Submitted by Jerica Pender for Olympic Plumbing
Laundry. Dishes. Personal hygiene. Or even a long, hot shower for our mental health, (or to hide from our kids or our significant other if we’re being honest). These are just a few of the ways we use and rely on hot water in our daily lives, and for some Thurston County residents, having hot water available isn’t a given – it’s a luxury.
As Thurston County’s favorite plumbing company since 2007, Olympic Plumbing Technology (OPT) is well aware of the volume of water heaters in need of repair or replacement. “It’s one of the most common problems we solve,” says Kimberly Boeckmann, Olympic Plumbing’s co-owner and CEO. “Around OPT, we call winter ‘water heater season’ because it’s when water heater issues really start to get noticed.”
Boeckmann says if her company could give everyone in town a free water heater they would, because “it is just heartbreaking to think about folks going without hot water,” and that’s why Olympic Plumbing is kicking off the BIG Water Heater Giveaway contest for the third time. “We are giving away two water heaters this year,” Boeckmann says, “with the exciting addition of a new community partner.”
Enter to Win a Free Water Heater and Installation
Beginning on November 20, 2023, and through the end of the year at midnight, you can enter yourself, or nominate someone else to win what Boeckmann calls a “like-for-like” installation of a brand-new, high-efficiency water heater. “There are only a few requirements to win,” Boeckmann says, “and we want to make sure that the person owns and resides in the home within our service area, and that the water heater is older than eight years. For this contest, we only install like-for-like units, meaning if you’ve got a gas water heater, we’ll install a new gas one – and the same for electric.”
Entering the contest is easy. Just fill out the contest form and share with Olympic Plumbing in 500 words or less why you or the person you’re nominating needs a new water heater. A panel of community members will review the submissions and then select the winner. Olympic Plumbing will contact the winner by phone and email, and announce on their social media.
A New Community Partner
This year marks the third that Olympic Plumbing Technology has offered a free water heater to the community and each year they are looking to improve their contest. “We wanted to find an organization in the community to partner with to help us reach even more people in need,” Boeckmann says, “and when we learned about the work Rebuilding Together does — it was an automatic ‘Yes.’”
Cathy Johnson, executive director of Rebuilding Together Thurston County, a nonprofit that assists low-income homeowners with vital home repairs, says that water heaters and plumbing in general, are among the most frequent repairs requested of the organization. “We could replace a water heater a month,” Johnson says, “if we had them available.”
Oftentimes the water heater replacements Rebuilding does require more than just an install. Johnson says she’s seen water heater leaks that have caused water damage, resulting in the unit falling through the subfloor. In those situations, Rebuilding Together activates their network of volunteers and contractors to make the necessary repairs before a water heater can be installed.
“Olympic Plumbing doesn’t perform any construction – just the install,” Boeckmann says, so that is why teaming up with Rebuilding Together is a good fit for us.
“Our plumbers are ready and eager to help out Rebuilding Together Thurston County,” says Boeckmann, “and our whole team is looking forward to helping the person or family Rebuilding sends our way.”
Ollie the Bigfoot
Olympic Plumbing also hopes they can put a smile on people’s faces by having Ollie, their sassy Sasquatch mascot, out in the community this holiday season. Olympic has slowly been introducing Ollie to the community and says you’ll be seeing a lot more of him around town.
One possibility is at Oly on Ice this year, where Olympic Plumbing is a sponsor. “People can enter the contest online or can stop by our booth at the ice rink on December 21, 2023. Ollie will be there along with Olympic Plumbing team members who can assist people in entering the contest in person. And if you snap a photo with Ollie, make sure to use the hashtag #OPTOllie when posting to social media.
“Giving back to and participating in our community is one of our core values,” shares Boeckmann, “and water heaters are just one small way we can make a BIG difference.” To learn more about Olympic Plumbing’s community events, check out the Community page on their website.
Who: Olympic Plumbing Technology + You
What: BIG Water Heater Giveaway
Where: Installed in your home
When: November 20 – December 31, 2023 at 12 a.m.
How: Online entry via this form