Hirsch Blog

Customer Spotlight: A Weekend Plumber

Posted on 06/14/2021 at 06:03PM in Spring 2021: Industry Newsletter

This quarter we're happy to shine a spotlight on one of our incredible San Diego customers: Ben Lunt from A Weekend Plumber. Ben gave us the low down on his experience, the industry and where he sees the future of plumbing heading! We hope you enjoy reading his responses as much as we enjoyed hearing them!

How long have you been a plumber? I've been a plumber for 24 years. I always knew that I wanted to have my own business and in 2006, the opportunity presented itself so I decided to go that way instead of trying to work for someone else again.

What major changes have you seen in the industry throughout your career? I've seen a big decline in people moving towards a trade type career, which has lead to a decline in skilled people. When I started my business 15 years ago, that was in Colorado and the guys that were working then were in their 50s and said “you’re gonna struggle to find qualified people as the years go by” and they were right. I've also seen a big change in the material used - from sautering and threading pipe to now using flexible water piping, there's a huge change in speed and gives the ability to do jobs very quickly - and they have a tool for almost everything now.

What was your craziest plumbing job? I went to help out a friend in Colorado who's house was flooded, and was given the timeline that they wanted to move in the next day with it already cleaned and dried and functional. I ended up doing a 24 hour run by myself installing a boiler and water heater system in the basement. I maybe fell asleep for 30 minutes  and woke up and the job was done and i went on to the next job I had scheduled for that day. Had never worked that long and by myself so it was a personal challenge for myself I was proud to have completed.

Where’s your local Hirsch Branch and who’s your go-to guy there? I go to Kearny Mesa most of the time, and Steve is my main guy.

Favorite part about working with Hirsch? Hirsch has a brought a family environment to my work. When my business was smaller, the connectivity of the crew that’s there made me look and function like a 10 man company because Hirsch was willing to go the extra mile to help me delivery, help on site, etc. Hirsch helped made me more efficient and look like a bigger company even though I was just one guy.

How has COVID affected plumbing for you or do you think in general the plumbing industry? It's created big challenges that we're still facing with material shortages and delays, and I feel like inferior products have come down the pipe because the manufacturers are not working at 100% rate. 

Where do you see the future of the plumbing industry heading? I can see the future of the industry going much more towards skilled plumbers, and people will have a a plumber on a retainer who is good. The need for people who have technical ability is huge, and the people with that technical ability will demand a much larger pay. I think there will be a role reversal back to building type work and the trades that require thought and skill and precision are going to flip flop with office work and be in a higher demand.

 Thanks again to Ben from A Weekend Plumber for such a thoughtful conversation! If you'd like to be featured in a customer spotlight, reach out to us at [email protected]

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