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Professional Bullshioter
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We are presently trimming out a high school. No hurry, school starts Friday:eek:. Anyway, I walk down the hall into the home ec. area. Guys are working in there I've never seen. Doing plumbing and setting cabinets. Visited with the guy for a while. He showed me how proud he was of himself to be able to connect to the lead drain with a fernco:no: He cut out the beautiful wiped lead drain and vent that some dead guy made from scratch and threw in PVC. There is no way this guy is licensed. There were 5 of them and only 1 of me so I just let it go. I got 5' down the hall and called the local inspector. He's coming first thing in the morning.:thumbsup: Next is to make sure he's paying prevailing wage. I hope the inspector shows.
 

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Takes alot of skill to throw in the ole frenco... :eek: I hope he does show up. Wish I could see their faces.:laughing:
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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Discussion Starter #4
We have to protect our trade. When folks are busy they tend not to care if some schmo does little crap. But, when things get slow they wish they woulda said somethin. Kinda like drainlaying around here. We gave it away and it's gone forever.

Inspectors need more power. No fawkin around with court cases. Get the ticket book out and write em one on the spot. Then if they wanna fight go to court.
 

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Well said. I believe in protecting our trade as well. This is my meal card. I wil give it up to the hacks when I am floating around upstairs.... untill then I am gonna:gunsmilie: roast em!
 

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I'll skip the details, that just made my day.

Hate being so synical, but at the steady rate I lose work to DIY and hacks, it's good to hear we still have some solidarity.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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Atta Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whos your inspector up there.
btw- what part on IL are you from, I forgot.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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I have to say that I for one am not totally opposed to DIY. I think that the government has way too much control over what you can do with YOUR property. I am not against people needing to educate themselves before they do the work in order to keep themselves safe. For most people this is way too much work, and would rather just pay someone to do it. I am like that most of the time. I do think that DIY does take some of our business away, but hasn't it always? I think you just see it more now. Besides, how many calls do you get where someone says "Yeah, I went to home depot a couple weeks ago, and got something to fix this with, and it's leaking again already, so i decided to call a real pro." We get that a lot!

What I do have a real problem with is people trying to make a profit by flying under the radar. If you can't play by the rules, then it's time to forfeit the game. You are not special.
 

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There is nothing wrong with DIY, but in this case, its a high school in question. There is absolutely no reason that unlicensed people should be doing any of the work there.

As an aside, when I was in my first year of apprenticeship, one of the old plumbers came to give a demonstration on lead. He brought some lead sheeting and a white gasoline blowtorch and his lead working tools.

He proceeded to show us how to make 4" pipe from sheet lead, how to make 3/4 inch water pipe and how to cut a wye into it and wipe the joint to seal it in.

None of us were able to do any of the work properly, but he made it look so simple. The next week he brought an old buddy of his, another old plumber, and the two of them did a burned lead joint.

We have all but lost those skills in most places south of the Mason Dixon line and west of the Mississippi.

The last burned joint we had to do we imported two union plumbers from Boston for three days to make repairs to an acid line in an old battery remanufacturer in North Little Rock. Those guys were both in their 50's. We paid through the nose and treated those two like royalty while they were here.

The Olympics are wonderful, and I truly respect the folks that train and dedicate their lives to mastering their sport, but my true heros are the guys that dedicate their lives to teaching the young the real skills of our profession. We could have cut all that acid line out and replaced it with glass to the tune of a few 100k, but we convinced the owners that it was cheaper for them to just let us fly in some talent to repair and replace the worn sections to the tune of about 30K total.

The supply house needed a heavy duty truck to deliver the lead for that job. They contracted with an armored truck service. No one else had a small enough vehicle with stout enough suspension to move that much lead into the tight spots we needed it delivered to. We didn't want to handle it too much and waste time bending and deforming the rolls.

I know I'll never be part of another job like that, and I'm glad to not work in such a toxic and awful place, but those two guys from Boston probably saved several jobs for the workers there at that small factory due to nothing but cost savings. And all because someone took the time to teach them one of the most rare of plumbing skills.
 
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I can wipe a lead joint on both water service and waste, I think every plumber should know how, the very name Plumber comes from a Latin term that means worker in lead.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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There is nothing wrong with DIY, but in this case, its a high school in question. There is absolutely no reason that unlicensed people should be doing any of the work there.

As an aside, when I was in my first year of apprenticeship, one of the old plumbers came to give a demonstration on lead. He brought some lead sheeting and a white gasoline blowtorch and his lead working tools.

He proceeded to show us how to make 4" pipe from sheet lead, how to make 3/4 inch water pipe and how to cut a wye into it and wipe the joint to seal it in.

None of us were able to do any of the work properly, but he made it look so simple. The next week he brought an old buddy of his, another old plumber, and the two of them did a burned lead joint.

We have all but lost those skills in most places south of the Mason Dixon line and west of the Mississippi.

The last burned joint we had to do we imported two union plumbers from Boston for three days to make repairs to an acid line in an old battery remanufacturer in North Little Rock. Those guys were both in their 50's. We paid through the nose and treated those two like royalty while they were here.

The Olympics are wonderful, and I truly respect the folks that train and dedicate their lives to mastering their sport, but my true heros are the guys that dedicate their lives to teaching the young the real skills of our profession. We could have cut all that acid line out and replaced it with glass to the tune of a few 100k, but we convinced the owners that it was cheaper for them to just let us fly in some talent to repair and replace the worn sections to the tune of about 30K total.

The supply house needed a heavy duty truck to deliver the lead for that job. They contracted with an armored truck service. No one else had a small enough vehicle with stout enough suspension to move that much lead into the tight spots we needed it delivered to. We didn't want to handle it too much and waste time bending and deforming the rolls.

I know I'll never be part of another job like that, and I'm glad to not work in such a toxic and awful place, but those two guys from Boston probably saved several jobs for the workers there at that small factory due to nothing but cost savings. And all because someone took the time to teach them one of the most rare of plumbing skills.
That was one fine read!!!:thumbsup:

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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I can wipe a lead joint on both water service and waste, I think every plumber should know how, the very name Plumber comes from a Latin term that means worker in lead.
And you're east of the Mississippi. Its not a valued skill here for some reason. We don't lack for old lead waste lines or the need for the compactness you can only get from lead in older homes.
 

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Alan, as time passes in your apprenticeship, you'll learn some of the simplest things can reap havoc on a neighborhood.
A boiler without a backflow can feed back to your neighbors house and they wind up making dinner in traces of it.
A badly vented water heater can put a family to sleep at night, forever.
The tiniest of gas leaks can build up into an explosion that can level a block of residences.

Even a simple shower valve tied into a water heater set at 140 with no anti-scald could severely burn a precocious 3 yr old that wanders into a friends bathroom while visiting.
I understand the dissention with governements violating our privacy, but when it's something that could kill, injure, or create disease you begin to learn a respect for our trade.

**

Double, I'm from Boston, I also need to clarify that MA doesn't alloow DIY plumbing, we're a different breed up this way.

Somewhere on this forum you can find a pic of a lead joint I packed recently, we do them often here...nothing as fascinating as the work you detailed, but we seem to do more old school plumbing than most area's...as does Killer in Chi-town.
 

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And you're east of the Mississippi. Its not a valued skill here for some reason. We don't lack for old lead waste lines or the need for the compactness you can only get from lead in older homes.
You can get close to the compactness with copper wastes.

I'm serious that I think all plumbers should at least be able to make a lead flashing, take pride in your trade, and how it's name was derived. I have a complete set of lead working tools for wiped joints, though I probably need a new candle since they dry out, and I own them for no other reason than the fact that I am proud to be able to do something plumber's ten years older than I am can't.

I'm 42 years old and I already sound like a grumpy old man.
 

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The plumbing exam here has a written and a practical. A lead joint and a lead wipe are part of the practical. I have to learn how to do it eventually.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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Discussion Starter #17
I can also wipe lead. Learn everything you can about your trade. It will set you apart from the masses when things get slow. I get a lot of work because the client knows it will be done right and on time, no matter what type of pipe.


Inspector couldn't get here till tomorrow morning:furious: Hacks already have cabinets set covering all the $hitty work. I dunno if he'll make em pull the cabinets or not. :no:
 

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residential service
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I don't know this to be a fact but I'm betting that there is not an active plumber in my city who could do this, regrettably myself included. I would not even know where to go to learn.

I do not remember a single question about these skills on neither my journeyman nor my master plumbing exam. We have no practical or execution elements to our exam system, another regret.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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Discussion Starter #19
That's one instance where being union is a plus. Everybody pays $1.15 per hour in a training fund. Need your welding certs or learn how to wipe lead or anything else. The classes are already paid for.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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Maybe Don will want to see it and make them pull the cabinets.:thumbsup:
Then they may not do that stuff again, especially if he makes them pay $ in fines.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 
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