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We've had this discussion before. I think the decision is maybe 70% location (local building practices, age of most structures, weather, typical building you are working on, etc) and maybe 30% personal preference and equipment choice.
I pull toilets. There just aren't any one story ranches with 4/12 roofs and a 3 or 4 inch vent with a straight shot down a single main stack here. Most of the time you'd need at least 20' ladders and you'd be slogging through 4'+ of snow around the edge of the house to set them, and the roofs here are usually steep to shed snow, and snow covered and slick, and you've probably only got a 2" anyway, and it probably bends all over the place on its way down to get around beams and such, and the thing is frozen 50% of the time anyway and you aren't going to do anything useful with a cable if it is ice, and if you've got to jet down from the house you might as well be inside where you can see to shut down and do something about it before you flood the place. I pull toilets in the summer as well as it's what I'm used to doing.
My preference is of course an outside cleanout, or barring that I like to go up from a septic tank inlet if I can. I've used roof vents a few times when it seemed best in odd situations, or when I was out of other options, but with limited sucess. Possibly due in part to my familiarity with working from a closet flange and hence not putting a lot of effort into getting comfortable with using vents, possibly as by the time I start seeing a vent as an option the thing is by definition an access nightmare.
In commercial buildings using a vent rarely even crosses my mind; they are tyipically 3-6 stories here mixed residential and retail and its just pointless. I'll pull a toilet or sometimes open it in the parking garage below, let fly and wash it down after. Pulling the toilet on the first floor of a multi-unit building can lead to a flood when the folks upstairs use water even when you've told them not to.... it's usually faster and less guest impact to accept the cleanup in the garage than to try to coordinate no water usage in all the affected units, especially as your instructions typically get ignored anyway.
This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.
That's a gut buster Rick 1643 let me know how you used to bounce, that could be some useful info.
As far as me I prefer to pull the commode. For some reason when your the size of a pro offensive linemen getting on roof just does not seem like much fun and that does not mean I haven't done it. I always asked them if they wanted to install a c/o. I would explain the benefits throw in a discount for the over all service. However here in Oregon most of the houses have clean outs. Only a small percentage of the old down town houses don't have one.
Last edited by DanLawrence; 04-07-2009, 11:09 AM.
Reason: forgot my 2 cents