True Story: Every Day is Exciting When You're a Plumber!

A fellow plumber shares his thoughts on plumbing woes and customer misconceptions. Can you relate?
True Story: Every Day is Exciting When You're a Plumber!
The RHT Service Company crew includes, from left, front, office manager (and wife of owner Ryan) Lori Tenery, owner Ryan Tenery, part-time technician Caleb Flowers, and service technician Brian McCann.

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Drain and pipeline cleaners and plumbers all have a story to tell, whether it’s about that peculiar object you found lodged in a customer’s drainline, or the business model your company uses to stay profitable. 

Ryan Tenery, the owner of RHT Service Company of Valdosta, Ga., is one of those with a story to tell. The 6-year-old company provides specialized services in several drain cleaning and plumbing areas, including sewer and hydrojet drain cleaning, installation/repair/testing of backflow preventers, and video pipeline inspections.  

Tenery recently shared some of his insights into the industry, including his excitement and enthusiasm for his chosen line of work, his thoughts on hiring quality employees and maintaining a positive working relationship with his staff, and the ways he’d like to someday diversify his service offerings to help grow his small business. 

Plumber: What is your favorite aspect of operating your business?

Ryan Tenery: I would say it’s really the satisfaction of solving my customers’ plumbing problems and needs. Also, I like knowing that each day we will face different problems and challenges. 

Plumber: What is your approach to finding (and keeping) quality employees? 

Tenery: I like to hire loyal and conscientious employees. It also helps to have a good employee-employer relationship, and keep the lines of communication always open. I always complete extensive background checks and drug testing upon hiring any potential employee, to ensure the safety of my customers. 

Plumber: How do you see the industry changing in the next decade? 

Tenery: I think the biggest change we’re dealing with is having more regulations and more government involvement. This could be both beneficial and detrimental to our industry.  

Plumber: If you had an unlimited operating budget, what new equipment would you buy, and why?

Tenery: If I had a completely uncapped budget, I would like to invest in a combination truck, because I would like to diversify and get into the municipal and industrial cleaning. Also, I’d like a new a pumper truck because I think there is a need for the level of service I can offer with my customers. 

Plumber: What is the biggest misconception among customers and friends revolving around your line of work?

Tenery: I would say that the biggest misconception is that they underestimate the physical labor and mental stress that comes with this line of work. 

Plumber: Describe your strangest or most exciting day on the job. What happened?

Tenery: Every day is an exciting day when you are a plumber! You never know what your day will hold from one day to the next. It’s exciting not knowing what to expect or what challenges you might face! 


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