Plumbing isn’t a profession that everyone wants to spend their life doing. It’s dirty, smelly and let’s face it during COVID, who wants to play in raw sewage for a living?
Other than the “obvious” reasons that plumbing doesn’t entice most the way people pour into professions like becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, an engineer, or IT tech, Plumbing requires skills much like a teacher needs a masters degree to advance or an engineer to design a building. These skills are needed to solve complicated waste and vent systems behind walls, water lines snaking through your house and streets, gas lines in the attic, walls and basements, sewage pipes, cleanouts, complex drain systems, pumps, equipment and so much more that requires licensure and skills/expertise that doesn’t come overnight. Every house, building, and commercial space is different. Years of experience that isn’t in a book or school cost plenty. That all comes at a price.
There are many “on-demand” professions like plumbers that work nights, weekends, and the like. But, companies that operate 24/7 like a hospital or nursing home are hard to find, and to operate that business 24/7/365 is an expensive undertaking. When you need them the most, on weekends and nights, Plumbing is not cheap. Let’s look at the facts….
Plumbing Service Calls tend to occur in the evening and on the weekends when the Family is home and stressing the plumbing systems the most. When you are at home enjoying some family time or relaxing with some friends, your plumber cannot drink a beer, has to stay in a 10-mile radius, cannot “commit” to doing anything “social” or go on vacation because he needs to be here to help you when you need him most- on the weekends and at nights.
-Plumbing is not an easy job. It can be downright scary at times. Plumbers come into contact with sewage and other harmful materials such as mold, bacteria, toxic chemicals, and more. Some tasks can even be “physically dangerous” like excavating and underground plumbing. Despite the dangers to plumbers, they are essential and do it knowing the risks.
-Tools and Equipment at a local home store or hardware store are generally made with cheaper parts and a one size fits all approach. Most plumbers purchase their supplies from a professional plumbing supplier in order to be fixed properly. The equipment needed is high-tech that requires special training to use and costs thousands of dollars to purchase and operate such as full-color sewer cameras, high-pressure jetters, snakes, and pro press devices. These pieces of equipment break, get stuck and require replacements often. Thousands of dollars can go “down the drain” on one single job with a broken video camera or drain snake. This equipment must be maintained and cleaned. Someone has to take the time to repair and wash the equipment in their “spare time”. The jetter truck can take 2 hours to fill depending on the water source. Let’s not forget the expensive COVID supplies plumbing companies have been purchasing to keep customers and staff healthy and safe. The best parts and equipment are mandatory. Warehouses must be stocked and Van’s must be readied for the day. Plumbers cannot afford to get it wrong. The best parts and equipment equals the BEST job done.
-Travel is not cheap. With gas of Diesel Trucks rounding $3.50 a gallon, getting to your home is no small sum of money. When you call a plumber they come to your home in a fully stocked and insured vehicle. They can easily drive 100 miles in a day and the gas evaporates. The maintenance to repair and maintain those trucks is expensive as are the replacements needed much sooner than your average “vehicle” for work purposes. Between purchasing a truck with all the necessary installed equipment, fueling and maintaining these trucks, plumbers pour thousands upon thousands of dollars into transportation costs alone.
-Marketing/Advertising/Staffing….how do you find us? At Rocket, we answer our phones 24/7/365 without getting an answering service, our social media staffer lets you know we exist across multiple digital platforms. She spends hours upon hours educating you with important facts and tips, promoting our business and services as well as making sure that the community knows how to reach us. Writing blog posts such as this for “information purposes” to keep the consumer educated and informed takes valuable time. Google is the way people find you in 2021….if you don’t run Google Ads, Google puts you to the bottom of page 51 and no one will find you. Marketing in the digital age isn’t cheap. Facebook, Instagram, and Google are how most people look for a plumber in 2021 and they know it. 5 Star Reviews come with sacrifices and late nights and weekends without our children or our spouses. Vacations are non-existent because you need us. We cannot just kick back and relax on a Saturday night after working all week because invariably we will get a call that sewage is backing up or water is pouring in and we cannot say “no”. Always being “on” comes at a price.
-Insurance- Anyone that knows anything about the trades knows that they are at high risk for Liability issues therefore insurance costs for Plumbers is extremely expensive. It’s one of the highest of all the trades. It’s no stretch to think that a valve can break and flood a home in minutes or a fitting is defective and water comes pouring into your home. It’s for these reasons that Insurance Companies charge oodles of money to ensure a plumbing company. Workers Compensation is at an all-time high in the Plumbing Industry due to the inherent nature of dangers involved in Plumbing tasks. Steps, High Ceilings, Underground Pipes, and the like are all reasons why the dangers of the Plumbing Industry cause insurance companies to jack up the rates.
The trades are a dying industry. No one wants to go into the trades anymore. Skilled plumbers are in High Demand and Plumbing Companies must offer competitive pay, benefits, and a piece of the profits to retain and empower new recruits. The people that work for a Plumbing company do so in excess of 60 hours a week because reliable, responsible plumbers are not available to hire. Plumbing is a risky sport. If you have a good plumber that you trust, show up, and takes good care of you, say thank you with a smile even though it doesn’t feel good to spend your hard-earned money on plumbing repairs and problems. They do this because they love what they do and put everything they have into it. We get it, plumbing isn’t “sexy” ….its, not a comfy couch to prop up your legs, it’s not a vacation with the family nor a gift you enjoy giving to a loved one. But, it’s a necessary evil, and the people that bring it to you, do so because they love what they do not because they are getting rich doing it.