Inspection Camera a Key Tool for Michigan Plumber

Free camera inspections for customers have played a role in the growth of Mr. Rooter's 2015 Franchisee of the Year.
Inspection Camera a Key Tool for Michigan Plumber
Technician Dan Biniecki (right) uses a RIDGID SeeSnake CS10 to inspect a pipe as Brad Sims (left) watches the monitor at a Rite-Aid in Big Rapids, Michigan.

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In less than a decade, Brad and Amanda Sims have turned their central Michigan plumbing and drain cleaning business from a one-truck operation into one serving an 11-county area with eight vans on the road daily. There have been many factors behind that growth, most notably their dedication to the Mr. Rooter model since joining the franchise system in 2007. Another key factor is a service they provide to customers for free — camera inspections. The cameras the Sims use are mostly from RIDGID and Hathorn.

“That’s really what makes the company,” Brad says.

The value of the service is twofold: One, it gives the customers assurance that the technician has actually cleaned the line properly. Two, it allows the company to know that it has offered customers all the appropriate options for any additional work that may have to be done.

Prior to joining Mr. Rooter, the Sims operated a business specializing in only drain cleaning, and camera inspections were an additional charge. Now that it is provided for free, Brad says people appreciate the extra service and that it helps attract both new and repeat business.

“It shows people that you’re not just making up the problem,” Brad says. “It gives them a visual right then and there so they can see for themselves the condition of their pipes.”

He says it’s particularly beneficial for situations when a routine post-cleaning inspection reveals further issues that need attention. Customers have information beyond what the technician has told them to gauge when the work should be done.

“We’re showing them what’s going on so they can better understand it and make a decision themselves on when to do something,” Brad says. “Of course the work could be done right then and there, but sometimes people have to plan for it, so it gives them some peace of mind.”

Read more about Mr. Rooter of Mid-Michigan in this full profile from the November issue of Plumber magazine.


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