By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Foothills Focus Executive Editor
Chris Roberts has been in the plumbing business for more than 15 years. Still, every day is a new challenge for Roberts, the co-owner of Genie Plumbing based in Anthem.
“I’ve worked on everything from high-end process piping with deadly gasses to fixing toilets,” Roberts said. “It’s been a really fulfilling career.”
Genie Plumbing is the service division of Water Artist Plumbing, which handles new construction and who introduced him to the trade.
“It fits what I do,” he added about his occupation. “I’m a physical type worker, but I also enjoy sales and marketing. A lot of what we do with the plumbing service side is having to deal with customers. I’m having to sell jobs to them by explaining how plumbing works.
“It’s not like a salesman selling a mattress. I have to use my knowledge of the plumbing trade to let them know what the issue is so they can see what needs to be done to fix this. It’s everything I enjoy doing wrapped up into one.”
Roberts, who co-owns the company with Eugene Ries, endured a five-year apprenticeship in the Valley with Plumber and Pipefitters UA Local 469. Often, he hires students out of the union’s apprenticeship program to help him on jobs.
“If we get absolutely slammed and need additional work, we can hire from the union,” Roberts said.
“There are guys sitting out there waiting to get a job. Their job just finished up, and before they get another job, they’re on the bench, ready whenever contractor needs them.”
Genie Plumbing does it all—from repipes and installing tankless water heaters to pulling hair out of a drain. The staff also installs water filtration systems.
“A water filtration is something that we do like to offer our customers because our water is so bad here in the Valley,” Roberts said. “It’s some of the hardest in the country.”