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  • what do u guys do in this situation?

    if u have a mainline stoppage and u just cant clear it.........u snake it ....jett it......just doesnt clear ,send a camera down ...and u see its collapsed........if your a drain cleaner in nj.....and not a master plumber you cant repair the sewer...thats the masters job.......but how do u justify getting paid for not clearing it......

  • #2
    Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

    You should advise the home owner the sewer is beyond cleaning and it needs to be replaced. You then recommend a plumber who you have already established a good working relationship with.

    As far as getting paid I can see you charging for the snaking and camera work but it seems the jetting would be a hard sell. Once the cable could not get through the stoppage it was time for the camera.

    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: what do u guys do in this situation?

      you just try to cover your time, if we cant clear a drain we always let the customer know upfront that if for some reason they dont what us to proceed ie camera or other options we will still charge, when you walk into a job that you cant see you still perform a service,and with most of our customer they want what is bad fixed, i will admit that on some occasions our techs for whatever reason (lazy) will not attempt to correctly open a drain and a competitor will come out and clean it and when that happens i will give a refund, and take it on the chin you just try to be fair.

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      • #4
        Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
        You should advise the home owner the sewer is beyond cleaning and it needs to be replaced. You then recommend a plumber who you have already established a good working relationship with.

        As far as getting paid I can see you charging for the snaking and camera work but it seems the jetting would be a hard sell. Once the cable could not get through the stoppage it was time for the camera.

        Mark

        Great advice Mark. I couldnt have said it beter.
        The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

        www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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        • #5
          Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

          As a plumber I would replace it myself. But if the customer refused they get charged full-price, its not my fault their line is collapsed.
          If I was a drain-cleaner only....hmmm, I would probably still charge, but give a break maybe.
          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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          • #6
            Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
            As far as getting paid I can see you charging for the snaking and camera work but it seems the jetting would be a hard sell. Once the cable could not get through the stoppage it was time for the camera.

            Mark
            Good point. Thats a fair way to handle it.
            Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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            • #7
              Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

              thx for the advice

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              • #8
                Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                I had the same thing happen last night. but not a collapsed line. the city was clogged enough to keep water in the line but still drain.
                I did pull out a gallon bucket of roots.
                I pulled both manhole covers one to the left was jammed packed and the right was clear.
                so I charged a little less and told him to have the city to clean the city line.
                I then told the customer if the city cleaning their line didn't take care of the problem give me a call.
                I tried to camera it but the water was to black.
                I guess the whole point is you need a camera to identify the problem so you can justify charging.
                I did not have a camera for the first year and had to eat 3-5 billable jobs due to the fact I could not prove that their was not a problem that could be fixed by cleaning the drain.
                I don ot charge if I don't open the line, unless I have proof that the line is damaged and need to be fixed.
                always make a VHS OR DVD of the jobs u camera. Its a good safety net incase you have a problem with a customer.

                infact the customer paid me more than I charged him last night. he was impressed that I didn't bend him over.
                my grandpa always told me people should have to pay for not fixing the problem.
                just my 2 cents
                Sent From The StoolBus

                www.appletondrainandsewer.com

                Appleton WI, 54915
                1-920-284-7471

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                • #9
                  Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                  A common complaint of our customers and occurrence is that the previous plumber (often some kind of know-it-all with prior engineering experience with all kinds of letters behind his name and qualified to work on the space shuttle) couldn't clear the drain and still charged full price.

                  95% of the time I clean the line, collect my $200 and don't hear from customer about that line for at least a year or two. In the rare case the line IS actually collapsed, with absolutely no success of even getting it open and the customer does not want to go the next step, I usually give a half price "service call charge" break on the total AND have them sign a waiver of release holding us not responsible for anything further. There ain't no free lunches where I come from.

                  If, when you arrived, the line was backed up but you were able to clear it enough to get it to drain down, I would say charge full price with no warranty, implied or otherwise. If not, I would give SOME kind of discount considering the customer is no better off than before calling you. Besides, it makes for good business when they tell their friends and neighbors about you're service.

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                  • #10
                    Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                    If you call me, your gonna pay me for my time. I know when enough is enough as I am a PRO.
                    I look in manholes if I cant clear a line.
                    "IF" it`s the city main I call em myself and wait for them to clear their line. I always charge even if it`s the city and tell the customer to fight with the city to get a refund on my bill. It`s up to them as I did my job to the fullest. Our city guy`s hate me I will get em out of bed at 12:am

                    I have a master plumber that I network with. This time next year I will be a master but right now I dont have time for my test. I will still network with my plumber as we make good money together
                    http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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                    • #11
                      Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                      Atlas,Keep in mind you did not break the line but found it and charging for your time is fair.You are then the first step in them getting a proper repair to their line.If you know of a good sewer repair co. get to know them on a first name basis and see if you can get a 'taste' for a referral if they get the work.

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                      • #12
                        Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                        also sell a locate and make some more $$$ for your time
                        http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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                        • #13
                          Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                          I don't guarantee rod jobs. You just never know whats going on in there...Even when I had immediate access to a camera, won't work in stirred up poopy.

                          I dont spend more than an hour or so rodding, if I cannot break a clog by then, its time for other options. I will try all varieties of cutters as well.

                          I will ask the customer after a period of time if they want me to continue, some do, some don't. I will be honest tho, I sometimes wonder if I would have spent another 15 minutes...

                          I have learned a couple things without a camera...
                          -mud on a head means a break
                          -sewer smell in a sump is a shear
                          -a lot of times you can see a break if you look thru the combo c/o.

                          One of these days I will get a camera.

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                          • #14
                            Re: what do u guys do in this situation?

                            I couldn't live without my ridgid cameras. They are the best thing since white bread

                            It is an excellent service I provide to my customer
                            sigpic

                            Robert

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