Posted by Kindra K.
June 26, 2019
The plumbing industry is in a continuous state of flux. Plumbing codes change all the time since new materials, installation techniques, and standard practices are tweaked, replaced, or phased out. It can be hard to keep up! One of the best ways to continuously improve your plumbing knowledge and keep your technical skills relevant is to rely on the vast resources of the web. However, the issue is that you have to comb through Google and figure out the best sources of information while filtering out unreliable or incorrect material.
We’ve made life easier by eliminating the guesswork and gathering the best plumbing resources online. Now you can stop wasting time fact-checking and instead focus on expanding your knowledge base.
Keep reading for a full overview of these plumbing resources or jump to the resource that piques your interest.
Make sure your knowledge is up-to-date by breaking out your reading glasses every once in a while. Carve out time during your busy schedule to learn more about the plumbing industry as a whole—and maybe even perform a little market research to see what your competitors are up to, while you’re at it!
If you want to learn more about the business, one of the best ways to do so is by combing through plumbing blogs. Check out Housecall Pro plumbing blogs for a variety of interesting articles covering a range of industry topics.
Learn about what it takes to stand out at plumbing trade shows, how to create a unique plumbing logo, and discover how to ask customers for reviews. Those subjects only scratch the list of plumbing articles that you can read through from Housecall Pro.
The content in these articles is easy to follow, so you can go straight from reading a post to applying your newfound knowledge to your own business. A good plumber knows all the ins and outs of the tools, techniques, and repairs required for plumbing. However, a plumbing business owner needs a lot more insight to be relevant in such a competitive industry.
Stay on top of the latest plumbing trends, learn the best ways to manage your business, and master converting leads into paying customers. Business management isn’t quite a wrench or a plunger, but it’s still a necessary tool your company needs to run smoothly and efficiently. And Housecall Pro covers small business management from end to end.
With a range of plumbing topics and archives that go all the way back to 2011, you can find a variety of must-read plumbing blogs directly relevant to your plumbing business at Mr.Rooter. It’s a great place to find answers to common plumbing questions with information delivered in a user-friendly manner.
Whether you want to learn the reasons why a dishwasher might be leaking or why a sink isn’t draining properly, there’s an article about it on the Mr. Rooter blog waiting for you.
Do you need an example of how to approach customers with highly technical plumbing information? Len the Plumber delivers on all fronts. It’s also a good place to search for topics you can use to inspire your own plumbing blog or FAQ section on your company website.
If new employees need to learn the basics of plumbing outside of their on-the-job training, send them to Len the Plumber for a crash course.
Lifehacker provides readers with plenty of information and plumbing topics you can use as a jumping off point if you’re trying to build online resources that attract people to your website.
If you’re looking for real-world, practical advice, the plumbing section on the Lifehacker blog is your answer. When a new team member joins your business, advise them to check out the Common Rookie Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, or educate your customers about preventative maintenance with articles like What Can You Do About Drains that Constantly Clog?
Reddit holds a wealth of information on a variety of subjects. One of the best places to stay up to date is the subreddit, r/Plumbing. It boasts a variety of plumbing posts covering all sorts of topics, which makes it a great resource for continuous education and training.
You can even use your own problem-solving skills and put your knowledge to use by answering other plumbers’ questions or by diagnosing other users’ issues based on photos provided. With thirty-one thousand members, you’ll have plenty of Redditors to chat with about your issues, successes, and examples of your work.
And for many professional plumbers, it’s also a great forum to connect to other plumbers and vent about commonly faced problems. Everyone needs to let off a little steam from time to time!
Apps are a convenient way to get the information you need exactly when you need it. They’re especially helpful for plumbers since plumbing is a highly mobile business where you’re not always able to sit down at a computer to make complex plumbing calculations or send out estimates for a job.
Own a plumbing company? Small business management software is essential to your success because you have so much on your plate 24/7. That leak you just got a call about isn’t going to fix itself while you try to sort out the bookkeeping!
So, what’s a stressed-out boss to do? It’s time to say goodbye to pushing papers and say hello to the Housecall Pro dashboard app. Imagine having total control over your company right in the palm of your hand—that’s exactly what this app delivers.
Housecall Pro allows you to manage all aspects of your plumbing business from dispatching team members to marketing, to bookkeeping and more.
Here are just a few of the features you can expect with the Housecall Pro app, the all-in-one tool for plumbing businesses:
Before the job:
Scheduling: Create and edit your schedule from your computer or smartphone. Employees are notified and reminded about incoming jobs via text notifications. Phone tag isn’t fun for anyone, especially when money is on the line, so Housecall Pro makes communication a breeze.
Estimates: Toss those pens and papers and join the 21st century. Housecall Pro allows you to create estimates and invoices with a few short clicks of a button, saving you hours of calculations. Plus, once a job is accepted by a customer, an estimate can be easily converted into an invoice. Enjoy Housecall Pro QuickBooks integration so you can conveniently send files and share notes with your accountant while keeping your invoices and payments organized in one place.
Book online: Allow customers to book you 24/7 rather than accepting calls only during regular business hours. This means that customers can book you for a service ASAP—even if you don’t have staff manning the phone lines.
On the job:
Dispatch: Set up recurring jobs, schedule arrival windows, and assign teams to projects and jobs.
On-my-way texts: Keep all of your messages professional with your clients with text notifications.
Live-map GPS: Schedule the closest tech to a job to maximize efficiency and help drive business.
Custom notifications: Inform your customers of job progress and keep them in the loop.
After the job:
Invoicing: Automate your process from start to finish so you don’t waste time pushing papers. Stop slaving away at HQ and focus on the business you do best.
Payment: You can take cash, check, and credit card payments directly in the app instead of relying on a secondary processing machine.
Instapay: Deposit credit card payments with a turnaround of 30 minutes or less so you can keep your company’s cash flow steady.
Recurring payments: Create service agreements and charge clients on monthly, seasonal, or annual schedules. This is a great way to keep guaranteed sources of money coming in.
Marketing after the job: Send follow-up postcards after you finish a job or email reminders to customers asking for reviews.
Housecall Pro is a must-have for plumbing professionals who want to save time, hassle, and money. Instead of spending your precious hours on administrative tasks, you’ll be free from to work toward what matters most to you: growing your business.
Never find yourself frantically Googling while out in the field ever again. You can enjoy instant answers immediately with Pipe Trades Pro. This handy tool will save you time and keep you focused on the job at hand.
From calculating a pipe area to fitting angles, plumbing requires tons of math and calculations. There’s nothing worse than relying on a search engine to look up common formulas and calculations you have to reference on the regular.
Instead, just download this app so you have every calculation you need to get the job done right the first time. The wisdom, “measure twice, cut once,” is a phrase every tradesman and service industry pro needs to remember. But with an app like this, you’ll be confident that your numbers are accurate and precise anytime you need a measurement.
Right angles, offsets, and complex rolling offsets
Cut lengths, take-outs and odd-degree fittings
Fitting angles, slopes, percent grade, bends, drops
Feed-inch-fractions and trigonometry
Parallel pipe cutbacks
Pipe area and fill weights
Flow rates, force, velocity and volumes
Pressure loss for all types, pipe sizes, or distance
DIY help: press and hold your key for detailed explanations and clear definitions with examples
Free - iOS
Sometimes, the line between plumber and mathematician is a little blurry. As a plumber, you need to have a good grasp of math to figure out the right pipe size, water flow, and a laundry list of other calculations. That’s where the Plumbing Formulator comes in to make life easier. Much like the Pipes Trades Pro app, this particular app helps you make the most of your time by providing an easy way to calculate complex plumbing math.
There are more than 120 formulas available for you to utilize within the app. Why do we love it? Well, there’s nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re getting the exact measurement you need for a pipe fitting or whatever it is you might be cutting.
In addition, every calculation in the app can be conveniently emailed and printed for an easy reference for you or your customer’s records. Select from the equations you use most often or easily click on the most recently chosen formula to save yourself time while you’re out in the field. There are also plumbing charts you can use as a helpful guide plus a built-in plumbing book for reference.
Pump formulas available:
Efficiency of pump
Piping formulas available:
Pipe length change due to temperature
Pressure of pipe
Expansion in plastic piping
Weight of steel pipe
Weight of cast iron pipe
Area of pipe wall
Water flow formulas available:
Supply water rate
Pipes total dimension
Velocity of water
Volume of water flow
Optimum water flow
Own a business with a fleet of vehicles and plumbing team? Instead of inefficiently getting from one job to another across town without any sort of strategy or plan, you can use Route4Me to send you the best route—every single time.
How does it work?
You simply upload all of your service stops into the app which then automatically re-orders your stops into a logical sequence that saves you gas, time, and frustration. You’ll get to your job sites faster and save wear and tear on your vehicles at the same time.
If all of your plumbing technicians use the app, you can answer and service more calls since the app finds the most direct, efficient route for those out in the field.
Need an outside source to voice for this? UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, and OnTrac drivers are already using Route4Me!
With a subscription, you can plan unlimited routes and unlimited stops
Move stops around and instantaneously get an updated route
Navigation tools give you helpful, voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation instruction in your favorite maps app
Keep track of progress during your stops by marking locations you’ve visited and already left
Store extra information about your stops and address data (like gate codes, for example) to keep relevant information close at hand as you or your team members drive
Store and search your stops and routes
Know your exact mileage and how long your route will take
Note: This app gives you 10 free routes per month and after that is used up, you can move up to the monthly or yearly plans.
If you’re looking to sharpen up your plumbing skills or simply expand your knowledge base, there are plenty of places that offer free e-courses for plumbing. E-courses are also a great resource to help new members on your team get up to speed on essential plumbing knowledge. These courses might inspire you to write about some plumbing topics on your own company website.
Alison is a useful site that provides a variety of beginner courses which teach basic plumbing topics as wekk as niche industry skills. If you have an apprentice you’ve taken under your wing, you might want to direct him or her to a course like Introduction to Plumbing Tools and Drawings so your young grasshopper gets a basic idea of what to expect.
Of course, much of plumbing involves on-the-job training but that doesn’t mean some formal instruction is out of the question. After a day’s worth of training or shadowing out in the field, some reading time can help cement any lessons learned.
Here’s a sampling of the classes currently offered as of this writing:
Understanding Drainage and Water Distribution Systems
Diploma in Public Relations
Diploma in Plumbing Studies
Introduction to Plumbing Tools and Drawings
Introduction to Plumbing Pipes and Fixtures
Are you or your apprentice more into self-study? Check out this thorough e-book, Basic Plumbing, available for free. It covers tons of subsections within the plumbing industry including:
Drains and vents
And the information contained within the e-book isn’t just for newbies to the plumbing industry, you can still use it as a seasoned professional to brush up on your knowledge of plumbing topics. It’s a great resource to continue to go back to throughout your career.
Plumbing groups on social media platforms are a great way to network and keep tabs on current industry trends. Professional groups help you connect with other plumbing technicians to share successes, tips, and other essential tidbits of knowledge. Here are a few groups you may want to join if you’re looking for some useful plumbing resources:
Plumbing Hacks and Plumbing Professional Discussions: “Plumbers, working towards a hack-free nation, one job at a time. This page is dedicated to plumbing professionals, by plumbing professionals.” With 29,492 members, this active group is all about social learning and helping out your fellow industry pros. Housecall Pro Facebook Group: If you want first-hand knowledge and a place to share ideas, thoughts, and strategies to grow your small business with others in your field, this is the place to do it. Join in on Whiteboard Wednesdays for video sessions that tackle different small business challenges. Only Housecall Pro users have access to this Facebook community.
Ready to take your business to the next level? Housecall Pro is voted number the #1 software by HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical Carpet Cleaning and other home services professionals. This comprehensive software can help you grow revenue by 30% in one year and save up to 500 hours a year. Don’t delay! Get started with your 14 day free trial today!
LinkedIn Groups: On LinkedIn, there are tons of professional plumbing groups you can join to grow your network and increase your leads.
Plumbing Contractors: Here is a place to exchange business ideas, help business owners recruit employees, and share industry news.
Plumbing Design: This group was created to give plumbing design engineers a platform to discuss ideas and issues.
American Society of Plumbing Engineers: The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is the international organization for professionals skilled involved in the designs, specifications, and inspection of plumbing systems.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time plumber just spreading your wings or a pro with decades of experience under your (tool)belt—staying current and learning about industry news is crucial to being a successful business owner. Beyond on the job training, it’s incredibly important to always stay on the lookout for more knowledge so you know exactly what’s going on in the industry. You could be left in the dust if you’re the last to adopt the next-best toilet-installation technique or embrace an eco-friendly, non-toxic material.
With the plumbing resources in this article, you’ll be on your way to broadening your professional know-how—no matter where you’re at in your career journey. And by using helpful apps like Housecall Pro, you can make your business run more efficiently while enjoying fine-tuned control over every part of your organization. If knowledge is power, then you just got a serious kick of horsepower.
Housecall Pro is rated the #1 software to run your HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpet Cleaning and other home service businesses. Our features allow you to schedule and dispatch jobs, get booked online, send invoice and receive payment within minutes whether if you are in the office or out in the field. This comprehensive software can help you grow revenue by 30% in one year and save up to 500 hours a year. Join all the other successful home service businesses who have already started and try Housecall Pro for 14 days free today.