The Portrait Of A Belgian Plumber
Moreno Schiepers lives in Belgium. He is a professional plumber and drain cleaner, passionate about everything related to trades, tools, technology and crafts. Moreno runs his own business, Schiepers Installatietechniek and his main goal is to offer the best service for his customers while transforming their houses into homes.
Let’s discover more details about Moreno and the story of how he got into the trades. Happy reading!
1. How did you get into trades?
I was always passionate about crafts, but my early anticipations weren’t to get into plumbing, I wanted to specialize in woodworking.
After multiple attempts and plenty of effort, wood turned out not to be my strength. My teacher, and later mentor, Roger de Backer, asked me to join him on a few plumbing jobs and I realized that what I believed to be just connecting some pipes, is actually way more complex. The general ingenuity of the installations got my attention and interest forever.
2. Tell us a bit about Schiepers Installatietechniek. When did you start it and how is it going?
Starting Schiepers Installatietechniek came naturally when the number of jobs increased.
It happened almost 6 years ago, but it feels like it was yesterday. It hasn’t always been a walk in the park; the first year proved to be a very rough one, as being so young people didn’t trust in hiring me. Good recommendations from customers helped me build a name for myself and now I have plenty of jobs and a larger project in maintaining holiday homes in the region.
3. How did you start the drain cleaning activity? Which of the trades do you like better now? Plumbing or drain cleaning?
It was 4 or 5 years ago when I got my first RIDGID camera. Doing general installations, I got more and more exposed to drain cleaning and inspection, which again piqued my interest. Initially, I didn't think of expanding my business, I just wanted more knowledge and experience. That’s how I ended up in your Training Room in Sint Truiden, getting all the details explained by Geert Van Cauter, who recommended me the SeeSnake C40 Camera. My family owns a horse farm and right after I bought the C40, I went to check their drainage system. I was able to see the blockages in the drains and, guess what? I wanted to be able to also fix them. The K9-204 FlexShaft Machine followed shortly after. With the addition of the K9-102 FlexShaft Machine and a Scout Locator, my offer was complete and now I can tackle most of the issues that come across.
4. Wow, this sounds very nice! Did you cross any obstacles while getting through expanding your services line?
Being a young plumber, a big money investment wasn’t a decision easy to take. My friends and family called me crazy, but I went with RIDGID and I made a commitment to quality and reliability for my customers. This decision was the best I could take, the investment already paid off tenfold.
5. What is your proudest moment since you are a plumber / drain cleaner?
Thinking about it, I believe it was when I decided to buy my first RIDGID kit. That was the moment that made me a professional in the drain cleaning trade and the moment I knew I am going in the right direction.
And let me tell you a story related to a drainage issue that happened in the industrial lot where I have my shop. Multiple drain cleaners and plumbers came in and paced the distance to where they expected the problem to be. Obviously, all of them pointed out a different location. I took my RIDGID gear and pinpointed, to what was later confirmed, the exact location of the problem.
6. What’s the most challenging part of the trades?
Working in trades isn’t rainbows and unicorns, but it is very rewarding. Trades are physically tough activities, and things can get dirty from time to time. Plus, as a business owner, the accounting part is a necessary evil I need to face.
7. Which are the weirdest / funniest things you found during an inspection and drain cleaning job?
Funny or not, one time I saw down the drains what people most probably had for dinner the day before: fries and spaghetti. I also found adult toys stuck down the toilet drain. And let me tell you something: unfortunately, people will flush about anything down the toilet when staying in a hotel.
8. What’s your message to the young generation?
I encourage the young generation to get their hands dirty and start a career in the trades. It isn’t the easiest path out there, but if they stick with it and pull through to get the basics in school, they will learn the rest on the go.