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  • Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

    I have wanted to get into the drain cleaning business for a while now. I do plumbing work right now and have thought about switching careers, but want to specialize in just drain cleaning. The only thing holding me back is the thought of having bad knees and a bad back in the future. I workout on a regular basis, stretch, eat healthy, etc. I'm just curious if bad knees and a bad back are preventable or inevitable?

    Any thoughts/comments are appreciated
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  • #2
    Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

    Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
    I have wanted to get into the drain cleaning business for a while now. I do plumbing work right now and have thought about switching careers, but want to specialize in just drain cleaning. The only thing holding me back is the thought of having bad knees and a bad back in the future. I workout on a regular basis, stretch, eat healthy, etc. I'm just curious if bad knees and a bad back are preventable or inevitable?

    Any thoughts/comments are appreciated
    At 25 I don't know that you should limit yourself to drain cleaning. If you are working at a shop that offers drain cleaning now maybe you could ask to do some of the cleaning. If not look for a shop which offers both and see if you prefer one over the other.

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

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

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    • #3
      Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

      Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
      At 25 I don't know that you should limit yourself to drain cleaning. If you are working at a shop that offers drain cleaning now maybe you could ask to do some of the cleaning. If not look for a shop which offers both and see if you prefer one over the other.

      Mark
      Mark,

      I would go on my own if I did drain cleaning. I have thought about doing service calls and drain cleaning, but I wouldn't want to do any big jobs (boilers, remodeling work, etc.). I want to be a one man crew
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      • #4
        Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

        Basically anything that takes a licence/permit sounds like what your getting at.
        Proud To Be Union!!

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        • #5
          Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

          Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
          Mark,

          I would go on my own if I did drain cleaning. I have thought about doing service calls and drain cleaning, but I wouldn't want to do any big jobs (boilers, remodeling work, etc.). I want to be a one man crew
          There is nothing wrong with being a one man crew as we have a lot of them here that have healthy businesses. However, consider starting a drain business is a lot more equipment to buy than a plumbing company. Get your license and take your time and if you are honest and do a good job good things will come to you.

          I often tell young guys who are trying to build business to find niches which makes them stand out. As a drain cleaning company those niches are locating, camera work and jetting. In a plumbing business it is all of the drain cleaning stuff and ten times more.

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

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

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          • #6
            Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

            Originally posted by Aaron91 View Post
            Basically anything that takes a licence/permit sounds like what your getting at.
            Not really. I just don't want to have all my tools out on a big job with the water off and then have to go on an emergency call with water spraying everywhere.

            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
            There is nothing wrong with being a one man crew as we have a lot of them here that have healthy businesses. However, consider starting a drain business is a lot more equipment to buy than a plumbing company. Get your license and take your time and if you are honest and do a good job good things will come to you.

            I often tell young guys who are trying to build business to find niches which makes them stand out. As a drain cleaning company those niches are locating, camera work and jetting. In a plumbing business it is all of the drain cleaning stuff and ten times more.

            Mark
            As I posted above for Aaron, that is one of the reasons why I don't want to do plumbing work. Also, I know a drain guy that is on the verge of retirement yet is busy 6 days a week. He is just waiting for me to get my machines and a work vehicle of my own and hand over a lot of those calls

            But, you are right. I probably shouldn't limit myself to drain cleaning but I just don't want to be so busy that I wake up 40 years later and realize life passed me by.
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            • #7
              Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

              there are alot of One-Man-Band legends on this board buddy far more successful than me...you need to search the archives on this subject...i am one man band and have all of the toys for drain cleaning. Today i made $2,450 from just cleaning drains!!!(its a NEW record for me)...you need to really consider doing this since your friend is gonna shoot you alot of business your way. you are far more lucky than me because i had to hustle up all of my customers when i first started. i do NO PLUMBING just hydro-jetting,camera,locate,and drain machines......do a good job,treat people like your family,dont let the a-hole customers discourage you!!....like i said again...check the archives on this subject.

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              • #8
                Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                ....also on the knees and back....the Cleaner just post a guy who runs his drain cleaning business and he is 88 years old!!!!...im 38 and my knees and back NEVER hurt and i been unstopping drains since i was 12!!!....i guess its your technique in taking machines on and off the truck etc....use no-core cables because they are much lighter and last just as long and just as strong as the inner-core cables.....get a loading whell for the sewer machines and just roll it on your truck....its all in technique!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                  Originally posted by lonestardrain View Post
                  ....also on the knees and back....the Cleaner just post a guy who runs his drain cleaning business and he is 88 years old!!!!...im 38 and my knees and back NEVER hurt and i been unstopping drains since i was 12!!!....i guess its your technique in taking machines on and off the truck etc....use no-core cables because they are much lighter and last just as long and just as strong as the inner-core cables.....get a loading whell for the sewer machines and just roll it on your truck....its all in technique!!
                  Wow! Thanks for the encouragement! I take it you use some sort of knee pads, right? You would be Superman if you have worked on your knees for 26 years and NEVER had a problem
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                  • #10
                    Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                    Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
                    I have wanted to get into the drain cleaning business for a while now. I do plumbing work right now and have thought about switching careers, but want to specialize in just drain cleaning. The only thing holding me back is the thought of having bad knees and a bad back in the future. I workout on a regular basis, stretch, eat healthy, etc. I'm just curious if bad knees and a bad back are preventable or inevitable?

                    Any thoughts/comments are appreciated
                    Not if you take care of your body.

                    I exercise 3x/week, not just wimpy stuff either, I mean deadlifts, bench pressing, barbell rows and stuff like that.
                    One of the main reasons i do it is to develop a tough body resistant to plumbing stress. Lifting water heaters, toilets, crawling under houses, doing advanced yoga underneath small lavatory vanity cabinets!
                    If I didn't lift weights and stretch a lot I'd be a wreck already!
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                    • #11
                      Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                      had both a bad back and knee. both plumbing related and both preventable.

                      the knees were drained 6 times and finally i got smart and started to use the 2'x 2' foam interlocking squares like they sell at auto parts and costco. works great for everything including my pipe pulling trailer floor.



                      the back took years to get over. i should have used the proper wrench and not my back and legs.

                      rick.

                      45 and still going as strong as ever. planning on showing the youngsters a thing or 2 at the roundup.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                        Alot of factors come into play. Genetics for one.

                        Any occupation that requires physical activity will wear on whatever part of the body you use the most. Plumbing, HVAC, Drain Cleaning, Pro Football. I have a friend/customer that's been an avid runner his hole life and now his knees are shot from it. Seen old carpenters with screwed up elbows from swinging the hammer. (Before nail guns) Had a plumber friend that had alot of trouble walking.

                        I think the best thing is using your body and your head to do your job to extend the use of both. Become ambidextrous as possible and use some common sense when lifting.

                        So some of your parts might wear out faster than the guy at the office, but the ones I know in the office are overweight and in worst shape than most people in our field.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                          Service Guy I like the new pic The Happy Service Guy!
                          Drain Cleaning is not any harder on the body then any other trade type work, you have to lift things the right way in any trade. But neither is it an easier, work is work.
                          Seattle Drain Service

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bad knees and back.... inevitable?

                            Thanks again for the added input, guys

                            I lift on a regular basis with basic compound movements like Service Guy does and stretch a lot, so I guess time will only tell.

                            Thanks again!!
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