How I Found Trust in the Trades

How I Found Trust in the Trades

You may be thinking, “You actually trust trade’s people?”

The answer is “Yes, I really do! But there is more to my answer – let me explain.

When I was young, I developed a fear of people taking advantage of me. It guided my decisions even as a child because I really didn’t want to be “ripped off” or lied to. It’s possible that many times I missed out on opportunities due to my lack of trust, but I learned to follow my gut and I felt pretty good about my decisions.  

As I grew up, I was intrigued with the fact that many people have a higher than normal level of distrust for trades people. I was hooked! I learned everything I could about trust and the trades.

Today, I can proudly tell you that I have the secret to trusting trades. I also offer clients a trust-worthy option as the owner of Aquality Plumbing & Heating, based upon ensuring our clients never feel taken advantage of.

So how do you know if you can trust a trade?  

To be honest, this works for anything or anyone, and I believe it is the best way to avoid dealing with people that cannot be trusted. For many years, I relied on gut instinct alone, and although that worked reasonably well, I soon discovered the following solid methodology.

The challenge when trusting trades

The reason trades are one of the toughest to trust for me, is because we need them but don’t want them.  Harsh but true. To make it even tougher, it’s the last thing we want to spend money on, or planned to spend money on.  Granted, we do at times plan a renovation or new build, yet we still feel like we pay too much for heat, hot water, and even lighting.  The difference in some of these is perspective. Lighting gets exciting when we get to pick the light itself, yet the wires to make it work clearly cost too much because they get buried in a wall.  We use hot water every day and consider it a life source. We heat our homes for about 9 months a year most of the time in Calgary. If one of these goes down, man are we bitter! What’s important to realize is why we are so upset this happened.  At this stage it isn’t even about the trade, it’s about me, and the lack of desire to spend money on something that doesn’t give us the exciting emotional connection material things typically do.

3 keys to Trusting a Trade

Even with that, we need help!  Enter The Trade…and this is where the trifecta of tips may help you out.  In my experience, you need to look for 3 key components.

  • Positive Relationships
  • Expert Advice/Ability to Educate
  • Integrity by Consistency
1.Developing a positive relationship

Reputation is a quick investigation to see how likely it is that you will develop a positive relationship. If a trade has a positive reputation, it is more likely that you will too.  This does not have to be a 100% transactional relationship. Personally, I have become friends to many of our clients. Even if that is not the case, people learn that I will give my best thoughts toward their concern so they get a solution for their problem. You are assessing if the trade has your best interest at heart. 

2. Ability to educate and learn from one another

At Aquality, we always think about other people’s issues as if it were our own, and then use our expertise to educate clients on solutions.  That is a huge part of the relationship, the expert knowledge and how it is shared. That reminds me of a funny story, a person actually did this to me at an estimate many years ago.

I went to do an estimate for a possible client whose hot water ruptured and they wanted to go tankless.  I didn’t know at the time but I was the third Plumber in that day.  She was super friendly although she wanted answers right when I came in.  I responded by saying I could get a better feel for what she needs if I could see her current set up.  She agreed with no issues and we went to the basement to check it out. Although my common sense told me right away, I can’t quote you this from your front hallway, I did not know I was the only one to not give her tons of options before going downstairs.  Two of the other plumbers did go down, but one never even had to take his shoes off, as he was confident in his quote without ever seeing her mechanical room! (Extra Tip- If shoes don’t come off at a quote or it isn’t offered, think twice before hiring)

Once we were looking at the set up, she told me the tankless model she wanted installed.  I’d never heard of it, and told her I would need to do some research after we were done and get back to her as I had never heard of this brand or model before.  I can assure you one thing, there are a lot of products and information in our trade, there will never be a day I know everything available.

To my surprise, she asked me what I would recommend because she wants me to do the work.  I was confused, but to her, I passed her test upstairs and showed I was interested in her home and what she needed, and I was the only one to admit I had no idea the unit she wanted to use even existed.  Little did I know, the card she held, was she had made up the brand and unit of the tankless water heater!  Yet the other two plumbers spoke highly of her choice and one even said he has put in tons of them!! (No wonder people don’t trust some trades!)   I suggested two options that would give her range on efficiency, size, and price. Still a client to this day….and life lessons of which I will never let go.

3. Developing integrity by consistency

It’s easy to do the right thing once, but to do it every time, now that’s integrity by consistency. The real trust comes from watching a trade consistently deliver good service and products. I always look for proof of a company willing to deliver consistent service year after year, customer after customer.

I’m super fortunate to have a team that knows their trade and can educate clients beyond their expectations.  What I’ve helped them learn, is to listen to what our clients want before they go into their encyclopedia of information in their mind.  

This is why long standing clients who love our service over and over, remain strong supporters of Aquality Plumbing & Heating.  I’ve built a team that consists of people who value trustworthy relationships, communication, accountability and integrity so much that its core to how they work and live their lives.

Start your relationship today!

Plumber Unknowingly Takes on Disney Frozen’s “Let it Go” and Crushes It!

Plumber Unknowingly Takes on Disney Frozen’s “Let it Go” and Crushes It!


When you challenge your team daily to be their best at everything they do, preach to get uncomfortable for amazing growth, you better bring it yourself.  I was challenged before I left for vacation to do something that took me out of my comfort zone. So after a few days in Mexico I was struggling what that would be.  But, when one of my son’s raised my hand for me to go up in a contest before a nightly entertainment act of professional lip sync artists, everything changed.

I had no idea, what the contest was, just that I was now up on stage nervous in front of a few hundred people with 1 other man, and a woman.  The host explained we would perform live in front of the crowd and have no idea of the song until it was our turn. Best performance voted by the crowd won.  

I realized after watching a rough performance of Elvis, that I was in my challenge or comfort zone and I didn’t even get to choose it.  Next, went the lady who did a really fantastic job at Taylor Swift. I figured she had this in the bank, and then my competitive edge starting to rise through the nerves as I got called up.  The host leaned in and said, “Do something weird if you want to win this…” I had no idea what to do with that advice, so I stood there as the music started and had no idea what song it was. Then as I started to recognize the tune, my other son yelled out “Frozen Daddy, it’s from Frozen!”  Then I heard some guy yell out, “This guy has to be Elsa!” (insert his laughing here)

In that moment, I decided, yes let’s have fun with this and Be Elsa!  You see, we have choices in life and sometimes just letting go of what people will think, letting go of fear, letting go of the safe route, allows us to go beyond to new heights.

In the end, I crushed it according to the few hundred massive cheers I got and unanimously won my $5 T-Shirt.  More importantly I taught myself and my kids how to have fun with all situations, even if they feel awkward and tough.

I spent the remainder of my week having people come up and congratulate me on my performance, as it was full of fun, spirit and passion to do my best.  I’m not expecting Disney to knock down my door, but I am so thankful my son lifted my arm that night. I highly recommend the next time your feelings of embarrassment come out or fear of trying anything, Let It Go….

PS – Even more out of my comfort zone to put this online and share it, hope you enjoy! CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

The Aquality Granola Project

The Aquality Granola Project

e91109fc-c180-4ebc-bafd-1e93d44fad5f The Aquality Granola Project

Did you know that Aquality Plumbing & Heating Vans are equipped with Granola Bars to help people we come across throughout our days on the roads?  If an Aquality Tech sees someone in need, they offer a Granola Bar from their van. It is that simple, as we have all been through hard times in our lives, and offering loving kindness with a healthy snack is a small step in being a part of our community here in Calgary.

Growing up I recall seeing people at stop lights and watching as almost nobody would roll their window down, to the point where they look down or away so they wouldn’t make eye contact with the person outside.  It hit me hard in the winter growing up in Winnipeg.

There were people who would roll their windows down, those few would offer money in most cases.  I recall listening to my Dad frustrated by the fact, these people would most likely use the money for drugs or abuse in someway, and giving money was not going to help most of the people looking into the cars.

In the past couple years, I know many people who have lost their jobs due to poor economy and the struggles in the oil industry.  Some of them who were six figure salaries, could easily have lost their homes, family, and been on the street. They were not necessarily the stereotype I was taught.  In fact, even the people from my childhood may not have been the stereotype many of us place. It simply isn’t fair or just to ever assume anything about another person.

And if there is truth to what my father had said, then we are not helping some of these people by giving money, as we are feeding a habit I would not condone.  And in that statement was the answer for me, “Feeding” was the key. We all need food, no matter what, in good times and bad, we all need nourishment.

So after some pondering, and the next time I was at Southland and Macleod, I rolled down my window for the first time in my life.  I said Hello, and offered up a smile, one that I hope projected hope. And then I received the warmest smile back from a fellow human being.  I then looked in my truck and found a Granola Bar I had, and gave it to the man. He lit up with excitement, and was more grateful than most people I meet daily.  

Selfishly, I felt amazing, as perhaps there is no true act of selflessness.  I also felt that this feeling should be felt by others and I started by explaining to my kids what had happened.  This led to weeks of my kids loading up a special bag that lives in my truck, and being on the lookout for people in need.  And if traffic allows, we give out Granola Bars to those who are needing a little something, and even more important we do it with a big smile to offer hope.

Once you do something that feels good and right I believe you have to spread the word.  So I did that with my kids, and then I started the program with all the Aquality Vans about 5 months ago.  Now I am telling you. So whether you join our family and use our services, or already have for years, consider giving to those people on our streets, even if it is just a granola bar with a smile.

Why You Should Have A Water Softener In Your Home

Why You Should Have A Water Softener In Your Home

Calgary, do you really need a water softener?  

Well, when it comes to safety, the answer in our opinion is no.  BUT, for many other health and proactive reasons, it is a definite YES!  Confused? Let us explain by some facts:

  1. Hard Water makes many people’s skin irritated and dry.
  2. Hard Water leaves deposits in piping.
  3. Hard Water scales on fixture surfaces.
  4. Hard Water plugs fixtures and appliances.
  5. Hard Water leaves a white film on glass.

And it is a resounding fact that Calgary indeed has hard water.  How do we know this? It is easy to determine with a simple test.  Even our amazing City posts the results for the public on their website.  Some of you may not know that it is different for North Calgary then South.  Either way, you have hard water with the Northside slightly less than in the South.  What is also interesting is looking at the times of year the water is harder than others.  Each year we see spikes for approximately 4 months through our winter season.


Bearspaw Treatment Plant Effluent Water Hardness (mg CaCO3) for 2017

Monthmg/L CaCO 3grains/gallon


Glenmore Treatment Plant Effluent Water Hardness (mg CaCO3) for 2017

Month​mg/L CaCO 3grains/gallon

So now that you know the facts, how can improve your situation by protecting your home and your skin all at the same time.  As a bonus you will use less soap to do dishes, in your washing machine, and be protecting expensive appliances and your water heater.  Did you know if you have a tankless water heater you are voiding the manufacturer’s warranty if you do not have a hardness level below their stated levels (Yup, Calgary is way above those levels).

Installing a true water softener is the key to ensure you are getting the soft water you want.  There are alternative’s and unfortunately most do not hold up to expectation. If you do want an alternative we suggest a unit utilizing a time-release citrus filter.  This will limit scale but will not be effective in turning water from hard to soft. The reason a water softener is able to do this magic trick is because it is performing a true ion exchange. Water Softener’s, that use salt, exchange calcium and magnesium (which makes the water hard) for sodium ions.  And voila! You have soft water. It is able to do this repeated times through a regeneration of its resin bed.

Our units are High Efficient and use almost no more electricity than a plug in clock.  They also last a long time! The cabinet and tank are even a Lifetime Warranty. With it’s upflow design it has by far the most efficient regeneration on the market, as well as a cool municipal feature which creates less regeneration required.  It even recognizes if you left town and have not been using it, so again no regeneration is need, but will keep fluid in the brine to ensure bridging and other common issues do not occur with your unit.

So, now you have the details and facts and you may decide you are just fine without a water softener.  And hey, that is totally cool with us. BUT, if you realize there is a better life for your skin and home just around the corner, give us a call at 403-205-2782 or reach out at  We would be happy to discuss this further.

By the way, if you made it to here, you get the best part.  At the Calgary Fall Home Show, we have a Super Special on for $500 off our regular pricing.  Just come by our booth, #441, and say Hi and we can book you in right there. And don’t forget to fill out a draw card too as someone is going to win a free unit installed valued at $1795.00!  This is by far the best price we have ever done for these units, and we pulled favors to make this possible, so take advantage.

Myth Buster: The Toilet Leak Dye-Test Doesn’t Work!

Myth Buster: The Toilet Leak Dye-Test Doesn’t Work!

Toilet-768x512 Myth Buster: The Toilet Leak Dye-Test Doesn't Work!

Toilet leaks may be an easy repair but sometimes detecting a leak can be the biggest part of the challenge, especially if it’s a silent leak. 

Don’t be alarmed – there are many ways for you to check to see if your toilet is leaking, but the classic ‘leaking toilet dye-test’ isn’t one of them! In case you’ve forgotten the details, the leaking toilet test, is where you drop a few drops of food colouring or dye into the tank of your toilet, and wait a few moments to see if coloured water seeps or leaks down into your toilet bowl. It may sound pretty straightforward and foolproof, however it doesn’t always produce results you can count on! 

When performing the test, we often found the dye would still leak into the toilet bowl, but it wasn’t necessarily because a leak was presentWhat most people don’t know is dye can still leak into your toilet bowl due to the differences of viscosity in the liquids and dyes. After performing the test, it might tell you that you have a leaking toilet, when you really do not!

If you want to diagnose a leaking toilet, here are a few of my insider tips and tricks you can try yourself:

1) Place your ear to the toilet tank after you’ve flushed.  Continue to listen for a minute or two after the toilet has stopped filling. If the leak isn’t silent, you will be able to hear if water is still running. If you can still hear water running, it means you’ve most likely detected a leak.

2) After you’ve flushed, wait a few moments and then look into the toilet bowl. If you can still see water movement filling from the tank minutes later, you’ve most definitely spotted a leak.

3) If you can hear your toilet filling when no one has recently used itit probably means you have a broken fill valve. This is known as the famous ‘Ghost Fill’.

Before you let your water bill double, give these tips a try to detect a leak right away. If you suspect you have a leaking toilet, contact us for a professional toilet check.

~David, Owner, Aquality Plumbing & Heating