Drain Cleaning Opens Up New Opportunities for Plumber

Drain Cleaning Opens Up New Opportunities for Plumber

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It doesn’t bother Bob Baker that many plumbers don’t want to do drain cleaning. It leaves more work for his company, Baker Plumbing in Calgary, Alberta.

But at the same time, the veteran plumber can’t understand why more plumbers don’t clean drains — a service the nearly 70-year-old company has been offering customers since 1996.

“I don’t know how plumbers don’t do it,” Baker says. “There’s so much money to be made. It’s said there are two ways to make money: do things no one else can do and do things no one wants to do, and this falls under the latter. For us, drain cleaning leads to so much other business (such as pipeline coating and pipe lining). Drain cleaning helped us get our foot in the door with commercial clients.

“When you can clean drains as well as fix your $10,000 boiler and provide other services, too, you become the go-to company for everything they need. Being a one-stop shop definitely has been an advantage for us.”

The company’s go-to drain cleaning tool is the compact but powerful RIDGID K-5208 sectional machine, which Baker says he bought during an emergency service call because other machines weren’t getting the job done. The company was called into a shopping mall to clear a 6-inch-diameter cast iron sewer line that, as it turned out, was clogged by chunks of wood and other debris that built up behind them.

“We ground away on that clog unsuccessfully for about five hours,” Baker says. “So I went out and bought the K-5208 for about $6,000. It unclogged the line in less than an hour. The mall owner was very grateful. That machine made us heroes, for sure. And I charged $10,000 for the job, so the machine paid for itself the same day I bought it.

“I was shocked at how well it worked. I was as impressed with that machine as our customer was with the results. I can’t think of a machine with a better return on investment.”

Read more about Baker Plumbing in the March 2024 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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