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Thread: Rota Rooter independent contractors??

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    DIY Member brother's Avatar
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    Question Rota Rooter independent contractors??

    I was chatting with a rota rooter plumber, and He told me that they work mostly off of commission and that after they have been with the company for a while, You have to 'finance' your own van. when there is no 'calls' then they get paid something like $7 an hour, but the rest of the calls you get the money when you go out.

    Ive never heard of a company making you buy a 'van' to work for them. What do you think of this?? Is this common practice??

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You don't think franchises exist to help the worker do you? I am surprised they even pay them when they are not on a job. Usually it is by "ticket time" and a percentage of anything they can convince the customer they need, or at least what the plumber needs to sell to make his next truck payment.

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    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Corporate ran Roto Rooter here in the Chicago area, makes the sewer and drain contractors buy their own vans and hand tools. They supply them with the drain cleaning machines but the tech has to buy the cable. The sewer and drain cleaners get paid a percentage of each job.

    Now if you are a licensed plumber they give you a company van with tools, and they pay you an hourly wage.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Now if you are a licensed plumber they give you a company van with tools, and they pay you an hourly wage.

    Does that mean if you not a licensed plumber they send you out on plumbing jobs and it is up to you to get out of it if caught?

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    DIY Member brother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Now if you are a licensed plumber they give you a company van with tools, and they pay you an hourly wage.

    Does that mean if you not a licensed plumber they send you out on plumbing jobs and it is up to you to get out of it if caught?
    Im curious about that too, this guy was just clearing a drain for me. I suppose hes NOT required to be a licensed plumber?? Is this true?? I thought any type of plumbing work you had to have a journeyman.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Almost always, you have to supply a truck that's presentable to them, and in good condition above 1995 I believe.

    They stock your truck, but when you turn it in, the value of the stock has to match what was put on it to begin with.


    Tools are your own.



    I'm glad they are around because indirectly people call me for a better price, which is always easy to accomplish with them throwing out "blow your brains out" rates or your "personal loan plumber" because you're gonna need one when they are done!

    Everybody start singing the the song to get the feel for the money leaving your bank account. DO IT!

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brother View Post
    Im curious about that too, this guy was just clearing a drain for me. I suppose hes NOT required to be a licensed plumber?? Is this true?? I thought any type of plumbing work you had to have a journeyman.

    In all the areas I am aware of you need no type of Licensing to do drain clearing...Replacing drains, installing plumbing....yes, but just opening a clean out and sliding a snake in it to clear a clogg or cut out roots...no...

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That worked when they were just drain cleaners, but now they advertise full plumbing services. Maybe someplaces only the contractor license holder has to be a qualified plumber, but here ANYONE doing plumbing has to have a license of some kind. Either journeyman or contractor.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brother View Post
    Im curious about that too, this guy was just clearing a drain for me. I suppose hes NOT required to be a licensed plumber?? Is this true?? I thought any type of plumbing work you had to have a journeyman.
    Depends on what state you are in. In some states, an apprenctice must be under the direct supervision of a journeyman. In Calif, only the business owner has to be a licensed contractor. For most work, he can pretty much hire anyone he wants, and send them out alone on the truck. It is up to his jugdement to decide or ensure that they are qualified to do the job. Large construction and commercial work may have union contractor involvement, then that is diffferent.

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    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Here in Illinois only a licensed plumber can do plumbing. But drain cleaners are nor required to have a license unless you are doing work in Cook county then you need a sewer and drain layers license. If one of Rooter Rooter drain cleaning Tech is asked to do plumbing , he explains to the customer that they need to call the office and schedule a plumber to come out. Roto Rooter tried skirting around the plumbing law by having the one licensed plumber on staff and supervise the other guys but the state said no all people doing any type of plumbing must have their own license.

    The sewer and drain cleaners are required to supply a truck that is no more than 3 years old. Pay to have it lettered, only tools they supply is the drain cleaning machines but not the cables. Only parts that would be needed is new clean out plugs, and p-traps. (The code does allow the removal of a p trap to gain access for drain cleaning)

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Here, a handyman can do jobs up to $700.00 without a contractor's license, UNLESS the work would have required a permit and inspection, i.e., water heaters and repipes. The total value of all work being done must be less than $700.00, it cannot be broken down into small segments to get under the dollar limitation. BUt they typically ignore both restrictions and advertise in the paper for those tasks and state, "Not a licensed contractor". The registrar could go after them and stop the practice but it is easier for them to hassle the licensed contractors.

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    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Here you if you do any form of advertising about plumbing you must post your Pluming contractor license, our your plumbing license. The contractor license here involves 10 pages of paper work, bond, certificate of insurance and a plumbers license, and if it is a cooperation the licensed plumber must be an officer. The contractor license is for the purpose of getting permits. When the pluming inspector pops on the job he checks to see if all doing plumbing are licensed plumbers. Now if a handyman or someone unlicensed is advertising that they do plumbing, they get fined by the state.

    Last continued education class I went to they informed us they collected $400k in fines last year out of a total of $680k fines issued. They even jailed a couple guys that where repeat offenders along with the fines.

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    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    When the pluming inspector pops on the job he checks to see if all doing plumbing are licensed plumbers.
    So, an apprentice can't work alongside a master plumber to learn the trade? Or, is there an apprentice license they need to have?

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    DIY Member brother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Here you if you do any form of advertising about plumbing you must post your Pluming contractor license, our your plumbing license. The contractor license here involves 10 pages of paper work, bond, certificate of insurance and a plumbers license, and if it is a cooperation the licensed plumber must be an officer. The contractor license is for the purpose of getting permits. When the pluming inspector pops on the job he checks to see if all doing plumbing are licensed plumbers. Now if a handyman or someone unlicensed is advertising that they do plumbing, they get fined by the state.

    Last continued education class I went to they informed us they collected $400k in fines last year out of a total of $680k fines issued. They even jailed a couple guys that where repeat offenders along with the fines.
    Jailed!!?? OUCH!! sounds like your area doesnt play around Dont know if i agree with that, except just giving them heavy fines.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Here, it is a felony, and they not only fine you, but issue an injunction so you cannot continue working AND they also "blackball" you for two years so you cannot even apply to become legal.

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