Last month Tyler and I competed in the Queen City Open, an annual Brazilian jiu jitsu tournament held in Regina every fall. Humble brag: both Tyler and I were able to walk away with multiple pieces of hardware. Jiu jitsu actually plays an important role in the formation of Family Plumbing and Heating. We get asked a lot if Tyler and I are brothers but we actually met through jiu jitsu.
Pretty shocking eh? I understand how one could come to the conclusion we must be brothers but I originally met Tyler on the mats of Complete MMA in 2016. The first time I remember talking to Tyler was at a Saturday open mat session. I believe Tyler at the time was training for an amateur fight while I was training just to try and avoid getting tapped out too many times in a row. We paired off and I remember making some (likely hilarious) joke to try and break the ice rolling with the guy for the first time. Tyler neither laughed or even cracked a smile and I could tell it was about to get serious. The next five minutes went by in a blur as I proceeded to get tossed around for the remainder of the roll. At the time Tyler had just been promoted to blue belt while I was a lowly white belt with about 4 months experience under my belt just trying to get by. I didn’t talk to Tyler again for almost another 2 years. I usually only saw him when we crossed each other on the mat. My beginner class would be wrapping up as his advanced class was beginning. My next convo with Tyler wouldn’t take place until 2017!
Fast forward to my first day with Ambassador Mechanical. I was told to meet at the new Superstore building that was going up on Albert Street. Once I arrived I was told to find “Tyler” and we would be working on some items that needed to be corrected. I found “Tyler” and right off the bat felt like I knew this guy from somewhere. (I guess everyone looks different in coveralls and a hard hat.) It took me about 30 minutes to place him but I finally figured it out.
Me: Hey man, I think I know you.
“Tyler”: Yeah man, I think we’ve met before.
My belief was he only said this to make me feel better.
Me: “I think we’ve rolled against each other at Complete.
“Tyler”: Yes! That’s it.
After that moment I found it pretty sweet at Ambassador, having a work buddy to prattle on about what’s the best open guard and how to defend against leg locks. Soon we ended up going our separate ways work-wise but were able to keep in touch through Complete MMA, eventually forming Family Plumbing and Heating. While operating Family Plumbing with Tyler has been awesome because it’s so easy to run a company where both owner’s share the same values for workmanship and customer care, it also helps that we can motivate each other in training. Speaking for myself, there are definitely some early morning classes I would have hit snooze on the alarm for if wasn’t for the fact Tyler would be waiting with some chirps once the work day began. Both Tyler and I owe a big thank you to Complete MMA and it’s founder and head instructor AJ Scales. Without Complete, Tyler and I may not have ever gotten to know each other as we did, Family Plumbing might only be a dream in the back of our minds, and we would not have a venue to learn and train in the great sport of jiu jitsu.
This time last year Tyler and I started Family Plumbing and Heating, one year later we’re on the beach sipping mixed drinks and lighting cigars with hundred dollars bills….Just kidding, we just spent our weekend roughing in a house out in Weyburn. But seriously, it’s been a great year one.
The past 12 months have flown by for Family Plumbing and Heating. Tyler and I took a big leap of faith starting up the company even though a lot of people around us told us it was too slow of an economy for a new plumbing contractor to make it. In extremely rare moments of weakness I will admit I had my doubts we wouldn’t need to pick up part time jobs to supplement our incomes. (Do people still sell Avon?) With assistance from friends in and out of the construction sector though we hit our stride as soon as we left the gate. We were also able to secure working relationships with some awesome property management companies within the city.
A major turning point was when we entered the 2019 Regina Spring Homeshow. It was our first major event as a company and it couldn’t have gone better. We were able to meet so many great people and introduce ourselves and our belief in building personal relationships while providing premium service. We can’t wait to come back for the 2020 Homeshow with an even bigger booth and even bigger prizes! Before the home show Family Plumbing was a full time gig for us, after the home show it became no days off.
Rounding out our first year we organized a barbecue fundraiser for the Regina YWCA where we were able to raise over seven hundred dollars for the Isabel Johnson Shelter. Tyler and I both work to put a lot of effort into making sure our company does whatever we can to help give back to the community that does so much for us. Along with our fundraisers we have also become a sponsor of the North Regina Little League and work with the Oxford House of Regina to help maintain and improve their homes.
But none of this could be accomplished without the help of our friends and families supporting us and especially to all the great clients who have allowed us into their homes and gave us an opportunity. We look forward for things to come in Year Two!
Every once in a while, when the temperature outside is just right and somewhere out in space a couple of planets are lining up for the first time in a kajillion years… I really dig a burnt hot dog. Don’t ask me why I do, I don’t know. Any self respecting grill master looks at me in disgust when I make my request but dang if it doesn’t hit the spot!
But enough about my secret BBQ guilty pleasures, today’s post is about Family Plumbing and Heating’s upcoming fundraising BBQ. This Saturday, (July 13, 2019 in case you’re a little late to the party when you’re reading this) we are setting up a table outside the Canadian Tire in East Regina for a hot dog and hamburger sale.
Tyler and I are always looking for ways for us to interact and give back to the community that has allowed our company to grow over the past year. Earlier this year we signed a multi year agreement with the North Regina Little League to become an official sponsor as well as help out around the dugout. Our next big outing is this coming weekend. Funds raised from the sale will go to help the Isabel Johnson Shelter.
YWCA’s Isabel Johnson Shelter is a safe place for women and children in need. In 2017, they provided shelter for 72 women and 64 children. Sadly, they had to turn away 759 women and 291 children due to lack of space. In 2018, they were able to serve 367 women and 108 children. But again, an even larger number were turned away.
We thought this would be the perfect organization for our fundraiser. We couldn’t think of anything better than making sure that kids and moms in our community have a safe place to live. We really want to be able to make a positive impact on the community that has given so much to us. And as always family is behind everything we do – we want our own families to be able to participate and give back too. We sure hope to see you there!
So here we are. You’ve decided this year is the year you’re going to splurge and finally get out of the heat. You’re finally getting an air conditioner! Next, you did your homework. You asked around, read reviews, researched all the different plumbing companies in Regina, and finally decided on who you were going to have (likely you chose Family Plumbing and Heating) to do the work. We showed up, did some work inside, did some work outside, and left you with cool air. But what were we actually doing?
We were working hard (hardly working?) at making sure you had the best air conditioner install possible. A properly installed AC significantly decreases the issues you may have in the future. Certain steps need to be followed when installing air conditioners. Even skipping one step will reduce the efficiency of the unit. Outlined below are what one could consider the key steps (that often get missed) when installing an air conditioner.
A properly sized AC is key to it’s operation. One industry standard to follow is for every 600 square ft requires 1 ton of cooling. So a 900 square foot home would need a one and a half ton unit. Installing a unit too big for the area will provide too much cooling in a short amount of time causing the unit to short cycle, while an undersized unit will struggle to reach temperature adding undue stress.
2 Brazing with nitrogen
When brazing the lineset, nitrogen should be flowing through the pipe at all times. This will help prevent rapid oxidation inside the pipe. Without flowing nitrogen the inside pipe wall can begin to flake off. These flakes will soon clog the filter driers and can eventually make their way into the compressor which is a big problem you do not want.
3 Pressure testing
A compressor replacement is the last repair you want to be told you need. Next on the list would be a refrigerant leak. While freon is often nicknamed “gas” it’s kind of misleading. Freon does not run out so if you’re ever told you’re low of refrigerant it means you have a leak. We avoid this problem by filling the system up to a high PSI with nitrogen and watching to see if pressures drop.
4 Pulling a vacuum
Your install is almost complete! But first we need to de-gas and de-hydrate. Degassing removes the non-condensibles that can cause increased run times and derate the efficiency. De-hydrating removes the moisture within the line set. Moisture can cause premature failure of the oil inside the compressor. It will clog the metering device and eventually contaminate the lineset, ultimately leading for the need of a new system. (ouch). The goal of the vacuum should be to pull down (and hold) below 500 microns.
Above are 4 of the major steps, but as with everything else in life the devil is in the details. I’ve skipped over likely another 10 steps that while maybe not crucial to the operation of the equipment, are still important and must be followed.
If you are interested in an air conditioner installation this summer or would like to know more information always feel free to reach out and talk to us.
Wait, let me rewind for a minute. I forgot that a good plumber seduces their client with technical know-it-all-ness before dropping the new install bomb like that. So let’s start at the beginning.
R-22 is the short form name for chlorodifluoromethane (I don’t know why they shortened it.). A gas used regularly as a refrigerant. Introduced in the 50’s, this became the gold standard until its phase out in 2010. Basically, R-22 was found to be a major detriment to our ozone layer and numerous countries around the world began developing legislature against it as early as the 1980’s.
Every year since 2010 manufactures have been limited in how much R-22 they’ve been allowed to produce. This in turn has been raising the costs of the remaining gas in the market. Projected time lines (don’t quote me on this) suggest that by 2020, 95% of R-22 freon production that use to exist will be gone. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean bye bye R-22 as there are ways to recycle “dirty” gas and re-use it. But with such short summers and the material and labour it takes to “clean” R-22, I highly doubt you will see many companies in Regina putting forth such effort.
But Brenden, what does this mean to me as a homeowner? It means you need a new air conditioner. (Now it all makes sense!) Investing large sums of money into an R-22 system can become very self defeating as R-22 becomes increasingly more expensive and less available as years go by. While we all want to imagine our heating and cooling systems can make another season, when it comes time, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and invest in new equipment. $500 to fix up a leaking R-22 air conditioner could potentially be a 25% down payment on a new R410-A system with full warranty.
If you’re curious where your air conditioner fits into all this freon mumbo jumbo I recommend calling us out for an air conditioner maintenance (Normally $120+tax but if you tell us you read about it on here we’ll offer it for $99+tax, WHAT A DEAL!). It allows us the chance to go over your system head to toe. From there we can sit down with you and let you know how your air conditioner is currently operating and what the likely timeline is until you need a replacement