The recent cold snap that affected the northeast was uncomfortable for most of us, and a nightmare for some. Many homeowners, in particular, had serious problems that arose, and were fortunate to find help from a local plumbing business. North Shore-based Plumbwell Services has been growing since its founding less than two years ago. However, it saw a huge boom in business over a 10-day period, and was more than willing to step up to the challenge.
“This cold snap was unusual. It was very long, very cold and once the north wind hit already five days into it, houses that had never froze began to freeze. We had over 60 calls between Dec. 30 and Jan. 10 for frozen pipes and no heat—all emergencies,” said Bob Wissing, one of the three owners of Plumbwell Services. “If you have a weakness in your heating system, when it gets that cold, it becomes exposed and starts to freeze.”
He cited a house they took care of when the owners were out of town. The happy customer then posted a positive review on Roslyn Moms and Dads Facebook page, and “it traveled like wildfire.”
“We were away in Mexico and found out our heat was out,” posted Jonathon Penn to the Roslyn Moms and Dads Group on Jan. 4. “Had a good experience with Plumbwell Services in the past and called them again for this emergency help. This time they came ASAP and provided the utmost care and spent hours ensuring everything was working properly….These guys are the gold standard for all plumbing work, customer service and response.”
During the cold spell, Plumbwell worked around the clock. Wissing said he will answer every call, no matter the time of day or night, especially during a crisis time. He has been in the plumbing business for more than 30 years and was a manager for the Long Island Rail Road plumbing department before retiring early to start Plumbwell with his brother, Jim Wissing, and Brian Shedlick, both of Glen Head.
“Bob has a passion for plumbing,” said Jim. “The business has been growing because of how he is. He goes in there and gives his heart like it’s his own house.”
Bob agrees, noting he and his team are respectful of their customers’ homes, using drop cloths, wearing footies and helping people get to the root cause of the problem. His knowledge of boilers and systems is so extensive, he can often identify the problem and walk customers through the steps to fix it over the phone.
“I love what I do,” said Bob. “It’s a curse or a blessing, I’m not sure which. I love problem solving; when you go into a house you have to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. And I like helping people, too. I take that passion and pass it down to everyone who works for us. I really want to please our customers, so we work hard.”
Plumbwell Services currently has a staff of 15 and is looking for more good people. Because the trade has experienced an exodus as baby boomers retire and fewer people enter the field, they advertise nationally for employees and even hired someone from Kentucky and moved him and his family out to the area.
“We have a philosophy of trying to grow a good company. While we can’t offer the types of benefits a corporation or municipality can offer, we offer the opportunity of growth within the company,” said Shedlick.
While it has been good for business, they hope that this cold snap was the worst of it for the season. Some free advice: if the temperature dips below 25 degrees, homeowners should set their thermostats to 72 degrees and “let it run.” And issues can arise, no matter the age of the house. Part of Plumbwell Services’ philosophy is to guide its customers to finding the cause and directing them to a solution so it does not happen again.
“I think a lot of people by now have figured out what their problems were,” said Bob. “It’s a crazy business and every problem has a different answer—it’s never one thing.”
Plumbwell Services is at 54 Roslyn Ave., Sea Cliff. For more information call them at 844-758-6293 or visit www.plumbwellservices.com.