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I worked for free today!!!

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  • I worked for free today!!!

    Long story short...referral customer, very nice folks. Kitchen sink backed up. I trace out the line, 40 feet straight run of 1-1/2 galvanized piping. K 50 keeps getting caught up after tee. I tried all the heads I had. They keep coming out of the line dry. I go downstairs (finished basement) and saw off the galvy cleanout plug. Completely blocked.

    Now I have the entire area covered with plastic. I hold a bucket near the tee, push with my chisel and BAM! Imagine your kid chucking up and shooting it 5 feet. 80% on the plastic 10% on the collum, and the rest on the off-white carpet. Restoration company out in 1 hour, I go back next week to re-run the entire line...carpet looks clean and is sterlized.

    I gues the ENTIRE area was not covered enough...

  • #2
    Re: I worked for free today!!!

    NICE! Black galvy water with that distinct perfume we all know.

    Sorry for your trouble. I'm sure we've all had one bite us at one time or the other & we end up paying to be there. Took good care of your customer with the situation at hand though.

    J.C.

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    • #3
      Re: I worked for free today!!!

      THAT SUCKS!!!!!
      Can't win every fight I guess.
      At least the customer should be impressed at how quick you handled the situation. I think most customers understand it's a messy job and things can happen but it's what you do when something does happen that really counts.
      INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
      Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

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      • #4
        Re: I worked for free today!!!

        Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
        THAT SUCKS!!!!!
        Can't win every fight I guess.
        At least the customer should be impressed at how quick you handled the situation. I think most customers understand it's a messy job and things can happen but it's what you do when something does happen that really counts.
        Man,That hurts.Those people will send more business your way,because you had the carpet cleaned.
        Kenneth Collier
        Maintenance and Sewer

        P.O. Box 9441
        Jackson, MS 39206
        (601) 613-2678 (Cell)
        drainman881999@yahoo.com

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        • #5
          Re: I worked for free today!!!

          I would charge the customer both for my time and the fee paid to the cleaning company. If they are a good customer they will pay without hesitation. If they gripe, complain, or try to barter with you over the charges, they are not a customer that I would want to work for again. Reminds me of a time I removed a kitchen sink from a customers house. Sink was stuck down with liquid nail and then the customer griped when their laminate countertop broke. Long story short I ended up buying new laminate countertops for their whole kitchen and paying someone to install them. From then on everyone got a disclaimer that due to the nature of the work it is possible for somethings to get inadvertently damaged. Although all precautions are taken sometimes there is no way possible to do a job with causing damage to floors, drywall, paint, wallpaper, countertops, or some other surface
          Distractions are everywhere, don't lose sight of your dream.

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          • #6
            Re: I worked for free today!!!

            Originally posted by Devine Plumbing View Post
            From then on everyone got a disclaimer that due to the nature of the work it is possible for somethings to get inadvertently damaged. Although all precautions are taken sometimes there is no way possible to do a job with causing damage to floors, drywall, paint, wallpaper, countertops, or some other surface
            Is it next to the disclaimer about you not being licensed?
            I love my plumber

            "My Hero"

            Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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            • #7
              Re: I worked for free today!!!

              ooohhhh what a JAB in kidney!!

              Play nice now.

              G3

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I worked for free today!!!

                Originally posted by MrsSeatDown View Post
                Is it next to the disclaimer about you not being licensed?
                Licensed or not, Devine had a good point. N.I.P. handled it very well and I assume from the thread name that he absorbed the costs.

                I think at the first sight of 1-1/2 Galv. I would not have even tried to clear it but instead recommend that they bring it up to code. If they insisted then any damage is at their cost including my cables.
                "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                • #9
                  Re: I worked for free today!!!

                  These are one of those things where you have to chalk it up to the cost-of-sales. We all have them every once in a while and after they happen we try to be more careful. We are the professionals and we need to do our best to not make matters worse. If we can anticipate the problem we can warn the client that they assume the risk but when even we don't anticipate a problem it's on us.

                  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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                  • #10
                    Re: I worked for free today!!!

                    Great advice from all. I always will try to make some effort when it comes to clearing the lines. I definately know where you are coming from. I am going to try and replace with 2", but I dont think it will work. Worst case scenario, I run a length of 1.5 and then 2" from there.

                    I have to go back and run the new line at T&M, charge for the rodding, and troubleshooting a main sewerline backup. Which turned out to be a tripped GFCI on the lift pump for the septic field, and it was backing up into the house.

                    I have no intention of charging the homeowner for for the clean up. In the end, all I want them to remember is they called me out for some issues, and I corrected them.

                    Its her fault!
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Re: I worked for free today!!!

                      NIP,

                      Did you see the tee in the wall? I've seen old galvanized tees in the wall that were just that, tees and not sanitary tees. If I couldn't see the tee in the wall (the tee is a few feet away, hidden in the wall), I just had to pray that it was a sanitary tee and my snake would go down.

                      Sorry to hear about what happened. I've worked once or twice before for free. It sucks but it's a good thing it's a rarity.
                      YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

                      Plumbing Reviews

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                      • #12
                        Re: I worked for free today!!!

                        Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
                        NIP,

                        Did you see the tee in the wall? I've seen old galvanized tees in the wall that were just that, tees and not sanitary tees. If I couldn't see the tee in the wall (the tee is a few feet away, hidden in the wall), I just had to pray that it was a sanitary tee and my snake would go down.

                        Sorry to hear about what happened. I've worked once or twice before for free. It sucks but it's a good thing it's a rarity.
                        I could see it in the ceiling. And after the blow out, I was able to see the heads on the cable pass the tee about 2" then hit the stoppage.

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                        • #13
                          Re: I worked for free today!!!

                          I got the bill for the carpet cleaning...next to nothing! An early Christmas they said!!! Whoohooooooooooooooo!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I worked for free today!!!

                            Glad it worked out for you. Karma????

                            I get and give a lot of work to a cleaning co around here. This guys work ethic is unreal and I would recommend him even if he never sent me work.
                            I think as a drain cleaner its a good idea to align yourself with a quality cleaning co.
                            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                            Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: I worked for free today!!!

                              Had a few kitchen sink drain lines blow apart, not a bucket in site. Consider yourself lucky because the people who do cleanups in this area make it look like a dirt stain was murderous plot towards the customer's family.


                              I've been fortunate to not have a claim.
                              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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