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The Old (antique) Master
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2,246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is my firm belief that the customer might know more than the plumber. Therefore we as service plumbers should take advantage of their knowledge.I always like to commuicate when I arrive on site.

Lets look at a leak through a kitchen ceiling -- bath above.

I, before even going up to the bath would ask. Do you know what fixture was being used. If they replied the tub. I would ask "for a bath or a shower" If they replied shower. I would say "does this happen all the time?" Now they might say no only when my daughter takes a shower. Ok! In my mind I now now that there is no drain problem and probably no overflow problem. But because of people standing in different positions in a tub/shower, I will look for loose escheutions, or loose spouts, or a push on spout that is blowing water out the back through a oring. Shower door problems.
Just not placing a curtain properly or a groute problem.

Drain problems:

I ask did this block up suddendly? Or was it slowing down for a longtime?

Were you using the disposer? What were you disposing?

Another favorite did you have any work done by another trade?
Or another plumber? You'd be suprized how often a person drills a drain line for a small tube discharge from an appliance.

One time on a total stack blockage that question pinned the problem down. TV cable guy brought in a new line to the kitchen.
Drilled right through a copper 3" stack. Did not take long for the stack to block with toilet paper hanging off coax cable.

Another favorite is ... Is everthing blocked? The call did come in as water coming up a floor drain. Their answer might be no it only comes up when I use the washing machine.
Questions asked can often solve many proplems. Prior to you or your men having to eat crow when a mistake is made, because you did not ask questions.

This might be an interesting post to make a stickey out of.

I'm sure a lot can be added
 

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6,437 Posts
I do all that on the telephone.....helps me schedule my day. Bill you bring alot of repair experience to the forum,I like that,I like you Plumber BIll.
 

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my First question is. How will you be paying for this service call today. After that it is what exactly is going on. how long has this been happening. Did you any chemicals in the line? If i am told it is a flooded basement. How much water is in the basement?
 

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Bill, I believe that all service plumbers should ask questions such as you presented. So much time and money can be saved by asking questions. I get really ticked when I hear of plumbers making assumptions about what the problem is.

Keep it up Bill, I love to learn.
 

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"no habla engless"

Called to a drain stoppage by a tenants neighbor. We've worked for the HO for years and he was out of the country for a couple months, new tenants in two days..."just go and svc if we get a call". Snaked an apron out of the drain line. We smiled, "gracias", they smiled..."gracias" and we left.

Next day called to a drain stoppage by the same tenants neighbor. Snaked an apron out of the drain line. "Gracias" "Gracias" We left. 4 Aprons later...the neighbor was home when we got there. We ask him to come over and find out why they kept flushing their aprons down the drain.

The husband and wife had been in AZ only 4 days. He told her that somebody told him his wife could wash her small items in that water bowl. She saw them being swirled and then disappear to never return. Husband took the top off the back and found no apron. They didn't know where it went. Thought it might come back sometime but in the mean time she sews up another apron. It disappears and she sews up another one. We've gotten some mileage out of that one. Plumbing IS entertaining at times.

Supporting a diagnosis with revealing questions is a must! Communication is going to get a whole lot tricker for some of us!

 

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since '85 /w G. Smiley
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91 Posts
Jim, it means the bathroom is very smelly, anyone know what a chelango is? not sure if that's spelled right. beans i'm from Cal. got learned a little spanish
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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7,622 Posts
how long

how long have you had the problem>???

when did you first notice it>>??

three weeks ago huh?? OK....................

So.... you are calling me on a friday night at 6.30
because you want and need it fixed tonight??

may I ask .......how come???

What was the straw that made you
finally get off your lazy ass to get this problem fixed???

are the in-laws comming into town tonight,
or
do you just feel the need to bust my chops tonight??

and is their any reason that this small problem
cant wait till tomorrow??
 

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Senior Moment
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1,904 Posts
how long have you had the problem>???

when did you first notice it>>??

three weeks ago huh?? OK....................

So.... you are calling me on a friday night at 6.30
because you want and need it fixed tonight??

may I ask .......how come???

What was the straw that made you
finally get off your lazy ass to get this problem fixed???

are the in-laws comming into town tonight,
or
do you just feel the need to bust my chops tonight??

and is their any reason that this small problem
cant wait till tomorrow??
Customer relations 101 :laughing:. I like your attitude Mark:thumbup:
 

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philosopher and statesmen
Joined
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7,622 Posts
atitude is everything.....

Customer relations 101 :laughing:. I like your attitude Mark:thumbup:

In all honesty, I have gotten a little huffey with a few of them ...maybe not as sarcastic as I just wrote......

it does gets pretty frustrateing when you find out from them that they have sat around all day with their thumbs in their asses, and they finally get around to calling you as the sun is setting.....

and then they ask .....
you arent gonna charge me overtime tonight are you??:laughing::laughing:

No , cause I am not comming...
I am going out with my wife to dinner.:thumbup:.

that statement ....I have said to a few.......




.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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772 Posts
Questions is the key! If you ask alot of questions, it sets you apart from the others and it shows that you are willing to correct the issue.
Had one HO say, You ask alot of questions and the guy we had here a couple months ago never did. I replied, mam...we are highly trained in service and we want to fix your issue that it doesn't happen again.
I wanted to say, well, the reason I am here is that he didn't.

Nice thread, alot of pointers can be had on this one. WTG guys.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 
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