Longtime plumber starts a new business, and new equipment gets him plenty of customers
When selecting a jetter, it’s important to think carefully about the needs of your service area.
For example, for Jimmy’s Drain and Sewer Service, a portable jetter was too small for commercial jobs, but a large trailer jetter would be too big for a lot of the residential work. The Eagle 200 trailer jetter from Jetters Northwest, however, was just right.
Freda Yeck, who co-owns the business with her husband and manages the office, says owning that “just right” jetter paid off in a big way at a recent job.
“We were called to a dentist office that was on the third floor of a professional building. The competition had gone out and they weren’t successfully able to do the job. They had a smaller jetter than ours but they couldn’t operate it there. They went up there with an auger. That’s not what they needed.”
Since he works on his own in the field, Jimmy Yeck operates his Eagle 200 with a remote, which Freda says is “just the most awesome thing you can get.”
“We were called in, Jimmy set up through the service stairwell. He took care of the problem quickly and they were very well satisfied.”
Finding a niche
Though Jimmy’s Drain and Sewer Service is a brand-new business — it opened in October 2016 — Jimmy has 36 years of commercial and residential plumbing experience under his belt. The Yecks had noticed a problem — especially for the condos — in their beach community of Swansboro, North Carolina: “Someone tries to take an auger to clear out a drain system and then gets called back three days later because all they did was move it down the line.”
So they decided to set up a new company to fill that gap in services. It was definitely needed in the area, Freda says. “There’s one other company, but they definitely don’t have a setup like we do.”
In the search for new equipment for the business, Freda did her research carefully. When she came across Jetters Northwest, the search was over. Even though there are local companies on the East Coast, some as close as an hour from their home, she chose to shop all the way across the country because the customer service and wide range of options won her over.
Jimmy didn’t want just any “off-the-shelf jetter.”
“The customer service is awesome,” Freda says. “Other companies have a model they’ve already built; they’ve got three or four sitting on their sales floor and say, you can get this one. … We didn’t want that. We wanted something we could discuss.
“Jetters Northwest talked to Jimmy and found out what things we wanted on the machine, not what’s best there on the floor. They helped develop it, talking different engine types and and water pressure and gallons. The additions we could put on it were not available other places. He could build what he wanted from the ground up, have on there what he wanted. He didn’t have to accept what someone else decided.”
The Yecks enjoyed the personal treatment while shopping for the jetter, and were impressed again when they spoke with Jetters Northwest staff members who invited them out to Washington for training on their jetter when the unit was completed. “We were very pleased with it,” Freda says. “And of course we bought more accessories when we were there.”
Above and beyond
The couple appreciates good customer service because they work so hard to give their own customers exceptional service. Jimmy’s Drain and Sewer Service doesn’t keep normal business hours because, as Freda explains, “You don’t schedule a clogged drain, so if you need us, you call us and we come out at your convenience. And we charge the same price across the board: If we have to go out at midnight or we have to go out at noon, it’s the same price.
“If we have a slow morning, that’s fine, because we’ll make it up by the end of the day.”
Having the equipment in place now furthers the company’s ability to give great service and land new accounts. The Yecks knew people who worked in management at a large multi-unit beach resort and were dealing with a stormwater runoff pipe that had been clogged with sand.
“Before we purchased the jetter, they were discussing this problem, and they’d been trying to get someone to come clear it out. Nobody in the area wanted to be involved with it. It’s a 12-inch pipe and they didn’t want to touch it. So after we got the jetter, Jimmy went out there.
“It was several hours of jetting, but he took out about 6 cubic yards of sand. He was there, altogether, a good 10 hours getting all the sand out. He put the Warthog head on it to help get down further, to get down to the toughest, most compact sand and then he got it unclogged and flowing. They just needed to run water down it to flush the rest of the residue out.”