Medical Gas Pipe Installations Provide Niche for Kansas Plumbing Contractor

Superior Plumbing has to maintain special certifications for three of its technicians, but the work also provides higher profit margins.
Medical Gas Pipe Installations Provide Niche for Kansas Plumbing Contractor
Superior Plumbing technician Jim Crane installs medical gas piping at a dentist office near Wichita, Kansas.

Kansas’ Superior Plumbing has found a unique niche — installation of medical gas pipes — to separate it from its area competitors, and it requires some of its technicians to be certified.

The installation of these copper pipes to dental offices and other small medical facilities has grown significantly over the last 10 years, according to Steve Conduff, one of the owners of the company located in Wichita.

The pipes must be brazed or soldered and the technician installing them must be certified and understand how medical gas works.

“We are brought in as a third party to do the installation,” Conduff says. “There are suppliers who sell the equipment and components to the dentist or facility, and we work with the supplier on the installation.”

Helping the certified technician on the job site is an apprentice. The company has three technicians certified.

“They’re working with the pipe, understanding the size of the pipe and the brazing and soldering as you heat the copper to make the proper connections,” Conduff says.

Another key aspect is the company using only copper fittings on the joints. “We are still an old-school shop,” Conduff says of the work being done. “We still do a lot of copper sweat joints. You hardly see that even in new construction where they are using PEX piping and CPVC glued joints.”

The jobs can take as little as a few hours to install a wall panel, or up to a week or two for a complete remodel or adding more stations.

“For us it means greater profit margins than everyday re-piping of a home for water,” Conduff says.

Read more about Superior Plumbing in this profile from the January 2017 issue of Plumber magazine.



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