Dr. Plumber

“I could easily run past my Mom, grab and turn the handle, run down that hallway, out that door and escape! I’d be free!” I thought to myself.

Then reality set in. IF I got past my mother and managed to get that door opened and make it to the parking lot, who would drive me home? I was doomed and there was no way out.

Those fluorescent lights were brighter than ever, those cotton balls in the glass tubes made my stomach turn and that bio hazard symbol on that container, which hung on the wall, scared me to death.

I sat there nervously looking at all of the above, and fixated on the diagram hanging on the wall of the human body. I heard the faint voices just beyond the door as they grew closer and closer.

“Here they come, here they come,” I said to myself.

“Mom are you sure I don’t need a shot?” I asked.

“Yes Sean...” my Mom said.

Just as she answered, the door knob turned and now there was no escape. The lady entered the room all bubbly and holding that folder that would decide whether or not I get out of here alive!

“Why hello Sean, how are we doing today?” the doctor asked,

I didn’t answer.

“He’s OK, just a little nervous,” my mom replied.

“Oh, there is no need to be nervous Sean,” the doctor said, as she sat down next to me on the crinkly paper.

She continued to check my heart, throat, ears, temperature and pressure.

“OK, looking good,” the doctor said.

“YES! I am home free!” I thought to myself.

Then she took another look at that folder.

“Hmm, it seems that Sean is not up to date with his…” she continued to rattle off some obscure name, aka: SHOT!

Long story short, they needed six nurses to peel me off and grab me from out underneath the chairs that were in the room. I kicked, screamed and threw punches in the air. I could taste the snot from my nose and salt from my tears. And, the last thing I remembered was that smell of rubbing alcohol.

Although I’d like to say that things have changed since those early childhood days when dealing with doctors, unfortunately they haven’t. However, I do take on the same responsibilities as a nurse or doctor would with a patient when dealing with plumbing and heating.

There are a lot of similarities when it comes to the human body and plumbing. I look at a house before I enter, and think as if the house is a patient. The house has copper pipes like veins, pumps like the human heart, check valves used the same way as the ones found on the arteries, pressure and temperature, and, not to mention, the waste lines. What comes in must come out!

I’ll give you an example of how I use the comparison of the human body and plumbing when it comes to dealing with homeowners. Whenever I enter a house, before I leave, I always check the water pressure with my gauge. If the pressure is through the roof, I notify the owner and make them aware of the issue at hand. I begin to explain to them that if the pressure in the house exceeds a certain psi, they must consider changing the 25AUB regulator at the main water supply entering the house. This is where I get that look as if I’m trying to run up the bill on them.

I always bring the home owner to the gauge and show them the current pressure of the house. I then begin to explain to them how the water pressure is similar to blood pressure in the human body.

“If you go to the doctor and he or she checks your blood pressure and it is on the high side, your doctor will probably make you aware of the situation and explain to you that having high blood pressure is not good for you and your organs,” I explain.

“It puts too much stress and strain on your most vital organs in your body i.e. (heart, kidneys etc…), the same applies with your house” I go on to explain. “If you have high water pressure it will begin to put major strain on your water lines and all of your fixtures in the house, which could cause fixtures to leak and become damaged.”

I simply associate the human body to the plumbing in their home so they could understand. And nine times out of 10, they give me a look, nod and go ahead with changing out that faulty regulator.

I NEVER thought that I’d share any similarities with that “evil” woman that carried the “evil” yellow folder! But I do! After every boiler we install or service, I keep records of what was done on the boiler with a date, parts installed, and any questionable things about the system. So, in the future when I return to service the boiler, I simply grab the yellow folder that hangs on the wall next to the boiler and see what work was done in the past. This gives me a good indication of what may need to be changed on my “patient.” You should try it!

If we install a new boiler I make up a sheet with the “date of birth” and continue to keep records from there on out. If it’s an old boiler that we service, I simply keep records of things that were done or certain things to keep an eye out for. This gives the technician who arrives at the job a good indication what is at hand.

The only thing that is different between a plumber and a doctor in this case is that the “patient” can’t kick, scream and try to run away!

Sean McCormack is co-owner of BMC Plumbing and Heating Inc. He can be reached at seanmccormack99@yahoo.com, or (845) 596-7770. Visit Sean’s website, www.seantheplumber.com.

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