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OHIO — At Neptune Plumbing, PVC pipe is commonly seen by visitors coming to the Parma-based company.
“PVC and copper are two of the main materials we are using," Co-President Mike Wallenstein said.
Wallenstein said the price of these materials and just about every other kind of pipe in the shop has gone up in the last two years.
“PVC pipe has gone up about 75% and the fittings about 83% for PVC fittings," he said. "We’ve seen cast-iron pipe go up about 83%."
He said several factors are to blame, including shipping troubles and labor shortages. For larger projects they’ll likely write into the contract that the customer will pick up the cost for any price increases that occur, he said.
But Neptune just started adding that clause recently, so they're on the hook for any increases in older contracts.
“There’s a lot of fluctuations," Wallenstein said. "What that lead time is could be different six months from now."
He said that he has seen prices stop climbing, and the market rate is dropping. However, the company is still paying the increased prices for the parts from their wholesaler, since shipping and logistics problems that are out of their control get in the way.
Black Pipe And Fittings “We’ve just been seeing a lot of up and up and up over the past two years," he said. "There’s been a lot of volatility, a lot of market confusion going on, a lot of triggers of areas that we have never seen occur in my lifetime before."