Family plumbing company thrives in Arlington Heights

  • Tom, left, Rob and Kevin Ryan of Central Plumbing Company Inc. in Arlington Heights say plumbers in their family date back to the 1920s.

    Tom, left, Rob and Kevin Ryan of Central Plumbing Company Inc. in Arlington Heights say plumbers in their family date back to the 1920s.

Posted12/3/2012 6:00 AM

An interview with Tom, Kevin and Rob Ryan of Central Plumbing Company Inc. in Arlington Heights.

Q: Describe your business, what do you do?


A: Central Plumbing Company Inc. is a family owned and operated business since 1980. We do residential & commercial service work as well as new & remodeling projects. We do complete water services, overhead sewers, sewer clean outs or complete sewer replacement.

Q: What made you start your business?

A: Plumbers in our family date back to the 1920s. Our grandfather was a plumber for the city of Chicago and our father Ed Ryan, a World War II veteran, started Central Plumbing in 1980, due to the recession. His two sons Tom and Kevin, started with their dad shortly after. Rob Ryan, the 4th generation of plumbers, is on track to take over and keep the family business going. So we guess that plumbing is in our blood.

Q: Your business has been around for a while, how have you been able to grow?

A: We strongly believe word-of-mouth is the best method of advertising. By being honest, treating people with respect, and taking pride in our work, this has helped our business grow.

Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?

A: We really enjoy helping customers. Anytime you are able to fix a problem, the customer has a good feeling. The final touches to a bathroom we just remodeled, or getting a sewer open, which sometimes can save a customer thousands of dollars so they don't have dig up their lawn is gratifying. A lot of our projects take mental & physical hard work to accomplish, so knowing that the customer is satisfied and then pass our name to a family member or friend is a good feeling.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: As for Kevin and Tom, we had a decision -- college or plumbing. We opted to be plumbers since we grew up around the trade. As for Rob, he went to college for a few years and after some persuading from his grandfather, he also took up plumbing.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: We all sleep very well at night. After a long hard day at work and in the office, knowing that the work we preformed that day for the customer was up to code and we left the job with the customer satisfaction is a piece of mind for both us & the customer.

Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would that be?

A: Be smart with your money. Make sure to pay your employees and bills before you pay yourself. Macaroni and cheese make a good lunch & dinner at the beginning of starting up in business.

Q: What else should people know about your business?

A: We are a local 130 Union plumbing contractor, licensed, insured & state bonded. Each employee has required to attend plumbing school, and complete a five-year apprenticeship.


Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?

A: Something that sets us apart from a nonunion plumbing contractor is each employee is individually licensed so you actually have a licensed plumber doing your work. All employees are required to continue their education by taking refresher courses each year to stay up to date with new products & procedures. We are friendly and honest and have many years of experience to give a professional opinion & solution to the problem.

• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. For more information, contact Kim Mikus at

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.