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Thread: Roof Vent Pipe, Help Please

  1. #16
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie
    Sweet! Shopvacs are the greatest thing (I can actually remember the days before shopvacs)... it's like there's always another use I never thought of.
    +1! I suggested in another thread to clean out the condensate line with a shop vac. I had a clog in my condensate (under slab) last year that I cleared that way.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  2. #17
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD
    Well, I called several plumbers ...
    Two methods were spoken of as I understood them: An augur (removal) operated by 300lb machine. Difficult and expensive to get up on a second story; and Power washing (forcing it through).

    Knowing these 2 methods, I chose to try my own hand at it ...
    Now that your problem seems to have been resolved, and that is good, here is another Pro/DIY question to be considered:

    Do you owe anything to the plumber who mentioned the method you used?

    Personally, I can understand why some Pros are quite tight-lipped about how they do things ... as in "Loose lips sink ships!"

  3. #18

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    Well, actually no one mentioned the shopvac method. My own ingenuity came up with that. I don't think that keeping methods a secret is really an issue. There are dozens of DIY television programs and countless books that disclose the best methods for getting things done. Is it wrong to have all of these? NO, of course not. In my opinion, service professionals are largely there to do for those who can't or won't do for themselves. Don't want to paint your own house, hire a house painter. He'll charge you an arm and a leg, but you won't have to spend the time & effort to get the job done. I think that most of us have a pretty good idea how to apply paint, but many of us don't want to and can afford to hire someone to do it for us. Personally, I like to paint. And no, I am not a house painter.

    I am not an avid reader of this forum, as I am not a plumber and have few plumbing needs. But in the threads I have read, someone is asking the best 'method' for getting something done or fixed. "How to solder correctly", for example. Shhhhh, better not tell, he should just hire a plumber. How about, "Repair Fitting for ABS Pipe," Shhhhh, better not tell, he should just... oops, now he won't call a plumber.

    I am very thankful for all those who responded and helped me. So, thanks to you all.

    DavidD

  4. #19
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho
    Do you owe anything to the plumber who mentioned the method you used?

    Personally, I can understand why some Pros are quite tight-lipped about how they do things ... as in "Loose lips sink ships!"
    When I first went self employed I had a potential customer call me and ask what materials I use, pipe sizes and how I'd install it.
    I took the bait, spent a half hour of my time explaining it to him, I thought he was looking to ensure I use quality stock.
    He never called back after that.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  5. #20
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD
    Well, actually no one mentioned the shopvac method. My own ingenuity came up with that.
    Please pardon me for missing that detail, and please know I was not being critical of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD
    I don't think that keeping methods a secret is really an issue.
    Agreed, and my question was simply about any obligation for any presence or lack of willingness on the part of a Pro to reveal, share or suggest how something might be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD
    There are dozens of DIY television programs and countless books that disclose the best methods for getting things done. Is it wrong to have all of these? NO, of course not.
    Agreed again, and I can imagine some Pros are rightly paid well for helping to produce them.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD
    In my opinion, service professionals are largely there to do for those who can't or won't do for themselves.
    Sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD
    I am not an avid reader of this forum ... But in the threads I have read, someone is asking the best 'method' for getting something done or fixed ... Shhhhh, better not tell ... he should just... oops, now he won't call a plumber.
    Yes, and as Grumpy has noted from an experience in a different setting, that is a difficult decision any Pro might face from one day to the next.

  6. #21
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default vent

    you assumed you had a plugged vent and used a shop vac to clear it. But, that may have just cured a symptom. A toilet WILL flush BETTER without a vent, or with a plugged one, so if yours did not flush, you have another problem and all you did was cover it up. A far as pricing is concerned, I would not even start my truck for $80.00 much less $30.00. And the final price is determined by how long it takes, not a flat rate amount agreed to before I even know what the real problem is. And if someone asks how to change a washer, which is normally very intuitive, we might tell him to call a plumber before he does something that would require a major remodeling. The jobs I hate more than anything are those where a DIY'er decided to help me out before calling and has taken something apart. Usually the first thing I have to do is put it back together again, either because it did not have to be done in the first place, or because I have to find out what was happening.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    you assumed you had a plugged vent and used a shop vac to clear it.
    Actually, the vent WAS plugged and yes, I used a shop vac to clear it. And I never said my toilet wouldn't flush.

    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    The jobs I hate more than anything are those where a DIY'er decided to help me out before calling and has taken something apart.
    Well, maybe you should reconsider being a moderator for a DIY advice forum then.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber
    When I first went self employed I had a potential customer call me and ask what materials I use, pipe sizes and how I'd install it.
    I took the bait, spent a half hour of my time explaining it to him, I thought he was looking to ensure I use quality stock.
    He never called back after that.
    I am sorry for your time spent. Ethically, that kind of thing should not happen. Just so you know, I did not do that. Each of my phone calls lasted less than 2 minutes - just enough time to briefly describe the problem and get an estimated cost - which I was interested in and was considering using their service. I only asked 1 business how they were going to go about it. The secretary very briefly mentioned an auger and/or powerwashing and a 300lb machine. Another business mentioned the 300lb machine (on his own, I did not ask). Another business mentioned the auger (again, on his own, I did not ask.)

    I did, however ask for advice here in this thread, from you guys, on methods used that I could safely do. I actually asked this first and foremost. With the question about cost after & secondarily only if I couldn't do the job myself. My primary question was completely ignored, and yet several chose to take the time to tell me not to ask about money.

    Anyway, I figured out on my own a workable solution. Thanks to all you guys who posted.

    DavidD
    Last edited by DavidD; 07-17-2007 at 09:12 AM.

  8. #23
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    hj is one of the most informed repair plumbers out there.
    The other contractors can tell by his answers, that he has been at it a long time.
    I think the experts here respect him the most, because we know enough to understand him.

  9. #24
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    David,
    There are some jobs that I just feel too guilty getting paid for.
    I sometimes guide the person through it on the phone (packing nuts, loose desanco's...etc.)...and it eventually leads to more work (saves me HUGE on advertizing).
    My mentioning that story wasn't to you, but an elaboration to Joe's (LeeJoseph) mention of a reluctance for us to throw out knowledge.
    Your situation was a simple one...worse thing that could have happened is you getting a snake stuck, throwing tools and calling a pro.
    (Don't laugh...had one homeowner try to blame me in a rage...cooled off and had me come over)
    Honestly...I'd have walked you through it on the phone.
    What gets us worked up are the ones that try to "sneak" info out of us.
    What gets me worked up is when a profitable enterprise (landlord, R.E. co....etc) tries to save money, for the sake of profit by doing work that could endanger the lives of tennants.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Default Rights vs. privilege

    Remember how the police always remind us that a driver's license is a privilege, not a right?

    I look at getting free advice from an internet forum in a similar way - a privilege, not a right. No one owes me anything, especially busy professionals who provide a HUGE amount of very helpful info (hj being one great example) for no charge -- when they could be working on a paying job or just relaxing. However, I've found over and over again that if I ask a reasonable question in a respectful way, I have never failed to get helpful info here.

    It's all in the way you look at a situation.

  11. #26

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    Thank you, GrumpyPlumber for those kind words.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW
    Remember how the police always remind us that a driver's license is a privilege, not a right?

    I look at getting free advice from an internet forum in a similar way - a privilege, not a right. No one owes me anything, especially busy professionals who provide a HUGE amount of very helpful info (hj being one great example) for no charge -- when they could be working on a paying job or just relaxing. However, I've found over and over again that if I ask a reasonable question in a respectful way, I have never failed to get helpful info here.

    It's all in the way you look at a situation.
    I agree Steve. And if you look at my first post, I thought it was a reasonable question put forth in a respectful way. I am sure that hj is very knowledgeable and donates a lot of time and knowledge to this forum. He was the first to respond to my posting, however he limited his response to the cost question and others followed suit, ignoring my request for DIY advice. Maybe he didn't have time, or whatever. But that did get the ball rolling away from DIY advice.

    Then after I came up with a DIY solution myself (which worked) he comes on and tells me that I may be covering up whatever is really wrong if my toilet wouldn't flush. I stated in my first post that toilet was flushing fine. He continues to say that the jobs he 'hates' most were the ones DIY'ers do without calling him first. Understandable, except that I did ask for DIY help & advice and received none. I am glad he gives good advice to others, though.

  12. #27
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    HJ...ya done good.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  13. #28
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    just for the record, the notion that pro's may wonder how much to share is not a big concern in this forum.

    Not in the last few years.

    In the most recent month or month and a half, a few changes occurred. A few threads covering broader subject matter got many participants who had posted only 10 or 20 times before to bring in many new viewpoints.

    David

  14. #29
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Jing ping wan jip jip ching.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  15. #30
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    jealousy will get you nowhere.

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