Since becoming a NuFlow Certified Contractor over seven years ago, Ryan Smith’s plumbing company has grown dramatically. “The change has been amazing. NuFlow separates us from the competition. We are now considered the drain service specialists in our area.”
Before adding pipe lining to his business, Ryan wanted to learn more about the process. “I wasn’t very familiar with pipelining other than for mainline repairs, so I flew out to tour a few jobsites before making a decision. Once I saw how NuFlow worked and the projects they were handling, I knew the product was legit.”
To get started, NuFlow sent a trainer to Manhattan, KS to train the Smith Plumbing team. “The learning process was great. They worked with us and really taught us the ins and outs.” Since then, Ryan has expanded his business to hire more crew, half plumbers and half pipe liners, and he renamed the drain rehabilitation side of the business. He explains, “A lot of our biggest jobs come from sub-contracts from other plumbing companies. I didn’t like pulling up to the jobsite with our Smith Plumbing vans next to our competitors, so we rebranded as NuDrain Kansas.”
In addition to residential sub-contracts, Ryan and his team have completed several larger projects on commercial size buildings. Last year, NuFlow generated a lead for Ryan’s team to complete one of their largest jobs to date at a federal reserve bank in Kansas City.
The 16-floor federal building was built only ten years ago, but the cast iron infrastructure was suffering continuous drainage issues. The engineers reached out to NuFlow to address the problem. After an initial review, NuFlow called the team at Smith Plumbing/NuDrain Kansas to assist with the project. Grant Duxbury at NuFlow said, “We called Ryan because of his proximity to the building and because we knew his team could handle the size of the project.”
Ryan’s team worked side by side with the NuFlow team. They conducted a thorough pipe inspection that revealed the vent stack was deteriorating and flakes of rust were accumulating within the pipe. The NuFlow team worked to get all of the project requirements for the engineering approval. The entire process took almost two years to complete. Ryan said, “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without NuFlow. The amount of time and detail the engineers needed was more than we had ever dealt with before. Their support was phenomenal.”
Once the paperwork was completed and approved, it was finally time for Ryan’s team to get to work. Working through the night to avoid business hours, they completed the project over 4 days. It took time and some creative ingenuity to remove all of the rust debris that had accumulated within the pipe. The team used minimal access points in the basement, mechanical room, and the 7th and 13th floors to avoid significant damage to the offices. Once the entire pipe was cleaned, they lined the cast iron pipe using NuFlow’s signature push or pull in place installation method. The epoxy lining sealed the pipe to avoid any flaking in the future and restored the pipe to its full capacity.
Ryan continues to grow his pipe lining business. “We’ve grown way beyond the just one guy and a truck business like we started. We broke a million dollars in revenue last year and have more commercial size projects coming up.”