Tips

Everyone needs a plumber from time to time so you could be forgiven for thinking marketing isn’t too important in this line of work, but you have to take into account the number of other plumbers who may be working in your area. If you want to be successful, you need to ensure that more Read more

Everyone needs a plumber from time to time so you could be forgiven for thinking marketing isn’t too important in this line of work, but you have to take into account the number of other plumbers who may be working in your area. If you want to be successful, you need to ensure that more customers choose you than them, and the way you do that is by developing a better marketing strategy. The plumber marketing tips below will help you with that.

Submit your business to local listings

Before you do anything else. Ensure that you submit the details of your business to Google My Business listings and other local business listings online. You need to do this because the first thing most people will do when they require the services of a plumber is to look online for one nearby. If you’re not on local listings sites, chances are your name will not be one of the first ones to pop up on Google and you’ll probably lose a sale. Submitting to local listings takes seconds but it can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Have your own website

It’s also important that you have your own website where customers can check out previous work done, read testimonials and get an idea of the services you provide. Customers like to have a lot of information available to them and a good, easy-to-read website is the best way of giving it to them in the first instance.

Get a great logo

Think having the name of your plumbing company on the die of your van is enough? Think again. Logos are undoubtedly much better for marketing purposes because they stand out and catch the eye more, If your logo becomes a familiar sight in the local area, more people will think of contacting you first, A good graphic designer should be able to whip up a logo for a reasonable price.

Manage your reputation

No professional likes bad reviews, but they happen and they are not always fair. Did you know some reviews can be removed from Glassdoor and similar review sites? If you think your business is being unfairly badmouthed, taking this step may be smart. If, however, you think a bad review is fair, sending out as public reply that addresses the concerns and does whatever possible to put things right will help to put your business back in a good light. There are times when talking with a reputation or crisis management team might also be a great option.

Use social media

As a plumber, you’ll probably be working a lot in your local area, so it makes sense to not only set up your own social media pages where local people can follow you, but also to join lots of local pages made by other people too, That way you can recommend your services (don’t spam), engage with local people, and build solid relations. It’s also a very good low-cost way of marketing yourself, but you will need to put some effort in to creating lots of quality content like how-to videos and engaging written posts.

Marketing matters so get it right!

The gas piping system has a direct effect on appliance operation and performance. Many nuisance shutdowns can be attributed to gas-related piping errors. We will look at some gas piping basics and identify common issues that come up in the field. GAS PIPE SIZING Proper gas piping is essential for each appliance to function correctly Read more

The gas piping system has a direct effect on appliance operation and performance. Many nuisance shutdowns can be attributed to gas-related piping errors. We will look at some gas piping basics and identify common issues that come up in the field.

GAS PIPE SIZING

Proper gas piping is essential for each appliance to function correctly and most efficiently. When planning a gas piping system, it is important to draw it on paper and plan it out. You can flow only so much gas (or water) through a given pipe size, so restrictions will manifest themselves as a lack of pressure or volume.

Sizing a gas line is not too difficult. It is easier to start at the last appliance and work your way back to the as meter and/or regulator. The main  pipe size will increase as a branch is added and increase again as another branch is added. Each branch must be properly sized to carry the Btu load of the connected appliance. If a branch will serve more than one appliance , then it must be sized to carry the total Btu load. As you work your way back toward the meter or regulator, the main pipe will increase in size to accommodate the total Bty load of the system.

he gas sizing charts shown are from the National Fuel Gas Code/ANSI Z223.1/NFPA54. They indicate thousands of Btus that can flow through a given pipe size based on the length of piping. Fittings must be added to complete the calculation. Each fitting has an equivalent footage equal to straight pipe, and these must be counted and added to the total footage.

PIPING ISSUES

 Pipe is too small to carry total Btu input

Size reductions or fitting restrictions can create a lack of gas volume or unacceptable gas pressure drops. This is common on piping branches. The length of the branch plus fittings must be considered and appropriately calculated.

Reduced-size flexible connectors

Flexible connectors are typically smaller than the connection itself. A 3⁄4″ flex connector will normally have 1⁄2″ or 5⁄8″ corrugated SS tubing. Flexible connectors have a rating label attached – Check length and Btu capacity!

Small or reduced port ball valves

Always use full-port valves to prevent reduced volume or pressure. Many valves I see in the field are small-port or reduced-port. These valves do create issues and they can cause flame failures.

Gas regulator too close to heater

A regulator cannot always respond when it is mounted too close to the heater. It can’t always open fully and regulate properly when installed too close.

First and second stage regulators too close to each other

The fist and second stage regulators can “fight” each other if they are located too close to each other. It takes a length of piping to allow the first stage regulator to open and operate properly, and the same applies to the second stage regulator.

Lock-up style regulators

Lock-up style regulators may require a pressure relief reset to operate properly. They can “lock up” and cease to function. Gas pressure must be relieved from the regulator inlet for it to reseat/reset.

Vent limiters

Ball-check vent limiters must be installed with the regulator in the horizontal position and the ball-check vent limiter in the upright position. The ball-check can stick if installed in another position.

Tankless upgrades

Tankless retrofits almost always require a gas pipe size up- grade. A typical 40-gallon gas tank-type heater uses approxi- mately 40,000 Btu per hour. The standard tankless heaters are rated at 199,000 Btu per hour! The branch and main lines must be considered if a tankless heater is being added. The branch must be able to carry the increased tankless Btus. The gas main line must be able to carry the additional and total Btus.

Modulating burners

Modulation allows a heater or boiler to operate at a lower input. Tankless heaters are good examples of this technology. As flow increases, the burner will ramp up and require more gas to operate, all the way up to its maximum input. Tankless heaters can operate on low fire with an undersized gas line, but when input demand increases, the heater will experience flame failure issues.

Gas measurement

Always verify gas pressures with a slack-tube manometer. You cannot effectively troubleshoot a gas issue without a slack-tube manometer. They are the only device approved for a pressure-drop test and they always give a true reading. A gauge-type manometer will also give accurate readings. Avoid using a digital manometer for troubleshooting gas volume or pressure issues. They can be erratic with jumping pressures and require calibration. A digital manometer is best applied to measuring minute pressures or differentials. Gas inlet pressures must be taken with the unit off and with the unit on to make sure there is not a substantial drop when the burner comes on. Gas manifold pressures must be measured with the unit on or as it comes on.

Pressure drop

A 1⁄2″ WC drop is an acceptable pressure drop—any higher drop in pressure indicates a gas supply issue that must be found and corrected. Some regulators will have a higher pres- sure drop, but it drops when the regulator opens and then holds steady at the set pressure.

Fan-assisted appliances

More than a 1″ WC drop can cause many fan-assisted heaters to go out on flame failure. Many newer appliances use a variable frequency drive (VFD), and dropping gas pres- sures can affect the ignition or burner operation resulting in flame failures. Fan-assisted appliances also require a mini- mum gas pressure that must be present at all times to oper- ate. If the pressure falls below the required minimum, the heater will experience nuisance flame failure shutdowns.

Atmospheric appliances

Atmospheric heaters will operate on low gas pressure or volume. They are more “forgiving” of low pressure or volume. They are dependent on gravity make-up air, and the open burner can still burn at reduced input. This can be a big issue if the gas supply is undersized. The heater will operate at a lower Btu input and have a reduced recovery rate. If a heater is marginally sized or in high demand, the reduced Btu input can cause premature failure and operational issues such as condensation. Reduced gas supply = lower Btu input = less hot water gph recovery.

SUMMARY

A gas supply problem can indicate many potential issues. It can be tedious trying to figure out what the cause of the prob- lem is. It may require sketching out the piping and doing a cal- culation. Sometimes it can be easily overlooked like a fitting re- duction, or it can be hard to find like a reduced-port ball valve. I always say that the slack-tube manometer never lies, and it can clear up any confusion. We have listed a lot of the common issues here, but there are many more to be encountered!

  By Gary Kellermeier Owner of Kellermeier Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Basement flooding is a lot of things – and all of them bad. It’s expensive. It can cause illness. And, it causes stress – a lot of stress. Especially if the basement is finished. Wet insulation and wet sheetrock can cause mold and mildew, which Read more

FloodGuard_brochure_PROOF1

 

By Gary Kellermeier
Owner of Kellermeier Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

Basement flooding is a lot of things – and all of them bad. It’s expensive. It can cause illness. And, it causes stress – a lot of stress.

Especially if the basement is finished. Wet insulation and wet sheetrock can cause mold and mildew, which can cause serious illness. Wet framing is a concern because it can cause structural damage, which can greatly drive up repair bills, sometimes by thousands of dollars.

Simply put: It’s a big headache – and it’s expensive — to clean up and to replace lost property after a basement flood.

So, in the interest of preventing water damage, the first thing is to make sure the basement walls and floors are protected as well as they can be from water. It is also absolutely imperative to make sure the sump pump is working properly. An automatic sump pump should help keep normal amounts of groundwater from building up in the basement. It will act like a floor drain and keep the water from rising.
Unless there’s something wrong with the sump pump.
In fact, most flooded basements are the result of faulty sump pumps. Yes, power outages sometimes contribute to flooding, but the majority of basement flooding is caused by sump pumps that have failed or otherwise can’t handle the amount and flow of water.
To avoid plumbing service repair bills that can happen when a sump pump needs attention, and to prevent damage to property that is the result of flooding, homeowners should take the first step in prevention by making sure the sump pump is not more than 10 years old, the usual life expectancy of a sump pump. The best way to know the age of a sump pump is to keep the receipt; in fact, put it in a file to pass off to the next owner of the home, as a courtesy – and a headache preventive.
Basement flooding is preventable. To help avoid the results of flooding, keep handy this list of things that can disable a sump pump:

• Tripped circuit breaker: Make sure the sump pump has a dedicated circuit. If additional items are connected, it could trip the circuit.
• Faulty switch: The sump pump’s switch might be stuck against the side of the pit. Or, debris might be caught in the pit, causing the switch to fail. Be sure to inspect the switch to make sure it’s operating freely.
• Clogged strainer: Sump pumps have a strainer at the bottom that the water flows through. If the strainer is clogged, the water won’t flow through properly and the basement could flood.

Another effective way to help prevent basement flooding is to install a two-pump system, which insures there will be a back-up pump should one pump fail. It also has an alarm to alert homeowners in the event of a failure.

Basement flooding can be very expensive, and it certainly is a very big headache. It is also preventable. Being proactive by knowing what problems to look for in sump pumps currently in use and by becoming educated about alternative systems is advisable.

About the Author

Gary Kellermeier is the owner of Kellermeier Plumbing & Heating, Inc., in Haskins, Ohio. The company offers its exclusive FloodGuard, a system with two sump pumps, a solid state control box and two level controls, which insures there will always be a backup pump available. To learn more, contact Gary at 419.823.7626 and visit kphcomfort.com.

Summary

The best way to avoid damage to personal items and other property that is the result of flooding is to prevent the problem in the first place. One way to do that is to check the sump pump. A sump pump should help keep normal amounts of groundwater from building up in the basement. In fact, though, most flooding problems are caused by sump pumps that have failed or otherwise can’t handle the amount and flow of water. FloodGuard is an exclusive two-pump system that insures there will always be a back-up pump available – and alerts when there is an issue.

With no-lead brass now the norm in our industry, we wanted to share some information about our new carton label format and the information it contains. The top of the label shows the A.Y. McDonald logo, the Truesdail Laboratories logo (designates product is third party certified to NSF/ANSI 61-8 and/or NSF/ANSI 372 lead content requirements) Read more

With no-lead brass now the norm in our industry, we wanted to share some information about our new carton label format and the information it contains. The top of the label shows the A.Y. McDonald logo, the Truesdail Laboratories logo (designates product is third party certified to NSF/ANSI 61-8 and/or NSF/ANSI 372 lead content requirements) and a picture of the product inside the carton.

The next row designates our model number with a detailed description of the product. This also includes our internal seven-digit number and UPC code.

Perhaps the most important information for you is on the next row. This includes information about the carton weight and pieces per carton. The golden bar with ‘No-Lead’ will be included for all products that comply with the federal legislation. Finally, on the far right are production codes which are used for quality and tracking purposes (as seen below on the example, the production codes for this sample is TF059904 & MQ).

Read More – http://www.aymcdonald.com/en-US/Newsletters.html