When he is not performing wildcats on his snowboard or running ollies on his skateboard, Nick Parlet @plumbingsk8r keeps busy with his residential service plumbing company, Tidy Pipes Plumbing, Webster, N.Y. As a third-generation union plumber, Parlet’s dad and his grandfather encouraged him to join and learn the trade, so at the age of 22 Read more
When he is not performing wildcats on his snowboard or running ollies on his skateboard, Nick Parlet @plumbingsk8r keeps busy with his residential service plumbing company, Tidy Pipes Plumbing, Webster, N.Y.
As a third-generation union plumber, Parlet’s dad and his grandfather encouraged him to join and learn the trade, so at the age of 22, Nick joined the local plumbing union. Nick began doing two years of pre-apprentice work and then started his five-year apprenticeship. After five years of schooling, Nick became a journeyman and worked commercial new build construction. Parlet eventually ended up working in the commercial plumbing service, and after doing that for many years—as well as doing side jobs for family and friends—he decided to open his own residential plumbing company, Tidy Pipes Plumbing.
“To be honest, I didn’t know if there was ever a time that I was certain about going on my own; however, with growing on social media with Plumbingsk8r and meeting a ton of great people in the industry, it was clear that there was more money to be made owning your own. My wife and I—spur of the moment—bought a truck on a random Tuesday, and the rest was history,” says Parlet.
Being on his own with the new company came a new wave of excitement knowing that each call Parlet received would grow his business further. “Interacting with my own customers was really exciting; I felt a greater sense of accomplishment and purpose for each job that I went to,” says Parlet.
Joining the union proved beneficial for Parlet. “There are many benefits as a union member, especially for those going into the trades young. They offer coverage for health and dental insurance, as well as retirement options and pension plans. There is also the perk of having your education and schooling provided for you if you go through the full apprenticeship program. It’s just nice knowing there is a group of people keeping your best interest in mind when you are first coming into the trade,” says Parlet.
For those interested in getting started in the trades, “Go for it!” says Parlet. “Consider the benefits for your future and remember that the trades pay. It is knowledge that will never go out of style. Tradesmen will always be import in the future and AI can’t take your job.”
So how does this translate to how we as an industry getting more people interested in the trades? “If there was more focus on the money to be made, I think there would be a lot more interest. There are always jokes about plumbers, and they have this stigma surrounding them that they are low paying job, but in reality you can make the same amount and in many cases more than someone who is 3-5 years out of college,” says Parlet.
Believing in the notion that stress is a killer, Parlet is trying to stay level headed about keeping the right work life balance. First and foremost, Nick loves spending time with his wife and kids, and he knows full well that he does not want to shave a few years off his short time on earth just to make a few extra bucks. “Starting my company has been very challenging for balancing everything because I want to please all of my customers, and that sometimes means working late and working weekends, but I am confident that this is just part of the start-up process,” says Parlet.
As time went on, the confidence grew. And, once Nick started growing on social media and was asked to be part of the Oatey ambassador program, he says he met so many great people, good friends to this day that all became mentors.
“My buddy Thomas Young, aka TYCustoms, Nick from Cheddars Plumbing Co, Jake from MotherFlushers, and Roger Wakefield all instilled a lot of confidence in me and really made me realize that I was capable of owning my own company as well. I hope to be a role model in showing the younger generation that there are other options besides college and that the trades are always growing and need workers,” says Parlet.
“Huge shout out to everyone at Oatey, by the way! Amanda, Alyssa, Katherine, and Tyler, you guys are awesome! They have really helped to push me further into the spotlight of the plumbing social media community and for that I am very thankful. Because of Oatey I was able to meet some of my best friends today.”
Speaking on the importance of social media, “About a year and a half ago, my good friend Brian was constantly sending me TikTok plumbing videos through text messages,” recalls Parlet. “After a few times of clicking the links, I was locked out of watching the TikTok videos unless I downloaded the app. So, I downloaded the app and without putting any thought into the name so I created @plumbingsk8r.
“At that time, I was really only posting on my personal Instagram page. One day I was bored, I posted what I did at work to my Instagram story. I was shocked at the response I got from my friends that were not in the trades. My friends were actually interested in what I did for a living and would often ask me for help with their own plumbing issues. I started putting a little more though into filming my plumbing videos and edits. One night, Brian told me I should post one of my videos to the TikTok and I was a little hesitant at first but I eventually did. The next morning, I woke up at my video had 75,000 views. I was shocked. I posted another one and it didn’t do so good. I posted one more and that one took off as well.
“Every day, I would post what I did at work and I started to gain a little following. I reached out to other plumbing content creators and ended up building some good friendships. We would talk a lot about content creating but also about being a business owner. A lot of them sparked the idea of opening my own company at that time. I enjoy everything about plumbing, including meeting other people who are more knowledgeable about the trade than me. Social media has become a tool I’ve been able to use to learn more than I ever thought I could about the plumbing and the business side of things.
“There have been so many times I’m on a job and think to myself. ‘I bet TY would know the answer to why this is doing that.’ So, I call up my buddy that lives on the other side of the country and sure enough he knows exactly what I’m talking about.
“As for the time I put into my videos today, I try to post at least once a day. I try to film jobs that at different such as pouring a lead joint because you do see that very often. The filming process does not take much extra time but the editing and cross posting process can take anywhere from 30 mins to five hours per video. If I don’t feel creatively motivated, I will not edit or post that day. In a sense, social media has become a 2nd job for me but it’s a job that I can do when I feel like it so there is no pressure. I’m just having fun with it and meeting as many people as I can,” says Parlet.
In conclusion, when Nick started his plumbing career in commercial new construction, he felt as if he was not challenged enough. “I learned a lot about installation but not as much about what I was actually installing. In order to be a good service plumber, you need to know how everything works in order to properly diagnose and fix the problem. “Every service call that I go on has its own challenges and when I find the solution to the problem, fix the issue and put a smile on my customers face, that is the rewarding part.”
Oh, and that name @plumbngsk8r? “I have been skateboarding since I was 10 years old and I still really enjoy skating and filming with my friends,” says Parlet.
You’ll see Nick if you attend the 2024 WWETT Show, KBIS in Vegas, “and I was recently picked to attend the RIDGID Experience, which I am extremely excited about, and I’m hoping to get to the ‘holy grail’ of power tools event, the Milwaukee Pipeline.
What I keep on me at all times
• Utility knife
• 6-in. 1 screw driver
• High quality pocket flashlight
• Milwaukee marks all marker
Always in the bag hand tools
•Channel Locks / Knipex Plier wrench
• Needle nose Cresent Wrench (Ferguson brand – Raptor)
• 16 ft. tape
Power tools I use almost daily
• Milwaukee auto cutter
• RIDGID Snake (preferably a K-50)
• RIDGID Press tool (RP-115)
RIDGID® Experience Goes Global: European Guests Visit Elyria, Ohio Headquarters—Participants from eight countries received a behind-the-scenes tour during the three-day trip to Elyria, Ohio. RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, recently hosted the first RIDGID Experience Europe Edition 2023, an all-expenses-paid, three-day VIP trip to the company headquarters in Elyria, Ohio. The event Read more
RIDGID® Experience Goes Global: European Guests Visit Elyria, Ohio Headquarters—Participants from eight countries received a behind-the-scenes tour during the three-day trip to Elyria, Ohio.
RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, recently hosted the first RIDGID Experience Europe Edition 2023, an all-expenses-paid, three-day VIP trip to the company headquarters in Elyria, Ohio. The event welcomed a total of nine trade professionals from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
RIDGID Experience Europe included exclusive opportunities and team building events that highlighted the brand’s commitment to the trades. Hands-on experiences included a factory tour that invited each guest to build their own iconic RIDGID customized pipe wrench, and time in the research test lab working with innovations in the product development pipeline. “Our guests got a sneak peek at what’s coming from RIDGID, and we loved hearing their opinions on how these tools can help them maximize their time on jobsites,” said Michael Lucas, marketing manager RIDGID Europe. “Getting this global perspective is so important and hearing it in person is really special to our teams.”
The trip was modeled after the North American RIDGID Experience now heading into its seventh year in2024.RIDGID selected attendees from a pool of hundreds of professional tradespeople.
“Our annual RIDGID Experience event is a highlight of our year, and being able to bring some of Europe’s biggest RIDGID fans to our headquarters for a similar experience was a thrill for us,” said Becky Brotherton, director of brand and engagement marketing, RIDGID for Emerson. “RIDGID tools are used on jobsites around the world, but there’s something special about stepping on the manufacturing floor and talking with the people who make them. Our guests are always impressed with how much pride goes into manufacturing the tools they use every day.”
Emerson’s professional tools business, which includes RIDGID as well as the Greenlee® and Klauke® brands, provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of advanced, reliable tools and technologies for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades globally.
Visit www.emerson.com/professionaltools for more information. RIDGID®, Greenlee® and Klauke® are trademarks of Emerson or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks belong to their respective holders.
Being well-prepared is very important in the field of plumbing. A plumber’s reputation might take a hit if they show up to a project without the proper tools, which increases the likelihood that the job will be mishandled. Every professional plumber must have several essential pieces of equipment on hand at all times, despite the Read more
Being well-prepared is very important in the field of plumbing. A plumber’s reputation might take a hit if they show up to a project without the proper tools, which increases the likelihood that the job will be mishandled. Every professional plumber must have several essential pieces of equipment on hand at all times, despite the fact that some tasks can call for specialized instruments. The following are the top five items a plumber must always have.
1. Comprehensive Tool Kit
For a plumber, much like any other tradesperson, the caliber of their work is often reflected in the tools they wield. Their toolbox extends beyond just an assortment of wrenches; it’s a curated collection encompassing pipe cutters, pliers, tape measures, and various specialized tools. The efficiency is amplified when the plumber’s arsenal is complemented by truck tool box accessories. These enhancements not only keep tools organized but also prevent them from becoming hazards during transportation. With the right tools in their arsenal, plumbers can execute tasks with precision and efficiency, ensuring the job is done right the first time, minimizing the risk of inadvertent damage.
2. Plumbing Snake and Drain Auger
In the world of plumbing, clogs are an all-too-familiar foe that often shows resistance to even the most fundamental of treatments, such as using a plunger. When a situation arises, the plumbing snake, sometimes referred to as a drain auger, steps up to the plate as the unsung hero. Can battling even the most tenacious clogs are moving them because of its design, which allows them to get deep into drains. Plumbers can arm themselves with the adaptability necessary to deal with a wide variety of clog conditions if they have an armory that includes manually operated and power-powered variations of the same tool. Because of this flexibility, no obstacle cannot be overcome, regardless of the kind or level of the obstacle.
3. Waterproof Work Gear
Regarding plumbing, water can be both a friend and an enemy. Even though it is the same medium they operate, the pervasive presence of water in leaking pipes or blocked drains can make the working environment dangerous. It is impossible to emphasize the necessity of waterproof work gear, which includes items like boots, gloves, and protective eyewear. Such equipment allows plumbers to easily maneuver their wet environment while maintaining their ability to remain dry and comfortable. This gear is more than just convenient; it also serves as a protective barrier, preventing the wearer from slipping, falling, and being exposed to any pollutants hiding in the water.
4. Advanced Diagnostic Equipment
The plumbing industry has also adapted to the modern technology age. It used to be a guessing game when determining what was wrong with a plumbing system. Still, modern instruments like inspection cameras have eliminated that element of uncertainty. Also, leak detection kits have changed the game by making it possible to find concealed leaks without tearing up walls or crawling around on the floor. Modern plumbing inspections are now easier and more accurate thanks to advances in cutting-edge diagnostic tools. This not only saves precious time but also makes better use of available resources, which in turn leads to better outcomes.
5. Pipe and Drain Inspection Cameras
Pipe and drain inspection cameras represent a remarkable technological advancement in the plumbing industry. These ingenious devices provide plumbers with a direct visual assessment of the inner workings of pipes and drains. By offering a clear, real-time view of the interior, these cameras eliminate the need for conjecture and uncertain diagnoses. This not only expedites the troubleshooting process but also facilitates the precise identification of problems, from blockages to corrosion. As a result, plumbers can formulate targeted repair strategies, minimizing the disruption to the plumbing system and maximizing efficiency. These cameras are a testament to the industry’s commitment to innovation, significantly enhancing the accuracy and effectiveness of plumbing repairs and maintenance.
In the vast field of plumbing, readiness is pivotal for success. If plumbers make it a habit to carry these five critical supplies at all times, they may confidently take on almost any job. It is not enough to just eliminate an issue; rather, it is necessary to do it in a way that is both productive and dependable at all times. And in a line of work where credibility is absolutely essential, having the appropriate resources at your disposal may make all the difference.
Within the plumbing industry, there are so many different products and materials that are critical to carrying out the tasks needed. They say a shoddy workman blames their tools but, in fact, the better the tools, the better the work they can carry out. So how can plumbers check that their equipment is of a Read more
Within the plumbing industry, there are so many different products and materials that are critical to carrying out the tasks needed. They say a shoddy workman blames their tools but, in fact, the better the tools, the better the work they can carry out. So how can plumbers check that their equipment is of a high quality and how can they maintain it?
Examine Build Quality
One of the best approaches is very simply to inspect the build quality of the equipment. While many organizations will have very strict welding and manufacturing capabilities you should inspect the build quality to ensure there is attention to detail and solid construction. Any equipment that’s poorly built is more likely to wear out.
Any beginner plumber needs to remember that the more you invest at the outset in terms of quality equipment, the better the results will be. Plumbing tools are subjected to tough conditions, so they must withstand wear and tear. Equipment made from materials that are built to handle the demands of plumbing work is about the overall build quality that you should examine and, more importantly, examine prior to purchasing.
Researching Trusted Brands
If there is one problem many tradespeople make at the very outset of their journey, it’s that they opt for cheaper items rather than trusted ones. It’s obvious as to why, but when we go for brands with a history of producing reliable equipment, this will result in better products. The plumbing industry has a number of top plumbing brands such as American Standard, but you also need to ensure that you have an understanding of how these brands will translate to the right end products.
When looking for equipment, you should see if there’s any relevant approvals or certifications from industry standards organizations. In the plumbing industry, standards such as the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) are in place to govern the installation and inspection of plumbing systems to promote the public’s health and safety welfare. Additionally, the International Plumbing Code provides requirements for plumbing systems in a wide variety of buildings, including commercial and residential. Plumbing providers that have approvals from these industry standards will naturally indicate the equipment meets specific safety and quality standards.
Evaluate the Warranty and Support
Any equipment will come with guarantees or warranties. Manufacturers’ willingness to stand behind their products will always be a testament to their quality. A very simple thing but these warranties will give you a far better understanding of the company and what they do to provide great customer support. The customer support part is always another key area to understand in case of any potential problems or if you have any questions.
Checking for Compatibility
We all need to ensure that when we are conducting specialized tasks, we need the appropriate equipment. Specialized tools are going to improve efficiency and bring about more accurate results. For example, if the equipment is part of a larger plumbing system, we need to make sure that it’s not just compatible with those specialized systems but is also able to work in tandem with our existing tools and systems.
Testing the Equipment
If possible, we should test the equipment prior to purchasing. We need to have an understanding as to whether a tool like a pipe cutter is able to cut accurately and smoothly, which can maximize safety and precision. Equipment is subject to tough conditions, so it has to withstand wear and tear. We need to ensure the equipment is made from materials that can handle the demands of the job in question. Equipment that requires precise adjustments or measurements should provide easy and accurate markings. Ensuring that we test for functionality, but also look for ergonomic designs, can make life easier for us.
Plumbing is a labor-intensive practice, and therefore, we need to reduce fatigue during long jobs. An understanding of how user-friendly that equipment is will naturally have an impact on its cost, but we must give great consideration as to whether it’s a worthwhile investment. Lower prices may indicate lower quality, but excessively high prices don’t always guarantee great quality either. We should always seek recommendations from plumbing suppliers or stores who will have insights into what is popular amongst professionals, but is actually built for purpose.
The task of checking for the right equipment and ensuring you have the tools you need for a successful job is about the overall recommendations made by industry professionals, but it’s important to trust your instincts as well. The right equipment should inspire confidence in you and feel reliable from the moment you handle it.
Milwaukee® Cushion Grip Screwdrivers (USA) are manufactured to give the professional the best-fitting screwdriver with max grip. The screwdriver tips are custom machined to deliver a precise fit and reduce stripping during demanding fastening applications. For added confidence, the tips are laser etched to increase the gripping surface. Manufactured with high-strength boron-infused steel for increased Read more
Milwaukee® Cushion Grip Screwdrivers (USA) are manufactured to give the professional the best-fitting screwdriver with max grip. The screwdriver tips are custom machined to deliver a precise fit and reduce stripping during demanding fastening applications. For added confidence, the tips are laser etched to increase the gripping surface. Manufactured with high-strength boron-infused steel for increased hardness, the screwdrivers stand up to the demands of the site with ultimate durability and life. Providing increased versatility, select screwdrivers include a wrench-ready bolster for added torque and a knurled shank for precision control. Quick identification markings on the handle make it easy to identify screwdriver tip size and type, including Phillips, cabinet, ECX, slotted, and square. The demolition screwdrivers also include a hammer-ready strike cap. For more, visit https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Products/Hand-Tools/Fastening/Cushion-Grip-Screwdrivers-USA