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  • #46
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    Typically drain cleaning companies are maintenance companies and do not have to be licensed plumbers in many jurisdictions. However, they are also very limited in what they are permitted to do as it is assumed their knowledge is also limited. Most of the jurisdictions I work with put a monetary limit on the value of any work done by a non-licensed Contractor. That limit is cumulative so it cuts out most repeat business. For example if the limit for a non-licensed Contractor in a jurisdiction is $500 that is the maximum you can charge a single customer in your lifetime.

    While drain cleaning companies do not need to be licensed plumbers I believe it would be prudent for the owner of any drain cleaning business to be licensed. That does not take away from the ability of the non-licensed drain cleaner it simple increases their ability to earn money as a drain cleaner.

    Mark
    Mark - For me personally..I'll just never be able to grasp this whole concept. Each State has it's own Plumbing code it wants everyone to follow, but the State themselves pick a choose which laws they want to follow.
    IMO..you can't have it both ways, cause the State is setting 2 different sets of rules, and to be honest I classify that as discrimination.

    If taken to task, I'd be willing to bet the State would lose in a court of law. Obviously it would have to go to the Supreme Court.

    I just don't think it's fair that Drain cleaning companies get excluded in certain area's around the country. If I was a Master Plumber in these area's..I'd be pretty ticked off.

    By all means I don't want to make it sound like I'm attacking drain cleaning companies. But I wasn't really aware that many drain cleaning companies weren't licensed. I always assumed someone in that company had a Licensed Plumber..and their employees were working under that license.

    Mark..I agree with you though..drain companies should want to be licensed.

    Comment


    • #47
      Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

      Originally posted by TomSV650 View Post
      I wish more plumbers cared about what they do like ozone89 does. I've had countless jobs where a plumber would try to run a mainline with his "one size fits all" type of snake. I then goto his job with seweage backed into the bathtub and toilet. Obviously this is anything but sanitary.

      TomSV650whoislicenced!
      Tom -

      I care now, cause my business future and other legit Plumbers futures are in serious jeopardy, if we don't get a handle on this. The State of Pennsylvania doesn't care about Plumbing or Plumbers.

      The State of Pennsylvania should look right next door to New Jersey..they know how to follow codes and laws. It was always said to me, that New Jersey is one of the toughest state's to get a Master Plumbing license.

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

        What I do not understand is how drain companies think they do not have to be licensed. THe IPC states that you cannot move, alter, change, repair etc.. any plumbing. This means you cannot pull a toilet, cut out a section of pipe, offer to replace a sewer line or install anything. Why would any person not want to get a license and complete their company. I really hope you guys who operate with no license tell your customers up front that you lack this achievement. Take pride in yourself and in your work and get qaulified.

        Comment


        • #49
          Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

          The plumbing industy in generl is in trouble. I know here in GA that the aaverage age of a master plumber is 58. We are having problems finding descent help and there are few guys etiing into the trade. IS it this way in the northern states?

          Comment


          • #50
            Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

            "Take pride in yourself and in your work and get qualified".
            I take GREAT offense to this statement. Are you implying that because I don't have papers I don't have any pride in myself and my work? If so you are sadly mistaken.
            A piece of paper is just that, a piece of paper. It has nothing at all to do with my pride or the quality of my work.

            And to those that feel ONLY a licensed plumber should ever touch a pipe:
            Do you also feel that a nurse should also have the same papers as a DR because they share some of the same duties? Do you feel a lawyer should have the same qualification's of a judge in order to practice law?
            Do you call the roofer and have them cut the roof before you install a vent?
            Do you call the concrete contractor and have them jack hammer and replace the cement when replacing a pipe in a basement? etc. etc. 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

            Comment


            • #51
              Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

              Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
              "Take pride in yourself and in your work and get qualified".
              I take GREAT offense to this statement. Are you implying that because I don't have papers I don't have any pride in myself and my work? If so you are sadly mistaken.
              A piece of paper is just that, a piece of paper. It has nothing at all to do with my pride or the quality of my work.

              And to those that feel ONLY a licensed plumber should ever touch a pipe:
              Do you also feel that a nurse should also have the same papers as a DR because they share some of the same duties? Do you feel a lawyer should have the same qualification's of a judge in order to practice law?
              Do you call the roofer and have them cut the roof before you install a vent?
              Do you call the concrete contractor and have them jack hammer and replace the cement when replacing a pipe in a basement? etc. etc. etc...
              Do you also feel that a nurse should also have the same papers as a DR because they share some of the same duties?
              They do not need the same papers. In our business; they would be considered Journeyman.

              Do you call the concrete contractor and have them jack hammer and replace the cement when replacing a pipe in a basement?
              Yes we do. You know why? Liability.

              That is what it comes down to with you operating without a license. You are human. You will mess up in due time. Some lawyer will figure out that you are not licensed and nail you to a tree. You liability insurance will not cover either once they start looking for a reason not to pay.

              You may be the nicest and best plumber in the USA. But you still need to be qaulified. Would you let an unliscensed doctor perform surgery on you?
              Last edited by ccouch; 08-12-2007, 05:05 PM.

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                What's the difference between being unliscenced with lots of experience and being unexperienced and working under someone elses master license? I'm not licensed and have 9 years of experience. I can't get licensed because PSI exams won't accept my Navy time. Am I any less qualified? We have a master plumber we work under, not directly with. I've seen guys get hired with 2 or 3 years of experience work solo. What's to keep them from messing up. But they're legal.

                If you're talking about being a sole propriter and being unliscenced then that's different and I fully agree with you. But being liscenced does not represent actual knowledge or quality 100% of the time.
                Buy cheap, buy twice.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                  Ozone, I think it's best if we just agree to disagree. Your response was like swiss cheese and I could seriously take it apart sentence by sentence. If you have to be a master plumber to clean drains where you are then so be it. It's unneeded but so are alot of things. I've cleaned drains all over several states and you didn't have to be a master plumber to do it.
                  Secondly, if you think for one second that I was implying that a plumbing license was just a piece of paper, you've got it pegged all wrong. What I said was the license was like a college diploma, <the word stating is understood by the comma after the word diploma>, I did my time, I did what was needed, I studied with blood sweat and years and now I can charge for it. Funny that's what all my friends said when the gadgeyated koluj while they were hanging their diploma on the wall in a frame. And please don't give me the bullsh** about becuz you're a master plumber you know how to fix things right. You know how to service boilers because of your theories, that's great, but we're talking about drain cleaning and workmanship here. I don't go into peoples houses trying to find their boilers so I can work on them, I go in to clean their drains.
                  Thirdly, I wasn't attacking plumbers for making mistakes. We're all human and make mistakes. I was talking about, what did you call them, "legit, qualified, knowlegdable" licensed individuals that made assinine mistakes. I wasn't solely talking about new construction plumbers either, hence why I put the example of the couple that moved into an older home. Read it again ozone. That was a service plumber that left the j-cap on and I know he was older than new construction plumbers because I've met him. Him also being a master plumber. I also have a friend that's a licensed plumber, NATE certified and teaches classes in hydronics at the local college. He's only 23 years old. Smart as all get out, but still swears to this day that he stopped up a sewer line with cereal and rice from his garbage disposal, not his kitchen line, his 4 inch terra cotta clay sewer line. What?
                  Fourthly, (only 17 more to go), are you kidding me with this whole master plumbers know how to offer practical plumbing solutions on how to fix a stopped up drain? I've got a couple of ideas. STOP stuffing your diposal full before turning it on, turn on some water when running your disposal, go on a diet, you got some bad root problems--you should have this line cabled once a year if you're not going to replace it, don't pour candle wax down your kitchen sink, cell phones and deoderant sticks don't make it thru the toilet.....the list can go on and on. Hey if a code violation is the reason why the sewer line is backing up and you had to be a licensed plumber to install the sewer line, what does that say about the workmanship of licensed qualified blah blah blah individuals?
                  Fifthly, no, not all now. I shall return with rest of it. After all this it seems like I'm the one that needs the drink. Just keep in mind what I said in my response, there is good and bad in every profession, some that do care, some that don't, and this is in no way an arguement about should a person pursue a license. It's about workmanship and why only state board members would think of something like drain cleaners having to have a master plumbers license to clean drains.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                    I have nothing to add here but after 6 pages of threads it's finally getting interesting

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                      Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
                      Tom -

                      I care now, cause my business future and other legit Plumbers futures are in serious jeopardy, if we don't get a handle on this. The State of Pennsylvania doesn't care about Plumbing or Plumbers.

                      The State of Pennsylvania should look right next door to New Jersey..they know how to follow codes and laws. It was always said to me, that New Jersey is one of the toughest state's to get a Master Plumbing license.
                      I don't agree AT ALL that a drain guys needs to be licensed. I've been doing drain cleaning(with out a license) for over twenty years. I'll put my technical know how and experience against anybody on this board when it comes to drain cleaning. But when it comes to plumbing, there's no way i'll compare myself to most of the full on plumbers on this board. Two totally separate trades.

                      If your serious about drain cleaning, you really need a truck full of equipment. The plumbers I know usually only have a couple of small snakes and what they do is try to clean a bigger line than what there snake is capable of, and the line ends up stopping up a couple of days later and they end up calling me out. I have seen this countless times. Of course nobody does that on this board.

                      Plumbers will also say that a certain pipe should be replaced. That may be technical right, but just because a mainline has roots in it, or a kitchen sink line is full of sludge, it may only need to be cleaned out once a year which will save the owner alot of money.

                      I've always believed that a customer is better off calling a "drain" only company than a full on plumber. I have a couple of very large property management companies who believe this also.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                        Draintech, don't stop now. You got me on the edge of my seat. This is almost as good as a flate rate debate.
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                          Where's Mark in all of this? We need his opinion!!
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                            "That is what it comes down to with you operating without a license. You are human. You will mess up in due time. Some lawyer will figure out that you are not licensed and nail you to a tree. You liability insurance will not cover either once they start looking for a reason not to pay".

                            This is what it comes down to with you operating WITH a license. You too are human. You too will mess up in due time. Some lawyer will figure out that you went to school for 4 yrs and should know better. Your insurance will start looking for a reason not to pay.

                            "You may be the nicest and best plumber in the USA".
                            I am NOT a plumber nor have I ever claimed to be one.
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                              Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
                              "That is what it comes down to with you operating without a license. You are human. You will mess up in due time. Some lawyer will figure out that you are not licensed and nail you to a tree. You liability insurance will not cover either once they start looking for a reason not to pay".

                              This is what it comes down to with you operating WITH a license. You too are human. You too will mess up in due time. Some lawyer will figure out that you went to school for 4 yrs and should know better. Your insurance will start looking for a reason not to pay.

                              "You may be the nicest and best plumber in the USA".
                              I am NOT a plumber nor have I ever claimed to be one.
                              AMEN BROTHER!! this whole mess has become as boring as T&M vs FL.

                              where i live, in the U.S. Virgin Islands , we have a ton of plumbers that do not want to do drain cleaning. they, at best, have a closet auger or a ribbon eel to "CLEAN" a blocked line. 99.999999999% of the time they fail. OMG a licensed MASTER PLUMBER has ****ed up!! they will call me, because i show up, do the job, do the job correctly, and am the hero whereas the licensed MASTER PLUMBER is left looking like a jackass. I ONLY DO DRAIN CLEANING!! I HAVE THE PROPER TOOLS. I HAVE THE PROPER ATTITUDE, AND I DO A GOOD JOB.

                              i went to a job this morning (8:30 AM) to a low income area. their blockage was cleared in 15 minutes. they have a problem with the toilet running and the shower does a lot more than just "drip" YES, i could have fixed both issues, but i referred them to a qualified LICENSED plumber that would not charge them more than thaey could afford. every one was happy at the end and i left knowing that my job was good and they could get some help they needed and COULD afford it.

                              if by some twist of fate i HAD to become a licensed plumber to continue my current gig, i'd toss my $20,000.00 + worth of gear and go back to playing music for a living. i'd still be dealing with ****, but as a musician i can understand the game.

                              there are 3 people i respect on this board. to you (and i'm sure you know who you are) i tip my hat. thanks for your input and if i really need a question answered i'll either PM or e-mail you

                              you want to talk about LICENSING??let's discuss the USGC "captains" ticket.

                              later

                              steve
                              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                                now my turn

                                starting off in 1975 at age 12 with my uncle as a helper, a full time union apprentice at age 18 in 1981, a licensed journeyman plumber since 1984 and a licensed plumbing contractor since 1997. i will give you my opinion to both sides of the debate. i too did plumbing and drain cleaning while i was unlicensed and uninsured. but now i understand both sides of the debate, having been there too

                                there are plenty of licensed and unlicensed people doing plumbing that shouldn't be doing plumbing, period. the same goes true with that there are plenty of unlicensed people doing plumbing and drain cleaning that do a better job than their licensed counterpart.

                                it all comes down to how well the person was trained, not just putting it in, but understanding why it's done that way. theory is very important for understanding right from wrong.

                                a monkey can assemble the same thing over and over again. it doesn't mean the monkey knows why it's done that way, it just knows that's the way it was told to be done.

                                a licensed plumber is suppose to know right from wrong and why it is that way

                                a person who only does drain cleaning might be the best drain cleaner out there. but has no understanding of what's behind the wall and under the ground.

                                having worked new construction for 15 years, there were plenty of qualified union plumbers i worked with, that didn't have a clue on setting finish or service work. and they wouldn't get caught dead doing drain cleaning

                                just like most doctors tend to specialize in a certain field of medicine, there are plumbers and drain people that specialize in a particular field of plumbing. whether it's new work, repair work, drain cleaning.

                                stick with what you know. let the pros do what they know. don't think or try to do everything just because you have a license. and just because you do drain cleaning doesn't give you the right to replace sewers, water heaters, water mains, service and repair.

                                with a license, also comes responsibility. not only do you have to answer to the person who hired you, but also to the administrative authority and state contractors board.

                                without a license, you still have to answer to the person who hires you, but typically not to anyone else, unless you step out of your boundaries of work.

                                for all the licensed and non licensed plumbers and drain cleaners here. do you all carry liability insurance, workers comp insurance?

                                do you take on jobs just for the money? can you get inspection on your work? is it legal for you to be doing this type of work?

                                if you are doing things by the book, then you have nothing to worry about. if you are breaking the laws, it will eventually catch up with you. unfortunately at the homeowners expense too.

                                typically being licensed also carries the proper insurance to cover yourself and the job site.

                                the unlicensed person might not carry the proper insurance to cover their potential liability. we all know about being hit by an uninsured motorist.

                                in closing, i don't feel that a license makes a person fully qualified.
                                i also feel that an unlicensed person should be able to do work that falls within the legal limits set by the local or state authorities.

                                i do feel that all, need to carry the proper insurance to protect themselves and the people they are hired by.

                                it's not all about the money, it's about doing the job properly with the safety of all in mind

                                rick.
                                phoebe it is

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