By Amber Mabe
What do you think of when you think about the most important professions in the world? Doctors? Lawyers? Politicians? It might surprise you to learn that one of the world’s most vital professions happens to be plumbing. When the average person thinks about plumbing, they probably conjure up images of busted pipes, grimy water, and having to crawl around in the worst of places. It is true, plumbing is a messy job. But stop for a moment and imagine a world without plumbers. A world without flushing toilets, indoor running water, or heated water on demand. With the loss of sanitation, communicable diseases would run rampant once more, many people would be without clean water to drink, and life would not be nearly as convenient as it is today. At PF Plumbing, owners Paul and Teresa Freer not only have a passion for providing quality plumbing services to the community, but for training the next generation of trustworthy and professional plumbing technicians.
Paul and Teresa started the business in 1985 with one truck, and Paul as the only technician. Since then, the business has grown tremendously, and now consists of three divisions with over 80 employees. “I think that 35 years of being in business should say a lot about us,” says Teresa, “You don’t stick around that many years, even through a recession, without being a good company.” PF Plumbing services homes and businesses within a 30-mile radius through their service department. Their teams travel all over the state for installations and new construction. Paul and Teresa are excited to welcome new customers in the Kernersville area through the merger with Jimmy Idol Plumbing. James Idol, the previous owner, is now employed with the company as the estimator for the installation department. Paul and Teresa are looking forward to seeing the business grow through this new development.
A growing business calls for additional employees. Paul and Teresa feel strongly about training the next generation of plumbing technicians to be not only well trained in today’s technology and advancements, but also to be hard working and professional in their dealings with customers. “We provide great jobs for our community, and we believe in our technicians and what we do,” says Teresa. “Every time I hire a new person, I always tell them, ‘don’t ever look at yourself as a dirty old plumber, you are a professional. If we did not have you guys, we would be a third world country.’” Paul and Teresa are always looking for employees that are willing to work hard and learn the business. They have even started an apprenticeship program for those who are interested in learning the plumbing profession, but who may not have had any formal training. They have also partnered with Forsyth Technical Community College to help students find employment after graduation. PF Plumbing helps students right out of high school, those coming out of the military, or even those looking to change careers, to gain experience and training in the business until they are ready to move on to becoming a senior technician. “Trades are the backbone of society,” Teresa says. “Plumbing is a hard profession, it is dirty, but it is a great career.” Paul and Teresa hope that their efforts to train the next generation of plumbing professionals will help to prevent a shortage of trustworthy technicians in the future and encourage young people to consider trades for their future careers. Paul and Teresa’s concern for their employees is part of what sets them apart from other businesses. “I think our commitment to the employees, our commitment to the community, and the commitment to always doing the right thing are the most important things,” says Paul, “always doing the right thing for the employees and the customer first.”
It is evident that Paul and Teresa put an emphasis on family, as even the family dogs, Cooper and Jackson, have become a part of the business as the PF Plumbing mascots. Their family-oriented way of doing business reaches even further than their employees and customers. Paul and Teresa and the staff at PF Plumbing have touched the lives of many in the community and beyond through their outreach efforts. Every year, PF Plumbing donates a portion of their sales to the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home. Last year, after the tragic loss of one of their long-term technicians to brain cancer, PF Plumbing donated to the hospice home in his memory, and also gave a portion of their sales to his wife and child who were left behind. They also support the Wishes for Warriors program, which sends wounded veterans of war on life changing adventures designed to bring hope and passion back into their lives.
As cold weather continues to set in this winter, below-freezing temperatures can present a risk to unprotected pipes and fixtures. Consider calling a company that you know cares about more than the bottom dollar when it comes to the needs of a homeowner. Your experience with PF Plumbing is sure to be one of professionalism and personalized service. If you want to learn more about what PF Plumbing has to offer, visit their website at www.PFPlumbing.com, or call 336.778.2008.
Winter Tips from the PF Plumbing Staff:
Justin: If leaving town, turn the main water supply valve off unless you have an automatic water alarm such as a WaterCop.
Ryan: Older homes may not have upgraded frost proof hose faucets. Prevent burst pipes by shutting off water to outdoor lines and draining water out when temperatures drop.
Zack: Disconnect water hoses and adapters from outdoor spigots during the winter to avoid frozen or damaged pipes.
Jarratt: Protect your well casings to prevent freezing.
Matt: Close crawl space vents to protect your plumbing from potential freezing in extreme weather.
Harrold: Avoid grease and pasta in kitchen sink drain. Pasta can easily clog a drain. Grease will clog a drain over time and lead to a costly repair.
Brittany: Homeowners with disposals should take a minute to search the web for what and what not to put down disposals. You would be surprised at the recommendations, and be sure to run plenty of water when using the unit to avoid blockages.
Larry: CO detectors generally have a 7-year life cycle unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer. If you have gas in your home and do not have Carbon Monoxide detectors, get some. End of story. If you do have them, make sure you check them regularly. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a silent killer, so protect your home and family by being proactive in maintaining all your home’s safety equipment.
Ashley: Have your home’s plumbing inspected prior to cold weather to ensure any leaks are addressed before something happens. Emergencies do not wait until a repair is convenient for you. You need to stay ahead of them.
Teresa: Always know where your main water shut off is in the event of a frozen or burst pipe. If it is not easily accessible, have it relocated to an area that is convenient for you and your family to access in the event of an emergency.