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  • #31
    Originally posted by ECS
    I would have imported a picture but I don't know how and don't have time to learn right now. The flange I used can be viewed at www.PlumBest.com.
    It's on page E3, model C47-43P, it's at the very bottom of the page.

    Because I know that I don't know everything, and being concerned, after your criticism, that maybe I had made a mistake, I refered back to the 2003 International Plumbing Code. I do not have every code book for the last 20 years memorized, as apparantly you do, so I thought it would be best to check the 2003 International Code since that is the code observed by the municipality in which this job was done. I will confess up front that I did not search every page of the code, but instead I searched what I believed would be the most likely place to find prohibitions on sanitary drainage fittings. Section 707.1 lists several prohibitions. No. 4 (and I am paraphrasing) says that pipes of different diameters must not be sealed by means of a "rolling" elastomeric "o-ring". I do not know if this is what you had in mind, perhaps it was something completely different and if so you should certainly share with the class whatever the code prohibition is that you think makes this flange illegal. In any event, since the flange in question does not have an "o-ring" rolling or otherwise, this prohibition clearly does not apply to this flange. However, I did not stop there. I spoke with 3 different local plumbing inspectors. One was the inspector for the fastest growing county in Alabama, one was the code official for the municipality in which the work was done, and for the last I deliberately chose the code official of another municipality which has the local reputation of near insanity in it's very stringent interpretation and often disregard (in the more restrictive sense) of the plumbing code. All three of these code officials operate from the same 2003 International Plumbing Code. I did not know before hand what any of these officials might say. All 3 of them approved the fitting with only one of them adding the obvious caviat that it could not be (nor was it) used inside a 3" pipe as this would create a sub-minimum inside pipe diameter with respect to the discharge of a water closet. So, having confirmed the validity of my previous statement with the proper research, I will restate the fact that this is a perfectly legal fitting which was properly installed and will be serving it's purpose, leak free, long after my client is dust. The only other thing I can think of is that I believe I refered to this fitting as a compression flange, since that is the only thing I've ever heard it called. However, I noticed that the manufacturer refers to it as a "plastic two finger flange". If I have failed to speak the universal language regarding this fitting then it is certainly my error for which I am sorry. If you have some other reason for regarding this fitting as illegal then let us receive the benefit of your superior knowledge and experience, if not then the best apologies are concise, contrite, and without addenda, and will be accepted (or given should you in fact be able to demonstrate via the code why this fitting is illegal) with appreciation, reconciliation, and grace. In your apology, if you want to include anything about being an arrogant, condescending, unpleasant person in your attempt to demean my technical competence as well as my character, that will be ok too.
    Where are you Utah? You average something like 1.6 posts a day I think it is? Are you out of town? Away from your computer? On vacation? All sarcasm aside, I sincerely and truly hope it's not some crisis keeping you away. Maybe you are just taking a little more time to check the facts. In any event, I deserve an answer.

    What about you Rick? Would you like to take a shot at explaining to me why this flange should not be considered perfectly legal? I mean after all, don't you sort of owe it to the younger generation and the public at large to set me straight seeing as how I'm not, according to you and Utah, one of those "real plumbers like utah and i". Really Rick, what are you, 14. When I read that statement I was embarrased for you. I already know what you think of my character and ability but you come off like their are no "real plumbers" except for Southern Kalifornia. Or did I read that wrong? Maybe what you meant was that there are no "real plumbers" except for you and Utah?! Talk about little buddyitis! You sound like Gilligan defending the Skipper's honor. I just don't get you! Most of the time you come across as a decent fellow, very knowledgeable, and helpful, but then you make ridiculous statements like this and I just have to scratch my head. Set me straight or get off my back!

    Comment


    • #32
      ESC,

      Boy aren’t you the impatient one. If you keep up on the forum you would know this is my 8th week straight out of town on site inspections (17 weeks so far this year) and living out of a hotel does not give me as much time as normal to check posts. It’s 10:08 PM and I just got back from our prep meeting and I have reports to write and still have to be out at 7:00 AM tomorrow morning.

      My initial post to you was asking if you were using the J-Tec compression flange which is in fact a non-listed flange. I have not had a opportunity as of yet to look at the Jones flange but by the mere fact that you were using a hammer and a block of wood to force it in means even if it was listed you were not installing it according to its listing and as such it would be illegal.

      You seem to think cloaking your cost to the customer is an acceptable way to do business and I don’t. As long as you are happy with it and continue to get away with it that’s on you. Regardless of what your reasoning is for working that way I will never agree your method is better than full disclosure to the customer. If we have to agree to disagree so be it.

      As for you hammering a PVC compression flange into the inside of a cast-iron closet bend instead of leading in a new cast iron flange tells me you lack either skills, knowledge or the common sense of a seasoned plumber. You probably could have changed out a cast-iron flange in the amount of time it took you to go to Lowes to pick up the compression flange.

      I don't believe you are worthless as a plumber but I do think you have a lot to learn about plumbing. The problem is as long as you have more attitude than talent your learning curve will be very long.

      Mark
      Last edited by ToUtahNow; 05-26-2006, 12:34 AM.
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by ECS

        What about you Rick? Would you like to take a shot at explaining to me why this flange should not be considered perfectly legal? I mean after all, don't you sort of owe it to the younger generation and the public at large to set me straight seeing as how I'm not, according to you and Utah, one of those "real plumbers like utah and i". Really Rick, what are you, 14. When I read that statement I was embarrased for you. I already know what you think of my character and ability but you come off like their are no "real plumbers" except for Southern Kalifornia. Or did I read that wrong? Maybe what you meant was that there are no "real plumbers" except for you and Utah?! Talk about little buddyitis! You sound like Gilligan defending the Skipper's honor. I just don't get you! Most of the time you come across as a decent fellow, very knowledgeable, and helpful, but then you make ridiculous statements like this and I just have to scratch my head. Set me straight or get off my back!
        ecs, don't know where you get your facts or info from. but to put you in your place i will state some facts.
        started plumbing part time in 1975 at age 12, working summers and weekends for my uncle. full time in 1981 as an apprentice in a union shop with 4 years of formal apprenticeship and school. so this adds up to 31 years or 26 formal years. i think that would qualify me as a professional in my field. i have yet to meet mark, (utah). i respect him as an expert in the plumbing trades. all based on his input on these forums for the past year+.
        as far as an internal compression closet flange goes, in my opinion it is illegal. it reduces the cross sectional area of the piping from 4'' to 3'' or smaller. is it a listed and stamped product such as from iampo or upc? these flanges also come in cast iron too. there are many non code parts that are sold at both plumbing supply houses and home improvement stores. an offset closet flange for instance is not approved, but sold in supply houses. i will ask at sales rep at the trade show for the listing on these type of flanges. i personally doubt that they are listed. by the way, pvc is not approved as a waste material indoors in the city of los angeles. abs is limited to 2 stories residential.

        i still am amazed at the fact that you think you're worth the price you charge. you wouldn't get a second call out here. too bad your clients don't read your post. they would be shocked to read the real story about flat rate pricing.

        out of curiosity, what is the prevailing wage for a journeyman plumber in your state? how do you justify 3 to 5 times more than the prevailing wage? i would love to see you bid a job on a competative basis. you are getting work based on the fact that the customer is not informed on the real cost of your work. if they knew what your hourly cost was, you would waiting for the phone to ring all day. my clients know my cost and my phone doesn't stop ringing. in fact 1/2 of my work comes from referrals from other plumbing contractors.


        remember ecs, you're the one that asked for advise on your first post. i have nothing to hide. unlike you.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #34
          Rick,

          As I recall the section regarding not stepping down the pipe size starts with something like "with the exception of closet flanges". In other words a flush bushing is illegal as a drain fitting but an Arizona bend is not. I'm not sure in that language if it would translate down to a 4X3 internal flange or not.

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

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

          Comment


          • #35
            ...and that's all I have to say 'bout that.

            I just reread some of the post on this heated subject. On ToUtahNow’s post, the second post on this thread, told how the flat rate is done and it struck me that this is exactly how my auto mechanic charges. He looks in his books, finds the time it takes to do the work and calculates his rough estimate from that. Why can’t a plumber do that?

            When I worked in the flat rate shop we always gave our price up front and which gave the homeowner the opportunity to say no or yes.

            Why should we be run our business on the business model of another? Just because everybody else is doing it. At the flat rate company I drove a nice Hackney box truck. At one of the T and M companies I drove “Old Red”. This was a red pickup that was at least twenty years old and showed it. How unprofessional it looked to show up on a job with that.

            I just read a post by plumberick. He said, “if you tried this with flat rate, you would be in court up against an expert like utah. try to explain to the client & judge, why your rate is 3 times higher than a professional that's been in business longer than you have ever done plumbing.” Again, why can’t I price my own business the way I want to. The market will tell me by lack of work if I am pricing it wrong. To do otherwise, to force me to charge one perticular rate would be price fixing. Socialism?

            He also stated, “my good buddy who has been in business for 25+ years and runs 12 trucks with 20 field guys, doesn't even have his guys bill the customer. they turn in a work sheet for the days jobs and the office does the billing. his clients are never surprised when the bill comes.”

            Personally, I am not a bank and thus do not extend credit to customers which is what billing them later is. When I started at my last job I was collecting on the job because I had been for years. I came in with a check for a water heater install and my boss came back to me and thanked me over and over for this. I was taken aback from this because I just figured it was a good business practice to do it this way. He was thrilled because it helped his accounts receivable and he did not have to worry about collecting from this job a month later even though he had to pay for the materials for that job.

            What I have noticed is that the “old timers” here really resent the flat rate pricing. It also seems like they may be union shops too. ummm. Any correlation there?

            Concerning George Brazil- if he made a statement as ToUtahNow said then shame on him. He has lost the respect I once had for him. He is then just a shark in a sea of guppies.

            I guess I’ll end this where it is. We can never come to a consensus on this.
            One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

            Comment


            • #36
              You have no idea how right you are!
              there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

              Comment


              • #37
                A question to you t&m guys. Would you buy a house t&m? How about a big addition, a roof, a driveway, a garage? As a builder I've only done flat rate my entire 29year carreer.

                I don't do much service, but in my carreer I've done some. People call and ask about drywall repairs. Simple, $50 per hole, three hole minimum, if the patch is larger than 4 square feet the price will go up. One hole, $150, three holes $150. Now those are old prices, but I figured the real time was in travel, set up, and clean up. The difference in time between one and three holes was insignificant.

                The same is true with replacing a faucet or a switch. The trip is where the time is.

                Years ago I did major renovations of really old houses. I was told many times I was the only contractor who would give a fixed bid. The other guys were all t&m. I got the jobs because the customer was unwilling or unable to do the work without knowing the final price up front.

                As a homebuilder, my subs give me fixed prices, not t&m. Why not offer the same to homeowners?

                Comment


                • #38
                  As i see no one responded to the question of how T&M shops come to there hourly price. Let Me guess. They call around there area and compete with the butt crack plumber down the corner, cause he must know what it cost to be in business right. At the prices you are talking, you do better to own a Mc donalds hamburger joint. They make over 100 grand a year and have kids run it.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    The type of truck you drive has little to do with the type of business plan you are using. My trucks were Isuzu trucks with 14’ Harbor Super Structure bodies (Utility bed plus a full 8’ tall walk-in). Again you can only compare a flat-rate plumber with an auto shop if the flat rate plumber discloses what they are using as an hourly rate.

                    I have no problem with a flat-rate companies which disclose their hourly rates up front. My problem is with those companies which refuse to quote you an hourly rate. If you believe flat-rating is fine so be it but at least let the customer know what your rate is. To me if you are hiding your rate you are being dishonest regardless of what you charge.

                    Several years back I was contacted by an attorney in Westwood who wanted to retain me in a class-action suit against flat-rate companies because he had so many clients complaining after the fact. As I normally only do CD work and product liability I turned him down. I also advised him I felt what the flat-rate companies were doing was legal but not ethical. I’m not sure whether he ever followed through or not.

                    As for the way I arrive at an hourly rate for T&M it’s the same way any business person should do it. I take my direct costs add in my cost of sales items and my overhead and whatever percentage profit I think is appropriate. It is a figure I re-evaluate at least twice a year.

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

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

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      big tom, on a real project, new home, remodel, apartment, condo, hotel, office, you have to have a contract price.

                      when i did new construction plumbing, we had to compete against both the union and non union shops. the contracts were from $50,000 to 4.5 million. the job was bid on a competitive basis. not always going to the lowest bidder as you know, but to the plumbing contractor that was most qualified, and in the ballpark of the best price.

                      what i see when i hear these flat rate shops here in los angeles, is that they are not bidding against another shop. they always tend to make the job out as a real bigger than it is problem. and they want to mislead the owener to get the job.

                      i know this from first hand real life experience. not just hearsay. you get your jobs from satisfied customers. so do i

                      i also get many new jobs from very upset people that were misled from some very large co's that are known in the trade as rip offs. the customer is not as knowledgable as the plumber and that's where these plumbers have an advantage.

                      if you were to see some of the bills and proposal as i do on a regular basis, i think you will see where myself and others are basing our opinions on.

                      the best scam that i've come across in the last few months have been the $80.00 drain cleaning price quoted over the phone, to turn into a 7500- 10,000 dollar scam. 3 of which i've been able to stop before the owner spent that money. it was only a regular root stoppage that i see every week. nothing more serious.

                      once again a flat rate price is just like a contract price. but base your flat rate on an honest, realistic figure. also there are too many so called plumbers that are trying to get rich fast following these flat rate guidelines.

                      look in any plumbing trade magazine and read it for yourself. they even guarantee to make you 3 times more by switching to their system.

                      big tom, try charging 3 times more on a new home contract, and see if you can compete. then try charging 3 times more for your drywall repair example and see if you would feel the same as i do. that is what most flat rate co's are doing to our trade here in los angeles. overcharging, overselling, and underqualified. i know this first hand. not just my opinion, my real first hand knowledge. too bad the homeowner has to learn the hard way.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by BigThom
                        A question to you t&m guys. Would you buy a house t&m? How about a big addition, a roof, a driveway, a garage? As a builder I've only done flat rate my entire 29year carreer.

                        I don't do much service, but in my carreer I've done some. People call and ask about drywall repairs. Simple, $50 per hole, three hole minimum, if the patch is larger than 4 square feet the price will go up. One hole, $150, three holes $150. Now those are old prices, but I figured the real time was in travel, set up, and clean up. The difference in time between one and three holes was insignificant.

                        The same is true with replacing a faucet or a switch. The trip is where the time is.

                        Years ago I did major renovations of really old houses. I was told many times I was the only contractor who would give a fixed bid. The other guys were all t&m. I got the jobs because the customer was unwilling or unable to do the work without knowing the final price up front.

                        As a homebuilder, my subs give me fixed prices, not t&m. Why not offer the same to homeowners?
                        The only time we did homes on T&M was when they were multi-million dollar homes and we were working with an interior designer. A regular home would be a contract price but the bids were based on a bid sheet which used a different rate than our T&M as the job did not have the same overhead costs. Most contractors use a service like Means which helps you with Regional rates and overhead. The T&M aspect of our work was relateded more to service calls and electronic locating for other companies.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          The reason for not disclosing the hrly rate is because Your selling yourself short when there are a number of jobs to do for the customer. The proper business way to do a job is so much to reset toilet, so much to replace hose bibb and so on.The T&M shop rips people off by taking several trips to the truck to get parts or what ever to milk the time out slow plumber. I know there are shop that over charge on flate rate. but I see it as the fair way to pay me for my time and talents. most every business I can think of is base on flat rate..

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            It seems to me, from the long previous discussion, that the issue is not flat rate vs t&M, but rather is a question of ethics and integrity. Clearly one can be unethical with either system. Either system allows an economic incentive to be unethical. Therein lies the problem. Some of you associate the unethical behavior with a system when properly, it should be associated with an individual.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by BigThom
                              It seems to me, from the long previous discussion, that the issue is not flat rate vs t&M, but rather is a question of ethics and integrity. Clearly one can be unethical with either system. Either system allows an economic incentive to be unethical. Therein lies the problem. Some of you associate the unethical behavior with a system when properly, it should be associated with an individual.
                              I believe the difference for the most part is a T&M plumber with give you an hourly rate and charge for the hours he works or will give the customer a "flat-rate" installed price based on the hours they believe the job will take while a flat-rate plumber does not generally disclose their hourly rate then charges for more hours than they actually think the job will take. If you have never looked at the man-hour rates in a flat-rate book you should. A one-armed man in a wheelchair can generally do the work faster than the flat-rate book allows.

                              Mark
                              Last edited by ToUtahNow; 05-27-2006, 07:06 PM.
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by BigThom
                                It seems to me, from the long previous discussion, that the issue is not flat rate vs t&M, but rather is a question of ethics and integrity. Clearly one can be unethical with either system. Either system allows an economic incentive to be unethical. Therein lies the problem. Some of you associate the unethical behavior with a system when properly, it should be associated with an individual.
                                Exactly right.

                                My experience with flat rate companies has over all been good with only one exception. I have interviewed with two other flat rate companies in two different states over the last few years. They are in desperate need of experienced service plumbers. I was very impressed by the operation of one in particular in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They flew me out and showed me the operation of their shop and the Ft. Lauderdale area. They were not the most expensive in town. I was very impressed by the professionalism and the growth of the company. I would have taken the position had the real-estate prices been better and I was also worried about public schools there.

                                I think it is dangerous to lump a particular system into only one category as a few here have. Abuses happen in every system no matter the business model.
                                One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

                                Comment

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