Things to Remember When Working With Steam Shower Installers
Kris Lee recently became an independent service provider and installer of steam systems whose many years of experience with MrSteam give him a unique “insider’s” view of what you should be looking for in a steam shower installer. Starting his own company has provided him a new perspective on what homeowners should consider when hiring someone to install or service their steam shower system.
We interviewed Kris on both his recent transition to owning his own company as well as his views on working with an installer. Here’s what he had to say:
How long did you work with MrSteam? What did that position give you in terms of experience and know-how?
I worked at MrSteam for ten years, starting as a technician, servicing steam units for various clients in the field. This gave me a thorough education on how steam generators and steam shower systems work. I took great pride in installing and replacing residential and commercial steam units correctly, paying careful attention to detail.
From there I became a Regional Sales Manager. This brought me up close and personal to our customers, giving me an opportunity to see the types of situations our customers might experience, as well as – most importantly – how to help resolve any issue that arises. Often, the customer wants to know how things work, so my experience in technical service always gave me an edge.
Finally, I was promoted to National Technical Manager. This gave me a chance to go back to my roots as a technician. I worked with MrSteam’s in-house techs, coaching them on how to better assist our customers, especially teaching them how to offer clear instructions so they could troubleshoot any problems that the clients were having.
Of course, this decade of experience with MrSteam and the fact that you worked on both the technical and the client side, gives you an extraordinary level of credibility in terms of steam shower installation. What made you decide to make the move to become an independent service provider and installer of steam systems? Tell me a little more about where you'll be based and the type of clients you'll be looking for.
Like so many people, I have always imagined becoming a business owner and having my own successful business. Pursuing this dream is a long-term passion, so when the opportunity arose, I was quick to take it.
I am based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and service a 200-mile radius. We offer our services to any client with steam equipment, whether they be a commercial venue or a personal home.
Why do you believe homeowners should consider a home steam system?Owning a steam shower introduces homeowners to a completely different way of life, one that enhances their lifestyle in so many ways. From relaxing your muscles and mind in a tranquil environment, to recovering from the congestion of a cold or asthma, to promoting a restful night’s sleep, there are so many benefits to a personal home spa with steam that it’s difficult to name them all.
How important do you think it is to work with a professional steam system installer – and why is it important?It’s extremely important. Look, I used to be the person who would listen to all the calls we would get from people who didn’t work with a professional – which is when we’d have to go and address everything that installer had done wrong. That includes both do-it-yourself-ers as well as people who pretended to know what they were doing – but really don’t. Engaging someone who is a true steam unit installer means you get to prevent this type of problem from the get-go – and is also critical for the warranty and longevity of your steam unit.
What specifically should you look for when selecting that installer?It’s not enough to simply ask if they have ever installed a steam unit before, because most will say yes just to get the job. Instead, ask for references of steam installations that they’ve done in the past, or ask to see some previous installations – and follow up on the references by asking those homeowners what their experience was like both in terms of the installation process as well as the functioning of the steam shower once the installation was complete. You can also read the manual a little, so you’ll know what questions to ask the installer on proper techniques.
What are some of the pitfalls you should avoid?In addition to working with someone who is unqualified, the worst pitfall is deciding to work with the person who gives you the lowest bid. This can create huge problems for you down the line, and certainly was one of the biggest causes of those service calls back when I was repairing steam equipment for MrSteam. Going with the cheapest quote is not always the best route and certainly not the cheapest route in the long run. Get it done right the first time.
What tools does MrSteam offer to help homeowners (and installers) make the right choices when it comes to selecting their steam equipment?MrSteam offers a painless system. First of all, you’re guided to select the right steam generator and other steam components by using their online Virtual Sizing tool. They offer plenty of technical materials that help installers hook up power and piping. And perhaps most important for homeowners, this is a system that maintains itself without needing any human intervention, if MrSteam’s exclusive AutoFlush® system is installed.
What are some common mistakes homeowners make when they try to do it on their own?To answer this question, I’m probably going to sound somewhat technical – and if you think that I do, it’s a sign that you really need someone professional to do this work for you. The common mistakes DIYers make include not installing unions on the steam generator, creating steam traps in the steam line, or using a non-approved metal fitting. In addition, they may decide not to install AutoFlush® which, as noted above, extends the life of your steam generator and more than pays for itself.
Kris has always dreamed of owning his own firm, and his new company, Luxury Bath Services, covers the Los Angeles area and offers a wide spectrum of services, from installation, preventative maintenance and repairs, steam equipment supply via an online store, and whole house and single unit filtration. Luxury Bath Services combines his expertise in steam manufacturing with his passion for excellent customer service. He says, "We pride ourselves on an honest and open relationship with our customers. You can trust us to perform every job to the highest standards while treating your property like our own, with respect."
We here at MrSteam want to wish Kris all the best in his new endeavor.