Check sump pumps as thaw begins
By Mark Sherry
Mark Sherry photo
Todd Schmidlkofer of Todd’s Plumbing LLC begins to install a new sink in a complete bathroom remodel at a Kiel residence.

It might not be exactly accurate to say Todd Schmidlkofer liked the record cold winter of 2013-’14, but there is no denying it kept him busier—and continues to do so well into March.

But being busier is not just a function of the nasty winter for Todd’s Plumbing LLC. As of this July he will have four full years invested into his own business, and word of mouth continues to spread about the quick response times, quality work and fair prices offered by Schmidlkofer.

Doing the plumbing work for bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects has especially kept Schmidlkofer busy in the past year. Work on those projects this past winter was sometimes interrupted by a call for service—a frozen water line somewhere inside or outside of the house, or an occasional sewer line freeze-up. Sometimes the challenge would be at a rural home with a farm operation which absolutely needed uninterrupted water for their cows. That required Schmidlkofer to be out in some frigid weather, but he knows that is just part of what being a plumber is all about. Plumbing emergencies can happen in the middle of the night, on weekends or holidays, and Schmidlkofer has responded at all those times.

Schmidlkofer said he does not think the winter of 2013-’14 is done yet in providing water challenges to homeowners. There is above-average snowfall on top of ground which is frozen down to seven feet. Once all that snow starts to melt and early spring rain starts to fall, all that water will have to flow somewhere. That somewhere is often the basements of homes.

Schmidlkofer said now is the time for homeowners to check their sump pumps, especially if they live in an area in which the pump generally runs a lot. Most sump pumps are only warrantied for three years, and he said pumps which are 10 or more years old likely should be replaced. Most pumps can be activated as a test to see if they are running well, and now is the time to do that. If something does not seem right, call Todd’s Plumbing at (920) 418-1004 to get it checked out.

Solving problems or helping to prevent them before they happen is what Schmidlkofer enjoys most about his job. “It’s a pretty interesting job,” he said. “I like interacting with the customer. You know the people are happy and relieved when you leave. I feel like I’m providing a service that people need.”

Another one of those services is fixing things which homeowners or someone else tried to undertake but either did not do it right or got in over their heads. Schmidlkofer said he sometimes tries to talk the homeowner through the issue over the phone. If that does not work, he will gladly make a service call without making the homeowner feel bad about the unsuccessful attempt.

Many people prefer to call in the professional right from the start, especially for relatively big jobs like bathroom and kitchen remodels. Asked why he thinks he might be seeing more of that type of work, Schmidlkofer said, “A lot more people are trying to stay in their home.”

Turn to todd’s/page 17 B