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  • Where's the money for you?

    Where do you think the real money is in drain cleaning?

    For example:
    • Selling sewer repairs
    • Jetting
    • Root removal
    • Underfloor repairs (basements)
    • Sump line repair/replacements
    • Homeowner's Insurance
    • Warranty companies
    • Plumbing service
    • Bio-products and root treatments
    • Just plain old drain cleaning
    • Somewhere else?
    The reason I ask is that I've worked the plumbing and drain business on the West Coast (Los Angeles) for 15 years and in the North East for 8 years. They are two different animals. Different opportunies present themselves.
    Pete
    Drain Biz
    Articles, Videos, Industry News

  • #2
    Re: Where's the money for you?

    You first Pete!
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Where's the money for you?

      35% of my work is drain cleaning and to me...it's a cash cow when your equipment is paid off.

      No materials used to do the task other than paper towels or a plastic drop cloth and there's no chance for product failure. Can't really guarantee a clog won't reappear but if you take the time and be thorough, you can prevent a reoccurrence IF the piping system is decent.

      I'd love to group drain cleaning calls and do them just one day a week but that's never going to happen.

      Anything that sounds too difficult over the phone or have to fight for access...I'll pass and give it to a drain cleaning company I trust. Bad thing is, they get leerie of this because I'm known to give the hard ones away and keep all the easy ones to myself.
      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Where's the money for you?

        I think it depends on the area your in.
        For me in Maine I would say root removal.
        1. it's our most common problem.
        2. With some time and effort 99 times out of 100 roots can be removed without the need for digging (wish I had a Warthog).

        If I were the type of person to take advantage of my customers then I would say sewer repairs (digging). I don't know how many jobs I've been on where the customer was told by my competition that the line needed to be dug and replaced then I show up and 2hs later everything is running as it should.
        Personally I think it's a conflict of interest for a drain cleaning co to own an excavator.
        INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
        Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Where's the money for you?

          Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
          I think it depends on the area your in.
          For me in Maine I would say root removal.
          1. it's our most common problem.
          2. With some time and effort 99 times out of 100 roots can be removed without the need for digging (wish I had a Warthog).

          If I were the type of person to take advantage of my customers then I would say sewer repairs (digging). I don't know how many jobs I've been on where the customer was told by my competition that the line needed to be dug and replaced then I show up and 2hs later everything is running as it should.
          Personally I think it's a conflict of interest for a drain cleaning co to own an excavator.
          not sure if it's a conflict, but it gives them a reason to replace instead of service.

          gene what you wrote is the same identical senario i see out here.

          everyone's sewer has roots. there is no reason to sell a sewer job on a first call to a straingers house, other than for greed.

          i believe in building a track record with the customer and knowing and documenting their issues first. even recomending a camera job on a first time customer is not in me.

          same offer goes to you too

          come out to warm, sunny, southern calif. and we can clean up the drain cleaning business

          remember, you were the on that gave me the best tip to date, other than mark (sectional). you run your 1.25 sectional with a drill adapter. love that trick.

          now for the question you asked.

          honesty will give you more long term riches than a quick buck in deception.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Where's the money for you?

            The title for this thread is "Where's the money for you?"
            To be totally honest most of it is in my competitions pockets but we are slowly starting to take that away. Our word of mouth business is starting to spread and we are slowly....
            I'll have to continue this later. My sister in law and her two little ones are moving in. So I'm moving my office into the bed room. Thats what I'm doing right now. Better go before the wife catches me
            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
            Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Where's the money for you?

              Gene, not a drain cleaner here, but when an underground has roots...wouldn't that mean a longterm problem?
              An initial financial hit for a drain replacement vs knowing the problem will require repeated visits down through the years for root cutting, at hundreds per visit.
              You sound like a VERY reputable and honest businessman, I'm wondering if maybe you aren't going to the extreme to appease the customer.
              I say this from experience, as a solo guy I sometimes get overwhelmed and get into a strange "homeowner phobia" type rut.
              Hearing the same lines over and over like, "Is there a less expensive way?", or "Why are you so expensive?", tends to slowly get to me.
              I occasionally start to doubt my trade, or the necessity to ensure that CI stack won't leak again after I leave, in the interest of saying what customers want to hear.
              Owning an excavator as a drain cleaner, to me, would seems as viable as owning a snap cutter for a plumber.
              I go in to investigate a leak and see it's a corroded CI stack leaking at one fitting...if I tell the customer I can fix it cheap by patching it, am I really doing them a favor?
              I am obligated to inform them that the stack is likely corroded all the way, that the leak is a sign of more to come...what they decide is up to them, but I have the snap cutter waiting in the event they want it done right.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Where's the money for you?

                Jetting, video inspection and preventive maint. programs are my money makers. Jetting charges from what i hear are alot higher on the East then the West.

                Preventive Maint with the jetter and all the contract cleanings i have keep me busy, and are guarantee business (job security)

                Tree root removal will be my 2nd biggest money maker. Using the warthog, video, cable (sectional) and root x
                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Where's the money for you?

                  Many mainline replacements cost around 9 to 10 grand here. A snaking can cost anywhere from 185-400 depending on who you call. You can get alot of years of draincleaning for 9-10grand.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Where's the money for you?

                    Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                    Many mainline replacements cost around 9 to 10 grand here. A snaking can cost anywhere from 185-400 depending on who you call. You can get alot of years of draincleaning for 9-10grand.
                    Good point.
                    I guess the end factor is knowing you won't have a main backup at any given time...vs what thats worth over time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Where's the money for you?

                      Duck,
                      I do go to the extremes to appease my customers but not at their expense.
                      When a customer is paying for my services they are not just paying for my equipment but my knowledge and experiences as well. The way I see it is, while in their employ I am their sewer advocate so to speak, and it';s my job to counsel and educate them so they and I can come up with a solution that can best fit THEIR needs. I think because I do spend so much time educating and including the customer in the decision process I don't get the "is there a cheaper way" and the "why are you so expensive".

                      Your not getting someone around here to back an excavator off the trailer for under 2 grand even if it's to dig one hole. If you want to replace the entire main you minds well forget about your kids going to collage.

                      Rick,
                      depending on the situation I will sell the camera on the first visit. To be totally honest I try to sell it more often then not. I charge an extra $75 to camera after snaking. Not much to ask for the extra insurance plus it may alert myself and the customer to a situation that can be repaired using the Fernco pipe patch before it's too late.
                      You shouldn't tempt me with sunny So. Cal, you might just find me sleeping on your couch.
                      I was born poor, lived poor, and lived what I would consider rich. While the money comes and goes sometimes the only thing I've had on my side is my integrity and morels to get me through so, I do 100% agree with your statement " honesty will bring you more long term riches then deception".
                      Sometimes I wish the "long term" was right now. Being 2 house payments behind and 3 more mouths to feed coming makes me scared as hell but at least I can hold my head high.
                      I know if I stick with it good times are coming but in a way my own greed wants it now.
                      INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                      Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Where's the money for you?

                        Originally posted by Pete M View Post
                        Where do you think the real money is in drain cleaning?

                        For example:
                        • Selling sewer repairs
                        • Jetting
                        • Root removal
                        • Underfloor repairs (basements)
                        • Sump line repair/replacements
                        • Homeowner's Insurance
                        • Warranty companies
                        • Plumbing service
                        • Bio-products and root treatments
                        • Just plain old drain cleaning
                        • Somewhere else?
                        The reason I ask is that I've worked the plumbing and drain business on the West Coast (Los Angeles) for 15 years and in the North East for 8 years. They are two different animals. Different opportunies present themselves.
                        Aye wazzup Pete!!!!!!!......your knowledge is allways welcome!!!..im still using your Jetter business building techniques and they are working well!!!....i like you new web-site.....very informative!!...i am having a hard time looking at sample price book sheets which i want to start implying into my business....maybe i can get some tips from you...i see you have different variations on your site, can you email me any samples!!???...Anyway you take care buddy..lots of great guys on here who are very knowledgeable also..

                        lonestar

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Where's the money for you?

                          Good points Gene.
                          I get edgy at times when I walk the line between doing it cheap and doing it right.
                          Sometimes customers want to tell me how to do my work thinking it'll save them money when what they request might be illegal or dangerous.
                          Like I said, not a drain cleaner here.
                          Not knowing how many times a year they'd have to have the main snaked, vs replacing the sewer..it's a question I been wondering awhile here, seeing that so many backups occur from roots.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Where's the money for you?

                            Restaraunts and resort property managers. Repeat customers and maintenance jetting. I rolled out to a hotel an hour's drive away at 10:30 pm one freezing snowy night 2 years ago. For one unpleasant drive I now do all their business. Regular maintenance jetting for three restaraunts in the hotel. They are in a high priced area and I can charge my rate and for the drive time and I'm still cheaper than the local companies who wouldn't roll out that one night. This is not atypical for me; I do one crisis job for a kitchen manager or a property manager and they call me for the next one. After a little while see they can count on me to show up and fix it right and take some pain out of their lives and they don't even bother with a phone book anymore; my card is pinned to their wall. I've taken alot of regular maintenance work this way; they have a maintenance program, but those people don't answer when they have a big problem in the middle of the night and I do. I get a thanks and can you come by next week and bid the maintenance work for us.
                            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Where's the money for you?

                              What I think may be harsh for somebody who is working as a drain cleaner but it’s true by far. In drain cleaning money in not enough for toughs who are working as plumber or as drain cleaner. Work in any part of universe they will not satisfied as far as plumbers’ compensation is concern. But if the thread is where I think the real money is in drain cleaning then I would say plumbing services

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