Faces of Kansas City: A man's pride in his work - KCTV5

Faces of Kansas City: A man's pride in his work

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There's no better sight when you have a plumbing problem than seeing the expert walk through your door. All it takes is a morning with no running water or a basement leak after a summer rain.

There is one local plumber whose pride in his work has earned him a lifetime of success.

Paul Smith learned the trade from his father in Nauvoo, IL. He also learned that being a good plumber is more than about fixing a pipe.

"We're not just that guy that's here to come in and fix their faucet and leave. You know, we want to be part of their life," Smith said.

He said families often stay in their homes for years and, over those years, he's the one they come to depend on, not just for repairs, but for friendship.

"We're in four to six homes a day, and so you meet a wide variety of people. Some who would just like to sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk," Smith said.

Smith is also an expert at shining a light on the most difficult cases. He enjoys the diagnostic part of the work and has come across some incredible and gross discoveries.

"The house was a show home so it hadn't been lived in for six months as it was going through that process. So someone moved in and they had a restroom that would not work. So we went in there and it was down further in the drain. We pulled the toilet and ran the cable down and pulled out a huge black bird," he said.

A downside of plumbing is the hours and having to work and be on call on holiday and weekends. Smith has seniority now so those days are behind him, but he's put in his fair share of overtime.

"It was actually Christmas Eve, and that's when the family got together. We were hosting that year and there was a gentleman who was going to surprise his wife by completing his honey-do list that night so that when she woke up she was going to have new faucets and a toilet. Things did not go well for him so consequently I went over about 10 p.m. and got home about 2:30 in the morning, but he had his surprise for his wife the next morning," Smith said.

Smith is happy to celebrate 10 years with Bob Hamilton Plumbing.

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