The Sunny Plumber Blog

How to Deal with a Leaking Toilet

July 30th, 2018

sunny-plumberThere is a high concentration of plumbing pipes and fixtures in your bathroom, obviously. In fact, when a lot of homeowners hear mention of the word “plumbing,” they will immediately think of their bathrooms. It is no surprise to hear, then, that the bathroom is frequently the location of problems with the plumbing system. What is surprising to hear, however, is that the problem is not always what it seems!

Today, we are going to look at the issue of the leaking toilet. If you do have a leaking toilet, you’ll want to schedule prompt bathroom plumbing services in Tucson, AZ. To do so, you need only call upon the pros here at The Sunny Plumber Tucson. We are going to give you some tips about toilet leaks in the post that follows, including one tip that may help you to avoid an unnecessary service call to begin with. So read on, and rest assured that we’ll help you to get the best performance possible from your residential plumbing system. 

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Slab Leaks: You Are Right to Be Concerned

July 16th, 2018

sunny-plumbersWe are not alarmists here at The Sunny Plumber Tucson. Every plumbing problem has a solution, even if that solution is a bigger undertaking than you’d like it to be. When you work with us, you can count on the right solutions to be implemented for any and all problems at hand. Even we’ll admit, however, that you are right to be concerned about a slab leak in Tucson. The slab leak has a well-earned reputation as one of the most serious plumbing issues around.

A big reason for this is the fact that slab leaks are just so tough to recognize. We excel in the detection and repair of slab leaks, but that really doesn’t amount to much if you don’t realize that there is a problem in need of our attention in the first place. So read on, learn more about what slab leaks may mean for you, and remember to contact us if you notice any of the symptoms outlined that could suggest a slab leak in your home.

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Using Natural Gas Safely

July 2nd, 2018

logoHang on a second. Isn’t this supposed to be a plumbing blog? Not only is it supposed to be a plumbing blog, but it is one! (And, we think, a fine one at that.) While some homeowners don’t really think of it as being a plumbing issue, the gas line definitely falls into the jurisdiction of a plumber of choice—hopefully, The Sunny Plumber Tucson. In fact, there are specific laws regarding who can work on and install gas piping, and it takes a licensed plumber to do the job.

Today we want to remind our customers that, yes, natural gas is a truly great, reliable resource. We also want to remind them, however, that natural gas is still a combustible fuel. As is the case with any combustible material, natural gas can be dangerous if not handled properly. The good news is that scheduling your gas piping services with us means that those gas pipes will be in great working order. The bad news is that there are no guarantees in life, so we’ve got some tips to help keep you safe!

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Why We Offer Emergency Plumbing Services

June 18th, 2018

sunny-plumbersWhat do you think of when you imagine an emergency on your property? A structure fire? A major gas leak? These are obviously huge concerns—and a gas leak actually falls under the plumbing category! It is not the only emergency that does, however. Sure, emergencies that pose an immediate threat to your own safety and that of your family are incredibly important to keep in mind and prepare for. But about those emergencies that threaten the condition of your property, or even your convenience?

It is for all of these scenarios that we offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services in Tucson, AZ. And remember, when you need emergency services, you want to know for certain that you are working with a true emergency plumber. There are a lot of plumbers out there that may make themselves available after hours, but that does not mean that they are the best pick for the job. Our goal is to not only provide emergency plumbing services, but those of a quality that you deserve!

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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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Is It Time for Repiping?

May 21st, 2018

sunny-plumberFor a lot of people, the idea of a “home improvement” project is more aesthetic than anything else. Maybe you want to revamp your deck, or paint/side your house to make it more visually appealing. Others blend both fashion and function. Putting up new shutters, repaving an ugly, cracked, or rutted driveway, for instance. But some of the most important home improvement jobs are the ones that offer no visual benefit. Repiping a home is certainly one prime example of this.

When you hire a professional plumber in Green Valley, AZ to repipe your house, it is entirely a matter of function. It is a matter of protecting the integrity of your plumbing system, so that you can count on the reliable delivery of potable water throughout your home. It is also a matter of protecting your home from serious damage caused by damage to these pipes. This all begs the question of when you are supposed to be repiping your home, of course.

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Take Advantage of Our Scour Jet Service

May 7th, 2018

sunny-plumbersThe plumbing system that you use in your home each and every day, throughout the day, and for so many different purposes, has a few components that you directly interact with regularly. Your toilet, your sinks, and appliances like your laundry machine and dishwasher.  That being said, there are parts of your plumbing system that you don’t really see and that you don’t often think about—such as the pipes connected to the bottom of your drains or, for that matter, your sewer line.

Now, the fact that these components of your plumbing system are out of sight doesn’t mean that they should be entirely out of mind. In fact, you find pretty fast that compromised drain and sewer lines will pretty much render your plumbing system unusable. That is why you should hire a professional plumber in Vail, AZ to service them as needed. One great service offered by The Sunny Plumber Tucson is scour jet service, and it can really help your drains and sewer out of a jam!

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Is This It? Time for a New Water Heater?

April 23rd, 2018

logoWhen it comes to an appliance that is as important as your water heater—something you use every single day, throughout the day, and for many different uses—you really need to know that it is in the great working shape necessary to get the job of heating water effectively done right. Of course, no water heater is going to last forever, either. While you don’t want to be wasting money on a premature replacement, you also really don’t want to wind up with a completely broken down system on your hands.

Today, we are going to talk about some of the reasons that you may want to replace your water heater. Planning out your replacement will save you the serious inconvenience of waiting for that replacement to happen when your water heater goes belly up at an inopportune time. Of course, you cannot always get out ahead of problems that you may encounter with your water heater. Scheduling your water heater services in Tucson with The Sunny Plumber Tucson, however, will give you the best chance of doing so.

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Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth the Money?

April 9th, 2018

sunny-plumbersAmong the plumbing services we offer are those for various water heaters in Tucson, AZ. This includes routine maintenance and repairs. When the time comes for a homeowner to purchase a new water heater for an installation or replacement, we always recommend that they take the time to really explore all of the different options that are out there. While the tank water heater is probably still the most popular system around, there is a lot to recommend the tankless variety.

While we are big advocates of the tankless water heater, for reasons that we’ll get into below, there is one factor that may dissuade some potential buyers right off the bat. and that is the price of the tankless water heater. When you’re doing your research on available systems, you’ll notice that tankless models are definitely more expensive than tank models. When you do a bit more research or simply read the following information, however, you’ll see that these systems really are worth the cost.

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How to Keep Your Drains from Backing Up

March 26th, 2018

logoThere are countless issues you may encounter with your plumbing system. Many are simply beyond your control. The need for plumbing repairs in Tucson, AZ is not a matter of if, but of when. Now, that being said, there are also a lot of problems that, while not 100% avoidable, are still often the result of human error. Some, for instance, can often be averted with a bit of care on the homeowner’s part.

Today we want to talk about ways you can help to prevent your drains from backing up. Should you encounter clogged drains, we strongly recommend that you schedule professional drain cleaning services with the exceptional plumbers here at The Sunny Plumber Tucson. Trust us, we’ll have much more success and achieve far better results than any DIY attempts on your part will. You can minimize the risk of requiring any such service in your home by keeping these helpful tips in mind.

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