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 Post subject: Re: Welcome PlumbDumber!
Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:22 am 

Hello all !!

The longer that I am in this trade, the dumber I get. When I had about 3 years in this trade, I thought that I had it all figured out. Now, after 45 years doing this, I feel pretty ignorant.

My name is Tom. I am a state certified plumbing contractor and a master plumber from South Florida. I have been in business down here for 40 of those 45 years.

We concentrate on repairs & remodeling work but will occasionally take on some new construction. We do plumbing, solar water heating, domestic water pumps and tanks, water treatment and Backflow assembly testing, repairs and installation.

We also have a one man air conditioning division.

I also claim Letterrip. I am responsible for him so I have to claim him. He is my son & I am proud of that fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome PlumbDumber!
Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:45 am 

What type of solar are you running?
Preheating water or grid tie in?

Active open loop systems. We are in Miami-Dade County, Fla so our systems are the primary HW for the residence with an electric backup element. This type of system is what about 98% of domestic solar water heating systems are down here.

We do not have a sales force so we don't do a lot of new installs. We primarily service the existing systems that we installed during the peak of solar in the early 80s and the many orphan systems installed by the multitude of solar contractors that have come & gone through the years.

We also occasionally will service or install a solar pool heating system. I started installing solar for others in 1976 & started selling & installing them in 1981.

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 Post subject: Re: Motel customer
Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:44 am 

As long as they pay quick enough to make it worth your while.

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 Post subject: Re: Generators
Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:37 pm 

We have a few of them but rarely use them. I have a 6 KW Honda and a 2200 Coleman with a Briggs engine. Letterrip has a 7 KW geneator with a briggs engine.

We mostly use Inverters run off of our truck battery. I have a 2 KW Inverter mounted to the bulkhead partition next to the side door with a second battery behind the passenger seat. I can run my Bosch Brute jack hammer and a fan at the same time with no problem.

Letterrip has a 1200 watt inverter that he hooks to his battery. We need to get him a bigger inverter like I have.

Special battery and/or alternator?

Standard large 12V battery hooked in parallel with the truck battery. I do have a 140 Amp alternator, but that does not really factor in too often. The Inverter will start to squeal when the voltage gets too low & then I start up the truck.

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 Post subject: Re: Dream Job???
Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:17 pm 

Congratz !!! Just keep moving forward m& don't look back !

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Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:20 pm 

We have run our Bosch Brute on our cheapo old Coleman 2200 watt generator many times with no problems. We have also run it A LOT on my 2000 watt inverter in my truck with no problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Chevy Astro?
Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:15 am 

How long will you want it to be in service for you ? It will not hold up if you start regularly overloading it. One Man Shops generally will have to take on any job available to start off. That will require many different tools & types of materials. Will you outgrow it in 12-18 months & be sorry that you got something that small ? Those are the factors that you have to add to your equation.

IMO, a full size is the way to go. We run one ton vans. Lighter duty full size vans may suffice for you in the beginning.

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 Post subject: Re: Chevy Astro?
Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:17 am 

If you are really worried about the gas mileage and have been fine in a small pick up, skip putting a pipe rack/ladder rack on the van. On my vans, I found that this drops the mileage dawn by about a mile per gallon. Don't add one without adding this to your decision to do so.

I have gotten too old to be crawling thru a regular size van to get tools or materials. I switched to a high top Sprinter a few years ago so that I could do everything in a totally upright position. I used Uni-strut to mount 4" SDR pipe overhead to use as pipe chutes and use a good folding 16 foot ladder for accessing roofs.

Be smart & get a bulkhead partition as soon as possible to separate the cargo area from the passenger area. You don't even have to actually get into an accident to get hurt by unsecured cargo flying forward. When I was first in business I was driving a van without one & had to make a "Panic Stop" when an idiot cut in on me as we were coming to a stop in heavy traffic. A 10 ft length of cast iron that I had just picked up and was laying on the floor in the back of the van flew forward putting a huge dent in the engine cover, barely missing my right knee.

That made a believer out of me on the need for one. I don't even want to think about what would happen to one of us, with all of the tools & stock we carry, if we were to get into a serous accident.

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Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:26 am 

You are not authorised to read this forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Dream Job???
Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:19 pm 

Congratulations !! It appears that you will fit well in that position & will be extremely happy there.

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 Post subject: Re: I need your input
Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:54 pm 

I am still learning my way around. I think that this forum is great and is a community. I love that I am in the company of real professionals & not hacks or wanna be plumbers. PZ was the first forum I had ever participated in but was not particularly impressed. I did not know about the history you guys had with them until shortly before I joined here. It was real easy to understand why you formed this forum & I am glad to be here.

I will give it some thought as to changes that I think will be helpful, but I don't see a lot of need for change right now.

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 Post subject: Re: I need your input
Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:10 am 

There is a "thumbs up" button to thank a post. How about a "thumbs down" button and maybe even a "Raspberry/Bronx cheer" button as well.

The "thumbs down" may be better than someone actually spelling out their objections to another's post. For some people, it is best that they not get started, they just don't know when to quit. We have seen some prime examples of that lately elsewhere.

The "raspberry" would just be for "giggles & grins"

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome NORTHSTAR!
Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:05 pm 

:gwelcome

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 Post subject: Re: It's Caturday!!!!
Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:01 pm 

Don't feed it for a few days & I bet it shows to let you know.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome The Rookie!
Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:48 pm 

Welcome !! :gwelcome

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Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:47 pm 

This is truly a community that helps each other. I am thankful to be a part of it.

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Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:21 pm 

RW Plumbing wrote:
It's a two scotch type day today. Everything had to fight with me today, it was a real shit show.


Those type of days make you appreciate those all too few days when everything just falls into place.

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 Post subject: Re: Short Sale
Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:28 pm 

Congratz on that one. I am happy for you. :thumbsup90

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 Post subject: Re: Horizontal Pipes
Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:04 pm 

We rarely see them around here any more. They were commonly used here many years ago. I would rather see them used than banding iron to hang pipe. :lol:

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Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:35 pm 

I just dropped by Wally World to get some motor oil and a filter. On the way back to the auto section I passed the sporting goods section. I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye at an employee opening the ammo case. I spun back around & checked & she was just stocking up some 22 LR. I grabbed the limit of 3 boxes. Other guys saw me there & there was a quick stampede. LOL

She was out of the 22 ammo in about 2 minutes. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Trip to Korea
Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:58 pm 

That young man will be lucky indeed. to have a father like you !! Congratulations !

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 Post subject: Re: Employee entitlements
Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:39 am 

A lot depends on the type of work that a shop does. If a shop does primarily construction where a time line for the work demands that a portion of the job is completed in a timely manner so that the next trade can do their part, an employee deciding on their own that they have the right to change their scheduled work is totally unacceptable. The same is true if any other job is required to be done on an emergency basis or must be done in a specific time window.

If an employee does not understand that & show respect for the needs of the company, the employee is not one that you want to keep or there is possibly something else going on the that employee's personal life that is causing a problem. Sometimes it is best to do a little digging into the base cause of the problem. If it persists, and I would really like to keep that person due to their abilities, I will have a discussion with them concerning how it is detrimental to the company & will have a serious impact on future raises & other rewards.

With all that said, we are primarily a residential service shop. We have to constantly rearrange work assignments due to an ever changing work load. Our plumbers have to work late on MANY evenings. Due to that fact, we are very lenient about work hours, as long as they get the jobs done. We pretty much allow the guys to set their own work hours. They have to eat and the customer needs to have the work done. We try to keep both happy. It requires a lot of communication with the customer, but it seems to work for us.

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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:36 pm 

As a shop owner, I like the business section the most. But it is almost a toss up as there is so much information put on this site that I am learning something new almost every day while reading through all of these tremendous posts. This is an amazing site !!!

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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:19 pm 

Widdershins wrote:
I like the 'Plumbing Specialist' forum the most.

Being able to kick around ideas, pick brains and hear the opinions of my peers in a section not viewable to the general public is what makes this site so attractive to me.




I totally agree with you on that !! This is the beauty of this site !!!

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 Post subject: Re: Employee entitlements
Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:53 am 

I had a boss tell me "nothing you can do about it now"

After a call I got when my Grandmother passed suddenly.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Was he drunk ??

Did you respond with I QUIT and THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT NOW !!! I think that would have been my response.

There are good caring individuals that make good employers and there are some that are greedy, self centered idiots. Good employees that respect the needs of the company should find an employer that matches them so that they can enjoy the benefits of being on a solid team with a good leader. Teamwork is what makes a good company.
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