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I actually thought of this thread, yesterday when I was working in a hotel ,,, none of the pipes or wires were marked on the face of the sheet rock.... So when I went to cover over the sheet rock with a cement sheet I got a horrible feeling that there would be pipes in the wall, so I chopped a couple of inspection holes and boom a main water pipe .. And to add to it they had put screws into it... There were no leaks tho... So hopefully they just missed it
I'm a plumber. A few weeks ago I had a call after midnight from a lady who had water leaking into her basement in a two family (upper/lower) home but didn't know where it was coming from. The water risers for the 2nd floor apartment run through a wall in the 1st floor kitchen. Over 15 years ago when the cabinets were installed in that kitchen the installer put a 2" long sheet rock screw to secure a cabinet through the hot water riser. I had to remove the cabinet and part of the tile wall to repair. The screw held until it finally withered away. After everything it ended up costing her just over $700 for repairs.
So hope like hell they missed it!
 

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Home Repairs
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I have been to 2 pipe bursts this week in Virginia Beach. I am not a licensed plumber and I aways refer these calls to a licensed friend, but this one homeowner who called me was very shook up and was rambling on about my name being mentioned by a couple agents I do work for. She already had a plumber out who wanted to charge her a crazy amount of money up front to make the repairs. (over 500) I crawled under the house to inspect, and found the split in a 1/2" copper run under her bathroom. I went to the Big Blue Box store about a mile away and got a SharkBite coupling. Job was done in less than 2 minutes after I returned. Told her to just pay for the coupling.... and we were even. I handed her a few business cards and told her to speak well of me. :) I fully appreciate what a good plumber has to charge for his labor, but this clown was really putting the screws to the lady. I was more upset than she was after she told me his price.
 

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D.E.P.S. said:
I have been to 2 pipe bursts this week in Virginia Beach. I am not a licensed plumber and I aways refer these calls to a licensed friend, but this one homeowner who called me was very shook up and was rambling on about my name being mentioned by a couple agents I do work for. She already had a plumber out who wanted to charge her a crazy amount of money up front to make the repairs. (over 500) I crawled under the house to inspect, and found the split in a 1/2" copper run under her bathroom. I went to the Big Blue Box store about a mile away and got a SharkBite coupling. Job was done in less than 2 minutes after I returned. Told her to just pay for the coupling.... and we were even. I handed her a few business cards and told her to speak well of me. :) I fully appreciate what a good plumber has to charge for his labor, but this clown was really putting the screws to the lady. I was more upset than she was after she told me his price.

I don't do freebies anymore. Had about 20+ similar jobs like that where I will get a call on way home or HO has seen me working down the road and could I come fix something. never charge them and hand them a card and never once had a call back about more work. A couple of them have had basement remodels done to since I went there and they didn't even bother calling me.

One woman did call me but she had to go through 3 bad contractors before she finally called me but she had been cleared out of cash by then and couldn't afford me doing it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
I have been to 2 pipe bursts this week in Virginia Beach. I am not a licensed plumber and I aways refer these calls to a licensed friend, but this one homeowner who called me was very shook up and was rambling on about my name being mentioned by a couple agents I do work for. She already had a plumber out who wanted to charge her a crazy amount of money up front to make the repairs. (over 500) I crawled under the house to inspect, and found the split in a 1/2" copper run under her bathroom. I went to the Big Blue Box store about a mile away and got a SharkBite coupling. Job was done in less than 2 minutes after I returned. Told her to just pay for the coupling.... and we were even. I handed her a few business cards and told her to speak well of me. :) I fully appreciate what a good plumber has to charge for his labor, but this clown was really putting the screws to the lady. I was more upset than she was after she told me his price.
if it was after hours my price would have been in in the $350-400 range, so $500 isn't out of hand....if you need someone NOW $500 is in line...the plumbers who can provide this service DO have guys literally standing around waiting for the call...your not paying someone for 1 hour...your paying them for the 1-2 hours they were sitting around...in my case your taking away from family time...many times im driving 45 min each way to work for 1 hour or less.....I charge $150 extra for emergency calls and I think its really not enough.

I wouldn't have done the work for free....all that shows her is your cheap and a sucker...you should have charged her for 1 hour of your time + parts....most likely you would still get the other jobs...and had $120 or so in your pocket....

also remember the other plumber was giving her a price sight unseen----it may have been easy, but over the phone it could be anything they are getting into.....I have flat rate prices for many tasks....most go well and I make a bit extra on the flat rate, but once in a while they go bad and you lose a bit on the flat rate.......there's a bit of this in that $500+ charge for sure.

she may give out your cards....or she may just throw them in the garbage....odds are against you...most people don't spend their days talking with friends about their contractors.....odds are you just worked for free when you could have taken $120 and had a great night out at a fancy restaurant
 

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Better rethink it bud. Next time you play the hero you could be working for a license law enforcement officer or a sue happy homeowner who is looking for a scapegoat. Freebies will be the first one to Fk you.
We charge what we want at least here in Tx there is no law governing price gouging, but there is plenty of law about getting and keeping a plumbing company running. I charge $250 for a roof access stoppage if it takes 20 minutes so what? Oh that was easy ms Haney there's no charge for that.. my ass. She'll be the one wanting me to buy her a new roof because it leaked next time it rained. Cover your ass and if you're out there to make friends then good for you but that don't keep the lights on where I live.
 

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Points all well taken guys. I fully understand the legal aspects, and the money side of it. I got to sit down last night with 2 plumber friends (and others) over a couple beers and showed them the replies to this topic off of my cell phone. They run a partnership that serves the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Portmouth-Chesapeake area. I also showed them 2 pics I took with my cell phone of the quick fix. They both agreed that it is non issue, and had a good chuckle with a couple of the reponses. They agreed that it would have been about a two hundred twenty five dollar bill to include (trip-labor-materials). I was told the SharkBite repair would be pretty much what they would have done considering that it was a wet and cold crawlspace.

1. They said that I was not in violation of Virginia DPOR regulations for multiple reasons. No money exchanged for labor. Acted under good samaritan circumstances by stopping a flooding condition. Virginia law upholds verbal agreements between parties. I told the lady to have a pro look at it and get her pipes insulated better when she had the chance. etc. etc. etc.

As far as freebies go, I do them from time to time and will continue to do them. I get about 60% of my work from the agents that asked me to help out this old lady. They are also sponsoring me with my "Class B BLD" license for future property flips.







3.
 

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1. They said that I was not in violation of Virginia DPOR regulations for multiple reasons. No money exchanged for labor. Acted under good samaritan circumstances by stopping a flooding condition. Virginia law upholds verbal agreements between parties. I told the lady to have a pro look at it and get her pipes insulated better when she had the chance. etc. etc. etc.

As far as freebies go, I do them from time to time and will continue to do them. I get about 60% of my work from the agents that asked me to help out this old lady. They are also sponsoring me with my "Class B BLD" license for future property flips.
Cool, then I'd do it.:thumbsup:
 

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I never turn the water off. Like it has been said, no point, once the water is turned on the water will flow.

About 10 years ago I was wiring an 8 unit building, no drywall just bare studs. I was screwing in trim rings for the drops and for some reason didn't notice the 3/4" water line running right at the level of my screw. I was in auto mode and just put the screw in, there was no nail plate and I must have figured the 1 5/8" screw wasn't going to hit the pipe that was 1/2" from the surface. As soon as I hit it, I felt sick. I panicked and quickly pulled out the screw allowing the flow to start. Quick thinking, I screwed it back in to the pipe and yelled for my partner.

We cleaned up the mess, luckily it wasn't too bad and there wasn't anything that could get ruined. Called the plumber, a good friend, and he came out on the same day (saturday) and fixed the pipe.

The GC was cool about it and said that as long as go fixed he was okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #52

I was told the SharkBite repair would be pretty much what they would have done considering that it was a wet and cold crawlspace.


3.


I wouldn't have done a shark bite repair....I only use them in situations where I have no other choice....and I don't think most plumbers would have either.....its legal, but its more of a hack way of repairing things...not as professional as I would like
 

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huggytree said:
I wouldn't have done a shark bite repair....I only use them in situations where I have no other choice....and I don't think most plumbers would have either.....its legal, but its more of a hack way of repairing things...not as professional as I would like
As long as they are in an accessible area they are fine. They are easy to spot if they leak. Same goes for compression fittings. When I use them. As long as they can be seen and inspected its perfectly fine.
 

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Shark bites are the greatest thing since peanut butter. Anyone who has used one and says they don't like them is only fooling themselves!
 
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