Kelly Barney has been getting under sinks and fixing pipes for 45 years. In fact, he started by riding his bike to meet his grandfather at jobsites.
He’s been a plumber with Told Plumbing in Pleasant Grove for 13 years and is part of the reason Told earned the title “Best Plumber” from Utah Valley Magazine readers. Here, Kelly shares lessons he’s learned one service call at a time.
UV: How has plumbing changed since you started in 1969?
Terry: The biggest difference is in materials. We went from cast-iron or lead pipes to plastics. The plastics are better in every way. They’re easier to work with and don’t wear out like the older ones. We also have camera equipment that lets us determine exactly where the problem is without having to get into the wall.
UV: What are your favorite tools?
Terry: I don’t get out of the truck without grabbing my channel-lock pliers and a screwdriver. In fact, they just sit on the dash of the truck.
UV: How do you approach customer service?
Terry: I try to make people feel comfortable. A lot of times, when people call, they’re panicking. I try to reassure them that we can help. Then, I just try to treat them fairly. It’s worked for this long, so I must be doing OK.
No. of service appointments per day: 6
Average length of service call: 60-90 minutes
Common services: Fixing leaks, changing water heaters
Tip for homeowners: When pouring boiling water down a drain — like when straining pasta — run cold water at the same time. Heat from boiling water can damage pipes and cause them to crack.