Sky Plumbing Strives to Keep Customers Happy

Jimmy Baker Starts His Own Plumbing Service After Years in the Industry

By Brandon Hansen  / For the Nisqually Valley News
Posted 3/15/22

Sky Plumbing is the culmination of a journey that Jimmy Baker has taken through the years. 

Baker recently started his own company after working in the industry for many years. He is excited …

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Sky Plumbing Strives to Keep Customers Happy

Jimmy Baker Starts His Own Plumbing Service After Years in the Industry

Posted

Sky Plumbing is the culmination of a journey that Jimmy Baker has taken through the years. 

Baker recently started his own company after working in the industry for many years. He is excited with both the response from the community and the fact he’s created a business he can leave his own mark on. 

“We’re a full service company from simple service calls, pipes that leak, clogged drain lines, installing plumbing on new homes and remodels, well systems, filtration, septic tank installs, water mains,” Baker said. “It’s all facets of plumbing.” 

When Baker was 19 years old, he worked in the fast food and construction industries. During some downtime, a family friend had a few days of work for him at their plumbing company.

“I thought I wouldn’t mind the cash,” Baker said. “When I showed up I thought it was something like unclogging a toilet but meeting up with the guys and seeing all these different trucks and how they worked professionally as crews was impressive.”

The plumbing company installed a plumbing system on a new house. After a few days of work, the company asked him to stick around for the whole week. 

“I really ended up liking it and soaking in all the instructions,” Baker said. “I liked the brainwork that was required for it, and the challenge of how to do it along with the physicality.” 

After the second week of work, the plumbing company asked if he wanted to become a permanent employee and he jumped at the opportunity. 

“It really gave me direction in life and then I got a few raises, which was exciting,” Baker said. “What really elevated my career was taking my journeymen test and getting certified. That means you can do a lot walking into the job and I was allowed to run my own crew.”

Baker stayed with the company for five years and moved on to a different company for four more years before working for a commercial company.

“I was always a real hard worker and I always tried to do the right thing and not cut corners,” Baker said. “Getting into commercial plumbing for the next eight years was a whole different ball game. It was a much bigger scale of work, installing full systems on multiple-story buildings.” 

Plumbing became new for Baker again and he was able to run full jobs which was both stressful and empowering. After several years, he decided to move back into residential work because of the stress that comes with the commercial side of plumbing. 

“The deadlines are hard dates unlike residential and it’s a lot more stress making sure everybody does the right thing with the job,” Baker said. 

A year and a half after he got back into residential plumbing, Baker decided to take some time off to figure out life and re-center. Then he got back into plumbing, and realized that’s where he wanted to be. After working for someone else for a period of time, he decided to make the jump and start his own company.

“I felt like I had kind of plateaued and I needed to start my own company while learning the business part with bookkeeping and payroll,” Baker said. “I was the only one holding me back. I had all these years of plumbing experience. I got pointers from friends with plumbing companies and found out it wasn’t far out.” 

About a year ago, he took the leap and pushed himself to start Sky Plumbing, LLC. 

He set about gathering the right equipment and took a leap of faith as he bought a box truck and filled it with plumbing tools.



“You still have the mortgage, vehicle and life bills. Those don’t go away,” Baker said. “It’s always in the back of your mind it could go sour. We used savings and bought the stuff we needed and through willpower, I just knew I wasn’t going to fail. That fear keeps you on your head and keeps you humble.” 

Baker at first rented tools that were specialized for certain jobs, and then as the income started rolling in, he was able to obtain more of his own plumbing tools. 

He currently has two apprentices and has found a great work-life balance, he said. 

“I make a point of working 40 hours a week and no late nights so I can spend time with my family,” said Baker, who is married with four kids. “It has changed the way I look at jobs.” 

Sky Plumbing does free estimates for jobs. Baker said the company is focused on customer service and satisfaction. They make a point of being punctual and ensuring the job is done right. They’ve worked at job sites across Washington, Idaho and Oregon, but the current market in western Washington is very hot, Baker said. 

“It has boomed in Washington state. There is a shortage of plumbers,” Baker said. “When we first started, we took any job that would come in but now we have gotten to the point where we can be more selective to things that are in our wheelhouse.” 

Baker said he also makes a point to recommend other plumbers if his company is unable to tackle a job. 

“We’re typically about a week and a half to two weeks out,” Baker said. 

A large part of the job is dealing with customers, Baker said, adding that it’s a big focus to ensure people have a positive experience.

He said they now get jobs from referrals and return customers. 

Sky Plumbing gets a lot of its supplies from Keller Plumbing Supply. They have also done a lot of contract and restoration work with Kustom U.S., which does a lot of work on buildings that were damaged from fire and water. 

“Our relationship has been strong with Kustom U.S.,” Baker said. “I worked with them a lot with other companies and we’ve kind of followed each other as I’ve changed companies.” 

Sky Plumbing also does a lot of work with PNW Kitchen Pros which works on commercial cleaning. 

The business makes a point of staying ahead of the game when it comes to new plumbing materials and fixtures. They want to be as modern as any company currently on the market, he said.

“If you don’t, other plumbers are going to offer those modernized elements,” Baker said. 

Sky Plumbing can be reached at 253-640-4834, by email at skyplumbingllc@yahoo.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/skyplumbingllc.

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