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Your Work Day---Details of your Work

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  • #61
    Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

    I know the funeral home debris is fresh and ripe but have any of you guys ever cleared drain or sewer lines next to a cemetary? The utility manholes are a little funky in those areas, but there isn't much water flow through them so stuff gets a chance to settle in and grow.


    • #62
      Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

      Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
      One bite at a time

      YUM YUM!!

      what for supper now



      • #63
        Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

        Put in a septic system. Shoveled rock through about 560' of line. Took up most of the day.

        Troubleshoot a Rinnai. Corrected that.

        Repair leak on a tub shoe.



        • #64
          Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

          Originally posted by G3sprinklers View Post
          Dumb question, but I'm not a drain cleaner, how do you clean all that off of your cable??

          Sorry Can't tell you you will have to ask Gear Junkie, the answer to that question is G3 Classified


          • #65
            Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

            Got up at 8. Woke up baby Lorelei and saw her first smile of the daylight. Loaded up some tools and went to my first call. Customer has had a mystery leak in his wall for a long time, and he's paranoid about cutting the sheetrock, so I brought my brand-new seesnake micro inspection camera. I peered in to the wall and followed a 1/2" copper pipe up to the ceiling plate...plate is soaked black. Poked another hole in the ceiling and found a 1/2" tee to 90 connection leaking at the solder joint. Really tight spot. I had to cut three pipes and take it out of the ceiling and then I replicated the tee/90 configuration in pex and carefully inserted it into the space after soldering three sweat x pex adapters on. Perfect fit! I crimped the three rings onto the adapters after careful maneuvering with the crimpers. Job done. Customers are psyched and hand me my check.
            Next job is a kitchen remodel estimate. I normally blow these off, but this guy was a referral, sounded really nice and practically begged me to come out. Move the dishwasher, repipe the entire kitchen sink, replace kitchen sink, faucet, disposal, etc. move gas stove, move icemaker, replace amin shutoff and PRV. I think it came to $2300. I told him upfront as I handed him the proposal that I would be happy to do the job all to code, with permits, but that he could probably find someone cheaper. I explained that I am primarily an emergency contractor and my costs of doing business tend to be higher. I just wanted them to know that if they got a much cheaper bid, that I wasn't trying to rip them off. They were super-thrilled with my honesty and asked for some business cards to pass out to the neighborhood! So, even if I don't get this job, I am glad I went to this referral, as it will likely create more referrals in a neighborhood that is already talking positive about me.
            Next job is in the same neighborhood. Sewage leaking out from under a porch of a rental property. Slab house, toilet not flushing well. No cleanout access. I am going back tomorrow with a ladder to k-60 and camera from the roof. No way I am pulling a toilet in this nasty place.
            Next job is a simple freezeless hose faucet replacement. Customer left the hose on. I swear I replace about 150 of these/year, since everyone leaves the hose and and lets them freeze and break.
            Next job is a dewinterize of a foreclosed house that I winterized. Must be finally in contract, house has been sitting since it was foreclosed in the fall of 2007.
            Next job is a sewer stoppage. Basment cleanout, walk-in access, no stairs. K-7500 is the tool of choice for this one. Easy cleaning with a double-cutter. I camera the job for free just to be 'safe'. And I find the sewer is going uphill! At first it was submerged in water, but as I pushed in further I came out. This house has been this way since 1920!!! I don't know how it managed to work so long without someone fixing it. It runs right under the asphalt driveway. I explain to the homeowner that the only way to correct it is to cut up the driveway, and rerun the cast-iron drain under the slab higher so it has enough fall to the city connection. She doesn't want to fix it, too much money. I tell her that I can just keep cleaning it as needed, but I can't give any time guarantee since its installed improperly.
            Got home. FUN day. I'm tired.
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            • #66
              Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

              Damn dude, you could run circles around me in my turtle speed.

              First call was the dead people's hotel. I came, I saw, I kicked that drain's arse! Got the heck out of there in a hurry and left.

              Second call, PRV/EXP tank install for a reduced rate of $400, was almost there 4 hours. Having trouble with those damn N55's again.

              Lots of people paid their bills via mail today and my turn-ins for today was $1938.00 for saturday to today, not counting a couple jobs I didn't bill out yet. I wish it was always this decent but 3-4 grand a week is ideal money making.

              I've said this before but I'd be comfortable with $750 a day, sacrifice at $500 a day. Anything lower and it's just not worth it, unless of course I'm just taking a day off completely with no plumbing strings attached.

              That was it for me today, 2 calls. My knees were hurting so bad going up and down double sets of steps, along with every time I had to kneel was getting into the dangerous zone where I shot right over my pain meds. Came home, been a vegetable ever since.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


              • #67
                Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                Today I woke up at 3:30 a.m. left homeat 4:30 to pick everyone up and be on the job at 7:00 a.m. Pulled all the home runs on the top floor in a rough in that was started by another crew yesterday. Tied in that floor . Got ready to drill out the next floor, Got a call had to go final a basement for this other crew for the inspection tomorrow. Took three of us 45 minutes to switch and plug in hang 1 strip light and install 12 resess can trims and bulbs. Went back to the rough drilled out the main floor and it was time to take the two hour ride home.

                I also had an inspection on a final to day. Then he took a look in the next house and gave us the final on it (no outdoor a.c. set no island set )


                • #68
                  Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                  Thanks for posting modfrogg. Hoping that more professions come here and post their daily activities so this thread works as a place to vent.

                  I started the day off in so much pain I cancelled the first job. I had a second job but the lady never called back. I purposely waited till noon to call, hoping I'd lose it and it worked! $250 for reworking a gas line that I had no access but up and down the steps. Horrible.

                  Then I had a call for a water heater replacement and when I get there, the lady tells me Sears is putting it in. Niiiiice. Turns out Sears upsold the job when I called her to recommend the product brand.

                  I called Sears out on it, made them squirm. Had to let them know immediately so they know I didn't appreciate generating a customer for them, then giving it to another plumber.

                  Given how the day was going, I finally decided to make my truck legal again, got my tags finally renewed. I'm only 43 days behind, not too bad.

                  Tomorrow, given the cold weather, I have one on the board, fill valve replacement for $91.

                  Friday is lightly scheduled but I have a full day for saturday.....praying it stays cold till sunday as the thaw out will be when the calls come.

                  I want as many emergency calls as possible. Moar!
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


                  • #69
                    Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                    Today sucked!!! It started out we had to go hang 6 back ordered ceiling fans, we arrived at 7 the home owners had the walkthrough at 10. The fans were not in the house I called the super he told me they were locked in the model and we had to sit there untill some one could arrive and unlock the model to get the fans. started to hang them the cleaning people were there pissing me off,They did not like my music, wanted to use my 8' ladder to clean a high light ordered me to move it ( I didnot), still to short to clean the light told me to clean it wanted my to take their trash to the dumpster. I put the family room fan together got it half hung, the ceiling had to much of a pitch it would not work. Had to take it down and disasemble it repack it. Then hung the rest and got the hell out of there.

                    Got to the next job started to wire the next floor, of the house we started yesterday. Got the floor pulled and tied in and the service got built.


                    • #70
                      Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                      1st and only call today...fill valve replacement with a supply line. I gave the lady a $16 discount because she beat me to the chance for me to send a follow-up with a coupon, which this woman would of photocopied 9 million of the coupons and sent them to her friends and family as well.

                      Super SUPER nice older lady with the same kinda crazed wit as me. She's in her 60's making fun of her "old people" tenants. LOL!!!!

                      I swear, this woman touched me, put her hands on me so many times in such a short period of time that I thought I was going to have to pay her for the visit. DAMN! Nothing sexual about it, she's just a nice lady that
                      conversates by physical contact. And, she's a smart whip because she had me triple checking everything, had her big bag of parts that if I needed anything she'd at least try to have it there instead of coming off my truck. I go on my way, done deal. She called around 8 tonight concerned if I turned a valve on to the outside, which I didn't. She just wanted to make sure. She's spent money with me a couple years ago, you'd think getting a handyman would wise her up to exacting costs in a rental property. I know the handyman, everything he installed was F'd up badly. Job security for me no matter what; I offer the best insurance.

                      Had some administrative work to do today, my CPA was nagging me to get passwords for some of my accounts.

                      I did a bad thing this week, cancelled a call on tuesday that was a nearly $500-$600 job but I underestimated it badly, given the work I did monday that was considerably less work, and took longer to get done.

                      When I called to cancel, I explained my knees were swelled up and couldn't do the job, and the woman explained that there was a family emergency involving her dad and that it might just work out better this way. Apparently that was a white lie and my physical problems were as true blue as it gets; I didn't work much tuesday, sure in the hell didn't do a 8 hour tour at one location. Couldn't do it.

                      So, I checked my email tonight:

                      Thanks for all your help so far on my plumbing issues I really appreciate it. However, since you were unable to complete the work I needed done this week while I was away, I had to utilize another plumber to complete the task.

                      If anything arises in the future, I will keep you in mind.
                      Kind Regards,

                      I was mildly shocked, for about 4 seconds, but realizing something very important about this customer. And that is I always had to spend lots of time with her, constantly talking to her, being asked tons of questions before she'd ever commit to doing any business with me. This was a 1.5 hour estimate friday that I did not get paid for, and I was spot on time for that appointment. I believe I even told her that I was trying to work on that issue for my customers, to get better at that. But this past tuesday's appointment? She wasn't even going to be there, she was out of town and her brother was going to be there to let me in, or she'd give me access by a key to get the job done.

                      This job involved a toilet that had been leaking for months, floor was destroyed underneath it and it wasn't dire necessity to have it done tuesday...that's a fact. This house is riddled with plumbing problems that is slowly getting taken care of.

                      I've got to say, me being a nice guy with all the hours I've spent on the 4 times I've been at this residence is now somewhat of a relief to be let go, because I just don't have the heart to say no to people unrelated to the money aspect of it. She was taking advantage of me using me as she was an information gatherer.

                      Here was my pointed response by email, unsigned as I felt I didn't need to put my name to the response. I meant every word of it and I felt it was needed to be stated, for clarity:


                      I'm sorry that I've inconvenienced you this past week. I "almost" called you today to ask of how your
                      father was doing but I wanted to wait if the situation was going to become a family matter and possibly
                      move saturday's appointment, to which I would of flexed my schedule to make any adjustments for your

                      A gas water heater replacement saturday, 2 emergency calls sunday and a solid full day monday of 7 hours
                      doing an identical job to yours is what ruined me for tuesday. $1300 you just don't pass up when opportunity
                      strikes and I had a full day wednesday. Out of 8 customers I lost one, but there are 7 satisfied customers due
                      to my response time, pricing and availability.

                      After doing Monday's call, I underestimated the cost on doing your project, and given my work relationship with
                      you I was going to have to maintain those numbers as a promise. I do listen to my customers when they've been
                      assaulted by pricing and the last thing I'd do is jump the price after agreeing with you on a range. Some things I'll
                      just take on the chin to keep it on the level.

                      This saturday, the temperature is rising and I'll be slammed with emergency calls thanks to freezing temperatures,
                      and having that entire day slotted would of been painful to let go of those calls as they anchor premium pay, just
                      like this past weekend. Less work for the most amount of money, something we all strive for.

                      What's interesting? Every job I went to, looked at without compensation the past 10 days? Lost every one of them.
                      Given my high demand I shouldn't be doing this.

                      Every month I lose good repeat customers like this. It's the cost of doing business and I usually follow up with a sincere
                      apology and brief explanation like I'm doing now. I appreciate your interest in trying to help me in regards to my health
                      problems and that was kindly appreciated. I'm not a durable plumber unless well rested, but when I'm "refreshed" like the
                      body needs to be at times, I'm performing at the top as my reputation indicates in workmanship. I hope this is afforded to
                      you with your new plumber. Lots of good ones out there, some of us care more than others. That is what creates demand.


                      That response above will come out of left field when she reads it, not expecting that kind of a response. It targets some distinctive reasons for my actions, and that it is okay to lose paying customers. Almost a way of devaluing someone's hard earned money because you know in due time that the phone is ringing and you're going to create another good customer relationship.

                      This one above was wearing me down, I didn't know I was going to cancel until tuesday morning.

                      I'm glad I did.
                      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


                      • #71
                        Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                        Went to a customer's house this morning to temporarily remove a new water heater I installed a couple weeks ago, so they could have the floors replaced. The old heater leaked, ruined the floors and the HO insurance is paying for it. I installed it with an expansion tank, drain pan, the works. The inspector praised it to high heaven according to the owners.
                        Then I went home and payed my two phonebook ad bills, estimated tax payment, truck payment, material payment, mortgage. $4500 or so went out today. I also sent out some bills and a letter to that S.O.B. customer that bounced a check on me christmas week and hasn't returned my calls. I used a professional legal form I borrowed from an attorney client of mine and threatened legal action. I love having lots of friendly lawyer clients that like me. The lawyer told me if I use this form, she practically guarantees I'll be getting paid quickly with a fee on top.
                        I screwed around on the forum too.
                        Then I went to the post office to drop off all those bills and payments. Went to the bank too, and deposited some checks. Today was a big day financially. Unfortunately it was in the wrong direction, a lot more went out than came in.
                        Then I went to a service call for a friend of mine. New upstairs tile shower staying wet around the grout. I installed the Grohe thermostatic valve. I poked a small hole in the sheetrock and used the micro-inspection camera. No moisture, no detectable leak. I adjusted the temp, basically maxed out the temp. limiter because the owner asked me and she is a friend of mine. She said she likes it really hot. Also, she IS really hot. I charged her my minimum trip charge only, since they are friends of ours. She paid cash.
                        Then I went to an estimate at a trailer. They were referred to me by their daughter, whom I don't remember. They want new toilet, new sink, new faucets in kitchen and bath, icemaker hookup, new hose faucet. A pretty big job for a service guy. They kept worrying about price too. And since it was a tralier I was doubting heavily that I would close this sale. I went in, presented the price and waited. The husband was really reluctant, and I could tell he wanted another bid. The wife was cool. I had spent a solid 30 minutes going over the job so far and I was going to be pissed if they "had to think it over." So I set my appointment book on the counter and tried something. I said, "So when do you want to set thsis job up?" I did something I never normally do, I acted like they owed it to me to go with my deal and commit right there on the spot. and....
                        ..THYE DID! THE WHOLE SHE-BANG! I priced is reasonable, but I will make some money on it.
                        Then I went to the water heater job and put the heater back.
                        Also, I got a call from another referral. A LOT of referrals lately!
                        She said her water heater went. I asked her some questions...full basement, well tank, no expansion tank needed, electric 50 gallon. I sold it on the phone and told her I'd be showing up tomorrow morning with the heater on my truck!!!
                        My sales skills are finally starting to come together after all these years. When I started, I was a quiet, slobby, grunt. I didn't know anything about customer service and communication. Now I am selling $1000 jobs to virtual strangers in minutes. It is a proud moment for me. I think I have finally started to "figure it out", the whole sales game. I been reading books and trying for years, but nothing beats years of EXPERIENCE AND PURE WILL TO WORK.
                        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information


                        • #72
                          Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                          Sometimes when I wake up, I should give myself a sobriety check.

                          Missed the first 2 calls of the day; forgot to turn the ringer on. One left a message the other didn't. The one who did was in an area of town I did NOT want to work in, and it was easy to pass up knowing that I didn't want to mess up my two appointments today.

                          At noon, met my 1st customer for water heater draining. Easy $49 and fixed a toilet for just cost of material. All this took was a follow up email, $56 which is cheap, but embeds that customer-contractor relationship, keeping my company name in her mind. People really appreciate a good working relationship with a plumber they can trust.

                          I left there, had a non-plumbing appointment with somebody, then I left there and headed back home, day over. What I didn't mention is how many calls I fielded today, all day into the evening as we speak. They'll still be calling into the night because the temperature is going to be 32 degrees and all those water lines are going to start rupturing. It's never the way down, it the rise back up, and sometimes these calls will pepper for days.

                          Here's just an example of some of the tire kickers I got today:

                          Lady called that her washing machine spit water out of the drain, she turned it off at the water supply to stop the problem. I got very investigative asking her about the situation and at one point she got frustrated with me and became sarcastic. Bad move on her end and she was wanting me to come out and tell her what's wrong. I told her I'm charging for my time because I'm in high demand, especially this weekend.
                          She fired off "are you licensed and insured?" and I scoffed, told her to please entertain the services of another company and clicked off in her ear. I'm not putting up with that waste.

                          A couple jobs asking me if I had the ability to fire up a boiler, no.
                          Another called me to ask how to shut down a malfunctioning urinal at a funeral home. I got him shut off over the phone but I can't do the work because it's under a warranty for their recent building addition. A water line froze and broke right in the middle of the building and they are quite upset, spending nearly a 1/4 million dollars and that damage today is quite disturbing. If he can't get the plumber back, I'll be the one picking up the crumbs.

                          Another guy called stating he told Home Depot to get the F out of his home since they wanted $1500.00 to replace a powervent water heater. I could get it installed under $1100.00 but I'm not buying that heater. No way. He said he couldn't commit till his money is returned. He was prying so hard on pricing that it's going to take some convincing to deal with him.
                          I already did this for his neighbor, a replacement, told him to talk to him.

                          I told him $250 or 2.5 to 3 hours @ $85/hour to get it done, plus a PRV and Expansion tank, any materials used. That puts me around $425 easy for a half day's work, no dragging that heater up or down steps, must be right next to the old and I'm not bringing a dolly. I don't care if I get it.

                          Last call tonight was disturbing knowing the guy's situation:

                          Has a private well, 28' deep and 4-5 foot wide at the top, all hand laid fieldstone from years ago. A natural spring supplied this well for years, but 2 years ago the serious drought we had must of changed the water travelling around this well.

                          He's now putting $80 of water brought in by a water service every 3 days because when he flashlights into the well, the water sits around 4 feet from the bottom and you can see bubbles he said.

                          I told him to buy a big water tank from tractor supply, insulate it, garden hose it into his home since he doesn't have a garage. It's not like this cold will stay around forever. He's got $500 in water for him his wife and 4 kids in the past 2 weeks, his water line to his new water meter service...and the city he's being annexed by won't have everything finalized until 6 weeks from now. I told him to call and ask for some type of emergency ability to let them hook up to the city water, they ignore him. Nothing I could think of to help him out.

                          Now that I've been "relieved" of my work duties for tomorrow, let the calls begin! I'm so glad I didn't do the job because I would of been working cheaper, and that is the worst thing to do. Better to not work at all than work cheap IMO.
                          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


                          • #73
                            Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                            Ever have one of those days that make you say " WHY THE F$#K DID I GET OUT OF BED"!!!WHY THE F%$K DID I NOT GO TO COLLAGE"!!!WHAT THE F&*K DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS!!!??????

                            Woke up to -19F (thank God no wind) scheduled first job for 10am to give time for it to warm up a bit to -friggin' cold degrees. Lost use of a kick a$$ thawing machine. No Problem I say "I'll just have to do it the old fashioned way for this first job. Guess what, I could not get the old fashioned way to work. Spent 3hrs in a basement of an unheated abandon house with NO HEAT and it was actually warmer OUTSIDE,for nothing. Told them I'd be back when I got the machine back later.
                            Went back at 3;30 had the lines free and clear by 4:00. Water running fine next door for 5 mins then quits. Ran through 100 different possible problems. Long story short. Turned out to be a friggin' hidden ball valve with no handle that some AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS HOLE decided to turn off.

                            F'ed the whole booked day up. Just got home at 9pm and had to put 2jobs off till the AM. Both jobs are trailers and froze solid, water and sewer. with 6-12" of snow coming it should be another wonderful day.

                            Guy calls says I was frozen, but thawed now. I have one small leak. I tell him to call Pittsfield Plumbing. He calls back and says he's not working till Monday(must be nice Rick) and can't get any other Plumbers. So I swing buy and check it out. His one leak turned out to be at least 8 breaks I saw right off the bat. Amazing what you can see with a flash light. Told him he needed a Plumber to repipe.

                            Anyway, I was going to describe the whole day but right now I'm done with it.Enough venting for now. Blah blah and a bunch of other crap went on and now it's time to NOT think, and clear my head.

                            Just one of those Murphy's Law days. Some times being Irish isn't as cool as I'd like to think.

                            [insert every swear word you know here]
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                            • #74
                              Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work


                              The cold does make you crazy!


                              • #75
                                Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

                                Originally posted by G3sprinklers View Post
                                Dumb question, but I'm not a drain cleaner, how do you clean all that off of your cable??

                                I understand that if you use it to make a milkshake that does the trick.
                                I love my plumber

                                "My Hero"

                                Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!