Tri State Plumbing

Discussion in 'Terry's Corner' started by Roodillon, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. Roodillon

    Roodillon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Location:
    Downingtown PA
    My name is Jeff Strichart, Roodillon is my forums handle. A little background - I started as a new construction laborer/helper in Miami, Florida around 1986. I hated it. The ground was super hard and the sun was super hot. I complained incessantly. My boss told me to work my way out of the ditch by learning and buying tools. Within six months I was out of the ditch. So I learned plumbing from digging the ditches on up to putting flashing on roofs. I knew it all. This made me a very good service plumber since I knew how everything worked. I could repair anything, which served me well later on when I ran a truck for Mr. Rooter in Seattle. As you know many plumbing shops will hire just about anyone as a drain cleaner. They show them how a snake works and then they spend a week with an experienced plumber and then they go out on their own. But they were not plumbers and were clueless as to how to repair something when they could not clear a drain. Those idiots made a lot of money for me as I was the one to go and find the problem and repair it.

    Anyway before I ran the truck for Mr. Rooter (I lived in Seattle in the 90's) I still did new construction for Tri State Plumbing. It was crazy. We were warriors for sure. I saw lots of guys who could not hack it. You had to be very strong to make it and we had no regard for the ones who couldn't. We were not going to baby anybody. Quite the opposite actually. If they could not hack it we were going to push them around until they left. We played jokes on them, we practically bullied them physically. Thats just how it worked. Nobody wanted to do extra work to accommodate a newbie. Either you made the grade or you went home. Working winter construction in Seattle, well you know. You had to be tough. I swear it was almost like a war. Anyway just wondering, since I believe Terry is in or around Seattle, maybe someone here worked for Tri State, maybe you even worked with me? Or even at Mr. Rooter. I live in Pennsylvania now but I remember my time in Seattle well.

    I passed my journeyman license exam in 1990 on my first try with flying colors, I still have the letter. I got 100% water pipe, 96% waste and 100% code. I had read the entire code book. Always wondered what I missed when I got 96% on waste lol. Then when I applied for Mr. Rooter and took their exam they said I got the highest score anyone had ever seen. Needless to say I was hired.

    Well that was an -extremely- condensed bio. I left plumbing in 2002 at the age of 38 to start an eBay business and I have done well with that. Sometimes I miss plumbing though, because I was a badass and so were the people I worked with. I miss that sense of knowing that I made it. Every day at quitting time. You had to be that way you know. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Hi Jeff,
    Tri State Plumbing was down the street so to speak when I started plumbing in 1974. I was working at Crown Custom Plumbing, doing new construction at the time. First homes and then condo's. Everything from one bath ramblers in North Bend, five story cast jobs in Seattle, twenty building 164 units in Federal Way and plenty of split level homes in the area. I remember one Winter in Mill Creek when it was so cold out that they sent half the crews home for six weeks until it warmed back up. One day I shattered two pick handles trying to dig in the frozen ground.
    I'm glad you found an easier way to make a living as you got older. I'm still doing plumbing, service work, which keeps me inside during the cold and wet Winters.
     
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  4. Roodillon

    Roodillon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Location:
    Downingtown PA
     
  5. Roodillon

    Roodillon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Location:
    Downingtown PA
    Thanks for the info Terry. I have a lot to remember from those days. Sometimes I miss them. Yes it is hard work. People say we charge too much. They don't understand lugging a 250 pound machine down and then up stairs 5,6 maybe even 7 times a day. And that was the easy part of the day because I loved troubleshooting the best. But I don't need to tell you anything really, you understand. Catch up with you next time I am in Seattle, well if I am ever their again anyway, we'll have a beer and exchange plumbing stories. Happy new year Terry!
     
  6. Roodillon

    Roodillon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Location:
    Downingtown PA
    btw was that cold storm in 1992 and called Arctic Express? I did not work for a few weeks after that. People were getting stuck and had to leave their cars on the highway but I made it almost forty miles home in a 1966 F100 that I bought for $50. Yes $50. That truck was unstoppable. It NEVER broke down on me and always fired right up when much newer ones did not.
     
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