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  • A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

    I think there should be an FAQ sticky thread in the Ask the Experts section.
    Members should be encouraged to check there before asking their questions.
    Within that thread certain questions should be posted that may pose harm to unlicensed untrained individuals and others.
    Questions having to do with gas, fire, chemicals, leaks, and electric machinery may pose harm and should be answered that way, and to contact their local certified or licensed plumber or contractor.
    Basic questions like how to unclog a toilet?
    When to call a plumber?
    How to find a good plumber in my area?
    What resources can can be used to make sure my plumber is qualified?
    can all be posted, and answered in the faq section.
    This will deter some of the posters from asking members questions that they should not have to worry about wondering if they should answer, because they may get hurt or hurt someone else.

    Just a thought! Caryn

  • #2
    Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

    caryn, i know you're all excited about being on the forum and being accepted after having going through a hard initiation time.

    here is how i see it.

    lately there have been a handful of members that are so determined to eliminate the diy questions and help that it has gotten into a daily debate.

    for the most part, the forum has been pretty much self policing in what questions get help and what questions are above and beyond what a diy/ homeowner should undertake.

    your original question, (plugged toilet) was a prime example. some were more than willing in helping you get through it, to get you fixed
    and some were there just to get you mad and keep telling you to call a pro.

    in the 4-5 years i've been participating, it's been brought up before a few times. in the last few months, it's been brought up on a never ending basis.

    sharing plumbing knowledge is what separates this forum from others. there is certainly a limit as to what should be answered and what should not be answered due to the obvious safety factor.

    i don't think there has to be a list posted to determine what falls under safe and not safe. for the most part, we as a forum have policed the questions pretty well.

    it's at the point that every diy question/ post is getting a ruff time and the runaround. you might not see it as you're new, but the ones that have been here for a couple of years certainly have.

    nothing here has changed, except the welcoming committee has become more of the front door bouncers.

    there are those that are here to help and share knowledge and there are those that feel plumbing is like magic and is off limits to all but the inner circle of magicians.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

      http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19435

      I agree with you Caryn.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        i don't think there has to be a list posted to determine what falls under safe and not safe. for the most part, we as a forum have policed the questions pretty well.
        You're right, we police ourselves very well but what happens is the poster get his feelings hurt because he didn't understand the atmosphere here. What I (and I think Caryn) is saying is to set the rules off the bat so no boundaries get crossed. No one got in a huff with Caryn asking how to plunge a toilet. It was the snake that raised hairs and that in a large part was for her own safety.
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

          I agree as well,
          http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...3&postcount=49

          I think the board would be a more professional looking and acting board, rather than the bantering that seem to occure since one side seems to "knows" the rules and the poster does not, and in the process, I think both the pros giving advice and/or bantering the poster and the Rigid form end up in a poor light.
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

            Plumber Rick, I do want to be accepted here because I have a newfound respect for what you guys and gals do, but I still think this could be beneficial to the asking experts section.

            Gear Junkie hit the nail in the arm, I mean on the head(I saw that post, ouch!) though. People come here asking questions that if given answers to could lead to harmful results. While you guys know that, the diy'ers sometimes do not, and if those questions could even sometimes be prevented, wouldn't it be worth it?

            I mean why should an innocent person be insulted for asking to do something that they did not know was dangerous? On the other hand, diy'ers sometimes unknowingly insult the experts, and why should they be insulted? How do the experts know what the diy'ers are going to do with the answers, if they are going to hurts themselves, or others?

            The Experts should not have to worry about policing questions that should not be answered, be insulted in the interim, or be scorned when responding that the question should not be answered.

            I am sure some of the experts would be happy if there were a reduction in questions that should not be asked.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

              I my opinion, there are no questions that shouldn't be asked here

              If the answers we give won't help the original poster then maybe someone else researching the same subject matter.

              We just need to tailor the responses to address the question at hand better, that's all

              Or we could just change the title:

              Ask The Experts....Get a Condescending Reply

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                To be honest when I read some of the replies in the Ask the Plumbing Expert forum I wonder how the same guys talk to potential customers on the phone. Civility should not go out the door because you are sitting behind a keyboard with some perceived secret identity. Often an OP will respond to negativity with negativity and it's on from there.

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

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                  One thing about this forum is what ever question a poster asks they are given correct information!! I have seen some of the other sites such as terry love etc. and I dont know what to say..... I am sure some of the other guys have seen it. So along with PC i say "No question should not be asked" but our answers should be respected. You want the right answer come here!! Id challenge ANY plumbing expert anywhere to come onto this site and prove us as a group have given out wrong answers, and this forum has helped us all become better plumbers because of it, Toolaholic said once "that the day we stop learning is the day we take a dirt nap," and he is right, we have all contributed as well as taken from this forum in a positive way. Pretty much everynight there is a "roundtable" as a big corporation would say of plumbers from every corner of globe helping to solve eachothers problems wether it be identifying a faucet to marketing and advertising, even computer help! We do bicker we do moan we do roll our eyes as a diyer talks about gas line work but we are all in this for the betterment of our proffession.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                    As a DIY'r of many years I found some of the expert suggestions here very informative. I also understand the apprehension of giving advice to people whose ability you have no knowledge of. If I am your apprentice you soon understand the level of my attention to detail, concentration and focus, eye on safety and respect for myself and my surroundings. There is no way you can determine these things on these forums. Anyone with a couple hundred dollars can pickup a chainsaw at HomeDepot but that does not mean they ever heard of the term "kickback". You can describe the process of sweating copper but unless you are there you don't know if that person is prepared to handle a torch. Sharing your years of experience is a generous thing but maybe a disclaimer would be helpful to the site? I agree no question should be off limit, but as some professionals sometimes say, "IT's Time To Call A PRO". Problem is how do you know when is time for that person on the other end?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                      Everyone seems to agree there is no excuse for rude behavior.

                      I believe problems arise on this forum because the Forum tries to be all things for all people. (Pros, DIY'ers, & Hobbiests)

                      When I joined, just looking at the first page - I got the impressiom it was mainly a Forum for professionals. The business discussions and indepth subjects give you that feeling. I know, my mistake - my ignorance.

                      Even looking at the "Ask the Expert" description I didn't get it. Have a question for the Professionals. Want some advice about a situation. This is the place for you.

                      From a Professional point of view, I took this to mean general advice. Examples - What's the best flushing toilet?, What size water heater should I get if I add a new bathroom? Is tankless the way to go? etc.

                      Honestly, before opening it up, I didn't realize it was a DIY, step by step instructions on how to plumb.

                      Perhaps if Ridgid clearly indicated this is a place for DIY'ers to come and get free plumbing instruction, there would be less animosity toward DIY'ers. The Pros who do not agree with giving free instruction could leave the forum in protest or just stay away from the "Ask the Expert" portion of the forum.

                      Someone mentioned animosity has been growing over the past few months toward DIY'ers. JMHO, but I believe it's because more struggling plumbers are feeling the pinch of DIY'ers.

                      Caryn - if this were strictly a DIY'er forum, I would agree with your suggestion to streamline it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                        Frankiarmz, you are right about that. You never do know what is not too dangerous for one, but not too dangerous for another. That is a good point.
                        Just another reason to have an area that points questions that may lead to dangerous results to a local professional to assess the situation.

                        Hi PlumbCrazy, You know, and I know now that some folks on here choose to hand out advice more freely than others, and while the advice can be given away for free, the *experience cannot*.

                        Instructions for any job can be obtained for free in a book, or by a simple google search, but the free instructions is not what gets a job done. It is apprenticeship, hands on training, and experience that gets a job done right.
                        Last edited by fixitmom5x; 09-06-2008, 10:15 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                          To be honest when I read some of the replies in the Ask the Plumbing Expert forum I wonder how the same guys talk to potential customers on the phone. Civility should not go out the door because you are sitting behind a keyboard with some perceived secret identity. Often an OP will respond to negativity with negativity and it's on from there.

                          Mark
                          This is exactly my point.

                          How often do you see someone walk into a plumbing shop and ask DIY advice in the real world?

                          How many plumbers, mechanics or electricians will take the time to verbally walk a homeowner through a remodel, panel wiring or transmission replacement in the real world?

                          It's hard enough to build a business with standard competition, now it seems I have to compete with free advice being promoted for the sake of a marketing campaign geared to sell tools to DIYers.

                          It would seem the very company that built itself from the trade has opted to give that trade away free of charge to lure a new, potentially more lucrative type of customer.
                          Last edited by DuckButter; 09-07-2008, 12:15 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                            Originally posted by fixitmom5x View Post
                            Hi PlumbCrazy, You know, and I know now that some folks on here choose to hand out advice more freely than others, and while the advice can be given away for free, the *experience cannot*.

                            Instructions for any job can be obtained for free in a book, or by a simple google search, but the free instructions is not what gets a job done. It is apprenticeship, hands on training, and experience that gets a job done right.
                            Hi Caryn - For the record, I have been following your posts defending plumbers and want to thank you for a job well done. I think you get it!

                            I do believe 'experience' is being given away. We had a job where one of our plumbers made a small mistake. This mistake caused a few gallons of water to get onto the homeowners floor. The floor was Pergo, poorly installed and sucked the water up before he even had time to get out his shop vac. That floor cost us $1,000.00. If I gave away 'that experience,' it cost me but not the person who I warned in the future. That experience was earned. With the advice given, most could do the job. Wouldn't necessarily be a good one - but it's just enough to get the job done and avoid calling a professional.

                            There's a saying in business, "I will teach you what you need to know, but not everything that I know." It's called job security.

                            Maybe you can understand this. I know you sell furs on E-bay. Most definitely you found a source for used furs where you could buy them and resell for a better price. Would you like it if you started getting questions from perspective buyers like "I really want a fur, but cannot afford to get into a bidding war to get one. Could you just please tell me your supplier so I can get one for myself? That way I could save you the trouble of shipping, listing, selling fees etc. I don't mind doing some of the legwork myself." If you received questions like this, you would probably not be too happy and I doubt you would give someone your supplier. Imagine your competitor opening a forum for E-Bay'r wannabes. How would you feel seeing your supplier for crib bedding & used furs listed for everyone? I've seen it on E-Bay. One person finds a great supplier with an item that offers a great return if marketed right. Next thing you know other sellers find that item and start listing the identical item - prices start to fall.

                            That feeling is what some plumbers feel when a customer wants something for free.

                            Most plumbers who do not like giving free advice to homeowners over the internet are not really mad at the DIY'ers as much as they are mad at the plumbers. Homeowners & DIY'ers just get caught in the middle.

                            The argument that the info. is already on the internet for the taking is juvenile. "Everyone else is doing it, so I should too!" Everyone else doing it doesn't relieve a person of their own responsibility.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A Suggestion for The Ask the Experts Section

                              [quote=Plumbcrazy;172331]

                              Most plumbers who do not like giving free advice to homeowners over the internet are not really mad at the DIY'ers as much as they are mad at the plumbers. Homeowners & DIY'ers just get caught in the middle.

                              quote]

                              i'm actually mad at all the plumbers and companies that take advantage of the homeowner.

                              not sure about where you operate, but out here there are companies that are nothing more than fronts for ripping off customers.

                              how do i know it?

                              i see it everyday. i see it when homeowners spend thousands of dollars on repairs that were not needed. or repairs that are not up to par. just a bunch of uneducated, non licensed, so called plumbers taking advantage of the homeowner or renter.

                              i come from a new construction, high quality,union educated, background. when we needed help beyond our loyal longtime licensed plumbers, we called the union hall. sure not everyone that came out was up to par, but we would put them to work and give them a chance.

                              but what i see in the service business is anyone that knows how to work a shovel is all of a sudden a "tech"

                              it's these type of shops that are hurting our trade. not the handful of lifetime, educated plumbers and contractors.

                              maybe if we policed all these shops that employ nothing more than slick salesmen/ techs, then maybe the public/ homeowner wouldn't be so afraid to hire a plumber.

                              i believe that 99% of the plumbers here on this site are more than qualified and properly licensed.

                              it's the ones that are not here, that i've described, that are hurting our profession.

                              go after the hack type shops, not the plumbers that have made a lifetime investment into our trade.

                              p.s. 32 years in the trade should be more than qualified.

                              agree? disagree?

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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