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They send you on calls alone as an apprentice? Just alone for drain calls? I'm surprised you're on OT call at all yet. Our guys don't go on the OT call list until they get licensed.
My @ss was running on call after only apprenticing for two months

Takes four years to get licensed in UT
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
Nice Head, what’s in the bag?
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When it's 2:30 on Friday, you finished your last call, get all excited planning on getting a jump on the weekend, and the dispatcher decides to put you on the call that just came in instead of telling them to wait until Monday. It's an hour the other direction from home, and a toilet issue in a house with 3 bathrooms. Yeah, I love that.
Then you get there and the cutomer says they were surprised that you could get there so quickly, they were expecting not to get an appoitment until next week!

This is why I work for myself!
 

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Today, probably sometime this Saturday afternoon around 4.30-5.00 pm someone will call me
and ask if I can still come out now and help them out of a jam.... Well, of course
I will ask them when they noticed that they did not have hot water and they usually say
that they noticed it at about 8.30 am this morning.....
Then I will politely ask them why they did not call me this morning around 9.00 ??? Of course
they reply that they had to go to the mall to get their nails done or they had a golf outing
with their buddies..... and how soon can you be out?? .....

I tell them we can be there first thing monday morning.....
I had someone this morning about not so hot water. It's a water heater brand sold in just one place, not sure if I should turn him down or take on the job and get parts anyway as I will have to spend time going there and returning what I don't need in several weeks because these stores because of covid don't accept returns. I would have to explain to him the extra 1 hour charge for this time.
 

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I had someone this morning about not so hot water. It's a water heater brand sold in just one place, not sure if I should turn him down or take on the job and get parts anyway as I will have to spend time going there and returning what I don't need in several weeks because these stores because of covid don't accept returns. I would have to explain to him the extra 1 hour charge for this time.
Is it electric? Usually it's just the thermostats but if you're lazy and don't want to diagnose anything you can risk the bungs leaking after and just change the elements too.
 
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4th year apprentice
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Where I live it is very common for apprentices to be sent out on their own, if you have half a brain. Luckily I skated by with 51%. "Supervision" is by phone, or sometimes someone is available to stop by a job if we get stuck on something.It does vary by company. Some will send anyone with a driver's license out, and you wonder how they don't run into problems when you see some of their guys and their work. Some will send no apprentice out no matter how good. They are usually the ones who used to go hog wild and flaunt the rules at every opportunity and got their pee pee slapped hard when they got caught one time. Most are careful yet practical and weigh the risks and benefits to do what they need to to get the job done.
I think I told this story before, in my first year I was left alone on a water piping job on a remodel. Awesome I thought. The guy I was working with was getting on my nerves and I needed a break from him. Old, old house with all of the pains in dealing with what goes along with that, but otherwise I was in heaven. Working along and the electrician shows up with an inspector. No problem I think, he's not there for me anyway. Nice, nice old guy. They do their thing, then start shooting the **** with me. Then he asks me if we have a plumbing permit. Of course I say, the boss handles all that stuff. He wouldn't send me on a job without a permit. Where is it he says? Oh, it must be in the office. We have no record of you having a permit. You need to stop working. So I pack up and leave. Get sent back a week later. I specifically ask the boss if he has a permit this time. Oh, no problem, the office manager takes care of all that. So guess who shows up again that same day? Same inspector, this time not as friendly. You still have no permit. No that can't be right, I specifically asked the boss. No you don't, and it supposed to be posted on the job site. I apologized profusely and luckily he believed me that I was an innocent pawn. Apparently he knew how my boss operated. Man was I pissed. Called the boss but couldn't get ahold of him. Turns out no one had talked to him for 2 days. He was on a bender. It was on a Thursday morning, and I was so pissed I made myself a long weekend and didn't go in on Friday. Not a word was said when I went in on Monday, but I had another job and gave my 2 weeks. I am still on good terms with him, because he knows that he effed up. He's actually a great guy, just has his issues.
 

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Those who call "hey can you unhook the sink late in the afternoon, tomorrow the counter top guys are putting a new counter with an undermount sink and re-pipe in the afternoon"? Then if by miracle it does fit the schedule no way will they want to lower the drain pipe in the wall, then they try to get the cheapest plumber or hack. Whichever is cheapest, you know plumbers should be next to free because the counter was expensive at 7-8-9-10 thousand dollars.

Seems like no one plans anything ahead, they don't call any plumbers in advance and they expect the countertop guys on doing the plumbing for free. They are then insulted to have to pay a plumber. A plumber should be like pizza delivery, 20 minutes or it's free, they are outraged you got there in 19 minutes and have to pay it..

Good news however I think most countertop companies have stopped doing plumbing on their own, one of them got a 21K fine a year or two ago and I think they spread the word.
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
Nice Head, what’s in the bag?
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A lady called me this morning around 6:30 (I usually work 9am -9pm), going on about how her cleaning lady accidentally flushed some type of tub/shower hair catcher down the toilet.
She had a plumber come out and he said the toilet is fine but he can’t guarantee to her that it won’t cause a problem down the line.
She ask me if it was going to cause a problem.
I told he I don’t know. I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I don’t know you or your home, I don’t know what type of hair catcher was flushed, the age/condition of her piping etc.. she was like ok, it was a hair thingie and the plumber said it was ok..

I was like ok....
Crickets, then she said thanks for your help! click.

3 mins of wasted sleep.
 

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Most of my annoyance happened during side-jobs.

#1 - I were doing a job for a middle aged guy, changed some valves, new copper pipings, etc.

When I was done I told the the guy "I'm finnished with the jobs that you've requested, I'll pack my tools and be on my way"

Translated "I'm done with the job, please have the money ready when I'm done packing and ready to leave"

What the customer is hearing "He forgot about the payment, lucky me"

So, when I am by my car ready to leave the guy just stares at me and says "well thank you and goodbye", where I respond well there is this matter of payment? And he looks confused and apologizes.

#2 - I were requested by another customer to finish his plumbing for of a heating system, so I did, weren't done very well (by him) but I like the challenge. We agreed upon an hourly wage, when I was done I summed up the cost of hours plus materials and told him.

The guy in return got so mad and started googling up the material costs and what not and started a discussion over pennies and cents with me.

I just told him calmly, Sir, I don't mind you checking prices and arguing with me about pennies and cents, but we had an agreement, so this can end in two ways.

1 - You pay me, end of story.

2 - You dont pay me, I disassemble everything I've done plus I'll take your electronics from your how for the same value of my build + disassemblent cost and materials.

Well, he paid rather quickly.
 

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#2 - I were requested by another customer to finish his plumbing for of a heating system, so I did, weren't done very well (by him) but I like the challenge. We agreed upon an hourly wage, when I was done I summed up the cost of hours plus materials and told him.

The guy in return got so mad and started googling up the material costs and what not and started a discussion over pennies and cents with me.

I just told him calmly, Sir, I don't mind you checking prices and arguing with me about pennies and cents, but we had an agreement, so this can end in two ways.

1 - You pay me, end of story.

2 - You dont pay me, I disassemble everything I've done plus I'll take your electronics from your how for the same value of my build + disassemblent cost and materials.

Well, he paid rather quickly.

Welcome to my world!! Happens a lot less now that I screen.
 

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4th year apprentice
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I've had a rash of people not planning ahead lately. Usually it's women doing a remodel and they have to have this nice fancy vanity or whatnot that has no compatibility with their existing plumbing. I'm going back to a house on Monday for the 4th time! None of it my fault. She pays me without complaint each time, and likes me, unfortunately. The first of our guys who went out was just as capable, way more experience than me, and a nice guy, but whatever he did he had the sense to get her to request that he not be sent back. I should have done the same when I saw her fancy glass tiles and her swanky shower arm system that requires it be bolted to the wall at the shower head and 3' down. No way in hell was I drilling into those tiles. Told her to have the tile guys do it.
I love it when you tell them how it is and what needs to be done that is way above what they were expecting, and they can't accept it and try everything and every question to get you to tell them what they want to hear. My patience and tact really get stretched thin with those conversations.
What about new home buyers who didn't get an inspection, and you have to break the bad news to them that they have a nightmare on their hands? I'm expecting a rash of them with the way real estate is selling out of control here. There are so many bids on homes that sellers can easily go with those that won't get an inspection. I generally think inspections are scams, except for morons who don't know dry wall from a dry well.
 

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We all run into things on a regular basis that just really irritates us to no end. This little thing might make you mad as a hornet but it doesn't even phase the other guy.

The one thing that really sets me off is having to remove closet bolts where the lazy a$$, so called plumber that set the toilet didn't bother to cut the bolts properly but rather broke them off or used bolt cutters. Now you have to spend half an hour just to remove a closet bolt. :mad:

I have told everyone that works for me that if they were caught doing that they would be fired on the spot.

What is that really sets you off?
What is your opinion on bolt cutters to closet bolts?
Dude, use an Oscillating Tool and you can cut those bolts in less than a minute.
-Mike
LINK DELTE
 

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What pisses me off :

1) Those who literally use a stop watch. Or argue the time putting the tools away doesn't count or worse getting tools and parts to and from the van shouldn't count. So my paperwork says you pay for that time!

2) Those who are 10 inches away from you for the entire job and I have to push them out of the way to put my tools down.

3) Those who try to cram more work into an hour without having to pay extra. They ask if it'll go over the minimum 1hr. I say yes it'll go over. They give me the go ahead and hand them the 1.5 hour bill and they are angry for the extra 30 minutes and most time they try not to pay.

4) You tell the new Canayens the T&M rate on the phone 3-4-5-6 times and they sign the paperwork. When you give them the bill, the rate doesn't apply to them, they say to you lied or they don't understand. They argue it's flat rate, they say the job was easy so the amount is not true and they aren't going to pay the entire bill, parts are supposed to be free, service call fee was supposed to be included in the hourly rate. They don't want to pay taxes. Once the job is done they don't pay, they call another company to check the rate and argue they were cheaper and will file a lawsuit for fraud. YES they don't pay and threaten to sue and file complaints! I'm done with that FINITO!

5) Toilet flanges too low, rotted floor and they refuse you to do it right and want you to reinstall it with a guarantee.

6) They try to schedule an appointment in the evening and weekends expecting it will be cheaper than the day/week rate.

7) New Canayens wanting a free estimate for a 1hr job.

8) The majority think you will change out a tub/shower faucet without cutting the wall.

9) Add 50 more things to this list.

Now I'm angry, I need to go pat my lucky charm now. Should of never read this thread and reply.




STOP billing for time and materials!!!!!

Come on over to flat rate....you'll be glad that you did.......(y)
 

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Most of my annoyance happened during side-jobs.

#1 - I were doing a job for a middle aged guy, changed some valves, new copper pipings, etc.

When I was done I told the the guy "I'm finnished with the jobs that you've requested, I'll pack my tools and be on my way"

Translated "I'm done with the job, please have the money ready when I'm done packing and ready to leave"

What the customer is hearing "He forgot about the payment, lucky me"

So, when I am by my car ready to leave the guy just stares at me and says "well thank you and goodbye", where I respond well there is this matter of payment? And he looks confused and apologizes.

#2 - I were requested by another customer to finish his plumbing for of a heating system, so I did, weren't done very well (by him) but I like the challenge. We agreed upon an hourly wage, when I was done I summed up the cost of hours plus materials and told him.

The guy in return got so mad and started googling up the material costs and what not and started a discussion over pennies and cents with me.

I just told him calmly, Sir, I don't mind you checking prices and arguing with me about pennies and cents, but we had an agreement, so this can end in two ways.

1 - You pay me, end of story.

2 - You dont pay me, I disassemble everything I've done plus I'll take your electronics from your how for the same value of my build + disassemblent cost and materials.

Well, he paid rather quickly.



I have been telling plumbers for years to forget about T&M. That is archaic. It turns people into clock-watchers and then they dispute the bill. "Oh, you were on the phone with your wife, I don't feel that I should have to pay that time." Or, "I used a plumber to do the exact same job back where I used to live, and he didn't charge that."
Etc., etc., etc.

The plumber who charges T&M for a service repair is setting himself up for a dispute over price.
Now granted, some things are better off being T&M. But for most service jobs, flat rate is the way to go.
 

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I have been telling plumbers for years to forget about T&M. That is archaic. It turns people into clock-watchers and then they dispute the bill. "Oh, you were on the phone with your wife, I don't feel that I should have to pay that time." Or, "I used a plumber to do the exact same job back where I used to live, and he didn't charge that."
Etc., etc., etc.

The plumber who charges T&M for a service repair is setting himself up for a dispute over price.
Now granted, some things are better off being T&M. But for most service jobs, flat rate is the way to go.
Tommy, I understand your point.

But if you agree to complete someone elses work and you don't know what they've put inside the walls or how they've installed it, you can't give a flat rate. Sure you can always "guard yourself" with a higher price but that may equal out to the same or more than the hourly.

There are so many factors to take in to account when doing service work at "builder bobs" house.

Weirdly enough, I have been to more arguments about flat rate than I have with hourly rate.

Becuase,I've agreed to a flatrate, lets say 1000$, the customer in his own head thinks it's a 3 day job, I did it in 1 day, so now they start arguing about overpricing for "minimal" work.

So my arguments is always, if it would have taken me longer than you've anticipated would you have paid me more? The answer is always, no. End or arguments.

I agree with you to some point and disagree to some. My view of point is from Sweden to keep in mind, very different workculture and it's very rarely people argue over hourly pay.

Thank you for you input.
 

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I have been telling plumbers for years to forget about T&M. That is archaic. It turns people into clock-watchers and then they dispute the bill. "Oh, you were on the phone with your wife, I don't feel that I should have to pay that time." Or, "I used a plumber to do the exact same job back where I used to live, and he didn't charge that."
Etc., etc., etc.

The plumber who charges T&M for a service repair is setting himself up for a dispute over price.
Now granted, some things are better off being T&M. But for most service jobs, flat rate is the way to go.
Here fixed it for you : On many occasions the plumber who charges FLAT RATE for a service repair is setting himself up to work for free.

You always come with the flat rate argument and I always go back to my T&M. here's my reality, in my reality with so much diy peasantries it would bite me more than not. This call was for a clogged laundry, well the line was never clogged!!!! !!!! !!!!! !!!!!!. It was diy hacked! If I'd flat rate it to try and unclog it I would of given all the materials for free, worked an extra 3 hours for free to re-pipe including the diy joints not even glued along the way, remove the running trap and I would of had to hire a drywall guy at my expense!

Sure some jobs you can flat rate and I do it sometimes but very rarely. Imagine telling the customer to repair the always running toilet it's going to cost him 350$ and it only takes you 30 minutes? Eyelow said it best they will argue you gouged them for this short amount of time. Both ways I would get price complaints.



I cut out the wall and this is what I found


129566



129567
 

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Il Lic. Plumber
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129 Posts
I will use flat rate for jobs that I know how long they usually take. Water Heaters replacements, Toilet replacements , faucet replacements, etc. But how do you give a flat rate for a leak coming out of a ceiling? Or a smell ? I like flat rate as you can quickly quote a customer a price. Worked for several different owners and they all had different ways to make a buck. Trust goes a long way with customers. Hourly is probably the fairest as each job costs what it took to complete. No 2 jobs are the same. You can tweak Hourly to be un fair also . Each their own, make money and show a good profit
 

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Here fixed it for you : On many occasions the plumber who charges FLAT RATE for a service repair is setting himself up to work for free.

You always come with the flat rate argument and I always go back to my T&M. here's my reality, in my reality with so much diy peasantries it would bite me more than not. This call was for a clogged laundry, well the line was never clogged!!!! !!!! !!!!! !!!!!!. It was diy hacked! If I'd flat rate it to try and unclog it I would of given all the materials for free, worked an extra 3 hours for free to re-pipe including the diy joints not even glued along the way, remove the running trap and I would of had to hire a drywall guy at my expense!

Sure some jobs you can flat rate and I do it sometimes but very rarely. Imagine telling the customer to repair the always running toilet it's going to cost him 350$ and it only takes you 30 minutes? Eyelow said it best they will argue you gouged them for this short amount of time. Both ways I would get price complaints.



I cut out the wall and this is what I found


View attachment 129566


View attachment 129567




How many times have I told you Tango, stop going behind my work!
 
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