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  • considering starting drain cleaning business

    I have some but limited drain cleaning experience from working at a rooter company for a while and was thinking about going out on my own after seeing the money they make compared to what they pay me. Im trying to figure out the best way to advertise since im just starting and what machines to start with. Ive been hearing good things about the K-60, but im not sure. any help on advertising, equipment and rates would be very helpful. it would be just me for now and I dont believe there are any other companies in my city (Rochester N.Y) that do strictly drain cleaning. the name of the bus. is ROCHESTER DRAIN PRO.
    any feedback (good or bad) is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

    dondon, don't have too much time this morning but i'll give it a try.

    as far as machines go, you've worked for others. were their machines the proper ones for your area and application?

    i can tell you this. the k-60 is the best all around machine that i have from being able to snake out a 2'' trap to a 4'' sewer from a roof vent.

    you still need a hand gun k-39pf is fine. a larger machine for nasty roots, either a k-1500 sectional or a k-7500 drum. and a jetter if you want to get into jetting.

    if you can't afford the larger machines, then start with the k-60 and you'll be able to do 90% of all your work with it. get the 7/8'' sectional and 5/8'' sectional cables for it. that's what ben/ gear junkie uses


    treat your customers right and price your jobs fair. repeat business and referrals are better than a 1 hit wonder

    i'll be back late and will add my 2cents later.

    drain medic/ all clear and gear junkie are all in the same field and all started like you did. they should be very helpful.

    avoid your neighbor who types in big color print and writes a novel. i'll let you figure that out

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

      dondon, Welcome to the zoo, IMO The k-60 would be a very good machine to start out with, you can use 7/8 cables with different type of heads to tackle most things out there. You can get 5/8 cable for 1-1/2" lines and up to 2"
      The only problem is the times you need to pull up a toilet and go into the drain from that location, takes alot of time to keep things clean. But I've done it that way, Never owned a self contained cable machine. As far as getting work, hand out bussiness cards every where. leave them at the depot and such places. try small adds in the neighborhood you want the work in.
      As for prices you may start out lower than your competition just to get started. That is what most folks do, I would say to set your price to your cost of doing bussiness and stay firm with that, other wise you'll be working for free. good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

        Originally posted by dondon View Post
        I have some but limited drain cleaning experience from working at a rooter company for a while and was thinking about going out on my own after seeing the money they make compared to what they pay me. Im trying to figure out the best way to advertise since im just starting and what machines to start with. Ive been hearing good things about the K-60, but im not sure. any help on advertising, equipment and rates would be very helpful. it would be just me for now and I dont believe there are any other companies in my city (Rochester N.Y) that do strictly drain cleaning. the name of the bus. is ROCHESTER DRAIN PRO.
        any feedback (good or bad) is greatly appreciated.
        I think that many of the house traps in NY are located in doors and you really want to have the machine as close to the trap /drain as possible and do not want to waste time placing sections together, I would go with the K 750 3/4" cable 100 ft this way your good to go from 4" -10 lines and roots no problem

        Much easier to feed and retract and keep the cables oiled inside the drum.

        I recently did a job that I used the drum and it took less then 20 minutes to snake a 4" main sewer. The last time I used my sectional it took over an hour as I had to place drop cloths and handle each section and it required a lot more handling.

        With the machine I went down one flight of stairs removed the street side of the cap snaking out the main then snaked out the trap and then snaked as far in side the house as I could while running hot water and detergent which kept the wire really clean.

        I received the same amount for snaking a line that took 20 minutes that last time took an hour.

        If you need more then 100ft you can always add another drum or go to the 5/8 wire


        Comment


        • #5
          Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

          dondon, yes, welcome to the zoo!!!

          like Freddy said..business cards, business cards, business cards. hand them out to everyone you meet, to real estate brokers/property managers, other plumbers that don't do or want to do drain cleaning, and anyone else you can.

          also, lettering on your truck/van is important. i also wear my work t-shirts just about everywhere i go during the week. again good inexpensive advertising.

          i too prefer sectional machines over drums but that is another topic. i have developed an approach that works for me. YMMV.

          good luck on the new business. don't let some of the clowns here scare you away. there is good info to be learned. but being in drain cleaning you know that sometimes you gotta weigh through the crap to get to the gold.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

            Make sure you have good insurance. I was just talking with a plumber today about some of the horror stories we've seen, heard and, been through. It doesn't take long for a quick easy job to turn ugly and start costing some big $$$
            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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            • #7
              Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

              All good advice above.

              One thing to keep in mind as you think you could be making all that money the rooter company was making when they were paying you.

              Ins
              Truck
              Equipment
              Up keep on both
              Advertising
              All this cost $$$$$ BIG MONEY

              Don't think they were making everything you were making em because there is a lot of expense that the workers don't see

              BTW....I love the K-7500 over all the other machines And to do the job right it takes more then a sewer machine Locaters, Cameras and so on.
              Last edited by All Clear Sewer; 09-26-2007, 05:21 PM.
              http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
                All good advice above.

                One thing to keep in mind as you think you could be making all that money the rooter company was making when they were paying you.

                Ins
                Truck
                Equipment
                Up keep on both
                Advertising
                All this cost $$$$$ BIG MONEY

                Don't think they were making everything you were making em because there is a lot of expense that the workers don't see

                BTW....I love the K-7500 over all the other machines And to do the job right it takes more then a sewer machine Locaters, Cameras and so on.
                ALL great advice PLUS you can contact local plumbing contractors as many do not do drain cleaning and they may sub out the work to you and you get paid by them

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                  dondon, make a list of what you have, what you're looking at getting, what type of work you get, roof , basement, roots, size of pipe to be cleaned, distance, indoor or outdoors


                  i was a drum man for almost 30 years

                  in the last 2-3 years, i've become a sectional man

                  i would still be a drum man if i didn't come to this forum and listen to what others have shared. (mark).

                  now i preach the k-60 as the got to have machine "the impressionator"

                  i think others would agree, including the "big man" (not you mark)

                  the last 4 drain jobs i did were sectional with both 5/8'' and 7/8'' cable. 3 were roof jobs. try that with a drum machine

                  fill in the blanks and we will all steer you the best way

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                    Congrats on starting your business, listen to the advice offered and you'll succeed. I won't get into the advertising question as there's a couple great threads on that subject. I'll answer your other one about what machine to get. The K-60 is my #1 choice. Some of the wisest decisions I made was because I listened to other people and this was one of them (thanks Rick and Mark). Where I used to work we have Spartan 1065's and I would do more jobs than guys with the 1065. Much more versatile and lighter. I also had a K-3800 which is a good machine but not as versatile. Get a seesnake and locator. Buy quality tools now and they won't fail you in the future. Best of luck.
                    Last edited by gear junkie; 09-27-2007, 07:54 AM.
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      dondon, make a list of what you have, what you're looking at getting, what type of work you get, roof , basement, roots, size of pipe to be cleaned, distance, indoor or outdoors


                      i was a drum man for almost 30 years

                      in the last 2-3 years, i've become a sectional man

                      i would still be a drum man if i didn't come to this forum and listen to what others have shared. (mark).

                      now i preach the k-60 as the got to have machine "the impressionator"

                      i think others would agree, including the "big man" (not you mark)

                      the last 4 drain jobs i did were sectional with both 5/8'' and 7/8'' cable. 3 were roof jobs. try that with a drum machine

                      fill in the blanks and we will all steer you the best way

                      rick.

                      Good idea Rick...DonDon, come up with a business plan...What customers you want to target, what areas you want to target...What kind of funds do you have to start with??? I started out with drum machines, Large, Med, Sm...then bought a compact seesnake, then bought a portable mini jetter....If your just starting out...and dont have years of experience, i would recommend at least buying used drain cleaning equipment 1st, so you get used to running the machines full time, by yourself...Advertising is going to be your biggest constant expense...Once you start getting word of mouth referrals, your going to be in good shape.. The K-60 is a good machine, you can take it into tighter spaces, on roofs...You are going to need drum machines as well, for the smaller lines...kitchen sinks, lav sinks etc...


                      Anyway i guess the biggest thing is what you want to target, then you can take it from there

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

                      www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                        I just came across your thread and have to give you the best advice concerning advertising you will ever get!!!! If you have not already, DO NOT bother with buying very expensive yellow book, super page, any of those books, advertising they are a complete waste of money. We spent over $50,000 on full and half page ads in all of those books and got nothing, I mean nothing. Now here is the most valuable advertising information you will ever get, this is from my own experience. Internet lead services, not just any, I have tried them all. These are my top three that have kept me in business for the last three years, Service Magic, Find A Plumber, Plumbing Networks, plus I am trying out 3 more new ones, will update you on those. The beauty of this kind of advertising is each one runs me only about $100.00 a month, they more than pay for themselves. Each company runs alittle different, but I get great leads, realtime leads, and I have them text messaged to my cell phone when I am on the road.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                          American, welcome to the forum. I have to agree with you on your point about web directories. As time moves forward more and more people just look up resources on the web. I dont think I have taken my phonebook out of the drawer in 4 years.

                          Josh

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                            I KEEP hearing GOODTHINGS about SERVICE MAGIC.Find A Plumber is a popular one also. .....also heard a few good things about YellowPages.Com.

                            Tony.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: considering starting drain cleaning business

                              Yes, if you are not on Service Magic, Findaplumber, Plumbing Networks, you are missing out. Yellowpages.com (not connected with any of those "yellow books") is one I am trying now, have you had any luck with it? We only do drain cleaning, but found all these plumbing sites that work great for us! I am always on the search for new lead services, also your local Chamber of Commerce, here in NJ they charge $250.00 for the year and they do alot of advertising for you. Anyone else using other lead services and had success from them?

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