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for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

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  • for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

    When you come out for a job on an old house, with perhaps some "interesting" plumbing, what would be useful? Schematics of the plumbing in the house? Videos of previous problems in previous jobs and the solutions? Records of who did the work?

    Presumably if you did the work, you'll remember. But the younger plumbers seem to come and go from companies here, and the memory seems to disappear with them. Plus other things happen, too.

    Seems like with the newer technologies, it would be easy to pass on these kinds of memories to the next homeowner.

  • #2
    Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

    Is this the first, second or umpteenth time repairing your water main? Do you have the invoice from the water heater install? If not, the warranty goes by manufacturing date. If there are any videos or info at all on problem drains that have to be snaked on a regular basis. None of the above are really needed but it may save you some time and money.
    AllurePlumbing.com
    • leak detection
    • drain cleaning
    • utility locating
    • conductor fault locating
    • and other specialties.

    Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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    • #3
      Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

      It is often saves the plumber time if you know the locations of shut off valves, clean outs and breaker boxes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

        I often encouraged homeowners to take pictures of open walls, trenches and groundwork prior to pouring of concrete whether we performed the work or not. This type of documentation can come in real handy years down the road. When I had to document for myself, my pictures included a tape measurement.

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        • #5
          Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

          for the last 13 years, all my invoices with detailed records are on my computer and also in paper form.

          for the last 3 years the paper forms are now all digital and on both their email and my email too.

          what always amazes me with drain cleaning calls are the ones that show me a bill with nothing more than snake line and a bill. no footage, machine, cable size, blade used, where the line was cleared, how much footage was run. doesn't take but a minute longer to properly document the call.

          i even go back and look at prior calls to see the history of the line so i know what i'm going to expect and where i plan on clearing it. once i have 3 or more similar calls, then i have a track record of the problem.

          worse is a sewer inspection with no video/ dvd. or a video with no sound or footage. pretty much a waste of a 50 cent dvd.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

            Originally posted by rookie plumber View Post
            I often encouraged homeowners to take pictures of open walls, trenches and groundwork prior to pouring of concrete whether we performed the work or not. This type of documentation can come in real handy years down the road. When I had to document for myself, my pictures included a tape measurement.
            I as a homeowner have taken pictures whenever a wall is open, trench or such. This year I got a call from someone that bought a home and land I devleloped and built on in 1994. He had no idea where the water, power and sewer lines were. He was going to build a new shop and the county required set back for them. I had given them to the person I sold to but he did not forward them to him. Well I had them on my computer and it only took me a moment to email them to him. He was one happy camper.
            Charles

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            • #7
              Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

              Locate and make a map of where your septic tank is, if you have one. Keep records of when it was cleaned last. If your water well is below ground locate and map it out also. The only time you will need to access
              either of these in New Hampshire it will be -10 and have 3ft of frost in the ground. Oh yeah, dont take your map measurements off of trees you will cut down in a few years.
              26+6=1

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              • #8
                Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

                Framptom Comes Alive.

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                • #9
                  Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

                  Most of my customers are pretty good at keeping records, especially with faucet purchases, as it's hard to know the bazillion or so faucets on the market.

                  Every Master Plumber should know Plumbing design, if you don't, you shouldn't be holding a license saying so. However, I've had to ask customers many times on the location of certain things (c/o's, shut off valves, etc) while in their home.

                  I think every homeowner should document mechanicals in their home every chance they get during construction, or repairs, as it just makes sense and only takes minutes to do.

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                  • #10
                    Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

                    1. Save installation/owners manuals with make and model #'s for all fixtures - if you have some uncommon type of faucet installed, good luck having it rebuilt 15 years later when your plumber has to charge you for all of the time that it may take to identify it and track down the required parts assuming that they are still available. In fact just stay away from uncommon types of anything.
                    2. Accept no invoice from anyone that is not thoroughly detailed and readable and then save it.
                    3. Know where your water meter is and make sure that it is accessible. If I have to spend 30 min. or more trying to find it because it is buried under dirt/mulch/whatever let alone dig it out you will definitely be charged a premium for this time. (also every homeowner should own a meter key and the entire family should know how to use it)
                    4. Draw up detailed schematics including depths with measurements off permanent reference points for anything buried.

                    And there is much more...

                    Keep in mind that the better your records, the more more knowledgeable you are about your plumbing system and the more accessible things like drain clean outs, water meters and shut offs are the less money you are likely to spend.

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                    • #11
                      Re: for plumbers - what records would you like homeowners to keep?

                      Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
                      Framptom Comes Alive.


                      26+6=1

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