Archive for 2011

American Leak Detection ranked No. 98 overall in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

It’s official. The January 2012 issue of Entrepreneur magazine has hit the newsstands and American Leak Detection has once again been named the category leader in Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses. The corporation has ranked first in this category consecutively since 2003.

As part of Entrepreneur’s 33rd Annual Franchise 500, American Leak Detection was also named No. 98 overall, compared to No. 104 in 2011. Other rankings this year include No. 97 for Fastest-Growing Franchise, No. 21 for the Top Home based franchise and No. 81 for America’s Top Global Franchises.

Known as the “first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world,” nearly 800 companies’ financial and statistical data from July 2009 through July 2011 is analyzed by an independent CPA firm.

Multiple criteria are used to determine the outcome, according to the magazine. These include financial strength and stability, growth rate and system size. Also considered are facts such as the number of years a company has been in business, length of time it has been franchising, startup costs and percentage of terminations.

To learn more, visit:

American Leak Detection honors Team Members during annual awards ceremony

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Hundreds of individual American Leak Detection owners gathered from across the globe in November for the annual company-wide convention hosted by corporate staff in Indian Wells Calif. The four day event incorporated an Awards Night Gala, training sessions, hands-on workshops and a sold-out floor trade show.

The following were recognized during the event:

-Canadian Leak Detection of Ontario Owners Paul and Evelyn Gavel were awarded the most prestigious honor, Franchisee of the Year. More than 140 offices in eight countries are considered for this award annually. It recognizes exemplary and model performance in customer service, increased revenue, franchise system participation and community service.

This was the first year a Canadian office was awarded Franchisee of the Year. For the fourth consecutive year, they were also named Outstanding Regional Performers in the Northeast Region. The Gavels, who reside in Frankford, Ontario, have owned their Canadian Leak Detection office since 1996. Their leak detection technicians service Toronto, Northern and Eastern Ontario.

“American Leak Detection franchisees are the best of the best,” says Bill Palmer, company president. “It’s always a pleasure to honor them with the recognition they so richly deserve.  We’re proud of all of our franchisees and this year’s award winners clearly rose to the top of their game.”

-Phil and Robin Meckley of Fullerton, Calif. were named the franchise system’s Outstanding National Performer for 2010. This award recognizes the top producer amongst 140 offices in eight countries. They also received a Quality Customer Service Award for their Houston location. The Meckley’s have owned American Leak Detection locations for 25 years in Orange County, Riverside, Pomona, San Diego, Houston and Hawaii. They employ a total of 40 staff and operate 25 service trucks.

- Rick Winters of Spring, Tx. was named the company’s Office Personnel of the Year for 2010. This award recognizes an individual who strives to stay on top of the industry’s best practices, keeps the office running efficiently and exudes superior customer service. Winters has managed the Houston office for two years. He was nominated by Phil Meckley, owner of American Leak Detection of Houston, who was also named the franchise system’s Outstanding National Performer for 2010.

-Thomas Walker of Brighton, Mich. was named the company’s Technician of the Year for 2010. This award recognizes a technician who exemplifies the best qualities of the profession. Someone who strives to stay on top of the industry’s best practices, technologies and exudes customer service. Walker was nominated by Tom and Marcia Rose, owners of American Leak Detection of Southeast Michigan. He has worked as a technician for nine years.

-Wayne McCollough of Tulsa, Ok. was named the company’s Brand Champion for 2010. This recognition honors an individual that executes a successful marketing plan, one who makes the most of a broad mix of marketing activities and utilizes corporate programs to their advantage.

McCollough has acted as the Marketing and Advertising Director with American Leak Detection locations for 16 years in Eastern Oklahoma, Kansas, Kansas City, Southwest Missouri and St. Louis, Mo. His brother Vern McCollough owns the multiple locations where he employs 19 staff and operates 10 service trucks.

- Vern McCollough of Tulsa, Ok. was awarded the Richard B. Rennick Entrepreneur of the Year Award, named after the company’s founder. This recognition honors a team who demonstrates innovative management skills and is a risk taker in a franchise which remains active in the local community. McCollough was also named an Outstanding Regional Performer in the Midwest area for 2010.

-Joe and Aimee Bates of Redding, CA received the Rookie of the Year Award for 2010. This recognition honors a team member who has put American Leak Detection procedures into action pertaining to equipment, trucks, safety, the business plan and marketing tactics. The Bates purchased American Leak Detection of Northern California from Aimee’s parents, Tom and Karen Routon, when they chose to retire in 2008.

Members of the American Leak Detection corporate staff convene each fall to determine which team members will be recognized for their outstanding achievements for the previous year in categories including Franchisee of the Year, Technician and Office Personnel of the Year and Quality Customer Service Awards.

American Leak Detection named AllBusiness AllStar Franchise for 2012

Monday, December 12th, 2011

The American Leak Detection franchise has been named an AllBusiness AllStar for 2012! The fourth annual list names the Top 100 franchise companies that AllBusiness.Com editors and experts chose as the very best.

A recipient for the third consecutive year, American Leak Detection is the sole home services corporation listed which supplies leak detection and plumbing services. Since 2009, the publicly traded company has added 24 U.S. franchises, including the New York City, San Mateo, Ca. and Southern Georgia territories.

AllBusiness.Com uses a variety of criteria to rank the chosen winners, including franchise unit growth rate, financial strength, system size, years in business, years franchising, and Web (brand) visibility.

For 2012, the American Leak Detection franchise placed No. 92 overall, No. 74 for its growth rate, No. 43 in financial strength, No. 77 for system size and No. 44 for longevity.

“American Leak Detection is honored to be included in the AllBusiness 4th Annual Franchise AllStar Ranking,” says Judy Howard, director of franchise relations. “It’s always gratifying to be recognized for our system growth, longevity in the franchising community and franchisee success.”

To view the full list of winners, visit:

Research shows bottled water no healthier than tap

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

You have undoubtedly seen the debate featured on your local news, read it in the newspaper or heard it mentioned on the radio. Is tap water safe to drink? Isn’t bottled water healthier? Who regulates them and is there any difference?

Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, while municipal/tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Although they may be regulated by different agencies, extensive research has proven that both are generally safe to consume.

In fact, as much as 40 percent of bottled water is actually “bottled” tap water, according to the Food and Water Watch Organization. The age-old debate of tap vs. bottled water all boils down to two factors- saving money and the environment. Why pay two to four times the price of gasoline for what is free?

Americans spend $11 billion each year purchasing bottled water products, second only to caffeinated drinks. This means approximately 215 bottles are consumed per person every year, for a total of 66 billion bottles of water. These empty bottles create mountains of garbage in local landfills and take over 700 years to decompose. Only one in every 10 bottles is recycled.  Plus, more energy is used to manufacture, store and transport bottled water.

So next time you feel the need to quench your thirst, think twice about buying that expensive bottled water with the fancy name and beautiful packaging. You can get the same result from the tap without buying into all the hype.

To learn more about your local tap water, visit the EPA’s site and search for your city at

American Leak Detection Receives 2011 Best of Indianapolis Award

Monday, November 21st, 2011

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

American Leak Detection of Indianapolis, owned and managed by Beth Anderson, has been selected for the 2011 Best of Indianapolis Award in the Plumbing Contractors category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

Often imitated, never duplicated: Dick Rennick created the leak detection industry

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

American Leak Detection founder, Richard B. Rennick, grew up working in his father’s plumbing business. He helped locate water leaks in pipes buried under concrete slabs using a 6-pound maul and a chisel.  It was a tedious job and left a mess for the homeowner.  He kept wondering, “There has to be a better way.”

As an adult, Rennick became a police officer and supplemented his income with plumbing jobs on the side.  During this time, he grew more convinced of the need for a less invasive procedure to locate leaks.  Rennick worked with an electronics engineer, who helped him develop electronic equipment which would locate concealed leaks.  Current day sensitive electronic tools, equipped with minute microprocessors, are a direct result of their work.  From those tenacious beginnings, the electronic leak detection industry was created.

Although Rennick now focuses his time and efforts on other business ventures, he’s still very much a part of the American Leak Detection family. He is featured in the latest issue of  Franchise Times magazine where he discusses how he enlisted a team of franchisees to serve as first-responders, finding and repairing water, gas and sewer leaks in the early 1990s.

You can take a trip down memory lane and read the full article here:

World Toilet Day Marks its 10th Anniversary on November 19th

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

It may be known by a multitude of names, including the loo, can, head, john, privy, potty, throne, latrine, outhouse, commode, lavatory, washroom or personal library. But whatever you choose to call it, Americans use their toilets an average of six times daily and spend three years of their lives atop their personal stool. It’s hard for those in developed nations to imagine life without it- but that’s the reality for 2.6 billion people. Forty percent of the world’s population does not have access to plumbing infrastructure.

To highlight this growing problem, the World Toilet Organization (WTO) of Singapore declared November 19 World Toilet Day. The advocacy group calls its approach, “a unique mix of humor and serious facts.” The WTO has partnered with dozens of global organizations to create more awareness during the 2011 celebration, including The Gates Foundation, Unicef, International Federation of Red Cross, World Vision and Habitat for Humanity.

Eighty-five percent of leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in toilets. One leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day, or 73,000 gallons a year. On average, leaks can account for 10,000 gallons of water wasted in one home every year, which is enough to fill an average backyard swimming pool.

“Don’t flush money down the drain by ignoring a leaky toilet,” says Bill Palmer, president of American Leak Detection. “Just like homeowners change the battery in fire alarms once a year, we encourage them to use the food coloring test to determine if their toilets are leaking and wasting water. Responding to leaking toilets can save up to 25 percent on water bills annually.”

One way to learn if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. But make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank. Contact your local American Leak Detection location for more information or for a complete home plumbing inspection.

Using a brick to conserve water and save money is not the best option

Friday, October 28th, 2011

One familiar old wives’ tale recommends placing a brick in your toilet’s water tank as a convenient and cheap way to conserve water. Many of us have heard this one right? But using a brick may not be the best option- for your pocket book or your plumbing.

By filling valuable space in the tank, the brick allows less water to flow in, thus reducing the amount of water allotted for each flush. But the problem with this flawed advice is the fact that bricks have been known to disintegrate over time, leading to damaged plumbing that may cost you down the road. If you’re determined to use a brick to combat water waste, wrap it in a plastic bag first.

Experts say a brick isn’t the best object to use. Instead, place some sand or rocks into a two liter plastic bottle, fill it with water and place in your tank. Make sure you don’t disturb the toilet’s working parts in the process. The majority of toilets flush well using this submerged bottle method, but experiment to learn which size bottles work best and produce the best flush.

Most toilets flush just as well with less water than you’re used to using. The average American toilet model uses three to six gallons per flush, but placing a wrapped brick or bottle in the tank will save at least one gallon of water per flush- or up to 10 gallons a day in the average home.

For the more experienced do-it-yourself types, you can always purchase a kit at your local hardware store that will convert American-style flushers to European-style dual-flushers which offer a half-flush option for liquids. They cost around $20 each.

Calculate how much water your household uses each day, month and year at

The time to winterize your pipes is now

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Every year more than 250,000 American homes are damaged by water pipes that freeze and burst, according to insurance company statistics. It’s more than just an inconvenience. A burst water pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. The time to winterize the pipes in your home is now, before the temperatures drop below freezing and snow begins to fall.

Take winter precautions:

•  Insulate water tanks and pipes (material are available at any hardware store.) Make sure there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings.

•  Pay special attention to water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like loft spaces and garages and check insulation in any property likely to be unoccupied for long periods.

•  Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe.

•  Find your property’s internal valve and make sure you can turn it off if necessary. Most valves are located under the kitchen sink and close by turning clockwise.

•  Check your boiler has been serviced.

•  Minimize draughts from outside and close doors and windows to unheated parts of the property.

•  If you have tanks or pipes in the roof space, open the attic hatch to allow warm air to circulate.

•  When away, open up closets and cabinet doors in bathrooms and kitchens. This will allow heat to reach any inaccessible or uninsulated pipes under sinks and near exterior walls. Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees.

•  If a property is going to be unoccupied for long periods, turn off the water at the valve and consider draining down the system so there is no water left in the pipes.

•  Keep a separate supply of drinking water for emergencies.

If a pipe freezes:

•  Turn off the water supply.

•  Check to see if the pipe has burst.

•  Slowly thaw the pipe with hot water bottles or a towel soaked in hot water, starting at the end nearest the tap.

•  You can also use a hair-dryer (lowest setting) but NOT a naked flame or blowlamp.

•  Don’t leave taps dripping or running as the water may not drain down the plughole if the pipe below is frozen.

If a pipe bursts:

•  Turn off the water supply.

•  Open all taps to reduce flooding.

•  Soak up/block off escaping water with thick towels.

•  Call a qualified leak detection specialist.

•  Turn off taps once pipe work is repaired to avoid further flooding.

Franchise Genius calls American Leak Detection “A green opportunity to invest in”

Monday, October 10th, 2011

It seems everyone is “going green” these days, not just the hipster types.

It’s becoming more and more popular to be environmentally conscious and it isn’t just a fad anymore. People of all ages and backgrounds are utilizing energy efficient light bulbs, buying electric cars, filling reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water and taking reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. Becoming eco-friendly, or “not harming the environment in which you live,” is more than just one action- it’s a whole new attitude and lifestyle.

The American Leak Detection corporate office is dedicated to water conservation, resource protection and providing eco-friendly services. In light of this, we were delighted to see that, a website who helps pair potential franchisees with franchisors, named ALD one of five green franchise opportunities to invest in.

Check out the full link here: