By Bonnie Mason
Customer satisfaction is at the backbone of Tri-Care Services, Inc., where the mission is to keep customers for life, not just one job, according to Master Plumbers Sam Watson and Craig Griffin.
“We treat every job with hard work, honesty and integrity,” says Watson, the company’s vice president. Combined, the duo of Watson and Griffin offers 62 years of plumbing, gas, heating and air conditioning experience. Located in Wesley Chapel, Tri-Care Services provides residential and commercial services throughout the tri-county — Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas — area.
Watson first met Griffin in the classroom in 1983, when Griffin was his instructor at Tampa Bay Tech High off E. Hillsborough Ave. Watson spent eight years in vo-tech school — four as a plumbing apprentice and four in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) apprenticeship. Watson practiced at his trade during the day and joined his teacher, Griffin, to teach their trades to others at night.
In 2011, Griffin and Watson joined forces, marrying their extensive backgrounds and experience to become Tri-Care Services, Inc. Watson has more than 16 years of plumbing and teaching experience and he is a gas contractor and certified LP qualifier for the company. Griffin, Tri-Care’s president and owner, has nearly 30 years of plumbing and teaching experience and he also is a Master A/C Contractor, as well as a Master Plumber and Gas Contractor. Both are licensed contractors with the state of Florida and Tri-Care Services is an A-rated member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
“We became Tri-Care Services to better reflect what we offer our clients,” says Griffin, “not just skillful, prompt maintenance of HVAC and plumbing systems, but also ideas, opportunities, and research to help our clients meet their goals.”
Watson adds, “We have families ourselves and know how important it is that when something needs fixing — whether it’s air, heat, or leaking pipes — that it gets done right and within budget. We personally guarantee every job is done right, at the lowest possible cost.”
Watson and Griffin keep up to date on all of the latest technologies in their trades and ensure that their staff of eleven also is kept informed and trained.
Tips From The Masters
Plumbing & Gas – Tri-Care installs water mains, provides small or large sewer/plumbing services and repairs, as well as tankless service and repairs or replacements, if needed.
“We always check on a customer’s warranties, which can help save money in repairs,” says Watson. To keep costs and repairs to a minimum, parts specifically for commercial and residential water softeners are always readily available at Tri-Care.
And, if a Tri-Care customer purchases materials needed for an installation, the company’s staff will install them exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications. Tri-Care pipe systems include cast iron, plastic, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, a thermoplastic materials) copper, stainless and more. The company also is L.P. gas-certified, so it can provide repair and maintenance services to customers with natural gas appliances.
Watson recommends finding a “journeyman” plumbing contractor to carry out all the projects that your home or company requires to ensure quality standards and safety requirements are met. A “journeyman” is someone who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a specific trade. Watson also cautions anyone hiring an individual and/or a company that you need to verify that the firm is licensed and legitimate.
“Don’t hesitate to check out a company through the Better Business Bureau,” says Watson, who adds that you can review companies through a simple search at BBB.org. “It’s always a good idea to make sure the person or company you hire is skilled at handling different gas, plumbing, and heating systems, and is knowledgeable about the latest technology and methods to effectively execute the job safely and professionally.”
Customers can have confidence that Tri-Care’s professional staff is qualified and familiar with the wide range of plumbing issues, such as leaks, burst pipes and problems with tanks and gas pumps. The best equipment for the job is used to ensure the highest standards.
Many Tri-Care customers are building new homes, which requires them to decide which type of heating system should be considered for installation in their new home. Whether it’s forced air, radiant heat, hydronic, steam radiant, or geothermal, each system should be considered carefully to ensure that the one you choose will be effective for your home and your budget.
Forced-air, or central heat, is the system most commonly seen in residential structures because it can be used for cooling as well as heating a home, explains Watson. Generally, air is heated in a furnace and then forced out through installed ductwork and vents placed throughout the home. This system can heat air with electricity, natural gas, propane or oil.
Watson says that nearly 80 percent of new U.S. homes today are installing central air conditioning units while under construction, while others in older homes may be considering upgrading to a central A/C unit and Watson says that most homes can be upgraded “with few issues.” Again, he advises you to find a qualified contractor such as Tri-Care to install a new central A/C unit — an enhancement to your home that will make you and your family more comfortable and help you save on energy costs.
Watson explains that you can significantly reduce your electricity bill by replacing your older air conditioner with a new SEER-rated (Seasonally Energy Efficiency Ratio) central air conditioning unit. Tri-Care Services stays on top of the latest efficiency standards in all HVAC systems, as manufacturers are responding to the challenges of increased energy costs.
After-hours emergency plumbing and HVAC calls are handled by Watson himself. “We don’t use an answering service,” he explains. “All after-hour calls come directly to me. It’s our mission to build a good relationship with our customers and you can’t really do that if you have a hired company answering your calls.”
If your home or business needs a plumbing, gas, air conditioning or heating installation or repairs, call Tri-Care Services at (727) 546-2050. In addition to the Wesley Chapel location (6740 Bluff Meadow Dr.), Tri-Care has a second office at 1706 Avoca Dr. in Tarpon Springs. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.