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Want to be a plumber?

Discuss Want to be a plumber? at UK Plumbers Forums; Good topic for the new starters ! A few points I have discovered: Sometimes cheap tools are good - like when you need them, but only once a month/week. Work ...
  1. #13
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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Good topic for the new starters !

    A few points I have discovered:

    Sometimes cheap tools are good - like when you need them, but only once a month/week. Work out what tools can be cheap - like the £15 jigsaw i have got, and used twice. I would be ****ed if it cost £200!!

    Essential tools to spend a few quid on:
    Hammer drill (£70 2kg SDS plus is a good un)
    10v cordless Screwdriver (use mine all day long!) - best when small tho
    (Bosch 10.8v £90)
    4kg SDS with chisel (mine is an erbauer £70 - I core cut, chisel, punch though walls and it keeps going!)

    Dont even think about cordless hammer drills - waste of money unless you have £300 for the bestest. Corded are better, but a light SDS even so.

    Start with the basics, even cheap tools if they get you going.

    You can always replace them in a year or two when they die off, with the best you can afford.

    I have upgraded my DIYish tools now to Makita, Bosch and Dewalt. I am also considering the Millwakee M12 12v kit, but cannot quite justify the spend alas!!

    I am a bit of a 'tool junkie'!!

    Milwaukee

    M12 12V Lithium-Ion 4pce Kit

  2. #14
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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Yes I suppose squirrels right. It is lonely being a Plumber, I've mostly worked for companies and its the same there.

    The van man goes out by himself and may only speak to the customers not other employees. Even on site its the same. You go in a house by yourself and usually stay by yourself all day, unless another trade comes in.

    Working on sites was mad, you usually found your where inside during Summer and outside in Winter, then somebody says to you "It must be lovely working on the building in this fine weather?" You haven't seen much of it.

    In reality of course. somebody in work is supposed to check your at least alive each day, but they don't.

    The worst is that horrible "pager" I had a job hearing one at one company and so I put it on to "vibrate" so I could at least feel it if I could not hear it. Then I put it into my breast pocket on my boiler suite. I was bending down all crushed up trying to get to a pipe when it went off.

    Yeee! Ow! It was like having palpitations or what I thought palpitations may feel like.
    It nearly knocked me out.

    Then they go off every couple of minutes while your working and you have to stop, then run and find a phone usually to be asked something daft by boss or office staff.
    My usually "nowty" mood then goes to ballistic and I start shouting at people for no real reason. I don't mean it of course and then go back and try to apologise, its just stress.

    No they don't tell you any of that about Plumbing, nor about some times being out longer giving free estimates than you are doing paid work.

    Its probably better to link with the likes of B and Q and do jobs on estimates rather than call outs.
    Last edited by Bernie2; 14-07-2009 at 12:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Quote Originally Posted by helpsy View Post
    Great advice.
    I am about to finish my course and go out on my own,ideally I would have liked to have spent some time working with an experienced plumber,but current market thats not to be(was made redundant last week).So I have to take the plunge,it undoubtedly will be a very steep learning curve in the real world,away from the training course.
    I have been planning this for a while now,it hasn't been cheap,course £5600 ,tools £3500 and about to get a van for about £7000
    You have to be prepared to invest in YOUR future,I'll give it my best shot.
    I think if you're reliable,punctual,friendly,polite,honest and do a good job for a fair price,peopl will return.
    Anyway all the best to the people about to take the plunge and go it alone WELL DONE


    £7000 for your first van.
    I brought a realy tidy 2000 wreg transit for a bargain £700 tax and mot'd. Plenty good enough to start with.

    I agree on the tools par to, whilst going through my training last year i brought the odd tool hear and there so i didnt need to spend loads when i desided to go self employed. Even now, and believe me my vans loaded with tools, i still get to a job and think, hmm 'such and such' would have been usefull here i must get one.
    Cheap tools do have there disadvantages, they only last 2 minutes!

    Had my first stop cock change last week, and that was soooo nerve raking lol, i find all new jobs like this at the moment, But when you say to the customer all well, and they are pleased, thats what counts for a good job.

    Hat off to you squirrel, and best of luck to you fella and all us other newbies
    Last edited by Seb.Pickering; 15-08-2009 at 08:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    secret squirrel where do you dive

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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Secret squirrel, this is my advice.

    Dont by a cheap old van for £200 you will look like you have just started out or are an untidy worker. (1st impressions) Get one with a nice paint job and good quality sign writting.

    Wear a nice clean and tidy uniform to come across as a professional. Just because we do an manual job doesnt mean we have to be covered in dirt and look a mess.

    I would invest in good quality tools that will last you. The last thing you want is to be stuck on a job when your tools let you down.

    I have been in this job for 11 years and find it very rewarding and far from lonley.

    Take from this post what you will, but many of the plumbers / heating engineers i speak with earn in excess of 50k per year and a few are millionaires but are still on the tools (BECAUSE THEY ARE GOOD AT THERE JOB!)

    Your local barber would shave your head for £5.00, vidal sasoon would charge you £500 for the same job, whats the difference? One is better than the other...simple.

    Its no different....know your self worth but be honest.

    Hope this has helped a little.
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  6. #18
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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Nice post squirrel,,re: the lonely comment I know what you mean.

    I liken it to being in solitary confinement (not that I know what thats like of course!!!) but it can be a bit depressing being cooped up in a bathroom all day, much better working with a colleague.

    Good luck with your networking.

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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    I bet you'd be happier to work on your own rather than have some annoying customer there every 2 seconds over your shoulder and getting in your way.

  8. #20
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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Great post i'd just like to make people aware of my situation. I carried out a course with OLCI appx 2 years ago and gained my level 2 NVQ. I have a very well paid job doing skilled electrical work on the railway and the 10 years ive been doing it been very busy. 2 reasons i went and done the level 2, 1st was im a hands on man and the endless hours doing paperwork in my van left me needing more as i was only 28 at the time. 2nd is the railway hours are obviously unsociable and nobody ever gets used to a night shift especially at weekends.
    Anyway i passed the course and contacted every single plumbing company i could find basically saying to them that i had a job and would take the smallest amount of money they could pay me to give them a hand and if they didnt need to use me for months its not a problem but the odd shift would help with an experienced man if you get my drift. I was also very good with maintenance problems so could perhaps make them a few quid for minimal return.......
    Out of 40 ish applications i had 10 replys basically saying,not at the minute.
    I saw the situation as a win win situation so what am i missing. I understand that perhaps they want to train up someone permanent but one or 2 days a month surely would be beneficial. Anyway ill keep looking and continue to carry out small jobs in my spare time as i enjoy the work.
    Thanks for readind sorry its long winded its taken bloody ages to write

  9. #21

    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Good bit of info guys thanx for these great posts, i am looking to start a course with olci when i get made redundant sumtime in the new year and will get a good redundancy payment to start up with, ive also got my uncle who is a plumber to gain valuable experience off before i go it alone..

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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    i to am finding it lonley at the moment im back working alone after 20 years with partners not something id thought about when i parted company dont even seem to get many builders jobs anymore

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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    great
    most plumbers charge for labour and the parts
    that gets added on
    so how can u say u areout of pocket
    dont get it

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    Default Re: Want to be a plumber?

    Great info in this thread guys - think there is a lot of info for the beginners in us. I also have the luxuory/disadvantage of holding down a full time job so can only do work outside normal hours or weekends, so again hope this improves after this recession ends.

    Think the main point is do not run before you can walk as if you spend £'000 on tools they do indeed cost you when not in use. Think if you use your college/tutor or this foruum you will get the tools fit for purpose at a decent price

    J

Everybody loves a good deal: Deals and Discounts on Dozens of Powertools!
Everybody loves a good deal: Deals and Discounts on Dozens of Powertools!

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