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  • #16
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    We have done jobs other plumbers didn't want to do. A lot of plumbers in my area don't like busting up the double bay cement tubs in the basements and haul out the cement chunks, but we have never past up a job like that.
    Also, we've been called a few times to replace galvanized drain pipes (the sanitary T, etc.) that the kitchen drains into because other plumbers don't want to bust open the wall, cram a sawzall under the sink and cut out the section, etc. Of course, we'll do it LOL! The worse one is when we have to bust out an old cast iron boiler that looks like this:


    What kind of plumbers do you have in minnesota? I love to demo work. I have no problem cutting it out and replaceing it, especially if it helps the customer in the long run. I know back east there are drain cleaners and plumbers, here in los angeles, we do it all, the worse it smells, the more it pays I do have a question, maybe I missed it in the past post's, do you need a license to be a drain cleaner? what are the consumer laws?? licensing laws for contractors? By the way, congrats on a great attitude at 24. two things of advice, your invoices are your best friend, and communication is priceless
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #17
      Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

      Originally posted by freddy View Post
      You might want to charge close to what the guy you have worked for charged, and after you get a average time that it takes to do main lines, sink stoppage, and so on. You can come up to a set price, or dare I say it Flat RATE PRICE Then you should be covering your cost, and making money. Most people want to know the cost for your service first. As far as the double tubs. I haul them out in one piece, and re-sell them if the are usable, some people still like that old stuff. freddy
      That sounds like a good idea for pricing

      Hauling a cement double tub up the stairs isn't fun. That's a lot of cement. I bet the thing weighs about 400 or so pounds. Also, the drains are about to bust off most of the time anyways. How the heck do you get them off and on the rusty old legs and if you sell them, how do you get it back on? That's right up there with the mystery on how they built the pyramids LOL!

      Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
      now you are thinking better dont cut yourself short on price just to get work.
      Just do the best you can, and work will come to you and the price wont matter then
      Sounds good! Thanks again

      Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
      We have done jobs other plumbers didn't want to do. A lot of plumbers in my area don't like busting up the double bay cement tubs in the basements and haul out the cement chunks, but we have never past up a job like that.
      Also, we've been called a few times to replace galvanized drain pipes (the sanitary T, etc.) that the kitchen drains into because other plumbers don't want to bust open the wall, cram a sawzall under the sink and cut out the section, etc. Of course, we'll do it LOL! The worse one is when we have to bust out an old cast iron boiler that looks like this:


      What kind of plumbers do you have in minnesota? I love to demo work. I have no problem cutting it out and replaceing it, especially if it helps the customer in the long run. I know back east there are drain cleaners and plumbers, here in los angeles, we do it all, the worse it smells, the more it pays I do have a question, maybe I missed it in the past post's, do you need a license to be a drain cleaner? what are the consumer laws?? licensing laws for contractors? By the way, congrats on a great attitude at 24. two things of advice, your invoices are your best friend, and communication is priceless
      I'm sure some plumbers will do it, but we have gotten calls where other plumbers didn't want to touch it. Maybe other plumbers here have enough work that they don't have to do the "tough" jobs. A friend of mine got a call from his ex and she asked, "Why aren't you a millionaire yet?". My buddy was confused. She said that she called four plumbers and said the lowest price to pull an old (but newer) toilet and set a new one was $400 (this is the lowest bid). That was if she had a new toilet already there. We would probably charge $225 (includes new connector, wax seal, bolt kit, caulking, disposal of old one). Now, I'm not saying that it isn't worth $400+. I'm saying that other plumbers might just give a little bit of a high bid because they are already booked with work and if they get the job, they're willing to put other stuff on hold.

      I'm not 100% sure, but I swore that in Minnesota, one doesn't need a plumbing license to do drain cleaning. Of course, I'll double check. I do work under a master plumber, but if I go out on my own, I'm not sure how that'll work out.
      Last edited by HouseOfAtlas; 07-06-2007, 04:52 PM.
      YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

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      • #18
        Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

        I work under a master plumber too and he gives me all his sewer work. I give him all the big plumbing stuff I cant do or am not legal to do. I do hack a few every now and then but I use my head on what I do
        http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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        • #19
          Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

          Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
          I work under a master plumber too and he gives me all his sewer work. I give him all the big plumbing stuff I cant do or am not legal to do. I do hack a few every now and then but I use my head on what I do
          Sure hope your master licence guy has super insurance coverage. If you have a bad day of luck on a water heater install for example. Not only will you be sued, but he will be screwed and sued. This guy is responsible for any thing you do. It only will take one mistake, and he will learn. Get licenced in what you do, and stick with that. Stop riding someone coat tails. I know you been doing it this way for years.No problems right? It's an accident waiting to happen.

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          • #20
            Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

            I dont do WH, I give em to him as my INS dosent cover them. I only do water leaks and sepitic installs /repairs. Small stuff that my INC covers I`m a member of the ICC so trust me, I know what to do and what to let him do
            Maybe some day I will get my masters but I`m happy with what I`m making doing sewers
            http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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            • #21
              Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

              I have been cleaning sewers for 11yrs now. I have been the Tech, Dispatcher, Admin., and Field Supervisor with my previous company. I started on my own at the beginning of the year. The best thing i ever did was wear alot of hats in that company, to learn the different aspects of it all. When my company decided to move, my wife and i said it was time to start our own business. We started with all new equipment. Spartan 2001 for the mains, Spartan 100 for the floor drains, kitchen sinks, roof drains, etc. and Spartan 81 for the smaller lines. We bought a Ridgid SeeSnake for the video inspections, Gen Eye locator to locate the camera head, and other tools of the trade. We started with a crappy van, with no logo. As you can guess i wasnt getting alot of business, and i had already knew why. Barely any advertising, crappy van, no identification on the van. The only work i was getting was word of mouth. Thanks to working in the office for a yr, i knew how i needed to get busy, the only problem was money.The best thing i did at the time, was sign on with a LEAD company. You have to pay for your leads, but it was well worth it, and the customers left good feedback.To make a long story short, today we have a brand new service van, logo'd and lettered. Top of the line equipment, even water jetting. We have adds in the yellow pages, local newspapers, direct mailing advertising as well. I found that the best way to charge is Flat Rate Pricing. Sure it takes some time and i took a few courses in it, but man what a difference. Sure i charge more then alot of the competitors in this business, but im well worth it, and i have the ratings, reviews and the repeat customers to show for it. The best advice i can give you from my personal experience is, Look sharp going to your customers, uniforms, clean shaven, use booties when entering a house, use mats on the floors when cleaning drains. Always clean up after yourself, even if you have to go beyond the mess you made. Give your prices upfront and let them know if there would be add on charges if different situations come up. Make sure you know what you need to charge before deciding what you will charge. You need to cover your overhead, billable hours etc,. If you have not started yet, target resident, advertise small in your local newspaper, just get your name out there. Anyway i could go on forever.Good Luck in the trade, i hope at least some of this made a difference for you, or answered some of your questions.
              The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

              www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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              • #22
                Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                DAMM IT! I did it again. I wrote a long reply and some how wiped it all out.
                Man I hate when I do that.

                Drain Medic, Welcome to the forum, it sounds like you'll be a great asset.

                "The best thing i did at the time, was sign on with a LEAD company. You have to pay for your leads, but it was well worth it, and the customers left good feedback."
                I would love to hear more about signing on with a lead Co if you or anyone else has more info to offer. How to go about it, how much you offer them per lead etc..
                INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

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                • #23
                  Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                  Gene, Thanks for the welcome. Feel free to PM me or email me at Drainmedicpa@aol.com I would be happy to give you more information on how to get started with leads. It worked out great for me.

                  Greg
                  The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                  www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                    I live in Ga and in our town any person who messes with plumbing has to have a Master plumbing License.. I am 30 years old and have had mine for 2 years now. Even if you clean out drains you should be licensed as a plumber. If you advertise as a plumber you need a license to go with it. Btw...I charge $110.00 and hour and stay booked. Don't cut yourself short on the price. My dad always told me that "THere is no pride in bragging that your the cheapest man in town."

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                    • #25
                      Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                      Originally posted by ccouch View Post
                      I live in Ga and in our town any person who messes with plumbing has to have a Master plumbing License.. I am 30 years old and have had mine for 2 years now. Even if you clean out drains you should be licensed as a plumber. If you advertise as a plumber you need a license to go with it. Btw...I charge $110.00 and hour and stay booked. Don't cut yourself short on the price. My dad always told me that "THere is no pride in bragging that your the cheapest man in town."
                      I couldn't of said it any better myself!!

                      Hands down..the first thing that should be done is..get your Plumbing license!

                      Plumbers should stick together cause we only have each other. I get sick to my stomach, when I hear a Plumber brag about being the lowest price. We call them "meal money" plumbers...they calculate how much it's going to cost them for gas,a meal for the day,etc.. and charge by that.

                      These are the same guys who are not in business 5 years later, cause they got in money trouble.

                      What these guys don't realize is..there is enough work for everyone out there. You only hurt the Plumbing trade and yourself, when you charge ridiculous prices like that.

                      What guys like that need is..a BASIC ECONOMICS CLASS!

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                      • #26
                        Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                        where i have worked (5) western states, you do not need a plumbers lic. to do snake jobs, only "REAL" plumbing work. i have done work both ways you need to check with the plumbing or license board in your state to find out what may be required in your area?? you do however need to have a local Bussiness lic. to do work

                        JERRYMAC MASTERPLUMBER
                        JERRYMAC
                        E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
                        CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
                        FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
                        SINCE JAN. 1989

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                        • #27
                          Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                          Originally posted by JERRYMAC View Post
                          where i have worked (5) western states, you do not need a plumbers lic. to do snake jobs, only "REAL" plumbing work. i have done work both ways you need to check with the plumbing or license board in your state to find out what may be required in your area?? you do however need to have a local Bussiness lic. to do work

                          JERRYMAC MASTERPLUMBER
                          Jerry..this is what frustrates me as I'm sure many other Legit Plumbers in this country.
                          Here is my argument..if an un-licensed Drain Cleaning tech puts the trap back on a sink, and the trap is cocked..potentially letting sewer gas into the house and getting everyone sick, who is responsible in making sure these guys are qualified and to make sure the Home Owner isn't hiring an un-knowledgeable person?

                          How many times have we all saw cocked traps under sinks?

                          It kills me when I see handymen, Carpenters, etc..touch something they absolutely know nothing about. These guys think Plumbing is so easy..but they don't have the slightest clue as to "why" they are doing it.

                          What really froths me is..when the tile guy is setting toilets after he re-tiled a floor. I've gone and fixed so many screw up's from tile guys..it's not even funny.
                          Buy the time I get there..sewer flies are flying all over the place.

                          IN my area..and I'm sure many others around the country..I seriously question where the Plumbing trade is headed. It's getting to the point, in where we don't need to bring a torch into the house (at least my area).

                          I'm frustrated now...

                          I think I need a drink! lol

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                          • #28
                            Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                            I agree that in aperfect world, people should know what they are doing!!
                            i have seen a lot of the same stuff that you talk about, but i am saying what goes on in this world that we live in, if you can rent a cable snake mach. any where in town. some can make money without carrying a master lic.
                            like i say i do check with the plumbing board where i work so i i know what they require to do drains, if you want to change this, change the laws in your state. JERRYMAC MASTERPLUMBER
                            JERRYMAC
                            E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
                            CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
                            FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
                            SINCE JAN. 1989

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                            • #29
                              Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                              Thanks for the added input!! I value all of the knowledge I get from you guys. I'm so eager to start my own business, but my financial situation is holding me back. Once my house is sold (whenever that'll be), it will feel like a big burden lifted off of me.

                              For some reason, I feel a big difference mentally when I work for myself compared to when I work for someone else. I still treat customers with the utmost respect, but when working for myself, I have more say in what I can charge (give a break when needed), how I can communicate with the customers, etc.

                              I know having a business isn't a walk in the park, but I know it will keep me more motivated since I'll be by myself and I have to depend on myself. Plus, I feel it will help me become a stronger person.
                              YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

                              Plumbing Reviews

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                              • #30
                                Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                                Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
                                Jerry..this is what frustrates me as I'm sure many other Legit Plumbers in this country.
                                Here is my argument..if an un-licensed Drain Cleaning tech puts the trap back on a sink, and the trap is cocked..potentially letting sewer gas into the house and getting everyone sick, who is responsible in making sure these guys are qualified and to make sure the Home Owner isn't hiring an un-knowledgeable person?

                                How many times have we all saw cocked traps under sinks?

                                It kills me when I see handymen, Carpenters, etc..touch something they absolutely know nothing about. These guys think Plumbing is so easy..but they don't have the slightest clue as to "why" they are doing it.

                                What really froths me is..when the tile guy is setting toilets after he re-tiled a floor. I've gone and fixed so many screw up's from tile guys..it's not even funny.
                                Buy the time I get there..sewer flies are flying all over the place.

                                IN my area..and I'm sure many others around the country..I seriously question where the Plumbing trade is headed. It's getting to the point, in where we don't need to bring a torch into the house (at least my area).

                                I'm frustrated now...

                                I think I need a drink! lol
                                Good points, however....I cant tell you how many times ive been to properties in the last 10yrs (new construction mostly) that lines are put in backwards, no pitch, sags, traps in backwards....etc. Alot of plumbers that i know around here wont do drain cleaning, or simply cant do it. I have been to properties were traps were cocked, and the plumbers have done, licensed plumbers....Its really a no win situation. There are always going to be problems. I know that they have started lead programs, where you get screened to make sure that you are licensed, registered, and insured...I think that is great....i personally signed up with 4 different lead companies and they work great. Nothing bothers me more then going to Home Depot, and seeing snakes for rent...LOL....then you get a call from someone with a clogged drain...on your way to the job they call you and the homeowner says he rented a snake and openned it himself...Then while im driving back, same guy calls and says its clogged again.. Or you see these homeowners buying snakes, and they are still calling us anyway because they broke the snake, or cant get it unclogged.....save your 300-400bucks and call the pros.Greg
                                Last edited by Drain Medic; 08-10-2007, 11:19 PM.
                                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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