The Sunny Plumber Phoenix Blog

What Causes Plumbing Leaks?

September 10th, 2018

sunny-plumber-vanIf we were to ask a large pool of homeowners what the most common problem with plumbing systems is, chances are that a big number of individuals within that pool will come up with the same answer: leaks. And you know what? They would be right. There are a lot of different types of leaks, of course, but they all boil down to the same trouble—you cannot keep water in the pipes or fixtures where they belong!

While there may be a lot of different types of leaks, there are also a lot of different problems that can cause those leaks. We are going to look at a few of them today. Now, not even working with as outstanding a company as The Sunny Plumber Phoenix will keep all leaks at bay forever. Many of these causes are simply out of your hands. However, you can take measures to minimize such risks, provided you know what those causes are, to begin with.

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Water Line Problems? Let Us Replace It!

August 27th, 2018

sunny-plumbersOne of the most basic functions of any plumbing system, perhaps the most basic function, is to bring potable water into businesses and homes. Sure, there are a lot of factors to consider, such as the heating of water, water drainage, and so on, but there wouldn’t be a need for a plumbing system without getting that water into the house/commercial property in the first place.

Why are we explaining something that is so obvious? To emphasize just how important your main water line is. Without your main water line, you wouldn’t have access to the potable water that you need to cook, clean, and bathe with. Unfortunately, even if you have a main water line in place (and we’re comfortable in assuming that you do), it is not going to last forever. Even something as relatively simple as a pipe is going to degrade over time, and eventually you’ll need a water line replacement in Phoenix, AZ. Call The Sunny Plumber Phoenix when you do.

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What Kind of Shape Is Your Anode Rod In?

August 13th, 2018

logoThe type of answer that far too many homeowners respond to when faced with the question posed in the title is: “What’s an anode rod?”

If you use a tank water heater to provide hot water in your home, and you do not know what an anode rod is, then this is the post for you. Why? Well, the short answer is that the anode rod is all that stands between your hot water storage tank and total obliteration!

Okay, that last bit was a little melodramatic, but that does nothing to change that an anode rod really is your hot water tank’s best source of protection from the damage and eventual leaks caused by corrosion. An anode rod doesn’t last forever, either. In fact, it’s not supposed to. That means that your anode rod is going to have to be replaced at least a few times throughout the course of your water heater’s lifespan. Be sure to schedule your water heater services in Phoenix, AZ with The Sunny Plumber Phoenix.

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Keep Your Drains Flowing Freely

July 30th, 2018

plumberOkay, you’ve done the dishes. Now that that’s out of the way, you can go kick back, relax, grab a beverage of your choosing, and spend some more quality time with your family and/or your guests. There’s only one problem.

The sink is not draining.

Or, at least, it is not draining properly. What could have led to this? What cruel twist of fate has thrown this wrench into the gears of your night? Well, we hate to tell you this, but the problem could very well be one of your own making. In fact, many instances, if not the majority, of clogged drains are the result of user error. You cannot always avoid them, but by being a bit more careful and keeping the following tips in mind, you can definitely keep the issue of clogged drains in Phoenix, AZ to a minimum.

So read on and, if you do run into clogged drains in your home, do not hesitate to give a member of our team a call.

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Why Schedule a Camera Pipe Inspection?

July 16th, 2018

sunny-plumber-vanWhen some homeowners run into a slow-moving drain or a clogged toilet, they may think that grabbing the plunger will free up that clog and get the drain pipe functioning properly. They may think that a leak in a drain or sewer line is a simple enough fix—after all, you can see where the leak is coming from, right? When you stop and think about the situation, though, it’s pretty obvious that things may be much more complicated than this.

That is precisely why you need a professional plumber to come aboard and complete a thorough video pipe inspection in Phoenix, AZ for you. When it comes to diagnosing and pinpointing pipe problems, nothing beats the ability to peer directly into the pipe in question. Sure, it may not be a breathtaking view. However, the information that it gives us allows our plumbers to resolve the problem in a fashion that will take your breath away.

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How to Deal with Slab Leaks

July 2nd, 2018

sunny-plumbersIn a perfect world, we would be able to tell you how you can completely avoid plumbing problems of all kinds, preferably in just a few simple steps. As this isn’t a perfect world, we can’t do this, though we’ve certainly shared plenty of tips in the past that have helped you to avoid many problems with your plumbing system. That being said, you are going to run into problems from time to time—and some of them are much more serious than others.

While we believe that all plumbing problems should be a top priority, and it is always in your best interests to resolve any problems in a prompt manner, certain issues are more likely to cause serious damage than others. This is the case with a slab leak in Phoenix, AZ. In today’s post, we’ll help you to understand what a slab leak is, why they’re so detrimental, and how you can recognize one in your home. If and when you do, be sure to contact The Sunny Plumber Phoenix immediately. 

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Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth the Higher Price?

June 18th, 2018

logoWhen the time comes to install a water heater in a brand new home or to schedule a water heater replacement—either due to complete system failure or the desire for a better user experience—homeowners will generally choose between tank and tankless water heater models. When they’re doing their initial research (and you should be doing research before investing in a new water heater) homeowners quickly realize that tankless water heaters are more expensive. Not insignificantly so, either.

With this in mind, prospective customers often ask us if a tankless water heater is worth the money. The answer to this question is yes. The technology and benefits of a tankless water heater are reflected in the price. Does this mean that a tankless water heater, then, is the right option for every homeowner? Not at all. We’re here to help you decide if a tankless water heater in Phoenix is right for you.

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Hire a Professional Emergency Plumber

June 4th, 2018

plumberWhen you think of an emergency in your home, you may think of a fall down the stairs that necessitates a call to the paramedics. Or maybe a fire that breaks out, putting not just your property but also lives in jeopardy. Yes, these are definitely emergencies. Those emergencies potentially resulting in bodily harm are not the only ones that you may encounter, though, and medical professionals/firefighters/police officers are not the only individuals that you may need in such events.

If you have a true plumbing emergency, for instance, you’re going to be much better off contacting a member of our team than you would calling 9-1-1! For plumbing emergencies of any stripe—and we’ll discuss a few typical situations in the post that follow—The Sunny Plumber Phoenix is definitely the company to call. When you need an emergency plumber in Apache Junction, our team is here to spring into action 24/7.

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Perks for Plumbers: Hawaiian Vacations, Craft Beer and ‘a Lot of Zen’

May 29th, 2018

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The fast-growing business offers all the perks a pampered Silicon Valley tech worker might expect: An on-site tap flows with craft beer and the kitchen is stocked with locally roasted espresso beans. There is a putting green and a smoker for brisket lunches. Next up: a yoga studio.

Welcome to the gushing job market…for plumbers.

Colorado’s Neuworks Mechanical Inc. employs 75 plumbers but needs 15 to 20 more. To keep them happy, it offers “a lot of Zen,” says business-development manager Jackie Sindelar. That includes a sharing exercise that “brings out your raw emotions and makes you vulnerable,” she says.

Drained from a labor shortage, the plumbing industry is throwing the kitchen sink at job candidates.

Bonfe’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Service Inc. of South St. Paul, Minn., boasts an array of arcade games and a “quiet room”—a plush hangout space with insulated walls painted a calming sky blue. It has a lockable door, a comfy couch, a recliner and a sound machine that babbles with the soothing audio of ocean waves.

“When people have a bad day they go in there,” says Mr. Bonfe. “They literally check out for a while.” Mr. Bonfe, a veteran plumber and president of the 120-employee family business, could use the room himself some days, noting that the labor market is “the hardest I have ever seen.”

Plumbing employers are plugging on-site spa treatments, exotic trips and jet-ski outings. The Sunny Plumber—which serves the southwest with the slogan “Bright and Shiny and Won’t Show Our Hiney”—has job announcements offering free laundry service and “a suite at the Arizona Cardinals games for you and your family.”

In Manassas, Va., My Plumber Heating & Cooling is trumpeting “biweekly, on-site massages.” Across Virginia, Wisler Plumbing, Inc.’s February radio recruitment ad promised “a hot breakfast every morning.”

“We do that to set ourselves apart,” says President James Wisler, of the daily 7 a.m. repast that can include sausage, gravy and biscuits.

Kerry Stackpole, executive director of the Plumbing Manufacturers International, a trade group, described the race for talent as very real. And the profession’s reputation of being a bit of a drip presents an obstacle to recruiting and drawing new people to the field.

“It’s ‘the butt crack;’ it’s ‘the slobs,’ ” sighed S.J. Peters, the executive director of a Midwestern plumbing group, referring to tired misperceptions swirling around the trade.

U.S. job openings hit a record 6.6 million in March, with the construction industry<https://www.wsj.com/articles/economic-milestone-there-is-a-job-for-everyone-who-wants-one-1525797993?mod=article_inline>—where plumbers are heavily employed—seeing one of the largest jumps.

Building, needed repairs and retirements are fueling demand for plumbers at the same time the U.S. jobless rate<https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-adds-164-000-jobs-in-april-unemployment-falls-to-3-9-1525437126?mod=article_inline&mod=article_inline> in April fell below 4% for the first time since late 2000.

The annual median pay for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters was nearly $53,000 per year in 2017, according to federal data, but it isn’t uncommon to see jobs advertised for far higher wages, from $70,000 up to six figures.

“Our phone is ringing off the hook but we don’t have the skilled folks,” says Jonathan Bancroft, chief executive of Morris-Jenkins Inc. in Charlotte, N.C. The plumbing, heating and air-conditioning company is one of many offering to train unskilled people.

And to further distinguish itself, Morris-Jenkins is positioning its workplace as overflowing with fun.

“We like to play games and wear costumes…a lot!” say current Morris-Jenkins job postings that praise the “legendary” company breakfasts. In one event, Mr. Bancroft says, employees received mullet wigs for “Mullet Monday.”

Bob Hamilton Plumbing, Heating, A/C and Rooter in Overland Park, Kan., recently bumped its signing bonus to $5,000 from $1,000, says owner Bob Hamilton, whose corporate motto proclaims “Better Call Bob!”

The company added a perk in April: employer-sponsored pottery classes.

“I made a couple of bowls and what turned out to be a toothpick holder,” says Paul Smith, a veteran plumber and supervisor there. “It was a blast.”

Candidates know the fringe benefits are overflowing, according to Alex Kramien, chief operating officer of George Morlan Plumbing Co. in Portland, Ore.

A few weeks ago, he started aggressively recruiting out of state—offering to cover moving costs—and says “pet insurance has been brought up more than a few times in interviews.” (He’s looking into it and he gets the appeal: He says his own father spent $1,200 for cancer treatment for his goose George.)

In the meantime, Mr. Kramien waves concert tickets, “week in paradise” Hawaii trips, and use of the company-owned beach house and condo on the Oregon Coast. New plumber jobs at his company pay $44.84 per hour plus benefits.

Plumber Jason Braukman briefly left George Morlan, drawn by signing bonuses and opportunities elsewhere, but says the company’s benefits lured him back.

“We’re like top dogs now,” he says of plumbers.

That reality is one reason Wyatt Hepworth recently unveiled a new indoor basketball court at his business, Any Hour Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Air in Orem, Utah. He also made the company gym “six times larger.”

His technicians get other job offers weekly. Watchful managers whisk employees being courted by competitors off on company time, he says, for a half-day of fun, like jet-skiing.

And of course, “everyone is going to get swag,” he says of Any Hour’s shirts, caps, sunglasses and backpacks for the whole family.

A promise of a “brand new truck” that plumbers can drive home is helping Wilder, Ky.-based Jolly Plumbing, says operations director Scott Sharrock.

Jolly—where “A Flush Beats a Full House”—has its own indoor basketball court, two 72-inch televisions for sports viewing and allows plumbers to use Jolly’s building and large fully remodeled kitchen anytime for personal family shindigs.

“We have had a couple big parties with a lot of beer cans left over,” says Mr. Sharrock, adding that basketball games have led to busted ceiling tiles.

But the extras, he says, are necessary. “We can’t hire plumbers fast enough.”

Write to Jennifer Levitz at jennifer.levitz@wsj.com<mailto:jennifer.levitz@wsj.com>

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What Are Copper Pinhole Leaks?

May 21st, 2018

sunny-plumber-vanDo you want a quick answer to the question posed in the title of this blog? They’re a real pain. Don’t worry, we’ve got a more detailed definition coming your way, but we really just wanted to get that out there. The unfortunate fact is that there are a lot of different problems you may encounter with your plumbing system. Copper pinhole leaks are one of them, and they’re a doozy.

As is the case with any plumbing problem, it is always going to be in your best interest to schedule professional plumbing repairs the moment that you discover the issue. Sometimes, that comes late enough in the game that you’ll be in need of professional emergency plumbing repair in Phoenix. This may well be the case when you run into copper pinhole leaks in your home. Just remember that The Sunny Plumber Phoenix is always here for you.

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