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Your Work Day---Details of your Work

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

    Had a 55 gallon electric water heater I had to replace today on a 3rd floor of a condo. At the same time I landed a faucet replacement for tomorrow. Definitely worth a picture since it's a shower valve broke off in the wall, about 2 miles from my shop.
    The water heater replacement was as bad, hard as I expected, and I did my back no favors taking a 300 pound water heater down 3 flights of steps. Thank goodness for pneumatic tires on my two wheeler, made all the difference in the world. The good thing was that there was a height problem that was overcome on the job that could of turned it into a larger job than it already was.
    Did a water heater draining for a customer I put a water heater in for back in 2006. Hadn't seen her since then and I'm glad she accepted my offer while I was there. She's the president of the condo association (I believe) and I'm sure she talks to others about plumbing issues in those buildings.
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    • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

      I copied and pasted the text below from something I wrote a while back on my FaceBook. However, the events that are discussed are things that happen on a daily basis. They may not be the same exact events, but they come pretty close!

      Just today, and lets see, it is only 12:30, I have already mopped up water from the floor and wiped down windows and cabinets from where my kid got in the sink and decided that she wanted to use the sprayer. I cleaned up for the 79586980569 billionth time cereal and milk from when she ran off with the bowl into the boys room. That doesnt yet include the milk that probably was spilled out along the way. I need to go check out all the floors and beds and anything else she may have sat or climbed on to make sure that she didnt pee all over it after removing her diaper. There is no telling what she is doing at this moment and to be quite honest, because she is being eerily quiet, I dont think I want to know!

      Oh, I forgot to add that while I ran to answer the phone while she was in the bath after taking a dip in the mud, she poured out the bottle of shampoo into the bath water (for a nice sudsy effect) that I bought last night and then topped it off with a fresh, unused roll of toilet paper. While I was trying to remove toilet paper from the drain, she decorated my hair with the wet and bubbly TP.

      It is not uncommon for my day to include cleaning up melted popsicles that were left on the floor, spilled drinks, countless FULL bags/boxes of chips, cereal, crackers that my daughter has dumped onto the floor. After she has had her fun with food, she then will empty out the toy boxes, break stuff, pull blankets off the beds and drag them on the dirty floor so that I have to wash them, unravel an entire roll of papertowels/toilet paper, or pour out 7 bottles of liquid foundation onto the bathroom floor, as well as onto my bed. This does not include whatever else may come up from my other 4 kids. Fortunately, the other 4 are past the destruction phase, but then there is the fighting and name calling and fighting, fighting, fighting to deal with. It is constant, all day long!


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

        no calls all week.
        to day cleaned up all my tools ang took inventory of all the material I have.
        got a great deal on a k-50


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

          Wow, been a while since I've visited this thread.

          I hate when people expect me to jump when they call for it. I worked till 10:30pm tonight tieing vents in on a bathroom remodel that got sprung on me towards the end of the week.

          I get a call at 10pm, a job I've been suckered into is a rental property with a crazed maniac on the second floor.

          Caught him dumping a half a wastebasket of cigarrette butts.

          I reset the toilet yesterday, there's no way it's leaking, no way.

          There's a sheet of plywood covering the underside of this plumbing on the second floor. These people, family members or handyman is tearing it down and I'm not coming down there till that piping is exposed. I'm not going to do it.

          I have to go back to my job I was at tonight, run some water lines and finish up.

          All day tomorrow me and another guy is going to assemble 50 park benches.
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          • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

            Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
            What would be the reasoning for having a slip joint on the inlet side of a trap only? If it's exposed who cares?

            The state of KY limits what is able to be removable in the plumbing system.

            I believe this is more for the attitude of testing off the system, limiting the amount of possible leaks, the rest being glued on PVC.

            I totally disagree with glued trap arms into the wall; I switch them to marvel connectors no matter the code for the drain cleaning perspective.

            Otherwise you'll groove that turnup trap arm and now the seal is going to leak.
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            • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

              Did numerous service calls today but one sticks out in my head; one drain call where I had no access to the main other than a floor drain. Took my drum machine down the drain and BAM! opened it up, sat there churning it where the clog was.

              Lady was extremely nice and she was telling me about how her 3 kids, all in their late 20's/early 30's lost their jobs and lost their homes due to the economy.

              Only one was there when I was working and he would not show his face. The mother told me that he's highly embarrassed to be living at home at his age.

              It's tough; my one helper is selling his truck to buy a cheaper one and going to live a pop-up camper just so he can get ahead. He's got someone to let him set it up, and he'll try to situate himself with a job. He's a former truck driver that's 59 years old and you think some races are discriminated?

              Last edited by ToUtahNow; 10-12-2009, 11:49 PM.
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              • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                Started off with eyes blinking from the strength of the sun, getting my unemployed older worker ready for delivery of my equipment to a fall festival. It's been tough as I'm paying out of pocket to help someone in need. It's my duty because this guy is running out of things to lose.

                Anyway I rebuilt of mansfield toilet that a customer completely tore apart and couldn't put together. Super nice guy, I can never charge him full price on the hourly because he's just genuine, his family and all.

                He's struggling with bladder cancer, walks 4.8 miles to get his beloved McDonald's coffee every morning. And every day he sees me driving to get my fill of burritos and hash rounds. Haaaahaaaahaaaaaaa!!!

                SO, I get him done, head back here to the shop and did something I despise; administrative work that I've been ignoring since the dawn of time. I almost had a Serena Williams moment, but I contained myself and moved on, knowing stress levels can sometimes wipe ya. My accountant just called me about replacing toilets and an expansion tank. He's been plunging his toilets weekly, daily FFS! ???

                I asked him, "What is your personal time worth?" He has to go behind not only himself but his family members when the toilet clogs...

                Folks? This cannot be a comfortable/pleasant experience because I dread being called out on a clogged toilet call. I pray for clear water when I arrive.
                Last edited by ToUtahNow; 10-12-2009, 11:46 PM.
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                • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                  Last edited by HebertDrainCare; 09-18-2009, 05:18 PM.


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

                    This is turning out to be an interesting but disgusting day today, and I had to borrow one from Plumber Rick as I couldn't handle the stench.

                    First customer calls at 8am, says he has a toilet on the lower level that is backing up, but the sink isn't neither is the shower on that lower level when the toilet upstairs is flushed, ???

                    I for the life of me cannot figure it out, other than those lateral branches in that same exact bathroom are way down the line and they picked up the main stack upstairs...

                    So I get there 2 hours later, mouth had been bleeding all night woke up looking like gene simmons from kiss and I shouldn't be doing plumbing today. I'm actually weak from the experience and I thought I was going to have to go back to closet auger school to get through the toilet.

                    Ran 6' out, pulled back and forth numerous times, nothing.

                    This guy poured an entire gallon of liquid fire in that upper toilet and flushed it.

                    The stench I cannot describe to you, other than the closer I got to that toilet, the more intense it got. I've never smelled anything that potent before and the exposure was surely not worth the risk, even though he's the one sitting in the house with all those fumes and not me.

                    If I couldn't get it open, I was going to toss the call to my drain cleaning man and let him turn my ears red for sending a bad one his way.

                    And then there sat the plunger, the plunger.

                    I understand how to correctly use a plunger, and the only reason I used it as a last ditched effort is because this guy is unemployed and he already blew the wax ring out. He's the one replacing that wax ring because I'm not! I send my drain guy and it's going to be expensive to my 30 minutes of fame and walking distance to my shop.

                    But I put that plunger in the toilet when it was completely to the rim, pushed down slowly and as hard as I could, jerked back with tremendous force and got the clog to move. Did it again and the clog moved out and I ran probably 100 gallons of water behind it flushing both upstairs downstairs toilets and all fixtures.

                    But like I said, he blew the wax ring out plunging it so I had no recourse in plunging it myself, and I'm not physically fit today to pull a toilet and reset it. Liquid Fire all over the floor the toilet and the air has me weak at the knees, if ya know what I mean.

                    But he's open, green beans do not belong down the damn toilet.

                    I'm off to get my CEU's for my Backflow License today. Heading to the water district treatment plant so I can make funny faces when I start asking what chemicals are going in that water that's starting to eat copper from the inside out.

                    Don't know why but that smell this morning is something I really wish I never had the luxury of smelling. I hate that part of this job.
                    Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 09-24-2009, 10:48 AM.
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                    • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                      I'm so far behind on so many things right now that I can't see the light of day. But, I keep moving forward and my delays, my "have-to" situations are slowly getting done. Eventually. One day...

                      1st call,

                      High water pressure, have to leave to get to another job so I do the "need parts" routine to gain a few hours. Leaking 2 handle peerless on the hot side, easy fix but ended up readjusting PRV when I got back.

                      2nd call,

                      I picked up 2 hydronic angle valves that were going to be installed on a system that had leaking packing nuts. Well, I get there, no chance as the black iron is severely deteriorated, the valves don't match and no access to the next 90 to remove the nipples and cut new ones. I tightened up the packing nut which actually fixed the problem, dx'd a high water pressure issue and looked at two toilets to why they weren't working right.

                      3rd Call,

                      Guy called the day before, thank goodness nothing bad became of the situation but one of his 1/4 turn stops nearly snapped off to the washing machine hookups. I had to run to HD before I made it to this call to pick up one of those single throw valves. Got that headed back but stopped at the house to see the dog had paw painted my entire office with dog ****, all of it. Never again.

                      Headed out, went and adjusted a PRV/rebuilt that 2 handle peerless and off I go to fix this washing machine faucet. Get that ripped out and reinstalled.

                      4th Call,

                      I set a round front Kohler Cimmarron yesterday, the lavatory directly across was making all kinds of racket when I'd flush the toilet. Well, earlier in the day I got a call from her stating it was all backing up.

                      I get there, run the lav, toilet water is moving around. Go downstairs and I figure out exactly where it's clogged and tell her that this just didn't happen over the use of that new toilet. It was longstanding buildup, a flat vent and a S-trap config is to blame for all of it.

                      I clear the drain and help clean up. Gotta come back monday to seal the toilet to the floor, cut the bolts and collect for the drain cleaning charge.

                      In the midst of this day, I went and video'd an event where I set benches up for a christian school outdoor festivity. Talk about being a stranger in a strange land. These people were wondering WTF is this guy doing with a camera. Both my guy and I discussed this later and decided I need shirts made so we don't look like perfect strangers to the cause.

                      I video'd two events in the past couple days, going back to get day shots of my friday event and call it my "off" day of sorts. My dog poops in my office again and I'm going to scoop my poop up and shove it up his arse! Then he'll know what taking a crap is all about! Yeah!!!

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

                        First call,

                        Husband repairs toilet, water cascading through ceiling in basement. I get there and check the connections from wall to fill valve,,,all is fine. Go ahead and check tank to bowl, front right has been leaking for months, if not years.

                        In an odd coincidence this toilet was clogged at the same time from a daughter the day before, and happened again in stark timing of the fill valve replacement.

                        It was flushed probably 15 times while I was there, I replaced just one of the tank to bowl bolts that was leaking and installed a fluidmaster replacement flapper for this wonderful Sterling toilet made by Kohler. The tank to bowl gasket is the triangle type gasket. I didn't have a new one and didn't want to involve a full rebuild as it was an emergency. Used an all brass bolt with washer and worked nice.

                        Second call,

                        Customer removed an Americast sink from his kitchen that I didn't realize those rust out!?!?!??! It dings/sounds just like fiberglass, but they use wire matting/mesh/wire inside those and this guy's sink was rusting out, bad!

                        Sink was already removed, I wasn't in the mode today for cutting out this excessive opening to install the new kohler sink but I traced it, made sure he could see the no-go lines and he (the property owner) took fancy to cutting out the opening himself, which in my opinion is AWESOME!!!!

                        I'm a pipe and fitting guy, not bob vila. I get called back tomorrow to set the sink, or monday. Drain coming out of wall is waaaaaaaaay too low.

                        Third call,

                        "Black Pond Adventures" by Dunbar Plumbing << Amazon has this book for $39.99 for a limited time!

                        Bad drain call where I spent more time than I cared to in getting it open. 1.5 hours later and WHA BAM! Got it open and that's all that mattered. Cable was stuck but managed to break it loose and off I went.

                        Resting peacefully with narcotics and full belly of red meat and dairy products, lots of them.
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                        • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                          No calls today. I usually have at least 1 on Saturday.


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

                            Last week I had two slow days. I more then made up for it today.

                            First call was to replace a leaking basket strainer on a kitchen sink. I look under the Moen stainless steel sink and see daylight shining through part of the sink. Look at the top and find a pinhole in the sink. This is only the second time in ten years I have seen a hole develop in a stainless steel sink, and both times it was at this house. I called Moen up and told them to send another sink to the homeowner, as it was still under warranty. I will replace it again when it comes in.

                            Second call was a clogged kitchen sink that I have snaked many times in the last ten years. The kitchen sink line runs 80 feet before it ties in with the other plumbing, and it has pitch problems with it. I tried to find a better way to run it a few years ago, but structural conditions under the mobile home make that impossible. The K-60 made short work of it, and I know I will be back to the house in 1 to 2 years.

                            Looked at the third call. Leak in a water line above the twenty year old water heater. Talked to the homeowner, and long story short, said I will be back later today to replace the water heater.

                            Fourth call was unclogging two toilets. Will go back in a few days and replace a broken floor flange on one of the toilets.

                            Fifth call was unclogging a Kohler Cimarron toilet I installed a few years earlier. I thought it was odd that it just now clogged up, until I pulled out some items out that fell into the toilet from the shelf above it. Homeowner was happy it was an accident and not the toilet acting up.

                            Call number six was unclogging a lav sink drain at a problem house I deal with. Almost nothing is done correctly at this house. Maybe one day I will get a go ahead to fix it all the right way.

                            Call number seven was a clogged main sewer line. I had to run the cable out a whopping three feet before I broke the clog free. Grabbed my microDrain to take a quick look and show the homeowner they had a root growing into the pipe at the cleanout. It looks like someone did a poor job on the glue joint at the cleanout. Gave them a price to fix that, and went on my way.

                            Back to replace the water heater from my third job. Got that all swapped out, and the homeowner was very happy that she got it done without taking a day off of work.

                            Not bad for an eight hour day.


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

                              Sounded like a good day for ya NP.

                              Did another drain backup today, which is now a stack replacement. The son ran water down the vent stack and clogged the drain up completely and I was called to get it back open.

                              First trick was the cable through the lavy cleanout underneath, got that section open but it was still clogged on the 3" leading towards the lav where it dumps into the 3".

                              Tapped on the pipe to get it to break free, no dice.

                              The cable worked great on the one spot that it's been hanging up on but no way to get to this flat vent.

                              Well, had the son go up on the roof with my 81 and got it moving almost instantly, ran water through a garden hose and flushed the toilet a bunch of times, ran lav and tub and confirmed an open drain.

                              This job will be a great job for many reasons.
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                              • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                                First call,

                                Kitchen sink faucet replacement. New Delta for $75. Diamond Seal Technology type and I swear...

                                So much plastic involved in these faucets now. It even recommends that you cable tie the plastic tube that serves the line for the sprayer to be connected to one or both of the water supplies to give rigidity to the line. Otherwise that connection getting moved back and forth will eventually snap or leak.

                                The decking of the kitchen sink faucet...the plastic housing serving the two pieces that your screw nuts onto to hold it down is fine, but the chrome covering isn't pleated to that. That allows it to move and that had me using silicone around the bottom to make it stop moving. Not a leaking issue, just a cosmetic one.

                                That faucet acted like a plastic one; when you turn the water on the spout lifts up, and the faucet spout free swings left to right but you can tell that "too far" and it will spring back...and the tubes move underneath in this manner. NOT GOOD

                                Second call was a rush call, customer called in regards to rumbling in the pipes. When I heard the location, BINGO! High water pressure galore and it's payday!

                                Get there and it's 135 pounds pressure, bad news. Sold them my time for that first hour, then to come back and install that pressure reducing valve along with replacing a defective thermal expansion tank.

                                Bought materials for my now thursday gas line job, and tomorrow is a job I was going to do today, here's a little bit about that job:

                                I really despise doing sink replacements, and after the one I just "almost" did, I really need to rethink ever replacing one again.

                                Guy called last week and told me he wanted to replace his sink and faucet, said he ordered a cast iron replacement. I talked him out of this as the wait was 14 days for that to come in. He goes and gets a stainless steel one and that's when all the problems begin.

                                I go over saturday, trace this out on his countertop as the hole needs to be significantly larger.

                                Fast forward:

                                This guy has put probably 10 hours in getting this new sink in, he's cut out tons of this cabinet and the countertop and last I was told today, he couldn't even get a 1/3rd of the clips installed and he said the sink needs it.


                                This above could of been me, most likely shorter time but how do get out of jobs like this when you don't know the circumstances?

                                It has actually scared me to death of ever doing another one as I don't trust the attitude of the next customer to be understanding when things don't go right. All this work this guy is putting in to get this mounted, I'm going to spend just a couple hours running the pipe and fittings and it's going to look like I robbed a baby of candy.

                                Every granite countertop job I got involved with, sucked and I never made good money on.

                                Most I've done are very meticulous and even though I trust myself to do it right with expensive products...I need to remember that I'm a pipe and fittings kinda guy, save that perfection work for somebody who does it everyday.

                                After this guy's horrible experience, I feel it is going to be pretty easy to say no to sink replacements from here on out, for the sake of my sanity and back pocket.
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