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4th year apprentice
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I know enough about life to know that one of the few absolutes is that there are almost no absolutes. Whenever I see someone who claims that there is only one best way to do anything, that should apply to everyone, every time, I know that I've got to go elsewhere for advice.
I did new construction for a year. It helped me immensely as a service plumber. It wasn't nearly enough. I wish I had done 3. I love service. I credit that year with giving me my base for most of what I know now. I blame that limited experience on any deficiencies I have now, and in some cases feel I am still playing catch up.
I learn a lot from forums, esp this one. It seems like whenever I have a question that I google, plumbing or other, more often than not the answer comes up in a question posted in a forum, and also in the follow up replies and differences of opinion that others respond with. Still, I can't imagine anyone recommending only videos and online forums as the best place to learn, as somehow better than the real life education gained by working with an experienced guy. If you see apprentices in the background doing nothing, the guy in the video has the wrong apprentices, or he doesn't really know how to teach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I know enough about life to know that one of the few absolutes is that there are almost no absolutes. Whenever I see someone who claims that there is only one best way to do anything, that should apply to everyone, every time, I know that I've got to go elsewhere for advice.
I did new construction for a year. It helped me immensely as a service plumber. It wasn't nearly enough. I wish I had done 3. I love service. I credit that year with giving me my base for most of what I know now. I blame that limited experience on any deficiencies I have now, and in some cases feel I am still playing catch up.
I learn a lot from forums, esp this one. It seems like whenever I have a question that I google, plumbing or other, more often than not the answer comes up in a question posted in a forum, and also in the follow up replies and differences of opinion that others respond with. Still, I can't imagine anyone recommending only videos and online forums as the best place to learn, as somehow better than the real life education gained by working with an experienced guy. If you see apprentices in the background doing nothing, the guy in the video has the wrong apprentices, or he doesn't really know how to teach.

Weirdest forum ever.... No matter how much you explain ...Hey this was my experience and some thoughts I have on the matter, what are your guys thoughts or experiences?.... Where are you getting that I'm saying "This is the only way things can be done." Absolutes? WTF?


In my experience with forums in a few hours I can literally learn 200 things I did not know. Compare that with my experience sitting in passenger side van, looking over the shoulder of a plumber who does the same few basic jobs all day, like flapper replacement or unclogging a drain. In my experience of doing that for 1.5 years.....You simply don't get exposure to all the stuff that can go wrong in service plumbing. Why get angry with me for letting people know that forums are goldmine of information. I wish I knew about forums when I started.
 

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Weirdest forum ever.... No matter how much you explain ...Hey this was my experience and some thoughts I have on the matter, what are your guys thoughts or experiences?.... Where are you getting that I'm saying "This is the only way things can be done." Absolutes? WTF?


In my experience with forums in a few hours I can literally learn 200 things I did not know. Compare that with my experience sitting in passenger side van, looking over the shoulder of a plumber who does the same few basic jobs all day, like flapper replacement or unclogging a drain. In my experience of doing that for 1.5 years.....You simply don't get exposure to all the stuff that can go wrong in service plumbing. Why get angry with me for letting people know that forums are goldmine of information. I wish I knew about forums when I started.
Here are a few tidbits for you, sir- congrats on your knowledge from videos;
and you should withdraw/modify your "weirdest forum ever..." and "why get angry with me..." stuff. You might not see how, but those are insults.
I do understand your shock at the availability of knowledge out there. I first heard about it from my machinist friend oh, 15 years ago.
My 15 years of experience with videos is one filter that I'm reading your stuff through. Been there done that, got it, move on, are you listening, Grasshopper?
 

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In my experience with forums in a few hours I can literally learn 200 things I did not know. Compare that with my experience sitting in passenger side van, looking over the shoulder of a plumber who does the same few basic jobs all day, like flapper replacement or unclogging a drain. In my experience of doing that for 1.5 years.....You simply don't get exposure to all the stuff that can go wrong in service plumbing. Why get angry with me for letting people know that forums are goldmine of information. I wish I knew about forums when I started.
Forums and videos are a goldmine of information, I use them all the time. I also have 10+ years of hands-on technical experience and an engineering background that helps me filter the good from the bad. And there is plenty of bad out there, whether misinformation or simply poorly presented. So I wouldn't generally recommend that a new tradesman learn through that route.

Still, I can't imagine anyone recommending only videos and online forums as the best place to learn, as somehow better than the real life education gained by working with an experienced guy
I agree completely. Classroom learning, and I do categorize reading forums and watching videos as such, is no substitute for hands on.

Again, @Matt Maves, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with plumbing school and ride alongs, but you're claiming that both are a waste of time and that's kinda insulting to those of us that learned that way.
 

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I Married Up
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Wither it was "intended" as a learning source is irrelevant. Message boards are the best way to learn any subject in my opinion. This is a message board, and it's a great source of learning. I don't understand why that is offensive to you.

I am simply stating what I recommend to a person who is interested in getting into plumbing. I was curious to get others feedback and what path they would recommend to say.... maybe a nephew or neighbor kid who was interested in plumbing. Maybe you don't ever look back on any of your life experiences and think.... hmmm if I knew what I know now, back then, I would do things differently.
Me? Offended? I’m an Irish Okie that married into a full-on Italian family from Sheepshead Bay. On your best day you couldn’t offend me. 😂😂

You wanted feedback. You received feedback.

It would be interesting to know whether or not in that one school you attended, if the teacher wrote off all students based on interaction with just one. Things that make me go hmm.
 

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About your comment of being a waste of time watching a seasoned plumber work, yet here you are asking question after question. You don't have time for us or try to make friends but we have to give all our knowledge to you right the F now?

Finally you say we are a funny bunch yes we are you'll find out soon enough.
 

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I remember trying to give advice to a 2nd year apprentice on an 8 storey condo building and he told me to mind my own business. Ok sure.

10 years later later in a papermill the foreman brings in this guy to me and says he's your helper, well well isn't it the guy from 10 years ago, the residential champion. I went to most shut downs in that mill for over 20 years and the other old timers were wondering who he was with the other out of work new residential plumbers who were completely lost. I asked him so how many years have you been a journeyman now? He replied he was still a 4th year because employers didn't like to pay for a journeyman so he never went to take his test, so I said good for you, it's a brilliant idea.

I told the guy get the torque wrench, come along, some slings we need to remove this 12" valve then bolt it back on when it's cleaned up. He searched 3 hours for the wrench he didn't know what it was. I then let him try to put the valve back in place and he couldn't figure it out. He started to bolt it up without gaskets. I minded my own business that day.
 

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Service and new construction are not the same. They don't teach the same experience/lessons, and they require different skill sets.

Your teachers should have sucked it up and had the patience to let you do the fix.........

There is a difference between "..looking on, bored out of your mind.", and learning. That difference is actively listening and asking questions. It's their job to explain, but it's your job to pay attention and ask questions.
I think my post from the first page is worth quoting again.

Even changing a flapper has nuances. I have a 7 gallon bucket of non-standard flappers, flush valves, and handles. Maybe where you live all the toilets are the same.....
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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I think my post from the first page is worth quoting again.

Even changing a flapper has nuances. I have a 7 gallon bucket of non-standard flappers, flush valves, and handles. Maybe where you live all the toilets are the same.....
Forums and videos are a goldmine of information, I use them all the time. I also have 10+ years of hands-on technical experience and an engineering background that helps me filter the good from the bad. And there is plenty of bad out there, whether misinformation or simply poorly presented. So I wouldn't generally recommend that a new tradesman learn through that route.



I agree completely. Classroom learning, and I do categorize reading forums and watching videos as such, is no substitute for hands on.

Again, @Matt Maves, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with plumbing school and ride alongs, but you're claiming that both are a waste of time and that's kinda insulting to those of us that learned that way.

Real world experience is 10000 times better than any videos you will see on line

I had a bunch of dickheads one time that got their rough in plumbing red -tagged by an inspector and I was called out
to look over the job to give these dumbasses some pointers on what to repair so that the job would pass....

they did not even know they were supposed to install 2 inch traps under the shower bases..
they had installed auto air vents everywhere instead of proper venting on almost every fixture...
...
the job was a total abortion and I asked the lead guy why he thought it would all pass inspection
The lead guy pulls out his phone and goes to Google and pulls up some videos and pictures of how
they claim a home is supposed to be roughed in.... :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: 😆

He was googleing to learn how to plumb a house....
Grey Wood Font Twig Electric blue

Grey Wood Font Twig Electric blue

I did not say another word because their were 5 of them and only one of me so I
just left the job at that moment and called the "investor" down in
florida and told this guy that his "plumbing crew" did not know their asses from a hole in the ground and I did not
want a dam thing to do with any of this mess..... NO CHARGE.... I AM OUT OF HERE...

Turns out the "investor" calls these crack heads on the phone and tells them exactly what I told him
about their abilities , and then they get all pissed off at me , call me on the phone and want to kick my ass...
that was not gonna happen neither...👿👿
 
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