Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #61
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Okay guys I think you are all missing the fact we all live under and work under different jurisdictions. While both the UPC and the IPC require all plumbing contractors to be licensed most of the jurisdictions I work under have “Handyman Exemptions”. California’s exemption is $500 while Hawaii’s is $1,000. Arizona’s is at $500 only because they just recently voted down an attempt to change it to $2,000. The above means in the jurisdictions mentioned you do not need to have anything more than a business license regardless of what the Plumbing Code says.

    I believe “Handyman Exemptions” are a bad thing but not because licensed plumbers are losing work it is because the licensing requirements in the Codes are meant to protect the consumer. However, this does not mean a drain cleaner is not qualified to clean drains. It is likely some drain cleaners are better at cleaning drains then some licensed plumbers are. Of course if a drain cleaner attempted to rough-in a house I would consider him over his head as related to his qualifications.

    Now let’s get a little more complicated. Gene lives in Pittsfield Maine. If my recent research is correct Maine does not even have a statewide plumbing code. It appears every municipality decides what they want to use as a plumbing code. It does however appear Maine recently adopted the 2003 IRC which includes residential plumbing (minimal) within the code.

    Now to top it off it looks like Maine does not have a statewide licensing program for contractors. This seems very unusually to me but I did find legislation where they are suppose to have a Contractors Board up and running by January 2008. So if the State does not have a licensing program for contractors can you really have unlicensed contractors? Now Gene may have to help me out with who does what in his State but I could not find anything to indicated the State licenses contractors yet.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

      About the time I left the Seattle area there were a couple of the sewer districts and cities that were considering requiring permits for sewer cleaning. They may be requiring that now. At the time it wouldn't have required anything more than a trainee or apprentice card.

      I do know that the City of Bellevue required that they were called before any sewer line was snaked. even after hours we'd call 911 and the dispatcher would forward the message. during business hours someone from the city sewer dept. would almost always show up to see what was going on. After hours, even at 2 am the on call guy would call me back. they were very protective of their sewers since they have quite a few pressurized mains in the lakes and don't want them punctured. if you didn't call them first or even lifted a man hole lid and were caught you risked going to jail.

      I might be in favor of a permit for drain cleaning. there doesn't need to be a journeyman requirement just a contractor's license and an inspection.
      Brent

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
        Okay guys I think you are all missing the fact we all live under and work under different jurisdictions. While both the UPC and the IPC require all plumbing contractors to be licensed most of the jurisdictions I work under have “Handyman Exemptions”. California’s exemption is $500 while Hawaii’s is $1,000. Arizona’s is at $500 only because they just recently voted down an attempt to change it to $2,000. The above means in the jurisdictions mentioned you do not need to have anything more than a business license regardless of what the Plumbing Code says.

        I believe “Handyman Exemptions” are a bad thing but not because licensed plumbers are losing work it is because the licensing requirements in the Codes are meant to protect the consumer. However, this does not mean a drain cleaner is not qualified to clean drains. It is likely some drain cleaners are better at cleaning drains then some licensed plumbers are. Of course if a drain cleaner attempted to rough-in a house I would consider him over his head as related to his qualifications.

        Now let’s get a little more complicated. Gene lives in Pittsfield Maine. If my recent research is correct Maine does not even have a statewide plumbing code. It appears every municipality decides what they want to use as a plumbing code. It does however appear Maine recently adopted the 2003 IRC which includes residential plumbing (minimal) within the code.

        Now to top it off it looks like Maine does not have a statewide licensing program for contractors. This seems very unusually to me but I did find legislation where they are suppose to have a Contractors Board up and running by January 2008. So if the State does not have a licensing program for contractors can you really have unlicensed contractors? Now Gene may have to help me out with who does what in his State but I could not find anything to indicated the State licenses contractors yet.

        Mark
        I think I agree to disagree with what you said. There should be no exceptions because that's not what's stated in a code book. The state's shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. Handymen shouldn't be allowed to touch Plumbing period!
        The State shouldn't be allowed to override what the Health Department says either...there is a reason why we have a health department and there is a reason why we have Plumbing codes.

        By law..anyone who hires out for any type of Plumbing, should be required by law to be licensed! It's stated as so in any code book you follow.

        I also disagree with.."it doesn't mean a Drain mechanic isn't qualified to clean drains." The reason being..is what i stated in earlier posts. How is a Drain cleaning mechanic who's been on the job for 1 year supposed to know about proper sizing of a waste line? How is he supposed to know if the line he is snaking is not properly vented? All this ties into his job and how to correct the problem.

        In my eyes..and many others..he's not qualified.

        The State shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose which laws to follow in the Plumbing code.

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

          you're never going to stop a handyman or homeowner from doing drain cleaning or plumbing.

          every home improvement store, home depot, lowes, caters to them.

          have you seen the rental department at these stores? when they first started to appear at my local h.d. i was thinking how long will it be, before someone unqualified got killed using a rented machine they had no clue on how to properly use.

          if you think about all the water heaters that are sold, what percentage are actually installed with permits and inspected. my guess is less than 5%.

          how about having to register a heater at time of purchase so that the city can follow up on the installation and inspection

          i know it's getting off track, but it's not just drain cleaning that they are doing.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

            Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
            I think I agree to disagree with what you said. There should be no exceptions because that's not what's stated in a code book. The state's shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. Handymen shouldn't be allowed to touch Plumbing period!
            The State shouldn't be allowed to override what the Health Department says either...there is a reason why we have a health department and there is a reason why we have Plumbing codes.

            By law..anyone who hires out for any type of Plumbing, should be required by law to be licensed! It's stated as so in any code book you follow.

            I also disagree with.."it doesn't mean a Drain mechanic isn't qualified to clean drains." The reason being..is what i stated in earlier posts. How is a Drain cleaning mechanic who's been on the job for 1 year supposed to know about proper sizing of a waste line? How is he supposed to know if the line he is snaking is not properly vented? All this ties into his job and how to correct the problem.

            In my eyes..and many others..he's not qualified.

            The State shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose which laws to follow in the Plumbing code.
            Remember it is the municipalities which adopt the code not the code which adopts the municipality. Every jurisdiction I know of makes amendments to the codes which can include deletions or additions of complete sections. If a code authority refused to let a municipality use their code amended that code would go unused.

            The job of a drain cleaner is not to diagnosis or repair the problem with the drain it is simply to clean it. The responsible thing to do when and if he suspects a problem is to refer the customer to a plumber.

            Mark
            Last edited by ToUtahNow; 08-13-2007, 12:59 PM. Reason: stupid! :)
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

              "The job of a drain cleaner is not to diagnosis or repair the problem with the drain it is simple to clean it. The responsible thing to do when and if he suspects a problem is to refer the customer to a plumber".




              Exactly, 80% of the time, the customer either has their own plumber, and their plumber told them to call a drain cleaner, your their for the plumber. If sometimes is broken, you locate it, and give the work back to the plumber that referred you to the job. If it is a 1st time customer, who doesnt have a regular plumber, recommend one to them...I use to do that all the time. Alot of times the plumber will be on site with you...you locate it for them, mark it, they get the dig, plus a couple extra dollars for you being there....Plumbers love it. They dont have to do the dirty work....If there is a tech who only has a year in, and he is working by himself, or owns his own company, then yes, knowledge is a key..but if your a tech working with a company, and you dont have the training to do a certain job, then you shouldnt be doing it, or on a job that they cant tell where the problem is , or what the problem is, or if it is a venting problem, that company should have supervisors available to come out with them, or at LEAST extra help.... Ive trainned people for yrs...You will never know everything there is to know about drain cleaning..or plumbing for that matter....What if a plumber who is an apprentice and only has 1yr in , and tells a customer that they have a venting problem, or that there pipes arent the right size for the house, charges XXX amount of dollars to replace the vent, or the pipes, and here there was a clog at the vent on the roof with leaves, that couldve been snaked, or that kitchen sink pipe was the right size, just loading with grease, the drain cleaner, after diagnosing wouldve saved them a ton of money by cleaning the lines...This is an endless debate peeps. Ive been cleaning drains for along time, ill take a drain cleaning company over a plumbing company any day to clear my drains, licesned or not...


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

              www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                "The job of a drain cleaner is not to diagnosis or repair the problem with the drain it is simple to clean it. The responsible thing to do when and if he suspects a problem is to refer the customer to a plumber".


                Thats why I`m glad to have a master plumber working with me I get to make some money too
                http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                  Originally posted by Drain Medic View Post
                  "The job of a drain cleaner is not to diagnosis or repair the problem with the drain it is simple to clean it. The responsible thing to do when and if he suspects a problem is to refer the customer to a plumber".




                  Exactly, 80% of the time, the customer either has their own plumber, and their plumber told them to call a drain cleaner, your their for the plumber. If sometimes is broken, you locate it, and give the work back to the plumber that referred you to the job. If it is a 1st time customer, who doesnt have a regular plumber, recommend one to them...I use to do that all the time. Alot of times the plumber will be on site with you...you locate it for them, mark it, they get the dig, plus a couple extra dollars for you being there....Plumbers love it. They dont have to do the dirty work....If there is a tech who only has a year in, and he is working by himself, or owns his own company, then yes, knowledge is a key..but if your a tech working with a company, and you dont have the training to do a certain job, then you shouldnt be doing it, or on a job that they cant tell where the problem is , or what the problem is, or if it is a venting problem, that company should have supervisors available to come out with them, or at LEAST extra help.... Ive trainned people for yrs...You will never know everything there is to know about drain cleaning..or plumbing for that matter....What if a plumber who is an apprentice and only has 1yr in , and tells a customer that they have a venting problem, or that there pipes arent the right size for the house, charges XXX amount of dollars to replace the vent, or the pipes, and here there was a clog at the vent on the roof with leaves, that couldve been snaked, or that kitchen sink pipe was the right size, just loading with grease, the drain cleaner, after diagnosing wouldve saved them a ton of money by cleaning the lines...This is an endless debate peeps. Ive been cleaning drains for along time, ill take a drain cleaning company over a plumbing company any day to clear my drains, licesned or not...


                  Greg
                  It's now an endless debate because I laid down some facts, and it struck a nerve with a few people on the board. Just because some jurisdictions around the country don't force their own laws, doesn't mean people don't have to follow them.

                  Drain medic..are you a Master Plumber?
                  Last edited by Ozone89; 08-13-2007, 05:29 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    you're never going to stop a handyman or homeowner from doing drain cleaning or plumbing.

                    every home improvement store, home depot, lowes, caters to them.

                    have you seen the rental department at these stores? when they first started to appear at my local h.d. i was thinking how long will it be, before someone unqualified got killed using a rented machine they had no clue on how to properly use.

                    if you think about all the water heaters that are sold, what percentage are actually installed with permits and inspected. my guess is less than 5%.

                    how about having to register a heater at time of purchase so that the city can follow up on the installation and inspection

                    i know it's getting off track, but it's not just drain cleaning that they are doing.

                    rick.
                    Home owner's by law are allowed to do their own work to their own home..that's not an issue.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                      Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
                      I think I agree to disagree with what you said. There should be no exceptions because that's not what's stated in a code book. The state's shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. Handymen shouldn't be allowed to touch Plumbing period!
                      The State shouldn't be allowed to override what the Health Department says either...there is a reason why we have a health department and there is a reason why we have Plumbing codes. ...

                      The State shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose which laws to follow in the Plumbing code.
                      sounds like your advocating a national plumbing code, and all the federal bureaucracy that will create.

                      The States do have the right to pick and choose their laws, they choose the plumbing code and amend it to their own individual needs. If the states are not allowed to choose their laws, who should? It certainly is none of the Federal government's business how each state chooses to install plumbing, given the differances in conditions in each state for one.
                      Brent

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                        Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post

                        Just because some jurisdictions around the country don't force their own laws, doesn't mean people don't have to follow them.
                        Perhaps you can offer some examples of where this is happening?

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                          Oh please, ozone, the only facts you laid down were you've seen licensed plumbers put in cocked p-traps, and you're in pennsylvania. The rest has been how YOU think things should be. You are entitled to your own opinion, I don't have to agree with it just like you don't have to agree with my opinion. You think drain cleaners are just a bunch of dopey guys that want to be plumbers someday but just don't have what it takes to rise to your level. You also think drain cleaning is something you offer because you are a master plumber and you've learned the theory s^*t flows downhill. What struck the nerve was you comparing me (a drain cleaner that does it day in and day out, that's been taught by the best, has lived on call, worked in thunderstorms, snow, hot, cold, on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, missed baseball games & recitals,worked in septic tanks, leach fields, seepage pits, manholes, under houses, on roofs, in the mud, in s*^t, grease, vomit, dog kennels, chicken plants, meat processing plants, stuck for hours, things really went my way, and so much more) to someone that does it here and there, occassionally, maybe a little more than occassionally, like handymen, carpenters, tile guys, then you say I need to have masters plumbing license to clean drains or I'm not legit! I beg to differ. I might not be legit as a licensed plumber in which I have never claimed to be, but I've been thru the ringer and still walked away in tact. I'll leave the master plumbers license to those that enjoy the plumbing end of it. Hey, wait a minute, is it all bright and sunny days in a perfect world like the Walgreens commercials when you get a master plumber license? Cuz if so, where do I sign--never mind. I love cleaning drains and even though the conditions never seem right, there's nothing better (to me-dopey drain cleaner) than doing it for a living. I guess next you'll want the people that detail your car to be ASE certified, I mean they are working in and on your car, shouldn't they be qualified and knowledgable about your safety in driving the car when they clean it?

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                            I am in the south and have had my own drain cleaning/plumbing/septic business since 1996...I started out cleaning drains at age 12 with a family member...Everyone seems to want to compete about a license on drain cleaning...I am a master plumber/gas also have to have seperate certification for installing septic systems and aerobc systems which I also hold...but each of these fields should go hand in hand the more we qualify ourselves to do the more effecient our trademanship becomes....I do new construction as well as repair,residential,commercial and industrial...I prefer gorlitz 68hd drain cleaning machine with 3/4 cable for main lines with powerfeeder for those just getting started might want just 68 model with 11/16 cable....also gorlitz 350/250 combo with two seperate reels 1=3/8 cable for sink lines and washer drains and 2 = 1/2 for floor drains . I use these machines because i have tried every machine on market and they are quiet and very durable...it takes a good drain cleaner to clean a line installed not up to code or backward tee's or wye's and this does happen but it takes a good plumber to make it easy for future cleanings....in my area we have strict codes in city but none outside city limits...thats why you have to be careful for jacklegs acting like they are plumbers and robbing customers and leaving them worse than the initial problem...then they call you so you need to have the experience to handle bad situations and make them good for your customers treat them as if it were you or a loved one and you will go far in business good luck......also don't be afraid to say no......don't get yourself spread to thin or take on what you can't handle
                            some of the best jobs you get are the ones you don't get

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                              Originally posted by draintech1 View Post
                              Oh please, ozone, the only facts you laid down were you've seen licensed plumbers put in cocked p-traps, and you're in pennsylvania. The rest has been how YOU think things should be. You are entitled to your own opinion, I don't have to agree with it just like you don't have to agree with my opinion. You think drain cleaners are just a bunch of dopey guys that want to be plumbers someday but just don't have what it takes to rise to your level. You also think drain cleaning is something you offer because you are a master plumber and you've learned the theory s^*t flows downhill. What struck the nerve was you comparing me (a drain cleaner that does it day in and day out, that's been taught by the best, has lived on call, worked in thunderstorms, snow, hot, cold, on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, missed baseball games & recitals,worked in septic tanks, leach fields, seepage pits, manholes, under houses, on roofs, in the mud, in s*^t, grease, vomit, dog kennels, chicken plants, meat processing plants, stuck for hours, things really went my way, and so much more) to someone that does it here and there, occassionally, maybe a little more than occassionally, like handymen, carpenters, tile guys, then you say I need to have masters plumbing license to clean drains or I'm not legit! I beg to differ. I might not be legit as a licensed plumber in which I have never claimed to be, but I've been thru the ringer and still walked away in tact. I'll leave the master plumbers license to those that enjoy the plumbing end of it. Hey, wait a minute, is it all bright and sunny days in a perfect world like the Walgreens commercials when you get a master plumber license? Cuz if so, where do I sign--never mind. I love cleaning drains and even though the conditions never seem right, there's nothing better (to me-dopey drain cleaner) than doing it for a living. I guess next you'll want the people that detail your car to be ASE certified, I mean they are working in and on your car, shouldn't they be qualified and knowledgable about your safety in driving the car when they clean it?
                              Did you puff your chest out when you typed that?

                              If you ever picked up a code book in your life, you would know what I'm talking about. Your state/jurisdictions obviously amend their own laws to govern.

                              Area's in the State of Pennsylvania require you to be a licensed Plumber to even touch a lowly P-trap or pick up a water closet. There is a reason why the Big Drain Cleaning companies are licensed Plumbers in the State of Pennsylvania.

                              It's obvious to me, we have 1 member here who is breaking the law in his own state.

                              It it wise to watch what one says, cause you never know when an inspector,health official,township official is watching. (hint hint)

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

                                Originally posted by TomSV650 View Post

                                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.
                                AMEN BROTHER
                                I`m with ya on this one
                                http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X