OUR STORY

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1991 – Present:
Riesen Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

President: Craig Riesen
Incorporated: 1984 in Ohio

 

1942 – 1960:
Fast Plumbing & Heating

Founders: Earl and Elma Fast

1960 – 1978:
Riesen Plumbing & Heating 

Second generation:  Forrest “Sam” Riesen

 

1978 – 1991:
Riesen Bros. Plumbing, Heating & Cooling  

Third generation: Craig and Lee Riesen

In 1942, as World War II was raging, Earl Fast, my father’s uncle, was a pipefitter at Goodyear and Fridgidaire, installing boilers and industrial work. He found that Celina was in need of experienced boiler and piping services, so he started Fast Plumbing & Heating out of his garage. After the war, my father, Sam Riesen, joined him and they added plumbing work to the business. My father told me of driving their Model A car over a pile of pipe and then lifting and tying it on the bumpers for hauling to a local jobsite. Their shop moved to 121 W. Logan St. in the old hotel building, with a barn in the back that was once a horse stable. They were known around town as “ The Boiler Experts”, and maintained the heating systems in most downtown Celina buildings and many churches. As these buildings still used coal for heat, they spent many nights hand feeding these boilers when the automatic stokers would break down and parts weren’t available locally. Earl’s wife, Elma, was in charge of bookkeeping, parts, and sales. Note: Aunt Elma, with jet black hair and rosy cheeks, was a gentle lady except when it came to the plumbing shop where she knew as much or more than most men, and was the only woman I’ve ever seen cut and thread pipe on a power machine as well as any man. Earl had one of the first backhoes in Celina, an old Ford Jubilee, which dug a lot of water repairsfor the City of Celina. As this machine was very lightweight in comparison to today’s machines, the men used to drive tent stakes through the rear stabilizers into the ground or street to hold it in place. As heating systems went more to forced air in the 50’s, Fast stuck with boiler work and began doing new plumbing for many local general contractors. Along with employees Al Schultz, Carl Heckler, Cy Mangen, and Ed Sealschott, they plumbed almost everything from Main to Meadowview north of Wayne St. Throw in Grand Ave., Echo, Elm, Sunset Drive, The Daily Standard, Plaza Shopping Center, Celina Motel, etc., these guys were fine plumbers. This was the time of cast iron pipes, poured lead joints, galvanized threaded vents, galvanized water lines, tile sewers, it took years to master this trade.

After Earl Fast passed away, my father, Sam Riesen, continued the proud tradition and re-named the company Riesen Plumbing and Heating. He was a working owner offering service work and plumbing and heating for many businesses and custom homes in Celina. Around 1969 he moved the shop to our present location on North Vine St., as he owned a laundromat next door, where Subway is now. After vacationing for many years up north, he was bitten by the travelling bug and purchased a fishing camp in Northern Minnesota (1978). He lived there until his passing in December of 1991.

In 1978, my brother, Lee, and I purchased the shop and named it Riesen Bros. After lots of research and proposals from other manufacturers, we added the Carrier furnace and air conditioner line and our heating-cooling side really took off. Some summer days we would install two add-on air conditioning systems in the same day. We still relied on Al Schultz for our plumbing service until the early 80s. He worked for our family for over 40 years and taught a lot of young guys the good old way of the plumbing trade. When I was learning, Al would not let me solder water lines, so when he went to lunch I would fire up his torch and try my hand at it. He had this old homemade wooden tool box he carried full of his hand tools and it always amazed me as to all of the many jobs and repairs he could make with just those few tools. Al never swore, but when he would get going or skin a knuckle he would let loose with some of the most unbelievable sayings, my favorite being “You lousy livered rascal”, and also “You varmint, devil, dadgum devil, you dirty thing you, and gol dernit”.

 

I really enjoyed commercial/industrial work so I sold out to Lee in 1985 and pursued other interests with a commercial plumbing/mechanical contractor.

In 1991, I bought Lee out and the company flew under the Riesen Plumbing & Heating banner once again. We still concentrate on plumbing and heating work with some of our customers being third generation also. Our experience and resources allow us to do custom new homes, remodeling projects, and every type of service call. On the commercial/industrial side, see page six for a partial listing of completed contracts. We are the area’s most experienced furnace and air conditioning contractor, receiving a Bronze Sales Award from Carrier Corp. in 2006. With many types of furnaces in stock, we can offer same day sales and installation for most homes. We service all makes of equipment and have a large inventory of repair parts.

After the Recovery Act Stimulus Bill of 2009 included Tax Credits for HVAC equipment, we saw a need in the area for a new line of Furnaces and Air Conditioners. After serious consideration, Riesen PHI was proud to select Tempstar to add to our family of products that we represent. Tempstar furnaces are made by ICP Corporation in Indianapolis in the same plant where Carrier furnaces are built. Their product offering is very complete going from apartment/rental type equipment all the way to the high-tech T9MVX, variable speed, two-stage furnaces. This new venture took off like wildfire and greatly contributed to a very successful 2009 and a huge 2010. Our customers are appreciative of the good value and quiet operation of the Tempstar equipment.

 

We now have Cathy Frazier and Marie Keller managing the office, along with Technicians: Gregg Muhlenkamp, Andy Weisman, Mike Kaup, David Weitzel and Amos Clifford in the field.

~ One of the keys to our family business success has been a strong community involvement in local charities, and causes, concerning our area youth and the underpriveleged.

As always, since 1942, people find out that if you call 586-2639, you get friendly help, from experts, for a fair price.

Continuing the tradition,

Craig Riesen

CONTACT US

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