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Kids Can Drive You Plumb Crazy! By Dave Halliday
ou’ve had a long day. Up at 5 a.m. for work and a full schedule right up until you arrive home at 6:30 p.m. However, you still manage to spend some quality time with the kids and the wife before tending to a few chores in the garage. It’s now 12:10 a.m. and after a quick stop in the bathroom to brush your teeth, rest will finally arrive. As you finish brushing you notice the toilet needs flushing. You depress the handle and instantly panic as the water level in the bowl rises quickly! Before you can do anything it is running onto the floor as you throw towels at it . . . so much for being sleepy! You clean up a bit and attempt to plunge it with no success. You need a plumber. Fortunately, we at Biz X magazine were able to discuss the finer points of plumbing with Kyle Fowler, President of Fowler Plumbing, working out of 12493 Riverside Drive East, Tecumseh, Ontario (PlumbingWindsor.ca). Fowler Plumbing has been serving the needs of Essex County residents for the past 33 years and Kyle brings 20 years of personal experience to the topic. What would you say are the key considerations for an individual when comparing plumbing professionals? “First of all, you want to make sure you are dealing with licenced, certified companies employing licenced, certified technicians,” states Fowler. “It is important to look for a plumbing contractor who has experience in the particular type of work you require. Companies normally specialize in different types of work. For example some
plumbing contractors specialize in new home construction while some specialize in service/repair work. It takes many years to become proficient in certain fields so it is important to hire the right company to carry out the work you require.” What type of work does Fowler Plumbing specialize in? “We specialize in all types of service repair work, residential, commercial and industrial projects,” indicates Fowler and he adds, “We also do new installations of toilets, faucets, sinks, sump pumps, hot water tanks, etc, basically anything to do with the plumbing system. We also service gas appliances and run gas lines for fireplaces, barbeques, stoves, etc.” What should one expect from their plumbing firm prior to any work? “An understanding of exactly what work will be performed and an agreement on cost or at least a rough idea of what the costs may be,” says Fowler. “It is extremely important to me that my customers are comfortable with all aspects of any given project. The plumbing contractor should commit to a date and time to perform the work and obtain a plumbing permit if the scope of work requires it.” What are the signs that you may be dealing with a non-professional? He explains, “This can be as simple as the eye test. By that I mean how does this person appear when they arrive at your home? Are they dressed in clothing suitable for work conditions? Are they wearing required safety equipment such as work boots? What about the vehicle they arrive in? A professional contractor
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will have a lettered work truck or van, clearly displaying the company name, phone number and required licence numbers.” He continues, “Professional contractors take pride in the company they have worked hard to establish and hire employees who will also reflect this.” Should one expect technical advice and guidance from their plumbing professional? “Yes,” states Fowler. “This is one of the main jobs of a plumbing professional. You should ask as many questions as possible whenever you have any type of tradesperson in your home. These people have acquired a wealth of knowledge over their years of service and should be more than happy to provide advice and guidance.” What are the key elements to maintaining a successful relationship between yourself and your clientele? “Providing quick response to calls, quality service, honest and fair costs and above all, communication as in most cases calling a plumber is an unexpected inconvenience,” says Fowler. “I do everything I can to make sure that process is a pleasant as possible. We want a relationship for life with our customers, after all, our business is our customers.” Well, the toilet is now functional and the plumbing technician indicated he had never seen a collection of items clogging a toilet such as yours! He removed a comb, some wooden puzzle pieces, part of a slinky, two mismatched socks and the toothbrush you’ve been searching for . . . kids are awesome aren’t they?