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

    I didn't want to recollect my thoughts last night on the job I did because my efficiency was shot to hell and back. Very stubborn job and it seemed that everything took double consideration. The finished product was decent but the time it took was too much.

    The physical part of my profession is not a strong part of my feathers in the cap. It's evident I belong behind the desk at this point...at certain points of the day. The mind is sharper than ever.

    But this stack replacement I did had a discovery in it that I've been wanting to capture now for years, and that's the proof that when you take blood pressure medications it causes problems.

    This piping right at the second bend was 95% restricted with a hardened gray matter that you'd think someone poured mortar down this drain. When it broke off, it's no different than a rock in the drain. I had the customer right there on the spot watching all this unfold, would take the camera snap shots into the remaining stack so she didn't have to get up on a ladder to see it. Even took video to show her the clear pipe when I was done chiseling out the rest with a crowbar of all things. !!!

    Click image for larger version

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    This is just one of many pictures I took on this job but here's a finished view. I removed a flat vent that had that toilet joining through a wye, leaving that vent for the main stack unwashed. No way I was going to leave that there. There was probably 12 pounds of hardened waste in that piping I removed, was all copper and brass. The owner's son will get the benefit of that at the scrap yard unless they make him beat that out of the pipe. Good luck with that idea.
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    • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

      1st call - Toilet replacement that a guy I know and get along with great with. He tried to work on this "Dalton" toilet that was a P.O.S. and broke the whole back off it!


      He bought a American Standard Cadet 3, had it upstairs right next to the old one to replace. I pulled the bowl and saw a joke of a piping arrangement. The toilet was dumping into a tee sweeping right and the front of that tee was catching the tub. How that tub wasn't clogging up is beyond me. But one flange was glued to another with a super ring anchored to all of it. I didn't mess with it other than leave it alone and shim the toilet to make up for the height issue of the flange.

      All I used was a wax ring. Went downstairs and chatted with him and his wife about deer hunting, candy, softdrinks, food, business, plumbing. Good people. He said he'd be calling me when his wife makes this peanut butter fudge and I'm like OKAY!!!

      We all should of been sugar high from all the great tasting sugary goodness we was talking about.

      As soon as I get home, call comes in, very serious caller. This lady is the DIY warrior and she was a info hound. <<< My best target.

      She didn't beat around the bush, she said she twisted her 600 series Delta out of the wall, breaking the tubes. Told her that I do around 25-30 of these a year and I don't need access to the backside. I stop by home depot and pick up the faucet and some caulk and off I go.

      I get there and not only is there a wood stud in my way, but a vent pipe as well. About as bad as it gets. Charged $500 for nearly 4 hours work and was pleased with this. They were happy and the husband was completely surprised how I was able to replace that faucet given how small that hole was in the wall, with all those pipes intersecting into one area. These customers stood and watched me for 4 hours straight. !!!

      I loved it because the time just ripped by, here I am and it's a memory with a nice check for the effort. Almost a $700 day and I bet I don't have 5 billable hours in it. Fixes my cash flow crisis for tomorrow as well.

      I never schedule in my mondays because of call volume, and if I do any tomorrow it will be ones I hand pick that I want to do. Repeat customers I don't have that choice.

      I'm already scheduled 4 of the 5 days already this week and I get to collect on all the calls I did last week and over the weekend. Won't get current with all my bills but I'll put a hard dent into them this week.

      I'm sleeping in late tomorrow...I can do that without shame since I've been working 7 days a week since before last christmas.
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      • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

        1st call - Lady was frantic looking for someone to come out and stop her leaking shutoff valve. Met the waterworks guy and he was checking things out. 100psi in the middle of the day, PRV blown and leaking. Water lines on the other side of the house at the water heater, leaking.

        The guy broke the shutoff out in the street trying to turn it off (better him than me, that's why I call them for any campbell county service calls) and since it was a leaking packing nut that stopped the leak, they set a work order to get it dug and install a new meter with dual brackets to accept a high pressure PRV. Going to have to install another PRV inside to get it down to 60. Expansion tank as well.

        I charged her for my time to let her know all this, she's going to call me when they get the new meter set up.

        2nd call was a shower valve that was so F'd up that I can't believe it didn't break off in my hands. 14 year old monitor series delta faucet, someone before me cranked the hell out of the valve and bent the 3 copper tubes up badly. It was pointing downward left when I went to take it apart. It was extremely difficult to remove the bonnet nut, the water pressure was high (90+) even though there was a high pressure PRV out in the meter pit.

        Got the new cartridge in, put grease on that bonnet nut and prayed for no leak on those tubes. No leaks, made the customer sign off that the faucet is in poor condition and needs replacement.

        Next call was a finish up from my job from saturday. All I had to do was cut off one of the toilet bolts and caulk the base, collect.

        Turns out that in the vent of that plumbing stack was a foam ball that had been inside the pipe for 40 years. !!!



        I actually didn't work really hard today, but I took care of all my loose ends and was working tired all day. Glad it's all over with since last night whipped me good.

        I'm sitting here watching this screen and Mariah Carey on the Jay Leno show. I think I'd throw it all away just to make her my wife, or parts of her!
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        • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

          dunbars in wuv !!!!!!

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

            Ok here my part and of course this is in France anyway here my break down:

            This moring got a nice cafe to warm up to deal with long day.,

            First service call someone screw up connection for Air compressor again a single phase ugh big one again now to compound it someone did not read the nameplate on the motor try to run on 240 volts { remember we are on 240 volt line to netural or 415 volts line to line } and blew half dozen fuse along the way incluing the POCO cutoff fuse.

            Replace the fuse on the cutoff then test the main fuse box centre it was pretty shroddy set up still have renewable fuse wires

            Got it fix and reconnected to work on 415 volts presto it run nice billed the customer €200 for 1 hour work { this is a commercal rate }

            Next service call I have to drive all the way other side of Paris { this is very big city btw } took me a good hour and half just get over there 20 KM distance pretty hevey traffic.

            Replace the RCD [ simuair to the GFCI ] fail to reset netted €300 inclused RCD that is 20 min work

            next stop is one of gaz station the pump unit fail to run replace the contractor the cost of contractor is not bad €180 but labour that got them €200 so total of €380

            then go one commercal office centre have to hook up a Americian copy machine one of the electrician was not famuair with Americian connections so he called me in and got it done in matter of minuites that is €100 on the spot

            then stop at one industrail location to replace 10 Ballasts the cupit was the mantanice dolts move wrong conductor and smoke the whole thing took me a good 2 hours on that one billed them €2500

            Merci,Marc

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

              Nice one frenchelectrician!



              This day is far from over with, but I'll throw this zinger out for all to see:



              Had a customer that left a message asking me to "promptly" return his call. It was for a kitchen faucet replacement.


              I forget about this call and wait an hour-hour and a half...not intentionally; I was replacing a toilet that was top priority.


              I call this fellow up as I just back to the shop and this fellow won't tell me initially that I've worked for him. ??? I then spring the question and he says,

              "You've been here a few times, once for clogged drains and then you've been here for a leaky faucet."

              So I still don't know who this guy is, even though he's given me his street location in the area. Thing is, I've done work for like 7 different people on this street he mentioned, don't know which one it is.

              So any he asks me what I'd charge to replace a faucet. I tell him and I give a "number" to possibly expect if I have to fight that faucet off the deck of that sink. He says it had been installed a 1.5 years ago but the reason he needs a new one is because his 6 year old broke the spout and it's leaking everywhere.

              I tell him it's $$$.$$ and the cost of 2 flex supply lines to reconnect.


              This guy gets huffy with me when I mentioned those supply lines, and said "I should just reconnect back to the old ones" and my reply?


              "Sir, I have to replace those supply lines because I'm disturbing a compression connection and the chance I take reusing such a connection is a bad business move for liability.

              There is no way I'll replace your faucet without supplying new feeds to that faucet."

              His reply:


              "Well when you are on a budget you can't spend money if you don't think it is necessary."


              Oh really?


              This guy tried the long pause routine, forcing me to do the talking, and I did just that. Now, this fellow also told me two things; that I mentioned that under his sink was a mess and that I could not touch it until it was completely revamped, and I apparently diagnosed extreme high water pressure in that home the time I worked there.


              I pinned him on the statement about the high water pressure, and here's his reply: "It corrected itself."


              Oh really?


              I asked him how that happened, and he said that the leaks stopped.


              So now, what I have, in essence, is a fellow that is asking me to go against everything that has brought me to this point in my career, to go against what I know is a priority, especially when it comes to high water pressure and make sure I've covered my ***, completely because there are those who will take of you if you let them.


              And since he gave me an empty room of silence to respond?



              "Sir, thank you for giving us an opportunity to work for you but maybe there's another plumber out there that's hungry enough to take a risk to fit your budget. My attitude turn mean at the very end, making damn sure he knows that his manipulation to get me as a professional to go against the grain is a permanent ending to our work relationship. At this point I don't give a **** who he is because I built my reputation of a solid footing in this trade and no idiot will defray me from that. I even explained the "what if".


              I really hope he doesn't call back because I will fire off obscenities at this point. That phone rings because I do my work at a pretty high regard to being solid, no callbacks. What he was asking from me was an opportunity to steal, no matter how insignificant you think two supply lines being replaced means.

              If I've already been there diagnosing high water pressure, why would I chance a possible property damage claim?

              I'll toss all my customer base before I do something intentionally wrong, especially in the name of money.


              And I certainly will not throw in supply lines to keep this customer happy. What's next? Water heater goes bad and he thinks the shutoff not working must stay? Time to end it and let him understand the working relationship of another plumber, period.
              Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 11-04-2009, 06:05 PM.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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

                Dunbar, I bet he calls back.

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

                  Dunbar:

                  Let that dolt call back once he realized you are Dammed serious and not pulling any merde* at all

                  Anyway here my day .,

                  slow moring little chilly side first call ring in a commercal location the motion sensor went bonkers blinking like flasher sorta like American police car light flash { no the fire alarm is not actaived } the cuprit was a surge in their capaitor bank failed replace both motion sensor plus capaitor bank end up billed that guy €5200 yeah he was really ticked and cuss a bit oh well merde happend

                  next service call a resdentail unit humm this is instering on the plummers were working on the faucet and god I don't know how they ripped the pipe and cut the conductors so have to break open the wall to get into and replace it and bill to the plummer company for that one €450 for my time to get into brick load bearing wall.

                  took a nice lunch but it was cut short got a owner walked up to me and have to fix the WC { bathroom } lumimaire someone got ticked off and ripped off the luminaire and have to get new one and got free lunch to boot plus extra food to bring home. the owner pay for luminaire but for labour the food I got that took care of it.

                  { I think I gained 4 KG from that one MDR (LOL ) !! }

                  next service call I got came up to the customer and the customer told me that they have diffrent electrician came out and rewired the whole house and the inspector nixed the whole thing due the electrician used the UK regualtions and I told the customer everything have to be ripped out and do it right from begaining with proper French codes { the house have wired with mixed bag of standard wireing format plus ring circuit which it complety illegal in France } gave the customer a bid to redo the whole house €12,000

                  I know I know but this is all brick wall so that make sense.

                  Stop at gaz station to get more fuel for my truck €300 to fill up the tank full then on the way to other jobsite to hook up tempory generator it was not too bad but they requisted have two generators hook up one on normal French supply and second one on Americian supply I don't know why so all they gave me cut sheet what it need to be done and send them a bill €400 for it.

                  got back home and sleep for while and woke up not too long ago and typing this computer in a hour I will go work again.

                  Merci, Marc

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

                    Just wrote a huge response about my day and ****ing logged me out.

                    Not going to write it twice but my state's budget issues are throwing IED's into the progression of the plumbing division.

                    June 1st of next year it'll be 1 million in the red.

                    If it continues in the economy downturn, 26 more employees of the plumbing division will be laid off, bringing it down to merely 75 employees manning the boat for the entire state.

                    Government thieving of budget surplus's,

                    Implemented sales tax of 6% to add to the already 6% for contractors in the service industry,

                    Backflow association dealing with the gray area of sprinkler fitters being required to have a license to perform work duties,

                    the list goes on.


                    I replaced a toilet today with a american standard 4, didn't care for the bowl's workmanship/quality but it's a hell of a flusher!

                    My call for tomorrow? Don't have a name, address or phone number to contact this job that has been set up since last week. Can't find the paper I wrote the info on.


                    Not a great day today and couldn't stay in focus on all I got going on. After being at that meeting, I can see how the plumbing division is really suffering right now from the economic downturn.

                    Not a good time.
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                    • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                      Water heater replacement, took 7 hours but the fellow I worked for enjoyed my skills and attention to particulars, down to finally getting a location of the breaker in the panel marked, date on the water heater for installation, strapping of the thermal expansion tank.

                      I turned a normal water heater replacement into a PRV/EXPansion tank installation...90+ pounds is something you don't mess with when it comes to the clear and present dangers of it.

                      This was a quad-level home, actually the home of a local plumber I know and was my teacher through the 4 year apprenticeship I took in KY.

                      Had to rework an outside drain that's too high in the ground which caused the owner to hit/break it with the lawnmower.

                      Customer ran and got parts for me today along with getting air in the thermal expansion tank, candybars and other plumbing materials I put on a list.

                      This fellow loved the care and attention I put into the task, there was no doubt. I like to hammer the particulars down and there are customers that watch that like a hawk. He was one of them and I appreciated it since I know what people want when they are spending big money to get their work done.

                      I certainly wasn't cheap but the task/work I did matches the charge very well, and you can just tell that it wasn't just something that $99 replacements will ever cover.

                      I was told they'll have me back for a water softener installation in february and it's not going to be an easy task. It's in another room and a loop has to be ran.

                      I'm sore as hell after this job but the before and after pictures prove a serious upgrade was done. The pressure being addressed is a great investment for his property as he won't have near the problems if it wasn't addressed.
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                      • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                        7 Heures ??? that is heckva hard work but I know you like challange just like myself.

                        Anyway here my day .,

                        Not bad moring but sunny of course.

                        First call came to commercal wood shop someone move large batch of lumber and the shipping band broke couple of lumber did make a nice well target to the breaker box KAPOW 415 volt lighting flash in the breaker box by the way this is not a standard breaker size it is a industrail breaker size { 450 amp } spend 5 hours in that place to replace the whole breaker box 1/4 of breaker bussbar is gone and 9 breakers are destoryed by flying lumber Merde !!!
                        bill that customer little over €20,000

                        then have to drive to north side of Paris to pick up few parts I need for next service call a dimming flourscent luminaire what a headache 3 heures to get it working right plus put in new receptale in the bathroom at the same time ran new circuit for electric tankless waterheater 10 KW size conferaged on 415 volts with RCD breaker billed that customer €1500

                        then took the rest of the day off to stay at Effel Tower

                        Merci,Marc

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

                          Saturday - Started on a job that wasn't in the cards for me to finish. Did much of nothing even though it involved driving around town numerous times in circles. Got on the right track, met up with another plumber and shot the bull for a few hours about having good help in business.

                          Sunday - My body was still showing signs of how hard I pushed myself this week along with friday...managed to finish up my job I started last week where I replaced a toilet, cleared a drain and put in a new outside hose faucet.

                          Customer buzzed off a $50 tip on a $500 job which I thought was impressive. Former WW2 vet and he appreciated me asking about his history in the military. He was a diesel mechanic on a submarine in the war.

                          Been doing their plumbing work since 2005 and they flat out enjoy our work relationship as I can't even begin to say how many times I've worked for them. I actually work for an entire network of family members for this family, and I'd say it's 8 different families at this point. Pretty darn cool.

                          Tomorrow I get to pull in a drain call that the lady just could not find anyone to call her back today to clear her drain. After that job I'm heading down to a tractor trailer truck wash at a truck stop about giving an estimate to switch out commercial water softeners.

                          I cannot complain about being busy right now...money is good but it's crowding my space. Even though my other companies aren't running on the weekends anymore, you'd wonder how I had time to even take on that aspect while doing everything else. I didn't clone myself...
                          Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 11-09-2009, 08:09 PM.
                          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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

                            ww1 veteren? how old is this guy?

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

                              Originally posted by leak1 View Post
                              ww1 veteren? how old is this guy?



                              It worked!!!


                              I purposely put 1 instead of 2 to see who'd bite first!


                              I'll go change my intentional mistake.
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                              • Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                                dunbar- your so crazzzzzzyyyyyyy!!!

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