Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bellingham Herald Blurb

This is from the 12/4/2011, Sunday edition:

• In an effort to provide customers more flexibility, Ball Plumbing recently added a new payment option, a time and material rate. The company typically used a flat rate on a project, which it will continue to do, but the hourly-plus-parts rate is helpful for unusual projects, said Robert Yancey of Ball Plumbing. Details about the option can be found at

Read more:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Prices

I'm offering the option of time and material now.

The old way with the price book will still be used for those who like it.

Please visit our Services & Prices page on the website.

The phone number that won't die

We had an old rarely used phone number--360-733-1292--before we got the 360-647-2255 (BALL) that I've been trying to kill, but the internet won't lety it die.

I think I finally killed it off the website for the third time. We shall see....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our Google reviews are gone!

Our 7-five star reviews disappeared! The reviews were about fast service and quality repairs. For 3rd party information on Ball Plumbing, visit the State's contractor website , the BBB or Angieslist.

My thanks to the customers who posted reviews.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Plumber

For years, Ball Plumbing has supported NWNPR and we listen daily.

Here's a tribute to plumbers from the Prairie Home Companion. Click the link to access the audio. It's worth the clicking of your mouse.

The Plumber Is The Man
Listen: Ode to the Plumber

When the ice comes and the snow and it's twenty-eight below
And then the temperature begins to fall
And they hear the moan and whine of that frozen water line
Then the plumber is the man who saves them all.

O the plumber is the man, the plumber is the man.
Down into the cellar he must crawl.
He is not sleek and slim but they don't look down on him
For the plumber is the man who saves them all.

When the toilet will not flush and the odor makes you blush
And you cannot use the sink or shower stall,
Then your learning and your art slowly start to fall apart
But the plumber is the man who saves it all.

O the plumber is the man, the plumber is the man.
With his wrenches and his pipes he comes to call.
They can take their sins to Jesus but when their water freezes
Then the plumber is the man who saves them all.

TR: This is Bernie at Murphy's Plumbing. It pays to be polite to your plumber. To invite him to your dinner party and send him a little Christmas gift and a bottle of wine on his birthday. What? You don't know when his birthday is? Time to find out. Because when January rolls around and your pipes freeze and suddenly you find yourself living in the early 19th Century, you want your plumber to know who you are and make time for you in his busy schedule. Get the idea? Good.

Oh, I know that in one's youth that beauty, justice, truth,
Seem to be what life is all about,
But when the facts are faced, you realize that life is based
On water coming in and going out.

They don't let him in their club cause he never dresses up
And he doesn't go for tennis or handball,
Or Mozart or Chopin, but when it hits the fan
Then the plumber is the man who saves them all.

O the plumber is the man, the plumber is the man.
In his vest and rubber boots and overalls.
So don't turn up your nose at the aroma of his clothes
For the plumber is the man who saves us all.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bast the Cat

Our cat of 8 years was euthanized last Friday; she was at least 15 years old! We adopted her from the shelter.

Her health was failing for the last few years. Our good friends at the Whatcom Humane Society took care of her quickly and without fuss.

We miss that mangy ol' cat...........

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whatcom Sheriff

Rarely does a plumber get involved in politics (yeah rite), but this is important.

Whatcom County desperately needs a new sheriff and Deputy Harris fills the bill nicely. Not because he rides a motorcycle, belongs to the Freemasons (I'll be at the next meeting, I promise), has young children (a stake in the community), on and on and on.

Here is his bio via the Herald:

Name: Steve Harris
Age: 43
Family: wife Lillian; children Brittany, 22, Cole, 11, Emily, 6.
Education: high school graduate; attended junior college (no degree); hundreds of hours of job specific course work and continuing education credits.
Work experience: full-time deputy with Whatcom County Sheriff's Office since January 1998 with last eight years as detective; co-owner of a local business for almost two years; worked in the commercial refrigeration industry.
Civic experience: Scottish-Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Bellingham executive board, February 2011-present; Scottish-Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington, assistant director Bellingham, September 2010-present; Public Safety Employees Insurance, Inc. board, January 2010-present; Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild president, November 2007-February 2011; Hannegan Speedway (MBMC, Inc.) president, 2009; Hannegan Speedway finance secretary, 2006-07; Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild first vice president, 2007; American Motorcycle Association, Washington comp. manager, 2005-07.

Now do you see why I'm supporting Deputy Harris?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Phone Number Deleted

I killed 360-733-1292 because we got the 360-647-BALL (2255) number. Actually, 1292 woulda died a long time ago if it wasn't for the internet plastering it all over the place.

And, of course, we've been getting calls about the dead number....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On the other hand....

Out of sheer boredom, I read Craigslist the other day. Some local restauranteer was advertising for a plumber to do a side job at a new restaurant. He was willing to trade services, too. Free cheeseburgers for life?

Now that violates how many local, state, and federal laws? No contractor license, one. No workman's comp insurance, two. Undeclared income (feds hate that), three. The list goes on.

If the plumber hurts himself on that job, Mr. Cheeseburger is liable for all medical costs and rehab, regardless of the plumber's status. This tidbit includes any casual labor including the neighbor's kid digging fence posts.

The ad is gone today. Most likely the State called him--the State does monitor the underground economy--and ordered him to pull the ad.

Beyond the legal problems with hiring unlicensed tradesmen is the whole Craigslist thing. There was the home invasion in Seattle where the husband was murdered and the wife was beaten after running an ad in Craigslist selling a diamond ring. This happened last month or so.

Be careful out there. Saving a few bucks on plumbing that lasts decades is not worth the price.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

voice mail

Today, I got lambasted by a woman for not returning her voice mail she left for me late Sunday night a few weeks ago.

I didn't see it. It is not there.

Please, if you don't hear from us after leaving a voice mail, call during regular hours.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Be wary of contractors who:

The following is from the State's website.

Be wary of contractors who:

-Provide credentials or references that can’t be verified.
-Offer a special price only if you sign today or use other high-pressure
sales techniques.
-Accept only cash, require large deposits or the entire cost up front or
ask you to make the payment in their name.
-Do not provide a written contract or complete bid.
-Ask you to pick up the building permit. In most instances, the
contractor is required to take out the permits. Permits are your
protection and help ensure that work will meet local building codes.
-Offer exceptionally long warranties.
-Want to do most or all the work on weekends and after-hours.
-Give you an offer that sounds “too good to be true.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sewage in the heating duct

A sometimes-customer called me about a leak. I get there and there's water in the main heating duct that runs through his basement. I look all around, follow all those CPVC pipes (some other plumber installed years ago) that are lying on the duct, and crawled back into the crawl space. Coluldn't find a leak.

I go to the truck and cry for a few minutes, then it occurs to me that the drain pipe from the toilet is partially boxed in a make-shift duct that connects to the main duct. Yeah, it looks as strange as it sounds..

I have the customer flush the toilet, while I monitor it from the crawlspace. Sure enough, I hear the toilet water flowing down the heat duct!

I run upstairs and get the low down on the new toilet. Seems that he bought a terrible Kohler toilet from Lowes and had the Lowes sub-contractor install it. Well, the Lowes installer anchored the toilet with wood screws---instead of closet bolts---and used a skinny wax ring. Hacks, the lot of 'em.

Well, that's not the whole problem. As I'm flushing the toilet and laughing at Lowes and my customer for hiring Lowes, the toilet backs up into the tub! A mainline sewer stoppage, too!

This sewer has been a headache for every plumber in town. Last year, I snaked it, jetted it, camera-ed it and tried to get him to replace at least the bad part, but noooooooo.......he said since I got it open, it'll keep.

Yeah, it kept, until it backed up a year later into a Lowes-installed Kohler toilet and sewage poured into his heat ducts!

Long story longer, I cleared the sewer stoppage with blades and a jetter, replaced the crappy Kohler-Lowes toilet, repaired the damage the Lowes installer did, and charged him accordingly.

Lesson learned: you may think you're saving money by cutting corners (going to Lowes and using cheap labor), but water is unforgiving. Don't cheap out on the plumbing.

A house without plumbing is a garage.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Broken sewer

Look closely and you'll see the electrical ground rod dead center through the sewer. This boo-boo happened 20 years ago.

Monday, February 14, 2011

WTA Buses

We have new bus ads on 2 local WTA buses. They look similar to the old ones---lots of logos bouncing around like so many baseballs--but with the updated logo.

Check them out:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Is your water bill getting higher?? You should always check toilets, faucets, and hose bibs for leaks. Remember...large job or small, Call Ball!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hello 2011

I can't believe we are in the 2nd week of the new year!! It looks like today might also be our final freezing day for a couple weeks! Goodbye 20's, Hello 50's!! You should still be insulating your pipes. As we have learned, mother nature changes course quickly and sometimes without much warning! Look around your your kitchen faucet old? Does it need a replacement? What about your toilet? Call Ball! 360-757-4455, 360-647-2255