Industry Blogs

In partnership with our friends at OLFA, the Japanese maker of high quality utility knives and rotary cutters, we invite you to take advantage of a limited time offer of a free model LA-X 18mm Snap Blade Utility Knife. All you have to do to get your knife is CLICK HERE to enter your shipping Read More

In partnership with our friends at OLFA, the Japanese maker of high quality utility knives and rotary cutters, we invite you to take advantage of a limited time offer of a free model LA-X 18mm Snap Blade Utility Knife.

All you have to do to get your knife is CLICK HERE to enter your shipping information and you’ll be all set to receive your free knife loaded with OLFA’s ultra-sharp black snap-off blade.

With more and more homeowners looking to smart technologies to automate their homes, people can now automate almost anything — lights, garage doors, windows, blinds, appliances, clocks, speakers, door bells, surveillance cameras, home security systems, climate control systems, cleaning systems, sprinkler systems, lawnmowers — even food preparation. So, what about their plumbing systems? If you Read More

With more and more homeowners looking to smart technologies to automate their homes, people can now automate almost anything — lights, garage doors, windows, blinds, appliances, clocks, speakers, door bells, surveillance cameras, home security systems, climate control systems, cleaning systems, sprinkler systems, lawnmowers — even food preparation.

Phyn Plus installed with Pro Squad installer

So, what about their plumbing systems? If you think about it, homeowners would love to be connected to their plumbing systems. What if a pipe bursts when they’re away? Or, there’s a tiny leak that’s been quietly wasting water (and money) for months (think: toilet flappers, dripping faucets or pinhole leaks in corroded metal plumbing systems). For those that only get their water bill on a quarterly basis, that little leak could add up to quite a big cost over time (not to mention a tragic waste of water, our precious natural resource).

And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a leak. There are those forgetful homeowners (or their children) who leave a faucet running and leave the house with the water going continuously. I’ve even heard of pets (typically cats) that accidentally turn on faucets and leave them running for hours until the homeowner returns to find little Fluffy has just wasted hundreds of dollars down the drain. Certain smart water detection systems can even alert homeowners of abnormal water events such as these.

Water leaks and water misuse are real, and every homeowner has experienced a water incident at one time or another. If you’re still not convinced, here are some interesting stats that might make you think differently.

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage accounts for almost half of all property damage claims.
  • About one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year, and water damage ranks as the second most common home insurance claim.
  • Of homeowners who have experienced a water leak claim in the past two years, 57% spent more than $5,000 on clean-up costs, and 15% spent $20,000 or more.
  • 41% of homeowners say a device that alerts them to water leaks is highly

If you haven’t thought about it, now’s the time. Intelligent water is the next frontier in the connected home, and plumbers can benefit greatly from this new technology. Adding a smart water technology offering to your plumbing business is a great way to gain new business and offer a valuable new benefit to existing customers.

How do you get started? First, you need to do your research. Certain manufacturers now offer smart water systems that are designed specifically with the professional plumber in mind. The Phyn Plus smart water assistant + shutoff, for example, is a connected plumbing device that is installed by a plumber in the Pro Squad nationwide network.

It’s helpful if you’re familiar with the internet and have some tech savvy in your background. But, for products that are installed through a professional, exclusive network, you can get the training you need right from the manufacturer. All that’s required from you is a willingness to learn.

Think about it. Homeowners are craving new ways to get connected to the things in their homes, and they are willing to pay for it. They will pay you for it! Plus, when there is a leak detected in their home, guess who they’ll call?

These smart water technology systems are a wonderful revenue generator for anyone in the plumbing industry — from the established contractor to someone just breaking into the industry. They can apply to any type of application from new construction to remodels to re-pipes. Essentially anywhere there’s residential plumbing, these systems will work.

And think about how great it would be to have your customers calling you straight from their connected device’s app whenever they need service due to a leak. It takes the guesswork out of the equation for homeowners regarding the best professional to call for the job, and it ensures a faithful client base for you. Win-win.

So, if you’re ready to up the ante in your business to offer a smart water leak detection system, think about all the positives it can offer and how easy it can be to get trained and up and running on a technology that is going to be in demand in the very near future.

You could be one of the first in your area to offer it, opening doors to customers you might never have the opportunity to encounter otherwise.

 

Kim Bliss is the content development manager at Uponor. She can be reached at kim.bliss@uponor.com.

Winter is Coming

As they say in one of the world’s most popular television shows: winter is coming. With winter comes the inevitable rise in the number of burst pipe calls all plumbers will be tasked with repairing. Pipes are generally more likely to burst when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is suggested that those Read More

As they say in one of the world’s most popular television shows: winter is coming. With winter comes the inevitable rise in the number of burst pipe calls all plumbers will be tasked with repairing. Pipes are generally more likely to burst when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is suggested that those living in cold-weather climates keep their homes heated to a minimum of 36 degrees if they are not going to be using their water for an extended period of time. However, no matter how present these warnings are, some winter pipe bursts are unavoidable.

Fortunately, John Guest has committed time and effort to developing the products necessary to tackle this problem. The John Guest Speedfit slip connectors provide plumbers with a quick, simple, and easy fix for burst pipes.

Their slip connectors come in two sizes and can be used to fix pipe bursts on PEX, CPVC, and copper pipes, providing an efficient solution to a litany of burst-pipe problems. John Guest slip connectors have push-fit connections, allowing for rapid installation that should at least temporarily solve one of the major issues with burst pipes: leakage. The push-fit fitting allows all of this to be accomplished without any additional pipe work.

Slip connectors are also built to work with both hot and cold pipes, again providing coverage across the entire spectrum of possible burst-pipe issues that one may encounter. John Guest slip connectors are made with lead-free, non-toxic, and non-flammable materials so you can feel secure in installing these connectors for any issue and leave them to run without constant monitoring. Like all John Guest products, the Speedfit slip connectors are made with an advanced polymer material, assuring our customers that they are receiving only the highest-quality performance.

For more visit John Guest Speedfit slip connectors.

 

Drain cleaning is in full-swing and if you’ve been thinking about ways you can add services to your business – diagnostics, inspection and locating – may be the perfect addition. Not only can it add an additional revenue stream year-round, but it’s a particularly beneficial service this time of year when home buying tends to Read More

Drain cleaning is in full-swing and if you’ve been thinking about ways you can add services to your business – diagnostics, inspection and locating – may be the perfect addition. Not only can it add an additional revenue stream year-round, but it’s a particularly beneficial service this time of year when home buying tends to pick up across the country.

While most homebuyers opt to have a home inspection completed as part of the home buying process, sewer inspection is not typically included. Many don’t know to ask for it and realtors aren’t always suggesting it as a necessary inspection.

Drain Mob, a camera, jetting and drain cleaning company in San Diego regularly provides camera inspection and drain cleaning services for clients after they’ve purchased a home and are experiencing issues, something they and other professionals think could be avoided if homebuyers and their realtors took the time to inspect the lines as part of the home inspection.

“Every day we see a lot of clients that did not have a realtor that would actually camera their sewer lines, they would always go on the inspection report from the inspector,” said Billy Teeter, Drain Mob Owner in a recent Instagram video talking to realtors. “It’s two to three hundred dollars, it’s worth the money. Hire a professional and you’ll be a hero with your client.  Protect your clients investment.”

How to Get Started

To begin offering services to this market, you don’t need to buy equipment all at once. Invest in equipment you’ll initially need most and then add-on as needed once you recoup your initial investment. For example, a RIDGID® SeeSnake® Compact2 Camera System paired with the CS6xPak Digital Recording Monitor is a good initial investment for residential jobs. All RIDGID digital monitors come standard with Wi-Fi allowing for easy capturing and sharing of images and video through the HQx Live App on your phone or tablet. This lets buyers and sellers quickly see any potential issues.

 

After your initial equipment purchase, marketing your new service becomes a priority. A few ideas as you get started are:

  • National Association of Realtors – Connect with your local National Association of Realtors chapter. The association represents 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries and has over 1,200 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations.
  • American Society of Home Inspectors – Reach out to local home inspectors about partnering to offer drain and sewer inspection as part of their services. The American Society of Home Inspectors, a professional organization for inspectors across the country, offers a searchable database of local inspectors on their website.

Additional Business Benefits

Incorporating diagnostic, inspection and locating services into your business provides additional benefits for a company. These include:

  • Expanded Capabilities Diagnostics is an investment that quickly pays for itself and continues to drive incremental income by letting contractors offer additional plumbing services. It also allows plumbers to take on more complex and difficult projects they previously would have had to decline.
  • The Added Value of Certainty – Clearly seeing the problem means being able to offer the right fix, no more and no less. For customers, seeing the problem that backs the estimate increases their trust in a contractor and the necessity of work being completed.
  • Find it. Clear it. – Contractors can serve more customers in less time with diagnostics, inspection and locating equipment because they can locate and repair problems faster. Many tools come standard with Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing for findings to be shared immediately with clients and co-workers, which leads to faster decisions and shorter projects.

In closing, regardless of whether you decide to target your diagnostic, inspection and locating services to homebuyers and realtors, these services and type of equipment can be a beneficial addition for your business and clients.

Article by Gina Hartman

Gina is Senior Global Marketing Manager of Underground Technologies, including inspection and diagnostic products, at RIDGID®. The company is a global manufacturer of more than 300 dependable and innovative tools, trusted by professional trades in over 100 countries. Learn more at RIDGID.com.

According to a recent industry report, growth in radiant heating sales in the first quarter of this year was largely driven by sales of floor heating cables. WarmlyYours, a radiant heating company that specializes in electric floor heating systems, released their “Q1 2018 Industry Report ” earlier this week. Among other findings, the report showed Read More

According to a recent industry report, growth in radiant heating sales in the first quarter of this year was largely driven by sales of floor heating cables.

WarmlyYours, a radiant heating company that specializes in electric floor heating systems, released their “Q1 2018 Industry Report ” earlier this week. Among other findings, the report showed that electric floor heating cable sales were responsible for a large portion of the 24.5% growth in consolidated sales for the company. Sales of the TempZone Floor Heating Cable grew 23.9% in the second quarter, which translated to year-to-date growth of 16.1%.

Pairing electric floor heating cable with an uncoupling membrane has become a very popular option for professionals and homeowners alike. In this picture you can see the various layers of a floor heating installation including the wood subfloor, thinset, the uncoupling membrane and heating cable, another layer of thinset, and the tile floor covering.

In addition, the Prodeso Membrane, an uncoupling membrane designed to accommodate the TempZone Floor Heating Cable product, has also increased significantly in sales in the second quarter (up 128%). When installed with the heating cable, the membrane significantly cuts down on installation time and provides long-lasting uncoupling benefits to relatively fragile floor coverings like tile. These features have helped grow the membrane from 45% of floor heating underlayment sales in the first half of 2017 to 57% in 2018.

A large part of the sales growth for both the TempZone Floor Heating Cable and the Prodeso Membrane is due to continued growth in the ecommerce channel. In fact, ecommerce now constitutes 19.4% of all WarmlyYours year-to-date sales, up from 8% last year. Most of this growth was with Amazon, which increased 349.8% in the second quarter. On Amazon, Q2 2018 sales of floor heating systems grew 427.9% and underlayment sales increased a whopping 3003.5%. The WarmlyYours report expects to see continued e-tailer sales growth well into 2019.

Infographic showing the fastest growing product lines for WarmlyYours floor heating sales in the second quarter of 2018. While the TempZone Cable’s growth rate isn’t as high as some of the other products, the increase in sales volume is by far the largest.

Despite the rapidly accelerating growth from digital avenues, Julia Billen, owner and president of WarmlyYours, stated in the report that the company will always place highest-priority on maintaining strong relationships with existing customers via direct sales.

“We’ve been in the radiant heating industry for a long time and some of our customers, from flooring installers to electricians, have been with us for nearly 20 years—in fact, they’re more like partners than customers,” said Billen. “And we will always place partners first because a website or app is never going to be able to beat the experience and knowledge of a professional.”

Here is a link to the report in full.