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  • #16
    Re: what do you charge?

    Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
    yep but every time it went "UP" the vent
    I know who to call next time I get a vent stoppage

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: what do you charge?

      Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
      and just where were you going to set the K50 and extra cable????
      You would have two options with the K-50 in that you could use a bulb adapter with 3/8' cable which is about the foot print of your drum drill
      (1'X1' plus 8" for the bulb) or the K-50 with 5/8" cable which the cage would add another 2'X2' on top of the drop cloth or you could set your K-50 inside the cage and reduce the foot print to 2'X2'. I have done hundreds if not thousands of sink drains with a K-50 and room was never an issue. I've even had the K-50 under a kitchen cabinet with me while snaking the sink.

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

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

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: what do you charge?

        I guess you didnt see that it was not plumbed right and you have no way of getting it to work from under the sink. Thus why I had to go up in the addictt and where in hell could you set up a K-50 or a K-60 on the 2X4`s????
        You really need to come and spend a day in the sewer with me
        http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: what do you charge?

          Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
          I guess you didnt see that it was not plumbed right and you have no way of getting it to work from under the sink. Thus why I had to go up in the addictt and where in hell could you set up a K-50 or a K-60 on the 2X4`s????
          You really need to come and spend a day in the sewer with me
          You're right I actually think it would be helpful for each of us to visit the other to get a real perspective of what they are doing.

          Unless they installed an upside down sanitary fitting at the DWV connection, if you can get up the vent you can get down the drain with a drop head bulb. As for a K-50 in the attic the K-50 with a bulb attached would have been as easy if not more easy then a drill machine but for the record all of our trucks had a 2'X4' piece of 1/2" plywood on the trucks. They were a great platform for attic work and you could cut them in half to go under a water heater when the drywall covered platform gets wet.

          Mark (I like the new smileys)
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: what do you charge?

            there you have it, I dont work in attic`s every day. I know that there is no way you could have used a K-50 or 60 in the time I cleared the drain once I made the clean-out. trust me it`s not my first day on the job <---these are cool!!!!
            http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: what do you charge?

              Originally posted by CAROLINA PLUMBER View Post
              hey everyone!I have enjoyed reading the threads for awhile and would like to introduce myself.names steve and I been rooter biz/plumbing biz since 1984.I was wandering what other people were charging around the country?I have been using the flat rate book (callahan/ roach)for the last 3 years after another plumbing co challenged me to give it a try.I did... and well....It was the smartest thing in business I have ever done!I have run multiple drums on a 1065 spartan @ 11 pm @ night,jetters 300+ feet,been on rooftops rodding a lines,backin rodding manholes etc....But my most important tool I discovered is my ink PEN.What do YALL think?>

              This is where I do follow flat rate pricing, even though I'm an hourly type of plumber. The only time I won't flat rate drain cleaning is when there's numerous hours involved with numerous tasks. Then I just charge a small/medium/large machine charge to cover the wear and tear.

              Here's a sample of some of the charges

              $145 for a main drain with "easy" access. If I have to bang out a cleanout cap or fight to gain access, it moves towards 2 bills quick.

              Clogged toilet is $85 catching it with a telescoping closet auger, Over $100 for an emergency/after hours.

              If I can't get the toilet unclogged and it has to be pulled up with the medium machine, $175-$235 depending on how extensive the task. If it goes into 3 hours for the task, I'll switch to hourly and charge for the machine and materials.

              Tub Drains I've done under $100 but I like getting $115 and selling drain cleaning product to get out the door for more money.

              Kitchen sink clogs are $115 minimum, covers up to the 1st hour and then $50 an hour for every hour after.

              *** I run a lower hourly rate of $50/hour since the task is more of a unskilled task compared to other more difficult aspects in the trade.***

              Laundry tub drains, minimum $100 and up, some of them really effing suck. Most times you have to cut the vent to drop a line down to make that go, no going through a yoke and it's too hard on the back to do a underneath through the trap. That arm if copper or galvanized is usually in bad shape, always.

              I've done main drains for $100 if done within an hour, easy outside access and is a repeat customer. I can count on both hands in 5 years the number of drains I couldn't get open, 90% of them involved a backhoe or pipe replacement in those. The remaining 10% were calls were the customer had misaligned plumbing or no proper access to correctly open the drain. There's a chance someone came behind me and got it open and that's fine; I'm not giving the money back as playing in crap is a mandatory charge. Won't hurt my feelings if they don't call me back; I run cables all the time and get drains open.......not my problem your plumbing is in need of work.

              I get turned away a lot for my pricing on main drains. Apparently $145 is too high???? I always say though..."That covers up to the first hour" which I think instills the notion that it will get pricey.

              Get somebody else, it's not clean work. Tire kick me and I won't be giving you a second chance to use my company.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: what do you charge?

                Originally posted by All Clear Sewer;112479

                I went in to the addict <---spelling??? and cut the vent stack and installed a clean-out. [B
                Took my "drill drum machine" with 50` of 1/2 cable up there and did the job standing on 2X4`s. ((( I bet you want to see that machine )))) [/B]
                what does a drill drum machine weigh with 50' of 1/2'' cable? what brand is this? is it self feeding?

                typically the most i put in a hand held drill style machine is 35' of 3/8''.

                was there a dirty arm that kept you from hand feeding the cable down the san tee?

                out of all the drain cleaning that i do. kitchen sinks are the worse. especially when there is no outside c/o.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: what do you charge?

                  Carolina, welcome to the forum. It's a great place and even though we always get sidetracked, the talk is always interesting.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: what do you charge?

                    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                    This is where I do follow flat rate pricing, even though I'm an hourly type of plumber. The only time I won't flat rate drain cleaning is when there's numerous hours involved with numerous tasks. Then I just charge a small/medium/large machine charge to cover the wear and tear.

                    Here's a sample of some of the charges

                    $145 for a main drain with "easy" access. If I have to bang out a cleanout cap or fight to gain access, it moves towards 2 bills quick.

                    Clogged toilet is $85 catching it with a telescoping closet auger, Over $100 for an emergency/after hours.

                    If I can't get the toilet unclogged and it has to be pulled up with the medium machine, $175-$235 depending on how extensive the task. If it goes into 3 hours for the task, I'll switch to hourly and charge for the machine and materials.

                    Tub Drains I've done under $100 but I like getting $115 and selling drain cleaning product to get out the door for more money.

                    Kitchen sink clogs are $115 minimum, covers up to the 1st hour and then $50 an hour for every hour after.

                    *** I run a lower hourly rate of $50/hour since the task is more of a unskilled task compared to other more difficult aspects in the trade.***

                    Laundry tub drains, minimum $100 and up, some of them really effing suck. Most times you have to cut the vent to drop a line down to make that go, no going through a yoke and it's too hard on the back to do a underneath through the trap. That arm if copper or galvanized is usually in bad shape, always.

                    I've done main drains for $100 if done within an hour, easy outside access and is a repeat customer. I can count on both hands in 5 years the number of drains I couldn't get open, 90% of them involved a backhoe or pipe replacement in those. The remaining 10% were calls were the customer had misaligned plumbing or no proper access to correctly open the drain. There's a chance someone came behind me and got it open and that's fine; I'm not giving the money back as playing in crap is a mandatory charge. Won't hurt my feelings if they don't call me back; I run cables all the time and get drains open.......not my problem your plumbing is in need of work.

                    I get turned away a lot for my pricing on main drains. Apparently $145 is too high???? I always say though..."That covers up to the first hour" which I think instills the notion that it will get pricey.

                    Get somebody else, it's not clean work. Tire kick me and I won't be giving you a second chance to use my company.

                    Awesome post Dunbar....couldnt have said it better myself
                    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: what do you charge?

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      what does a drill drum machine weigh with 50' of 1/2'' cable? what brand is this? is it self feeding?

                      typically the most i put in a hand held drill style machine is 35' of 3/8''.

                      was there a dirty arm that kept you from hand feeding the cable down the san tee?

                      out of all the drain cleaning that i do. kitchen sinks are the worse. especially when there is no outside c/o.

                      rick.
                      Rick it had back grade and was grease packed so the cable kept going up the vent.
                      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: what do you charge?

                        Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
                        Rick it had back grade and was grease packed so the cable kept going up the vent.


                        I truly think everyone was ragging on ya because you dissed a sectional machine.

                        The thread starter runs Spartan drum machines like I do.

                        RIDGID sells both, so they dance on both sides of the spectrum.

                        Any man can judge another man's work, it's expected.

                        Any man can judge another man's equipment, that's fine.



                        Yesterday I reworked a shower drain involving my jackhammer, slotting the concrete with my diamond blade angle grinder and hand digging the dirt around this pipe to access replacement.

                        I felt like a nurse with gloves on digging out a impacted bowel at a rest home yesterday, horrible. The cast iron trap had been leaking for years, the main line was backflowing to this opening by resistance.

                        Finally when I get access to cut the cast iron with my diamond blade angle grinder, smoke starts rolling from the grinder, junk. My harbor freight dream tool finally died after making me........about $5000 probably this year cutting pipes, cast iron, concrete, galvanized, steel, copper.....all for $12.


                        Went back to the days of punishment, used my 13 year old Dewalt sawzall that has no intentions of quitting anytime soon. Broke my carbide-fused blade of 2 years @ $19 a blade, resorted to my insulting bi-metal blade that took 12 minutes to go through a 2" cast iron pipe. Very insulted I didn't have my backup $12 grinder on the truck or at the shop.

                        Once I get it cut, I took it out and showed the customer WHY I had to replace the piping since a cable would keep going into the dirt every time I tried to cable the drain from that vantage point. I then take a hose, run the sink which instantly backflows into the hole and I spray the shower base down where I've cut open the floor so it isn't so messy. Go to lunch thinking this is something I could of done when I was 18, being 38 doing this is horrible.


                        Enough of the story telling.


                        Had a 2" cast iron drain, switched from large to medium cables on my machine. Ran the largest cable attachment on a 2" line without getting into trouble on the fittings/turn of directions.

                        Dragged the machine around to the area I was working in, no steps, ran the machine with the powerfeed slightly in a forward motion with 2 hands on the cable, the machine moving the cable through the drain while I guided the cable from powerfeed to drain opening. If I carried a length of flexible tubing with me from powerfeed to drain opening, I wouldn't even be touching the cable OR guiding it, it would do it all just like an Easy-Spin.

                        This was aged waste as I was dealing with the black pastey stuff and it took 3 passes with my machine, the cable turning conistently in a clockwise motion from the second it enters the drain, from the last second it reverses out. NOT only spinning only when a clutch is engaged to create movement.

                        When I reached the end of my cable, I used little physical force to reach over and push my powerfeed lever maybe 2"......set the machine to slowly crawl that cable back and better yet, put the machine in auto-pilot by lifting the front of the machine and putting my air switch underneath so the machine would operate without me being there.

                        Yep, me me me went up to my truck while my machine rodded out the drain in a clockwise motion, slowly reversing that cable back out of the drain while that cutter is moving at a brisk pace, cutting whether it's moving forward or backwards, my cables with the slight bends/bows/curls through the CONSTANT revolution of the machine turning.....hitting the sidewalls of the pipe, fittings as my fat *** went up to the truck to get a drink of water, take some pain pills and eat some chocolate chip cookies.

                        Come back, the machine doing exactly what it was doing when I left it, working the drain like a magician making money appear in his hands. I push the machine the rest of the way into fast reverse and check my attachment, run water, still some backflow.

                        Each pass got easier, each time on the reverse I repeated the trick with the air switch knowing the time span I had to work with, let the machine pull all the cable back without me being involved, physically.

                        The second and third times on the return.....I cleaned up the area, repacked tools on the truck, ate more cookies, drank some chocolate milk as part of a heart healthy diet and came back to see my machine working like I paid the good money for it to do; perform without my constant involvement.

                        The machine did all the work, not me. I just guided the cable and the machine did the rest. Best 7 grand I've ever spent in the biz and I'd spend 20 grand if it cost that to have the simplicity of how these work.


                        SO, with my most recent task in print now.....I'll say that I don't give two ***** about not getting on a roof. In all my years I've done drain cleaning, 2 calls resorted to a rooftop cleaning, only one of them I did myself and homey don't belong on no 9/12 pitched roof with ANYTHING but a good life insurance policy.

                        Attics? Never. I can sell the customer the dire necessity that they need given access to hit that trouble drain from a reasonable vantage point on the effing ground, not up in the air where you can be liable for a leaking roof or gutter because you had to touch it. I personally don't want to take an easy vantage point for the customer to save money on a trouble drain. That's why I'm in this business; make money and provide a living for myself.

                        You're no hero and don't get a freaking cookie for saving the customer money for monkeying up on a roof because the drain access is prohibitive to a walk up and access.

                        TELL THEM you have to open that sink backwall or bust that floor up and put a cleanout in. TELL THEM you will spend money initially to perform this task but you tell them in the future that the costs will go down considerably when the plumber can instantly wheel the machine right to the mouth of the drain, access it and spend less time. That equates to a significant work burden on you and you can charge less in the future, save the customer (they think that) since you made a fine dime working that drain so you CAN get it open without little or no effort.

                        This business is a great deal about salesmanship and yes I try to save people money but I look into my business checking account first as to whether I want to give the cheaper version drain cleaning or the "fix the problem" antics to get a more robust charge for the service.

                        And if you hear the statement, "Well the last guy got up on the roof with no problem." .......your screwed with the above implied thinking. But it kinda makes you wonder why the last superhero plumber who DID get on the roof,

                        isn't there rodding that drain making money like you now are.


                        Instead of having the users of these products throw instances of what is better, why don't the makers of RIDGID products involving these drain cleaning machines get on a thread like this and put their two cents into the mix.

                        I'm sure this is plausible because they have home court advantage with the coin toss dealing heads, you're the first with the ball.

                        Ever thought RIDGID might take offense to board members supporting one type of product and constantly bashing another? You know they DID build them both to make a buck, if the innocent guest or forum member comes to this site to gain vital info on buying equipment relating to drain maintenance...


                        They are going to get mixed opinions of why there is such a slant coming from the product owners themselves.


                        You want a challenge? I'll put up a grand ($1000) that I can bang a drain out with such finesse that I can do it without sweating, I can make it look like I stole that drain cleaning charge to the customer because I made it look so damn simple when I dragged that machine into the home, flipped a cleanout cap out and in less than 5-10 minutes on the average, be loading that machine back up because I one-handed that cable into the drain....

                        One to get it inside the test tee,

                        One when the cable raised up when the cable maneuvered a fitting or obstruction.

                        Hell let's play with wood; let's take 4" PVC pipe, drill holes in it and drive large wood dowels through it, set both machines up at the end of the pipe and see which machine wants to instantly turn over because of the torque delivering back to the motor that's turning that cable. Let's see which one becomes extremely dangerous to "break-through" a hard obstruction such as this. Dangerous? Yes. But it's the best test to show the capabilities/limitations of BOTH machines.

                        Better yet???


                        When I tore my left rotator cup earlier this year, I continued to work. I ran a few main drains with my left arm practically dangling by my side in the majority of the time because I could barely use it. Maybe use it to carry my footstool so I could sit down and watch my machine make me money, of course giving it a helping hand every now and then.

                        There's my offer sectional machine users; put up or shut up. I'm putting my 300 machine with both drums to the challenge, I can do it in less time, less effort and less space on my plumbing rig and I never have to hose my cables down if I don't want to.

                        One trip to the truck if I can manage a roll of paper towels, my metal mitts, my 2' aluminum pipe wrench and my footstool with my hand dragging my machine with the other. I've done it before and can do it again.....


                        Game on.



                        Can I have an amen?
                        Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 12-29-2007, 04:58 PM.
                        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: what do you charge?

                          Dunbar,

                          Sorry I'm not buying it as you act like we are forced to use sectional as it is all that we own. All of my trucks carried sectional machines and drum machines so we could use whatever we wanted. It just so happened 80% of the time we preferred the sectional over the drum. When I first came to this site a couple of years ago Rick had the same attitude about not liking sectionals. We had a few exchanges like what is going on in this thread and all of a sudden I found him bidding against me on eBay for sectional equipment. Rick still has plenty of drum equipment yet it seems his primary equipment is now sectional. I'm fairly certain Rick can and does buy what ever equipment he wants so why sectional now? Perhaps it is because that's what works best for him.

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

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

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: what do you charge?

                            AMEN! Brother!

                            Dunbar, you calling in life was not plumbing. You should be in sales or a motivational orator. Maybe even a evangelical preacher

                            I am inspired by your posts of eloquence

                            My K-50 is going back to the tool room for storage after I get my Spartan fixed

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: what do you charge?

                              Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                              I felt like a nurse with gloves on digging out a impacted bowel at a rest home yesterday, horrible.
                              What's an "impacted bowel"? Is this a plumbing or a medical term? If this has to do with your anatomy-don't tell me. Lately I've been learning to much about your body.

                              Well written post but I never would've left a drain machine to run solo. One catch and that would've be huge mess. I wasn't there so I'm sure you know the situation better than me. Did you go to college for English? You should write some plumbing articles or books, you have a way with words. This is not sarcasm.
                              Buy cheap, buy twice.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: what do you charge?

                                Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                                AMEN! Brother!

                                Dunbar, you calling in life was not plumbing. You should be in sales or a motivational orator. Maybe even a evangelical preacher

                                I am inspired by your posts of eloquence

                                My K-50 is going back to the tool room for storage after I get my Spartan fixed
                                Trade you a K-50 for a K-3800.
                                Buy cheap, buy twice.

                                Comment

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