Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who is your plumber?

There are a few types of plumbing companies and a few different types of plumbers. The types vary from state to state and since I'm in Washington, let's look at here.

Repair and rooter: This is a specialized field that most people are acquainted with. These are the heroes who get your plumbing system working safely and to code. This is what Ball Plumbing does and we do it well.

To work for Ball Plumbing, the repair plumber has to have a clean record, clean driving license, be a registered Washington State Plumber, and be very knowledgeable about plumbing systems.

Ball Plumbing is privately owned by me and I'm a licensed Journeyman Plumber who started this company, but not all companies are like mine. There are franchises, inherited, bought, married into, and all combos therein. In Washington, anyone can own any kind of company, but you need licensed individuals doing the work or you will get fined and/or jailed.

I've seen companies like mine come and go that were run by non-plumbers who thought it was all profit and no overhead...yeah, right. Just the opposite, bubba-breath. This ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around, this is hardcore customer service combined with terrible conditions under great stress surrounded by anxious customers.

And I love it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Man, it's quiet out there and I'm lovin' it! I'm on summer schedule which means Saturday and Sunday is closed...plumber gone fishin'-type of deal. Problem is, come Monday everybody calls and I'm busier tha all git.

Yesterday I had two more disposers and today was disposer-free. I did have a whirlpool tub repair, a stoppage, a sink drain repair, and a toilet rebuild. I feel like a truck driver sometimes because of all the miles I can log.

Off for the weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bellingham garbage...disposers

Sometimes I get runs of certain jobs for no reason other than I get called to do it.

I had three garbage disposers today: Sudden Valley, Fairhaven, and Blaine. Since I carry two types of Insinkerator (but these three customers wanted the same model), I had to go and pick up two more at two different times.

A few months ago, I had a run of water heaters---two a day for 3 weeks---the supply house still talks about that!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quiet Day...for once!

The yellow page ad problem got resolved with a 25% reduction, which is fair considering all my proof mysteriously disappeared.

I had a water heater in Bellingham that was dripping out of the drain valve. Not too bad, if it was caught a month ago. Unfortunately, the drip rotted the wood stand and the 800 lb. water heater fell through to the garage floor. Luckily, the gas was off because the house was just sold!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wrong phone number on yellow page ad

I have a full page and a big column ad in the Yellowbook/MacGregor phone book, okay? Since this Whatcom County/Bellingham coverage is only 160,000 souls including kids, mother-in-laws, and Canadians-who-own-here, the cost isn't as high as Manhattan which has that many people per building.

This year I had the ad done by the same person who did my website. She was convenient, available, and cheap. Those of you who have made a decision based on "convenient, available, and cheap" know what the outcome is going to be....what can I say? I was busy and don't have the patience for ad work, anyway.

The header of the full page ad has the two correct numbers in 25 pt. font, but on the footer one of the numbers is off by one. It reads, in 10 pt. font, 360-733-1293 instead of 1292. At least 5 people a day call that number and they usually get an answering machine. The ones they do get through get either Mr. or Mrs. "We've had this number for 40 years and we aren't giving it up." I offered to buy the number and pay for all the costs, but they insist that this number is what has kept them alive for the last 40 years.

I may or may not survive this year....

Anyway, I did a Bellingham garbage disposer for a lady whose husband is deployed. 12 more months and he'll be home. She got the special price.

From there, it was on to Birch Bay and a Canadian toilet or is that a toilet owned by a Canadian? She was a trip---knew more about US politics than most citizens. I rebuilt her toilet and she's a happy Canuck.

Friday, August 1, 2008

That sewer's history!

Another full day on that 50' sewer in Bellingham, but it's done. The work-at-home dad/customer doesn't like my gruff attitude, but after 16 hours in a sewage-soaked ditch, I did the best I could.

The backhoe saved some time, being it was more mud than dirt.

I did have to jetter (high pressure water) the remaining section under the alley because it was clogged with some packed in sewage.

What a mess, but I'm glad I stuck it out.