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Hey Guys (and the one neat gal that hangs out here)
When I was a young upstart, and knew everything there was to know about the trade. I worked for this old man that would slap me up side the head every once in awhile and get me rooted back to mother earth.
When I finished a piping job, he would stand back about 10 feet, stick his arm straight out in front of his face with his thumb sticking straight up in the air, close the opposite eye and put the sticking up thumb over the vertical pipe I just laid. Squinting down at his thumb like it was the sight of a 22 rifle he would say “the piping isn’t straight, make it straight.”
Now that old SOB was one fine plumber and he taught me a lot. And I did learn very early in the program that when he said something, he meant it. So, it was straighten the piping or pick up your cheque. I always straightened the piping.

As I moved on in the trade I always remembered that old man. And you know what? I eventually became him. That’s right!! It’s now me with the thumb checking everyone’s work.
Why is it that so many guys in the trade, not necessarily tradesmen, put out work that is, to say the least, questionable.
How can guys not take pride in their work?

I look at the chat going back and forth on this site and I think I’m old enough and smart enough to realize that the seasoned guys on here are guys that believe in putting out a good product.
I’m not saying you have to be old to do the good job. Not at all. I know there are young guys on here that are in tune with the business and have a lot to offer. That’s good, that’s quality.

So…..
What are the types of things you see on a job that tells you a good tradesman did the install? Straight pipes? Grape-less solder joins? What did you see that left a mark?

Trout lake
 

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Some people have an incredible eye for plumb. And some for grade. I trusted a carpenter once on a silicone sink caulk job he said was off. As it turned out it was off a 1/32, well within my tolerances--but it took 45 min to redo the sink because the silicone was a bear.
 

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Plumber Manhattan Beach
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wait, what ? pride in the trade? there is none, not around here. Hang out in the supply house for a few in the morning, thats the future. The homeowners and the illegals brought toghether by proflo........:no:
 

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I once interviewed with a company and while in the room I noticed the water heater piping was very poorly installed. This told me a lot about the company and I did not accept there offer.
 

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wait, what ? pride in the trade? there is none, not around here. Hang out in the supply house for a few in the morning, thats the future. The homeowners and the illegals brought toghether by proflo........:no:

My Ferguson rep stopped by today and gave me that ProFlo book and I looked at it. I won't buy the toilets or the faucets, I told him that point blank.
There are some repair parts etc. in the book that I don't think they could screw up so I told him I would look at it again. But man, they sure are pushing this stuff hard.

On another note I had a few Bradfords delivered last week and noticed on my invoice today they charged me 20 bucks for a delivery charge, first time I've ever seen that so I questioned him. He said it's now standard policy, ok. Not for me it's not.

Also wants me to switch from Viega to Uponor (wirsbo) pex, said he would give me a great deal on a cordless expander. Said I would think about it. I asked him about the uv factor, chlorine factor etc. compared to the Viega, no answer.
 

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Master Plumber
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Straight and neat. I can't do it any other way. We are required to use purple primer on our PVC. I see it too often, where the primer has run down the pipe making a sloppy mess. My PVC is clean and straight, all the lettering faces the same way too. Hell, I wipe dust and dirt off of PVC while I'm installing.
I remember one job we were called in to do an addition on a 5 year old house. I know the guy who installed the plumbing the first time around. The building drain (ABS) was strapped to the foundation wall in the basement for all to see. It must have had one and a half inches of fall per foot (no exaggeration) for the first 8- 10 feet then nothing. Absolutely nothing for the next 30- 35 feet. Dead flat. I lost all respect for that guy that day. There was more shoddy work there too. I don't understand why or how someone could walk away from that. This was a custom home. What's wrong with the inspector that this was OK for him? The builder? Nobody cares? I do. I have a tremendous amount of pride in my work. Even if," it's just gonna get covered with Sheetrock next week, nobody will see it." Bullsh*t someone's gonna see it 10, 20 , 50 years from now, and if I installed it, they will be impressed.
 

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Straight and neat. I can't do it any other way. We are required to use purple primer on our PVC. I see it too often, where the primer has run down the pipe making a sloppy mess. My PVC is clean and straight, all the lettering faces the same way too. Hell, I wipe dust and dirt off of PVC while I'm installing.
I remember one job we were called in to do an addition on a 5 year old house. I know the guy who installed the plumbing the first time around. The building drain (ABS) was strapped to the foundation wall in the basement for all to see. It must have had one and a half inches of fall per foot (no exaggeration) for the first 8- 10 feet then nothing. Absolutely nothing for the next 30- 35 feet. Dead flat. I lost all respect for that guy that day. There was more shoddy work there too. I don't understand why or how someone could walk away from that. This was a custom home. What's wrong with the inspector that this was OK for him? The builder? Nobody cares? I do. I have a tremendous amount of pride in my work. Even if," it's just gonna get covered with Sheetrock next week, nobody will see it." Bullsh*t someone's gonna see it 10, 20 , 50 years from now, and if I installed it, they will be impressed.
I find it insulting that they require purple primer. They are basically calling me a liar if its not purple primer on the pipe. I find it very insulting that a guy with 5 or six years experience in plumbing can get his license and apply for an inspection job and then come on my jobsite and fail my work because i used clear primer. They look at us plumbers as little kids and ride our butts,nitpick us and then every hack in town is advertising in the newspaper and on craigslist of hacks and nothing is done about it. It boils down to money and they know catching hacks is not going to make anyone any real money. So the inspectors are just policemen designed to be outr baby sitters. It makes me mad!!!!!
 

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I would have to ask you to define pride, there are so many things that I would consider poor quality that are accepted standards in this trade now. How many here even know what lead wiping tools are, or how they are used? Just because it is not something that is common does not mean you shouldn't have knowledge of it and how it works if you choose to call yourself a tradesman.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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I find it insulting that they require purple primer. They are basically calling me a liar if its not purple primer on the pipe. I find it very insulting that a guy with 5 or six years experience in plumbing can get his license and apply for an inspection job and then come on my jobsite and fail my work because i used clear primer. They look at us plumbers as little kids and ride our butts,nitpick us and then every hack in town is advertising in the newspaper and on craigslist of hacks and nothing is done about it. It boils down to money and they know catching hacks is not going to make anyone any real money. So the inspectors are just policemen designed to be outr baby sitters. It makes me mad!!!!!
If they expect purple primer, you should use it. Or get failed. That is one of the first questions I ask when going to a new jurisdiction. Inspectors are not there to ride your butt or nit pick you. The are there to make sure your work meets minimum code standards. If they are nit picking or riding your butt, you are doing something to deserve it. Just from your demeanor on this board I can see how you might agitate an inspector.

It does not come down to money. It comes down to following the code.

If you see unlicensed work going on, call your inspector. They will take care of it. Inspectors don't really want to have to babysit. Some folks have to be babysat to ensure code compliance.

It would be nice if all licensed guys followed the code and did good work. Unfortunately there are a lot of folks trying to get one over on the inspector. That tends too make the inspector very cynical.
 

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If they expect purple primer, you should use it. Or get failed. That is one of the first questions I ask when going to a new jurisdiction. Inspectors are not there to ride your butt or nit pick you. The are there to make sure your work meets minimum code standards. If they are nit picking or riding your butt, you are doing something to deserve it. Just from your demeanor on this board I can see how you might agitate an inspector.

It does not come down to money. It comes down to following the code.

If you see unlicensed work going on, call your inspector. They will take care of it. Inspectors don't really want to have to babysit. Some folks have to be babysat to ensure code compliance.

It would be nice if all licensed guys followed the code and did good work. Unfortunately there are a lot of folks trying to get one over on the inspector. That tends too make the inspector very cynical.
Do car mechanics have inspectors looking at the brakes they just installed for your family to drive down the highway at 75 mph in? NO they dont. Do dr.'s have inspectors come in and make sure they prescribed your medicine correctly? NO they dont. Everytime a cook makes your food does the health inspector check it? No he doesn't. But if you wanna add a bathroom the inspector has to come out and make sure a licensed,bonded,certified master plumber glued his joints properly.That makes alot if sense doesn't it. What am i supposed to do spend my time looking for people doing un licensed work and then go up and ask if they have a license? That would go over really well I'm sure. The problem with poor work is not from the plumbers around here its the handyman specials and homeowners.
 

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If they expect purple primer, you should use it. Or get failed. That is one of the first questions I ask when going to a new jurisdiction. Inspectors are not there to ride your butt or nit pick you. The are there to make sure your work meets minimum code standards. If they are nit picking or riding your butt, you are doing something to deserve it. Just from your demeanor on this board I can see how you might agitate an inspector.

It does not come down to money. It comes down to following the code.

If you see unlicensed work going on, call your inspector. They will take care of it. Inspectors don't really want to have to babysit. Some folks have to be babysat to ensure code compliance.

It would be nice if all licensed guys followed the code and did good work. Unfortunately there are a lot of folks trying to get one over on the inspector. That tends too make the inspector very cynical.
That might be the case where YOU live but NOT here. One of my inspectors is 26 and failed me once because a drain pan line was not insulated. So who is the babysitter? I personally had to explain to him the differece FVIR Water Heaters and the old one's. I think it does come down to the money. They need that reinspect fee to keep there job. Around here moneys tight and the local city gov NEEDS as much as they can get there hands on. Different problems in Different places
 

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Whos to say we forgot to use primer that day and then found out it was required so we just used a can and went around to all the joints and wiped around them??? Heck theres ways around everything....it comes down to I took a test and met the requirments and these guys dont trust me to do the job correctly so they want purple on the joints. Thats insulting!!!! I had an inspector ask to use my ladder to get on a roof to make sure I ran the vent throught he roof.....the guy was new....I said NO way get outta here....and called the chief inspector.....he passed it over the phone!!!!! he knows I do excellent work and stand behind workmanship for life. I do the job correctly or fix my mistakes. My insurance guy sent the city a letter explaining to them that they cannot use my equipment to perform THEIR job. What nerve!!!!! asks to use my ladder so he can check to see if I'm lying to him about the vent!!!! Thats Crazy!!!!
 

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I once did work for a thorisic (sp) surgeon. He bought the house because he was so impressed with the quality of the exposed plumbing DWV was all copper. It turns out he was a plumber before he went to med school and they plumber who did all the work in the house was my boss. He had great pride in his work.
 

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I find you have to pretty much beat pride of workmanship into apprentices and journeymen these days ( a few masters too) Once again I sound like a broken clock but you have to blame a lot of it on all the diy plastic crap that the wholesale houses are selling. Get it done fast, to hell with what it looks like. How many guys have themselves convinced that pex strung across the floor joists looks good? Can you make it look good? Yep, but it takes more time to make pex look good than copper by far. Plastic J hooks? How in gods name do you keep 4" hung in plastic J hooks straight? And I'm not talking close enough. When I say straight, I mean lazer straight. You can tell a lot about a plumber by the level in his back pocket.

Crap Crap Crappity Crap
 

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"You can tell a lot about a plumber by the level in his back pocket"

That is about the truest statement I have heard in a while. Plumb & Straight and a clean primer job. It's enforced in Baltimore County, where I cut my teeth so to speak. And since then everything looks dry fit without it, lol.

Just b-c we were talking purple primer. We once allowed some co-workers to work in our neighborhood to do 2 under floor's b-c we were all performance and they were starving in the next county over(Harford). We radio'ed, " you guys need anything. We have simple prints we have been these houses for 2 years, any questions please call..." Sadly for them we never went into Harford County, no purple needed ~ and they never came into ours~ if they can't see purple your cutting it out. We were less then 5 miles from there Community, but guess what they had to do the next day :cry:
 

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I heard from a friend that a colored primer has been developed that is clear until a UV light (or some type of special light) is put on it. We are required to use purple primer. I hate veins running down the pipe but it really does make a stronger joint. I have been using it so long, it would almost not feel right to not use it. Sort of like the seatbelt, once I got in the habit of wearing it I feel odd without it.
 

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PLUMBer straight neat lettering one way wiped solder joints. I can,t believe some of the crap I have seen.....and its OK with the boss......Not this boss I swear I cant stand sloppy pipe Really all you gotta do is look at a guys toolbox/bag that will tell you alot if he doesnt care about his tools he doesnt care about the pipe.

Rick
 
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