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  • #16
    Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

    I know these guys were not union, but how come they needed one guy to dig, and two to watch?

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    • #17
      Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

      Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
      I know these guys were not union, but how come they needed one guy to dig, and two to watch?
      Perhaps not a union thing, but a safety thing? Correct me if I'm wrong, but 3 would be the magic number according to OSHA regulations?

      1 man operating the machine

      1 man directing the machine (anyone ever hit a lead water service that was laying right on top of the 6" clay? ).

      1 man topside (NOT in the machine) in case of an accident or cave in. This guy can be moving backfill, loading the dumptruck, bringing in stone, etc.

      Now if it is a union job that's 1 plumber, 1 operator/engineer and 1 laborer

      However in this case, I'm guessing it was one guy to do the work, one guy to do a song and dance for the customer and one guy packing the bags so that they can get out of town as quick as possible!!


      Seriously though, we're a union shop and the last dig up we did was $2700 to replace 10' of 6" about 6' deep. This included 1 plumber & 1 apprecntice 1 day each (the boss was the third man monitoring topside for the 1.5 hours that we were actually using the machine), backhoe rental, rodding the line after installation and of course the permit fee. Some will be more, some will be less. I camera and locate the line to help give a more accurate estimate.

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      • #18
        Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

        i live in indiana. it's way more expense to dig by hand than by machine here. i can't understand the cheaper by hand than by machine. i know an electrician (it ain't me) that used to take a cab to jobs. cabbed to supply house. what can i say, what can i say? breid..........

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        • #19
          Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

          The price of any job should take into account your costs and the value the homeowner places on your work.

          Knight

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          • #20
            Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

            There is the going rate and there is my rate. I'm not a plumber, but I sell a product. ME.

            I'm the only one that has it. People either want to pay my prices or they don't. What someone else is charging is only useful as a discussion or reference point. I guess the unfortunate part of plumbing is that a good portion of it isn't seen, so it's harder to differentiate yourself to the untrained eye.

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            • #21
              Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

              It is hard to say what that total cost included. Maybe the guy had other work being done inside, like reworking the line inside the house.

              I work in a community of laid off trailer factory workers and Amish. They collect unemployment checks then do plumbing for 10/hr.
              Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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              • #22
                Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

                Originally posted by rofl View Post
                I can't fault a guy for keeping his house.

                A lot of people aren't.
                He's not keeping his house, he's just prolonging the inevitable.

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                • #23
                  Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

                  Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                  Was talking with the homeowner after I drove by and saw the "mound" in the yard.

                  Seems she had a backup, they rodded and could not clear the clog. Camera'd the line, some sort of problem exists, must dig. Main line was 4-5ft down. Hand-dug (machine was an extra 1k) found back pitched pipe, replaced 5ft, some under sidewalk, added cleanout...job done. Three different guys, 1.5 days.

                  $4000.
                  Sounds like they dug down and found orangburg, (Black pitched pipe) they should have replaced entire line if it was Orngbrg where i live we could have done a pipe burst and replaced her entire lin for around 1000 more than what she paid, my opinion is she was scammed !!

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                  • #24
                    Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

                    my take on this is not necessarily the price she was charged. but the fact they couldn't get through without selling her a major repair.

                    it always amazes me how often i see lawns dug up in the neighborhood i live and work.

                    there's only been a few sewers i haven't been able to clear. sure i might suggest a cleanout for future ease, but i don't sell a c/o before i attempt the cleaning.

                    the owner of the home should have a track record of their sewer issues. you don't go from working perfectly for 50 years to needing a line dug up without notice.

                    it's all in the presentation and salesmanship of the drain cleaning co.

                    i had a customer last week call me to tell me they had a company come over to clean their drain for $49.99 of course then the manger shows up with his camera and shows him a $10,000 repair estimate.

                    the owner showed him the door

                    unfortunately, not every owner knows right from wrong. some are just too trustworthy and too gullible.

                    if we were held to a higher standard, there would be less scams going on in our trade.

                    we all know of plenty of companies that pull these stunts. unfortunately the public does not.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

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                    • #25
                      Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

                      Went by there and apparently there is more work going on....Hmmmm

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                      • #26
                        Re: Local "Rooter" company strikes again.

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        it always amazes me how often i see lawns dug up in the neighborhood i live and work.

                        there's only been a few sewers i haven't been able to clear. sure i might suggest a cleanout for future ease, but i don't sell a c/o before i attempt the cleaning.

                        the owner of the home should have a track record of their sewer issues. you don't go from working perfectly for 50 years to needing a line dug up without notice..
                        Recently there's been a rash of "dig ups" in my neighborhood. I do probably an average of 4-6 mainlines per month. Been familar with this area for about 12 years. In that time, I've only come across one line that was damaged and that was many years ago. The break was at the 4X6 connection, the rest of the line was fine.
                        I've never seen an entire clay mainline that was wasted from beginning to end. That's not to say that some people don't want the whole thing replaced, it's just not usually entirely necessary so I have to question this spurt of replacements. My wife has even noticed.

                        Ran into a former co worker (we worked at the same plumbing shop) awhile back and he told me business was dead. He getting sometimes 1 job a day. That's really slow for as long as this particular shop has been around. We always had jobs coming in. Anyway, I asked him how he's surviving. He says, get this, I have to sell things that people don't necessarily need. No surprise really. A lot of companies seem to be doing it nowadays.

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