other internet sites

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jimbo, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Something Grumpy said a while back:
    For the record, I have been living a DIY nightmare for some time in large part because of the need to fix the hack work done by hack contractors (some of them licensed) over the lifetime of this house. I spent a year (a year!) trying to find a framer to replace a beam for me, before I gave up and did it myself. In some cases I've had to rip out the work done by contractors for me and redo it myself, or hire someone else to come in and fix it for me. For example, I had to rip out the joists in a bathroom that a carpenter screwed up, after the joist manufacturer told me he had destroyed the joists. In the process, I had to rip out my new water pipes around these joists, and redo them myself. Had I asked the original plumber to come back in and redo them, I knew I'd never see him again. As it is, I've been trying since last fall to get him to come back and finish my bathroom. My plan now is to hire someone myself to move the bathtub in, and then try again to get him in (if there's a waste pipe leakage, I want him to be responsible).

    Had it not been for forums like this, I don't know what I would have done. I am eternally grateful for the pros that take the time to inhabit boards like this and dispense helpful advice. I know it takes a rare kind of seriousness in one's trade to take the time to answer questions here and in other such forums, and it's hard to find serious professionals like this in the Real World.
  2. Gary,
    You hit the problem with that other site right on the head. That pompous @$$ that was given control of that site by the owner thinks he is some kind of PC god and treats a lot of good people badly for no reason other than his own ego.
    I like to think that I helped build that site early on (well prior to that guy every coming along), but when the owner ultimately let that jerk (and others like him) take over, I simply chose to bail out like you. (He never messed with me, but he forced out a number of friends of mine.)
    There always seems to be controversy on the Internet.
    It's so nice to always be right like us though, isn't it? LOL
    Is this a great country or what?
    Mike
  3. sjsmithjr

    sjsmithjr Geologist

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Nah, but there's plenty of information and suggestions on them pages ain't they?


  4. Are you talking about DIY.com? I'm curious to know because I saw something recently that spoke volumes in regards to activity.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I would say there are about 15 HD stores in San Diego. Add about Blue. Between them, I would guess they sell well over 100 water heaters a WEEK....and I'm talking over the counter, not including the ones they contract install. Of that 100, I give even money that most are homeowners or handymen, most are installed without permits.

    Not that I am praising that situation, but according to Grumpy, the whole city should be lit up like a Christmas tree with exploding water heaters. In fact, the only gas issue was the explosion a few months ago on a high rise hotel under construction. BIG contractor involved in that leak.

    Maybe a few disasters have been AVERTED by advice found on these forums. It is what it is. No point in being grumpy!
  6. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    16d nails laterally into the LVL flanges of I-joists. In one case, the flange was literally split in two. If you know engineered lumber, you know an I-joist without its flange is so much cardboard. I was informed of this by a technical rep for the joist company, after I described the situation.

    Before he left the job, the carpenter proudly said that no-one would be able to take out his work, it would be impossible.

    As I proceeded to do the impossible, I discovered that the joists holding up the planned CI tub rested on a ledger supported by two 3/8" lag screws. Design weight of tub with water and occupants: 1300 lbs. Shear strength of two 3/8" lag screws: 300 lbs. The tub alone is over 400 lbs. I kiss the ground that he busted the I-joists so I found this out in advance. The work (my work) has since passed inspection.

    In any case, I don't mean to get into a discussion between pros. But I do want to offer the perspective of a HO trying to navigate the jungle of hacks out here, and with the good guys too busy to return calls. I don't know where I would be without boards like this to keep me informed. It is a strange attitude to take that informed consumers are dangerous, which seems to be where this is coming from.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego

    On the other hand, somebody this evening really had it in for hj! Don't know what he did to tick that guy off!!! It was crude, and the posts were quickly deleted.
  8. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Grumpy, you should have resisted that urge at the last to add, "Yo Mama!"

    Flippers don't need to get advice here on how to do plumbing, they already know enough. They're too dumb to realize how much they don't know.

    I am one of those HOs who has a house, not a flip, but the result of 80 years of ignoring problems and cosmetic reno work before the sale. No DIY, just hack crews (heard about it afterwards from neighbors), a licensed plumber, and no internet involved. We specifically were looking for and thought we had a finished house, neither of us was handy. Instead a major part of the house has been gutted, and I have had to hit a steep learning curve to find out how things should be fixed, instead of depending on some potential hack off the street telling me.

    We haven't been in tears (came close when the new roof started leaking), but I am convinced that many if not most marriages would not have survived the experience.

    If I went after all the contractors who screwed things up, I'd spend half my time in court. I spent almost as much on roof repairs as I did on the original roof (having learned from experience that the recommended guy was a hack and going with the expensive guy I should have gone with). Same with the carpenter on the joists (who in his own mind did a great job), the plumber who had water coming out of my steam radiators (ditto), etc.
  9. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    If so, he could had just deleted his own, I do it all the time. :)
  10. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    It's late, just a couple of points:

    * On the roofer for example, he was always willing to come back and fix problems. Given that, I had no basis for trying to get money from him, and since his crews were so frigging incompetent I did not want him on my roof again. They didn't flash, they just smeared caulk everywhere. I learned a lot about flashing while researching how the roof should be fixed.

    * With the carpenter, I preferred to fix it myself. I have better tools and I'm more careful e.g. on an old house like this, with very dry wood, I now know you should predrill before driving any nails, to avoid splits like the carpenter left on the end of a beam, and any contractor would guffaw at that suggestion.

    * On the water radiators: nope, the frigging idiot screwed up the near-boiler piping and the boiler was guaranteed to surge as a result. It said right in the manual how to do it, I think he was just lazy. It took a really cold spell for the boiler to surge so much that water came up out of the radiators, but y'know surging ain't good, it can split a boiler. I considered suing him for the cost of repiping the boiler, but he was dead at that point. Didn't have time to consider going from steam to hydronic, the boiler failed the day I was leaving on Christmas vacation, but a big fan of the mechanical simplicity of steam heat, and I think my money is better spent on insulation. Spent a lot of time at Dan Holohan's site, and reading his books, during the adventure with the radiators. I also think this hack plumber put something in the boiler to stop it leaking during the house inspection, he basically admitted it to me with a "Who coulda done it?" attitude when it finally failed. Oh yeah he also put a thermostat for FHA on my steam boiler, it was cycling every 15 minutes.....
  11. gdog

    gdog write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Pac NW
    Wow, just tuned in; great thread!

    After reading these posts have to identify most with Taylor. My background: former auto technician; went back to school after about 10 yrs of doing that to get electrical engineering degree; have had career in the latter line of work for past 15 yrs or so.

    Why am I a DIYer?
    1. I'm mechanically inclined; I've been "fixing" things since I was ten.
    2. Mostly out of necessity; again identify with Taylor's experience with contractors in general; they want 2 to 3 months of my salary to do a half ass job!
    3. My experience combined with my education allows me to "understand" most systems (be it plumbing, construction, carpentry, automotive, etc.) with some/considerable up front work (i.e. study and research) on my part.

    BTW: Absolutely no disrespect to any pros here! If you make your living doing any trade, you figure out pretty quickly that if you're going to do this for the long haul, you had better do a good job. And to do that, you need to understand what it is you're doing! In the case of plumbing, that would not only be knowing all the applicable codes and regulations, but the "why" behind those codes and regulations; i.e. why those codes are necessary!

    Frankly IMO too many techs learn by doing ONLY, and are not properly schooled in the "why". Then when they try to take shortcuts, they may not understand which shortcuts are OK, and which could be dangerous. Of course this is doubly applicable for DIYers! Just the more reason why this forum is so valuable (Thanks Terry)!

    I also whole heartedly agree with Redwood and Dirty Harry! I don't mess with furnaces, because:
    1. I don't understand how they work (in detail) and I haven't taken the time to learn.
    2. I been lucky to find a reputable HVAC contracter who is competant, honest, and trustworthy.

    I could on and on but will spare you. In closing, I'd be interested in what you pros here think should/could be done to improve the competancy of some of those contractors out there who might be less than up to par? Maybe you guys think there's not a problem.

    My perspective? Like I said, I worked for over 10 yrs in automotive repair at indy shops and at the dealership level; that's why I never, ever take my vehicles to a dealer, unless I absolutely have to!

    rock on..
  12. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    Welp, on that note...it's bedtime fer Grumpy.
    Long day tomorrow, four hours to sleep.
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, this whole thread is kind of why I first mentioned....just asking if anyone else had an opinion.....the "other" forums. This sparring back and forth is not so much fun, which is why I didn't go there. SO, at this point I think I will just shut up!
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    You little ole' trouble-maker you...:D
    It's ALL YOUR FAULT! :)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,053
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Yeah, normally it isn't like that here.
    It's like a story I tell my 16 YO

    Every Summer we would head three blocks down to the beach for the day. Went home for dinner, and back for more swimming at night.

    We practiced snapping laurel leaves off the bush with our towels.
    The we would take turns holding a leaf while the other guy snapped it in two. We could get it to eight pieces eventually. We would take the half, and hold it for the other person to "snap" it with. Pretty soon, there was only an inch to hit.

    One day some kids came down with towels to "take over" the beach.
    They figured the eight of them would "dominate". They were that cool with towels.

    We sent them back home with red welts all over their bodies.
    We couldn't' believe anybody would try something so stupid.
    It was just another day at the park, only this time it wasn't leaves.

    If the plumbers from the "other" sites are confused about the way things are done here, and want to come in and stir up the locals with their towels, they may want to reconsider.
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,053
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Well, all this has been fun, but Grumpy, I just read a couple of emails from Steve, and I don't think it is as big a deal as all that.

    It's just a basic way of looking at how the info gets out, and to who.

    One thing I will say, and it always gets me in trouble with homeowners is:

    It's quicker for me to do it, than it is for you watch me do it. I work must faster by myself.

    And it takes forever if they help me.

    And it takes ages if I try to explain it.

    Most plumbers are not allowed to even touch a waste fitting until they have run copper for six months.
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Jimbo,
    I'm in full agreement that those other sites aren't much fun. I'm posting on several sites that do help the DIYer and find it very enjoyable.

    The thing is that this world has changed since the good old days, and it's never going back.

    Blame "This Old House" They started it all...
    Before then the trades were some kind of "Black Magic."

    People got into DIYer activity, Being their own GC and a host of other things.

    More DIYer shows, Big Box Stores, and so on.
    It's a Revolution!

    Some of the tradesmen are really trying to stay in the past where they had full control over every job, the methods used fixtures selected, and so on....

    We are in the information age like it or not and it's here to stay!
    Customers are informed they do want to be involved with decisions on methods, fixtures, and the like. They want to feel that they have a hand in making decisions for economy, quality, and performance.

    This isn't effecting just us! That Web MD link that I posted to Grumpy Plumber earlier is often used by people that have a problem before they visit the doctor. They know about what they have and what they could have. They know the medications that they are likely to be prescribed how effective they are, the risks, and side effects. They are asking the doctors important questions and requesting alternative methods of treatment. The information age is hitting across the board and no stone is unturned.

    Many of them even want to flex their Diyer skills and do portions of jobs. They feel that there is a portion of a job where they do not have the skills, time, or, equipment, to do a portion but they want to do the rest. I have to admit many of them turn out impressive projects. Some also start things then realize they are not up to the task and need a rescue.

    Like it or not this is the market we are faced with! If you do not adapt to the changing market, your share of it will decline to a level where extinction is assured. Darwin had a little theory and I'm thinking it's true.

    I recently had a job young family nice house & cars. He definitely was not a DIYer but I recognized him as an information age customer that had an eye for quality and performance. He had several of the Kohler 1 piece toilets with the Kohler's own pressure assist that were not working. I told him that they were orphans and backed it up with a web link. I recommended Toto toilets and backed that up with the MaP report link and Terry's low flow toilet consumer report link. He had a water heater that was one of the ones with a dip tube problem and that was clogging all the fixtures. I recommended replacement with a Bradford White as it was old and in poor condition. I gave him the Jim Layton link that provides information on the defective dip tubes and he searched Bradford White himself and saw in the forums the number of plumbers that go with Bradford White. SOLD! It was a long day well into the evening as it was on a Saturday and they were there only on weekends. But let me assure you it was a job that made my week! He has called me back several other times for other jobs and will not have anyone else from our company... I'm requested and only me!

    I also have people that I have gone too and they want me to only do a portion of the work. I go in and willingly quote what portion they want done. I look at the whole job and sometimes recommend that they have me do another portion of it as well, citing that it may prove difficult for them. Often I just mention that and provide a separate quote for that and apply no pressure other than here's the quote if you need it. I tell them about this and other forums where they can get help and guidance for free and assure them that if they do get in trouble and need me I'm willing to come out and take over or, even offer on site consultation for a fee. Yes, They do call and yes, I do make money working for them. Some of them are very good to work for in fact! I enjoy it!

    The Good Ole Days are gone and Darwin Was Right!
    Do you want to adapt or, is extinction your choice?
    Heading for extiction leads to bitterness!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  18. tlarson

    tlarson New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Oregon
    I read several times each week because this is a great source of info. Rarely have I posted comments.

    Full disclosure: I'm a DIY'r that has done 3 complete houses in Oregon and Washington and countless small remodels for family, friends, etc. The first house was all copper, and now I only use Wirsbo. Inspectors in every jurisdiction have been extremely helpful, once they realized that I was capable and did not try to cut corners. I know my limits: no furnaces, boilers, etc and stick to what I know. I'm also a licensed (PE) mechanical engineer in the state of Oregon

    I think the conflicts over the last couple of days are a bit amusing. To be blunt: I come here for free advice and suggestions; would never hold someone accountable except myself for my work, regardless of their advice; and I like to keep up to date on new techniques, materials, etc. The petty squabling seems to be among the pros, not folks like myself.

    I think that a "pros only" site is a great idea (keeps novices like myself from muddling things up), but find these type of sites a great service and source of help. Can't thank you enough!
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I had an out'n out argument with him on the phone after it started in PMs and emails where he falsely accused me of lying to him. The proof I hadn't lied was (and still is) in all my posts there but he refused to listen and then I turned down a moderator position in another forum and he got his feelings hurt and banned me.

    I actually mentioned you personally and others that had built the forums and had been banned or quit. But it had no positive effect. He was only interested in traffic, not if the information given members was accurate. Now I see much less traffic, at least in the one forum I believe I grew for him; Filters and Conditioners.

    He rarely got involved until some like JDP38, Justalurker, Andy Christensen, DUNBAR PLUMBER (our RUGGED here) complained to moderators GregH, twelvepole, DUNBARPLUMBER etc. about me making sales because of my posts. One of them is a competitor, one a customer of mine that dislikes me (he deleted text out of posts in my forum), Andy (a Kinetico salesman that doesn't like what I say about their products) and RUGGED (because I don't agree with his anti DIYer stance and that copper is the best pipe). Yet some of the moderators were doing the same thing with their web site etc. in their 'signature'. I never used a signature there, I typed an old time DOS days newsgroup tag line at the bottom of my posts with only my name and company name. It was meant to differentiate me from the DIYer down the street.... In my 12+ years on the internet and something like a total of 17,000 posts, I have never emailed or PMed anyone soliciting them in any way. I mention all that because I see Steve Nienaber (DUNBAR PLUMBER - RUGGED here, moderator there and in other forums) asked if we are talking about ***.com. Yes Steve, we are.
  20. word of mouth rules over all....

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
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