What do you make?

March 2, 2012
You’re a plumber — what do plumbers make? This comes from a lawyer diverting attention away from answering someone who was giving him a good-natured ribbing about lawyers’ fees!

You’re a plumber — what do plumbers make? This comes from a lawyer diverting attention away from answering someone who was giving him a good-natured ribbing about lawyers’ fees! Not that I haven’t heard this tired old saw a million times, but it’s one often deflected (by plumbers) by telling the joke about the time a doctor complained about his plumbing bill. (I’ll tell you what we plumbers make later.)

We make water flow uphill and sewage too — if we use a pump, but we make them remain separate from each other by not making cross connections. We make mankind healthier by installing safe sanitary plumbing systems. We make ourselves go through continual training in order to keep up with changes to the plumbing codes and learn about new plumbing products. We, as have the plumbers before us, make it so easy for maintaining the welfare of humankind that our work has too long been taken for granted.

Prior to plumbers making plumbing safe and sanitary, contaminated water was the leading cause of death — up to and including the early 1900s. We make efficient use of potable water resources by offering our customers the benefit of our advanced training in the proper design of plumbing systems. We make a myriad of choices while sizing pipes so that hot water is delivered as quickly as possible to all points of use without pressure-issues that can cause imbalances leading to other issues, like scalding. We make suggestions promoting WaterSense (www.epa.gov/WaterSense) faucets that use less water more efficiently while not sacrificing performance, and toilets that use a fraction of the water, potable water at that, than did previous models. We make custom-tailored drainage systems that perform flawlessly while transporting the unmentionables you would never want to deal with — at any cost. We make stoppages go away without ruining your carpets, linoleum or kitchen cabinets. And if we make a mess in the process, we clean it up without making anyone ask.  

We make fire and electricity behave within containers called water heaters, boilers, furnaces and heat pumps. We make complicated equipment behave efficiently by utilizing thousands of hours of training and we make adjustments to efficiency using highly sophisticated testing instruments to adjust combustion so that the money you make isn’t wasted. We make decisions, with our customers input, regarding which components best fit their needs, wants, desires and budgets. We make appropriately-designed ductwork systems so that air is delivered where it is needed efficiently and quietly and do so using techniques and well-established programs and training/certifications obtained from organizations we make it our business to join, like ACCA (www.acca.org) that build upon the Manual-J heat loss/gain calculations called Manual-D and Manual-N in order to create a system that is unique to that structure.

We make inverter heat pumps integrate seamlessly with buildings’ systems and make the designs that take full advantage of their potential to conserve energy. We make people comfortable by installing hydronic and electric radiant heating systems that provide synergy between man and comfort. We make the choice to invest in advanced training from organizations like the Radiant Professionals Alliance (www.radiantprofessionalsalliance.org), so that the designs we make squeeze every last drop out of the potential ECV (Energy Conservation Value) for peak ROI (Return on Investment).

We make geothermal systems that can be integrated seamlessly into older pre-existing mechanical systems or new construction. We make indoor environments healthier by improving IAQ and suggest you visit www.healthyheating.com to gain some insight into the depth of knowledge available.

We make the sun heat domestic hot water, supplement heating systems and make electricity. But before we do, we make a full-blown report using tools and programs, so that our customers can understand the cost-to-benefit ratio. By making an investment in advanced training to obtain my listing as a Pennsylvania Sunshine certified installer (whose work is subject to scrutiny and review), my customers are eligible for state incentives.   

We make well water rise up from aquifers using advanced ECM motor-driven variable-speed pumps that conserve energy and allow customers to dial-in whatever water-pressure they want, eliminating pressure-swings. We make that well water safe to drink by filtering out sediment, killing bacteria, neutralizing acidity and by turning hard water soft.

We make utility companies cry by reducing our customers’ bills, so much so that utilities have sent their personnel out to determine why consumption has fallen so dramatically.   

In short, we make toilets to flush without erupting their contents; drains to carry away human waste; faucets to flow hot or cold water that’s safe to drink; comfortable heating and air conditioning systems that operate using far less energy; indoor environments healthier; fire and electricity safe to use; and a safe environment for you and your families. What do you make?     

All Dave Yates material in print and on Contractor's Web site is protected by Copyright 2011. Any reuse of this material (print or electronic) must first have the expressed written permission of Dave Yates and Contractor magazine. Please contact via email at: [email protected].

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