• The site has been updated!

    If you see any bugs, please report them in this thread.

    VIEW THREAD

Are all Plumbers, Water, and Well guys the same?

Alpine 338

Lumberjack
Full Member
Minuteman
Jun 26, 2010
2,062
1,070
NW Colorado
So, dealing with Plumbers and Water Well guys, I see a pattern. Granted, I'm in a remote area of Colorado, away from the big city, so my sampling of data is limited, but they are all the same.
I have to argue with them constantly over materials, parts, how I want a system installed, etc.

A few examples;

I tell a Plumber, I need 40-ft of drain pipe installed, so bring two each 20-ft sticks of PVC pipe for the job. Next day, he shows up with one 20-ft section, and a smaller 5-ft section. I ask him, why didn't you bring 40-ft as I told you? His response, I didn't think you needed the full 40-ft. So a one day job turns into a two day job.

Three weeks ago, I ask a Plumber to order a pressure tank for me. Gave him the manufacturer and model number of the tank (fiberglass) that I need as well as the plumbing supply house that carries that brand, which is a direct replacement for an existing unit that is failing, and installed in a tight spot. This morning I get a call from him with a quote on a steel tank, different brand, size, pipe fitting size, etc. I tell him, and I repeated to him, that's not what I want, and he has to argue with me about needing a T-connector, and having to re-sweat the existing pipes and fittings, and the tank I wanted is not available from the supply house he likes using. He also has to argue with me saying it should be a 1" fitting, and I tell him it's 1-1/4" as labeled on the fitting, and identified in the manufacturers website, that I sent him a link to three weeks ago. So, now he's checking into the tank I originally wanted, and we have three weeks wasted.

Call a Water Pump Installer asking to give me a quote on a well pump. I tell him it's for a solar powered well, and I want a Grundfos pump. He tells me he prefers some other brand and wants to design a more complicated system around a pump he prefers. I also need it to feed a storage cistern, and then wants to install some complicated system that monitors tank level, auto shut off, etc. I tell him it's a clear plastic tank, I can see what they water level is, and I can operate everything at the simple level to reduce size of the solar system, and current draw. After I tell him how I want my system to work, he still has to argue with me about installing a more complex system.

I don't get it, why not provide what the customer wants? I have experience with the electrical side, and if a customer wants 200-amps of service, and wants a Seimans breaker panel, then that's what I will provide him, I'm not going to argue with him and say he needs 400-amps of 3-phase, and he should be using Square-D panels.

Every Plumber and Water Well Guy I've dealt with has to argue with you.
 
Last edited:

HiDesertELR

Prov 27:17
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
1,131
3,796
Way ahead of you
Some of them get picky about what they'll warranty, but yeah, I feel ya... seems like some are looking to increase invoice amounts unnecessarily and get away with it because the general public has no clue.
 

frankxtc

Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 24, 2020
109
249
I imagine those guys rarely, if ever, encounter an educated, organized customer that has done research and planning.
More commonly a customer just gives them a general “put something in” request.


Could not find anyone to install a new heat pump on our house, all the guys that provided quotes could not correctly answer installation questions I obtained from reading the factory manuals.
Son and I ended up putting in the new system.
 

Tono

And...
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 19, 2017
692
736
Texas
It's sad when you, the customer, knows more about the product and how to install it than the so called "licensed professional".

When I'm looking for something and/or someone to do the work, I always do the research. Then I play dumb when talking with the so called professionals. It's easier to spot the ones that are blowing smoke. But I have still been burned a few times...
 

GUN NUT in IA

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 28, 2017
730
2,003
I will see your "plumbers" and raise you "electricians".

Yep, they want to work for "them" and not "me".

I don't know what "them" pays, but I do know what "me" pays - nothing, if you aren't working for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: diverdon

JMGlasgow

Old Salt
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Apr 13, 2012
    3,044
    3,116
    Cheyenne, WY
    No, my Father in Law is a well witcher and he installs pumps and he's a really easy going guy to deal with. No arrogance whatsoever.
     

    Halfnutz

    Sergeant
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 14, 2008
    1,254
    754
    Peoria County, Illinois
    Knew two guys in Iowa, one a plumber the other a pipefitter, The pipe fitter states "I put my ass where a plumber puts his face."

    There is a pecking order evidently.
     

    MilChad

    Here for the ball busting.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 18, 2021
    222
    829
    NC
    No, my Father in Law is a well witcher and he installs pumps and he's a really easy going guy to deal with. No arrogance whatsoever.
    They still do this?
    D4F7EE9F-F7BD-417B-924D-D80E75B73B78.jpeg
     
    • Like
    Reactions: diverdon

    Sean the Nailer

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • May 20, 2006
    5,561
    7,575
    Winnipeg, Mb.
    I've used the 2 copper wire method. No matter how many times I do it, it is always a surprise when the wires cross.

    I've "heard of" a guy using a willow switch, as tall as he is. He'd walk around with it balanced over one finger, down at his side. The switch would be half sticking out forward and the other half sticking out behind him.

    When he was over water, the front end would dip. When he backed up, it would level-out again. (here's where it gets 'interesting') He claimed that as he stood there, with the switch hanging at about a 45degree angle, it would 'dip' and come back up a bit. If he counted the dips, that is how many feet down it was.

    I never got that kinda information/feedback from the copper wire method though. They'd just "cross" all the sudden. And yes, they'd uncross if I backed up. Through NO input of my own.

    Scooby and Shaggy mystery, right there. (no, not THAT shaggy)
     

    whatsupdoc

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 12, 2017
    1,644
    1,799
    A while back I extended my kitchen so I hire a plumber to do some of the plumbing. I want four toe-kick (under cabinet) heaters installed.
    The copper hydronic pipe is 3/4 the toe-kicks are 1/2 so you have to install two special venturi fittings on each heater.

    I get home from work and the plumber has installed the rough pluming for three toe-kick heaters and a ONE FOOT section of
    baseboard claiming that installing the venturi fittings for a toe-kick heater was impossible in that spot.

    Forty minutes later I removed his BS baseboard and installed the venturis and the actual heater.
    He came to work the next day, I showed him and I fired him.


    I install a oil fired boiler and call a professional heating/ac plumber to set up the flame he fucks it up and soots up the boiler.

    I can go on and on have dealt with a few good commercial contractors but most of the residential plumbers are hacks at best.
     

    Alphatreedog

    Tier Potato
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 15, 2017
    4,717
    8,139
    It's you .😀 Just effin around . Kudos on the Grundfos pump . I use them with machine tool applications and they are robust , expensive and tough . As far as the contractors go it's usually hit or miss . In my AO a fair number of plumbers and contractors are alkies or addicts . They get your deposit to finish the last job cuz the partied the money for it away .
     

    frankxtc

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 24, 2020
    109
    249
    My well pump guy lives down the street.
    Jim smokes like a house-a-fire, has had at least one heart attack, some bypass work, WTH.
    “I just like to smoke”
    Anyway, I made some tools for him in my machine shop, to his specifications, for his well work.
    He puts up with my well work requests, all good here.
    I’m going to miss him & his crane truck - possibly I’ll try to buy it from his widow……..
     

    Alpine 338

    Lumberjack
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 26, 2010
    2,062
    1,070
    NW Colorado
    Ok. This is as far as I got.

    Since you are so knowledgeable about plumbing and water and such, then by all means, do the work yourself.

    I have done quite a bit of plumbing work myself in the past. Unfortunately, there's so many hours in the day, and to keep things moving, one is forced to hire contractors to keep a project moving along, especially when we have a very short construction window that gets shut down early with heavy snow that can keep a project idle for as much as seven months.
     

    Sean the Nailer

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • May 20, 2006
    5,561
    7,575
    Winnipeg, Mb.
    Ok. This is as far as I got.

    Since you are so knowledgeable about plumbing and water and such, then by all means, do the work yourself.
    I'm not arguing with you Chkn, but there is another tangent to this concept as well. There are some of us that are now disabled/gibbled and even though we may hold Red Seals/Journeymans tickets in our trades, we are simply not able to physically do the stuff anymore.

    But that don't mean that we don't know how to do it, and/or how it's to be done.

    I can't begin to explain to anyone, just how frustrating so many things are. What makes it worse, is that which was so easy/simple/fast in previous years is none of the above, and PAINFUL as hell to even try on our own. Believe me when I say though, there are SO Many things that I've tried/attempted to do..... only to have to be rescued/relieved because I've gotten myself in too deep.

    And yet simple things like that were 1st or 2nd level apprenticeship stuff, so long ago.
     

    Jgunner

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 29, 2019
    1,507
    1,279
    Arizona
    I do construction, have done most things, limit myself to the tupe of work i prefer, wether it be pay or type of work i would rather do. Problem is, i end up doing stuff I don’t want to do because customers are on the short end of the stick.

    my favorite thing in the world is a contractor who wants to pretend like I don’t know how to do his job, and couldn’t. Then when i tell them i have done their job and know how to do the job right and that they are full of shit. Fired a few....

    Got this kid who is in and out of jobs, all of the time. He has all the tools(nice stuff) and has pretty good knowledge but no foresight or follow through. I could run circles around him with lesser tools or wrong tools faster than he could do it with the best. He is half my age but i work harder and longer than he does. He is also a smart ass, but really a dumbass who thinks he’s smart. Its irritating. But i cannot do everything at the same time. So i sub out some things.

    i will listen to a customer and either do what they want, tell them other options which may be better or cheaper and will either do what we agree upon OR walk away from the job. I don’t bully people into something that isn’t what they want. On the flip side I won’t do work the wrong way.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Sean the Nailer

    chevy_man

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2019
    1,739
    1,433
    I will see your "plumbers" and raise you "electricians".

    Yep, they want to work for "them" and not "me".

    I don't know what "them" pays, but I do know what "me" pays - nothing, if you aren't working for me.

    Yeah, it's a bitch when the customer wants us to commit a code violation.

    At least once a week I get the "well, I just need this done." I then have to spend time going back and forth on why the state requires an inspection, why I pulled a permit, how dare I invite a state inspector into their property, and how expensive it is because I have to follow 2020 code, not the 1983 like the last time someone was in their house.

    Or when someone makes my life miserable because they want something installed in the one spot with a pile of other obstructions, not 12" to the side where it's a clear path. After you explain to them it's going to take extra hours and parts to place it there, and will save them a bunch of money to move it slightly, they call and bitch about the bill because it took too long.
     

    GUN NUT in IA

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 28, 2017
    730
    2,003
    Yeah, it's a bitch when the customer wants us to commit a code violation.

    At least once a week I get the "well, I just need this done." I then have to spend time going back and forth on why the state requires an inspection, why I pulled a permit, how dare I invite a state inspector into their property, and how expensive it is because I have to follow 2020 code, not the 1983 like the last time someone was in their house.

    Or when someone makes my life miserable because they want something installed in the one spot with a pile of other obstructions, not 12" to the side where it's a clear path. After you explain to them it's going to take extra hours and parts to place it there, and will save them a bunch of money to move it slightly, they call and bitch about the bill because it took too long.
    See post #1 paragraph #6 for a prime example.

    Don't insist on selling me what you might want to sell me. Install what I want to buy. I consider electricians much like hardware stores . . . as opposed to car dealers. I came to the hardware store to buy a Dewalt. Yes, I know you sell Porter Cable, but I want Dewalt. I do not go to the Chevrolet dealer to buy a Ford.

    "You don't want to use this type of light fixture. The one I install / sell is much better."

    "All you really need is one porch light on that side of the door. Why spend the money on two?"

    "I have a really good deal on almond switch plate covers. Why do you want white?"

    Yep, that sort of thing. If we have to "discuss" what I want, we won't "discuss" it.

    Also as in post #1, when I tell you it is 40 feet from here to there, I expect you to believe I can read a tape measure. If you do not bring the proper supplies the first time, don't figure on charging me for your return call the next day. Of course, this does not apply to plumbing jobs. Everybody knows you have to make three trips for supplies before you can complete the job. (Bringing 35 feet of pipe, when I told you it was 40 feet does NOT figure into one of the three trips.)

    Sell me what I want . . . or go sell your stuff to someone else.

    I am currently building a 36' x 100' "Toy box" for my military collection. I spoke with five different licensed electricians. I got five different specifications for the work . . . and that was just the temporary power pole. One of them agreed with me and my plan. Want to guess which one got the job? Yes, it passed the state electrical inspection.
     

    Baron23

    Check 6
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 19, 2020
    1,777
    1,767
    68
    Maryland
    Yeah, they're all alike and look just like this when working! haha

    1623503794411.png


    More seriously, I'm with some of folks above....if I'm paying, its my way or the highway. Now, if a professional makes a recommendation and I don't accept it and insist on my requirements/design, then the liability for any issues is on me....which I'm fine with.

    Best of luck with your well.
     
    Last edited:

    TXAZ

    NOC NOC
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 3, 2020
    204
    322
    McMurdo Sound
    Yes sir, feel your pain Alpine 338. After having a contractor lie to me on "what I wanted", I decided to learn how to do all these trades myself, and started buying the tools decades ago instead of hiring contractors.
    With very few exceptions and having YouTube as your friend, there's not much that I'll call a plumber, AC guy or electrician for any more, and still pass the inspect.

    There are some good people in trades, but there are so many that are not that I'm done with 'their way'.
     

    Jgunner

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 29, 2019
    1,507
    1,279
    Arizona
    Seems the op just needs to do it all himself. lots of the tools are jot even expensive. Unless you are disabled then i see no reason to not do it yourself. Seriously. Its not that hard, hell plumbers do it!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Bullfrog08

    chevy_man

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2019
    1,739
    1,433
    See post #1 paragraph #6 for a prime example.

    Don't insist on selling me what you might want to sell me. Install what I want to buy. I consider electricians much like hardware stores . . . as opposed to car dealers. I came to the hardware store to buy a Dewalt. Yes, I know you sell Porter Cable, but I want Dewalt. I do not go to the Chevrolet dealer to buy a Ford.

    "You don't want to use this type of light fixture. The one I install / sell is much better."

    "All you really need is one porch light on that side of the door. Why spend the money on two?"

    "I have a really good deal on almond switch plate covers. Why do you want white?"

    Yep, that sort of thing. If we have to "discuss" what I want, we won't "discuss" it.

    Also as in post #1, when I tell you it is 40 feet from here to there, I expect you to believe I can read a tape measure. If you do not bring the proper supplies the first time, don't figure on charging me for your return call the next day. Of course, this does not apply to plumbing jobs. Everybody knows you have to make three trips for supplies before you can complete the job. (Bringing 35 feet of pipe, when I told you it was 40 feet does NOT figure into one of the three trips.)

    Sell me what I want . . . or go sell your stuff to someone else.

    I am currently building a 36' x 100' "Toy box" for my military collection. I spoke with five different licensed electricians. I got five different specifications for the work . . . and that was just the temporary power pole. One of them agreed with me and my plan. Want to guess which one got the job? Yes, it passed the state electrical inspection.

    I never argue colors.

    I will not install certain brands. I'd rather not warranty or deal with certain supply houses. Your business is not worth my headache. For instance, GE breakers don't trip. I'll lose the business rather than deal with a burned down building.
    Eaton/Siemens/Square D I'll install no problems. I'll let the customers know I can buy Eaton for about half the price of anything else, so I can save them money.

    On the other hand, I'll wire up a Grundfos any day. Badass durable pumps I'll never have to troubleshoot.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TXAZ

    DarnYankeeUSMC

    McCarthy Was Right
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 18, 2012
    4,999
    11,245
    In your head
    I don't care if you want it purple and green. I can't see it from my house!!
    If that's what you want and you have the money. Let's get it done!! Sign the paperwork and it's a done deal.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TXAZ

    Jgunner

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 29, 2019
    1,507
    1,279
    Arizona
    I have stuff I won’t do. Like install used ceiling fans. Especially ones that have been moved from house to house. “Well it didn’t wobble before!” Or “the screws are around here somewhere “ or my favorite “ what mount? That black thing from the ceiling? Can’t you just go buy one?” Pfff. No you cheap fuck.
     

    loveha

    SGT DGAF
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 31, 2018
    1,294
    1,232
    NW Lower Michigan
    When you want something done your way, sometimes you gotta do it yourself. Like mentioned, YouTube, a little practice before the actual project, you get exactly what you want, in your own time.