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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am a 38 years old service plumber with eight years of experience.

I was once a subpar sleep lab technician and a proficient and jolly Bartender.

At 30 after a very solid conversation with my grandmother, I went into the trades. Plumbing fascinated me and I was lucky enough to I'll get hooked up with Brad Rodgers.

Brad is now in his late 40's and is thoroughly knowledgeable and honorable person who has built a very successful service business in the Jackson metropolitan area.

He is a third generation plumber who was sometimes called out of elementary school class by the principal to rebuild school toilets while he was in fifth grade. He runs seven trucks, One of which I am in control of. We are primarily service but do large remodels on occasion.

I have decided to specialize in drains for the sake of being able to focus and minimize overhead. I am Interested in serving other plumbing companies. I am submitting my contractors license currently and going through the process of becoming legit, bonded, insured, and hopefully busy.

Looking at vans. I have a K 60 with 150 foot of 7/8's cable and a full reel of five eights cable. I also have a Milwaukee M 18 tommygun with 35 foot of 5/16 cable with a bulb head.

I have never run a Jetter. I am interested in picking up a van pack unit and becoming thoroughly educated.

The thought of running a Jetter down a vent stack makes me feel queasy. I am likely to be a clean out only Jetter operator...in the beggining.

I have been reading on this forum for years. Thank you for all of your generous donations of time and information. Happy to be joining the discourse.
 

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This introduction is so beautiful I want to put it on the fridge for the other new members to see.
 

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As for getting into "jetters", I have a General JM-1000 Mini-Jetter. It has comepletely supplanted my 1/4"-3/8" drill snake for use on kitchen sink lines. I either use a fernco or female adapter to attach a short length of pipe to the drain coming out of the wall. The other end of my pipe sticks out of the cabinet over a bucket. I run the Mini-Jetter into this and down the drain. Until the line is unclogged it will send all of the goook you're blasting apart back into your bucket so the customer can see what you're clearing. It's very impressive.

I have a 3/8" x 1/2" flexible supply line with a boiler drain on one end that gets screwed onto the cold stop for water supply. DO NOT use hot water if it's more than ~130F. The instructions say 140F but I can assure you it will cause the thermal breaker to trip in ~10mins and then you'll have to wait for it to cool. Cold water works great.

The Mini-Jetter is only good for upto 2" pipe and does a great job. It's essentially an electric pressure washer built into a tool box. I like the form factor but it is ~1100$. If you want to try the idea out you can buy just the hose and nozzles from General and use them with a regular electric pressure washer.

For tubs and lav. sinks I use a 7' or 12' piece of 1/4" cable chucked in my cordless drill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them, and I hold you in high respect.

The plug-in portable jetters do fascinate me. What a wonderful way to show someone the effectiveness of what you are doing… The bucket approach I mean.

It is nice to pull a long and large prize bass of roots out of a line and lay them out in front of a homeowner. Evidence!

I truly don't know yet who I'll be working for. I would prefer other plumbing companies and commercial operations.

I do have a weakness… I am not proficient at steep roofs.

I had my own service LLC years ago that was quite busy. I closed it at the behest of my wife who requested i have one job rather than three.
More time at home has paid good dividends for us.

But we recently got guardianship of our niece and so I need to triple my salary over the next few years.
 

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Don’t go on roofs. Don’t snake from a roof. Just don’t mess with it. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. I saw a dude with a 1065 have a cable bind up and flip the machine and him off of the roof.

Dude never walked again.

After that emotional mess and a massive OSHA probing, we/I wont ever do it again. Install a clean out, open a wall, pull a toilet, do what ever, but don’t mess with roofs.

I am quite sure that I’m gonna take a lot of schit for that. But it’s deadly serious. Stay away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow. I'm so sorry for that person and I respect your choice. I don't like the roof at all. I would much prefer to deal with clean outs.
Every now and then I must get on the roof to clear fittings catching both sink and toilet.
When flex shaft technology first came out I began to wonder if somebody could keep the machine on the ground while someone fed the chain head through a vent. That seemed much safer.
 

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Respectfully, your intro was flowery and meaty and respectful and @skoro’s got a new screenshot, Now about your weakness for roofs (rooves?).
You seem to have stated that there will be times that you will be putting yourself and your family at risk to get the job done.
If that is so, then you’ll be findinf some disagreement here.
Offer a cleanout, refuse the job, whatever. Too much risk will mean notripleincome yo.
 

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Don’t go on roofs. Don’t snake from a roof. Just don’t mess with it. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. I saw a dude with a 1065 have a cable bind up and flip the machine and him off of the roof.

Dude never walked again.

After that emotional mess and a massive OSHA probing, we/I wont ever do it again. Install a clean out, open a wall, pull a toilet, do what ever, but don’t mess with roofs.

I am quite sure that I’m gonna take a lot of schit for that. But it’s deadly serious. Stay away.
We’ve been cleaning drains through roof vents for 70 yrs. No problem. We do what’s best for each individual job, if that means going through a vent then so be it.

Work smarter not harder. Experience and knowing your equipment makes a big difference.

We feel comfortable cleaning through roof vents, I suggest anyone who doesn’t…..shouldn’t do it.
 

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Welcome! I can’t tell you how nice it is that I don’t have to post any link to forum rules or “more info needed”! Thank you for that!

My business is primarily draining cleaning as well, however I still do all the plumbing I’m legally allowed to do. When I come across something bigger, I bring in a friend of mine who’s a master.

You have a good grasp on business, from what I see so far. A one truck drain cleaning business does have a lower overhead. However, as it comes to a truck/van, this is probably the worst time to buy. I bought my 14’ box van about 6 years ago for $3500. I could sell it for three times that today even with depression and higher miles.

If you’re going to be a subcontractor for other plumbing companies, tell them your rate, if they send lots of work, give them a discount. Let them bill the customer then pay you. They can up the bill and deal with the paperwork.

Keep us updated! And good luck!
 

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We’ve been cleaning drains through roof vents for 70 yrs. No problem. We do what’s best for each individual job, if that means going through a vent then so be it.

Work smarter not harder. Experience and knowing your equipment makes a big difference.

We feel comfortable cleaning through roof vents, I suggest anyone who doesn’t…..shouldn’t do it.

“We’ve been doin’ that for 70 years…. Nothing never went wrong. HOLD MY BEER!”


I hate that argument. Just because you’ve been doing some thing forever doesn’t mean it won’t go wrong. Roofs (rooves?) aren’t meant to hold the weight of a 200 pound guy and a 150 pound sewer machine; then add the dynamic load from someone walking and the sewer machine wobbling.

That’s like saying lead supply pipes are a good idea because “it’s what we have always used.”

Good on you. Have fun on the roof.
 

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The liability alone! I will have to admit, I had a lav drain call once. It washed the vent. Cable kept going up no matter what! So I got out my ladder and 750, at the time, took the cutter off, laid it on its back, hand fed it down the vent. Got it open. Thankfully a straight shot. Got the boss’s permission.
 

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“We’ve been doin’ that for 70 years…. Nothing never went wrong. HOLD MY BEER!”


I hate that argument. Just because you’ve been doing some thing forever doesn’t mean it won’t go wrong. Roofs (rooves?) aren’t meant to hold the weight of a 200 pound guy and a 150 pound sewer machine; then add the dynamic load from someone walking and the sewer machine wobbling.

That’s like saying lead supply pipes are a good idea because “it’s what we have always used.”

Good on you. Have fun on the roof.
We don’t take the machine on the roof.

People get killed everyday in car wrecks but we still drive, even when it’s not necessary.

I hate it when people tell a story of something that happened to them or someone they know and give that as a reason we should change a service that we’ve successfully sold without incident for longer than that persons been on the planet much less plumbing.
 

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I have a K 60 with 150 foot of 7/8's cable and a full reel of five eights cable. I also have a Milwaukee M 18 tommygun with 35 foot of 5/16 cable with a bulb head.
I used a older k-60 at my job for quite awhile. They finally bought me a Spartan 300 and I've yet to use the k60.
Now the k60 has advantages of size but it has no energy compared to a drum machine.

Also how's it do at 150 ft? I know the older machine I used had 8 pieces of cable which could get us out to 120 ft. At that range the machine really struggled and seemed like it was just tickling the clog that far. I was also told by a Ridgid rep that the machines only suppose to go out to 100 ft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The K 60 does a wonderful job at 150 feet on soft clogs and small root mats. To my knowledge I have never chewed through anything serious at that distance.

There are many properties around Jackson that are 100 plus yards off the street. Hence my jetter interest.

The spartan and gorlitz drum style machines seem awesome in their ability to generate torque downline. Ive never had the pleasure.

My boss is a true believer in a K 50 on the roof and sectional machines in general. We have been using rigid power spins on front of Dewalt drills for years and I am tired of having to clean up after their spray from their plastic drum joint. I am definitely tired of being fastidiously careful with a K 50 inside a house. I spend 20 minutes making my work area look like the last five minutes of an episode of dexter before I start.

I have never tried flex shaft but the keep it clean aspect has a strong appeal. I like this new M 18 Milwaukee Tommy gun as it creates zero spill.

A young friend of mine recently purchased the Milwaukee camera system and loves it but it seems to not take the 2 inch turns and inch and a half turns that the rigid micro drain system can. I suppose I'll be investing in a rigid system in the next year.
 

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Wow. I'm so sorry for that person and I respect your choice. I don't like the roof at all. I would much prefer to deal with clean outs.
Every now and then I must get on the roof to clear fittings catching both sink and toilet.
When flex shaft technology first came out I began to wonder if somebody could keep the machine on the ground while someone fed the chain head through a vent. That seemed much safer.
The phuck you doing on a roof? Pull the toilet to snake the line.

It takes a lot to get me on a roof. There's almost never a need to go on a roof, even when it's slab construction.
 
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