“Plumbing Hacks and Plumbing Professionals Discussions” is a Facebook community of plumbers united by the trades. Coming from the humble beginnings of a single post by founder Bryan Hammons on his personal profile, it has grown to a 16,000 member group with people looking to join daily. The SupplyHouse.com team visited the group during their third annual trade show, “The Plumbing Hack Convention.” We saw firsthand the bond they created through their mutual experiences and interests in the trade forged online and fully realized in person at these events. Over 100 plumbers and their families ventured down to Florida from all across the country and even as far as Canada. While the primary motivation of this event is to take a moment to relax and socialize with the people they have been talking with online for years, this group is more than a social affair.
16,000 plumbers in one place provides benefits beyond jokes and friendships. The communal knowledge found on the page is an invaluable professional tool. When someone has a question out on a job they can ask the group and quickly get the answer they are looking for. No need to call their boss or Google it, one picture is all they need to get the name of the part they are looking for or a niche solution to a problem only a handful of other guys have seen. Plumbers new to the industry can learn from the veterans and the veterans can be exposed to new strategies from different parts of the world that they have not seen before. Everyone benefits from coming together.
Having this support network provides benefits beyond the professional sphere. The group fosters a family atmosphere that the members embody. When one of them is going through a hard time the others are there to help them out. This can range from getting career advice to financial support in a time of need. When a fellow plumber was killed on the job due to a trench collapse the community came together and raised $28,000 to help the family in their time of need. During the trade show we personally saw the members donate $1,500 out of their own pockets for the United Craftsmen Shoe Drive, a charity started by a fellow plumber who passed away and currently run by a Hacks member. They held a raffle to make money that went directly to giving underprivileged kids new shoes. The simple act of going out shopping and picking out your own shoes is an experience these children have not had before.
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