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Schoonover Plumbing and Heating has successful transition

Since branching out into Williamsport, an owner of Schoonover Plumbing and Heating said the transition has opened the door to opportunities.

“We’re into it and we’re feeling good about so far,” said Tom Schoonover. “It’s been great.”

Founded in Canton in 1948 by Schoonover’s father, the 71-year-old business expanded into the city last year and has since hired seven full-time employees, he said.

Since the son of Schoonover’s brother has taken the mantle of co-ownership, he said the company has also expanded their communication between branches to ensure quality service. Between customer databases, and online shopping, the business has implemented many changes to facilitate the transition.

It will take about five years for the company to see if the branch will be successful, but in the meantime Schoonover Plumbing and Heating is available for all the area’s needs.

“From residential toilet repair, to schools, hospital construction, and other large projects, we really do quite a gamut of plumbing, heating and electrical work from very small to really quite large,” said Schoonover.

However, with less schools being built, much of today’s business is regarding residential installation and repair.

“We’ve done a ton of geothermal heat pumps, that was a big, big part of our business for a long time, but it’s not as active as it once was,” he said.

Modern advances in heat pumps, which take heat from the surrounding air, have made them much more efficient than they were 10 years ago.

Additionally, low natural gas prices have caused a surge in people switching their homes to gas heating.

In the future, Schoonover said he still plans to hire more Williamsport natives to join the branch as the company picks up more jobs in the area.

Recently, the business has picked up work at the Pajama Factory installing heating for an expected 70 apartments.

Through all the changes, Schoonover maintains its willingness to lend aid when disaster strikes a home with its 24/7 emergency response.

“That’s a big item because there are companies that just don’t feel the need to do something,” said Schoonover, who remembers going to people’s homes with several large heaters to keep folks comfortable until a fixes could be made.

“I always kid about it, but we live on people’s misery — and at first glance, here we are,” he said, joking.

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