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Water world

image Jason Santhoff (front row, left), general manager of Santhoff Plumbing, and the whole team.

HOUSTON - Jason Santhoff spent four years in the Navy, surrounded by the blue waters of the Atlantic on the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. Water is the Navy’s medium.






    He is still in the water business as general manager of Santhoff Plumbing.
    Santhoff’s father, Joe, came to the Houston area in the early 1970s from St. Louis because that was where the work was, and started his own plumbing company.
    Santhoff is the newest family member to join the firm, alongside brother James. Jason, however, isn’t a plumber, but he oversees the day-to-day operations and takes care of marketing, advertising, site planning and customer service. He joined the business 2 1/2 years ago after spending the past 10 years working in sales for a construction supply firm.
    Santhoff Plumbing is growing with 21 employees now and wanting to add some more.
    Becoming a plumber is a long process. The people at Santhoff are looking for a need to exhibit good traits and working habits first. Then, through on-the-job training, they move through the ranks from apprentice to master plumber. The process can take up to 10 full years. Santhoff said it’s “like going to college and getting a Master’s degree or doctorate.”
    But, “kudos to the state of Texas” for their stringent testing and validation process that monitors every step of the journey to ensure that when a plumber says he’s a master plumber, he really is.
    “There are no workarounds,” Santhoff said.
    The largest recent commercial project the company has done was Texas Direct Auto. Father Joe has had a decade-long relationship with them and they deal one-on-one with Santhoff as their sole plumbing provider and servicer.
    One problem the plumbing industry is facing is aging infrastructure. The older water and sewage lines were made of clay, cast iron or concrete materials. Their life expectancy is about 40-50 years, and a building built in, say, the early 1960s is now experiencing problems with leakage and breakage.
    When Santhoff is called on the job for an older building, the first question he asks is when was it built. If the answer is that long ago, he tells them they need to replace it all because it has reached the end of its days.
    Also, electrolysis is a problem because it breaks down galvanized piping. Welcome to Texas water.
    Hurricane Harvey relief has kept the company busy too. Insurance money is still coming in, so people are now in a position to finally do their plumbing repairs. Santhoff Plumbing donated manpower and materials to many in order to help them rebuild.
    When not on the job, Santhoff likes to hit the salty brine once again with salt-water fishing, or stay on terra firma to deer hunt.
    From the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the underground water of Texas, Jason Santhoff has either been on top of it or else making sure it flows just the way his customers need it to.
    And that’s a good thing.
    Santhoff Plumbing is a family-owned plumbing business in the Houston area. –dsz

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Author Info
Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net