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Drill Bits for cast iron?

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  • #16
    I can see your points on roto. I will openly admit the majority of our guys do not have enough experience in plumbing. We are the best drain cleaning outfit in the tri-state where i live. There's a lot of "pop and run" companies around here. They give you the plumbing school, and the on the road training - the rest is up to you. If you want to pursue licenses (which i am currently) they will pay for any schooling and fees on a reimbursement basis. It's unfortunate that a lot of guys don't feel its necessary to further their education. I was a res. new construction plumber for about a year and a half before roto, and now i've been there for a year and a half. I'm six months away from taking my journeyman license test for KY. I came to the table with some experience, but they will hire guys with no experience, and no mechanical aptitude along with very experienced guys. Our branch is trying to weed out the horrible guys, but in this day it takes a lot to get fired. The trainee that's with me has about 20 years plumbing maintenence experience, so i will have no problem signing off on him for his knowledge and business ethics in a month and a half. I have had guys that i wouldn't let past the ride along day one tryout before you're hired; Guys with horrible work ethics and no experience that didn't understand the concepts of venting and drainage, pressure and volume. My personal goal is to get my master license in ky in 2 1/2 years and see whether or not at that time i want to stay at roto or go elsewhere. Kentucky requires no formal school to aquire a license, just that you pass the test and have a master endorsement with two years experience based on your w-2's. Ohio, however, requires a four year accredited school to get your journeyman- is that the usual for most states?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Theron:
      As far as your comments about Roto Rooter - [img]smile.gif[/img] I'll be nice and keep my comments short and appropriate in case there are any fellow roto-rooter employees in this forum. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch. Some technicians from our company do shoddy work. Some of the callbacks i have to do are rediculous. One i had to do today, a guy had put wax from a toilet ring in some no hubs to try to seal a leak when he should have replaced the no hubs. His excuse was that he didn't have them on his truck. What a joke. It made our company look bad and i had to fix it again. Those guys typically don't make it more than six months because they're not plumbers and they have no morals or business ethics. Our company does have a plumbing school, finally, that teaches you all about codes and what is and is not appropriate. Every new hire has a 3 month ride-along program with a certified trainer. In fact I have a trainee. I have to sign off on this guy in a month and a half on whether or not i think he is ready for the road (he's pretty close to being ready). I have had guys in my truck that just didn't get it and we had to let them go. I'm relatively young, but i'm in this for life. I have no intentions of doing shoddy work and stealing from people. I'm all about pleasing the customer and doing excellent work. It's their decision to have a hole instead of a cleanout. I only offer the hole to them if they state a valid reason (time or money) for not wanting a cleanout installed. It's not the first thing i offer them, its the last. I hope you guys don't hate me now for doing that. I'm in this forum to learn from y'all. Do you think i shouldn't offer it at all? Is my method of sealing it the best? I feel as bad about "cleanout" holes as i do when i see a compression fitting. And i know all of you have a few compression fittings on your trucks for that "just in case" occasion [img]smile.gif[/img]
      In the early days I use to recommend Roto-Rooter on drain cleanings I did not have time for. Back then all they did was drain cleanings and were quite a bit cheaper than “real” plumbers. Over the years in many cases they appear to be more into billing than service and can be quite a bit more expensive than a “real” plumber.

      Many years ago one of my service plumbers had stopped by my house to visit. While he was there a father of one of my sons’ friends came to the door. He explained he hire Roto-Rooter for a mainline stoppage which they had worked on all day and still could not get it. After 8-hours of snaking the Roto-Rooter guy gave up and said the mainline needed replacing.

      I explained to the neighbor we in fact do that kind of work and would be willing to give him a free second opinion. The home was a tri-level home and Roto-Rooter was snaking the main through a 2” cleanout at the wet bar downstairs. The house was a mess and there was dirty water everywhere.

      While the Roto-Rooter guy put away his tools I asked my service plumber to pull the 3 ½” cleanout behind the washing machine and snake the main. Needless to say we cleared the main and had our tools loaded up before Roto-Rooter could write their bill.

      Roto-Rooters bill was over $1,600 and recommended a $4,200 mainline replacement. My bill was free and I recommended the homeowner call the Roto-Rooter office and request an adjustment on the bill. Now some 20-years later the mainline has still not been replaced.

      I have also worked with the Commercial Plumbers at Roto-Rooters which seemed to be nice guys but a long way from what I considered a plumber. When you talk about a 90-day on the road training for your guys I have to laugh. When I use to hire plumbers who knew what they were doing they’d ride second seat for a year before they got their own service truck. What in the world can you teach a guy in 90-days that you could trust him on his own?

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

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

      Comment


      • #18
        There is a five year apprenticeship required in the State of Illinois and the apprentice is not allowed to work without direct supervision from his sponser for the first two of those years. There is an all day exam after the apprenticeship that requires a passing grade in all three segments to get a license. Each year there after every plumber in the State of Illinois is required to attend an accredited seminar for continuing education to retain their license.

        Now that I know how poorly Kentucky monitors the people who do plumbing work in their State I shant be drinking any more water when I am passing through. In fact I will be staying away from their resturants, motels and stores as well.

        No offense Theron, but if you did not know that using duct tape for a gasket was not a proper way to seal cast iron pipe you have no business signing off on anyone elses qualifications. You need to get the heck away from your bosses ASAP and get some proper training.

        roto reamer knows how to do marketing very well. Everything else is highly doubtful.
        Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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        • #19
          Utah,

          In 90 days a guy can probably learn a sales presentation pretty well, how to use the portable credit card machine and if he's lucky where a couple of good coffee shops are located. He certainly will not learn enough about plumbing to be out on his own and charging a professional rate for his work.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

          Comment


          • #20
            I think Theron cares what kind of work he does, he is the victom of poor training. But he cares, otherwise he would not be posting on this site.

            The fact is that he is the future of plumbing, and it is up to us who know to educate.

            I myself have used Roto-Rooter for sewer locations for years and they did a good job. The company I now work for has their own equipment, so I have not used them in two years.

            I think that Theron could do, and should do better. If they are instructing you to do what you have (duct tape), move on.

            But do not feel that you have not made an effort. If you took it upon yourself to find this site, and ask questions, you are well on the way to being a plumber.

            There are top-flight plumbers here. Plumber is the best, he won't steer you wrong. Plumber Rick can be arrogant, but he is very knowledgable, Utah, is excellelent on code and law situations, and me, I'm I guy who gives opinions, sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but I try hard.

            the dog
            the dog

            Comment


            • #21
              I agree 90-days is not enough time. A year is what it should take. But i have to make the best of what i am given and i decide whether or not based on their previous experience and their progress whether or not they get to continue working there. We do allow guys to stay in training for specific cases where they need to learn more. It sounds like that guy didn't understand the concept of cleaning a main line very well. And then he expects the customer to pay for his time even though he didn't fix the problem. It's his fault he used the wrong c/o, and wasted however many hours he did on the line. He has no right to charge that much. His office wouldn't let him keep that money if the customer called in and complained. If your not making any progress in an hour your doing something wrong or the line might have a problem. I never spend more than three hours cleaning a main, it just doesn't take that long. I would never do anything as stupid as that guy, and if i did, the customer certainly wouldn't have to pay for it, I take responsibilty for my own actions. Every line i haven't been able to get open - which is rare - was broken. Verified with camera and replacement. But in summary some of our guys do not have the skills and knowledge to become competent plumbers and those are the guys that give us a bad name, and usually quit within a couple years or get fired for side work.

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              • #22
                I'll be honest with you it's not my bosses that taught me the "cleanout" deal with the fernco. It was my trainer. That practice will die with me, I'm not passing it on. I will also advise that at our next meeting the bosses say something to everyone about it, because it isn't code and a lot of guys do it- Some regularly and our company needs to stop that.

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                • #23
                  I think what Theron has just described is typical of the large companies where they set a policy which is illegal but teach it for so long they accept it as Code. I represented a Concrete Pumper who was involved on a project with a plumbing company just like that.

                  This plumbing company was one of the first flat-rate companies and ended up with over 400 Isuzu box vans in California before they started falling apart. The project was an older but expensive home in Palm Springs which had a bad house drain from the master bathroom to the front of the house.

                  The “new” method this company came up with to make the repair was to tunnel 60’ under the house and replace the house drain. After the new pipe was installed and tested my client was told to pump a slurry mix into the tunnel to back fill the pipe. This home was not the first home my client had done for the plumbing company as they were marketing this method real heavy as a cost saver for cast iron piping which had rusted out.

                  Because the piping was not properly secured the piping was displaced by the hydrostatic pressure of the slurry mix. To make matters worst the plumber told the pumper to add more pressure to better backfill voids they thought were left in the tunnel. The extra pressure actually bowed the floor and caused the kitchen cabinets to come apart.

                  Everything the plumber did from the start was illegal. No permits were ever pulled for any of the $15,000 job. The plumber told the owner no permits were required as it was their proprietary work system. The plumber even supplied the slurry and all my guy did was supply the pumper to deliver the slurry.

                  The damages to the house were better than $100,000. The plumber’s insurance company went bankrupt leaving my client exposed to the full liability of the case. After it was all said and done the plumbing company says there is nothing wrong with what they did and they will continue to do it and my client paid for all damages.

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    mark, sounds like george brazil plumbing. hopefully mike diamond plumbing will be next.

                    both of these companies specialize in flat rate rip offs and scare tacticts. if they had to bid against a legitimate co. they would never get a job.

                    the mike diamond shop in culver city has more trucks in their yard, that sit, than on the road.
                    as long as we don't get a major earthquake anytime soon, they too might go away sooner than later.

                    rick.

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                    • #25
                      It makes one wonder how they did their tunneling.

                      Did they have some poor schmuck dig under the house by hand? I bet that was a real safe situation.
                      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        plumber,

                        Not only did they tunnel which is a violation of the UPC they tunneled 60' under a house which was built on sand. By tunneling with 45 degree walls they prevented caveins but a 4' deep ditch ends up with 8' of unsupported slab so the slab cracked throughout the house as well. If OSHA had caught them they would have been out of business.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Those are the kind of contractors that make my blood boil. There could still be enough of a shift in the sand to trap the poor fellow and cause his death. Or should he have other problems there would be no way to extract him safely.

                          While I strongly dislike tattle tales, this is an instance where the proper authorities need to be notified. Since you know the names of these people there should be some way to get the proper officials to monitor them before they kill somebody.
                          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            plumber,

                            I talked to the head of the Building and Saftey Department as the plumber planned on continuing the practice without pulling permits. OSHA was not interested as the job had already been done.

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

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

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              WHAT A JOKE. THEY HAVE A C-36 and hack like that

                              i plumb doing neat code work with a B gen. on my projects. obviously a licence doesn't always mean much!
                              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Just wanted to say, I simply cannot believe anyone would drill holes into cast vent to make a clean-out then cover it over with....duct tape???

                                What kind of ridiculousness is this?

                                If I saw a guy doing that on a job around here I'd report it. Period. You're going to make somebody sick someday.

                                Unbelievable.

                                If you can't get a shielded no-hub band on it, don't start the job until it's figured out.

                                [ 10-31-2005, 05:44 AM: Message edited by: AZPlumber ]

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