Roger Wakefield on Water Conservation

[John]: and you’re listening to talk radio 1190 this is the Ask the Experts radio show. I’m John wolf and I’m very happy to have with me Roger Wakefield back the owner/operator of Texas Green Plumbing. How are you this morning, Roger?

[Roger]: I’m doing great John how are you today?

[John]: Very well, very well. We’re here to talk about all the plumbing problems you might have how to fix them and how to avoid even getting them what makes Texas Green Plumbing special? What separates you from the others?

[Roger]: When we walk in people’s houses we actually focus on water conservation. I started this company a few years back and I’ve actually gone to a training for Green Plumbers USA and   one of the gentlemen instructing made a comment said “Our children and grandchildren are not going to have access to water the way that we do.” And that really struck me as sad but then I started doing research and our population is growing so fast and we’ve got the same amount of water we had a million years ago and that’s never gonna change so if we don’t start doing something to conserve it to watch how we, how we waste it… I just I think that plumbers to me are your greatest educators because they go in people’s houses every day and that’s why every time our guys walk in we think about water conservation and what can we do to help people save water.

[John]: You know so much of it I look around the country I’ve lived around the country I see it topographically. If you lived in Northern California and it was a decent year you’ve got mountains and runoff and sometimes; last year too much runoff or maybe it was the year before, but I grew up “one of those dang Yankees” in Manhattan and I’d look at those buildings and go “How could anybody ever think 200 years ago that they could get enough water to feed eight, ten, fifteen million people-“ are on the island of Manhattan itself not that mean-… Not as many just a few million “-but to get enough water into pump into all those high-rise buildings?” So and here in Texas were basically flat. Where do where does the water come from? Will there be enough?

Roger]: The water it comes from the supply that we have. There is no more. We do not make water. There’s a evapotranspiration cycle; it rains, we use that water whether it’s for irrigation, whether it’s to drink, whether it’s to wash cars, whatever we do; we try to get that water back into our drainage system that way it goes back to the water treatment plant and we can reuse that water. If we irrigate with that water literally either goes down to the aquifers or it evaporates goes up to the clouds and recycles and returns to us. Most of the fresh water on Earth is actually frozen so out of all the water that we’ve got on this earth only one percent is actually drinkable water.

[John]: Are we making great strides – I know this is not the thrust of the show but – we’re making great strides with desalination or desalinization and – because as you say so much of the Earth’s water, three-quarters or whatever is of 80 percent maybe is salt water it’s right there, almost like God saying “I gave you enough water you just had to figure out how to use it”

[Roger]: Just have to figure out how to make it usable. The good thing is we are we are growing we are making big strides. Actually the last time I checked the largest desalinization plant either in construction or already built was in El Paso, Texas and they’re learning more and making it to where they can build them better, stronger, faster

[John]: I know in the we had the tsunami in Southeast Asia a few years ago, a man I know who is in that business of desalinization said, he was almost in tears he said “We’re spending money, we’re asking people for money for help and they’re sending bottles of water, little bottles of water over there.” Because for the cost of sending one of our plants you know it would it would minimize the need for all those bottles of water. But hey let me give your specifics here people are in and out of their cars. You have a website it’s, Rogers number (972)-442-4101, (972)-442-4101 if you have a question about plumbing, anything at all Rogers been in the business three months, four months… thirty years, forty years

[Roger]: You know I was looking the other day we are actually getting close to 40 years that I’ve been in the trade

[John]: And you only look 21. (214) – the number here – (214)-787-1190. (214)-787-1190. Let’s get back to Texas Green Plumbing now, you were talking about…

[Roger]: Desalinization is big. I love even talking about that. Anything about water conservation I really do get excited about. But Texas Green Plumbing I started that because the company that I worked for, I had moved up I was director of operation for a large mechanical contractor. They were getting into service and I was actually in one of the executive meetings one morning and the owner was actually talking about everything we were doing better than everybody else. She says “We focus on customer service, we train our people better, we do this, we do this, we do this.” And I said “Okay number one: you say you’re doing all that, how are we training our people and customer service?” She looked at me she said “What do you mean?” “What training are you doing?” She says “Well we’re not doing any our guys understand customer service.” And that just struck me as, wow. We literally train our guys every morning in not just customer service, but we talk about plumbing, we talk about new products, we talk about the right way to do things, we talk about lessons learned from the day before or the week before. we want our plumbers to be the very best plumbers in town and we feel like we’re gonna have to train them in order to help get them that way.

[John]: You’re talking both about technical training for on-the-job as well as customer service?

[Roger]: Technical training, customer service communications, just how do you explain plumbing to someone that may not understand it. When we go into the house we are the trained professional and we want to be a trusted adviser to people when it comes to the care of their most prized possession, which is their house.

[John]: Any type of service such as yours or an electrician that sort of thing – I think if there’s not an emergency going on at that moment you got flooding in your house you just want someone to get there and turn it off at the moment –

[Roger]: Absolutely

[John]: – But if it comes to recommendations; well you should get this, you should get that, how you overcome through customer service the fear if someone hasn’t used your great service before, or is this guy giving me a straight story or is he saving me money or is he just trying to make a big sale?

[Roger]: One thing that we do we like to get out and network and meet people. I do radio shows I do all kinds of different things. We feel that people should know someone before they have an emergency. Hopefully people listen to me here, they realize I do know what I’m talking about, they realize that I am really wanting to provide a great service not just to them but for the care of their house and to me that’s a big deal and hopefully people listen to me today, or they hear me teach a class to realtors, they meet me out on the street, or they see me somewhere and talk to me and they realize “hey you know what I like that guy. I don’t think he’s BS’ing me. I think he’s being honest with me.” And one thing I like to tell people is go to our YouTube channel. We’ve got a YouTube channel; the expert plumber, go to it and look at it watch the videos I literally teach people, John, how to do things at their house, how to address problems, what are problems, how to repair a toilet, how to rebuild a toilet, and we’re putting videos together every week and adding to that to try and inform people more about things that they can do themselves.

[John]: So they could invite you over for dinner get to know you?

[Roger]: For dinner we can talk plumbing all night long!

[John]: You can go around their house and go “You may have a problem here coming up in about two weeks.”

[Roger]: Sounds good to me

[John]: Now what causes a one of those emergency type things people don’t like, what causes a sewer line to stop up? What is the most common thing? I know I can think of a couple but I think the expert should talk about it.

[Roger]: So sewer lines stop up because they’re either neglected or people are putting the wrong things down them. Whether it’s a toilet, or a sink, or whatever be very careful in what you put down them. Another thing that causes them to clog up is you may have a break in it. The house may of shifted, the foundation may have shifted, there could be back fall in your system that you’re not even aware of and any time you flush solids down in there they’re gonna fill that belly and eventually it’s gonna cause it to clog up.

[John]: Is hair a big problem with the actual sewer lines or is that more of just your sink and your bathtub problem?

[Roger]: That’s normally – hair – the most places that we find hair are in the shoe of a tub or in the pop-up assembly of a lavatory and those are pretty easy clean outs. Those are things I tell people, you can take a clothes hanger, bend a little J-hook on it, stick down in your tub drain see what all you can pull out with that. That may be enough to save you from a service call right there.

[John]: I tell you I’ve had no problem pulling sink parts apart underneath the sink and getting the stopper out and then I feel like I’ve really accomplished something. There’s a big ball of hair that I could say “It’s not mine! This is not mine” And I don’t believe that any drain pouring product would really have burned through that, unless it was going to burn through the plastic tubing as well. But the tub you mentioned, the tub that that’s a tough one sometimes as to how to get in there when you’ve got the circular piece on the sidewall and you need to get to it and I don’t know it seems like a tough one to me is there a secret I’ve missed?

[Roger]: Number one: if you can get in through the tub drain you can go in through there, if not you can take the overflow assembly, take it apart. You want to be careful taking it apart, make sure it doesn’t pop away from the tub then they can be hard to get to. But a plumber is normally going to take out the overflow assembly go in through there with either a small handheld machine or a top sink machine and go in there and get it all cleaned out and take care of it that way.

[John]: All right I would like to shrink down to be about half an inch tall and get in there and just yank everything out some because I said I really worked at this sort of thing and gets tough to get in there sometimes. Any other preventatives? Maybe some kind of screen do you ever put over a tough drain to get to prevent that?

[Roger]: Believe it or not I used to be a cosmetologist and they actually make a round rubber drain that’s like a screen that goes down in the hole on a shampoo bowl and I’ve seen things similar to that on a tub drain. You want to try to catch it but you’re not always going to catch it all but that is a good thing that you can put in there to help do that.

[John]: Okay very good. I’m speaking with Roger Wakefield the founder owner/operator of Texas Green Plumbing their website is their YouTube channel is the expert plumber you can learn to do stuff save yourself a few dollars – 

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