WICKLIFFE, Ohio — The coronavirus pandemic has forced scores of businesses to stall or shutter all together. However, for plumbers in Northeast Ohio the impact has been quite the opposite.
With more calls for service because more people are at home utilizing their plumbing systems, Luke Wyatt, the operations manager for WyattWorks Plumbing in Wickliffe, said his field technicians and support staff have been taking extra precautions.
"We're really utilizing the Facetime and video conferencing to stay in good communication with the dispatcher, which is a vital part of the organization," Wyatt said. "Over the weekend with the heavy rain, it was just ringing off the hook all weekend long. We're still now trying to get to a lot of those customers."
WyattWorks was started by Luke Wyatt's parents in 1979. Over the past 40 years, the business has grown to a 10-truck operation, servicing residential plumbing systems. The business has more than two dozen employees.
Torrential rains left many parts of Parma, Seven Hills and Middleburg Heights under water as excess runoff backed into residents' homes and crawl spaces. While that in itself would pose safety and sanitation issues for field technicians, the threat of the coronavirus has compounded the problem, Wyatt said.
"We've always made safety one of our top priorities for the customers and our technicians out on the front line. We've always been exposed to those dangerous environments," Wyatt said. "We've just really seen everyone sticking it out and being strong. I really can't thank them enough for what they have been doing."
Wyatt said the support staff and dispatchers repeatedly screen potential clients to make sure they aren't exhibiting coronavirus symptoms prior to technicians entering the client's home. Additionally, WyattWorks Plumbing has also been utilizing videoconferencing to diagnose and assess issues with a potential client's plumbing system.
"With everyone being home and using their systems more often, more frequently, it has really stressed out a lot of the system," Wyatt said. "We are really working extra hard even more than we were before."
Once field technicians complete their project, they will thoroughly clean their tools and equipment with a concentrated bleach solution.