Welcome to the Archived History of the
Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association
of Northern Virginia
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The PHCC Gazette

Volume 3, Issue 24 Plumbing � Heating � Cooling � Contractors of Northern Virginia, Inc. November, 1998

Bernie Blum, The Man at The Door For 17+ Years! (See page 5)

 At This Meeting

Sponsor will be Ashcraft & Associates. Let's support the association.

The topic will be Employment Practices Liability --- what employers can do to protect themselves against claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment or discrimination.

At The Last Meeting

PHCC of Northern Virginia held a dinner meeting the 14th of October, 1998. Noland Company, represented by Bob Davis sponsored the meeting. Noland Co.also provided the guest speaker, Robert Shuster,Esq. who discussed the mechanics lien laws in Virginia.

Evan Hibbs - President of Southeastern PHCC also attended the dinner meeting.

David Bailey was not present as he was in Toronto at the National PHCC Convention.

Jody Lilliston took home $61.00 for her win in the 50/50 drawing.

NOVEMBER 14, 1998|

If you have not received your invitation in the mail yet please call Jody Lilliston @ 703-378-0606 to RSVP.


Meeting Information
When & Where

Every second Wednesday at the Best Western (The OLD Holiday-Inn) @ route I66 & 123. 3535 Chain Bridge Road Fairfax, Virginia. The evening will begin with a social hour at 6:30PM. followed by a buffet dinner at 7:00PM.

For More Information Call

William J. Baumbach II, Editor

9975 Pennsylvania Ave Manassas, Va. 20110

Phone: (703) 367-7900 Fax: (703) 691-0946

E-mail: Editor@phcc.org

PHCC Web Page: www.phcc.org

Why Belong To The PHCC?

Primarily because you are in business, and because as a member of the PHCC you have a voice in your industry, similar to the voice you have in your community through your vote and civic activities, you owe a certain amount of responsibility to your business, by which you make your living.

In the business world today an Association is an absolute necessity. Without an Association there would be no way of keeping abreast of what is going on in the fields which are important to your business.

Sure, you can get information of a sort, independently, but the PHCC is your agency, working constantly in your interest and keeping you informed of the latest developments, which might vitally affect your business, and advising you how to meet the situation.

It is only natural and logical that trade problems should be handled through an Association, therefore, the PHCC must be strong, efficient and have the cooperation and support of its members.

Too many members just stay away and wait for the PHCC to come to them with bushels of benefits. They expect the most, but do the least. The member who really gets something out of his membership is the active and cooperative member. He attends the meetings, conventions, tries to carry out the Association programs and does his part when appointed to any committee.

Doctors, dentists and lawyers safeguard and protect the health, personal and collective rights of the people of this country. They have learned the value of collective action and are proud of their respective Associations. The PHC contracting services are just as valuable and necessary to the health and welfare of the nation. Therefore, the PHC contractor should be proud of his or her Association and want to be a member!

Vegas Nite


Join us for the 3rd Annual Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Industry Vegas Nite!

Saturday, November 14, 1998. Westwood Country Club, 800 Maple Ave. Vienna, Virginia. Heavy Hors d'Oeuvres and Cash Bar from 7:00 to 8:00, followed by Games and Dancing from 8:00 to 12:00 midnight. Tickets are $40.00 per person and reservations may be made by calling Jody Lilliston at 703-378-0606, extension 15. The evening is Country Club Casual (No Ties Required) and there will be door prizes and an auction at the close of the gaming tables. Come and join the fun with many others from the industry.

Everyone is welcome, this is NOT a members only function. And be sure to bring a friend or business associate!

 Newsletter Changes:

The PHCC Gazette has gone from a four-page newsletter to twelve. The extra pages will be used for advertising sponsorship.

It cost the PHCC over $8,000.00 a year and we need to recover some of this cost.

Ad space will be offered full-page, half-page, quarter-page and business card sizes.

Full Page - $200.00

Half Page - $125.00

Quarter Page - $80.00

Eighth Page - $50.00

PLEASE show your support for the PHCC & the PHCC Gazette and call today! Contact William J. Baumbach II at 703-367-7900.

 NO-SMOKING at all meetings effective immediately

Please refrain from smoking while attending our meetings. If you must smoke please step outside. Our meeting room is small and the smoke makes for an unpleasant atmosphere, Your cooperation is appreciated. (No-smoking is also hotel policy.) Thank you in advance!



PHCC Code of Ethics


If you are a PHCC-NA member and have a web site get it listed on the PHCC-NA web site at:

While you’re surfing the net be sure to surf on over to our local PHCC web site at: http://www.phcc.org

"The Sewer Connection" (SEWER-CONNECTION-L) is an unmoderated, non-commercial discussion list, intended for professionals involved in the sewer, septic and industrial cleaning industries. Any topics or organizations related to these industries are appropriate, within the guidelines of normal email etiquette and the fulfillment of the list purpose. The purpose of this list is to provide a forum for septic pumpers, sewer cleaners, and industrial cleaners where they can exchange ideas, seek help, provide assistance, and even debate (calmly please) issues related to these industries.



In the message box, type this message exactly as shown:
SUBSCRIBE SEWER-CONNECTION-L followed by your real name


Plumbing Resource Links

A. O. Smith

American Standard

Bradford White


Burnham Corporation




Kohler Co.


Membership Investment

Full active membership in all three tiers of the PHCC federation is now only $515.00 per year.

This includes the:

Bernie Blum The Man At The Door For 17+ Years!

For over 17 years Bernie has been serving the PHCC and in 1999 he is retiring from is long held, well served position of treasurer.

Most of you only know Bernie as the man at the door who is at every PHCC dinner meeting you have attended.

Bernies dedication to the PHCC is to be commended! Over the many years he has served us well and we all want to give him a heart felt THANKS!

Bernie Blum owner of Bernie Blum Plumbing & Heating started his business in 1971 and soon after joined the PHCC.

Bernie has served well in following positions of our local PHCC chapter.

  • 1977 Secretary.
  • 1978 Vice President.
  • 1979, 1980, 1982 President.
  • 1981-1998 Treasure 17 years

He has served as an assistant treasurer from 1981 through 1983 and in 1984 took on the job of treasure through 1998.

  • 1984-85 Secretary State

He also served our state PHCC chapter as secretary 1984-85

In 1980’s Bernie was awarded ‘Contractor Of The Year" by our state chapter.

Bernie you are surely going to be missed very much. This is like the end of an era. Personally speaking I will miss seeing you greet me at the door but after all those years you deserve a break! I look forward to seeing you at the meetings to come, in a non-officers capacity where you can relax and enjoy yourself and not worry with all the business end of things.

Again from ALL of us, past and present, THANK YOU Bernie!


Delta Faucet Company announced during PHCC’s annual convention that the company will begin offering products through the PHCC Professional Product Line.

Other Delta News: At a press conference following the Delta luncheon, Chuck Dowd issued a challenge to all plumbing manufacturers: Manufacturers need to remember where their money comes from and "get on board this train that’s leaving the station." Sergio Varela of Anaheim Manufacturing said that because sales of the PHCC garbage disposer were outselling the Whirlaway brand, the company now offers only the PHCC disposer.

You may have heard a familiar voice on the radio recently. And, you may have heard the voice recommending callers hire a PHCC contractor.

The voice, Past National President Bob Kreutzer, is the new industry spokesperson for the PHCC Professional Product Line. Kreutzer was featured recently on a national radio tour during which he offered practical tips to help homeowners prepare for unexpected plumbing emergencies, before they happen.

The radio interviews with 21 local shows and two national networks resulted in more than 58 hours of initial broadcast time in nearly 500 radio markets. The radio tour was Bob’s first official role as spokesperson. He also will represent the PPL in the print and television media.

"Members need to show us the way." Those were the words of new PHCC President Fran Williams as he captivated convention attendees with his special budget presentation in Toronto last week. This presentation came right before consideration of three resolutions that proposed sweeping changes to the PHCC dues structure.

Based on a resolution from Arizona, the members passed a new dues structure that guarantees every member an equal voice, while still maintaining a viable funding mechanism for PHCC. Contractors with less then five technicians will pay national dues of $300 in 1999. Contractors with more than five technicians will pay $60 per technician with a cap of $1,000. A technician is defined as anyone working in the field, not office staff.

In recent weeks, members have been responding to surveys saying that they wanted a change in how their dues investment is made.

This restructuring of the dues investment will allow PHCC to aggressively fund programs. Initiatives such as the Professional Product Line, fighting for fair competition, and business and technical training are vital to contractors. Convention attendees saw to it that these and many other PHCC programs will be continued next year.

SecureOne Equipment Warranties.

One of the highlights of the convention in Toronto was the announcement of an agreement with SecureOne to provide equipment warranties for PHCC members.

All PHCC members will be sent booklets and contracts in the coming weeks outlining this exciting new program.

SecureOne can provide you with the ability to make more money and to compete with the utility companies on a local level.

You will be able to offer warranties on both commercial and residential equipment for up to 10 years, and you will free yourself from any burden of future liability.

But this program doesn’t just pay for parts; it also pays for the labor of any follow up repair.

So watch for your SecureOne material to arrive and enroll.

There will be no enrollment fee for PHCC members for the first 12 months of this program.


Here is what can happen if you have a discussion with a fellow contractor about what you charge your customer’s and why not to ever have this type of conversation.

You need to understand that just by being near the conversation you can get your companies in trouble.

Read your companies ethics/business conduct/practices handbooks. One big Wall Street company (Dun and Bradstreet, I think) tells its employees to purposely spill something and excuse themselves from the conversation if starts to sound like it's getting into dangerous territory.

The idea being to make a big issue of being noticed so that if something comes up everyone will remember they weren't part of the conversation.

This is from my undergraduate business law book BUSINESS LAW AND THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT CONCEPTS AND CASES, Ninth Edition by Metzger, Mallor, Barnes, Bowers, Phillips, and Langvardt (1995): Under the Sherman Act individuals can be fined $350,000 per violation and/or imprisoned for up to 3 years. Corporations can be fined up to $10 million per violation. Section 4 of the Clayon Act allows plaintiffs in a price-fixing or anti-trust case to win the damages trebled (that's *3* times the original amount) + court costs + attorneys fees!

The book also gives a quote from Adam Smith's "THE WEALTH OF NATIONS:"[p]eople of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, [without] the conversation end[ing] in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."


President's Report by John Fulton, E. McLauchlan & Sons, Inc
e-mail: ems2000@ibm.net

In Virginia, The Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC), is a three tiered organization consisting of the PHCC National Association (PHCCNA), the Virginia Association of PHCC (VAPHCC) and where available the local chapters.

There are at-large members belonging solely to the PHCCNA and VAPHCC where local chapters don’t exist.

Most of you know this information, but I begin with these statements because lots of activity in all three levels has occurred since my last report and this "sets the stage" so to speak.

On the National level: A National apprenticeship competition was held in conjunction with the Maryland PHCC exposition in Howard County, Maryland. Contestants from as far as California came to compete. There was a plumbing competition with third place going to Virginia’s contestant, John E. Kuster, III. There was also an HVAC competition with second place going to Virginia’s contestant, John E. Hendricks. Hats off to the winners. Be prepared for the Virginia Contestants next year.

On the State level: The VAPHCC board of directors held its fall quarter board meeting at the Ramada Resort Hotel in Virginia Beach VA. Representatives of the PHCCNA met with Virginia PHCC Board, to come to terms with the issues of State only memberships and National only memberships. For those familiar with issue please excuse me for my possible oversimplification. After all was said and done it remained that, as a whole, PHCC will maintain its three-tier status and each tier will market membership as a whole package.

Sparing the details, other issues being dealt with on the state level were backflow device worker certification, utility deregulation, and regulatory representation.

Plans for business to be taken care of at the PHCCNA National Convention in Toronto were also discussed.

On the Local level: I was fortunate to attend two chapter meetings. The Southeastern Virginia PHCC chapter had a very well attended and well organized gathering the night preceding the VAPHCC board meeting. Evans Hibbs, Southeastern PHCC President, orchestrated the event and representatives from State and National attended. Mr. Hibbs’ get together should be a model for other chapters.

As if she hadn’t done enough, Laurie Crigler, Past VAPHCC President, and President of the Central Virginia PHCC has breathed life into her local chapter (yes, this is the  very same Laurie Crigler that you have seen in various national trade magazines). Madison, Virginia’s "Pig & Steak Restaurant" was the location of the CVPHCC’s first meeting for some time. Members past, present, and future attended the event. PHCC member Rick Tilley was especially helpful in delivering the PHCC membership message.

I feel as though this activity is the beginning of a great year in the making. Thanks to all of you who are making it happen.

Legislative Update by Laurie Crigler

Fall is finally here…the 96 degree weather is gone and we finally got about an inch of rain…Life does go on.

While the weather may be cooling off, the legislative agenda is heating up in anticipation of the upcoming General Assembly session. The negotiations go on with the co-ops and we hope to have that resolved very soon.

We have been asked (and I received Board approval) to participate in another coalition. This one is being formed, initially, by the Homebuilders Association of Virginia (HBAV) but it will have a separate identity and name. This coalition is a building industry wide coalition and is being formed to oppose the fast-growing coalition called The Virginia Coalition of High Growth Communities. These high-growth communities are grouping together to have legislation approved that will add another layer of regulations which builders and developers must go through in order to continue their building and developing. One of the proposed regulations will potentially add impact fees (one bill has as much as $3,000 per house) to each new house built in the high-growth area. One of the proposals will ask builders and developers to ascertain as to whether there are "Adequate Public Facilities" to handle the development and if there is not, they must come up with the money to provide for the public facilities or cancel the project. You might ask, well, that makes sense…if there are not enough schools or road to handle the development then it should not be built. The fallacy here is that traditionally, building and development is a response to the growth not a prelude to the growth. Why would builders and developers want to build housing developments and roads for people who don’t live there and may never live there…that is not sound thinking.

Needless to say, if these regulations, which are targeted ONLY at the building industry, go through, development will be effectively stopped in these areas and our plumbing-heating contractors will not have any work to do.

There are many means, which already exist, by which the counties and cities can control their growth without adding further layers of regulation on top of what’s already there. Plus there must be a more equitable way of providing for "Adequate Public Facilities" without making ONLY the building industry pay for the facilities.

I have attended only the first meeting, a second comes in late October, but I will keep you posted on all these developments. In the meantime, if you have a close relationship with your legislators, talk to them about this issue…find out where they stand, and see if they have any ideas which I could pass on at the next meeting. Feel free to call me (540-948-6230), FAX me (540-948-5617) or e-mail me (lcrigler@ns.gemlink.com). I look forward to hearing from you!

I told you things were heating up!

’Til next month.


There was a story of a plumber being called to a doctors home to do some work. After working for about an hour the plumber gave the M.D. a bill for $200. The doctor said, "Good Gracious Man! I have been to medical school and residency and have been practicing medicine for over 20 years and I can't charge that kind of money!" The plumber smiled and said, "Yeah, I couldn't either when I was in practice."

What's the difference between a doctor and a plumber?

A doctor washes his hands AFTER he has gone potty, but a plumber washes his hands BEFORE he goes potty.

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