Safe Estimating Procedure for plumbing & HVAC

SAFE ESTIMATING PROCEDURE (including no or minimal contact and safe distancing)

We are continually asked if we are providing quotes during this covid-19 Corona virus pandemic – the answer is YES – but very carefully with minimal (or no) contact.

Plumbing and HVAC services and installations are considered essential services according to the government of Canada. We are being asked to continue offering these services in order to maintain the safe operation of the residential buildings (this includes plumbing, heating, boilers, furnaces, water heaters, tankless, heat pumps, water purification, etc. – any equipment you rely on daily for the comfort and stability of your home life).

Here is the information we received with regards to essential services:
Businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial industrial and residential properties and buildings, including, property management services, plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, security services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics, (e.g. HVAC, escalator and elevator technicians), and other service providers who provide similar services 


How we are able to safely provide quotes during this pandemic:

We still need to minimize exposure to both the homeowner and our estimators/technicians so this is how we are requesting initial information.

  • Email, phone or chat (click the chat box below to contact our company)
  • Let us know what you need a quote for (considering replacing our air conditioner this spring, water heater is leaking, etc.)
  • Take photos of your existing equipment with your cell phone (include these in your email or in our chat box below):
    • Take a photo of the label if it has one (it usually has the model and serial number right on it so we know what you have)
    • Stand back and take a photo of the equipment from as far back as you can get (it allows us to see connection points, gas lines, venting, water lines, etc.)
    • If the equipment vents out a side wall take a photo of the outside of the house where the equipment vents
  • Be sure to give us a phone number to call you back on and an email for sending you information about product options

With a quick phone conversation and the information above we can usually provide you with some basic pricing (by email or phone)


If you decide to go ahead with the work we will schedule a time for the estimator/technician to do a final in-home assessment (just to make sure we didn’t miss anything and can do the work as quoted).

When booking the free in-home site assessment our office staff will be asking questions to verify if it is safe to provide the assessment at this time.

Questions we will ask you:

  1. Has anyone in the home traveled outside the Ottawa region over the last 14 days?
  2. Is anyone in the home currently experiencing cold like symptoms (cough, fever, etc.)?
  3. Does anyone in the home have a compromised immune system or is over the age of 75?

Before the estimator/technician shows up here is what we need you to do:

  1. Disinfect door knobs, stair case railings, and any surfaces our estimator/technician will be touching (thermostat, covers on equipment, etc.)
  2. If humanly possible vacate the area where the estimator/technician will be working at least 3 hours prior to their arrival (this allows anything air born to settle to the floor before they walk in).
  3. Maintain safe social distances at all time (keep at least 6 feet from our estimator/technicians) and ideally keep other family members in a different room or different floor of the building to minimize exposure.
Social Distancing is a mandatory safety policy for Francis Plumbing and Heating


Safety Protocols by our company:

When the estimator shows up (or technicians providing the work) they will be following very strict safety protocols.

  • face mask
  • safety glasses or goggles
  • full face shield
  • disposable gloves
  • disinfectant wipes and disinfectant spray
  • garbage bags for safe disposal of wipes and cleaning materials
  • hand sanitizer
  • and more…

Before walking to your door the estimator or technician will disinfect their hands, put on personal protection equipment – mask, glasses, face shield, gloves (referred to as PPE in the trade) and will carry disinfectant with them to the door. They will ring the bell and take a step back at least 6 feet waiting for the door to be answered.

When the door opens they will do a quick safety assessment – if it is obvious that the homeowner is sick or people in the background can be heard coughing the estimator may decide to postpone the physical site assessment until everyone in the home is healthy again. The office will reschedule this appointment if this is the case. We do not allow our estimators or technicians to walk into a home where the inhabitants are obviously sick. Our estimators and technicians have final say as to which homes they feel safe enough to walk into. When in doubt the appointment will be rescheduled.

If all is good they will begin putting the information together for verifying the estimate.

When the estimator has everything they need – they will email you the quote (this way you see receive the quote without touching anything from the estimator/technician).

The estimator will then disinfect and wipe down anything they touched (thermostat, cover on furnace or whatever equipment touched) leaving the home as clean as they found it (often cleaner than they found it).


If you decide to go with the work as quoted the office will take the 20% deposit by phone by Visa, MasterCard or email payment from your bank (they will provide you with the correct email address for sending payments) and will accept signature by email (so you never have to touch paper from us).

If you have chosen the “Do Not Pay For One Year” finance option these documents will be sent to you via email for your online signature (docu-sign).

The work will be scheduled just as soon as possible to assure we can get this done while everyone in the home is still in good health.

The Day Before the Installation:

Please note the day before the installation our office will call again just to verify that nothing has changed and it is still safe to perform the installation or repairs as quoted.  We will also remind you about disinfecting door knobs, railings, and anything our technicians will be touching. If it is a full day installation we also ask that one bathroom be disinfected for our technicians to use – they will then use their own disinfectant wipes to wipe down the bathroom upon completion leaving it clean again. If you only have the one bathroom we ask that anyone in the home who uses it disinfects it after each use for the safety of all.

Upon Completion:

When the work is completed the technicians will disinfect everything we touched leaving your home as clean (or cleaner) than we found it.

When the technicians leave your home they will:

  • disinfect all tools before putting them back in their tool bag
  • disinfect tool bag before putting it back in their truck
  • disinfect their full face shield, clean it and hang it for proper storage
  • disinfect door handles on the truck
  • disinfect cell phone
  • dispose of disinfectant wipes and gloves
  • use hand sanitizer before stepping back in the truck (the cabs are kept as sanitary as possible – disinfected frequently as this is the only place they are allowed to take their mask off, eat or drink).
  • notify the office by cell phone that job is completed and final payment can be collected if it is not being financed

The office will then follow up with you to complete the transaction.

We really do care so if you have any questions or concerns please let us know.

Thank you for your understanding,

Dave & Kay Francis

and the entire Francis Plumbing & Heating team