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First shot at "real" equipment

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  • First shot at "real" equipment

    Tomorrow a guy is dropping off to me a camera with 200' of lead, and a locater. He told me it's from General, that's all I know.


    Been on a drain call 3 times in the past 2 months and it's in the street.

    Either a belly or a cracked fitting.


    It's always a soft matter clog, the largest attachment for 4" always comes back clean and never shiny. It's all in plastic.



    Anyway, I always hit it between 50-65' feet, religiously. This puts me right on the edge of the road from inside the house.

    What I find out tomorrow will be interesting. This guy is sweating bullets already and not happy that its going to the street.


    The reason I started a thread about this is because I nabbed a second camera inspection/locating job on a drain call I did a couple years ago.

    I was busy at the time and sent another drain cleaning company over to do the job and this guy came with camera in tow and found out that a cleanout was in the front of the business, had a massive root ball growing where the cap was missing.

    Only thing is, my drain guy didn't have a locater. He prodded the front lawn for an hour and gave up. So now my job is to get in there since the tank was just pumped, find this buried cleanout and mark it.


    Two jobs instantly in a weekend's time, given that I'll make 3-4 bills between the two makes me awful curious to know how bad my upper body will feel after I do the two.

    I've watched others run their camera down drains and it's a pretty darn good workout. I don't mind exercise as long as milk and donuts are waiting close by when I'm done.

    IF, for some reason this is an adventure I might like, I might be inclined to drop a few thousand on a "good" camera.

    The statement made however is a lot of guys have these cameras now and it has watered down the value of how much you can get.

    The numbers $130-$150 has come up twice already.

    I say this; To pull a toilet and hand push and pull a camera down a drain.....reset that toilet? That's not making money. I can see $230-$275 dealing with the reset of a toilet but no less.

    IS this the industry standard for charging for camera inspections, locating?

    My concern is making this next step, getting more and more interested in the money aspect of the idea and now a jetter comes into the equation. There's a very small handful of people that do jetting in my area.

    I truly don't think the general public understands that piece of equipment to know it's value.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: First shot at "real" equipment

    dunbar, pulling a toilet is my last choice. the closet bend, heal outlet and combo all within a few feet will make the pushing very difficult.

    a straight roof vent will eliminate the hassles of pulling a toilet and eliminate the closet bend and heal outlet.

    please note that camering a line is not sitting on a bucket and pushing a lever back and forth

    i hope you know how to locate with this machine

    good luck and have a few donuts for me a jelly, chocolate and a mango snapple is my food for thought.

    i don't give my camera jobs away and i don't sell jobs. i give real life advise and suggestions. sometimes just documenting the problem and footage is all it takes to gain the edge for proper maintenance of the line.

    even my house has some roots

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First shot at "real" equipment

      Dunbar. My best compitition charges 150.00 for a camera so thats what I charge. I do enjoy camera work but sending a 6000 dollar peice of equipment down a drain for 150 seems cheep. I don't use the camera much. Mostly for other plumbers. If I get a drain opened for a home owner they don't want to spend the money on the camera. They know they have a problem because they usually had someone else out a year or 2 or 3 ago. and they also know they can go a year or 2 or 3 again.

      I don't know how good the general locator is. but I will say the ridgid is awesome. Know art to it, just go out and find the transmitter. It's just like a tolet seat bidet--easy to use and someting you will never be without.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First shot at "real" equipment

        Okay, got the first one down.


        I'm using what's called a "Gen-Eye" ...that's all I know.


        Locater was accurate, found the cleanout at 29-30'. Turned out the tee was cracked on the upright and root intrusion galore.

        There is a 10' piece of cast iron embedded in the monolific slab/footer and it's falling backwards, just slightly to the cleanout tee and out to the septic tank.


        As far as ease of use? Took the camera out 91' and it was quite easy. Found an illegal bypass built into the system that dumps into a runoff drainage ditch.....I didn't see that!


        Leaving here in a minute to do another one. Now that I'm versed on this equipment, I'll have less time than the first. Took only 1 minute to find the problem, the rest was watching the guy dig outside to locate this buried cleanout.


        I had 3 hours in the first one but I haven't worked for this guy in years, we was all cutting up in his shop talking and acting like union guys; 4 guys watching and one guy working in the ditch.

        Had a leeeetle bit of trouble with the locator but it was because the idiot using it (me) was not reading the directions initially.


        By monday morning I'll have an asessment of whether I want to buy one, not exactly by brand name, but in the future for regular use.
        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First shot at "real" equipment

          HEY JOSH, You going to let our brother go general ???? DUNBAR , Rick is the go to Man on this Equept" Smart to take His councel. If I was in this Buss. I'd have a camera in a heartbeat! I think it will also make Your life a lot easier. good luck Tool
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First shot at "real" equipment

            Thanks tool.


            I don't have a product name preference...I'd like to see the lineup for ridgid and all their line.


            It's unusual for me to crop up all these camera jobs all at once.


            If I do get in the camera biz, I'll be willing to spend 5-8 grand on equipment.
            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First shot at "real" equipment

              Yea your life will be easier if all you are doing is running the camera and locating. It's quick easy money too. The problem is you will be doing a crap load more dig up jobs. I'm guessing you prefer a left handed shovel. If that's what you are looking for I say "go for it"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                Crack , My point is , Dunbar has said,He is in some pain. I have no experience with cameras.
                Seems a little less hard on the body. On the digging,Must be a nice young lad that could use
                a few bucks to shovel! I see this as a win win, for Dunbar. Has anyone ever dumped their camera and went back to not having one? I would try to hook up with banks and realators.
                at a discounter fee. We have several towns that make it mandatory,to camera drains prior to home sales.Problems HAVE to be corrected before sale!
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                  Okay second job,


                  Horrible news for the homeowner. Going from the closet flange was a good one because we located a hidden cleanout at the front wall. What's also nice was I had the camera set up in 53' of drain, pulled back a couple feet from the cleanout and would run the cable and pull out, then reinspect with the camera without double work.


                  23' from that new found cleanout was what I expected; SCH35 that went from round to oval to crushed at a turn of direction from the top down.

                  The two pipes are now offset, I ran a 4" root cutter opened up to 5" to see if I could cut it out wider to buy time, no chance. I'm sure I could of gotten crazy with the equipment knowing I have inner-core but it's a dig job regardless.


                  A willow tree is coming down, that's the reason probably why the drain problem.

                  The root intrusion really isn't that bad, just the pipe is broke in two. Was able to maneuver a spear past the bad spot no problem, same with the camera.


                  I took the camera out to 135' which was across the street and the last 5-8 feet before it drops vertical, hard belly. Submerged the camera completely.


                  Guy really doesn't care about that.....just wants that problem in the front yard taken care of immediately.

                  No way I do outside digs but the guy who lent me the use of the camera is first in line to do the job.

                  On my second time down the drains with a camera, still pretty easy maneuvering the camera. But, I'm twice in plastic piping and I'm running some water as I'm doing the task. We was able to put the video on a VCR tape so the guy if he wants to can show it to whoever he gets to do the dig and replace.

                  Black and white screen, big BIG difference scoping in white pipe over green SCH35 or cast. Can see a whole lot better with the white pipe.


                  I have 3 more to do tomorrow, one of which is a outside drain at my shop that I can't even get a spear through.


                  Maybe this stuff ain't so bad.. Fast easy money as well. $300 is what I charged for scoping and attempting to run my machine down the drain.

                  Video/camera equipment would be a really, REALLY nice compliment to any drain call I do where I can commit them to see what caused the problem in the first place.

                  I freakin' ruined those people's evening though with that horrible news. I have a sneaking suspicion that they was thinking I just didn't do a good job clearing the drain.

                  Usually when I can't get one open, your piping is either misaligned or you're not giving me true access, or backhoe joe is on his way to turn the earth over and fix it.
                  Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 08-23-2008, 08:56 PM.
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                    If I do get in the camera biz, I'll be willing to spend 5-8 grand on equipment.[/quote]

                    This may get you a camera, but not a camera and locator. (not a good one anyway)

                    What ever you do GO RIDGID!!!

                    I was on the fence about this at one point too. It is one of my biggest money makers and I have never regretted buying the Seesnake and Ridgid SR-60 locator w/line transmitter.

                    Not only does the combination make money, it saves me money as well by ensuring that the job is 100% and call backs are not likely on a job I have inspected. Furthermore, no one can argue with the fact that a problem exists after having seen the actual footage themselves.

                    There is much talk around here about the price of Ridgid inspection equipment. Some say it is to high but I say you get what you pay for.

                    I have used the general camera and locator. It is the same as many other systems out there. The locator is a very generic version that many people have their label on. Companies like Spartan, General, Gator and of course Ditch Witch.

                    The SR model locators are AMAZING to say the least. It is so easy to use and has more useful features than any other I have seen on the market. This combination of equipment is the real deal. Plus, with the real time support you have here and a staff like Ridgid has, how can you go wrong?

                    It is worth the money. I use mine nearly every day at a rate of $185.00 - $225.00 Per hour depending on the situation. These tools are essential to growing your business and providing better than average service for your customer.

                    Just my 2 cents.

                    Great job so far by the way! Good luck!
                    www.firstresponsedrain.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                      i charge 250 to send the camera down and $25 extra for dvd---ive been doing a fair amount of camera inspections lately, as i have my new setup and we are advertising pretty heavily--i know some locals with mytanas and geneyes--both guys have spent alot of $$$$ sending them in for repairs--if i have a problem, i can drive about 5 blocks to the ridgid factory and get it fixed quick--not that we have had to. if i bought another camera, which i may here soon, id go ridgid--they are the best

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                        Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
                        I do enjoy camera work but sending a 6000 dollar peice of equipment down a drain for 150 seems cheep.
                        at $150 per it only takes 40 "pers" to have a $6000 machine paid for.

                        my only camera competition charges $250/hr with a 2 hour minimum. i've taken some of his business. also the pool companies are calling and inquiring

                        i figure the camera will be paid for in another 6 months and everything past that is just gravy

                        steve
                        In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                          POOL COS .and cameras? Can anyone tell of their experience with this??
                          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                            i've run 4 pools so far. 3 with water and 1 dry. on the wet pools i could just run the skimmers. we were looking for breaks in the pipes. 2 of the 3 were loosing a lot of water and the 3rd was to see why a skimmer wasn't working.

                            1 wet pool had a seperated 45, the other had a cracked wall (lines were good), and the offending skimmer had a small piece of cloth in the line that would not pass.

                            the dry pool was easy as i could also do the main drain. no breaks or problems.

                            trying to find a way to do mains when the pool is wet. scuba gear and some form of communications for starters. plus training one of the pool techs

                            steve
                            In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First shot at "real" equipment

                              Originally posted by stxrus View Post
                              at $150 per it only takes 40 "pers" to have a $6000 machine paid for.

                              my only camera competition charges $250/hr with a 2 hour minimum. i've taken some of his business. also the pool companies are calling and inquiring

                              i figure the camera will be paid for in another 6 months and everything past that is just gravy

                              steve
                              I see your point but I sure do like the $250 an hour as opposed to $150 for the job. The trouble with my price is if something breaks. I know it's like that with any tool but $150.00 just seems cheep.

                              I knew my compititions price going into it, so I have only me to blame.

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