Tri County Heating and Energy
Local Company Specializes in Plumbing and Heating Services
Some say you should never let your hobby become your vocation. Others claim that hobbies that blossom into careers make the best jobs. But what if a profession springs from a DIY home improvement project?
That’s exactly how Clayton Eash’s business, Tri County Heating and Energy, began.
“I got started by doing my own house and some people just started asking me if I could help them with theirs or do theirs,” Eash says.
After four years of doing occasional side jobs and learning the basics of plumbing at his day job in an RV factory, Eash went full time in 2018 when his brother-in-law, who co-owns Two Brothers Construction, retained him for a heating and plumbing job.
“I’ve been basically full time ever since,” Eash says.
As a member of the Amish community, Eash has a unique platform for what he does, and this has proven to be a win-win for both Eash and his clients.
“There were only a couple of different plumbers in the Amish community,” he says. “There was a shortage.”
Although the number of Amish plumbers has increased, Eash still has plenty of work to do, probably because he has earned a reputation among his customers, about 85% of whom are also Amish.
“I want customer satisfaction,” Eash says. “That’s what I strive for – do a good job at a reasonable price.”
Eash also recognizes that each of his clients has different needs, and he tries to accommodate them.
“Every customer is different,” he says.
The business currently offers a few quality services, primarily for Noble, LaGrange and Elkhart counties. However, Eash has been known to take jobs in Kosciusko County and even in Fort Wayne. As time goes on, Eash hopes that he and his staff will be able to take on more jobs.
“I wouldn’t mind if it grew to be able to hire on a couple more guys in the next couple of years or so,” he says.
Although the company does receive requests for maintenance and repair, the vast majority of its jobs are on new homes. As such, the services Eash provides have to be coordinated with a contractor.
“As soon as the foundation is in and they have the grade made, I come in for the floor heat,” he explains.
After that, it’s a waiting game before beginning work on the plumbing.
“I have to wait until they have everything framed up to do the rough plumbing,” Eash says. “Once everything is there, I go in and do a final hook up.”
It can take up to three months for Eash to finish a typical job.
His favorite type of installation service – and one of his most common services – is radiant heating, an excellent option for houses with concrete floors.
“If you can keep that floor warm, you can oftentimes keep your thermostat set a couple degrees cooler,” Eash explains. “Your floor is warm, your feet are warm and your heat is always rising on that floor. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable in a house with that kind of heat, especially if it’s installed right and you don’t have any cold spots.”
Like most plumbers, Eash is a jack of all trades who has done a little bit of everything. He has changed out well pumps, installed pressure tanks, and hooked up water softeners and other appliances including dishwashers. He also enjoys installing manablocs, popular plumbing devices that separate hot and cold water running to faucets in a house.
“That keeps your water pressure at your faucet all the same, versus having a main line going through your house and branching off,” Eash says. “Then, if you have a couple faucets running at the same time, you’re liable to have a pressure loss somewhere. With these manablocs, it distributes the water a lot more evenly.”
Tri County Heating and Energy is located at 9588 North 275 West in Ligonier. For more info or to schedule a time to receive a quote, call 260-761-3670, or call Eash’s work phone at 574-238-7807.