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  • Thursday, February 29, 2024 2:14 PM | Anonymous

    This year, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation scholarship program plans to award 55 scholarships totaling $132,000. Awards are available to plumbing and HVACR apprentices working for PHCC—National Association members, trade school or community college students taking plumbing or HVAC classes and college students pursuing majors directly related to the plumbing-heating-cooling industry. Click here to read more. 

  • Wednesday, December 06, 2023 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    The use of green plumbing products has been gaining traction in recent years, and for good reason. These eco-friendly solutions not only help conserve water and energy but also contribute to a healthier and more sustainable living environment. Let's take a look at some inspiring case studies that showcase the benefits of green plumbing products.

    1. Agnews Campus, Santa Clara Unified School District:

    The Agnews Campus in San Jose, California, serves 3,000 students and was designed with a high-tech aesthetic by LPA Design Studios. As part of their commitment to sustainability, the district implemented touch-free washbasins equipped with green plumbing fixtures. This innovative approach not only saves water but also promotes hygiene and reduces the spread of germs in school restrooms [^13].

    2. USA Corporation and QuickDrain:

    USA Corporation, a leading design-build firm, partnered with QuickDrain, a manufacturer of low-profile linear shower drains, to create a sustainable solution for a luxury hotel project. By incorporating QuickDrain's linear shower drains, which have a significantly lower profile than traditional center drains, they were able to achieve a sleek and modern design while optimizing water flow and drainage efficiency [^13].

    3. Bradley Corporation:

    Bradley Corporation is renowned for its commitment to sustainable plumbing solutions. In one case study, they worked with a healthcare facility to reduce water usage without compromising hygiene standards. By installing water-efficient faucets, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures, the facility was able to achieve significant water savings while maintaining optimal functionality [^13].

    These case studies highlight the effectiveness of green plumbing products in various settings, from schools to hotels and healthcare facilities. By embracing sustainable plumbing practices, these organizations have not only reduced their environmental impact but also enjoyed cost savings and improved user experiences.


    Plumber Magazine - Case Studies: Green Plumbing Products

  • Wednesday, December 06, 2023 10:29 AM | Anonymous


    Growing a business can be a bit of a Catch-22 – a seemingly impossible situation because additional trucks and equipment will generate more revenue, but there are no funds to purchase the additional trucks and equipment. Fortunately, there are a number of different options for contractors who need additional funds to support growth.

    The most common reasons that owners of plumbing-heating-cooling contracting companies seek additional funding are to buy a building, purchase expensive equipment, add new or replace older trucks, and have access to funds to cover expenses during emergencies or to manage the normal ups and downs of cashflow, says Ruth King, owner of Business Ventures, a consulting firm focused on helping contractors succeed. King also is known as PHCC’s resident "profitability master," has led its in-person PHCC Finance Bootcamp sessions, and will serve as a speaker at PHCCCONNECT2023.

    Doing Your Homework

    While there are different sources of funding for owners to consider, there are some basic financial records that must be available, says King. "You must be able to provide good financial statements that show two or more years of profit," she says. These records include a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement, which are the three financial statements that work together to measure a business’s financial health.

    It is also important to define your needs clearly to better identify the best option and to show the bank, credit union, or private investor how the funds will be used and how the business will be improved.

    Securing a Loan

    "A line of credit is one type of loan that many small business owners like to – and should – have for their business, but it should be established before there is a need," says King. "The line of credit can act as a short-term loan to cover unexpected expenses, and it does help owners sleep better at night."

    The best use of a line of credit is to pay all or the majority of the loan within 30 days with revenue generated by steady income from maintenance plans. Relying on a line of credit for long periods is expensive and limits the availability of funds for future emergencies.

    When contractors need loans for major purchases such as equipment or buildings, the most common source of funding is Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, says King. "The owner goes through a bank or credit union to apply for the loan and provides financial statements and other documentation," she says. Because not all financial institutions offer SBA loans, it might be necessary to open an operating account at a different bank or credit union than the business uses daily. "It is best to use a Tier 1 bank or credit union with a lot of experience with SBA loans because they understand what is needed and can streamline the process," she says.

    "A line of credit is one type of loan that many small business owners like to – and should – have for their business, but it should be established before there is a need. The line of credit can act as a short-term loan to cover unexpected expenses, and it does help owners sleep better at night."

    ∼ Ruth King

    Types of SBA loans include:

    • The 7(a) Loan Program is SBA’s most common program and can provide up to $5 million that can be used for short- and long-term working capital, refinancing current business debt, purchase and installation of equipment, and purchase of furniture, fixtures, and supplies. Funds also can be used to purchase real estate including land and buildings and to construct a new building or renovate an existing building.
    • An SBA microloan provides up to $50,000 and can be used to repair, enhance, or improve a small business. Typical uses include working capital, inventory, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Microloan funds cannot be used to pay existing debts or invest in real estate.
    • The CDC/SBA 504 loan program provides SBA loans to small businesses looking to purchase or build owner-occupied commercial real estate. The program pairs two lenders together to fund these projects: a bank or traditional lender and a community development corporation (CDC). The bank lends up to 50%; the CDC lends up to 40%; and the remainder of the project’s costs come from the borrower, typically in the form of a cash down payment. The business is required to occupy at least 51% of the commercial space.

    Another source of funding is a conventional loan from the bank or credit union with whom you have a standing relationship. "You should also compare loan offerings from other community banks or local institutions and look at interest rates and origination fees to determine the best offer," says King.

    "Family members may also be a source of loans, but I would be very careful to put up guardrails to protect you, your business, and your relationship with family members," says King. These "guardrails" include creating a loan document that specifies the terms of the loan, interest rate, payback period, and responsibilities of each party.

    Seeking Investors

    In addition to securing a loan to fund an expansion or new equipment, seeking outside investors can be an option for some contractors. Angel financing happens when individuals or groups of individuals invest their own money in a business. Larger investments by equity groups are more likely to occur with businesses that have several locations and plans to expand even more.

    There are pros and cons to seeking outside investors. Investors can immediately enhance cashflow, bring additional expertise and connections to the table, and support faster growth. However, investors often expect to have a say in the business, much like a business partner. Contractors also will feel more pressure to make a profit to keep the investor from losing money. There is also the possibility of less profit for the owner as the investor takes a share of the profits, leaving less for the contractor.

    Planning Ahead

    Preparing for future investments to expand the business also can include plans to self-fund some purchases, King says. "An owner can set up a couple of business savings accounts that can be used to loan funds to the business for specific reasons," she explains. "If $25,000 is borrowed to purchase new equipment, then schedule payments from operating income to pay the loan back." These self-loans don’t require applications, interest, or origination fees … just planning well ahead to build up the savings account.

    Planning ahead also involves establishing a relationship with a financial institution, King suggests. "You don’t want to wait for a crisis to search for funding, so share information with your banker to demonstrate your company’s financial health," she says. "If you have someone who understands your goals, financial status, and needs, it will be easier to begin the loan application process and to get advice to help your business grow."



    Sheryl S. Jackson is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in education, leadership, and legislative topics for several industries, including construction.

  • Wednesday, December 06, 2023 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    Here are some ideas for how to express gratitude to your workers for their year-round efforts

    The holiday season is a time for joy, generosity, gratitude and gift-giving. And if that informs the way we treat our friends and family members, it should also impact the way employers regard their personnel.

    The holiday season is an excellent opportunity to show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their good work. An expression of gratitude isn’t just seasonally appropriate, though. It can also be a smart, strategic investment in the ongoing morale and retention of your top talents. In other words, the goodwill you generate through your seasonal shows of appreciation can echo throughout the months that follow.

    There’s more than one way to show your employees that they are valued, and depending on your budget you may wish to combine multiple options. Here are some suggestions.

    Ease financial burdens

    Make no mistake: There’s no form of employee appreciation that goes over better than cold, hard cash. If you can afford seasonal bonuses, your employees will undoubtedly be delighted. But if your budget is too tight for that, you can at least consider gift cards or special discount codes for major retailers, providing a little bit of ease during the (expensive) season of gift-giving.

    Food and frivolity

    Outside of money, one thing that all employees love is food. A nice employee lunch or dinner can go a long way toward showing your gratitude, whether that’s a catered taco bar in the office or a night out at an elegant restaurant. You can scale up your food offering into an office party, bringing in music, decor, white elephant gift exchanges and other forms of seasonal fun.

    Music and decor

    A couple holiday-specific perks that will cost you very little: Spruce up your workspaces with seasonal decor and allow your office staff to play holiday music should they desire. Sometimes simply allowing your personnel to get into the seasonal spirit can go a long way toward boosting morale.

    Personal acknowledgement

    You know the old saying about gifts: It’s the thought that counts. One way to show your staff that you’re thinking about them is to provide personal expressions of thanks. When the leader of the team writes individual notes of gratitude for each team member, it goes a long way toward helping them feel like what they do is seen and valued.

    Extra time off

    In lieu of direct cash bonuses, employees may also appreciate having extra time to be with family members. This of course can be tough for home service businesses, which may require someone to be on-call 24/7, but providing even a day of extra holiday time (or a half-day) can be meaningful.

    Volunteer opportunities

    This may almost sound counterintuitive, but a final option for showing employees you appreciate them is to get out of the office for an afternoon to participate in a group service project. This can be a great way of honoring employees by giving them purposeful, missional work to do outside their normal activities.


  • Monday, November 20, 2023 4:48 PM | Anonymous

    Exploring the Benefits of Adding Leak Detection Services

    Adding leak detection to your list of services can be a lucrative move. Leaky pipes are a common occurrence, and homeowners are willing to hire a professional to fix the issue.

    Trained leak detectors can locate the source of leaks without tearing up structures in the house in the process. If you are able to obtain the necessary tools and skills to do noninvasive leak detection, your business will benefit.


    Besides providing your company with another revenue stream, the main benefit is that you can fix water leak issues quicker, making customers happier and allowing you to move on to new jobs.

    A company could choose to contract out leak detection work to another firm, but if they are booked you have to wait to make the repair. Waiting a few days forces you to commit more time to a job that could be fixed the day you receive it. Adding leak detection gives you another revenue source and allows you to do your job more independently.


    Before you start buying leak detection equipment, do some market research and see if there is a demand that you can fill. Check how many calls your company may get for leak detection services and ask customers you visit if they would or have benefited from leak detection services.

    Related: Take a Look at Adding Additional Services to Your Business

    Check the competition in your area and see how many companies are providing leak detection and exactly what types of leak detection they are providing.

    Leak detection is a broad service since leaks can occur under a home, on the driveway and in the street. You need more tools to check a leak under a concrete foundation as opposed to finding a simple leak in a sink.

    Then do some research on what the best equipment is. When you subcontract out leak detection to another company, ask the techs what equipment they use, watch them do their job and then find the right suppliers to buy the equipment from. In my experience, most leak detection companies are willing to talk shop with plumbers and drain cleaners since you will still need their expertise for harder-to-detect leaks.


    The best way to improve leak detection is for you and your team to practice using the new equipment. Practice in your office or in your own home. This will help you get familiar with the process.

    The two machines you need to get started are a metal detector and an ultrasound leak detecting device. The metal detector connects to the waterline on top of the water heater and tells you how deep the pipes are. The ultrasound leak detector allows you to find the leak.

    Subscribe: If you don't want to bring your iPad into the bathroom, we can send you a magazine subscription for free!

    It is important that you understand the structural layout of homes in your area. Many home styles have similar layouts so it can help you detect more quickly where leaks might appear. Look at architectural plans from old and new houses and familiarize yourself with where the waterlines run.

    Knowing the layout of the homes lets you focus your search instead of blindly searching for waterlines. You can request public records to see some of these home layouts or you can Google search PDF layouts of different homes in your area.


    Lastly, if you feel like you can’t adequately detect a leak, don’t be afraid to call a more seasoned leak detection expert.

    Some leaks are too small for your average plumber to find and you might not have the necessary equipment to find the leak. The most important part is making sure the job gets done in a way that is easiest for the customer. It is beneficial to do your own leak detection, but only if you know your limits.

    Nelson Salas is the owner of Amigo Rooter & Plumbing in Goodyear, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. He has worked as a master plumber in Arizona and Texas for over 14 years.

  • Wednesday, October 11, 2023 2:09 PM | Anonymous

    Putting a lien on a house in Florida can be a complex and intimidating process, but it is an effective way to secure payment for services rendered or debts owed. Whether you are a contractor seeking payment for construction work or an individual seeking repayment of a loan, understanding the steps involved is crucial. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to put a lien on a house in Florida, along with five interesting facts about liens. Additionally, we will address fourteen common questions related to this topic.

    Section 1: How to Put a Lien on a House in Florida

    Step 1: Understand the Lien Laws

    Before proceeding with placing a lien on a house in Florida, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s lien laws. These laws outline the requirements and procedures that must be followed to ensure a valid and enforceable lien.

    Step 2: Provide Preliminary Notice

    Florida requires that a preliminary notice be provided to the property owner before filing a lien. This notice should contain information about the work performed or services rendered, along with the amount owed.

    Step 3: File a Claim of Lien

    To officially put a lien on a house, you must file a Claim of Lien form with the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located. This document should include details about the property owner, a description of the work performed, the amount owed, and other necessary information.

    Step 4: Serve the Lien on the Property Owner

    Once the Claim of Lien has been filed, you must serve a copy of the lien on the property owner within fifteen days. This can be done through certified mail with return receipt requested or by hand delivery.

    Step 5: Enforce the Lien

    If the property owner fails to respond or settle the debt within the specified timeframe, you may proceed with enforcing the lien. This typically involves filing a lawsuit to obtain a judgment against the property owner, which can result in the forced sale of the property to satisfy the debt.

    Section 2: 5 Interesting Facts about Liens

    1. Types of Liens

    There are various types of liens, including mechanic’s liens, tax liens, judgment liens, and mortgage liens. Each type serves a different purpose and carries different rights and obligations.

    2. Priority of Liens

    In Florida, the priority of liens is determined by the date they are recorded. Liens recorded earlier generally have a higher priority, which means they will be satisfied first in the event of a property sale or foreclosure.

    3. Homestead Exemption

    Florida has a homestead exemption that protects a certain amount of equity in a primary residence from being seized to satisfy a debt. This exemption can complicate the process of enforcing a lien on a property.

    4. Notice of Commencement

    In many cases, before starting a construction project in Florida, a Notice of Commencement must be filed. This notice provides information about the project and allows potential lien claimants to protect their rights.

    5. Time Limitations

    Florida has strict time limitations for filing liens. Generally, a Claim of Lien must be filed within 90 days of the last day of work or services provided. Failure to meet this deadline could result in the loss of lien rights.

    Section 3: 14 Common Questions about Liens in Florida

    1. Can I put a lien on a property for any type of debt?

    No, liens are typically reserved for debts related to services performed or materials provided for the improvement of the property.

    See also What Does It Mean When Social Security Is in the Payment Center

    2. Can I put a lien on a property if I subcontracted the work?

    Yes, subcontractors have the right to file a lien if they have not been paid for their services.

    3. How long does a lien remain valid in Florida?

    Generally, a lien in Florida is valid for one year from the date it is recorded unless an action to enforce the lien is initiated within that period.

    4. Can I foreclose on a property if I have a lien?

    Yes, if the property owner fails to satisfy the debt within the specified timeframe, you may initiate a foreclosure action to force the sale of the property.

    5. Can I negotiate a settlement instead of enforcing the lien?

    Yes, it is often beneficial to explore settlement options before proceeding with legal action. In some cases, property owners may be willing to negotiate a payment plan or settlement amount.

    6. Can I put a lien on a property if there is an existing mortgage?

    Yes, a lien can be placed on a property even if there is an existing mortgage. However, the mortgage holder generally has priority over other lienholders.

    7. Can I file a lien on a property if I am not a licensed contractor?

    Yes, both licensed and unlicensed contractors have the right to file a lien in Florida. However, unlicensed contractors may face limitations or additional requirements.

    8. Can I file a lien on a property if I did not provide a written contract?

    Yes, a written contract is not always required to file a lien. However, having a written agreement can strengthen your case.

    9. Can I remove a lien once it has been filed?

    Yes, a lien can be removed if the underlying debt is satisfied or resolved. This can be done through a lien release or by court order.

    10. Can I file a lien on a property if I did not provide a Notice of Commencement?

    Yes, not providing a Notice of Commencement may limit your rights in some cases but does not necessarily prevent you from filing a lien.

    11. Can a lien be transferred to another property if the original property is sold?

    No, a lien is specific to the property on which it was filed. If the property is sold, the lien does not automatically transfer to the new owner.

    12. Can I file a lien on a property if I am an unpaid subcontractor of a subcontractor?

    In most cases, only those who have a direct contractual relationship with the property owner or the prime contractor have the right to file a lien.

    13. Can I file a lien on a property if the property owner files for bankruptcy?

    The filing of a bankruptcy petition by the property owner may complicate the enforcement of a lien. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for guidance in such situations.

    14. Can I file a lien if the property owner has died?

    Yes, the death of a property owner does not automatically invalidate the lien. The lien can still be enforced against the deceased owner’s estate.

    In conclusion, placing a lien on a house in Florida involves understanding the state’s lien laws, providing preliminary notice, filing a Claim of Lien, serving the lien on the property owner, and, if necessary, enforcing the lien through legal action. Remember to consult with a qualified attorney or professional to ensure compliance with Florida’s specific requirements and to protect your rights as a creditor.


    How To Put A Lien On A House In Florida | INVESTOR TIMES

  • Wednesday, September 27, 2023 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    If you are a plumber or a trade professional who actively promotes the use of high-efficiency, condensing water heaters, boilers or furnaces, you should be equally energetic in treating discharge coming from this equipment with some sort of neutralization. That’s the only way to protect your customers’ plumbing from the potentially harmful side effects of the condensation process. As the popularity of high-efficiency condensing products grows, so too will the problem of acidic condensate.

    As a matter of fact, International Plumbing Codes and National Standard Plumbing Codes  require neutralization for corrosive waste. To elaborate: IPC and NSPC state that corrosive liquids, spent acids or other harmful chemicals that destroy or injure drain, sewer, soil or waste pipe, or create noxious or toxic fumes, or interfere with sewage-treatment processes shall not be discharged into the plumbing system without being thoroughly diluted, neutralized or treated by passing through an approved dilution or neutralizing device.

    Which states use IPC and NSPC codes?

    The NSPC is designed to ensure the proper installation of plumbing systems, providing local and state governments, code administration bodies, and the industry with a modern code to protect health and promote safety. New Jersey uses the National Standard Plumbing Code.

    The International Plumbing Code is a proven, comprehensive model plumbing code that works seamlessly with ICC's family of building codes. It sets minimum regulations for plumbing systems and components to protect life, health and safety of building occupants and the public. The IPC is available for adoption by jurisdictions ranging from states to towns, and is currently adopted on the state or local level in 35 states in the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

    What is the best way to neutralize? Why is it important?

    Condensing technology saves energy by maximizing the amount of heat energy transferred to the water during the combustion process. A byproduct of this process is water, or condensate, that tends to be acidic because of the chemical reaction caused by the heat of the gas burner. Indeed, the higher the efficiency rating, the higher the acid level in the water runoff.

    If this runoff is disposed of through a home’s or a building’s plumbing system, the piping could corrode, rust over time, and cause serious damage to local sewers and water treatment facilities. Pumping the waste outdoors or into sanitary sewers could contaminate the groundwater or degrade the local water infrastructure. For homes with septic tanks, condensate waste might also destroy the good bacteria that is essential to keeping the system operating properly.

    The higher, front-end costs of high-efficiency equipment are typically justified by lower energy consumption and the resulting lower monthly fuel bills. But those savings could be wiped out and then some if the plumber must return in just a few years to tear out and redo all the plumbing.

    The smart, long-term solution is to neutralize the acidic content in the condensate waste before it ever enters any piping.

    Although International Plumbing Codes require condensate waste-neutralization, enforcement is spotty. Some sections of the country, such as New England, strictly enforce the code requirements; others — including the Far West — tend to be lax.

    Even so, the trades must become more aware of this problem because the acid in the condensate will just eat away the piping.

    Neutralization can be accomplished in several ways:

    1. Manually, by cutting a bed of limestone into the floor where the condensing water heater, boiler, etc., is located, and letting the condensate drip into it.
    2. Positioning a limestone-filled cartridge inside of the condensing unit to neutralize the water internally.
    3. Hooking a neutralization kit — essentially, a piece of pipe filled with limestone — to the exterior of the condensing equipment and letting the condensate flow through it.

    Saniflo manufactures a neutralizing component that falls into the third category, but with a more sophisticated approach. The Sanicondens Best Flat couples a pump with a neutralizer to move condensate from the water heater or boiler through limestone granules in a tray before pumping the water into the sewer or septic system.

    The pump ensures condensate waste does not linger inside or around the water heater or boiler, while the neutralizer removes the acidity that would damage water and sewer pipes.

    How does Saniflo’s condensate pump work?

    The Sanicondens Best Flat is capable of serving multiple mechanical systems — up to a combined total of 500,000 Btu per hour.

    The pump has an easy to refill pH-neutralizing pellet tray. Making it the ideal single, space-saving, environmentally friendly solution for today’s ultra-high-efficiency condensing equipment, both residential and commercial: boilers, water heaters, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, and other appliances.

    Often, condensate cannot drain adequately via gravity, usually because the application lacks conventional, below-floor drainage. This problem can cause property damage or even create health hazards by adversely affecting indoor air quality.

    But the Sanicondens Best Flat is a sleek, lower-profile condensate pump using a built-in neutralizer to boost the pH of the acidic condensate before it can be discharged into a drainline — thus preventing corrosion.

    Its streamlined design handles up to a combined total of 500,000 Btu per hour and incorporates two 1-inch inlets: one on the side and the other on the top near the neutralizer tray.

    Condensate entering the system automatically activates a float mechanism that, in turn, starts the motor whose spindle/shaft drives the impeller. The condensate is neutralized as it comes into contact with the neutralizer pellets in the tray before being pumped safely away through a 3/8-inch discharge line into the sanitary sewer or a septic tank.

    Enforcement of the condensate-neutralization codes will likely increase as the problem — and its potential toll on plumbing systems — become more widely recognized. But if you are a plumber who installs condensing equipment, you should not wait, if only for the sake of your customers. According to, high-efficiency condensing boilers, HVAC systems and water heaters will cut homeowner fuel costs dramatically. But to achieve maximum value — and to ensure the customer’s money-saving investment doesn’t cause problems that cost thousands of dollars more down the road — it is vitally important to neutralize the condensate waste such units emit.

    If you have any questions or concerns, you can always call the Saniflo technical hotline at 800-571-8191 to find out which products would work best. Or you can send an email to with details on your installation.

  • Monday, September 11, 2023 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    HVACR Training Track



    hvacr training track

    The PHCC Educational Foundation is rolling out two new courses this fall – Pre-Apprentice HVACR and Fast Track to Service & Repair HVACR – to complete its training track for prospective HVACR professionals and to give the contractors that employ them effective and efficient training at a reasonable price.

    This development comes after more than two years of planning and a $500,000 allotment of funds by the Foundation to develop online HVACR training that would equal the quality and selection of the Foundation’s existing plumbing offerings.

    "Individual contractors and even most PHCC chapters don’t have the resources available to create programs like these. That’s why it’s so important to have contractor support for the Foundation," says Foundation Chairman Kevin Tindall. "When we can focus the contributions from our supporters across the country together, we can build some incredible programs. That’s why the Foundation exists – to do what we can’t do on our own."

    And what the Foundation has done is build two courses that will help the HVACR industry fill the crucial workforce shortage. "Our purpose is to get qualified candidates and employees standardized training so that they are producing members of the team and truck-ready," says PHCC Educational Foundation Chief Learning Officer Angela Collins. And, with the new Pre-Apprentice HVACR Course, "you can also vet those same people to see if they are an employment fit before enrolling them in the longer, more comprehensive trainings."

    "Our offerings are geared for the contractor and helping them fulfill their workforce education needs," adds Collins. "Our product line is unique in that way … it’s from a contractor standpoint," she adds, explaining that a contractor "can partner with the PHCC Educational Foundation and know that there are people on staff developing content to ensure return on investment with minimal work production disruption. We recognize pulling revenue-producing members of the team out of their trucks is not ideal."

    Pre-Apprentice HVACR Course: A Small Investment for Peace of Mind

    When an individual is interested in continuing on the HVACR career path, the Foundation’s new Pre-Apprentice HVACR Course trains new hires or entry-level techs to diversify their skillset as helpers and prepare them for the next suitable training program: either Fast Track to Service & Repair HVACR or a traditional HVACR Apprenticeship program if required by their state.

    The seven-module course – estimated to be completed within four months – is an in-depth introduction into HVACR principles and systems, soft skills, safety, science, and math.

    "Our purpose is to get qualified candidates and employees standardized training so that they are producing members of the team and truck-ready."

    ∼ Angela Collins, PHCC Educational Foundation

    "We call this course an ‘employment fit,’" says Collins. "It gives the contactor a runway to get someone through, to evaluate numerous items: Can they be successful at distance learning? Are they committed to staying in the industry? Are they a good candidate for our business?"

    And for only $29 for PHCC members and non-members, it’s a small investment. By the time the candidate has – hopefully – completed the Foundation’s free Workforce Readiness Course (basically to determine if they’d prefer plumbing or HVACR) and the very affordable Pre-Apprentice Course, the contractor has had a low-cost trial run before investing in longer and more costly training courses. "We want to make sure that the student is successful, because – when they are – so is the contractor and, ultimately, the industry workforce."

    Fast Track to Service & Repair HVACR: Accelerated Training to Get Techs Up-and-Running

    Designed by contractors for contractors who perform residential or commercial service and repair work, Fast Track to Service & Repair HVACR is intended to train technicians to be job- and truck-ready with a well-rounded understanding of HVACR systems.

    The course’s 34 online modules cover professionalism in the workplace, safety and first aid, mathematic and scientific principles related to HVACR, electric and motor fundamentals for HVACR, tools, control systems, troubleshooting, and so much more.

    The course also may be used as an opportunity to upskill technicians or assist those in switching careers between plumbing and HVACR, especially useful to contractors who offer services in both areas.

    The Fast Track program may sound familiar to PHCC member contractors, as it was originated years ago by Quality Service Contractors (QSC), a PHCC Enhanced Service Group. A team of PHCC contractors has now updated, condensed, and re-ordered the original modules, paired it with the #1 best-selling textbook in the HVACR market, and is set to relaunch it this fall.

    While students work on the online course at their own pace, the program is expected to be completed in 12 to 18 months. Of course, it is designed to be most successful with the supervisor’s involvement in providing the student with hands-on practical skills and training activities that align with the modules. "Each company has its own – what we call – ‘magic,’" says Collins. "It is the proprietary processes and practices that you use, and we can’t teach that, so we encourage students to discuss the work tasks with their supervisors to best align with the business’s processes and procedures."

    Just like the Foundation’s Plumbing and HVACR Apprenticeship courses, the Fast Track to Service & Repair HVACR course is offered through PHCC chapter eLearning partners, with the cost of the Fast Track course at $2,899 for PHCC members (and $3,299 for non-members). To encourage collaborative group learning, the Foundation offers a "Buy One, Get One Free" incentive that allows two students and one supervisor to move through the program together to make it less overwhelming for both parties.

    If contractors are in a state without a chapter partner, they can email And – like with its Plumbing counterpart – the Foundation is directing $50 from each sale of the Fast Track to Service & Repair HVACR course into its Scholarship Fund, helping to ensure funding for the workforce cycle for years to come.

    what is the right fit for my employees
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    © 2021 - 2023 PHCC Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

    A Bird’s Eye View of the Track

    The Foundation has methodically aligned its online PHCC Academy® course offerings – now for both plumbing and HVACR – to move students through at the correct level in their careers to get them to be trained or licensed professionals … and to give the contractors who employ them effective and efficient training at a reasonable price.

    Use the chart on page 22 to see where these two new courses fit in … and to help you find the right fit for your employees or potential employees.

    hvacr training track
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    Designed By Contractors, For Contractors

    After six years of offering similar plumbing courses through its Learning Management System – PHCC Academy® – the Foundation is confident in the user experience. "We’ve had more than 6,500 students come through, and I would say that 95% of our questions or student issues are that people forget their password," says Collins. "If you can order on Amazon, you can use the system."

    To provide a higher level of learning and instruction, the Foundation has incorporated multimedia learning aspects into these online offerings. Combined with the irreplaceable value of work-based learning, students are well-prepared to start their careers in field work.

    Most importantly, these courses were designed by contractors, for contractors. The Foundation assembled a team of PHCC contractors as subject matter experts – as well as adult education specialists and instructional designers – to create structure and content for these new HVACR offerings.

    The Next Lap

    Both the Foundation and PHCC have joined forces and created a team to ensure comprehensive content is developed to meet the needs of HVACR contractors throughout their entire career timeline – not only new entrants and those transitioning into the industry, but those in mid-career and late-career and those getting ready to retire and hand off their business to the next generation.

    "As we stand up the HVACR products and services, we are exploring strategic partnerships with new and existing HVACR manufacturers and service providers to tap into their subject expertise and broaden our HVACR offerings as professionals move through their careers," says Elicia Magruder, PHCC’s vice president of business development.

    Solutions Magazine (HCCQ) - Summer 2023 - HVACR Training Track (

  • Wednesday, August 30, 2023 1:15 PM | Anonymous

    Every employer in the country has a hard time finding and keeping employees.

    The post-pandemic workforce is sluggishly crawling back to conventional employment. This rut has caused businesses to ramp up pay and incentive offerings to try and onboard as many employees as possible. You've seen the craze of “work today get paid tomorrow,” $2,000 signing bonuses to work at a fast-food restaurant, three-day work weeks with full medical benefits and 401K, and all sorts of other bait thrown to the public.

    Most plumbing and drain cleaning business operators either look at that and laugh or try to adapt and compete with them. I would argue that both are wrong. Do you think heavy benefit frontloading, high signing bonuses for minimum wage jobs, and continually overpaying wages above fair market values are sustainable?

    It's not sustainable, and it's not designed to be a permanent fixture.

    What's happening now

    Depending on what industry you're talking about, most businesses with a historically high employee turnover, also known as seasonal employment, are the ones that are offering crazy things to try and attract employees. It works for them because they always operate on short-term employment strategies. They are grabbing their share of part-time employees as quickly as possible because there aren't that many people available in the workforce looking for that type of employment. It's why your local diner has a better track record of keeping employees than your large fast-food chain next door. Your locally owned restaurant understands that they need to retain employees to compete and be profitable. They don't have a couple of million dollars per month to throw at billboards, job postings, TV commercials, radio ads, YouTube SEO, clickbait trailers, headhunters and bait gimmicks like big fast-food chains do. They are just two separate companies with two different competing strategies that both work. That's what's happening.

    On a macro level, you could argue that we as a trade are competing with these companies for entry-level workers, but I don't see it this way. The pandemic was a rude awakening to the workforce because it showed the vulnerable state of workers in unskilled positions and their income without government assistance. There are more people here in our trade schools now than there were before the pandemic, regardless of age.

    Even graduating high schoolers are going toward skilled work without college because they saw how scary it could be to be on fixed government income and have earth-shattering college debt payments. Most people understand that if the government didn't step up and pay people money, bad things would happen. And worse yet, they are smart enough to understand the long-term consequences because the government followed through and delivered the payloads to the masses.

    Focus on quality and slot filling

    The strategy as we advance should be hiring the person primarily for the quality of person they are instead of just their ability as a plumber or drain tech. Years ago, if you were a great person with no experience, you would get passed up by most employers, and understandably so. The risk-adjusted return for an owner or owner/operator was too low. You've heard the quote that goes something like, "I can't afford to train my workers because they'll just leave," the response being, "What happens if you don't train them, and they stay?"

    This counter oversimplifies a complex issue and ventures into circular logic by assuming the first person provided no training whatsoever for trainees who will never leave. Not everyone is going to be an ace plumber. The average company often requires a variety of expertise. People who specialize in excavation/heavy equipment operations, lining/bursting machines, service technicians, new construction plumbers, workers who excel at dropping off/picking up heavy equipment from job sites, job site foremen, sales people, coordinators, jetter/drain cleaning specialists, people who excel at troubleshooting, and the most productive of all — laborers.

    Instead of looking at your employment screening process through the lens of who has plumbing and drain cleaning experience and who doesn't, look at it like filling positions on a football team. You don't need or want a lightning-fast 135-pound wideout to play nose tackle on Sunday. You are looking for someone who already knows how to pull permits, make site drawings and install a four-story venting system when you might only need to fill the slot of the worker who has truck driving and laborer experience. Someone who shows up every day willing to learn and work. Someone who can get heavy equipment delivered to the job, take care of the equipment and help the on-site master plumber by doing cleanup, cutting and pipe preparation.

    Reliability counts now more than ever. Hiring high-quality people in general first, and secondly who have qualifications specifically for the slot you're trying to fill is a solid employment strategy. When you give in and let people do what they are good at and allow them to be around plumbing/drain cleaning, they will slowly become more interested and more valuable and see the career path in the trade develop in front of them.

    High-quality, reliable people want to be around other high-quality people. High-quality people will run from an organization that has low-quality, unreliable people. Low-quality people always want to be around other low-quality people. It's that simple.

    - Aug 16, 2023, Anthony Pacilla
    A Modern Employment Strategy That Works | Plumber Magazine

  • Tuesday, August 15, 2023 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    3 Fleet Tracking Solutions to Make Your Business Run Smoother

    Today's technology has made it easier than ever to manage your fleet and your technicians while they're out on the road. Below we get into the details on three different available options.

    DPL Telematics AssetCommand Base

    AssetCommand Base from DPL Telematics is designed to increase driver safety and productivity while decreasing the costs and risk of vehicle accidents and theft. Managers can remotely shut down their machines, wirelessly locate them anytime via GPS, collect odometer/run-time readings, track service intervals and receive real-time alerts for speeding or potentially dangerous driving. Driver ID options include iButton or RFID badges to restrict access to authorized drivers and correctly log each driver’s activity. Users can also receive alerts for loss of power and boundary or curfew violations to curb unauthorized use. It is palm-sized, has no external antenna and contains an internal backup battery to continue operating the unit if disconnected. Customers are allowed to deactivate and reactivate anytime without penalty. 800-897-8093;


    Fleetio’s suite of cloud- and mobile-based fleet management solutions enables fleets of all sizes to automate fleet operations and manage asset life cycles. Users can instantly access and update data regarding inspections, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, parts, fuel and drivers. It improves communication and streamlines issue resolution with its mobile app, email notifications and reminders. It also integrates with telematics solutions for automated odometer updates, DTC handling and fuel location reporting that pairs with fuel cards to automatically log transaction data at fuel up. Fleet managers, drivers, technicians, parts managers and other personnel have access to the tools and information they need anytime, anywhere. 800-975-5304;

    GPS Fleet Consulting Full Spectrum Tracking

    Full Spectrum Tracking from GPS Fleet Consulting includes GPS-based tracking products for vehicles, equipment and trailers including fleet maintenance; field management software for scheduling, dispatching, estimates and invoicing; route optimization computing for improved efficiencies and response times; and AI-based on-board cameras providing live streaming video and optional real-time driver coaching to ensure seatbelt compliance, prevent distracted driving and prevent smoking. It is fully customizable to meet the needs of each individual business.


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