ECN Forum
Posted By: foestauf Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 01:06 AM
You know to me it seams like there isn't much to plumbing...
Cut some pipe, glue it together, build a fitting here and there.

So why is it every damn plumber I see that is just some peacerate or some sub of a plumbing company is always like "Yeah, I make bout 1,400-1,800 a month doing this".
Some guy looks me in the eye serious as a heart attack and tells me he makes 2g a month plumbing, are all these guys just high on plumbers dope.
Posted By: hbiss Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 01:30 AM
Well I wouldn't say plumbing is as simple as you say. Plenty of people underestimate our trade too. For some reason though plumbers can charge more than electricians.

Posted By: HotLine1 Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 01:47 AM
2g's a month is less then $500 a week, under $100 a day, & about $12/hr.

Around here, you couldn't get a half-ax handyman for that$$$$

I know a few plumbs who are in the 6 figure areas without excessive OT.

And, BTW, you need a lic to do plumb here, just like elec.

Don't know where you hail from foestauf, it's not in your profile, but your trade labor rates are really LOW.

Posted By: LK Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 02:35 AM

Funny you mention handyman, last week east brunswick, women told us how happy she was to get a handyman to fix her door he was there for 2 hours $300, that's $150 an hour, no material used, boy are we in the wrong business.
Posted By: BigB Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 03:27 AM
tell me about it LK I had a guy come out to re stretch some carpet at a rental house he was there 30 min and charged me $95.00. After that day I raised my minimum to $95, I figure if the carpet guy can get it why can't I? I still can't bring myself to charge it tho when I just reset a GFCI for a homeowner.
Posted By: bonding jumper Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 04:38 AM
I'm not a plumber and do not understand why they get ALOT more than electricians, but alot of people seem to forget that they also do gas lines not just drain & supply.
Posted By: e57 Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 07:18 AM
Why do plumbers make the big bucks? Supply and demand! How many kids getting out of school want to be Plumbers? When it comes to waste lines even Joe handyman and eager home owner would prefer someone else do it. I'm sure some of us as electricians know how hard it is to get people into the trades, but a plumber must have a real hard time finding people eager to learn, or stay in the trade without bigger money.

IMPO we should be charging much more too.....
Posted By: foestauf Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 10:13 AM
Sorry I wrote my figures in month lol. It was late, I meant a week.

I meant I had these plumbers telling me they could make 2g a week. Hehe. Now that I wake up and read my post I'm like "Heh, dayum I was tired".
Posted By: Electricmanscott Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 01:40 PM
Looks like the plumbers are just smarter than electricians. They talk to each other about what they charge, whereas it seems to be a big secret in our trade for some reason. Electricans always seem to be worried about the other guy rather than charging accordingly.
Posted By: growler Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 02:10 PM
Scott is right in that plumbing is not as cut throat as electrical. The number of plumbers is not growing at the same rate as electricians. You have to ask yourself, who trains plumbers? Answer, other plumbers ( it's all kept within the trade ). Then who trains electricians? The answer is everyone.
My friends and I left the military with a lot of training in electrical and electronics. Half the guys I knew years ago ended up as electrical contractors. We had over a year of intensive training and then four years of night school that was paid for by Uncle Sam. I can't remember a single school that I have been to that offers training in the plumbing trade. There are plenty of HVAC, electrical and electronics classes but few in plumbing. The trade was never promoted the way the others were and this has led to a shortage of plumbers in certain areas. That's why plumbers can charge more. There is not one on every corner.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 06:17 PM
I think the plumber mistique started when they were threading galvanized and sweating copper. Now days it is just pasting PVC pipe.
Around here the plumbers are skinny white boys with metal studs in their face. I think they are just in it for the smell of the glue.
I don't think new construction "rough" guys really make that much.
Old work does pay more but they have a "crappier" job.

Electricians are a more ethnically diverse crew. Some of the piecework electricians make lots of money.
Posted By: iwire Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 07:01 PM
Now days it is just pasting PVC pipe

Not around here, commercial plumbing is still copper, black iron, or cast iron. [Linked Image]

The plumbing code books are much larger than ours here in MA.

I could have been a plumber, Dad was.

Electrical was more interesting IMO. [Linked Image]
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 07:21 PM
Bigger type and lots of pictures Bob? ;-)

Seriously, plumbing can get complicated but resi around here is pretty simple. There is no gas and metal is non-existant.
Posted By: foestauf Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/08/05 08:47 PM
We had an inspector who would tease electricians that made a goof. He would always say "Well damn, what did you drop out of plumbing school?".
Posted By: e57 Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/09/05 12:24 AM
Not around here, commercial plumbing is still copper, black iron, or cast iron.

Same here, in fact the Pipefitters union attempted to make all non-threaded pipe illegal here some time back.

Electrically speaking PVC is only allowed underground for services, or in slab here.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/09/05 02:17 AM
I'll tell you why plumbers make the bucks....none of us ever had to fix a circuit while laying in a puddle of moldy electricity!
Posted By: BigJohn Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/09/05 02:43 AM
Ever watched a plumber eat lunch on a commercial renovation? They hold their sandwich by one little corner, and they throw that corner away. I can happily say nothing I do during the day prevents me from devouring my lunch completely. Let them make the dollars; I'd rather deal with watts than waste any day of the week. [Linked Image]

Posted By: BigB Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/09/05 03:26 AM
"They hold their sandwich by one little corner, and they throw that corner away"

Posted By: maintenanceguy Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/10/05 08:12 PM
I have several trades that work for me. I have the best job in the world in that I usually only get my hands dirty when I'm called somewhere because something really difficult has come up. (after years of carrying a tool bag).

When I get called by one of my electricans, I'm eager to jump in and get to work. When my plumber calls me and needs some help, I dread whatever I'm gonna find when I get there.

I've told him lots of times that of all the trades he could have picked, I don't know why he would have chosen plumbing. He usually just nods his head (as we're running a rod through a drain line from the street-end hoping we feel the clog break free and that we get out of the way in time)
Posted By: the High Wirey Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/12/05 04:36 PM

Your post was the biggest ha ha I've had in a long time.

I used to wonder why a plumber would toss part of his good sandwich. Partial sandwiches were everywhere after lunch. They assigned a laborer just to pick up those disguards after lunch.

Posted By: Tiger Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/12/05 04:51 PM
LMAO Big John. I've never seen that one before.

Posted By: derater Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/12/05 08:35 PM
Did any one ever die because a plumber got something wrong?
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/12/05 09:09 PM
If they screw up the venting and the house fills with sewer gas, death is a very good possibility.
Probably the easiest way a plumber could endanger live is by inadvertantly interrupting the bonding of the piping system but the electrician gets blamed for that.
Posted By: Alan Belson Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/13/05 08:50 AM
Bugsy, a good pal in my teenage years, was killed as an apprentice plumber many years ago by an explosion in an industrial boiler-room. I don't remember whether it was steam or gas.
Either way, it was plumbing.

Posted By: Tiger Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/13/05 12:31 PM
Plumbing license requirements are tougher in Illinois (state lic. rather than local), and other areas because of the danger to the public water supply. It's easy to take for granted, but cities like Chicago have had some very nasty diseases before they got it right.

Posted By: LearJet9 Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/13/05 01:28 PM
Let's face it - plumbers are more together than EC's. Here you can't get ANY plumber for less than $60/hr. (and that's cheap)But, there are electricians who will work for $25/hr. WHY???? If we were as together as the plumbers, people would be saying "you can't get ANY electrician for less than $60/hr. As long as there are guys out there giving themselves away for $25/hr we're all screwed!!
Posted By: SolarPowered Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/13/05 02:44 PM
The orthodontist had a plugged up sink in his office, and called a plumber to fix it. The plumber came in, and gave him a price.

Said the orthodontist, "Why, that's more than I make as an orthodontist!"

Said the plumber, "Ya, it's more than I was making as an orthodontist, too!"

[Linked Image]
Posted By: harold endean Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/14/05 03:42 PM
Same here in NJ, all the plumbers I know make more than the elec. cont.. Some of the plumbing supply houses won't sell to the homeowner. You either have to go to a big box store, or get a plumber to get the fixture you want.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/14/05 04:10 PM
I have great respect for plumbers, but....

Friday I was called to assist a plumber troubleshoot a (sewage) lift station. Within moments I had identified the bad float.
The guy was his company's "ace" employee. Is it asking too much for him to be familiar with the panels his company sells, or to be able to identify a bad float?
Posted By: mvpmaintman Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 08/14/05 06:34 PM
I hear you maintenanceguy, I's rather pull wire anyday thatn pull a sewer rod. A lot of other guys I have worked with over the years have refused to do any plumbing, I must admit that new work is better than old work.

I have seen plenty of people get killed because somebody screwed up something in a piping job, but that may come from having done startup workin power plants and refineries.

Woking in an open shop (trades aren't divided) can really open your eyes to how ignorant people can be.
Posted By: wattojawa Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 10/29/05 10:28 PM
What is really crazy is PA. plumbers need liscenses but their is no license for electricians in our state.
Posted By: sparky 134 Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 10/30/05 11:38 AM
Here in Illinois there is a state license for plumbers but not for electricians. Many villages, cities, towns, etc have their own electrical licensing test and most of them will give reciprocity.

I have heard the Illinois General assembly has shot down the idea of a state issued license, for reasons I can't understand.

I would like to see this happen someday. It may get rid of the unqualified guys running around with a screwdriver and a wiggy calling themselves 'electricians'.
Posted By: LearJet9 Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 10/30/05 12:51 PM
I only wish EC's were as together as plumbers. EC's pricing varies widely from $30/hr to $75/hr. Plumbers are all consistantly $65-$75+. That's IF you can even get a plumber to respond. I've had many people ask if I could recommend a plumber becasue they have been trying to get one for weeks!
Posted By: DSpanoudakis Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 10/30/05 01:45 PM
What really ticks me is when people assume that electrical work is easy. "Oh yeah, that's easy. It's the same thing everyday. Tie a wire here and there, you're done." Uhm, no? Think what you want to think, but it's a demanding job and does get hard sometimes.
Posted By: Electricmanscott Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 10/31/05 11:03 AM
Looking through some advertising for plumbers and electricians I see some differences. Plumbers mostly say "We charge by the job, not the hour". Electricians mostly say "Lowest prices guaranteed" . If you can't see the point you are part of the problem.
Posted By: Mash Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/21/05 08:37 AM
Here in Australia you must complete a 4 yr apprenticeship (officially gov recognised)and then be licensed to do electrical work. Plumbers also need to do this. For domestic work private contractors seem to charge more than electricians but wage workers earn less. Seems we at least have licensing to keep out the cowboys and with fewer people being trained our wages keep rising as it gets harder to get tradespeople.
Posted By: lamplighter Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/21/05 01:48 PM
Around here, the plumbers and electricians make about the same amount of money. It's not quite fair IMO since a plumber doesn't run as much risk of being killed or killing someone else when he makes a mistake.
On the other hand, plumbers deal with drinkable water and sanitation and where an electrician risks hurting one or two people with a mistake, plumbers risk making large quantities of people sick.
Both have always been considered "Pipe trades" so mabybe the pay should be close to equal but, when Foestauf talked about the $1500.00-$2000.00 a month, I almost fell over. In michigan, the average electrician and plumber both make more than double that working 40 hours a week.
Posted By: lamplighter Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/21/05 01:49 PM
On the lighter side,
The only things I really know about plumbing is that flows downhill, the boss is a jerk and payday is friday!

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 11-21-2005).]
Posted By: mahlere Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/21/05 02:34 PM
if I'm not mistaken, I think NJ recently instituted an education requirement in order to get a plumbing license in this state. I can't speak of anyplace but NJ, but it seems that the pluming contractors association does a much better job of supporting it's members than the electrical contractors association does.

just my $0.02
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/21/05 08:55 PM
You forgot "cold water goes on the right".
Now you are a plumber. ;-)
Posted By: makokiller Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/21/05 10:18 PM
and don't bite your fingernails....
Posted By: luckyshadow Re: Plumbers >>> Electricians? - 11/22/05 01:16 AM
You forgot the most important part of plumbing.... DON'T BITE YOUR NAILS !!
Now your a plumber.

oops responded before seeing there was a second page

[This message has been edited by luckyshadow (edited 11-22-2005).]
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