Bob Baker isn’t shy about telling potential clients that if they are looking for the least expensive plumbing option in town, they should look elsewhere. But if they are looking for a company that will provide quality work and stand behind the work they do, then they’ve come to the right place.
Baker is the third-generation owner of Baker Plumbing, Heating and Gasfitting, founded in 1956 in Calgary, Alberta. The company was originally started by his grandfather, Ralph Baker, before being taken over by his father, Gerry Baker; Bob’s led the company since 1996.
When it comes to drain cleaning, the company’s work is primarily commercial and includes hotels, warehouses, restaurants and small businesses in industrial parks. All businesses that demand quick response times and fast blockage resolution.
“When they call, they need you there five minutes ago and want to know you can provide a solution as quickly as possible,” said Baker. “I risk losing the contract if I don’t have a machine that can accomplish the work quickly.”
That’s where RIDGID tools come in.
“Honestly, there isn’t anyone who makes a better tool,” said Baker, who owns a variety of RIDGID tools including drain cleaning, locating, pipe inspection and pressing.
Baker was introduced to the K-5208 when he was working to clear a restaurant’s drain line. After about 10 hours of trying to clear the line, the cable of his drum machine broke. Not being able to get a replacement immediately, his RIDGID sales rep suggested he try the K-5208. He was skeptical but gave it a shot and has been sold since.
“With the K-5208 guys can be in and out of a job in 30 minutes,” he said, describing how the machine paid for itself on the first day and has helped to increase job revenue on average by 30 percent.
With the FlexShaft Machine, Baker purchased it specifically for urinal drain cleaning (his least favorite job) to hopefully extend the time between service calls, a benefit to not only him and his team, but also a money saver for his clients, who sometimes call him back monthly to reclean a line.
While it’s too soon to tell how long that extended timeframe will be, Baker has already seen other benefits to the FlexShaft Machine. He’s been able to eliminate the chemicals he typically had to add to the line after using an auger to help keep the line clear. He still uses the auger first, but then goes back through the line with the FlexShaft Machine to really scour the line and “sparkle it up.” With this method, he no longer needs the chemicals, flushing the line with water only, making it a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution.
Another benefit is being able to run a camera right behind the FlexShaft Machine to see the work they are doing as they do it, eliminating the step of cleaning the line and then going back into the drain line with a camera.
A believer in the value of inspection cameras and locating since he bought his first RIDGID camera in 2004, Baker compares its role to that of a surgeon preparing for surgery. “When a doctor needs to perform surgery, they do everything they can to know what they can expect when they begin the procedure to minimize risk and accurately address the situation,” he said. “Same with locating and inspection; they help minimize risk and ensure accuracy in eliminating blockages.”
Whatever the job, Baker has seen value in his RIDGID tools for helping him deliver on his company’s promise of providing quality work.
“They (RIDGID tools) helped us do our job and do it better,” Baker said. “We love our tools.”