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  • What I have been up to thread lol

    Well I used to do draincleaning and camera work, then I started a plumbing company and it was ok, I already had a lot of customers, but then the recession hit me in a way I didn't see coming. All the out of work new construction plumbers that before wouldn't touch service work or dirty drains shifted over to service work and prices started falling fast....I already owned lots of special equipment so I had to charge more for our really though work. But the public being in a money crunch also didn't care and was picking the lowest price guys so I had to adapt our company over to being unique. I have read this forum for years and learned a lot from all the different people posting. At first we really started doing sewers either full excavations and then adding pipe bursting, (still a competitive field though) then I noticed that all the landscapers where really the guys putting in a lot of the outside drains and doing a terrible job at it. How do I know? Why my Ridgid Seesnakes of course! You know Tee's instead of wyes, short turn 90's , no grade etc. Well diagnosing what was wrong was the biggest battle it's under the ground! And clogged! Entrance the Seesnake maybe it can't see in the muck but I can follow the direction of the pipe, I can tell it's depth half the battle is over! Mix in my army of small to large jetters and know I am cleaning footing drains, french drains heck any drain. Gutter rain leaders are one the most overlooked sources of water in basements and crawl spaces, neglected by homeowners, filled by roofers and gutter cleaners well you get the point. Some of the lines go under elaborate concrete patios and other hardscape that to jackhammer would be costly, we have used the sewer pipe burster to pull in new lines for drainage and tightlines (it's not just for sewers!) We have jetted 100 year old footing drains filled to 100% with mud and sand and got peoples existing systems back to working. Of course not all can be saved with jetters or snakes and we install new systems with modern components and techniques. My Head Journeyman was furious with me he was going to quit because he is a rough in plumber and I started turning done repipes and new construction jobs. But I had to, the bids are so low on those types of jobs that to win you could actually lose money just being awarded the job. He isn't mad now because we have been booked for at least 1-2 months now and where was he going to go anyway lol. Anyway big construction companies are using us a lot now just to do investigative reports on projects they have going because they can't come close to the special equipment we have or know how to go about it. So I think anyone who is slow right now can just look around at the equipment and knowledge they already have and turn it into new types of jobs. Landscapers will still keep putting in drains, concrete guys will still keep building retaining walls with no drainage and water will still be a problem to be solved by someone!
    Seattle Drain Service

  • #2
    Re: What I have been up to thread lol

    My father said the same thing Cuda. Once the new work dried up, those plumbers came right over to the service side of things, and will hang around long enough to screw this up as well. I'm seeing new trucks/ Plumbers I've never seen before in my area, and the call volume has went down a tad for us. The problem is these new construction Plumbers bring their "special pricing for builders" into the service market, and it's throwing everything into disarray.

    My father is on vacation this week, and the phone has rang maybe 4 times since Monday, and it's now Thursday. This business has been around about 40 years, so we can sustain these types of blows, but we noticed for example...we are losing Power Vent water heaters left and right.

    Because of this forum, I'm starting to switch "some" focus more into drain cleaning side of things, so we can be a player in our market.

    All that's out there is slop work at the moment, but I'll take it.

    Thank god Heating season is right around the corner.

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    • #3
      Re: What I have been up to thread lol

      You betcha. I know guys that only do high end remodels .Guess what they now have drain cleaning equipment on their trucks as well..Huh, there must be money in it.A buddy of mine use to refer me all his customers when they needed drain work .Those calls are few and far between now..I'm sorry NO I am not lending you my drain cleaning equipment.You still have that drill snake right?
      ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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      • #4
        Re: What I have been up to thread lol

        good for you cuda shows that investing in technology will always keep you in the top of your field.

        i've been trying to tell everyone that over the last few years, my focus has been on drain cleaning and my big income has come from drain cleaning.

        you are 100% correct in you assessment of installers of area drain piping. out here i've know that for 30+ years. problem is it doesn't rain enough for people to worry about outside drains that don't function. but the ones that do get flooded, i get fixed with my jetter or pipe burster.

        the old saying of it takes money to make money is correct. it's like playing monopoly with tools and equipment instead of houses and hotels. there is no get of of jail free card.

        it's nice to hear about success stories coming from the ridgid forum

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: What I have been up to thread lol

          Cuda, I wish you were local, I have a customer here that has a window well with a clogged drain and I can't find anyone to touch it...

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          • #6
            Re: What I have been up to thread lol

            Originally posted by OLD1 View Post
            A buddy of mine use to refer me all his customers when they needed drain work .Those calls are few and far between now..I'm sorry NO I am not lending you my drain cleaning equipment.You still have that drill snake right?
            Tell your buddy that a Plumber & a price comes with those tools he wants to borrow.

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            • #7
              Re: What I have been up to thread lol

              Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
              Cuda, I wish you were local, I have a customer here that has a window well with a clogged drain and I can't find anyone to touch it...
              I had to turn one of those calls down, because I don't have a camera, and I don't have a jetter.

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              • #8
                Re: What I have been up to thread lol

                Originally posted by Flux View Post
                Tell your buddy that a Plumber & a price comes with those tools he wants to borrow.
                Yeah the type of guy that I didn't mind lending out my old k50 to only to have him bring back the cables uncleaned and kinked. And lets not for get the missing leg boots...Really pissed me off more than once.Told him thoses days were long gone as I have invested a substantial amount of money in newer equipment and since he is not a real drain cleaner and this is how I make my living everyday ..NO..Sorry had to rant , that should be a nother thread though
                ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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                • #9
                  Re: What I have been up to thread lol

                  my number one rule is too never ever loan out drain equipment to anyone
                  especially to plumbers who don't know how to use it !

                  If it is a friend i would go out and do it myself at no charge instead out letting someone else use my snakes
                  JERRYMAC
                  E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
                  CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
                  FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
                  SINCE JAN. 1989

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                  • #10
                    Re: What I have been up to thread lol

                    Very good advice Jerry.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What I have been up to thread lol

                      Good post. I like to here how people grow their buisness.

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