Like many others in the plumbing industry, Chase Wenger started out on the weekends helping his dad, who is co-owner (with Chase’s uncle) of C.V. Wenger Inc., Chambersburg, Pa. “When I was a kid, I hated cleaning the house so I would leap at any chance to go to work with my dad. We’d stop for Read more
Like many others in the plumbing industry, Chase Wenger started out on the weekends helping his dad, who is co-owner (with Chase’s uncle) of C.V. Wenger Inc., Chambersburg, Pa. “When I was a kid, I hated cleaning the house so I would leap at any chance to go to work with my dad. We’d stop for gas, and he’d buy me a soda and a candy bar, and we’d ride around to jobs and spend the day together,” says Wenger. “Those are some of my fondest memories,” recalls Wenger. “I put my first boiler in with my dad when I was in elementary school, and from that point on I was hooked.”
Chase owes a lot to his dad, uncle and grandfather—who started the company in 1954—who all become mentors in some fashion. “They taught me to do the best I can no matter what, to be resourceful, and to think outside the box, while always encouraging me to learn more,” says Wenger.
In addition, Dan Holohan is a huge mentor for Wenger as well, even if he doesn’t know it. “I recall telling him one time about a steam system I put in from scratch, he shook my hand and told me, ‘Congratulations, that automatically makes you 65 years older kid, great job.’”
Wenger likes to think that that every tradesman he’s ever met/worked with was a mentor, continuously trying to learn something new from everyone he meets. Although he fondly recalls shakily holding the flashlight for his dad as a young boy’s mind wandered around almost as much as the flashlight beam, searching through the truck for the 5th time for that screwdriver he’s sure he left back there. “If you want to keep a kid indisposed for a bit, just assign them a mission they can’t complete if you have that one thing they’re searching for hidden in your toolbox. LOL,” says Wenger.
Moving on Up
Chase made his way to washing trucks and stocking shelves, eventually moving on to help with installs. Then one especially busy day, a lead guy didn’t come to work. “I was instantly upgraded to a full-fledged tech/plumber. As I learned more, I decided I needed to get my Masters Plumber License. From that point on, I started to design my own systems in addition to installing them,” says Wenger.
And while Wenger’s official title of Supervisor/Lead Field Foreman has him lead larger projects—from commercial to residential—from both installation and service work, as well as troubleshooting and tech support roles for other technicians, one of the most rewarding things to me is helping out someone in need, whether it’s replacing a broken well pump, resolving his/her water quality problems or restoring a customer’s heat in the dead of winter. “Although, making a customer’s dirty, brown-stained, sulfur-smelling water into delicious crystal clear water is especially satisfying for me,” says Wenger.
Wenger also enjoys replacing old worn-out systems—wells, water systems, drainage systems, heating/air conditioner systems, etc.—with new efficient ones while cleaning them up and generally making them better all around.
Wenger’s main specialty is well pumps, water treatment, excavation, in addition to regular service/install work with anything the company offers. Oh, and by the way, Wenger is also a licensed Master Electrician, HVAC tech, and he runs a sheet metal shop.
But with all hard work comes some play time, right? “It’s always a tricky balance, but you just need to set specific boundaries and make time to do the things you want to do.” For Wenger, kayaking, reading, spending time with my family and friends is time well spent. A bucket list item? “Definitely kayaking over more waterfalls, or trying wing-suiting in Scandinavia.
Moving the Industry Forward
Moving forward, the industry needs to continue to eliminate the stereotype of the plumber as an unclean, uneducated worker would be a good start, says Wenger. Also, “We need to showcase how rewarding/satisfying the profession/industry is, offering education/training. A lot of people dislike working on things that they don’t completely understand, and paying them what they’re worth,” says Wenger.
Social media has helped the trades’ image problem. “It’s definitely helped me meet others in the trade, well beyond my regular service area,” says Wenger. “I’ve learned a lot from seeing how others do things and talking with them. I like to think everyone can teach you something in life—even if it’s simply what not to do.”
In the end, it’s about passing the torch. “I tend to forget that I’m not the new guy anymore, even after 15 years. I certainly hope I can be a role model for others both in the trade, and those considering joining this marvelous trade, and any other trade out there. It’s a wonderful career to have,” says Wenger.
Acquisition will expand residential and commercial single-room AC solutions Rheem has announced its intent to acquire Friedrich Air Conditioning, a 138-year-old manufacturer of premium air conditioning products, from Monomoy Capital Partners. Friedrich is a manufacturer of room air conditioning, dehumidification and air purification products for residential and commercial applications. It is a recognized industry leader Read more
Acquisition will expand residential and commercial single-room AC solutions
Rheem has announced its intent to acquire Friedrich Air Conditioning, a 138-year-old manufacturer of premium air conditioning products, from Monomoy Capital Partners.
Friedrich is a manufacturer of room air conditioning, dehumidification and air purification products for residential and commercial applications. It is a recognized industry leader in high-end air conditioning solutions designed for single-room use in hotels and multi-family buildings.
Founded in 1883, the company is based in San Antonio with manufacturing in Monterrey, Mexico and distribution centers in Texas and New Jersey.
“Friedrich has steadily innovated its residential and commercial offerings and grown its market share,” said Mike Branson, President, Global Air at Rheem. “They will bring a unique air conditioning product portfolio along with specialized products to the Rheem family of brands. Friedrich’s product offerings, company history and industry expertise make this acquisition a perfect fit for Rheem. Together, we will harness the power of our talented workforce and enhance our ability to deliver reliable and energy-efficient products that our customers and contracting partners expect.”
Upon the close of the acquisition—which is subject to additional regulatory approval—Friedrich will be a standalone business unit within the Rheem Global Air business.
Hoffmann Brothers Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical & Appliance Repair in St. Louis, MO, has added RIDGID® K9-306 FlexShaft™ Drain Cleaning Machines to every new plumbing service truck they outfit after experiencing the tool’s versatility and time saving benefit. “It’s definitely a time saver, simply just loading and unloading it, going from heavier machines to Read more
Hoffmann Brothers Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical & Appliance Repair in St. Louis, MO, has added RIDGID® K9-306 FlexShaft™ Drain Cleaning Machines to every new plumbing service truck they outfit after experiencing the tool’s versatility and time saving benefit.
“It’s definitely a time saver, simply just loading and unloading it, going from heavier machines to lighter, more compact machines, saving time right there, then add speed and cleanliness on to that,” said Christian Telford, Master Plumber/Drainlayer and Field Operation Manager at Hoffmann Brothers.
“You also just can’t get the thorough cleaning with standard equipment like you can with FlexShaft,” he said. “The ability of the expanding chains to maximize the pipe size allows for a full pipe cleaning, coupled with how clean the machine itself stays, you just provide the client with an overall better experience.”
Christian notes that the FlexShaft is 10 to 25 percent faster at cleaning drains and for a flat-rate fee company that means saved labor costs and the opportunity to complete more jobs in a day.
In business for over 40 years, the team at Hoffmann Brothers prides themselves on the quality and integrity they bring to every job. That means not only providing the best customer service to clients, but also staying on top of the latest technology and equipment to be at the top of their industry.
A couple of years ago they purchased a heavier and more expensive high-speed descaling machine that’s used solely for drain lining work. The cost kept it from being added to other service trucks. After learning about the K9-306 at WWETT and its enclosed cable drum for enhanced cleanliness they started using it regularly and quickly found out what a versatile tool it is.
One of the impressive uses the Hoffmann Brothers team has found for FlexShaft is root clearing.
“We were very pleased at how well it actually did with roots without binding up too much,” Christian said. “We’ve had heavy balls of roots that our sectional and drum machines usually have to make several passes. With FlexShaft you may have to make one additional pass to make a final polishing while running water, which by this time you have again saved time and given the client a thorough cleaning which is a huge win for both parties.”
They are also using FlexShaft on descaling job sites.
“Lining has become a very valuable part of our business, however one key part of this is being able to get the original host pipe as clean as possible. This means sometimes taking a 100-plus year cast iron pipe and descaling it, a very delicate and painstaking task,” Christian said.
Hoffmann Brothers decided to run the K9-306 through the course to see if it could meet up to their lining work quality standards and allow them to utilize it for their pre-qualification process.
“Not only did it meet our expectations, but we decided to also take it a step further and try to use it with reinstatements which puts some heavy pressure on the equipment, and it also met the challenge,” he said.
Christian said this was a great testament to the K9-306 as this was not why they originally purchased the FlexShaft. However, it opened the door for their specialized technicians who do the lining process to be able to not only perform their daily jobs with clients, but also perform pre-qualifications on perhaps the same visits. A great gain for the company and the client.
Hoffmann Brothers is now utilizing the FlexShaft for residential, light commercial, descaling, milling and reinstatement jobs.
Whether you’re dealing with a compact hatchback, a luxury sedan, or a full-size twelve wheeler truck, an air conditioning system is a staple across all categories of vehicles. Drivers want efficient and reliable AC for cooling and heating but unfortunately, many of them often use it inadequately, causing dysfunctions and sometimes serious damage which can Read more
Whether you’re dealing with a compact hatchback, a luxury sedan, or a full-size twelve wheeler truck, an air conditioning system is a staple across all categories of vehicles. Drivers want efficient and reliable AC for cooling and heating but unfortunately, many of them often use it inadequately, causing dysfunctions and sometimes serious damage which can jeopardize onboard safety and induce hefty repair costs. In this dedicated guide, we’ll delve into the consequences of poor vehicle HVAC maintenance and provide useful troubleshooting tips.
One of the most common effects of inadequate AC maintenance is improper cooling. An onboard air conditioning system that isn’t blowing air as cold as it used to is generally a sign of a malfunctioning or damaged compressor. Whether it’s due to overuse, lack of care, or a simple clog, this vital component is no longer able to regulate the flow of refrigerant in the AC system. This results in the air flowing being warmer but it doesn’t necessarily affect ventilation.
Like most elements found inside a vehicle, an HVAC system uses power from the engine. With wear and tear, the compressor’s clutch can start to give out; it can either seize or break, both of which are very problematic. An unmoving clutch will cause unnecessary pressure on the engine, overheating, and early fuel exhaustion. A broken clutch usually requires the entire compressor to be replaced altogether.
Odd noises from an operating AC unit are a typical sign of poor maintenance. A worn compressor bearing can cause a loud grinding sound to emanate directly from the engine, while other noises from inside the cabin call for a blower fan clean or replacement. This can be particularly bothersome for drivers who spend countless hours on the road. In addition, you’ll want to ensure meticulous and periodic checks are done to increase the longevity of your vehicles.
Foul odors are another commonly reported onboard HVAC problem. Mold or mildew smells generally indicate a moisture build-up in the air conditioning filters, which can be taken care of with regular disassembly and cleaning. Now, if a pungent smell emanates from the vents, it might be that you’re dealing with a pest infestation or a dead rodent lodged somewhere in the vehicle. In such cases, an air freshener just won’t cut it!
Water Leakage Inside the Cabin
Lastly, because of inadequate maintenance, drivers can come to notice water inside their vehicle cabin. There may be refrigerant flowing through the evaporator, which gets condensed and forms water. When the draining tube that redirects the liquid outside is clogged, this residual water will seep directly into the cabin, causing all sorts of damages to carpets and possibly onboard navigation.
Ultimately, HVAC systems can be just as problematic inside homes as they are in cars or trucks. Because its components are not immediately visible, except for the vents, many drivers will often fail to take care of their onboard AC system properly, resulting in all kinds of setbacks that can hinder comfort and jeopardize the occupants’ safety.
Phoenix—CEO Ken Goodrich of Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing, a leading provider of HVAC and plumbing services in the Southwest United States, announced he is spending $1.5 million to install Ultra Violet (UV) germicidal lights in the homes of more than 600 employees. Deemed an essential business during an unprecedented time in our nation, Goettl’s Read more
Phoenix—CEO Ken Goodrich of Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing, a leading provider of HVAC and plumbing services in the Southwest United States, announced he is spending $1.5 million to install Ultra Violet (UV) germicidal lights in the homes of more than 600 employees.
Deemed an essential business during an unprecedented time in our nation, Goettl’s HVAC and plumbing technicians have continued to work tirelessly to ensure their community is receiving essential life systems and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To show appreciation for their hard work and dedication, Goodrich is giving each Goettl employee a new UV germicidal light that will be installed into their personal HVAC system.
“Our technicians are putting their own well-being and safety second to serve their communities,” said Goodrich. “I want them to know how much we appreciate their unwavering dedication and bravery by giving them a product that will hopefully provide their own families with invaluable peace of mind during these uncertain times.”
The UV germicidal light, which mimics natural sunlight, uses ultraviolet radiation to drastically decrease indoor germs such as mold, fungi and bacteria. Additionally, the UV radiation destroys the nuclei of each contaminant preventing it from reproducing. Proven to kill viruses of many strains, this type of UV light is also used in hospitals and food processing plants nationwide.
The safety and well-being of Goettl employees is top priority for Goodrich and his executive team. As technicians are a critical resource for essential home services, Goodrich is committed to doing as much as possible to help ensure they stay safe and healthy during this public health crisis.
“At Goettl, we believe in doing things the right way, not the easy way and what’s right is keeping our employees safe and as healthy as possible so that they may continue to serve their beloved communities,” Goodrich continued.