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!

Garburator or Compost?

Garburator or Compost?

Garburator-768x512 Garburator or Compost?  Ever wonder why you should compost if you already have a garburator? Doesn’t it all eventually end up back in mother earth anyway?

Kitchen waste is a major part of composting and once we own a garburator, we become conditioned to scrape plates and put everything we can down our garburator in our sink. This is still the best thing to do, right!?

At Aquality Plumbing & Heating, we want you to reconsider using your garburator for kitchen scraps! Please start composting and give your garburator a break.

Why would we suggest you compost instead of using a garburator?

Maybe you are surprised that a business that sells and installs garburators is pushing for composting, but to us, it makes complete sense. Aquality Plumbing & Heating is built on honesty and providing services for Calgarians that they actually really need. We are about being helpful – not for selling products if they won’t benefit you and make your life better.

Garburators have a place and as an owner of one in my home I see the value. In the past, I used my garburator to get rid of plate scraps and then cut up lemon or lime to keep the smell down as that kills bacteria from forming. (That’s a helpful tip for you Garb-people out there!). I also “flush” the kitchen sink once a week to keep it healthy. (Learn more about Sink Maintenance.)

Our home plumbing systems are not actually designed to have so much food debris running through them. In addition, the City’s water systems then have to work extra hard to screen this same debris out before it is processed back into our river system.

Can My Compost Bin Really Handle All Our Table Scraps?

With the City of Calgary having compost bins available, we finally have the best of both worlds. I no longer put table scraps into my sink even though I have a garburator. I get everything I can, even yogurt, into the compost as I know it will break down and create a sustainable fertilizer that will be used for so much good around the city!

In addition, I feel good knowing this saves space in our landfills: food waste is 50% of our current garbage!

Use Your Own Compost

Hey, you can even be selfish and compost at home and keep the goods for yourself and your yard! In the end, I am proud to say that my drains run clear which means I avoid a potentially costly service call for an augur service, that many garburator users and abusers will incur.

Compost. Not Garburator.

The truth is, we see a ton of people abuse their garburator by using it for items that it cannot fully break down. We even see people prepping for large meals and putting everything down the drain. To save yourself money in the long run and avoid the annoyance of a plugged line, put that food waste in the compost! It is smart and super easy!

What Should a Garburator be Used For?

In the end, I still have and use my garburator almost everyday for the little items that find a way in the sink. This ensures my drain stays clear. I just no longer use it to rid myself of all the food waste we produce in our home. Composting is designed to deal with all this material in the best way possible, our piping systems are not.
~ David H., Owner, Aquality Plumbing & Heating

Still not convinced?
Check out these compelling reasons to compost, as listed by our awesome City of Calgary!

DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance

DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance

water-kitchen-black-design-768x512 DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance
Did you know there are some easy and quick actions you can do at home to keep your sinks and drains healthy?

Yup. Sinks and drains need regular TLC, just like your car. By doing these super easy steps every few months, you can avoid unnecessary plumbing repair costs in the future. If you use your sinks and water lines often, you may want to do these steps more frequently.

How do I “Flush” my Sink?

Flushing a sink is so easy. And necessary. David, the owner of Aquality Plumbing & Heating, tells us his method:

“I “flush” the kitchen sink once a week to help keep it healthy and clean. You “flush” a sink by filling it up once a week with hot water, then pulling the stopper so it really creates some pressure to clean out any debris left behind in the pipes.

What shouldn’t I put down the drain?

Just because it will go down your drain, does not mean you should put it down the drain! We want you to avoid unnecessary plumbing calls for clogged drains, so think carefully before putting anything down your drain that isn’t water.

Food items that are solid, may be small enough to slip through, but they should ideally be caught by a mesh style drain cover or something similar. Even tiny stuff like the “hair” on corn or grains of rice, can make a real mess once it enters your piping system. Non-food items should not go into the piping system either. Kids paints, your paints (the City of Calgary has special drop off spots for chemicals), glue, chemicals, medicines, construction liquids and anything else that isn’t water, really should not go down your drain!

If something slips down your drains that shouldn’t, we can help. In fact, we are really good at unclogging stuck drains, but truthfully, we’d rather see you keep your drains running clear and avoid an unnecessary plumbing service call.

Can I Keep my Garburator Line Clean too?

If you have a garburator, you need to give extra special TLC to that drain line! It is important to keep that line running clear and it’s easy if you follow some basic guidelines. For full details, you should read this blog: “Garburator or Compost?”. To keep it clean, you can cut up a lime or lemon once in a while and put it down the garburator. This helps to keep it smelling better and cut down on bacteria forming. Flushing the garburator line is also an excellent thing to do. Do this just the same way as you flush a sink, as described above.

Always avoid coffee grinds, rice, potato peels, and large amounts of any one item down your garburator. This is very likely to clog the line. (But guess what! All those items can be composted!)

Follow these simple guidelines and you can relax knowing that you are avoiding an unnecessary plumbing call because your drain lines are properly cared for.

DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance

How to fix a water leak in my home

Screen-Shot-2018-06-08-at-6.53.24-PM-768x502 How to fix a water leak in my home

What if you could tell you had a small leak in your home as soon as it started, before it becomes a huge wet mess that requires you to replace carpet, drywall, personal belongings and more?

Lots of items in our homes can leak and eventually cause water damage or even result in mold growing inside our home. Leaks happen while we are home and while we are away. Tiny drips of water can come from a dishwasher, washing machine, hot water heater, water softener and more and can lead to a large leak.

When clients call us after they’ve had a water leaker in their home, we always help them out by repairing or replacing the cause of the water damage but we also aim to discover what could have been done to prevent this unwanted water leak.

A Solution:

One solution is to install something like the Honeywell Lyric Water and Freeze Detector, which we think is a must-have for every single homeowner. It is easy to use, high tech and will potentially save you thousands of dollars of home repair when it detects water leaks as small drips. It will then alert you on your phone before it becomes a big water disaster.

The Lyric Water and Freeze Detector comes with a 4 foot cord that can be placed in smart locations such as under a hot water tank, near your washing machine and even along your basement’s foundational walls. It detects water drops and sends an alert to your smart phone right away so you can jump on the issue while it is still small. It works when you are home or not home, day and night. The system uses your home’s wireless wifi network.

Be smart and get on top of potential home damage. As my grandfather used to say, “Spend a little now, or spend a lot later!”. If you need help installing the device, we can help. In fact, with our professional installation, you will receive a 5-year warranty through Honeywell that is not available if you self-install.

Click here to watch the Honeywell Lyric Water and Freeze Detector.

Contact us to learn more.