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Thread: Clogged Sink? Just replace all the pipes!

  1. #1

    Default Clogged Sink? Just replace all the pipes!

    I got a call from a lady today to fix a clogged sink drain. Note: I'm just a handyman, not a licensed plumber. The woman said that she had one guy come out there, who told her that the only way to fix the stopped drain was to replace all the pipes. He charged her $40 for that sage advice.

    Instead of doing that, she called a licensed plumber, and he charged her $150 to pour Draino into the sink.

    When I got there, the Draino was still sitting there. It was a messy job, but my little cannister snake cleared out the drain. And I charged a hell of a lot less than $150.

    Just thought I'd pass that funny, but sad story on to you all.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-26-2009 at 09:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    1. The first guy was incompetent.
    2. The second guy was not a plumber and was also incompetent.
    3. I do not care whether the customer is a widow, unmarried, single, or married to Arnold, they all get the same service and price.
    4. The stilettos will look strange with a man's outfit.

  3. #3
    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
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    I did a job for a "poor widow" yesterday. She has clothes, knicknacks, canned food, etc, and all still with the price tags on them in every square inch of her house. There is literally a narrow pathway running thru the house. I went to fix a sillcock, it turned into a replacement. I went in the crawlspace and discovered a water leak. The job turned into 3.5 hours of hell. I didn't leve until 7 at night. The ticket was 325 or so. She gave me the fisheye and "poor old me" routine. There must have been at least 20,000 worth of merchandise crammed into that house, if not more. I ended up discounting 10 percent because her late husband was a WWII vet. I think I am going to start charging seniors 10% more, because they are such pains in the arse, most of them, anyway.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kordts
    She gave me the fisheye and "poor old me" routine. There must have been at least 20,000 worth of merchandise crammed into that house, if not more.

    LOL! That was too effin funny! Been there, seen that.

    In regards to the "poor lady" with a clogged drain:

    I've walked into "poor old lady's" home before and seen that the piping was galvanized or 2" cast iron. Any plumber in the biz knows what these two do over time.....and that clearing the drain is temporary at best.

    Telling the customer that replacement is sometimes a better suggestion in regards to drain cleaning costs against replacement. Meaning, I cannot guarantee that it will stay open for any lengthy period of time.

    The second plumber had an approach that was not wise.....especially leaving such a mess for the woman to deal with. Sounds like a bait and switch. None the less there might be a reason why the inspection of the piping might of led them to use chemicals instead of rodding.


    In regards to the $7.99 corkscrew in the hand drain cable; very ineffective most times in clearing the obstruction fully and most times it serves as a temporary fix. Those cables are made of a super flexible steel and most times glide over what you are trying to remove. Most common tool laying next to the clogged drain when I arrive to clear the obstruction with a device that scours the entire ID of the pipe, short of galvanized or cast iron build up that no cable can remove. It may of solved the problem at the present moment.......but proper drain cleaning involves proper equipment. The money matched the service though, so no harm I guess unless a month later it happens again.

    And to top if off,

    The woman might have a reputation for the "poor me" attitude and expects something for next to nothing. I've run into those same situations like kordts has and as recently as last week; two ladies who think nothing of the price they spent on their products they bought for me to install..........but think the labor to install after the fact is "adjustable". They knew what I was charging going into the job, I gave roundabout numbers that fell right into what I expected it to be and would you believe that the only number that stuck in their head was the lower of the two prices of that range? Pathetic in my book when you expect the plumber to adjust the bill even though the plumber has logged the hours in, performed the work, and no problems/leaks/errors. Those who have to deal with her might pass the buck like they did above and figure it's how you deal with people like them. I myself practice the first step if it is realistic that the piping is a case history for clogging.....the rest I don't do.

    Customers build reputations just like plumbers; I have a list I share with other plumbers to protect their best interest in dealing with these people. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the large extent of them are older.

    It's just like Angie's List but it is geared for plumbers only. :thumbsup:
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 09-02-2006 at 10:43 AM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  5. #5

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    Who would have thought that anyone would take the side of crooked, incompetent idiots. By the way, the plumbing that the first moron wanted to replace was a pretty new looking metal p-trap.

    I pulled quite a bit of hair and crap out of the drain with my 25 foot $7.99 corkscrew. The woman said the drain has never been better. The ticket-$40.00.

    I also told her to call roto-rooter if the drain clogged up again, cuz sometimes you need a bigger, badder snake to clear out a drain.
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-02-2006 at 11:12 AM.

  6. #6

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    I KNOW who I wouldn't hire!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    3. I do not care whether the customer is a widow, unmarried, single, or married to Arnold, they all get the same service and price.
    Ok I'll bite. Who's Arnold?
    Swarzenegger, Gary Coleman, or Noriyoki (Pat) Morita (Rest his soul)?
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdeboy
    Who would have thought that anyone would take the side of crooked, incompetent idiots. By the way, the plumbing that the first moron wanted to replace was a pretty new looking metal p-trap.

    I pulled quite a bit of hair and crap out of the drain with my 25 foot $7.99 corkscrew. The woman said the drain has never been better. The ticket-$40.00.

    I also told her to call roto-rooter if the drain clogged up again, cuz sometimes you need a bigger, badder snake to clear out a drain.

    You are cracking me up. Why did you even charge this poor lady knowing she spent $190.00???? If it was so easy you should of. There is where I'll extend charity if I'm not demanded of it from the go.

    By the way, you got insider trade information I never knew; determining the piping system by the trap under the sink. What book did you learn this from? LOL! Move over Jim Carrey, we got a live one here!! I'm glad you are proud of your $8 drain cable, I wish I could get by with cheapness but unfortunately I must be stupid for spending over $5000 for mine. Must be the monkey on my back. You should of put an Air Gap on that sink to do the complete job. She'd be proud.

    Cookie I'm all for stopping the storytelling and nonsense fluff of the simplest of things. You and I may not think of the same when charity is the topic but you are spot on with the latter. You take your profession into places where it is not needed. But then again I don't try to make mountains out of molehills. (squeezes horn)

    Please do not take this off forum and email me with your opinions. (rattles bell)

    Uh oh service call ~! GTG (burp!)















    excuse me
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prashster
    Ok I'll bite. Who's Arnold?
    Swarzenegger, Gary Coleman, or Noriyoki (Pat) Morita (Rest his soul)?

    Tom Arnold, poor guy, newly divorced for the 3rd time. I guess he just can't put the toilet seat back down. :dunno:
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie
    Rugged, Lighten up! Enjoy your life, it can be over all too quick. By the way, I just got 6 plumbers hired, 6 out of work plumbers. So, that can happen Rugged. Life is not always the way you want it, but, I know how to live it...

    I don't email opinions either, I just put them in the paper.

    I know about enjoying life Cookie, don't need anyone to remind of the gift. I'm glad you've taken direction to help others. It's funny how people change once they lose someone important or touched by illness. Philosophy lesson not needed or required. I've endured both and stayed the course.


    I do recall you took the notion once before with me that you *did* contact me in regards to topic matters. You stand corrected on your reply.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  11. #11

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    What? This thing requires 10 characters, Rugged, if I bother you, please don't read my posts. That is all I can suggest. Because I don't argue. Period. ok? That should be a satisfactory agreement.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED
    You are cracking me up. Why did you even charge this poor lady knowing she spent $190.00???? If it was so easy you should of. There is where I'll extend charity if I'm not demanded of it from the go.

    By the way, you got insider trade information I never knew; determining the piping system by the trap under the sink. What book did you learn this from? LOL! Move over Jim Carrey, we got a live one here!! I'm glad you are proud of your $8 drain cable, I wish I could get by with cheapness but unfortunately I must be stupid for spending over $5000 for mine. Must be the monkey on my back. You should of put an Air Gap on that sink to do the complete job. She'd be proud.

    Cookie I'm all for stopping the storytelling and nonsense fluff of the simplest of things. You and I may not think of the same when charity is the topic but you are spot on with the latter. You take your profession into places where it is not needed. But then again I don't try to make mountains out of molehills. (squeezes horn)[/SIZE][/I]

    Speaking of jokes. You have to be playing some kind of evil joke. No real person could be that much of a condescending, arrogant, a-hole.

    If you read my post correctly, you would have read that it was the 1st crooked moron who wanted to replace the p-trap to fix the stopped sink. Not me. He never even looked at the rest of the drain. As for the $8 snake, people have the option of calling me, a $20 an hour handyman, or a $100 an hour plumber. For minor plumbing repairs and installs, there's no difference in quality and they can save a lot of money.

    As for Cookie and her "storytelling and nonsense fluff," the only mistake she's making is expressing personal thoughts and feelings in a forum that is inhabitated by insensitive SOB's like you.
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-02-2006 at 05:49 PM.

  13. #13

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie
    I am really sorry I did not mean to start anything with mentioning the word shoes. I promise I won't do it again, if no one continues to argue, I promise I won't tell any of my stories about shoes.

    You all can even call me a bad widow I won't get mad! I like all you people here, including you Rugged, and I don't want to make anyone upset here.

    Just one question, ok? Does this mean I won't get my new Lexus?

    Please be nice, ok?
    It's funny how we continue to play our family roles.

    RUGGED playing the role of the guy everyone loves to hate.

    Cookie playing the role of Peacemaker.

    Not sure what role I'm playing here. Maybe instigator.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie
    BY the way, I got brave enough to take off the overflow. AH, that was easy. I did clean it out, wow. What a mess. Can you answer this for me. How did my hair make its way in there? I am curious...

    I did put it back on tight, I don't need to caulk it right? There wasn't any on when I removed it. Plus, it is I think actually working better. The water doesn't go up and up and up.
    The only ways I can think of to get hair in the overflow is if you took a bath and the water was higher than the overflow. The hair could have been floating on top and then got sucked into the overflow. Also, since the overflow is connected to the drain, hair could have floated up to the overflow from below and gotten trapped in there that way.

    You don't need caulk. Just make sure the rubber gasket is sealed.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdeboy

    RUGGED playing the role of the guy everyone loves to hate.



    That is actually quite true. I've pissed off more handymen, DIY'rs, plumbers and hacks probably more than any plumber in my area. All because I despise those who take of others and cover it by a low wage to justify/purport their misdeeds to financially gain off anothers vulnerability.

    Simple as that.

    If you don't like it, tough. I perform my work duties like the code book as my bible and the inspector is on my shoulder. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion and I won't accept any workmanship other than top notch. That is the reason why I do the things I do.


    Wait, I feel a song coming on. Hold on,


















    nevermind. I was having a Dr. Phil moment.

    Just keep high looping and using $8 snakes Verdeboy. I'll keep coming back behind the people I've been working behind for years; doing the job that should of been done to begin with.

    Pssst, Verdeboy, those customers pay twice when it isn't done right the first time. Can you tell me where the savings are? Remember, all of us plumbers aren't perfect and by all means, some of us are just plain scum. Don't pass the buck at me thinking you're dealing with "one of those".

    Good day mate
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 09-02-2006 at 08:10 PM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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