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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With a large group including me excited about our profession, what do you see as the biggest downfall for our future in the trade?

For me... besides the obvious big box industry, we see a lack of youth here in FL. Our state has seen sharp declines in the educational end of our trade over the past ten years. During the New Const/ housing boom young men were being trained on one aspect of residential like trim and cut loose in trucks and called plumbers from then on.

Is this happening in your areas also?

This could end up being good for our pocket books today but I feel the industry as a whole will suffer down the road.
 

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Our state has seen sharp declines in the educational end of our trade over the past ten years. During the New Const/ housing boom young men were being trained on one aspect of residential like trim and cut loose in trucks and called plumbers from then on.

Is this happening in your areas also?

This could end up being good for our pocket books today but I feel the industry as a whole will suffer down the road.
I'm on quite a few forums. One thing that I find scary Is the fact that there are such wide differences in the quality of education plumbers get in different states. There are clearly some states that are tougher than others and I cringe at some of the questions and answers I see posted... I'm talking ones that are coming from a licensed master plumber that I'd whack a 1st year apprentice in the back of the head for not knowing.

I think alot of this is due to the fact that there are so many different codes in use and there is no standardization. This is probably what leads to the differences in education. If we were having one code the education could be standardized along with the license requirements.

That'll be the day!:laughing:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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I'm on quite a few forums. One thing that I find scary Is the fact that there are such wide differences in the quality of education plumbers get in different states. There are clearly some states that are tougher than others and I cringe at some of the questions and answers I see posted... I'm talking ones that are coming from a licensed master plumber that I'd whack a 1st year apprentice in the back of the head for not knowing.

I think alot of this is due to the fact that there are so many different codes in use and there is no standardization. This is probably what leads to the differences in education. If we were having one code the education could be standardized along with the license requirements.

That'll be the day!:laughing:
I agree. Unfortunately, some states are full of morons. The plumbing standards here are pathetic compared to Long Island, NY where I learned the trade. I was appalled at the standards when I first moved here...cheap materials, shoddy workmanship....it is everywhere here. The code isn't the problem here, its THE LACK OF ENFORCEMENT. An amazing amount of unpermitted, illegal plumbing by unlicensed individuals goes on here every day. Until there is serious enforcement, I don't see it changing.
 

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I think those 2 things are the biggest threats to our profession.

When we can have some of our own out there that have a lack of knowledge and skills the licensed pro may be no better than a hack handyman.

Yes, there does need to be strict enforcement of unlicensed individuals out there doing unpermitted work for a living. In states where the homeowner is permitted to DIY the inspection should be tough to make sure the work is right!

Both of these dilute the professionalism of our trade.
 

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There will never be a universal code in this country, because large cities like New York, Chicago, etc. will never give away the revenue stream they get from being able to issue their own licenses and making contractors purchase their code book. That revenue for a large city is in the millions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I I cringe at some of the questions and answers I see posted... I'm talking ones that are coming from a licensed master plumber that I'd whack a 1st year apprentice in the back of the head for not knowing.

That'll be the day!:laughing:

I can see the frustration. Our codes here are strict, mainly due to so many hurricanes. However, I hear about 4 and 5 years of trade school. it was not a requirement for us rather a choice and I had three. Even as simple as the bottle/drum trap question i had. i have literally never seen a drum trap. All I knew as they are not legal.

I also see huge differences in system designs. For example, Flat dry vents are completely illegal here. All of our vents have to be washed at the base of the vent stack. I have also noticed from some of the pics that all fictures get vented in other areas and here it is not the case. A small bathroom group for example most likely only has one vent at the lav and the w/c and tub are vented by the lav. Very big differences

I was fortunate, the men I started under were excellent plumbers and very hard on apprentices (we were called helpers then). They required school, it was not an option with them. I was also fortunate to work for some EX union guys that really taught me a lot.

Huge differences from my counterparts on this forum. I don't think the differences in design are as bad as just the simple educational requirements. I was raised in Wisconsin and raised union. Truly, many disclaim unions but the education and skill are second to none. unions have done more good than bad education is one area.
 

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Industry and corporate whores that are willing to sell to the highest bidder. Shoving so called "green" products and technology down the public's throat when they know damn well most of it is high priced crap. A legion of lobbiests and lawyers stuffing cash into the pockets of the PHCC and the code review boards in order to get sub standard and sub code products accepted. Worse than all of that though is us. Because we are willing to sit back and see what happens rather than make a stand for a profession that is over 2000 years old and directly responsible for saving more lives than all the doctors and hospitals since the beginning of time. We could stop this trend anytime we want. We could take back the PHCC from the greedy hands it is in now. We could show up at code review and plumbing board meetings in mass. We could write our congress and write legislation that would keep the box stores form selling dangerous products to homeowners. For that matter we could all flat refuse to ever buy any plumbing products from or subcontract for the box stores. We could do a whole lot of things. What we will do is up to us.

Sorry, I'm real passionate and angry about where I see the plumbing profession heading. I'm not too enthusiastic about what I see and waving a bunch of shiney new "green" technology in front of my eyes is not quite enough to blind me.
 

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I agree. Unfortunately, some states are full of morons. The plumbing standards here are pathetic compared to Long Island, NY where I learned the trade. I was appalled at the standards when I first moved here...cheap materials, shoddy workmanship....it is everywhere here. The code isn't the problem here, its THE LACK OF ENFORCEMENT. An amazing amount of unpermitted, illegal plumbing by unlicensed individuals goes on here every day. Until there is serious enforcement, I don't see it changing.
I live on LI, how long ago did you move because their are certainly no shortage of hacks here.

Hell I can name a certain electrician running a four man shop with no license.
 

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There will never be a universal code in this country, because large cities like New York, Chicago, etc. will never give away the revenue stream they get from being able to issue their own licenses and making contractors purchase their code book. That revenue for a large city is in the millions.
Which is exactly why we need it. To legally be licensed in the entire county here will probably run you 10k a year. You need to be licensed by about 20 different townships all charging a hundred bucks or so a year. Then half of them require you to have separate insurance polices in that town. Why? The almighty dollar.
 

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I live on LI, how long ago did you move because their are certainly no shortage of hacks here.

Hell I can name a certain electrician running a four man shop with no license.
You need me to look up the phone number of the local board for ya?

Seriously, NH has a real point.

Just like the pharmaceutical industry, tobacco industry and many others...our so called "leaders" have been bought.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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I live on LI, how long ago did you move because their are certainly no shortage of hacks here.

Hell I can name a certain electrician running a four man shop with no license.
It was over 5 years ago, on the east end. I am just saying that when I moved here the contrast was stark. I was plumbing 5 million dollar houses in cast-iron in long island, and here I see polybutlyene waterlines and studor vents everywhere! Of course pb is illegal now but they sure put a dump-load of it in here when it was around.
 

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WILLPLUMB4$
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Our Trades Future

2 pts here brothers
1. If we stay American, the trade will prevail. There are still fathers out there teaching there children that motivation, determination and skill will lead to a secure future.
There also seem to be a growing number of H.O. who can't change a light bulb unless they take a DIY course, or go online.

My son is in the trade now because he to is proud of the fact that the harder & smarter he works, the better he will be able to provide for his family.

As the world of the paper pushers crumble, the day may come sooner than we all know when a tradesmen is valued above others. What will the paper pusher barter with if the $ system fails? We are able to stand back at the end of a day and put our hands on and use what it is that we have built.

2. I joined this trade after "mastering" another and our leaders decided that it would be better for the country to produce thoughts, ideals and concepts rather than actual products. Both trades share many of the same techniques and skills. The fundementals of genuine craftsmenship are tought however, not from your employer. They should have been instilled from a parent or guardian. My parents tought me values. Impresse these at every opportunity on the future generation, and instead of wondering how quick they can get the big house, they will focus on working well each day, and letting the big home come to them.

CAN I GET AN AMEN MY BROTHERS
sorry if a got a little to preachy there.
I try not to worry about the future to much, I find it goes better if I do the best I can every day giving 100% then at least there aren't as many regrets.
Will
 

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Will....AMEN

You are correct, with all recent developements economically and ethically, I think the focus on making fast cash is going to shift.

Too many middlemen, salesmen and pencil pushers getting too much credibility & influence over authorities in this country have degraded our economy, our standards...and our trade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
2 pts here brothers
1. If we stay American, the trade will prevail. There are still fathers out there teaching there children that motivation, determination and skill will lead to a secure future.
There also seem to be a growing number of H.O. who can't change a light bulb unless they take a DIY course, or go online.

My son is in the trade now because he to is proud of the fact that the harder & smarter he works, the better he will be able to provide for his family.

As the world of the paper pushers crumble, the day may come sooner than we all know when a tradesmen is valued above others. What will the paper pusher barter with if the $ system fails? We are able to stand back at the end of a day and put our hands on and use what it is that we have built.

2. I joined this trade after "mastering" another and our leaders decided that it would be better for the country to produce thoughts, ideals and concepts rather than actual products. Both trades share many of the same techniques and skills. The fundementals of genuine craftsmenship are tought however, not from your employer. They should have been instilled from a parent or guardian. My parents tought me values. Impresse these at every opportunity on the future generation, and instead of wondering how quick they can get the big house, they will focus on working well each day, and letting the big home come to them.

CAN I GET AN AMEN MY BROTHERS
sorry if a got a little to preachy there.
I try not to worry about the future to much, I find it goes better if I do the best I can every day giving 100% then at least there aren't as many regrets.
Will
Amen
 

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The green movement is a joke IMHO. Since we also handle hydronic and steam heating, I can't tell you how this green movement has affected us. Clients are no longer concerned with reliable operation as long as it's efficient. On the plumbing end, all I can see is inferior equipment being sold as high end, no support system for legitimate license holders (state inspection units) and a corrupt trade organization that I tried to stop without success. Now, we're seeing more and more separation of our license skillset with no chance for grandfathering. In, CT. I can no longer install vacuum systems for dental operatories without a special lisence. A special lisence to install schedule 40 PVC with solvent weld connections!!!??

Anyways, when I was a kid, this trade was the end all and be all, I couldn't wait to get into it. Don't get me wrong, I still love it and am so proud of it, but something is missing. There's no more sticking together, it's all top line numbers with these guys and undercutting the other guy (usually me!!) on a daily basis.

We need a REAL trade organization and plumbing professionals that stick together. We need to get back to the basics: Quality installs and service, and a profit at the end of the day. We need to break the steortype that only people that couldn't make it to college are in these types of fields. I actually turned down full scholarships to pursue my craft. It is a 8+ year program just to sit for a plumbing contractor's test...it's a doctorate!!

I know it's not going to be easy, but I've always felt that our profession requires a lot of knowledge..algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry and business management just to name a few. Some of us engineer our own systems, install them and commission them!!

Okay...off of the soapbox now:)
 

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WILLPLUMB4$
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The green movement is a joke IMHO. Since we also handle hydronic and steam heating, I can't tell you how this green movement has affected us. Clients are no longer concerned with reliable operation as long as it's efficient. On the plumbing end, all I can see is inferior equipment being sold as high end, no support system for legitimate license holders (state inspection units) and a corrupt trade organization that I tried to stop without success. Now, we're seeing more and more separation of our license skillset with no chance for grandfathering. In, CT. I can no longer install vacuum systems for dental operatories without a special lisence. A special lisence to install schedule 40 PVC with solvent weld connections!!!??

Anyways, when I was a kid, this trade was the end all and be all, I couldn't wait to get into it. Don't get me wrong, I still love it and am so proud of it, but something is missing. There's no more sticking together, it's all top line numbers with these guys and undercutting the other guy (usually me!!) on a daily basis.

We need a REAL trade organization and plumbing professionals that stick together. We need to get back to the basics: Quality installs and service, and a profit at the end of the day. We need to break the steortype that only people that couldn't make it to college are in these types of fields. I actually turned down full scholarships to pursue my craft. It is a 8+ year program just to sit for a plumbing contractor's test...it's a doctorate!!

I know it's not going to be easy, but I've always felt that our profession requires a lot of knowledge..algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry and business management just to name a few. Some of us engineer our own systems, install them and commission them!!

Okay...off of the soapbox now:)

:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
I'm with you 100%. But what's next. How do we go about elevating our stature? Currently active in the PHCC. I know they are taking measures to elevate all the plumbers in the area, but as happens all to often, the beast seems to have gotten to big, fat and lazy to be effective. However they do have the money to weild. Maybe some national publicity? I don't really know, I just try to elevate each costomer as I meet them.:)
 

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It was over 5 years ago, on the east end. I am just saying that when I moved here the contrast was stark. I was plumbing 5 million dollar houses in cast-iron in long island, and here I see polybutlyene waterlines and studor vents everywhere! Of course pb is illegal now but they sure put a dump-load of it in here when it was around.
Ummmmm, pb illegal? Unfortunatly not. Check da book.
 

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