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  • Your Work Day---Details of your Work

    I figure this thread would be a good catch-all, nice thread for everyone/anyone in the professions to post this running list of what you do, day to day.


    I'll start off with my day as it went from blah to Boo-Yah! real quick.



    Turned down my first call (submersible pump with a split in the pressure line, supply houses closed) and played lazy for the most part till I lined my 2nd call up.


    Phone rings, leaking expansion tank...got there and upselled a PRV to make it a solid move. My N55's are messed up because the nuts are bottoming out on the PRV. Taking too much to tighten to make them stop leaking.

    Made good, almost 4 bills for 2.5 hours work and headed to my now 3rd call.


    Fought a POS A/S KS faucet that had low pressure, repaired a shutoff underneath by the new krylon stem the customer had. I backwashed the faucet on both hot and cold and for some reason the hot wouldn't let me blow-back through the open supply line underneath.

    Told them to get another faucet, a Delta to get away from the machined handles that were too close to the bonnet trim. (A very common problem with this style A/S faucet)_

    Tried working on ANOTHER 2hdle Monticello moen, this time a 2 hdle lavy and the cold side handle? Even with grease on the wear points, couldn't get it to ease up and turn freely. The hot side I did.

    Told him to contact moen, get the free parts, "white lie" to get those cartridges which I believe are 1224B's ??? and call me when the KS faucet takes a crap again.

    Did 5 figures in 4 hours at 2 residences and could of been a 7 bill day if I would of taken on that sumbersible pump private water system.




    The above is rather lengthy, but if someone has a day that's worth mentioning, put it here. I'm sure some of the day's events will spawn discussion, possibly a debate every now and then.


    This goes out to all trades and sometimes talking about your day is a great stress reliever. More than once I've been anxious to come home and beat the keys and give my opinion of a situation, then hear other's words of wisdoms to either settle down or go load my guns and head back out.


    Sometimes some really good topics get lost in the trail of threads on website forums that offered tons of knowledge, and over time the thread gets buried pages back into the site, never to be seen again.


    Use this thread to keep one that will constantly show up daily that can keep it in full view. If it works out good enough, maybe josh can sticky the thread if it works out.


    This is for all the tradesmen on this site.
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  • #2
    Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

    Man, you may want to stock more parts on your truck! I carry 3 different kitchen faucets at all times, and I carry all types of Moen cartridges. Instead of telling them to buy a new faucet and order a stem and call me back, I would have sold them a new faucet and installed it right then and there, and I carry the moen cartridges too, so I would have done that too. Would have walked away with a happier customer and a lot more money.
    I can't see how people would be happy with a service plumber that doesn't carry the proper parts.

    Sorry, but that is how I see it.
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    • #3
      Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

      Ah, ok, that makes some sense I guess.
      So are we supposed to post just a single typical day at work? Or is this like a running journal. My days vary quite a bit. I am just wondering what basic rules are for this thread.
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      • #4
        Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

        Ok, I play

        Monday mornings' 1st call scheduled since last Tues. is a no answer

        Diverted across town to do a boiler estimate. 8 unit apartment building near Foggy Bottom. Basement was converted into apartments 20 years ago to house George Washington Univerity students. So the contractor moved the 400 pound boiler and 100 gallon commercial water heater into the attic turret These were placed in the attic with a crane while the slate roof was off. Now the boiler is NFG and water heater about to bust. Old and new equipment will have to negociate 4 flights of narrow stairs then jacked into attic. This will be by far the most difficult boiler/heater replacement I've ever done. Job starts next Monday or Tuesday depending on my labor. I'll try and take pictures.

        Head back to Capital Hill to help a coworker diagnose a power vent water heater with pressure switch issues.

        Toilet stoppage, 3 unit walk up. Bald woman answers the door Auger toilet and pull back a wig It's the one she wears for special occasions like Christmas parties. She called it her 'Holiday Hair' I tried to throw it away but she wouldn't let me. Apparently, wigs are very expensive

        Check latest posts on Ridgid Forum

        1st customer rings me back. "Where are you?" Said she overslept and didn't hear the doorbell or phone
        "Can you come now?"

        "Nope, you have to wait until I'm ready"

        "OK, when will that be?"

        "45 minutes"

        I scarf down a G-Man sub from Mangialardos Deli then head over there.

        No heat on a old Weil Mclain VHE model boiler. Needs a $40 part (mercury pilot sensor)from R.E. Michels. No problem, right? Part has been discontinued and no longer availible.

        Time for her to make a hard decision. Replace 18 year old boiler for $4,400 or recontrol it to Hot Surface Ignition for $1,200. It's the week after Christmas. I knew her answer before I walked back in there.

        Spent the rest of the day picking up and installing ignition control kit.

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        • #5
          Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          Ok, I play

          Monday mornings' 1st call scheduled since last Tues. is a no answer

          Diverted across town to do a boiler estimate. 8 unit apartment building near Foggy Bottom. Basement was converted into apartments 20 years ago to house George Washington Univerity students. So the contractor moved the 400 pound boiler and 100 gallon commercial water heater into the attic turret These were placed in the attic with a crane while the slate roof was off. Now the boiler is NFG and water heater about to bust. Old and new equipment will have to negociate 4 flights of narrow stairs then jacked into attic. This will be by far the most difficult boiler/heater replacement I've ever done. Job starts next Monday or Tuesday depending on my labor. I'll try and take pictures.

          Head back to Capital Hill to help a coworker diagnose a power vent water heater with pressure switch issues.

          Toilet stoppage, 3 unit walk up. Bald woman answers the door Auger toilet and pull back a wig It's the one she wears for special occasions like Christmas parties. She called it her 'Holiday Hair' I tried to throw it away but she wouldn't let me. Apparently, wigs are very expensive

          Check latest posts on Ridgid Forum

          1st customer rings me back. "Where are you?" Said she overslept and didn't hear the doorbell or phone
          "Can you come now?"

          "Nope, you have to wait until I'm ready"

          "OK, when will that be?"

          "45 minutes"

          I scarf down a G-Man sub from Mangialardos Deli then head over there.

          No heat on a old Weil Mclain VHE model boiler. Needs a $40 part (mercury pilot sensor)from R.E. Michels. No problem, right? Part has been discontinued and no longer availible.

          Time for her to make a hard decision. Replace 18 year old boiler for $4,400 or recontrol it to Hot Surface Ignition for $1,200. It's the week after Christmas. I knew her answer before I walked back in there.

          Spent the rest of the day picking up and installing ignition control kit.

          Sounds fun ! Can I help?

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          • #6
            Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

            I took off today, But My son Had a Good time traveling today

            My Son's Work Day! He Just Would Not Drop The PVC Long Sweep

            Have fun watching his day

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            • #7
              Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

              Answered the phone all Monday morning as it was blowing up like crazy... Went to a weird stoppage at 10 am. Downstairs laundry, sink backing up when they run the upstairs kitchen sink. Old 2" cast-iron line with a bunch of branches added on...no permit, so who knows what kind of whacky layout is on the walls? Another drain company was there three months ago and jetted the line from the kitchen vent. The jetter couldn't make it past a certain spot in the cast-iron under the slab. Well, three months later its backing up again, and I am going to show these customers why I am the best, and the drain can be opened better without no stinkin' jetter!!!
              I wheel the K-380 upstairs and go through the kitchen drain. I went up the vent 5 times no matter what I tried! Finally I put the drop-head and carefully pushed the cable by hand, after two attempts, I managed to force it down the drain, instead of up the vent. (galvanized tee). I go out about 70 feet using the auto-feed when I hit a really hard stoppage. I just kept augering away at the spot and after a few minutes the inner-core cable popped it! Customer comes running upstairs like a kid on Christmas morning telling me the drains went down. I am guessing it was a large build-up of scale and rust in the cast-iron drain. The jetter-head the previous company used had to start down a 1.5" vent, so it was probably to much of a *****nozzle to break it. Probably all backwashing nozzles, maybe one pathetic forward nozzle. We don't need no stinkin' jetter on this!
              I inform the customer, "You know that hard spot the previous company couldn't get past? Well I just broke through it!"
              Pull back the cable using auto-feed, practically zero mess. Wheel it back to the truck in record time...In this situation, the drum was cleaner, faster and more effective than a sectional OR a jetter!
              Next call is a doozy...customer wants the old threaded gate valve on a 3/4" galvanized service replaced, a broken hose-faucet replaced, and then go upstairs and install 3 stop-valves for the kitchen and install the new disposal and dishwasher he just bought. I inform him that I can do it right now, but it will cost $700+. I am half-expecting him to passout or argue...nope, he says, "OK!"
              So I start downstairs, I had to cut the gate-valve handle off with a sawzall to get it to spin off the galvanized water service. I put on a female adapter and sweat on a new ballvalve (with my company logo and phone # of course) and hook it up. Then I replaced the freezless hose faucet. I turn the water back on and there is a microscopic drip on the old galvanized threads! So I have to carefully unsweat the new ballvalve and redo the adapter. This time I put a crap-load of teflon tape and dope on the threads and I torqued the crap out of it with a 14" ridgid wrench. Re sweat it together...and test it.....its dry!
              Go upstairs and finish the kitchen remodel stuff, disposal and dishwasher and stop-vlaves go really easy. Customer gives me a mastercard, swiped and approved...life is good!
              By now it is around 5 pm, light is going down. I arrive at the next call, previous customer has a piece-o-crap two-handle Price Pfister kitchen faucet the won't shut off. I explain that I can either replace it or order the stems....she says, "lets just replace it!" I bring in the entry-level faucet. Because that is what she asked for. Its a cheap, but decent chrome single-lever with side-spray. Ceramic disc cartridge. I show her the price and and ask her if she would like to see the designer faucet...no this one is nice. Quick sale..put it in fast. Collect. Easy money.
              Finally driving home in the dark around 6:00 pm, get an emergency call, lady is absolutely freakin' out about a sewer backup. SHe doesn't even ask about price at all. I tell her I can get there in about 2 hours. Then Jerrymac calls and we discussed how drain-cleaning is super-cool and better than all other plumbing, and why I want to do more of it. (long story) I get home and scarf down some quick food, quickly see my wife and baby and explain that my workday is not done.
              I get to the last call around 8 pm. BIG house overlooking a golf course. Basement is being mopped up. The sewage came out of the laundry drain. I explain how I charge, and explain that I recommend a camera. I wheel the K-7500 into the walk-in basment. Pop the inside cast-iron cleanout and go in with a 3" double-cutter. I am fighting the drain the whole way, but making progress. The 3/4" steel innercore Ridgid cable always amazes me how much torque it can take!!! Damn, it winds up like it going to snap, but then BAM! it rips the roots out like the indestructible Terminator! I finally reach 100 feet and pull it back. I put the seesnake down and see its orangeberg pipe. CH-CHING! I put teh transmitter on and go get the navitrack Scout. I am expecting the sewer line to head towards the street, but can't find a signal. I finally go to the backyard and get a signal. The sewerline is headed towards the golf-course! I pin-point the exact location of the sewer, and the Scout shows it only 2' deep. I quickly confirm it by digging with my shovel and in a few minutes I hit the top of the orangeberg pipe! The accuracy of the navitrack always amazes people. By this time the customer thinks I am some sort of diviner or god.
              I explain to the customer the situation and give him a price to come back the next day and put in a cleanout and continue from there. I also explain that I will look up the GIS mapping on the Metropolitan Sewage Districts website and find out where the hell his private sewer ties into to the public sewer.
              I get home around 10:30 pm and look up his property on MSDs mapping site. The public sewer that he ties into is about 600 feet away from his house on the other side of the golf course!!!!
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              • #8
                Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                Next morning: (Tuesday)

                I am tired and beat from the previous 14 hour day. I eat breakfast and give my wife a bunch of checks to deposit. I go to the next call, a rich, retired customer with 2 new Cadillacs in the driveway that wants 3 high-end faucets put in, including a showervalve...I was dreading this call as it would take me a long time, but I had already pushed it off weeks ago and didn't want to piss him off by cancelling. I get to his house and he is a mess. Looks like he just got out of bed. He lets me in and goes to the bedroom. He is still in his pajamas and forgot I was coming. I am trying to figure out what is wrong with him when he finally tells me. "There was a death in the family." The guy is crying now, and I can tell by his voice that it was his wife who died but he can't bring himself to say it out loud. I tell him I'm very sorry, when did it happen? "YESTERDAY." He says. He is really crying now and I am feeling really weird standing in his house in my plumbing uniform holding my invoice holder. I tell him I can come back next week or whenever if he needs some space. He says, "that would be great, I hope I didn't ruin your schedule." I head out the door, and warmly hold his hand before leaving, and say, "I wish there was something I could say or do to make you feel better, but I know there isn't" He just thanks me and continues sobbing while I leave.
                Man, I feel really sorry for him now. It must hurt him so much to have lost his wife yesterday.
                My day isn't over though.
                Go to the supply house and pickup a new K-7500 foot-switch that I ordered because the old one is leaking.
                Finally, I get to the golf-course sewer job. I call MSD and ask them what the policy is when a private sewer crosses a golf-course. He says, "that is between the two parties, we don't get involved." I tell the Homeowner that his private sewer crosses the darn golfcourse and is ornageberg so he is in for some serious financial pain inevitably, but that I will try to get it open.
                I quickly dig it up and install a 4" combo fitting as a cleanout. I use the k-7500, and chew through the roots. Camera inspection shows the orangeberg is somewhat squashed but overall intact. It goes through his neighbors yard and ties into her line before going across the golf-course. I ask the neighbor if she is having any sewer problems and she says No. But that she has had problems in the past. I couldn't clean the last 15 feet of my customers' branch line with the 100' 3/4" cable, so I use the K-60 with spriral sawcutter and I go out a full 120 feet until I hit the ornageberg tee.
                MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! drain is open. I give a call to my old boss who does trenchless pipe-bursting installs and ask him how much he'd do the job for me if I sell it and subcontract him.
                I tell the customer that it is open for now, and that I can continue to come out and cable it but that EVENTUALLY AND INEVITABLY the orangeberg sewer will have to be replaced and that the most affordable way to do it is pipe-bursting to avoid his ashpalt driveway and extensive high-end gold course landscaping. Of course this guy almost sh!ts a brick when I tell him the price to do the pipe-burst. He decided that maybe selling his house in the near future might be a better idea! I can't blame him, if I had an orangeberg sewerline crossing a 600' golf-course I would want to move away too! He paid me for the work and I went home. No big sale today.
                As soon as I get home the phone rings and some lady is flippin out because a pipe is pouring water in her basement and she can't shut the water off.
                I eat something and go out. I get there and she shows me the water. I turn it off at the street meter. Some moron monkey hack-lord has done one of the most horrendous abominations of a bathroom remodel that have ever seen. The shower-drain has no trap and is piped with hard-turn Pvc pressure 90s...for example! The leak is separate though and is on a 3/8" chrome nipple going to a toilet that has rotted away at the threads since it has been there since 1952! I use an easy-out wrench and back the broken threads out of the brass dropear ell. Install a new 3/8" chrome nipple and stop-valve and supply.
                The toilet is a 1952 clunker and is running. I offer to fix it or replace it. She scheduled to replace it next week. (sell, sell, sell, baby!) I then ask her who did the plumbing in the bathroom remodel because honeslty it looks like a monkey did it. She wouldn't tell me, because it was probably her ex-huband or neighbor. I explain her how bad it is and that if a contractor did that work, she needs to tell me, because the people ripped her off, and the plumbing is horrendously wrong. asn was obviously done without a licence or permit and I want to report them to the State Board of building inspections. No luck, it was her ex-husband who is an electrician. Figures.
                I talk again to Jerrymac again about how drain-cleaning si the ebst job on earth, and we talk forever. I get home around 8:30 pm and eat dinner. My 14 week old baby girl is playing with me in my lap. She is laughing and kicking her legs on my belly. She can stand up now on her legs if I support her. Amazing little girl. She is also 'talking' and she has learned a new noise to get mommy and daddy's attention. It is sort of a combination of a laugh and a shrill scream and is really cute. She is like, "HEY, I am HERE!" Adorable.

                We put the baby in bed. I had a good talk with the wife. Now I am sitting here typing this sh!t and 2:00 on Wednesday morning. I am tired.


                All a day (or two) in the life of Service Guy. Best damn service plumber on the planet. See you at the Ridgid roundup 2009.
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                • #9
                  Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                  Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                  ... old threaded gate valve on a 3/4" galvanized service replaced, .......I put on a female adapter and sweat on a new ballvalve (with my company logo and phone # of course)
                  Huge day, any concern of dielectic connection? I've always been told (and acted on) 5" of brass or a dielectric (coupling or union) between copper and galv. Is that rule different where you are?

                  Greg
                  Last edited by glkearns; 01-01-2009, 12:34 AM. Reason: edit down quote size

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                  • #10
                    Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                    I spent a good portion of today re-troubleshooting a 35+ year old commercial water heater with a phantom pilot. The good people at AOSmith tech support line were able to dig into the archives and walk me thru a few tests to determine that the pilot safety assembly (not the gas valve the previous tech support guy swore up and down it was, which I had in hand today and my gut was telling me that the gas valve was not the problem, I just didn't know how to troubleshoot it). Now I have to wait till Friday to see if they have the part in stock. Luckily this facility has 2 of these 640,000 btu water heaters with a bypass so all is functioning, just 1/2 as fast as it should.

                    After I get all the information I need from AOSmith I get a call back on a water service that I installed about a month ago, owners reporting saturated soil, so I shut off my new propress main shutoff valve, and clock the meter for 5 mins, rock solid, open the valve back up and let the hosebibb trickle a little bit and make sure the meter is reading true, show the clients and off I go.

                    Played some phone tag after that, trying to get everything squared away for a short trip to Disneyland Sat-Tues. with the family. It's the kid's first trip ever (4.5, 2.25 years old), first trip for my wife in some 10 years, and first trip for me in more than 15 years. I think I am looking forward to it almost as much as my kids, and them not even close to as much as my wife.

                    Greg

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                    • #11
                      Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                      why do people have to quote long threads ,i dont want to read it again

                      just venting
                      Charlie

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                      • #12
                        Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                        sorry, I usually delete it down to what I was talking about but at the time I had a sleeping kid on me and only 1 hand to operate with

                        Greg

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                        • #13
                          Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                          1st call-Install customers kitchen sink faucet purchased from IKEA while the 45 year old man giggled watching morning cartoons

                          The faucet came with braided supplies with a 1/2" female inlet connection I had to use a brass nipple to connect another 12" braided supply. Broke the plastic airgap by accident and didn't have one on the truck so he got a soap dispensor instead.

                          2nd call- Quoted $350 to cleared a main sewer. New customer happily agrees to the price. Cleared it in under 45 minutes with K60. Now she says price was too high for 45 minutes of work

                          "I tell you what ma'am, come to my house with a truck full of tools and play in my sh!t for an hour and tell me if my price is still too high"

                          Happy f'en New Year to you too!

                          3rd. call- Toilet stoppage at Payless Shoe Store we just completed 2 months ago. Manager says it's obviously a warranty issue until I show him a wad of paper towels on my auger. Why would you mount a paper towel holder next to a public toilet?

                          Ordered equipment for Monday mornings' ugly install

                          Sold off almost all my mutual funds to realise the loss in 2008. Moved some into a ETF fund. Opened a ROTH IRA.

                          Opened a bottle of MacMurray Pinot Gris to wash away the anger

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                          • #14
                            Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                            I guess my day started out early as my project yesterday was not completed until 1:30 this morning. Nothing exciting but I was reading depositions for a case where I am representing a faucet manufacture in a subragation case. At 5:00 this morning I got up to continue the project as I have a Contractor coming by the house at 10:00 AM and I know I won't have time then.

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

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

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                            • #15
                              Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                              Originally posted by glkearns View Post
                              Huge day, any concern of dielectic connection? I've always been told (and acted on) 5" of brass or a dielectric (coupling or union) between copper and galv. Is that rule different where you are?

                              Greg
                              I used to use them too. But I have seen so many copperxfemale adapters attached to galvanized that lasted a very long time, so I no longer bother with dielectric unions for the most part. The guy will need to replace that old water service anyway once it leaks or plugs up with rust.
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