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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Sewer Line Contractor CATEGORY

Rod Tehrani is owner of Absolute Plumbing and Drain, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 267-8561 or by email.

Rod Tehrani

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Rod Tehrani: A Technical Advancement

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — After eight years of working construction, Rod Tehrani felt it was time to advance to something a little more technical. “I decided to look into plumbing,” he relates. “At first, it was a lot more grunt work than technical, but that changed with time. The more I learned about the intricate aspects of the profession, the more I enjoyed it. Eventually, I got hired by the county as a crew leader for underground pipe replacement projects. In 2002, I started my own plumbing business, and it has been growing ever since.”

Today, as owner of Absolute Plumbing and Drain, Rod says his favorite part of his job is the daily challenges. “Every day brings new situations and new problems to solve. Even if the job is basically the same, the unique situation can differ significantly. I enjoy troubleshooting and finding solutions to challenging problems.”

Originally from Iran, Rod came to the United States in 1995 and currently resides in the East Bay Area. “Transitioning from life in Iran to life in the U.S. wasn’t exactly smooth,” he says. “I had a business degree, but back then it wasn’t recognized in the U.S., so I basically had to start over from scratch. What I appreciated most was the fact that I was accepted here, despite being from a totally different culture. I will always be appreciative of the people who accepted me for who I am and helped me get on my feet.”

In regard to his professional career, Rod espouses the importance of going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. “I’m not worried about being the biggest or most profitable plumbing company; I’m more concerned about making our customers happy,” he affirms. “Sometimes that means going the extra mile. For example, I recently did a job where I was at the customers’ home until 9:30pm, just so I could make sure they had running water before I left. They couldn’t believe I was willing to stay that long, but they were very appreciative. Driving home, I was tired but happy. That’s the kind of feeling that’s more rewarding than money.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Rod says he’d take a cruise. “I work six days a week, so if I retired, I’d definitely take some time to relax. Maybe I’d go on a cruise to Costa Rica. Of course, I’d want to keep the business running with my guys, so I probably wouldn’t retire completely. Maybe I’d just transition into a less hands-on role.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: The Cheesecake Factory in Walnut Creek.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Watches.

Q: If could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would go to the past, when life was more slow-paced. These days, it feels like we’re chasing our lives to get to the end. I miss the simpler, slower times.

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An Important Pre-Purchase Property Inspection

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CONCORD — An important part of buying a new home is performing pre-purchase property inspections. These inspections verify that the home is in good condition and help rule out any unwanted (and expensive) surprises. One pre-purchase inspection I highly recommend is a… Read more

The Advantages of an Earthquake Safety Valve

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CONCORD — Due to high levels of seismic activity, earthquake safety is no small matter in the Bay Area. If you’re a homeowner, this means ensuring your home is structurally reinforced with supplementary measures like bolting and bracing. It’s also a good… Read more

Two Often-Overlooked Plumbing Components

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CONCORD — Even minor plumbing system components can cause major problems if ignored. Here are two often-overlooked plumbing components you should be aware of: Washing machine hoses Few people think about the rubber hoses that deliver water to their washing… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Sewer Lateral Inspection

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CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: Before purchasing a new home, there’s an important inspection you’ll want to have performed. To learn more, we’re in Concord with Lindsay Guay… Read more

Fred Ramos is a 16-year veteran of the plumbing industry and owner of Star Rooter and Plumbing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2011. He can be reached at (510) 402-5764 or by email.

Fred Ramos

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Fred Ramos: A Family Connection

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN LORENZO — When asked how he got involved in the plumbing industry, Fred Ramos attributes it to a family connection. “Before becoming a plumber, I was a technician at a home automation company,” he remembers. “My family had been in the plumbing industry for a long time, and eventually they asked me to come over, learn the trade, and help run the family business. Today, I work alongside my wife and my brother, so it’s really a family affair. Even my niece, Jessica, works here as our secretary.”

As owner of Star Rooter and Plumbing, Inc., Fred says that after 20 years in plumbing, his favorite part of his job is being out in the field. “Even though I’m the company owner, I still do service calls. The fact is, I’ve never really liked being in the office—I’d much rather be out interacting with customers and doing hands-on work.”

Originally from Mexico, Fred resides today in Hayward with his wife and three children. Outside of work, he and his family spend the bulk of their free time tending to their ranch. “My family owns a ranch up in the hills, so I like going up there with the kids and riding horses,” he says. “We do some competing on the weekends, so between that and keeping things maintained, it takes up a good amount of time.” Besides horses, Fred’s other passion is baseball. “My kids play baseball and softball, so I enjoy practicing with them, as well as playing with friends every now and then.”

In regard to his professional career, Fred espouses the importance of addressing a multitude of aspects. “When you run a business, you have to be on top of everything,” he explains. “You have to serve the customers, oversee your crew and make sure you have all the right equipment…and that’s just the beginning! I think a big part of my company’s success is having good, hardworking guys who take pride in their work and care about the customers. Plus, when you’ve been doing this as long as we have, it gets to be a routine, so things tend to go pretty smoothly.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Fred says he’d pay a visit to his hometown. “I generally don’t do much traveling, but I do go to Mexico every so often to visit my hometown, Zacatecas. I still have relatives there, including my 94-year-old grandfather, so I enjoy going down and spending time with family and friends.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, mainly because I lived in Southern California for the first year I was in the United States.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: If you could live in the city or the country, which would you choose?
A: The city—everything is around you, so you don’t have to go far to find it.

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Trenchless Sewer Replacement

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SAN LORENZO — In the past, when a sewer line needed to be replaced, it had to be fully excavated, which was an expensive, time-consuming process that carried the added bonus of disrupting one’s lawn, sidewalk and whatever else happened to be… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Streamlining Sewer Repairs

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SAN LORENZO — Host, Sarah Rutan: While repairing a sewer line was once an arduous job, modern innovations have enabled plumbers to streamline the process. Today we’re… Read more

James Burton is general manager of Oak Plumbing Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 652-9121 or by email.

James Burton

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James Burton: True Survivor

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BENICIA — Before he was general manager of Oak Plumbing Inc., James Burton handled logistics for major corporate accounts—no small responsibility, to be sure. “In my prior career, I ran massive warehouses on huge accounts for clients like Honeywell and Hewlett-Packard,” he details. “One of the biggest accounts I managed was a billion-dollar vaccine program. It wasn’t unusual for me to be managing up to 400 employees at one time.”

So, how did someone accustomed to handling such large-scale operations end up working at a small plumbing company? As James relates, it resulted from the combination of a lifelong friendship and a life-altering event. “I’ve been friends with Matt Harris, the owner of Oak Plumbing, for about 30 years. What’s more, he saved my life. When I was 30, I found out I had stage 4 cancer and, if I didn’t get to a specialist immediately, I might be dead within a couple of days. When my insurance company declined to cover an airlift or ambulance transport, Matt rushed me from Nevada to San Francisco in his car to get me the care I needed. He was there for me throughout my recuperation as well. Incredibly, I made a complete recovery, and now I’m totally cancer-free.”

Following his recovery, James took the opportunity to reboot his professional livelihood. “Matt and I always wanted to work together, but it just never worked out,” he explains. “When Matt started Oak Plumbing in 2016, I helped out as a consultant, assisting him with things like corporate structure and process. Eventually, it made sense for us to work together on a permanent basis, so I joined the company and have been working here ever since.”

Today, as general manager of Oak Plumbing, James says his favorite part of his job is having a positive impact. “One thing I like about working in the service industry is the opportunity to help people and be a positive presence in their lives, if only for a short while. When you have a chance to interact with someone and improve their day, it feels very validating.”

A resident of Rocklin (where he lives with his wife, Maricar, and their two children, Camille and James), James spends his free time on a variety of active pastimes. “I’m not the type of person who likes to sit still, so if I’m not working or having family time, I’m usually busy with one of my hobbies,” he affirms. “My main hobby is creating independent comic books for a company called Scattered Comics. I make appearances at comic conventions and have won a few awards for the books I’ve done.” James’ other pastimes include restoring vintage vehicles (“I have a 1976 Harley that I’ve been rebuilding forever.”) and teaching kung fu.

In regard to a personal philosophy, James espouses the power of a positive mindset. “When I began cancer treatment, the doctor explained that if I didn’t maintain a positive mindset, the stress would cause a chemical reaction that would destroy my immune system and I wouldn’t survive. Afterward, I was sitting there with Matt and I said, ‘What did I do wrong to make this happen to me?’ He replied, ‘You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re a good person, and bad things are always trying to bring good people down. It’s up to you to decide how you’re going to respond to this bad thing.’ That had a big impact on me, and it helped me change my mindset. I’d never been a very positive person, but I now saw that it was up to me whether I was going to be a victim or a survivor. That was the second time Matt saved my life.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, James says he’d devote more time to the people and pastimes he loves. “As a cancer survivor, I feel that I’m living on borrowed time, so I try to make the most of it. On that note, if I retired from my job, I would spend more time on my two favorite pastimes: being with my family and creating comics.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite book?

A: “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman.

Q: Music or talk radio?

A: I love music, but these days I mostly listen to podcasts. I have a really long commute, and listening to podcasts gives me a chance to learn something new and make the most of that time in the car.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: Both.

Q: Do you have a favorite movie?

A: My all-time favorite movie is “Army of Darkness.” However, a more recent favorite is “Logan,” which I appreciated in a way I never thought I would. A superhero infected with cancer, watching his surrogate father die—it hit pretty close to home.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of food?

A: I really love Asian food and Mexican food. I married into a Filipino family, so Asian food is a staple. On the other hand, you can’t beat a good taco!

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Understanding Supply Valves

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BENICIA — Supply valves facilitate the distribution of water from the pipes in your walls to your home’s various plumbing fixtures. One common type of supply valve is called an angle stop, which is used to deliver water to sinks and toilets.… Read more

Thinking Proactively About Your Plumbing System

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BENICIA — When it comes to maintaining your home, one of the best things you can do is think proactively. The health of your home is just like the health of your body. Most of us tend to think proactively about our… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Understanding Supply Valves

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BENICIA — Host, Sarah Rutan: Supply valves may be a minor part of your plumbing system, but ignoring them can lead to costly consequences. Today we’re in Benicia… Read more

Paul Cooper is president of Pipe Spy Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 493-7957 or by email.

Paul Cooper

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Paul Cooper: From Solar Panels to Sewer Pipes

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BERKELEY — For Paul Cooper, a short-lived career in the solar industry led to a long-term livelihood as a plumber. “I got started in plumbing after the demise of the first wave of the solar energy industry that blossomed from the mid-70s to the early ’80s,” he recounts. “President Carter installed solar panels on the White House and the government created tax credits for homeowners who did the same to their homes. I jumped on that wave and got into the solar business around that time. A few years later, when Ronald Reagan became president, he removed those panels that President Carter had installed. This must have been symbolic because the solar industry pretty much collapsed at that point, as did my livelihood. I had several former plumbers on my staff and they were all going back into plumbing, so I kind of followed them.”

After working as a plumber for about a decade, Paul came across a unique opportunity. “In the late ’90s, homeowners insurance policies used to cover sewer line issues, which started a new focus of specialty plumbing in sewer repair and replacement,” he remembers. “Sensing this as an opportunity, I created Pipe Spy Inc. along with my partner, Heiko Dzierzon, in 1998. We were actually the first company to purchase the now-commonplace pipe bursting tool used for trenchless sewer work—the inventors were located here in the Bay Area and we bought their first prototype. That led us down the path of getting it approved in different jurisdictions because it was new technology. Today, it has become the standard for sewer replacement.”

Today, as president of Pipe Spy Inc., Paul says his job isn’t just about pipes—it’s also about people. “My favorite part of my job is the social aspects: the satisfaction of solving our customers’ problems, the challenge of organizing crews and helping everyone be the best they can be at a difficult job. Construction is inherently dangerous and physically demanding work, so I greatly appreciate the process of working together to complete the job safely.”

A resident of Berkeley (where he lives with his wife, Christine), Paul spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “Since my day job largely consists of administrative tasks like paper processing, on weekends I like to put on my tool belt and do hands-on work,” he details. “I enjoy helping friends and neighbors do small remodeling projects. I also love being outdoors. In particular, I love to spend time in Mendocino just watching the redwood trees grow.” Additionally, Paul likes going on bicycle rides and playing his guitar.

In his life and career, Paul espouses a well-known trifecta. “For me, it’s all about peace, love and happiness,” he says. “That was a popular philosophy when I was a kid and I think it holds true today. As a business owner, I try to apply this by being even-handed and making sure both my customers and employees are taken care of. We want to provide excellent service and quality installations for our customers, protect their homes, and do the work safely. I also want my staff to focus and work together with a team spirit, and part of that is making sure they have the equipment and training they need to be successful.”

When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Paul says he’d spend more time on the pastimes he currently enjoys. “I’d still help people with remodeling projects, but I’d also spend time sitting in the sun, playing my guitar and watching the redwood trees grow.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: I’m a big breakfast person, so I’d have to say Sconehenge in Berkeley.

Q: What are your favorite things to eat for breakfast?

A: Poached eggs, potatoes, sausage and coffee.

Q: What kinds of music do you like?

A: I prefer rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

A: Sit in a warm place and do some reading.

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?
A: I enjoy science fiction books.

Read more

Sewer Lateral Compliance: The Basics

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BERKELEY — If you’re planning to sell or remodel your home, one thing you’ll need to consider is sewer lateral compliance. According to requirements enforced by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), a sewer lateral must be inspected and… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Sewer Lateral Compliance

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BERKELEY — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning to sell or remodel your home, one thing you’ll need to consider is sewer lateral compliance. Today we’re in… Read more

Chris Marcus is CFO of Miracle Plumbing Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 620-4975 or by email.

Chris Marcus

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Chris Marcus: Like Father, Like Son

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — Having been raised by a plumber, it’s no surprise that Chris Marcus grew up to become one himself. “My father, Phil, has been a plumber since before I was born,” he recounts. “I started going to work with him when I was eight or nine years old. As time went by, I started doing bigger and more complex projects, and by the time I was 16, I had pretty much decided I was going to do plumbing as a career. After doing my own thing for several years, I ended up going into business with my father, and we’re still partners today.”

Today, as CFO of Miracle Plumbing Inc., Chris says his favorite part of his job is the variety. “Plumbers deal with a wide range of problems, so I appreciate the fact that I get to do something different almost every day. Plus, I love taking on the challenges presented by all the different aspects of plumbing.”

A resident of San Jose, Chris spends most of his time outside of work with his sons, Josh and Zane. “Josh is in college and Zane is four, so they’re on very different levels,” he says. “Zane pretty much just wants to play all the time, which is a lot of fun, whereas Josh and I usually do things like play video games or build computers.” Chris also enjoys walking around the historic downtown areas of nearby towns like Willow Glen, Saratoga and Los Gatos.

In regard to a professional philosophy, Chris espouses the value of taking pride in your work. “I believe you should take pride in how you present yourself, how you conduct business and how you treat your customers,” he asserts. “If you do that, you can be sure to get the maximum value out of whatever you’re doing. Plus, your customers will recognize and appreciate it as well.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Chris says he’d take a tropical vacation. “I’ve always wanted to go to Bora Bora and stay in one of those huts above the water. I can just imagine waking up in the morning, jumping into that crystal clear water, getting back out and having a cup of coffee. That would just be awesome!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: Kyoto Palace in San Jose.

Q: Do you collect anything?

A: Movies.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?

A: My first Nintendo system I got when I turned five.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite video game?

A: The original Super Mario Bros.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?

A: A warm chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Read more

Making Water Heater Maintenance Financially Viable

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SAN JOSE — Regardless of what type of water heater you have, if you want it to achieve its full lifespan, you’ll need to maintain it consistently. A traditional water heater needs to be flushed annually to remove sediment buildup… Read more

Quick Fixes for Two Garbage Disposal Issues

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SAN JOSE — Plumbing companies get a lot of calls from customers who are having garbage disposal issues. However, in many cases these issues can be easily resolved by the homeowner—they just need to know what to do. Here are… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Garbage Disposal Solutions

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SAN JOSE — Host, Sarah Rutan: If your garbage disposal isn’t working, there’s probably a simple solution. To learn more, we’re in San Jose with Phil Marcus… Read more

Joel Ledesma is owner of Atlas Plumbing & Rooter, a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (650) 469-3933 or by email.

Joel Ledesma

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Joel Ledesma: A Fitting Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Whereas many people discover their life’s calling early on, for Joel Ledesma, finding his niche as a plumbing professional came at the end of a lengthy pursuit. “I used to have a lot of dead end jobs—at various points, I was a bartender, a soccer referee and a massage therapist, but none felt like it suited me,” he says. “When I started plumbing, I could immediately sense something was different. It came easy to me, and it didn’t even feel like work. I enjoyed the problem-solving aspect, and it felt good to stand back and look at my accomplishments.”

Not long after starting a job with a local plumbing company, Joel felt the entrepreneurial urge and opened his own business in 2005. “By doing my own thing, I figured I could create an environment where I’d be comfortable and have greater control of things like pricing and customer care.” While he’d intended it to be a small, one-man operation, Joel soon found his business growing at a rapid rate. “At first, it was just me and a helper, but we started getting busier and busier. I never thought we’d get to be as big as we are now.”

Today, as owner of Atlas Plumbing & Rooter, Joel says he enjoys being on the cutting edge of industry innovation. “I like the challenge of learning new things and keeping up with the latest plumbing technology. Not only is it neat to see all the innovation, it’s also becoming easier to do what we do, thanks to advancements like trenchless sewer line replacement.”

As a resident of San Bruno (where he lives with his wife, Sarah; daughter, Julia; and son, Joely), Joel appreciates the perks of living and working in the San Francisco vicinity. “In such a large and old city, there’s no shortage of strange things for a plumber to come across. Every so often, I’ll see something I’ve never seen before, like a 50-year-old copper-lined water heater.” Joel says he also enjoys the close-knit character of his San Bruno community. “It’s a small neighborhood, so everyone knows each other, which I really like.”

Outside of work, Joel enjoys spending time with family and attending local sporting events. “I’m a sports guy, so I like going to Giants and 49ers games, but I also enjoy taking my kids to places like the zoo,” he says. Regardless of the destination, Joel’s outings also give him an opportunity to practice his hobby of photography. “I enjoy photography, whether I’m taking pictures of my kids, animals at the zoo or athletes at sporting events.”

In regard to his career, Joel espouses the importance of professional integrity. “If someone is unhappy with my service, I don’t dodge their phone calls; rather, I get to the bottom of it, even if it means refunding their money,” he explains. “I just want to be as fair as possible, which is something I think my customers appreciate.”

When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Joel says he’d transition into a full-time career as a stay-at-home dad. “I’d stay home with my kids, take them to school and pick them up afterward. I currently coach my daughter’s soccer team, so I’d probably be more involved with that as well.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Trapeze Restaurant in Burlingame.

Q: What kind of movies do you like?
A: I like goofy comedies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played baseball and basketball, but I particularly excelled at soccer.

Q: What was your favorite video game as a child?
A: Super Mario Bros.

Q: If you could talk to anyone living or dead, who would it be?
A: Freddie Mercury, just because I’m a big Queen fan.

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Getting to the Root of Sewer Pipe Damage

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SAN FRANCISCO — When it comes to preventing sewer problems, most people assume it’s a matter of not putting the wrong things down the toilet or sink drain. However, few realize that the primary cause of damage to a home’s… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Prevent a Broken Sewer Pipe

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SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Avoiding costly sewer line repairs in the future often means taking proactive steps today. We’re in San Francisco with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor,… Read more

Daniel Gagne is a lifetime veteran of the plumbing industry and owner of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 788-4357 or by email.

Daniel Gagne

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Daniel Gagne: Plumbing Pride

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NOVATO — When Daniel Gagne began his plumbing career, he had no idea of the level of success he’d one day attain. “My dad was a plumber, so I was introduced to the trade at a very young age,” he recounts. “After high school, I worked for the family business for a while, and after doing some traveling in my 20s, I ended up in Marin County, where I got a job with a local plumbing company. In 1996, my brother and I co-founded our own plumbing business, which focused on new construction and remodeling work in Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties.”

Three years into their joint venture, Daniel and his brother decided to reorient their focus toward service and repair; little did they know it would completely change the face of their business. “We joined a plumbing organization that specialized in training owners how to run profitable service and repair businesses,” he explains. “Through this organization, we were introduced to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing—a brand concept one could license that included a ready-made logo and everything. I liked the concept and decided to sign up. Once we began advertising as Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, things really took off. Our business exploded, and within three years, our staff had quadrupled in size. Ten years later, we have almost 100 employees and three different locations in the Bay Area.”

Today, Daniel looks back with pride upon his accomplishments of the past decade. “I never really intended to build such a big business—I was more interested in being able to write my own story. Still, I feel proud of the things we’ve accomplished as a company. We kind of pioneered, at least in the Sonoma-Marin area, the way plumbers are perceived by creating a cleaner, more professional presentation. I’m also proud of the fact that we provide our employees with good wages and full benefits so they can live comfortably and take care of their families.”

A resident of Fairfax (where he lives with his wife, Ann), Daniel spends his time outside of work engaged in a variety of active pastimes. “Ann and I love getting out into nature and going hiking at local national parks. We also love to travel—we take about three major trips each year. We were recently in Bali, where Ann hosted a retreat that she put together, and afterward we visited her daughter in New Zealand. We both have family outside of the country, so we have plenty of reasons to travel.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Daniel believes that having happy employees translates to having happy customers. “We’ve discovered the best way to ensure our customers stay satisfied is to put our employees first,” he explains. “When your employees are happy, they’re more invested in doing good work and treating customers right, and when that happens, everyone wins.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Daniel says he’d embark on a Greener lifestyle. “I would probably buy a property somewhere with lots of nature around it, build a self-sustainable home and plant an organic garden. I think it would be a very peaceful and rewarding lifestyle—to live in harmony with the Earth.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?

A: World music, especially Latin-based.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?

A: I like to eat healthy, so I prefer things like wild berries and raw veggies.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: I’d like to spend some time in Southeast Asia and visit Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. I’m attracted to the culture and history there, including all the old temples and artifacts.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

A: Do some cooking and watch a good movie.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: Both. I usually wake up early during the week, but I like staying up late on the weekends.

 

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DIY Water Heater Maintenance

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NOVATO — A crucial aspect of plumbing system maintenance is to drain your water heater’s tank at least once a year. This is important because of all the sediment in the water, which tends to collect and sit at the bottom of… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Flush a Water Heater

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Complete Video Transcription:

NOVATO — Host, Sarah Rutan: The simplest way to increase your water heater’s operating lifespan is to flush its tank annually. Today we’re in Novato with Diamond Certified… Read more

Myles O’Dwyer is president of Pipe Spy Marin, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 890-6856 or by email.

Myles O'Dwyer

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Myles O’Dwyer: Pipe Guru

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

LARKSPUR – It might come as a surprise to learn that Myles O’Dwyer’s turn as president of a plumbing service company was preceded by an extensive career in commercial finance. On the other hand, it explains a lot about the thriving success of his business. As Myles tells it, his newfound venture came as the result of a failed business merger. “I was in the process of negotiating a merger between a plumbing parts supplier and a service company, with a plan to combine them into a national franchise. When the parts supplier backed out, I went to work for the service company with an aim to improve its financial performance.” Benefitting from his business acumen, Pipe Spy expanded its operations to Marin in 2007, where Myles continues to run things today.

Originally from the Bay Area, Myles’ career in finance took him all over the United States, from Chicago to Connecticut to Los Angeles, before an opportunity arose for him to return to his native environment. Having spent several winters on the East Coast, Myles attests to a renewed appreciation for the temperate North Bay climate. “We still have our seasons, but it’s nothing like back east,” he affirms. “When I lived in Connecticut, the trees would lose all their leaves and just look like dead sticks for five months. It was depressing.”

While his career keeps him busy, Myles finds time to enjoy a variety of hobbies outside of work, from weekly basketball games to renovating classic cars and motorcycles, including his father’s 1934 Ford pickup. He also likes to keep up with his four daughters, all of whom are variously situated along the West Coast. “My oldest daughter is a kindergarten teacher in Seattle, Washington, my second-oldest is a chef in San Francisco, and I have a set of twins who are in college,” he proudly says. Myles also enjoys going out to support the football team of his Berkeley alma mater, the Cal Bears.

When asked what his future retirement might look like, the ever-ambitious Myles intimates that it’ll likely be the start of another enterprise altogether. “One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is get my PhD, so I’ll probably do that after I retire,” he says. “I haven’t decided whether to focus on business ethics or political science—I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: I remember the best double feature I ever went to: “Patton” and “MASH.”

Q: What kind of books do you like to read?
A: I like mysteries that have some kind of historical element to them, like The Da Vinci Code.

Q: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
A: Beatles—but actually, the Beach Boys are the best!

Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Robin Williams.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Oatmeal cookies.

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: Every year I wore the same costume: the classic bed sheet ghost. It was very effective.

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How to Prevent a Sewer Line Backup

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LARKSPUR — Homeowners often don’t know they have an issue with their sewer line until it backs up inside their home. Fortunately, there are a couple of proactive measures you can take to prevent this from happening. One way to avoid… Read more

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Video: Solutions to Sewer Line Backup

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LARKSPUR — Host, Sarah Rutan: Preventing sewer line backup in your home is important. So today we’re in Larkspur with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Myles O’Dwyer… Read more

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