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\"How much longer will this take?\"

Ken C.
Ken C. Member Posts: 267
As a plumbing and heating technician, I hate being asked by customers, "How long do you think this will take?" I always hesitate to give a firm answer, because especially on old plumbing or heating systems, unforeseen problems can easily pop up.

A master plumber I used to work with gave me this advice: If he had to shut the water down in a large apartment building, and tenants asked "When will the water be back on?" he would give a non-committal answer like, "I will have it on as fast as I can."

I admit I feel pressured when homeowners ask this question, as I'm still fairly new to the trade, so I'm curious how others who are more experienced handle it.


  • Big Ed
    Big Ed Member Posts: 1,117

    If you think it will take 4 hours tell them 8... If you finish in 6 they will be happy. If you told them 5 , they will be back down at 5:30
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    I do not know

    We are doing the best we can, It may be awhile.
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    will you people stop bothering me so i can finish my job ---usually in apartment houses i close the door to the boiler room and always give them a finish time at least double of your estimated time and i always say thats if everything goes right--unless they have flushometers and i needed to shut the building cold water --then i tell them maybe tommorrow evening
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Done Yet???

    I had one of the hotel crews I worked with make me a name tag that said "Done Yet" on it. When we worked on multi-fam units, I'd put the name tag on, and they'd come into the boiler room and say "Ya done yet?", and I'd whirl around, flash a big smile, puff out my chest with the name tag on it and say "I sure am!!"

    I don't think any of the residents actually caught on...


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  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Darling Coleen asked,and i looked around a bit....

    and told her that i had been beatin em with a stick all day and was Sure we'd be out by 2 a.m. *~/:)
    its 1:30 and i am home :) she went to bed after all just how much can a home owner be expected to do in a day :)alll out later today..tools everywhere :)the old boilers Gone :) and the new ones zooming:) 3 IFC's and a triangle tube it just looks so 2000 ish :) thing i like about them isthey look like a fridge rather than a boiler.:) and with a BF -5 they sound maybe even quieter :)
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Good Repleys

    A few Hours.

    The better part of the morning.

    Most of the day.

    " Give me a ballpark " " What size park are we playing in. Is this little league or the Majors ? "

    " Will this be expensive ? " " Compared to what ? A hamburger, yes its expensive. Compared to a new caddilac, no not very expensive at all. "


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  • Geo_2
    Geo_2 Member Posts: 76
    water's off

    Yea but theres always that one guy... you all know him... the guy that has to fly to stockholm in 2 hours... the guy thats way to busy to read the large neon green sign on the front door that say's
    "waters off tomorrow", or the notice slipped under his door and thinks threating legal action will make you turn the water on... yea, that guy.
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Don't know...

    it's my first day in the trades & yours is the first job I've been assigned!

    But where's your boss?

    He went fishing. Said he'd be back for me at 5.

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  • jim_14
    jim_14 Member Posts: 268
    how about

    it will take as long as it takes........

    good advice to the previous poster, always tell em longer then you think.. you come out looking like a hero when you finish earlier.

    when you try to please em and then take longer..well you know how that works out
  • Boiler Guy
    Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585
    How much? How long?

    It'll be more than a dollar butless than a mil but if you need a real accurate price first it's gonna take a lot longer than you expected
  • Maine doug_2
    Maine doug_2 Member Posts: 16
    How long is a piece of string?

    Under promise and over deliver. The other way round and you will always be the guy that never finished when he said he would.
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