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Are You Qualified?

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  • #31
    Re: Are You Qualified?

    Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post

    A guy could have one year and know more then and do a better job then a guy that has 20 years
    i sure hope not.

    with time comes experience. there is no way a guy with a limited amount of years could possibly have enough exposure to all phases of plumbing.

    when i worked in the union, there were old timers with 30 years that never set finish. sure they could do ruff, but were lost when it came to the finish work.

    sure a 1st. year apprentice could probably run circles around a 20 year guy, but what happens when the pile of pipe he moved is done

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #32
      Re: Are You Qualified?

      Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
      Thats scary.
      We don't get an open book test, except charts for sizing, it's do or die...you know it or you don't.
      Again, I totally agree, that was my point about your work speaks more then does the paper saying you are a master.

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      • #33
        Re: Are You Qualified?

        truthfully all the test are way to easy. all you need is a #2 pencil and a crash course the day before.

        but then again, with the way i see inspectors, inspecting, who needs to know anything anymore

        the residential combination inspection system is a joke out here.

        unless the inspectors have a good working knowledge of plumbing, they are lost.
        plus they never crawl under a building and they don't have x-ray vision

        look at all the current license #'s from your state and then look at all the current licenses that are revoked. i get an update every quarter. amazing how quick some guys are in and then out. do forget about the suspended licenses too.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #34
          Re: Are You Qualified?

          truthfully all the test are way to easy. all you need is a #2 pencil and a crash course the day before.
          Not in this state....no way.
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          • #35
            Re: Are You Qualified?

            I still ask the question (but I'll rephrase it)

            What makes a plumber a master.?

            knowledge
            Skill
            experiance[/quote]

            Here is wikipedia's definition:

            A Master Plumber is one who has demonstrated mastery of the trade of plumbing, has worked in the field for many years, is certified in different areas of plumbing, typically trains new plumbers in the trade, and oversees large plumbing projects.

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            • #36
              Re: Are You Qualified?

              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
              Not in this state....no way.
              I am curious to know who gives and administers the test? What code do you fall under, and what were some of the questions or reasons that you believe your state test was that difficult?

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              • #37
                Re: Are You Qualified?

                the residential combination inspection system is a joke out here.
                Here too. they want us to get permits for every minor repair, but they don't have the man-power to do all those inspections. Today, I waited all day for a city inspector to call me about a washing machine drain I roughed in for an old house that had an illegal straight-drain going outside....they never called. I can't wait around for a week to get an inpection on a job this small, I just met the homeowner and got paid...damn inspectors. They'll probably call me sometime next week and I'll be stuck on another job.
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                • #38
                  Re: Are You Qualified?

                  I am not liscenced. I clean drains and no liscense is required for that here. I will do a little plumbing for a customer I am cleaning drains for. Maybe replace a faucett or a leaking stop, install a new sink, maybe redo a messed up bit of drain pipe; handyman stuff. I sometimes (rarely) have to cut a drain to get access to clear a clog or remove an object, and I put them back together. I will dig and repair a broken line, or regrade a line. Anything beyond that I refer them to a plumber I trust. There are many small plumbing jobs that will never get a permit pulled I could take, but I prefer to work in my area of expertise. And I prefer to at least stay near the law.

                  That said, I have seen MANY drain lines that presumably were installed by liscenced plumbers and meet code and passed inspections that are just plain stupid. Knowing code is one thing, knowing how to meet code and produce a drain system that will work effectively for years without attention is another.

                  I don't think the liscence means that much about competance. I think experience means more. Is 4 1/2 years enough? Depends on the person and what they did those 4 1/2 years, but I doubt many people could truly master all aspects of the plumbing trade in that time.

                  I agree with the system in that it requires you to get experience to get a liscense, and I believe in experience. But I also resent it to some extent in that I will in all probability never be liscenced, despite being competant to do many of the plumbing jobs I refer away, as none of my time is under a master. For now, I'm content with the situation; plenty of work in drains. At some point, if I want to go there, or if by some odd situation I find the right person and it works for both of us, I may partner with or hire a master for long enough that I can get liscenced. How backward is that?
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Are You Qualified?

                    Originally posted by Masterplumb View Post
                    I am curious to know who gives and administers the test? What code do you fall under, and what were some of the questions or reasons that you believe your state test was that difficult?
                    Its mainly international code I think. The test is computerized and there are alot of trick questions including tricky math questions. Maybe its not that hard for guy who does rough-ins on large building all the time, but for a service plumber like me, it was much harder than I expected. A lot of weird business and law questions too.

                    I passed though on my first time...inpsectors said that its quite rare.
                    Last edited by Service Guy; 03-14-2008, 09:53 PM.
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                    • #40
                      Re: Are You Qualified?

                      Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post

                      A guy could have one year and know more then and do a better job then a guy that has 20 years
                      Maybe in drain cleaning but not in plumbing. Of course unless the 20-year guy is a mushroom (kept in the dark and fed sh*t). At one year it is all about manual labor and learning the names of fittings and what they are used for.

                      Over the years I had a lot of guys work for me and the first thing I had to do was learn their strenghts and weaknesses. There are too many different facets in plumbing and not all shops work in all fields. I always worked the guys in the areas they were familiar with and made them work as helpers in the fields they were not. A lot of guys opened their own shops when they left me and we still keep in touch. I treated them all like my students.

                      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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                      • #41
                        Re: Are You Qualified?

                        Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                        Its mainly international code I think. The test is computerized and there are alot of trick questions including tricky math questions. Maybe its not that hard for guy who does rough-ins on large building all the time, but for a service plumber like me, it was much harder than I expected. A lot of weird business and law questions too.

                        I passed though on my first time...inpsectors said that its quite rare.
                        So if it was done on a computer (like Connecticut) it was multiple choice and it was open book?

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                        • #42
                          Re: Are You Qualified?

                          Originally posted by Masterplumb View Post
                          So if it was done on a computer (like Connecticut) it was multiple choice and it was open book?
                          Yes, it sounds similar. The test was timed in such a way that the open book didn't mean sh*t, I hardly touched the books because it would have slowed me down and I wouldn't have finished. If you don't know a lot of answers out of memory, there is no way to look them all up in time.
                          They also purposely use diagrams and questions that can't be found in the book.
                          Like I said, maybe you would have aced it no problem, but for me it was challenging. i only have minimal experience with gas-pipe sizing and only about 4 years of new construction, the rest of my experience is service & repair stuff.
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                          • #43
                            Re: Are You Qualified?

                            I meant no disrespect. I too am a service plumber but do residential renovations as well. When I started out I did alot of new work, but after a few years of working in houses in the winter when the G.C's wouldnt install the windows until the roughing was finished I decided I would much rather do service. I love doing service especially steam and hot water heating systems.

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                            • #44
                              Re: Are You Qualified?

                              Rick has made this point in the past and I agree a guy who comes up through the trade as a new construction plumber will generally make a better service plumber. However, it rarely works the other way.

                              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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                              • #45
                                Re: Are You Qualified?

                                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                                Rick has made this point in the past and I agree a guy who comes up through the trade as a new construction plumber will generally make a better service plumber. However, it rarely works the other way.

                                Mark
                                I agree, the first four or five years I did nothing but new work...I wanted to be a service guy really bad but my boss wouldn't let me. He said that I need to know how to build whole plumbing systems before I could accurately service them.
                                He was right.

                                edit...I was very lucky that my apprenticeship was under a great master plumber and a great company (in New York state). They taught me so much. Since then I have seen some really low-standard plumbing companies and if I had apprenticed at one of those, I would probably not be where I am today.
                                Last edited by Service Guy; 03-14-2008, 10:25 PM.
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