Galvanized Hell!!! - Plumbing - Contractor Talk

Galvanized Hell!!!

 
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:09 PM   #1
 
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Galvanized Hell!!!


Got called to a rent house. Leak in the 12 INCH CRAWL SPACE! It's 10' away shooting up from the ground. Haven't been able to fit in a 12" crawl space probably since I was 12 years old. So first I have to excavate a good 8', 6" - 8" deep. Get there and it's not the service as I had thought but a branch to the lav which nobody thought necessary to get up out of the dirt. It's like freakin' spaghetti under here, pipes running everywhere. It's been repaired before with a compression coupling and the new hole is about 2" up from there. Downside of the cc is now cpvc. As I said, it's a rent house, so my plan is to cut out the old coupling, put in a new one, short piece of pex and a shark bite to the cpvc and I'm out of there. 2 hours maybe. WRONG!!! CC won't work because the galvi is just too far gone. Slither back out, shut the water off again, slither back in, "maybe I can reposition it a little and it might work", reposition complete, slither out, water on, begin to slither in, see that it is even worse and now my workspace is flooded, , slither out, water off, slither into my new mud hole, "cc isn't going to work", it's not that far to the first joint 1/2"st90, I've got about 3" to swing my wrench because of all the other pipes around, pipe just eggs, "ok, I don't have any choice but to remove the st 90", I knew I had ZERO chance of getting it out because it was as rusty as the pipe, easy, don't shock it, no matter, breaks off leaving threads in the bottom of the tee, (only 1 'cause I already knew it was going to happen), ok I know this isn't going to work but I have to try, slither out, get assortment of inside pipe thread tools and a couple of easy outs just in case, slither in to my mud hole, too big, too big, too small, easy out doesn't work (as expected), try this one again, hey it bit, c'mon, c'mon, cheap Chinese, sheared it off inside the fitting and now it ain't never coming out, slither out, grab angle grinder w/diamond blade and my pex gear, slither in, just what I needed was to drag some more junk under here, fits in nice with all the busted bottles and bricks,(this would have been the perfect time to notice a rubber snake mistaking it for a real one, thank you God that it didn't happen), back in position, raise up a little, OUCH, I found at least 4 or 5 nails sticking through the floor with my head or maybe it was the same one 4 or 5 times, because there is not room to work and because of the way the run is configured I have to take out 2 tees with their branches, one tee actually has to be dissected leaving only one of the hubs on it's pipe, I'm getting tired all over again so I'm going to shorten this up, got it down to 3 intact threaded pipe ends, 3 brass pex adapters, run the pex to the last of my flashlight battery, slither out, water on, slither in, GLORIOUS SWEET SUCCESS!!! Pick up tools, slither/drag everything out, just for giggles slither in one more time to get that little thing I missed, slither out, DONE! 5 hours 15 minutes.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:17 PM   #2
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


There is a reason they breed skinny plumbers.

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Old 02-09-2008, 10:20 PM   #3
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Fair to say that the landlord will want to dispute the invoice?
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


I used to do that for $380 bi-weekly. Hope that you did better.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!



Thank you !
Brother I hear all of that!
Sorry for you,
but sooo glad it was your
turn today.

I'm sure it will be a while
before it's as funny for you
as it is for me.
Thanks for brightening
an old guy's evening!
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:28 PM   #6
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by masterk View Post
Fair to say that the landlord will want to dispute the invoice?
Actually to my great pleasure and relief he did not. I did add to the bill after the fact and without talking to him before hand. Being a flat rate guy this is something I virtually never do but because he was not present at the time and because it had to be done, I did it. I was forced by circumstances to exceed the original scope of work that we agreed to, so I charged for the extras. He understood and was not disagreeable in the least (hope the check is good).
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:30 PM   #7
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Now for all you HO's out there reading this post, you know now why we charge the prices we do, read and heed, so stop your bitching and pay the piper.

Last edited by Ron The Plumber; 02-09-2008 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:41 PM   #8
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by neolitic View Post

Thank you !
Brother I hear all of that!
Sorry for you,
but sooo glad it was your
turn today.

I'm sure it will be a while
before it's as funny for you
as it is for me.
Thanks for brightening
an old guy's evening!
My pleasure. Actually it was getting somewhat amusing to me about the time the mud started running down my shower drain.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:43 PM   #9
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


I do flat rate too. When it comes to gal. water pipes or crawl spaces I charge hourly. Sometimes crawl space work is a daily rate. Yes daily. For example if your call today was my first call of the day I tell the customer that this job will only take a few hours but I'm forced to cancel or postpone my other jobs for the day due to the fact that I will be totaly filthy and will have extra time in personal clean up. I can't go fix a toilet covered in mud. The customer agree's, the price is justified, and we are all happy.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:45 PM   #10
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron The Plumber View Post
Know for all you HO's out there reading this post, you know now why we charge the prices we do, read and heed, so stop your bitching and pay the piper.
Perfectly said Ron.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:45 PM   #11
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Good for you!
I have that tee-shirt,
and several like it....
I hope at this late stage of
life that it is the complete set!
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:50 PM   #12
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


I'm battling a 2-story house with a few added rooms and an added apart. with a fireplace.Wall furnaces ,3 fire-places,air-handler in the attic,stove,dryer,wtr.htr.,30 or so joints in the crawl underneath which is full of flex duct and impassable with-out disconnecting the duct work.Another 40 or 50 joints in walls,out-of-walls in ceilings.I have found 6 or so leaks,one was a valve in the crawl area.I had to drag the sawzall in a terrible spot ,cut the valve and install a few nipples with a union.I have cut a few holes near some of the gas stub-outs to test those joints.I'm dying here.I'm am the 3rd. guy from what I hear,but the first 2 didn't even have all the appliance connections capped or plugged and couldn't fit in the attic access to cap off the air handler.I started a thread about whistling gases.Do you guys know of any gas that will MAKE NOISE/WHISTLE, through an opening at 50 psi or less.I don't want to put anymore pressure than that on the system.I am thinking of an inert gas to sniff out but there are joints I can't get the sniffer near.Any suggestions? Glad you got your money smells.Obviously I am battling money issues with this guy right now too.I received money for the initial test [which the system failed]but I don't feel good about charging with-out finding all the leaks right now.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:24 PM   #13
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


RE-PIPE
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:35 PM   #14
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by PARA1 View Post
RE-PIPE
He can't afford it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:07 AM   #15
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


next 2 words : See Ya
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #16
 
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster View Post
next 2 words : See Ya
Yeah, that would be a 1500.00 job. A partial repipe would run that much and be a lot less work.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:55 AM   #17
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by smellslike$tome View Post
He can't afford it.
Well, after that ordeal, I would expect his bill was getting close to half a repipe. Or at least a good down payment on it.

I can't understand how folks can afford to own rental property but not maintain it. There are such things as short-term second mortgages. They can borrow on the equity.

Good on ya, Smells. I remember those days of crawling under houses that should have been torn down. And there are few fond memories. In fact, only one really fond one. My master was in front of me, and I was stuck. We had the building drain open with strict instructions to the homeowner not to flush or run water.

Her four year old decided to flush a toy. We heard it when it happened and heard it coming. Both of us were stuck where were. All we could do was brace for it. Poor Tom got all of it, right on his head and down his back.

I still call him up once in a while and ask him if he's died out yet. I never knew his vocabulary was so large. I think he used every word unfit for mixed company in three languages that day. All in under 60 seconds, too.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:31 AM   #18
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Boy this all sounds too familiar.
I was working in the first floor of a rental building and had a section of cast iron 4" drain that ran up a wall to an apartment above. The cast iron had developed a crack and was leaking so the plan was to cut it out, replace it with PVC using fernco couplings and be done.
Before we started we went to the apartment upstairs, told them not to send any water down the drain as we were replacing a section of it.
You can guess where this is going. we take out the pipe and lo and behold, somone um "flushed"...water all over the floor etc. Were not very happy you could say. go back upstairs..explain our displeasure...tenant says, oh im sorry that was my friend (I guess it never occured to her to tell others in the apt not to use the water).
We go back down, clean up the water, and as we are getting ready to put the new pipe in we hear "the sound" coming from the pipe above....
More water dumping on us and everything else...I go upstairs, pretty "hot under the collar"...she says oh, my boyfriend came home and I didnt think to tell him until it was too late.....
What a freakin mess when it didn't have to be.
I guess my point is, "I feel your pain". I think this kind of stuff happens to everyone.
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:46 AM   #19
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Re: Galvanized Hell!!!


Well my method seems to work for me. Any time I have a waste line opened up I blue tape the flush levers, tape an X over any sinks..etc..
I was working in Mexico.....um, rather a ghetto part of town. Now, I usually print out a small note in english and spanish letting them know not to run water or flush...or the water will be off from X to X. This one time I hear the flush from above, this was before I cut into it so no mess. Dropped my tools and shut off all the angle stops AND flushed the toilets. Let em smell their own chit on a hot day. Leaving simple tasks to the residents is usually asking far too much.

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