lowe's. I don't recall exact prices, but it seems like a Watts 3/4" Double Check back flow was about $75 and an RPZ was about $85.
RPZs were never that low. Copper became an expensive commodity and device prices jumped up. And there are also the energy costs involved in fabricating brass backflow preventers.


I may be confusing prices and remembering prices of 3/4" DC vs 1" DC. I do recall that at the time, Lowe's stocked both DC and RPZ, but I only considered the DC because I wanted to install below grade.

Monday, June 7th 2010, 9:03am

by Wet_Boots


On a side note, why are these things so expensive. While it wasn't the Febco's I was looking at, when I was installing my irrigation system a few years ago, I was looking as Watts equipment at my local Lowe's. I don't recall exact prices, but it seems like a Watts 3/4" Double Check back flow was about $75 and an RPZ was about $85.
RPZs were never that low. Copper became an expensive commodity and device prices jumped up. And there are also the energy costs involved in fabricating brass backflow preventers.

Sunday, June 6th 2010, 10:56pm

by HooKooDooKu

It's true that with some practice, it's not difficult to learn to sweat copper. I'm self taught, I'm not great, but I've gotten good enough to make repairs and new installs around the home.

However, I would estimate that you will spend about $100 to teach yourself to sweat copper. After all, you will need a torch, a tank, pipe cutter, de-burrers, cleaner brushes, solder, flux, some test pipe, some test fittings, etc. Then, if you are like me, you learn that some of your equipment (like a torch) is lacking and you spend more money on additional equipment. (In my case, I could never get my torch hot enough with a propane tank and have to use MAPP gas to get the job done).

I guess my point is that unless you've already got all the equipment and know how to do this work, there is a cost to get you the equipment and the education you will need. So you might want to consider that as you price out repair quotes.

On a side note, why are these things so expensive. While it wasn't the Febco's I was looking at, when I was installing my irrigation system a few years ago, I was looking as Watts equipment at my local Lowe's. I don't recall exact prices, but it seems like a Watts 3/4" Double Check back flow was about $75 and an RPZ was about $85.

Saturday, June 5th 2010, 6:05am

by Wet_Boots

There would be some presumption of responsibility on the part of any contractor who would install a homeowner-supplied backflow preventer, so don't count on getting one to install anything they don't supply themselves.

Friday, June 4th 2010, 10:52pm

by mrfixit

If you try to unscrew this thing you will break something without a union. Even with a union it's tricky. Copper pipe is easy to rip. Or so I thought when I tore it. lol Soldering copper pipe isn't that hard once you've figured it out.
Do you want to figure it out on a job like this?

Just call around and get some more estimates. Nobody needs to make 400 dollars on a simple job. They do it all the time but there are a couple honest guys still out there.

Here's the deal with me. If the home owner has supplied me with the parts. I tell them I wont warranty the parts. So if I have to come back for a defective part. I'm charging labor again and the parts to repair it.

Friday, June 4th 2010, 9:03pm

by wumpus

DIY Febco 825Y Replacement

My Febco 825Y 3/4" is ~15yrs old. At one point it froze and an irrigation company fixed it by brushing solder into the crack. They also did something to additionally seal the relief valve. This year the inlet valve developed a crack and now it's leaking (see attached picture with red circle and X)... maybe it's time to replace this beast.

Local companies want ~$625 to provide and install the unit. I can buy a replacement 825Y here or here. What's involved in replacing this? Can I do it myself? I've done simple no-solder plumbing around the house before but it looks like there might be sweating/soldering involved here as I don't see how I can turn the nuts/joints without breaking the solder (unless I just turn the entire unit?).

Anyway. I enjoy doing my own work when possible, but not if I'm over my head.
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