Maintenance Contracts Can Provide Great Returns

Consider offering drain cleaning/jetting, inspections and catch basin cleaning services.
Maintenance Contracts Can Provide Great Returns
Drain camera inspections are a valuable tool in the diagnostics of current and potential problems.

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Often, people think of hiring a plumber only in reaction to emergencies. However, as we know, proper maintenance can prolong the life of plumbing systems and equipment, which can assist in reducing emergency repairs and costly expenses.

Letting customers know about the importance of preventative maintenance, along with offering a maintenance contract option, can help to save customers money and at the same time assist with managing workload and create a steady income stream for your business.

Three key preventative maintenance services to consider incorporating into a maintenance contract include drain cleaning/sewer jetting, drain camera inspections and catch basin cleaning. Read on to learn some of the benefits of each, potential issues that can arise if ignored, and language for sharing with current and potential customers.

  • Drain cleaning/sewer jetting – Skipping this relatively simple service can lead to sewer backups, flooded basements, expensive cleanup cost, loss of and damage to property, and even the interruption of day-to-day business operations. Removing the sludge, grease and debris that build up over time helps prevent clogs and blockages in plumbing lines. Regularly scheduled service can also help prevent problems before they become emergencies, protect valuable investments, ensure health department compliance and prevent loss of revenue as a result of expensive closures.
  • Drain camera inspections – An incredibly valuable tool in the diagnostics of current and potential problems. This high-tech tool discovers deeper issues that even experienced plumbers would be unable to locate, including deep-rooted blockages and clogs, small cracks and leaks. When caught early enough, these potentially catastrophic plumbing problems can be avoided, making this a vital step in the preventative maintenance checklist.
  • Catch basin cleaning – Catch basins, by nature, collect trash and debris, keeping such pollutants out of the local water supply and environment. To ensure proper function, they must be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Although typically performed with a vacuum truck, catch basin cleaning can also be done manually with a scoop or shovel. Creating a preventative maintenance program for catch basins can avoid flooding while also ensuring compliance with local rules and regulations. 

See the drainline inspection video:

If a maintenance contract is something new for your business to offer, some things to consider include:

  • Contracts can be tailored to your business and client needs, but many are designed around either type of services, number of service calls within a certain time period or an annual preventative maintenance inspection.
  • Those enrolled in a maintenance program will also typically receive a discount for any needed services. Common discount ranges are from 10 to 15 percent off hourly labor rates and/or also include needed parts.
  • Many plumbers require an upfront payment for a maintenance contract, while some will also accept payment plans if using a credit or debit card.  
  • In any service contract it’s important to include any terms and conditions around what is and isn’t included within the agreement and it’s advised to have an attorney review the contract before it is implemented with customers.

Providing your customers with information on the role preventative maintenance and service contracts can play in keeping their plumbing systems running smoothly and cost-effectively is a simple step that can have great returns for both customer and plumber alike.

About the Author: Adam Wallenstein established 1-800-PLUMBING in 2008 as a service division of parent company Neptune Plumbing. Neptune is a third-generation family business, started by Adam’s grandfather in 1957, and member of Cleveland Plumbing Industry


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