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Industry Person of the Week- Lesley McGlenen

IPOW Lesley McGlenen

Industry Person of the Week- Lesley McGlenen

Meet our Industry Person of the Week, Lesley McGlenen, owner and operator of Pipe Wench Plumbing & Heating Ltd.

Q: How did you get started working in your field?

Lesley: I started out as a laborer for my dad’s development construction company and when they were in between projects the plumber offered me a job, I then signed up as an apprentice about 2 months in and started my apprenticeship. I completed my journeyman red seal in plumbing and gasfitting 4 years later to the date I signed up and I now own and operate my own business, Pipe Wench Plumbing & Heating since 2012. I started out in mostly new construction and now do it all, from new to renovations, service, and odd commercial jobs.

Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?

Lesley: The variety of different tasks between plumbing, heating, and gas fitting provides there is no shortage of different skills to acquire and learn. Most proud of building the home we currently live in with my dad, he had started this project before 2020, and when COVID hit my plumbing company took a loss of work I had lined up due to the circumstances. So I ventured down to the Shuswap to help my parents for the summer of 2020 and it turned into a 2 1/2 years project, We did everything from the foundation to septic, mechanical, and electrical framing. Roofing and all. it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to learn from my father, who has been in construction skilled trades for over 40 years. We built a little suite, Sweat Equity Suite, as I like to call it for myself above the garage. I am happy to call Scotch Creek my new home and community.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?

Lesley: Strongly advise anyone to make the decision to at least give it a try. You would be surprised at what you are capable of doing. When you can build or fix something with your own hands and see the results, it builds confidence, perseverance, and determination. It also forces you to see a project through to completion.

Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?

Lesley: Currently, I have worked on a few wood-fired boiler projects, which is new to me, before moving out here I lived in Fort McMurray which is a medium-sized city, with about 70,000 residents where I currently live, there are maybe 3000 residents and the landscape is primarily rural living compared to a city with utilities. Out here in the North Shuswap, most people get their water from the lake or wells. Or gravity-fed streams. Propane is trucked in and septic fields and systems are at play for the drainage. They are the same problems you face with plumbing with some extra challenges due to proximity to wholesalers and sometimes getting creative in doing repairs due to lack of supplies on hand. One thing I have learned is to always stock more than you may anticipate due to the fact the closest major wholesalers could be up to a 1-2 hr drive away.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Lesley: Last year I hosted the first annual Babes GDGT, the G-Daamnn Golf Tournament fore the Babes. I created it to provide a space where women can come out an play golf in an all women golf tournament having fun while also raising funds for women in trades programs, this June 8th will be the second annual with the participation doubled, we hope to raise double the amount of funds.

Connect with Lesley on social media: @thepipewench on Instagram
Lesley McGlenen on Facebook and Pipe Wench Plumbing and Heating on Facebook


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