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Discussion Starter #1
Before the Internet, without the vast amount of info out there, I just bet there was a lot more work for the plumber, back then there was no web, was no forums, if a homeowner or non-plumbing contractor wanted to do a job that involved plumbing by themselves, there was not many places to find the info needed, So I would think they had to turn to the local plumber/s. Now a days there is too many avenues one can take and it just seems the more they engage in this the more we allow it to happen, and you know what, there is NOTHING I mean NOTHING we can do about it.

It gets harder everyday to protect our industry, all we can do is try.
 

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Well, you could say the same thing about home improvement shows and channels.

On a positive note...

Before the internet there was a real lack of information on how to run a good business and therefore it was harder for a lot of plumbers to market themselves and stay profitable.

I also think home improvement shows and websites encourage people to update things like bathrooms and kitchens which leads to more work.

I agree with what your saying, I'm just trying to put a positive spin on it ;)
 

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Before the Internet, without the vast amount of info out there, I just bet there was a lot more work for the plumber, back then there was no web, was no forums, if a homeowner or non-plumbing contractor wanted to do a job that involved plumbing by themselves, there was not many places to find the info needed, So I would think they had to turn to the local plumber/s. Now a days there is too many avenues one can take and it just seems the more they engage in this the more we allow it to happen, and you know what, there is NOTHING I mean NOTHING we can do about it.

It gets harder everyday to protect our industry, all we can do is try.
It doesn't stop there, PEX and PVC/ABS is easy enough to work with that people think it is a piece of cake, with limited special tools required. It just invites hacks. I'm fortunate enough to work in a market where those things are not allowed, when people look under their kitchen sink they see brass traps and copper pipe, and call a plumber, knowing they lack the tools and the knowledge to attempt it themselves
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There are still a vast amount of peps out there that just won't touch plumbing, they simply hate it, there will always be the need for plumbers. but yes Killer, plumbing is getting grade school easy, but you can bet when it's not working like they think it should be, they will call us in. When I go to a house and it's been hacked, I be careful to what I say, I won't start saying who the heck did this, they sure don't know what there doing, (in my mind i say it to myself). Things like that can send a bad vibe and cause them to never call us again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good point Ron but how do you handle it then?
What point are you asking me about? Pardon but I having a senior moment here. :laughing:
 

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What point are you asking me about? Pardon but I having a senior moment here. :laughing:
When I go to a house and it's been hacked, I be careful to what I say, I won't start saying who the heck did this, they sure don't know what there doing, (in my mind i say it to myself). Things like that can send a bad vibe and cause them to never call us again.
This. You said what not to do. I agree. I am interested in hearing what you do instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just tell him/she, I can fix this. Ever get to a job and you find 3" of silcone on the bottom of a lav pop up, and you think to yourself who created this mess, and the HO is there by you, and all you can do to keep from grinding your teeth to not come out and say the wrong thing. Thats how I will deal with it, just letting them know I can fix it. Now sometimes the lady of the house will come out and say her husband tried to fix it, again I'll tell her I will fix it, what I really want to say is, tell your husband to leave the plumbing alone, he don't know jack about plumbing. :laughing: But I don't.
 

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I did the "Who did this crap" thing at a friends house about something completely different recently. Felt like crap when he said he did it.

But as much as I wanted to, I have never done it to a customer. They know it's crap. That's why they hired me.

Wait, I did do that. Three times. Once when I found a plugged off relief valve on a boiler and they told me another plumber did it. Another time when I found a direct vent boiler vented into the garage. (Yes, that is why you have those awful headaches.) And once when I found a boiler that was not rated for a combustible floor sitting on a combustible floor. It had burned through the floor and was sitting on the joists. No idea why it did not go up in flames.

Each time I was told a plumber did it. Each time I was so mad I asked who did it and spared no words in explaining what a rotten job the plumber did. It just crossed the line of what I could handle without saying what I thought.

The best revenge was when I did a job right across the street from that plumber's office after he lost the job to me. He reported me to the state board for doing unlicensed work. Inspector drove 60 miles to check on me, saw it was me, went across the street and reamed the guy out for wasting his time. Yeah, that was sweet revenge.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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I did the "Who did this crap" thing at a friends house about something completely different recently. Felt like crap when he said he did it.


The best revenge was when I did a job right across the street from that plumber's office after he lost the job to me. He reported me to the state board for doing unlicensed work. Inspector drove 60 miles to check on me, saw it was me, went across the street and reamed the guy out for wasting his time. Yeah, that was sweet revenge.
Now thats too funny!:laughing: Alot of stuff I look at, you can tell, by looking at it, they did or a friend did it. I am just waiting for some of those customers to call me, because their water is dizzy when it comes out of the faucet.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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I was plumbing long before the internet became what it is ,and business was damn good.Certain areas of the country are very tough to do your own plumbing like in Chicago where I apprenticed.Everything was metal,the work is deep and tough and not for the diy'er.
 

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I've lived in this little Idaho town since about 1972. There used to be a plumbing company that also had a storefront and you could walk in and buy parts with about a 300% markup. It wasn't hard to find plumbing jobs then.

A Standard Plumbing Supply moved into town, and suddenly, there were DIYs everywhere. Standard will sell to anyone and although they claim to treat plumbers better than the walk-in trade, they lie a lot.

But there was still a lot of plumbing to do. Still no internet.

Today, a number of plumbing companies have started up in the area because of the booming housing market. Combine that with the advent of Homey's and Lowes' and there are a great deal of DIYs. Factor in the low income level in the area and suddenly people who might have hired a plumber are putting all their money into the tanks of their farm implements and SUVs.

Now, there isn't so much plumbing to go around. And it's not necessarily because of the internet. It's a mostly rural area and people here use computers very little. "Ah just get a little of that email from the grandkids and sometimes I look around the internet." So although there are a lot of help sites on the internet, the few hundred people who use them to find out how to help themselves and keep from hiring a plumber is not a large factor in the slowing service economy here. It's all about the economy, or lack of same.
 

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I've lived in this little Idaho town since about 1972. There used to be a plumbing company that also had a storefront and you could walk in and buy parts with about a 300% markup. It wasn't hard to find plumbing jobs then.

A Standard Plumbing Supply moved into town, and suddenly, there were DIYs everywhere. Standard will sell to anyone and although they claim to treat plumbers better than the walk-in trade, they lie a lot.

But there was still a lot of plumbing to do. Still no internet.

Today, a number of plumbing companies have started up in the area because of the booming housing market. Combine that with the advent of Homey's and Lowes' and there are a great deal of DIYs. Factor in the low income level in the area and suddenly people who might have hired a plumber are putting all their money into the tanks of their farm implements and SUVs.

Now, there isn't so much plumbing to go around. And it's not necessarily because of the internet. It's a mostly rural area and people here use computers very little. "Ah just get a little of that email from the grandkids and sometimes I look around the internet." So although there are a lot of help sites on the internet, the few hundred people who use them to find out how to help themselves and keep from hiring a plumber is not a large factor in the slowing service economy here. It's all about the economy, or lack of same.
I understand what you're saying ,I see the same thing here.I lot of folks in the rural areas will do a lot of the work themselves and the people in the city tend to be uncomfortable working with their hands.
 

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I think I came pretty close,started as a plumber in the Air Force at age 18 in 83',the only thing I remember was the occasional car phone back then.I remember my first pager in the mid 80's,I was big time .:)
 

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Not that I know cause Im too young but an older plumber told me wages were about the same back in the 70's as they are today for a journeyman plumber. I dont know if thats true for your areas but he said it was true for ours.
 

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The downfall in plumbing started long before the internet.

IMO - the Big Box Stores!

Yesteryear, the supply houses protected plumbers by selling at a good discount so plumbers could make a decent mark-up on fixtures.

Big box stores come to town with nice displays where HO could see and touch product.

Supply houses wanted a piece of that and started selling to HO for just a fraction over what they sold it for to professional plumbers.

Big box stores marketed - "You CAN DO IT, we CAN HELP!"

Bix box stores offered clinics and how to workshops.

Plumbers reduced to selling labor and parts only.

Big box stores marketed successfully - "Do it yourself and feel pride in a job well done."

On a positive note - Big box stores sell a lot of junk. In another 5 years, HO's may not be so happy when they have had to replace a faucet three times because it is junk.
 

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I say it happened long before that!
I say it started with the first episode of this old house!
Everything DIY has just happened since that date.

The cold cruel fact is there is no stopping it now the cat is out of the bag.
You either have to adapt or, you'll be joining the dinosaur exhibit down at the local museum.

You may find your self doing a DIYer rescue where the homeowner has botched the job and needs you to fix his install of a tub/shower valve so the water can be turned back on, or, whatever else they screw up...
I actually like these jobs, it's like fishing in a barrel. They have given up and surrendered to the fact they need a plumber.

You may also find a DIYer Homeowner that has elected to do a kitchen or, bath remodel and they want a plumber to do part of the job that they feel they cannot handle. I have no problem doing that! You do need a good discussion that whatever they do does not botch your portion of the job. You also need to carefully spell out what what you did and the limits of your responsibility. You also need to specify what needs doing before you show up. No free advice either!

If you fail to take advantage of this in a shrinking market well... Here's your crying towel! The DIYer craze isn't going away! The cat has gotten out of the bag!
 
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