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  • HouseOfAtlas
    started a topic Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    I am planning on starting a drain cleaning service and need some advice. I've been doing plumbing work for about 5 years and believe I know enough to get started. I know I have a lot to learn, but I've learned alot from the drain cleaning guys that I've worked with in on different jobs in the past. But some of the stories I hear are kind of scary

    I have helped our main sewer guy carry his Spartan 300 machine up and down stairs so I know how much of a PITA it can be LOL! But, besides him (he's very busy with his own work), it has been really hard to find a good drain cleaning guy that will be where he says he'll be and can communicate well.

    I plan on getting the Spartan 300 for main drains and then the Spartan 100 with 3 different drums (with different sized cable) to use on 1 1/4 - 3" lines.

    In the future, once funds are available, I would like to get a camera and do recorded tapings of main drains. Any thoughts on what type of setup to get?

    Lastly, for those that dig up the yard and install a new cleanout, what process do you use??

    Thanks in advance to all those that can help out

  • TomSV650
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    The 300 is my mainline roof machine and it will also fit through bathroom doors where the 1065 often won't. My spartan 100 machine is old and tired and needs replacement.

    The K-60 i'm sure will be in my future because i'm not getting any younger!

    Leave a comment:


  • PLUMBER RICK
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by TomSV650 View Post
    Mark, i'm just going by what I see. Lets see, I have a Spartan 1065 with 150' 3/4" cable, a Spartan 300 with 75' of 5/8, one extra drum of 75' for the 300, two spartan/milwaukee 700s/drills, one with 25' 5/16 spring end, one with an 5/16 erickson double drophead. I also have a spartan 100 with 75' which will be replaced this week with a RIDGID K-3800. Woohoo! Also one big jetter at the shop.
    Still debating on the K-60....

    I had a small gas jetter for awhile but was never satisfied with it. My work vehicle is a regular chevy one ton van that's rather full with the machines and other plumbing related stuff.
    tom, the 1065 should be able to handle your big needs. don't know why you need the 300 also on the truck. kind of an overlap. the 3800 and spartan 100 are almost identical.

    i have the 300 that now sits at my house for an emergency. the 3/4'' k-7500 is my drum machine. i very rarely needed the 1/2'' drum machine or 3/8'' drum so i took them off the truck. i keep the k-60 with 150' of 7/8'' and the k-50 with 150' of 5/8'' and 3- k-39's on the truck. also a gas and electric jetter.

    i've done 2'' traps with my 7/8'' k-60 and the 5/8'' is great for 1.5''-3''. the flexibility of the sectional cables are great for hard bends. i have good luck on outside area drains and styrene pipe with the 7/8'' cable. and on a roof top vent, you can't beat it, period.

    you will find a good use for the k-60 and that will clear up a lot of room in your truck. the 50 is a bonus, but the 60 will also run the 5/8'' 50 cable. what do you use for roof top main lines?

    you'll find that once you get use to a sectional cable, you'll love it. just ask mark or ben

    don't take my word for it

    rick.

    Leave a comment:


  • TomSV650
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    That's why I said you are over-generalizing. It's too easy to look within our own personal little sphere and make assumtions based on what we see. Our service trucks were 14' Harbor Super-Structures with tilt-forward cabs. Even though drain cleaning was not our main business we carried four machines and various lengths of 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" and 7/8". Then the shop had two jetters and two 1 1/4" machines.

    What type of truck do you drive and what do you carry? What do you wish you could add to your truck?

    Mark
    Mark, i'm just going by what I see. Lets see, I have a Spartan 1065 with 150' 3/4" cable, a Spartan 300 with 75' of 5/8, one extra drum of 75' for the 300, two spartan/milwaukee 700s/drills, one with 25' 5/16 spring end, one with an 5/16 erickson double drophead. I also have a spartan 100 with 75' which will be replaced this week with a RIDGID K-3800. Woohoo! Also one big jetter at the shop.
    Still debating on the K-60....

    I had a small gas jetter for awhile but was never satisfied with it. My work vehicle is a regular chevy one ton van that's rather full with the machines and other plumbing related stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    [quote=gear junkie;88768] I do not do side work. My boss is to good to me to go around him.

    Ben - My father encouraged his employees to do side work...that's how a young tech learns. If they came and asked..my father also let his employees use small material for their side jobs.

    It did bite him in the butt with 1 guy..but my father always treated his employees like sons, and paid them top dollar, and incentives for raises.

    Am I allowed to talk about that..or will that fire up the troops? lol

    We are good on the other thing Ben.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by BAPlumber View Post
    don't change a thing, let us get fired up. Keep it real.
    Nah man..I've been on the play ground enough for the last few days...lol I almost single handedly started a riot with the Drain cleaners of the board..I won't touch the other issue...unless someone wants to push me into the fire j/k

    Leave a comment:


  • BAPlumber
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
    Oh boy..that was ugly! Both sides made good points though...and that's why we don't use the mayo system..and use or own. Ours is a flat rate, but based on a T&M ..if that makes any sense.

    I'll go back and edit my last few postings, so I don't fire up the troops.
    don't change a thing, let us get fired up. Keep it real.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    Ben/Ozone,

    We don't need to make this personal as we can all agree to disagree. I wish there was a national standard for all contractors but there is not. That is the fault of our elected officials not the fault of those who are working within the system.

    Mark
    I agree 100% but..for those who don't follow and knowingly break the law..they are part of the problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by BAPlumber View Post
    here's a flat rate thread if anyone wants to read it.
    http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...ight=flat+rate
    Oh boy..that was ugly! Both sides made good points though...and that's why we don't use the mayo system..and use or own. Ours is a flat rate, but based on T&M ..if that makes any sense.

    I'll go back and edit my last few postings, so I don't fire up the troops.
    Last edited by Ozone89; 08-15-2007, 10:47 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • gear junkie
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Ozone, I will answer the one direct question you asked then will not respond after that. I'm not a business owner. I'm #1 active duty navy, and #2 a subcontractor with a local HVAC and plumbing business. I understand the concept of repeat business because I deal with it every week. I get referrals from my customers and repeatedly have to turn business down because of my commitments to the Navy. All my customers get my personal cell phone # and can call me directly anytime and give the number to whoever they like. Any jobs I get through referrals are treated as company jobs. I do not do side work. My boss is to good to me to go around him.

    I have a business license but am unable to get my contractor's because PSI exams won't except my Navy time or education. I'm covered by our master plumber and hvac tech license. This is another reason why I don't do sidework. I will admit, I do not run a company and nor do I have people who work for me. I appreciate your passion, this is your family owned business, livelyhood and income. When I retire and start my own business, I to will feel just as strongly. I was never passing judgement, only making an observation. As stated before, I will not respond to any further comments on this issue.

    Ben

    Leave a comment:


  • BAPlumber
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    here's a flat rate thread if anyone wants to read it.
    http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...ight=flat+rate

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    Katie bar the doors
    nothing to see here
    Last edited by Ozone89; 08-15-2007, 10:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • ToUtahNow
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post

    I wish everyone was flat rate.
    Katie bar the doors

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    nothing to see here
    Last edited by Ozone89; 08-15-2007, 10:46 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ozone89
    replied
    Re: Starting Drain Cleaning business - Need advice

    Your problem is how Tom "assumed" that you're bitter because of what you wrote. If you don't care how you write or the perception you give off, be prepared for a lot of miscommunication. You can be the smartest, most competent plumber out there but if you can't convey the message you're trying to get across, what's the point? You'll be a genius in your own mind. I will agree that a person's tone can be misconstrued through a computer screen. But calling someone out is kind of childish if you ask me. I didn't come here for that but to exchange ideas and to let everyone know they should pick up a code book and READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!
    Anger equals bitter. Sounds like Tom was right. I don't get mad about it because I've done lots of work because of "guys buying freon". More work for me. Here is the definition of bitter that I like to use for this..very difficult to accept or bear; "the bitter truth" Some here can't bear or distinguish the difference between fact and opinion. I always go by the code book..there is a reason for code books..and if I'm going to enforce the code in my area, I have to adhere to them myself and be able to teach and explain the code.

    Maybe angry was a poor choice in words, cause I associate angry with flipping the F out. More..upset..how about that?


    You're so wrong in so many ways on this. If your price is fair and your quality is high you will have customers. If the customer just wants a low price and that's all, that's not the kind of customer I want. How can I be wrong in so many ways, when you expressed an opinion yourself? How could you know, if you have never been a business owner? (not taking a shot at you..but asking a valid question) Business in Virginia is much different then business in South Eastern Pennsylvania. I know all about doing quality work and fair prices..I agree with you..but you have a certain percentage of tire kickers and time wasters. When your slow and have employees to pay along with the other bills..you have to deal with those people and work for them. When your a business owner..you still have to take slop work and P.I.T.A customers..for your slow times.

    If you feel this strongly about it, then I must have hit pretty close to home. Correct..I feel strongly that one should put themselves in another shoes before they pass judgment.


    Last edited by Ozone89; 08-15-2007, 10:17 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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