What’s in Your Toolbox? John Mullennix
John Mullennix, Plumber, Working John Plumbing, Cumming, Georgia
When it comes to clever names, Working John Plumbing is hard to beat, especially when you consider that the owner is named John.
John Mullennix came up with the name after deciding to break out on his own.
“My dad owns his own business, so he taught me everything that I know,” Mullennix says of his early days in the trade. “When I wanted to go my own way, he hooked me up with a lot of business contacts.”
Today, the younger Mullennix handles calls on both the residential and commercial fronts in a suburb north of Atlanta. The joys of the job are the people he helps.
“My favorite part of what I do is definitely having the opportunity to interact with all types of people,” he says. “The key to the business is to do a good job, hand out business cards, use competitive pricing and be reliable. I always make sure I call people back, even if I don’t have time to do the work. Making that call is important.”
The job and its many demands — days, nights, weekends and holidays — have been his greatest teachers. “What I’ve learned is how to use my problem-solving skills in my day-to-day life. It’s made a real difference.”
Mullennix recommends starting the way he did: by getting out there and getting your hands dirty. “People wanting to start plumbing should start by being a helper. It’s about keeping an ear to the ground to learn the trade and figuring out how pricing works. It starts with the people you know.”
It’s also about the right tools, and Mullennix lists his 12 favorites below.
Ryobi 18-Volt One+ Brushless Reciprocating Saw, Model# P517
There’s no way I could do my job without it.
Husky 22-Ounce California Hickory Hammer, Model# LHW180710B1DN1
This helps prevent those glancing blows to my nails and keeps me from hitting my hand quite as often.
RIDGID K40 115-Volt Sink Machine with C13 Inner Core Cable, Model# 71702
This helps clear tub and sink drains without the need to carry a big machine in and out of someone’s home.
Stanley FatMax 25-Foot Tape Measure, Model# 33-725Y
The wide blade allows me to measure longer distances without the need to lay on the ground.
Makita 15 Amp 14-Inch Cut-Off Saw, Model# 2414DB
This saw helps make straight cut ends on PVC up to four inches in diameter.
Channellock 7½-Inch Long Nose Pliers, Model# 317Z
These angle-nosed pliers help with gripping hex nuts and small diameter pipes.
Maglite Black 3D-Cell Flashlight, Model# ML300L-S3016
The batteries last a while, and the flashlight gives off good light for working in dark spaces.
Milwaukee M-Spector 3-Foot Inspection Scope Kit, Model# 2309-20
This kit helps find leaks in any walls.
Bosch 15 Amp Corded Jack Breaker Hammer with Carrying Case with Wheels, Model# 11335K
This is great for removing tile and concrete.
Husky 3-Piece Pro Chisel Set, Model# HDA10300AV
These help with notching studs.
Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Band Saw Kit, Model# 2629-22
I can easily make quick straight cuts through threaded rod and metal strut.