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  • Just an observation

    Lately there's been some great comments on the downslide of the plumbing industry due to "advances" such as sharkbites or other items that are accessable to the average homeowner. The thought is that is these items "dumb" down the quality and distinction of being a plumber due to their ease of use while tried and true techniques such as soldering are going by the wayside. My contention is that it is a bigger problem than that.

    The plumbing aisle at my HD is huge. I can get any tool or part I want on E-bay. Ferguson's here will sell to anyone. HVAC repair parts are a different story. Hard to get, not impossible, outside of a supply house. All the supply house in my area won't sell to you unless you are a contractor. This is probably a major reason why repair rates for HVAC stay high. If outlets continue to have, and they will, accessable plumbing parts then the question "why are you charging me $200 for a part I can buy at HD for $10" will always be present and more persistent.

    This thought has been on my mind for some time. No reply is necessary but always welcome. Just wanted to get this off my chest.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Just an observation

    I agree Ben, I will never use the sharkbite, I will always solder, I will never buy a automatic tube cutter, come on, in the old days (no offense rick) plumbers were threading galv for water, waste and vent, durham, lead etc, come on, stop making the trade easy, ABS is bad enought, it is still a trade, a skill, but manufacturers need to stop making it so easy, I wanna go to work and feel like I worked a good hard day, not like I slipped some crap toghether that took no skill to do.

    Rick and I spoke about this a little bit while he was here to see charlie and get his ball cocks.

    I take alot of pride in my work and will continue to grow and do things that will continue to benefit the Plumbing Trade, I vow to never cheapen or betrade the industry that will feed my family for years to come.
    sigpic

    Robert

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Just an observation

      ben, there are always going to be homeowners and handymen attempting to do the work. doesn't mean they are doing it right.

      i don't think that will ever change. people are always going to try to save money. problem is the ones that think they are getting a bargain, are typically getting taken.

      very few inspections i do for the homeowner are done properly. even when they have licensed plumbers.

      typically this is on residential work and not commercial work.

      look at all the auto parts stores. the average driver should be able to change their own oil. but beyond that, most will pay someone else to work on their cars. some will hire a neighborhood kid, a local mechanic, or a dealership.
      now make that car an expensive exotic car, a semi truck, or a bus. the rif raff is not going to touch that.

      we can't expect to get every plumbing job out there. but we better be able to do a better job, done right, for a fair price.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Just an observation

        I never worried about work we lost to an unlicensed or under-qualifed plumber. Our work was always nicer and what set us apart. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to pay for quality.

        I also did not worry when the customer bought their own stuff. Because I did not supply the parts only my labor was covered so all of the call backs from the cheaper parts made up for any money I lost on the parts.

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

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Just an observation

          Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
          I wanna go to work and feel like I worked a good hard day,
          when you are older and all beat to hell from doing every thing the hard way, you too will see the light. from my own experience with carpal tunnel, my propress, tubing-prep tool and plasma cutter to name a few are godsends. before I got these I was AFRAID I was done-used up. why beat yourself up when you're young, you will have to pay for it when you're older. better to learn from other's experiences, and have the benefit from having more cool tools.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Just an observation

            Originally posted by BILLG View Post
            when you are older and all beat to hell from doing every thing the hard way, you too will see the light. from my own experience with carpal tunnel, my propress, tubing-prep tool and plasma cutter to name a few are godsends. before I got these I was AFRAID I was done-used up. why beat yourself up when you're young, you will have to pay for it when you're older. better to learn from other's experiences, and have the benefit from having more cool tools.

            Good Point
            sigpic

            Robert

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Just an observation

              Robert,

              At 32-years old my elbows went out due to too much work with big pipe. I had to lay off big pipe for about 3-years and then learn to use more leverage once I went back to big pipe. Your body pays a toll for everything you do beyond the normal.

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

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Just an observation

                I like most of the new products available these days. Sharkbites are great for temp. situations as your working the job. I love
                any tool that will speed up a mundane task, wire brush on a drill, POWER threader wahoo! I don't think I would like plumbing so much in the old days. I'll be using Wirsbo for the first time this week, I think its the best option for this particular job. Some material is easier to work with but it still needs to be installed properly. I hear what your saying about diyers, if they can get they're hands on it they think they are a plumber.

                wookie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Just an observation

                  Originally posted by BILLG View Post
                  when you are older and all beat to hell from doing every thing the hard way, you too will see the light. from my own experience with carpal tunnel, my propress, tubing-prep tool and plasma cutter to name a few are godsends. before I got these I was AFRAID I was done-used up. why beat yourself up when you're young, you will have to pay for it when you're older. better to learn from other's experiences, and have the benefit from having more cool tools.
                  Yes thats whats happened to me, i am 56 yrs. old and collecting S.S.
                  Disablity for the last 2 yrs, I have total knee replacement on left knee a year ago. my right knee is going to need replacement soon,
                  i have 2 bad ankles, and a bad back, and neck,
                  I did'nt say this to get sympathy!!
                  But to let you know can happen if you don't take care of yourself on the job!!!!!
                  since i can no longer find a plumbing job even with all my many years of exp.
                  I am starting my own MFG'S rep. service co.

                  Selling TROJAN TOOLS SEWER EQUIPMENT,
                  PERFECTO PRODUCTS SPECIALTY TOOLS, which most of you west coast plumbers should be used too,
                  AMERICAN WATER HEATER COMMC. SALES & SERVICE
                  PALOMA INSTANT TANKLES WTR/HTRS
                  MULTI--PURE POINT OF USE WTR, FILTERS
                  BOSCH AQUA-STAR TANKLESS
                  WILKENS LG. COMMC. FIRE BACK FLOW PREVENTERS
                  And in seach of other bnrands. which is to say theres live after working in the feild!!!

                  SORRY FOR THE SHAMELESS PLUG GUYS, just wanted to show that you can find something to do after your body gives out on you,
                  And to make use of my many years working with plbg,heating, drain equipment, and fire sprinklers, and water heaters

                  JERRYMAC MASTER PLUMBER & MASTER DRAIN MAN

                  P.S. also i take advange of new materials, tools, and ways to do plumbing,
                  and yes i started off doing "LEAD" joints on 6" & 8" cold water mains as well as sewer mains
                  THANKS TO 21/2 YRS. IN THE U.S.A.F.
                  JERRYMAC
                  E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
                  CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
                  FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
                  SINCE JAN. 1989

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Just an observation

                    Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                    Lately there's been some great comments on the downslide of the plumbing industry due to "advances" such as sharkbites or other items that are accessable to the average homeowner. The thought is that is these items "dumb" down the quality and distinction of being a plumber due to their ease of use while tried and true techniques such as soldering are going by the wayside. My contention is that it is a bigger problem than that.

                    The plumbing aisle at my HD is huge. I can get any tool or part I want on E-bay. Ferguson's here will sell to anyone. HVAC repair parts are a different story. Hard to get, not impossible, outside of a supply house. All the supply house in my area won't sell to you unless you are a contractor. This is probably a major reason why repair rates for HVAC stay high. If outlets continue to have, and they will, accessable plumbing parts then the question "why are you charging me $200 for a part I can buy at HD for $10" will always be present and more persistent.

                    This thought has been on my mind for some time. No reply is necessary but always welcome. Just wanted to get this off my chest.
                    Didn't you tell me in another thread, that I need to get with the times? hehehe

                    Now you know why I get frustrated at where this trade is going.

                    Ben listen to me...if you're starting to think about this now, wait until you have your own business.
                    I agree with what someone else said..We don't get mad either at losing a job to another Plumber (nobody should, as long as he's licensed) cause we feel our work is superior..just like all of you guys think that about your work.

                    You will get people who will hire you solely on your work alone..but that won't be enough.
                    Plumbing isn't Plumbing anymore..the industry is trying to make it much more home owner friendly.
                    You want to know where the problem lies? It lies solely on US, because we are not doing the right things to protect this trade.

                    I said in another thread, I can't even go to this Landscaping warehouse, to buy landscaping stuff, cause I'm not a Landscaper! The irony in that!

                    But when I go into the Supply house, I see home owners,builders,the milk man..drawing pictures at the counter for parts they need.

                    I also agree with...we don't care if the customer gets his own parts.Matter of fact..we encourage a home owner to get their own parts, because we don't have to stand behind it then..just the installation. We lose so much time chasing parts down..it's not worth it. You will lose more money chasing parts down..then losing a profit on a sale of an item.

                    You're correct in that..the prices (my area as well) for HVAC are sky high..cause not everyone can do it.

                    I had to use my first shark bite a few weeks ago...I was embarrassed!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Just an observation

                      Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post

                      I had to use my first shark bite a few weeks ago...I was embarrassed!
                      what other choice did you have? do you own every style of pex tool and fitting to allow for connection to every brand out there? at least with copper, all brands are interchangeable. with csst it's the same issue. propriety fittings and tubing. fortunately csst has not been an issue since it's not used as much as pex and in gas there is not as many connections and brands to address.

                      unfortunately some supply house went through hard times and had to open up to walk in customers. i don't like it either since they come in for a 1 dollar part and i have to wait for someone to translate what they are looking for. they don't know the proper terminology. a hardware store would be a better choice for them.

                      there will always be people that will attempt to do it themselves. that will never change.

                      what we need to do is to enforce licensing. need inspectors to inspect and not look the other way. need to actually make it more difficult for the unlicensed to do work requiring a license.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Just an observation

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        what we need to do is to enforce licensing. need inspectors to inspect and not look the other way. need to actually make it more difficult for the unlicensed to do work requiring a license.

                        rick.
                        Rick, I will always be on board with the above statement. It's nice to always see other's who care about their trade and craft.
                        But it seems more and more, people are having visions over night, and they are waking up in the morning, and they are Master Plumbers!

                        Anyways..you're correct..I had no choice in the matter with using a shark bite. This Million dollar house I was working in, had Pex and CPVC, and a shark bite got me out of my jam.
                        I also didn't like it, cause the customer was watching me the majority of the time. I know he was making quick calculations in his head, how of much money he can save in the future, cause I taught him a Plumbing lesson with shark bites and joining 2 different materials together.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Just an observation

                          Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
                          Rick, I will always be on board with the above statement. It's nice to always see other's who care about their trade and craft.
                          But it seems more and more, people are having visions over night, and they are waking up in the morning, and they are Master Plumbers!
                          read a thread i started a couple of years ago.


                          http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...underqualified

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Just an observation

                            I feel my thread was misinterpreted. I think easy to use quality products are great. What I don't like is how easy the general public has access to them. There is no solution to this problem, I was just venting. I just pray that the HVAC industry doesn't move in the same direction.
                            Buy cheap, buy twice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Just an observation

                              Originally posted by JERRYMAC View Post
                              Yes thats whats happened to me, i am 56 yrs. old and collecting S.S.
                              Disablity for the last 2 yrs, I have total knee replacement on left knee a year ago. my right knee is going to need replacement soon,
                              i have 2 bad ankles, and a bad back, and neck,
                              I did'nt say this to get sympathy!!
                              But to let you know can happen if you don't take care of yourself on the job!!!!!
                              since i can no longer find a plumbing job even with all my many years of exp.
                              I am starting my own MFG'S rep. service co.

                              Selling TROJAN TOOLS SEWER EQUIPMENT,
                              PERFECTO PRODUCTS SPECIALTY TOOLS, which most of you west coast plumbers should be used too,
                              AMERICAN WATER HEATER COMMC. SALES & SERVICE
                              PALOMA INSTANT TANKLES WTR/HTRS
                              MULTI--PURE POINT OF USE WTR, FILTERS
                              BOSCH AQUA-STAR TANKLESS
                              WILKENS LG. COMMC. FIRE BACK FLOW PREVENTERS
                              And in seach of other bnrands. which is to say theres live after working in the feild!!!

                              SORRY FOR THE SHAMELESS PLUG GUYS, just wanted to show that you can find something to do after your body gives out on you,
                              And to make use of my many years working with plbg,heating, drain equipment, and fire sprinklers, and water heaters

                              JERRYMAC MASTER PLUMBER & MASTER DRAIN MAN

                              P.S. also i take advange of new materials, tools, and ways to do plumbing,
                              and yes i started off doing "LEAD" joints on 6" & 8" cold water mains as well as sewer mains
                              THANKS TO 21/2 YRS. IN THE U.S.A.F.
                              Sounds like you have it together, how about getting off SS so I don't have to pay your check every week.
                              the dog

                              Comment

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