OGDEN -- Working in the plumbing industry may be a messy business, but Mike Bachman, owner of Mike Bachman Plumbing, learned at a young age from his grandfather that there is nothing you can get on you that you can't get off.
Growing up with that mantra, Bachman followed in the family footsteps and became a fourth-generation plumber. Bachman said everybody poops, but no one really stops to think about how important plumbing is, until it stops working.
"You can do without electricity, and you can do without a car, but to do without water and plumbing, we'd be in a real fix because those are the things that keep us healthy," said Bachman. "Truth be known, plumbers protect the health of the nation."
If it weren't for the country's state-of-the art sewer system keeping sewage out of the streets, said Bachman, we'd be in a world of hurt. Unlike some places in the world where waste is flushed into rivers or other not-so-desirable places, the water in the United States is clean, thanks to the plumbers and excavators who have put in the sewer systems.
When Bachman branched off from his father's business and started his own business more than 30 years ago, he was a one-man show with just his truck and tools, repairing toilets, drains and disposals, frozen pipes, water heaters or any other plumbing need. Now he has grown into a six-truck operation with 13 employees.
One of his employees is his son, Victor Bachman. As a fifth-generation plumber, his wife refers to him as a hero for people in need. But Victor is just grateful he can help people out.
"When the customer is upset because their house is flooding and you can make them feel better, it's all worth it," said Victor Bachman. "People don't realize how much plumbing is worth until it's not working."
Times have changed in recent years, though, for Bachman's business. They used to put in a lot of new fixtures for people, but the attitude of homeowners has changed. "It went from everybody wanting new stuff, to asking if we could fix it instead," said Bachman.
Bachman runs across homeowners who have tried to do the repairs themselves and ended up in worse shape. As a result, Saturdays are very busy, fixing jobs people have messed up.
Too often, Bachman sees people who have broken an arm or fingers when they tried working with a sewer cable that snaps. He says they are very dangerous to run and can flip bacteria everywhere when it's not done right.
"You can call me now, or you can call me later," said Bachman.
Victor Bachman gets calls on a regular basis from people who have flushed their wedding ring or dentures down the toilet and want him to go find it. Once after retrieving a set of dentures and returning them to the owner, she promptly put them right back in her mouth after thanking him.
At the end of the day, though, for Mike Bachman, it's about being happy working with his hands and building things. "I like the challenge of seeing something, fixing it and making it better."
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