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Thread: Wow... a great education

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    Default Wow... a great education

    About a 10-minute bike ride from my house is yet another new subdivision going in. Now this has been going on for the past 10 yrs all around me, and I've checked out the new construction many times, but mostly out of curiousity. But since my interest is piqued right now with plumbing, I went over there (yes I know I'm trespassing, so arrest me...) to specifically look at plumbing work.
    I saw every type of plumbing and in every phase of installation you can think of. I was amazed.
    I saw pipework that was just laying in the dirt, waiting to have a slab poured.... pipes in open, unfinished walls.....and of course, the finished product.
    Since I have been spending some time on this website, I've given myself a little background knowledge. To actually see it all firsthand, in so many different phases of completion, was amazing......

    Just thought I'd share that.............hope everyone had a happy 4th.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Ditto; just had friends from south FL drop in for lunch after am 11-year absence; first words out of the smart*ss's mouth were, "Hey, I love what you've done iwth the house," after he negotiated his way past piles of rubble, boxes of stored stuff we should have tossed in 1981, stacks of trim in various stages of finish, open walls, etc.

    I also stop and inspect new houses going up just to learn what the high-price contractors are doing. Most interesting to me are the new technologies, processes, and gadgets that make construction faster, cheaper, and (in some cases) better. In other cases, it's interesting to see all the corners that can be cut, clear violations of various codes, and downright sloppiness.

    The most appalling thing to me is the waste. You'd almost think the dumpster company paid the construction crews to fill them up as soon and as often as possible. I got permission from one jobsite to take anything I wanted from their waste pile -- figure I saved a few hundred bucks over a couple of weeks.

    Amazing, indeed.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default contractors

    I also stop and inspect new houses going up just to learn what the high-price contractors are doing

    Correction. The "high priced contractors" are not doing the work. They are on other jobs making a profit. Most project plumbing is being done by the bottom feeders for the lowest price the builder could force them down to. Therefore, the installations are being done by the lowest paid "plumbers' the contractor could find. That is one reason for the new technologies. The installer does not have to be very well trained, or competent. In some cases the competent plumber goes in a day ahead of time and drills the holes and anchors the end points and then a person just slightly above an entry level apprentice comes in and strings the plastic tubing from point A to point B.

  4. #4
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    H J, Do you suppose these unqualified people have social security numbers?

  5. #5
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Of course they have time clock numbers...oh wait... social security numbers? "No hablo ingles."

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by plumber1
    H J, Do you suppose these unqualified people have social security numbers?
    I guarantee they don't around us, and the quality of work reflects the workers' lack of training. The sad thing is that we checked out a lot of million dollar plus custom homes during construction and, underneath all the fancy finishing touches, they were no better built than their cheaper tract home brethren.

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    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    Yup.........
    There's not a square wall in my whole damn house.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Be careful going to those job sites. Theft of plumbing materials (copper) is high and not uncommon anymore.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    No worries here. There is no copper to be found in these new homes. It's all 100% CPVC. The only copper you will find is on the fixtures.

  10. #10
    Plumber jaynote1's Avatar
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    Default dang.........

    Hey man, we are not all illegal aliens.....some of us are eager apprentices trying to learn a trade the same way you did..the fact that we are using plastic instead of sweating copper isnt our fault, its what the spec calls for...and not only do i have the inspectors standing on my neck, i also have my boss, who is an AWESOME plumber and a stickler for code, and "do it right so i dont have to come back and do it for you"............There are not too many corners to cut around here, the inspectors show up with tape measures and spirit levels........and dude, we are working hard and paying dues just like you did, back when 'plumbing was really plumbing'....no, i dont know how to pour lead, but then, theres very little cast iron work being done these days......i didnt really consider myself as a 'bottom feeder', just an apprentice trying to learn an honest trade...we all have to start somewhere, man...........

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaynote1
    i didnt really consider myself as a 'bottom feeder', just an apprentice trying to learn an honest trade...we all have to start somewhere, man...........
    Don't worry, man. In a few years, we'll be begging you for advice on how to repair all this PEX.

  12. #12
    Plumber jaynote1's Avatar
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    Default hehehehee.......

    hopefully, i will be the one to advise you...i just compare the cost/time ratio of sweating 3/4 copper to crimping 3/4 pex and factor in the call-back cost/time ratio.......if im using pex, i dont have to worry about stocking 45s, street AND hub ells, etc......even tho its accepted, i dont 'bend' pex, i use brass ells, but i do love the fact that i can 'manuever' pipe when i need to, without sweating in 45s to get around something..........

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