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6 PHCCWA President’s Message - Gerald Church 6 PHCCWA Member Testimonials 8 Why Plumbers and Plumbing Contractors Need to Organize Now! 12 Strategies to Face Today’s Risks 14 IAPMO GreenPlumbers Solar Hot Water Workshop Offered Online 16 PHCC National Association 2012 Legislative Conference PHCC of Washington

17 PHCCWA Owner’s Event 18 Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk

PHCC of Washington News is published twice per year for the Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors of Washington Association Greta Flinn, Executive Manager PO Box 64580 University Place, WA 98464-0580 Toll Free: (888) 891-9240 Fax: (866) 272-2545

20 Combating the Underground Economy in Construction 23 What is Happening in the National Association? By Gerry Kennedy 24 PHCC National Auxiliary - About Us 25 PHCC Educational Foundation 26 PHCCWA 2012 Annual Golf Tournament

For information on advertising in this magazine, please contact the publisher: Jim Aitkins • Blue Water Publishers, LLC • (360) 805-6474

27 Labor & Industries Contractor Compliance Contact List 28 What Can the Association Do For Me? 29 PHCCWA Membership Application and Top Reasons to Join 30 A Vision for the Next Generation

A Special Thank You to Our Advertisers Bradford White



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PHCCWASHINGTON President’s Message


am writing this on Election Day 2012 so I don’t know who will be the leader of our great nation for the next four years, but I do know the last four years have been difficult for our industry. Many of our fellow contractors have fallen by the wayside. Don’t become one of them. We, as an industry, need to educate ourselves. I spent a lot of years looking at other plumbers as the enemy...someone to avoid, stay away from, for fear they would steal my business. Then a few years ago, in desperation, I joined this group called PHCC and what I discovered is those other guys out there are a great resource for me, and they are more than willing to share ideas and tricks of the trade.                 Then there is PHCC National which is dedicated to the advancement of our industry on a national level but always makes time for individuals. The national convention each year brings new products and services to our attention and great educational seminars to teach us how to improve, not only our individual businesses, but the industry as a whole.         So, whether you are a small or large plumbing company, or are a contractor who wants to grow or just maintain your business, PHCC has something for you.  Check the website or call about

opportunities to check us out. If you have a desire to be more involved in your industry, to step up and make a difference, PHCC can be a vehicle to learning how. In this magazine you will find information on some new legislation aimed at improving our industry within Gerald Church the state of Washington. Please take a moment to make your voice heard and encourage your employees, employers and friends to help by making theirs heard as well. I’m sure you have all seen the shoddy, unsafe and unsanitary plumbing done by untrained, unlicensed and unprofessional individuals in your neighborhoods. Help us put an end to this B.S. You don’t have to be a PHCC member to make a difference and every voice counts. Every plumbing journeyman and apprentice in the state should be proud of the contribution you make to the sanitation and health of your community.

PHCCWA member testimonials on what PHCC has done for them or, in some cases, what they have done for the PHCC “For me, it is not about what PHCC can do for me, but about how I can give something back to the industry that has been good to me for 40 years and I see PHCC as the vehicle to do that.” Gerald Church PHCCWA President J & K Plumbing “Networking opportunities have been so rewarding. No price tag can be put on the information among my peers.” Jim Stack PHCCWA Vice President Stack Plumbing, Inc. “PHCCWA has provided my business and myself with positive and mentor relationships, up to date on current events, state legislation and new products.” Sean Daly The Art of Plumbing 6

“PHCC caused me to meet my husband and move all the way across the country. I have enjoyed the friendships that I have made all across the country. I enjoy giving back to the industry and have been involved on a State and National level. It is amazing that the other contractors you meet have the same problems and successes we all do.” Sandy Stack PHCC Auxiliary President

“PHCC is a great group of business owners who all come together to make a better industry for all ages. PHCC also helps to provide the tools for plumbers to be informed, educate themselves. PHCC is a team player.” Kristi Kendrick Quality Plumbing

“PHCC has given me the opportunity to be involved with members that care about their industry as much as their bottom line. Everybody is professional, cares about their peers and customers… it’s inspiring.” Jim Walton LineScape “The PHCC offers the opportunity to actually have a voice for me as a small contractor in the business of plumbing.” Evan Conklin Evan Conklin Plumbing & Heating, Inc. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

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Viega MegaPress and Viega MegaPressG for water and gas applications. The global leader in plumbing, heating and pipe joining systems • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


Why Plumbers and Plumbing Contractors

By Greta Flinn PHCCWA Executive Manager

Need To

Organize Now THE ISSUES AFFECTING LICENSED PLUMBERS AND PLUMBING CONTRACTORS 1. Unlicensed Plumbers – ineffective enforcement of plumber licensing 2. Fake Plumbing Companies – General Contractors Advertising Plumbing Services 3. The Cost of Advertising – Is incredibly high due to unfair competition from the unlicensed 4. Lack of Consumer Awareness – They don’t know that real plumbers are a licensed trade The plumbing trade is a regulated industry in Washington State. All plumbing work must be performed by those with a certificate of experience; in other words – a license. Over the years there has been a concerted effort by those not in the plumbing trade to evade the law that restricts who may engage in the trade. The attack on the plumber and the plumbing contractor has come from many directions. There is not one enemy of the licensed plumber, but many. The most significant cause of the plumber license losing credibility and value over the years is the passivity and inattention of the licensed plumber. As a rule, once we have the license in our hand we don’t think much about it other than to complain about the renewal fees or the imposition of the continuing education requirements. A plumber license represents years of study, certified training and official permission to engage in a regulated profession. The dictionary defines license as “a permission granted by competent authority to engage in a business or occupation or in an activity otherwise unlawful.” A license excludes others by law. If enforcement of a law is weak or ineffective nobody will obey the law. Today the plumbing industry is under attack from those that wish to be engaged in the business of plumbing without a license. The sad fact is that there hasn’t been much resistance from those of us that are most affected, i.e. licensed plumbers, plumbing contractors and consumers. The plumbing industry has been invaded by anybody that wants to represent themselves as plumbers without the license because nobody has had a keen interest in the enforcement of plumber licensing.

Who is violating licensing laws? The following trades and businesses all advertise plumbing services today – effectively violation existing law: • Rooter companies with no licensed plumbers or only a token plumber • General contractors advertising plumbing services • Plumber trainees that abandon their training and advertise as contractors • Handymen with or without contractor registration • Fraudulent website plumbing companies with fake registrations • HVAC companies advertising water heater sales and installations • Water heater companies advertising installation of water heaters • Hardware stores offering water heater installations • Building maintenance service companies providing plumbing repairs. • Retail Stores • Marketing Companies with fake websites selling leads • Third Party Referral Services that promote plumbing businesses with no licenses • Website resellers It is a long list… As a licensed plumber for over thirty five years, I have to admit that I had no idea how easily my license could become a worthless piece of paper until I saw the bigger picture. I didn’t realize that the value of a license is based solely upon what others think it to be. It’s like money. Money is just a piece of paper with ink on it. It only has value if you and I agree that it has some representative value. A couple of hundred years ago a dollar was Continued on page 10

8 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

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Represented by Hollabaugh Brothers & Assoc. 800-878-5585 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


a day’s wages. Today a dollar might buy you a day-old donut. That dollar bill is only worth what we are willing to trade it for. An image comes to my mind – My father described Italians during the Second World War hauling lira in wheelbarrows to exchange at the bank for US dollars. My fear today is that our plumber licenses will be worthless soon and we won’t even notice until it is too late. The homeowners don’t know that plumbers need licenses so the license is worth nothing to them. The rooter companies advertise plumbing with a contractor registration as cover – the public assumes a contractor registration is a license. They don’t know the difference because the rooter companies, and others, have aggressively been substituting “plumbing technicians” instead of plumbers for years.

if we assume that it takes 10 clicks (it may be closer to 15) to make the phone ring once the cost per click with Google is about $9.40. In Jan 2012 I checked out three sponsored Google ads that were advertising plumbing companies that nobody ever heard of here in Seattle. These ads had been hogging the top of the page results when “Seattle Plumber” was searched for with Google. The average cost per click was $32. A typical neighborhood service plumber cannot afford that kind of cost. The cost per call was over $300! The money-to-burn advertiser turned out to be an out-of-state “pretend plumbing company.” With a contractor registration and no plumbers, that would pay any price to get their phone to ring. Obviously, anybody that pays $300+ for the lead is going to be very motivated to over-sell. We need to find a way for our customers to find us without paying potentially hundreds of dollars for every incoming call. This is where all the corporate media providers are taking us: Hundreds of dollars per service call upfront cost or our phones don’t ring. All I can say is that we apparently are in the wrong business. We need to get into the marketing game. The primary resource that the homeowner uses to find a plumber today is the Internet. Unfortunately, the search engines and directories are so corrupt with false listings and pay-perclick schemes that no legitimate local plumber can afford to pay the bill without going over to the dark side.

PLUMBING ADVERTISING COSTS How Counterfeit Plumbing Companies drive up local advertising costs. In the old days, when there was only one phone book and life was simple, my quarter page plumbing ad cost me $600 a month. That was back in the 1970’s. We did about four jobs a day on the average with two plumbers and had a total advertising cost that worked out to about $7.00 a job. I thought that was a lot of money. I couldn’t argue with the fact that if you put an ad in the yellow pages your phone would ring so I paid it and was happy. The world has changed. Back then we were not competing Consumer Awareness with unlicensed plumbers like we do today. The hijacking of the residential plumbing industry by I received an independent survey comparing YP.COM and powerful sales and marketing interests has seriously impacted Google advertising costs. I licensed plumbers and plumbing guess that they sent it to me contractors. But we are not the to make me feel better about only victims. In fact we are not Washington State defines “plumber” and signing an annual contract even the primary victim. “plumbing contractor” with them (the on-line yellow The homeowner is the real pages) that cost me thousands target for all the licensing and The legal definition of a plumber in Washington of dollars for an “enhanced” Internet fraud. The plumber State is defined in WAC 296-400A-005 as anyone who directory listing. (http:// suffers collateral damage as the has learned the plumbing trade and has been issued a plumber makes his way to journeyman certificate of competency by the department. yp-delivers-better-value-thanthe homeowner via the illicit WAC 296-200A-016 : A plumbing contractor in google-adwords-129210) marketing and advertising routes. this specialty installs, alters, repairs and renovates all If we are going to get our potable water, building supply, and distribution pipes; all According to the survey: integrity and our economic plumbing fixtures and traps; all drainage and vent pipes; Plumbers are paying Google security back we are going to and all building drains and building sewers, including $94. YP.COM will charge have to increase the consumers’ their respective joints and connections, devices, you $43 per incoming call. awareness of the difference receptors, and appurtenances within the property lines I thought that only between a real plumber and a of the premises and shall include potable water piping, the plumbers were fake one. Today the consumer potable water treating or using equipment, medical gas paying the big bucks to has no idea that fake plumbers and medical vacuum systems, liquid and fuel gas piping, make their phone ring exists. Conversely, they are so and water heaters, hydronic heating systems and vents but apparently I was used to fake plumbers that they for same. Includes solar heating equipment attached to mistaken. The rule is that have no idea what a real licensed potable water systems. Plumber certification is required you only get a call for so plumber is. for work within a building per chapter 18.106 RCW. many clicks on the ad so There are many more 10 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

consumers than there are plumbers or plumbing contractors. It is impossible for us to organize the consumers but we can educate and inform them. In fact, we must do this if we wish gain control of the relationship between our business and our customer. The only thing we have to figure out is how to afford to do it when most of our work has been siphoned off and we are having trouble paying our bills now.

requires plumbing advertising to be restricted to plumbing contractors. Washington State Law allows general contractors to advertise plumbing services. If we want better enforcement we need to change the law. We proposed such a change with a new legislative bill in Washington – SB6476 (2012) that would really make a difference. The bill never got out of committee because there was no obvious support for the bill from Washington plumbers, plumbing contractors or consumers. The bill didn’t die - it was put on hold until the January 2013 legislative session. It will not be sponsored again however unless we can show to the legislators that it has support. PHCCWA is notifying every licensed plumber in Washington that there is legislation in their favor that is intended to protect the value of their plumber license.

WHAT CAN WE DO? Organize. There is strength in numbers. • Plumbers are licensed individually but only have a voice collectively. There are 5400 of us. • Plumbing contractors are small businesses. As a group we have power. There are about 1500 of us. • Consumers can’t be organized but we can organize education campaigns that achieve the desired result. Advertising Co-operative PHCC is the only organized association of plumbing Small plumbing contractors need a way to be found by their businesses in this state. We need to start with what we have. customers. There is no rational reason that a small neighborhood We are interested and motivated. The first thing we need to business should have to pay out of state marketing companies do is get more members any way we can. Nobody is going to thousands of dollars to be found locally. Google and nationwide team up with us, however, unless we offer something of obvious business directories want multi-thousand dollar annual contracts value in return for membership. We have value now but nobody to have our business listings shown to our customers. seems to know it. If they did they would be here already. The The PHCC can sponsor co-operative advertising for all their legislation we are endorsing and actively participating in is a members. good start. Perhaps we can expand small business seminars For more information please visit our website at to small plumbing contractors here that address the issues we are all really concerned about. Training of apprentices is a problem for many service companies for example. From Tubs to Toilets and Faucets to Water Heaters... We need to have a central point where We have solutions for most of your needs. the licensed plumbers can gravitate. We are Give us a call! notifying every plumber in this state about the licensing legislation. Those that respond or wish to know more are candidates for a truly innovative association of plumbers. Can the PHCC organize programs for plumbers? Should we? What can we offer them? A job board? An on-line blog? Computer literacy lessons? Representation in Olympia? Free CE credits? We need to think about these things. The individual licensed plumber is the key to everything plumbing related in this state. The problem is that the licensee is just one person; consequently he has been ignored as an individual. If we can organize the individual plumbers around a common cause, like the devaluation of our licenses, we will have a force in this state that can change the direction we are heading. Legislation We need to support legislation that • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


Strategies to Face Today’s Risks > > > > > > > > >


usiness owners purchase insurance to protect them from the risks that could cause the most damage to their businesses. In past decades, those potential catastrophic risks were fire, storms and accidents. Today, these risks still exist, and a host of others have been added—the threat of terrorism; environmental exposures from mold, asbestos, and other contaminants; exorbitant liability lawsuits; and increased costs from medical inflation. Many of these emerging risks are beyond the control of insurers or any one industry, but there are steps that business owners can take to help alleviate the worry. Today, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to safety and security. And, the best way you can control costs is by investing in loss prevention strategies and taking measures to reduce or eliminate the possibility for loss. It is also critical that you assume more control of your insurance program. These steps will help you get on the right track: 1). select a stable insurance company, 2). assign a “designated risk manager,” and 3). obtain your loss history from your current and past insurers.

months before your policy’s expiration date—even sooner if you have several locations. Find out what types of records are needed and organize all information before meeting with your insurance representative. Present your loss information and financial statements early in the quoting process and make sure all information is complete. Also, provide other critical information about your business such as your safety program, driving standards and motor vehicle report (MVR) procedures, hiring practices, unique risks, etc. If you need to contact several insurance companies to gather your loss information, start early. Many companies require key information to be submitted two to three months before your renewal. The best advice is to establish or improve upon sound risk management practices that will help you remain profitable and provide some peace of mind during worrisome times.

Choose your insurer carefully In today’s environment, financial stability and corporate accountability is paramount. Choose a company rated A or better by the leading insurance industry analyst the A.M. Best Company, and rated highly by others as well. Also, look for risk management assistance from your insurer that will help you develop good business practices that prevent losses and save profits. It is equally important to work with an insurance company experienced in insuring your industry. Designated a risk manager Companies that have an individual specifically assigned to prevent and reduce losses are the most successful at controlling them. Top management must support the designated risk manager. This person is responsible and accountable for identifying loss exposures and implementing risk management solutions. The goal is to change ineffective business practices that often lead to losses that can adversely affect your bottom line. Tips to obtain affordable insurance Start your insurance renewal process early, three to six 12 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

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IAPMO GreenPlumbers Solar Hot Water Workshop Offered Online through Hanley Wood University

he 20-minute program is a sampling from IAPMO’s GreenPlumbers Training and Accreditation core classes of environmental literacy, which are appropriate for plumbers or individuals who are interested in improving the performance of solar thermal water heaters and in sustainable plumbing designs and installations. The program’s goal is to reintroduce solar thermal concepts and business opportunities to the plumbing trade. The program will provide the viewer with the information needed to briefly describe the design strategies for solar thermal hot water systems and to identify the types of systems and know each system’s geographic limitations. The Webinar is available at http://hanleywooduniversity. com/learncenter.asp?id=178409&page=690. Doug Kirk, IAPMO’s director of Green Plumbing curriculum, said solar thermal water heating was quite popular from the mid-1970’s to the mid-1980’s, especially in the Southwestern United States. The cessation of state and federal tax incentives and a decline in energy rates dramatically slowed solar sales until just a few years ago, he said, when consumers began to search for more renewable energy options. “With more environmental concerns, some property owners


are looking for ways to reduce operating costs, as well as their carbon footprint,” Kirk said. “GreenPlumbers Training believes reintroducing this technology can reignite the plumbing trade’s participation in developing green jobs and making happy property owners.” Hanley Wood is among the nation’s top providers of educational and training programs for construction professionals. All of the courses found on are free and may be accessed at any time. GreenPlumbers Training is an innovative accreditation program that assists homebuilders, architects and plumbers in understanding their roles in the environment and public health. The focus is on changing consumer and plumbing behavior through the use of energy efficient and water-saving technologies. GreenPlumbers Training is a subsidiary of The IAPMO Group. To learn more, visit www. Sponsor of the Uniform Codes, IAPMO – The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials – works in concert with government and industry for sale, sanitary plumbing and mechanical systems. Learn more about IAPMO at • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

I provide Modern Comfort and batting practice.

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What do the Beach Boys, Mickey Mouse, and T&S low-lead faucets have in common?

They all got their start in California, and they all swept the nation. Although California led the way with the AB1953 legislation mandating low-lead faucets, it’s only a matter of time until they are required in all states. And T&S is ready — all of our faucets are low-lead compliant and are available across the country. And, as always, T&S faucets are as rugged and reliable as they come, and meet the requirements of the Buy America Act. Contact your sales rep for more information.

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Mickey Mouse® and the Beach Boys® are trademarks of Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Brothers Records, Inc., respectively, and T&S Brass has no affiliation with either such entity. PHCC of Washington TSB-437 Low Lead PHCC• Ad PUBS.indd 17

News • Fall 2012

12/2/10 8:5815 AM

Plumbing ~ Heating ~ Cooling Contractors National Association 2012 Legislative Conference


ore than 130 PHCC members “took care of business” during the April 25-26 Legislative Conference. During visits on Capitol Hill, contractors and association executives lobbied for key PHCC positions, including support for permanent repeal of the estate tax, a more workable EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) and a Congressional hearing on the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s development of workforce guidelines for the Weatherization Assistance Program. “We were very pleased with the results of this conference,” said PHCC President Keith Bienvenu. “Not only were the meetings with legislators very beneficial, we have also received requests to be involved in new small business groups that are being formed. This is a true reflection of the year-long time, energy, passion and commitment that PHCC members invest in building relationships with those who decide policy that impacts our industry.” Prior to the Capitol Hill appointments, participants heard from a mix of political analysts, national lawmakers and federal agency officials during an opening session, breakfast and evening events, including a Col. George D. Scott reception recognizing PHCC’s 130th anniversary. Highlights of the conference appear below. House Small Business Committee Chair Addresses PHCC Legislative Breakfast The chairman of the powerful House Small Business Committee, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), addressed PHCC members at the legislative breakfast. Graves discussed several issues of importance to PHCC and offered keen insight into how PHCC can continue to be effective on small business issues on Capitol Hill. He updated PHCC on issues like estate tax repeal, the regulatory process, more funding for education and new opportunities for small business to enter the federal procurement process. In his committee leadership position, Rep. Graves is the leading advocate for small business in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a result of the legislative conference, Rep. Graves has invited PHCC to join the House Small Business Committee industry working group. The working group is a body of industry and Capitol Hill leaders who engage, discuss and work on issues with the intent of solving problems and seeking opportunities for small business.


Renowned Political Analyst Assesses Presidential/ Congressional Races Conference opening speaker Mort Kondracke has been on the Washington, D.C., scene for more than 40 years and has covered and reported on every facet of American politics. During his remarks to PHCC, the political pundit provided insight on where we are – and why we are where we are—as a nation. He also addressed how the national election year and other political issues are impairing progress on Capitol Hill in important areas like the national debt, energy and environmental policies, immigration and educational policies, etc. Regarding the presidential election, he predicted that it will be “very, very close, loud and nasty.” He added that, “unless something unforeseen happens, the next president will have a divided government again.” In the House and Senate, he said there is a chance that Republicans will win the United States Senate and Republicans will continue to hold the U.S. House of Representatives (but will lose some seats). Small Business Administration Chief Offers Direct Voice for PHCC Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, met with PHCC members to offer his thoughts and ideas into how his department can help and offer assistance to small business. Sargeant is the “watch dog” for small business within the Administration and often advocates on behalf of small business on Capitol Hill. “We’re here to amplify your voice,” he said. Sargeant pointed to recent small business victories of interest to PHCC, including repeal of the three percent withholding rule and efforts to make the EPA’s Lead Renovation and Repair Ruling more flexible. He conveyed his desires to form a business roundtable with PHCC that is structured in a way in which PHCC members can have a direct voice with SBA. PHCC Members Bid Farewell to a True Friend of the Industry At the close of the conference, PHCC members said goodbye to retiring U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona. Sen. Kyl has been a true friend to PHCC and his closing message was simple yet direct… .”get to know your lawmakers while they are in your district and state….if you wait until your Members of Congress are in Washington, D.C., you’ve missed the opportunity to have a voice.” The next PHCC Legislative Conference will be spring 2013. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

PHCC of Washington

Owner’s Event

Thank you to all our members who attended the Owner’s Event in Leavenworth, WA. Although it was smoky due to the fires in Western Washington, we had a great time together. On behalf of PHCC of Washington, I would like to thank our sponsorships who made the weekend a success: • • • • • • •

Consolidated Supply Company Ferguson Keller Supply Company Plumb Master, Inc. ServPro of Edmonds and Lynnwood Cashmere Cider Mill Icicle Ridge Winery. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk: True-blue Auburn couple savors thrill, honor as super fans


eff and DeDe Schumaier seem like a normal couple. They used to live in a one-story house behind Home Depot in Auburn, but have since moved to a larger house on the hill so Mrs. Seahawk has more room for Seahawk gear. He drives a truck for Veneer Chip Transport and she is a waitress at the Southcenter Sizzler, a job she has held for 23 years. They don’t have children. They grieve over the cat they recently lost and enjoy learning the quirks of their new feline. They seem pretty typical. Until game day, that is, when they transform into Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk, a pair of anything-but-normal Seattle NFL fans. Just how off the wall? You decide: • The Schumaiers were married on the 50-yard line of the Kingdom before a sold-out game on Sept. 20, 1998. Of course, Jeff proposed a year earlier on the Jumbotron. • There home is covered from floor to ceiling with Seahawks memorabilia and merchandise – from Beanie Babies to autographed footballs. And not just one room, but every room is covered – the bathroom with its blue Seahawks curtain, bath towels and hand towels. Right down to the blue and green soap. Even their bedroom is draped in blue and green. • A huge blow-up football player stands in their yard near a Kingdome replica (surrounded by chucks of concrete from the real thing). A seat from the imploded dome sits on their porch. • On game days, DeDe awakens at 4 a.m. and puts on an authentic uniform, paints her face and fastens on her wig and tiara. She gets up early so she has time to paint the emblem on Jeff’s face and to apply the makeup of two other super fans. The madness is overwhelming, yet it started so innocently. DeDe, 47, grew up in Auburn, her mother a Green Bay Packers fan. DeDe was in high school when the Seahawks came into being. “I didn’t get crazy about it until the early ‘80s,” she said. That’s when she started to attend games. Her Seahawks craze started with a jersey and a dash of flamboyance. Patti Hammond, known in Seahawk circles as “Mama Blue,” another full-tilt fan, told DeDe of a premonition: “You’re going to be the one that carries this on.” “Mama Blue came up to me and said, ‘You’re


going to be the next me,’ “Schumaier recalled of the now-75year-old-superfan. I remember thinking, ‘I’m not going to let her down. I’ll take it to the top…and then some.” Around the same time, one of DeDe’s customers at Sizzler gave her a stuffed animal named “Moose” clad in Seahawks colors. From then on, DeDe said, she had to have every piece of Seahawks memorabilia she could get her hands on. In 1986, DeDe reconnected with Jeff Schumaier, a high school classmate who had returned to Auburn after living in Montana for about 10 years. The two began working out together and found that they had a common passion: They loved the Seahawks. “We became boyfriend and girlfriend and just kept going to Seahawks games together,” Jeff said. “DeDe was the first to do the face paint and all, and I thought, ‘This is pretty fun.’ She kind of created me as I went.” Jeff, 45, said. The Schumaiers see themselves as the Mr. and Mrs. Claus of Seattle Seahawks football – all dressed up and bringing good cheer. Their “job” as they put it, is to put smiles on the faces of Seahawks fans and to root on their beloved team. DeDe, followed by her husband and a pack of other super • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

fans, like Kiltman, Cannonball and PaintedHawk, entertain pregame revelers at the King Street Bar and Grill before making their way to the Qwest Field Exhibition Center. They pose for pictures, talk with fans, hoot, holler and lead cheers and chants – all before kickoff. Their seats are in the first row behind the goalposts on the south end of the stadium. During away games, they often make public appearances – for free thus far – at sports bars, viewing parties and other events, such as KOMO 4’s “After the Game show with Eric Johnson.” With their house “overflowing and simply stuffed” with Seahawks paraphernalia, the Schumaiers are considering a bigger house. They estimate they have spent anywhere beyond $30,000 on their museum-like collection. But everything is worth it, they insist. Especially during the season that has them looking like the smartest fans in the stadium. “This season is special. This is a complete team,” Jeff said. “They’re a good team. The program has really turned the page. No matter what happens, we’re darn proud of them.” The smartest fans, perhaps, but the most sane? “Oh, we’re not that crazy,” Jeff said. “For the most part, people love it. They come up to us and thank us. It’s actually hard to walk in or walk out without someone wanting a picture with us or wanting to talk Seahawks football.” DeDe interjected, “And that’s really what it’s all about. That’s what makes our life.” • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


Combating the Underground Economy in Construction Progress report on the department’s efforts to combat the underground economy in Construction

Introduction In late 2010 L&I invited business and labor representatives to a round table discussion on the underground economy looking for suggestions and input on ways to improve our compliance efforts. As a result of those discussions and an evaluation of our efforts, on July 1, 2011, L&I reorganized its construction inspectors into regional compliance-focused teams, eliminating competing responsibilities and focusing on employers who are out of compliance with contractor, industrial insurance, electrical and plumbing laws. A Construction Compliance Detection and Tracking unit was also formed to perform data mining, support compliance efforts in the field, triage complaints and referrals and conduct centralized advertising compliance (e.g. checking on Craigslist and other advertising done by unregistered contractors).

Results One of the priority complaints we heard at the roundtable discussion was a lack of boots on the ground and a presence out in the field. We made changes to our staff structure and focus effective July 1, 2011, and by the fall of 2011, we began hearing stories from contractors that they have had a compliance inspection or one of their partners has had a recent visit. Now, the hard work of staff is showing up in the data and has produced a 56% increase in the number of active jobsites visited by inspectors and a 95% increase in the contractors checked on jobsites in fiscal year 2012 compared to fiscal year 2011. The teams have also increased the infractions issued to unregistered contractors by 39%. Take a look at the numbers at right. 20

Industrial Insurance Compliance Focusing the compliance staff on field site inspections and referral investigations continues to produce results. The compliance teams referrals to industrial insurance audit teams have produced: >> 1,291 referrals to the Industrial Insurance Audit teams • 645 completed audits • 508 completed debit audits • 281 of the debit audited firms were unregistered • Debit assessments of over $5,670,104 • Over $3,008,490 of the debit assessments were on unregistered firms. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


Changed Behavior Our compliance actions are changing behavior. 262 unregistered contractors received a reduced penalty amount by complying with the Contractor Registration requirements getting bonded and insured and registering with L&I. This is a 19% increase over the 219 unregistered contractors that came into compliance in period in FY 2011.

Outreach and Education Efforts THE DEPARTMENT IS USING MULTIPLE STRATEGIES TO GAIN VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE AND EDUCATE CONSUMERS. Consumer Events The department continues to dedicate staff and resources to educating consumers about the benefits of hiring legitimate contractors and the risks associated with hiring unregistered and uninsured contractors. The outreach team recently surpassed the 200,000 consumer contacts milestone. We are educating consumers through home shows, Scam Jams (in conjunction with the BBB), Fraud Fighter and other consumer events across the state. News Media Recent Coverage of Contractor Issues in the News: • “Contractor dispute following house fire keeps La Center family living in trailer,” KOIN-TV, 1/31/12 • “Avoid ‘contractor roulette’ as home improvement season heats up,” KOMO-TV, 3/6/12 • “Liens put on homes after contractor doesn’t pay suppliers,” King 5 News, 3/6/12 • “What you need to know before hiring a contractor,” King 5 News, 5/22/2012 • “Man convicted of fraud seeks new lawyer & sentencing date,” KPAX News, 4/20/12 (Mulinski) • “Paving scam: „It makes me sick,;” KIMA-TV, 5/7/12 • “Homeowner says roofing ‘contractor’ ripped him off, took his money,” Q13 FOX News, 5/8/12 • “BBB Tip of the week: The green, green grass of home,” Spokesman-Review, 4/22/12 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

Contractor Education Contractors that want to understand and voluntarily comply with laws and rules have opportunities to learn how to do so via Contractor Training Days, Employer’s Introduction to L&I workshops, multiple specialized training events and on-demand workshops. Over 8,300 contractors have attended Contractor Training Days alone, with many more contractors attending other specialized workshops on safety, prevailing wage, dealing with an injured worker and more. Nailed Blog The Nailed Blog produced by the Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program features stories about L&I’s successes in reducing, preventing, prosecuting and stopping fraud. The blog has been following the continuing saga of John Mulinski (the Covington contractor recently sentenced to 70 months for contractor violations in Washington and Montana), consumers harmed by traveling paving scams, claimants and employers that have been convicted of cheating the system and more. Social Media L&I has joined the social media world with Facebook and Twitter accounts. L&I has over 780 followers on Twitter and tweets regularly about unregistered contractors, training and consumer events. We also post underground economy successes, training and workshop opportunities and other customer centered activities on our Facebook page. PLEASE SHARE OUR STORY WITH YOUR MEMBERS

L&I’s Compliance Teams are Succeeding in the Fight Against Illegal Contractors Twelve months of effort by L&I’s three streamlined Contractor Compliance teams and newly formed Detection and 21

Tracking unit are helping combat underground contracting activity across the state. The contractor compliance teams visited over 10,277 jobsites in FY2012, a 56% increase in jobsites visited in FY 2011. The inspectors investigated and issued over 2,589 infractions to unregistered contractors and other violators and made 1,291 referrals to L&I auditors to aid in targeting industrial insurance fraud and under-reporting in the construction industry. The teams also handled hundreds of consumer complaints that resulted in 706 of the 2,589 infractions. The thorough investigative work is resulting in some high quality audits results. • 645 audits have been completed of the 1,291 referrals made • 508 of those had assessments for industrial insurance owed • 281 of these companies had no industrial insurance accounts • $5,670,104 have been assessed as a result of these audits L&I’s Annual 2011 Fraud Report to the Legislature also had some very impressive results, including: (Read the full report at


• • •

L&I provided education and training to over 1,100 construction contractors and reached out to more than 26,000 Washington state homeowners Multiple contractor debarments from public works contracting Over a dozen T.V. news reports and stories in the print media And much, much more.

Also, if you want to keep up on L&I’s Fraud Prevention efforts check out our Nailed Blog written by Fraud Prevention Program Manager, Elizabeth Smith. You can find it at: http://nailed. The department continues to encourage consumers and contractors to report fraudulent activity to If you would like an electronic copy of this story and the links, please contact Shari Purves-Reiter at 360-902-4733 or via email at


‘‘ I have made more progress in the growth,

professionalism and internal communications of my company in the last 10 years as a QSC member than the previous 27 years before that. I only have QSC and everyone associated


with it to thank.

Roger Fouche Schaal Heating & Cooling Des Moines, IA

Our members say it best! Quality Service Contractors (QSC) is an elite professional association that assists plumbing and HVACR service and repair contractors. We help each member reach their potential in our increasingly demanding industry. As a member, you benefit from business management services and state-of-the-art training to enhance your image and enable you to better serve the needs of your clients.

SAVE OVER $950 Join QSC now, get 15 months for the price of 12 Offer ends December 31, 2012. For more information call (800) 533-7694 or e-mail 22 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

What is Happening in the National Association? •

National Bylaws Amended. During the PHCC— National Association Annual Business Meeting on October 5th, the bylaws were amended to extend voting rights to full active members who reside in Canada.  PHCC now has 26 Canadian members and a chapter in Ontario, Canada. Hearty congratulations to all members in Canada. 

PHCC Addresses Proposed Lead Paint Rule for Public and Commercial Buildings. This week PHCC Government Relations Director Mark Riso met with the Lead Paint Coalition in Washington, D.C. to begin the advocacy process related to the proposed lead paint rule for commercial buildings.  It is important for PHCC to work with EPA now, since the hearing process for this proposed rule will begin in the summer of 2013.  PHCC National will meet with EPA staff in two weeks to discuss the hearing process.  As it stands now, EPA intends to finalize a lead paint rule for public and commercial buildings by 2015, with compliance to the new rule by 2016.

What’s New on the Website. Have you checked out the PHCC website recently? The CONNECT 2012 schedule in Philly was packed with great educational sessions sponsored by Kohler Company. In case you missed the educational sessions or want to see a presentation again, the handouts from some of our expert speakers are now available on the Foundation’s website. These include additional or updated sessions from those that were on the flash drives that CONNECT 2012 attendees received onsite. How did Members of Congress vote on issues important to small business? As we approach the federal elections, PHCC has sent all members a new publication “Small Business Voting Record – How the • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

By Gerry Kennedy 112th Congress Voted.” PHCC National Association This is a compilation of Executive Vice President votes in the House and Senate during the 112th Congress that impact the p-h-c industry and small business.  Congress In Recess – But PHCC National Continues Work on Capitol Hill.  PHCC National and other trade associations and building product manufacturers are preparing to send a letter to the Senate urging support for S. 3591, the “Commercial Building Modernizations Act.”  To review the letter click here.  The legislation would extend and enhance tax deductions under Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings.  PHCC will keep members informed when the letter is finalized and sent to Members of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. •

Last Chance to Help PHCC “Go Big.” We have “sweetened the pot” for members to complete the online member survey that is underway.  All who participate in the survey are eligible to win an iPad.  If you have not yet completed the survey, be sure to do so today before the survey closes.  If you have not received a unique link to the survey, please e-mail  Thanks for your help!    

The Auxiliary Awards Luncheon is always an entertaining and fun occasion, and this year’s Oct. 4 event at CONNECT 2012 was no different. Check out photos from the luncheon and silent auction in the Auxiliary awards section of the PHCC website.  Corporate Partners: Bradford White, Federated Insurance, InSinkErator, Kohler Co. and Viega


PHCC National Auxiliary…About Us


he PHCC Auxiliary is a group of dedicated people who share an interest in the Plumbing~Heating~Cooling Industry and who are willing to give their time and talents in support of that industry. The objectives of the Auxiliary are to promote PHCC, protect the industry and encourage participation among members. Over its history, the Auxiliary has evolved from representing the businesswomen within the industry to a diverse group of men and women that has become the marketing arm of the Association. In many cases now, Auxiliary members are also Contractor members who wish to support the objectives of the Auxiliary, as well as PHCC. The Auxiliary promotes education through the production of educational materials, fund raising and distribution of scholarships and industry grants. Each year several college scholarships are awarded, totaling over $35,000. A limited amount of Educational Expense Grants up to $1000 each are available for Contractor members to attend PHCC programs, seminars and enhanced service group meetings. Recruiting into the industry is another focus of the educational efforts. Age-specific educational materials are produced for elementary, middle and high school age children to explain the opportunities that are available for careers within the industry. The materials include a coloring book and a pamphlet and 20-page full color brochure entitled, “Constructing Your Future.” The Auxiliary actively supports vocational education programs, Skills USA and apprenticeship and trade school programs. Members devote many hours each year to distributing information, meeting with guidance counselors and recruiting at open houses and career day programs. The Auxiliary provides members with information on the legislation affecting the industry. In conjunction with PHCC Legislative efforts, they lend their hand in influencing the legislative process at the local, state and national levels. The membership of the Auxiliary is counted when measuring the influence exerted by PHCC. Auxiliary members participate in the annual Legislative Conference visiting Congressional members on the Hill in Washington, D.C. PHCC logo awareness is a large part of the Auxiliary is a large part of the Auxiliary function. Recent projects include the funding of PHCC yellow pages listings, the creation and introduction of PHC-Opoly, an industry-specific game based on the traditional Monopoly game, and most recently, PHCC logoed shoe covers available for members to use when they enter a customer’s home to protect their flooring. The PHCC logo is available on umbrellas, clothing items and watches from the Auxiliary. Silk ties bearing little gold toilets in a geometric pattern and clocks imbedded in mini toilets, jewelry, lavatories and tubs continue the theme of promoting the industry. The 124-year history of the Auxiliary is chronicled in A Partnership Unique, the companion to the Association’s history, A Heritage Unique. It is the story of the family-owned business in America, of women in our society, and the work that has been done to eliminate unsanitary conditions and the diseases that result from them. It is amazing to consider the fact that the women of the Auxiliary were formally recognized two years before women obtained the right to vote in America.


BENEFITS OF AUXILIARY MEMBERSHIP Business Networking • The opportunity to attend PHCC Conventions on a State, National, and International Level. • To meet and learn from the best in the business • To have access to people and information that can help build a better business • This means making more money and additional profit Contributions to the Industry • The ability to have an influence on the future and direction of our trade • An avenue to be involved in special projects within the industry • To have access to material to help in the education of young people about the opportunity and importance of our trade • To share ideas about our industry with people who care • Seminars and training provided at convention, etc. Leadership Opportunities • Opportunity to serve on committees and share talents • Development of self-confidence and respect from others in the industry • Ownership and involvement in programs offered for members only Member Recognition • Member of the Year Award • Robert Cox Awards for involvement at local levels Memorial Loan Program • Financial Assistance to members of family members attending school • Low Interest Rates • Delayed Repayment of Loan Scholarship Program • Educational assistance to young family members attending college • The opportunity for an apprentice scholarship • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

PHCC Educational Foundation Plumbing~Heating~Cooling Contractors – National Association FOUNDATION FACTS The PHCC Educational Foundation was established in December 1986 by PHCC members with the goal of helping their fellow contractors be more successful through education and professional training. These contractors believed and still believe that by helping their friends and their competitors, the whole profession benefits. MISSION STATEMENT The Plumbing~Heating~Cooling Contractors National Association Educational Foundation engages in workforce development, management education and technical training activities for the growth and career success of those employed in the plumbing and HVACR industry.

learn why as well as how things work. Detailed illustrations provide accurate visualizations of structures, technologies, and concepts seen in the field. An online Home Study program allows apprentices to train outside of a traditional classroom environment. •

Virtual University – The PHCC Educational Foundation’s Virtual University offers a wide variety of online training courses for contractors and their employees. Courses are offered in the subject areas of contractor continuing education; environmental topics; and technical, industrial and safety skills. OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses are available through Virtual University.

Instructor Workshops – The Foundation has partnered with key trade associations to conduct a national workshop for instructors and administrators of plumbing and HVACR instructional/apprentice programs. In 2012, the Foundation will also be piloting three regional apprentice instructor workshops focusing on instructional design and adult learning techniques.

Plumbing Assessment Test – These tests are designed as course-end assessments for each year of apprenticeship in a traditional four-year program. The fourth year tests can also be used by employees to assess the knowledge of prospective employees. Test results allow instructors to identify student weaknesses so that instruction can be enhanced.

Contractor Resource Center – The center serves as a portal to the Foundation’s online learning initiatives and a wealth of business management information. Links to business management articles, past issues of the Foundation’s HR Personnel e. bulletin, webinars and other information can also be found here.

Workforce and Career Development Initiatives – The Foundation collaborates with key industry stakeholders to address the critical shortage of skilled workers needed by the plumbing and HVACR industry and to introduce prospective employees to career opportunities in the industry. Brochures and other career education resources are available for guidance counselors and to help contractors conduct p-h-c industry career day programs.

FOUNDATION FUNDING The Foundation offers a wide variety of technical and business management educational and training programs. In addition to sponsorships and publication sales, the Foundation relies on contributions from many sources to develop these programs: •

Over 70 contractors, manufacturers and industry partners have made major gifts to establish the Foundation Endowment Fund. These funds are permanently restricted, with investment earnings used to provide funding to develop and maintain Foundation programs.

The “Invest in Your Future” Annual Giving Campaign is the Foundation’s primary fundraising vehicle that supports the Foundation’s educational programs and scholarships. InSinkErator provides matching donations, with additional annual support provided by Ferguson.

The IRS has determined that the Foundation is a 501(c) (3) public charity, thus contributions to the Foundation are fully deductible as allowed under Federal tax laws. MAJOR PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES - Apprentice and Journeyman Training, Professional Contractor Education, Workforce Development •

Textbooks & Home Study Program – The Foundation publishes two series of textbooks for use in plumbing and HVACR apprentice and community/technical college programs. The books have been developed by industryexperts and meet U.S. Department of Labor standards for four-year apprentice programs. The textbook series combines theory with practical examples, giving reader the ability to • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


PHCC of Washington

2012 Annual Golf Tournament

Thank you to everyone who participated in PHCC of Washington 2012 Annual Golf Tournament. It was a fun, successful event this year and I would like to recognize and give a big THANK YOU to all our 2012 golf sponsors:  • • • • • • • •


1-800-Water Damage A.O. Smith Bailey Sales Bradford White Corporation/ Western State Sales Consolidated Supply Company Federated Insurance Ferguson InSinkErator

• • • • • • • • •

J & K Plumbing Keller Supply LineScape PlumbMaster Prima Plumbing Puget Sound Mechanical Quality Plumbing Sandy Stack & PHCC Auxiliary Stack Plumbing • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012 • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


What Can the Association Do For Me? s Editor’s note: Roosevelt’s observation is as valid today as it was in his time. Below is another commentary we have seen that we believe is right on target.

“Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt


ne of the most frequently asked questions with regard to trade association membership is: “What can the association do for me?” And, since association membership usually involves money, it is a perfectly logical question to ask. The answer, quite frankly, however, is “Nothing.” Your association can do things with you, but not for you. The reason is simple and it involves the same principles that apply to a man and his business. A businessman invests money and he also invests his time and energy to make his business succeed. The same holds true for the dues dollar, which represents a similar investment in one’s business. There are certain functions and services of the association which require the physical support and involvement of its members. It needs the collective thinking of all concerned to formulate plans, and it requires the physical effort of its members to put those plans into operation. A survey indicates that 85% of all economic failures were firms or business not connected with a trade association.


Also it seems that the businessman who rebels against paying associations dues is always the first to criticize and to say that an association does him no good. However, he is always in front of the line to take the benefits that come his way as a result of the efforts of the association and its dues paying members. Those benefits don’t just happen. They are the result of a lot of hard work and effort by a great number of individuals who devote time and energy to get the job done. Free enterprise in America did not achieve its present position by passive acceptance. Our association owes its position and stability to a long line of doers. What YOU do for it today determines how useful it will be for you tomorrow. No one would want to be in an industry without a trade association. Just as a church sets the moral environment in which to live and raise a family, trade associations set the ethical and economic environment in which to operate a business. When a group of citizens is faced with problems of mutual concern affecting their neighborhoods, they form a civic association. When the workers of America were faced with substandard working conditions, low pay, and abusive treatment by management, they formed trade unions. The problems which face our industry today affect every contractor no matter how large or how small. And, since no one individual could possibly begin to solve any of these problems alone, it remains that each should join a collective effort to protect his business investment. It’s as simple as that. This article first appeared in the 1984 or 1985 Ohio PHC Contractor Magazine. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

>>>> TOP REASONS TO JOIN PHCC <<<< ADVOCACY Powerful representation to defend you against excessive regulations in your community NETWORKING Attend monthly network meetings and build relationships with fellow professionals, suppliers and customers while earning continuing education credits INFORMATION The latest need-to-know industry information EXPERT ADVISORS Access to PHCC’s legal, financial, legislative, regulatory and technical specialists 3-in-1 MEMBERSHIP Take advantage of a PHCC Board of Directors approved special “come back” incentive to members who did not renew in 2012 because of the economy. It allows members to reinstate with a pro-rated dues investment for the remaining portion of the year, and does not require payment for the preceding months. The offer covers pro-rated dues for the local chapter (where one exists), the state chapter and the national association. Without PHCC You Stand Alone! Join over 3,000 independent PHC Contractors to put PHCC Power in your Business!

h h h h

h • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012


A Vision for the

Next Generation Develop talent now for a successful future While incentives such as bonuses and profit sharing are important, recognizing achievements and building selfesteem are priceless. Some business owners procrastinate or avoid communicating their succession plans because they fear how family members and employees might react. However, their silence may actually create more stress and cause harm to the business. Most employees—including family members—will feel more secure about the future if they know what to expect and how they will fit in. It’s never too late to develop a business succession plan. But the earlier you start, the better. Estate planning experts agree that longterm plans to transfer businesses are generally much more successful than those “patched together” following the unexpected death or disability of an owner. Business succession actually begins with each employee’s first day on the job Think about it, whether he or she is one of your children or a high


school student working part-time, that young person could someday be the head of the company. Experts agree—succession planning includes creating an environment that motivates employees to use their talents and skills to reach their full potential and contribute to the success of the business. Sounds simple, but how do you accomplish it? Perhaps a mentor program or an apprenticeship is a good start. Talented young people are more likely to stay with the company if they feel involved in something bigger than their own job. It is wise to provide opportunities by matching experienced workers with newer employees to guide them as they grow in their jobs. As employees gain experience, they become assets to your business and their value increases. Providing key employees opportunities to gain well-rounded business experience through cross-functional training and experience is admirable. This no doubt helps them become dependable managers who can make good decisions and take initiatives to improve operations. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

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Patents Pending

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800.543.2550 Copyright © Liberty Pumps, Inc. 2012 All rights reserved. • PHCC of Washington News • Fall 2012

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PHCC of Washington, Fall 2012  
PHCC of Washington, Fall 2012  

PHCCWA Fall 2012 mag