CANANDAIGUA — Plumbing can be a tough way to make a living. Whether it’s squeezing into small places, wiggling around in dirty, dusty crawl spaces, or getting doused with septic waste, it can be unpleasant at times.
Phil Heberle and his crew at Superior Plumbing Service endure those conditions while focusing on good customer service. That reputation seems to be growing, with Heberle reporting a 20 to 30 percent increase in business each year since moving to his Route 21 location in 2015.
“My dad is a retired plumber. That’s how I got into this business,” Heberle explained. “I started in sales, but switched to the actual trade work. I got all the licenses, training and certifications for plumbing.”
The 31-year-old Heberle worked out of his garage in Shortsville when he started in 2009. He soon outgrew that space and shifted to a downtown Canandaigua location, near Niagara and LaFayette streets, in 2013.
“We were still growing, and I saw this building out here on Route 21 north of the city was vacant,” he said. “It was a former machine shop and then a computer store. I bought it in 2015 and have been here ever since.”
He’s says it’s more than a good location, it’s a “great” one.
“We’re in the heart of Ontario County, which is our main service area,” Heberle said. “We emphasize same day service, which means we’ll respond virtually around the clock.”
Superior Plumbing has 10 employees. The owner himself said he isn’t shy about helping at a job site when necessary.
“We’ve grown because of our reputation for offering same-day service, good customer relations and a fair price. We don’t gouge,” Heberle said. “We get a lot of business from referrals from happy customers. The local economy is good. People are building and spending money.”
The company will perform plumbing work for individual homeowners, commercial businesses, or contractors building a new home. They offer custom home plumbing and work with municipalities too.
“Many people tell us we are the only one that responds when they have an emergency situation, whether it’s a flooded basement, sewage backup, hot-water heater that fails,” Heberle said. “We’ve done more than our share of middle-of-the-night jobs.”
Superior uses sump pumps and others like it made by ITT Goulds in Seneca Falls.
The staff receives company-paid training on a regular basis, and the turnover is low, Heberle said, aided by the “family” atmosphere he fosters.
The company has been working for months on installing the plumbing for a 155-unit apartment building under construction on Parrish Street in Canandaigua.
As the business grows, Heberle has been looking at a few minor changes.
“I’m happy with our location and our building, but I’m thinking of adding more office space,” he said.
The company has customers in Wayne, Monroe, Livingston, Yates and Seneca counties. They undertake an average of 50 jobs a week.
“Each day is different. You get occasional surprises,” Heberle said, smiling. “Sometimes the staff has to get hosed down and use our on-site laundry. We feel we provide good, fast and fair service.”
The bulletin board at the office is full of positive reviews from customers:
• “I’m very pleased with your service,” wrote Michele Pagliano. “I would not hesitate to recommend you to a friend.”
• “I had a fantastic experience with Superior Plumbing,” Kalene Reimer proclaimed.
• “Simply put, we will only call Superior Plumbing for all our plumbing needs,” wrote Michael Donohoe.
Heberle also is proud of his company’s support for youth sports. He paid for Canandaigua youth basketball T-shirts this season. The T-shirts, in different colors, contain the Superior Plumbing logo and the words “Team First.”
“We are proud to sponsor this and be part of the community, (and) we look forward to becoming more involved with youth and the community,” he said.