Building Tech & Products

Owed To Plumbers: Waxing Poetic On The Power In Pipes And Wrenches

A WSJ contributing author riffs rhapsodic on plumbers, who "rule[s] supreme atop the pantheon of residential" tradespeople." Here's why.

John McManus May 11th, 2021

As epic as building and remodeling's challenges are right now on the building products and materials business front, it's worth remembering that it's consumers who're taking the biggest brunt of the globe's pervasive supply channel dislocation.

This story – from Wall Street Journal Mansion section deputy editor Kris Frieswick – explores the high heights and dismal depths of what consumers experience as they encounter building trades' skilled practitioners in times of need.

In odic grandiosity, Frieswick details plumbers' sorcery and the reasons consumers might never, ever, ever, take such magic for granted.

O Plumber, first among skilled tradespeople. Ye who rules supreme atop the pantheon of residential repairmen. Thou art great. Wicked great. Homeowners can slog through a week, maybe 10 days, without power or heat or electric light, but just try lasting a week without a working toilet. Thou alone possesseth the power over life-giving elements. All bow down.
Thy Plumber’s Van appears as an old, possibly uninspected panel van in desperate need of a new muffler. Ye, verily it is a chariot of miracles, wherein dwells the mystical tools of Thy magic. O wielder of wrenches monkey and pipe, possessor of drain-snakes, conjurer and controller of water both coming and going. O corrector of clogs and other drainage issues. O great solderer of burst copper piping in inconvenient locations. We praise Thee.
Be not deceived by The Plumber’s unkempt apparel and loose grasp of concepts like “budget,” “start time,” and “schedule.” The Plumber appears in many guises and with many types of butt, a trick They use to separate Their doubters from Their worshipers.

As seriously as we take our normal access to water flow, that's how torque-in-cheek Frieswick's elegy reads, reminding us, "the customer is always right."

Except, of course, when it comes to dealing with the plumber when the moment of need arises.

Would that customers of all stripes so fully appreciated the alchemy of all the other building tradespeople on whom we all depend for what we know and love about home!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

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