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Miracle Mechanical may sound like the name of a contracting company (and a great one at that). But it’s actually the name of a charity project ran by husband-and-wife team Brent and Kathleen Ridley.
Miracle Mechanical is dedicated to uplifting families and communities by providing much-needed plumbing and HVAC repair at no cost to the recipient. Since its launch in January 2021, Miracle has successfully completed six projects for families in need throughout the North Georgia area.
“And we’ve got two more in the pipeline right now,” Kathleen adds.
For example, one of Brent’s favs was teaming up with Viega to help replace corroded galvanized pipe to provide the homeowner with, once again, clean water flowing through new copper piping and 80 pounds of Viega ProPress fittings.
“With Viega being a leader in press-fitting technology we really wanted to select a recipient in need of plumbing repairs,” Brents says. “That being said, like every project, I truly believe the right person gets put in our path.”
The homeowner was referred to Miracle Mechanical by the daughter of her neighbors.
“After meeting with her,” Brent adds, “it was apparent that she was who we needed to help. Her genuine humble spirit drew us in and there was no question that we would repipe her home and restore clean flowing water back into her life.”
Other recent projects include the following:
• With help from Rapid Locking System and Apex Supply, Miracle Mechanical replaced an HVAC system and dryer free of charge for an elderly woman suffering from dementia along with her daughter/caretaker. Apex Supply donated a brand-new HVAC unit while RLS sponsored the project to cover supply and labor costs.
• An Oatey-sponsored project provided much-needed help to a U.S. Air Force veteran who battled multiple sclerosis and debilitating physical challenges for the last three decades. The vet’s home lacked clean drinking water for several years due to a failing water filtration system. Through Oatey's help, the Miracle Mechanical team was able to purchase and install new appliances, including an electric water heater, two ADA-compliant toilets and a state-the-art water filtration system.
• With support from RIDGID, Miracle Mechanical helped fix troublesome septic tank issues for a homeowner who had been seriously injured in a car accident. Plumbing issues had gotten to the point that the homeowner was afraid that when it rained the downstair’s toilets might back up. Miracle Mechanical repaired the septic system issues to prevent sewage from backing up in the house, and also installed new toilets, repaired kitchen sink piping and installed a new electric water heater.
As you may have guessed by now, the Ridleys actively line up financial and in-kind donations from manufacturers at the start of each project.
“Our corporate sponsors are very important,” Brent says. “With their financial contribution, we are able to complete these costly repairs at no cost to the homeowner, as well as fulfill other needs the recipient may have such as new appliances, groceries or landscaping.”
Financial support also goes to pay the expenses of a film crew to document the project. After post-production work, the edited 15- to 20-minute segments are shared on Brent and the manufacturers’ social media platforms.
“That way, the companies sponsoring the projects have a great little marketing promo that they are able to promote,” Kathleen adds. “Everybody wins. We’re able to help people, and the companies that help us are able to get something in return as well.”
Brent is also adamant about paying his crews from H&M Services, a full service plumbing and HVAC company based in Cummin, Ga.
“I don’t feel it’s right for me to ask my employees to work for free on Miracle Mechanical projects,” Brent adds.
Brent and his father Harry Ridley run H&M, which Harry opened some three decades ago. While Harry heads up the plumbing side, Brent is in charge of the HVAC operations.
And while his plumbing and HVAC know-how certainly help Miracle Mechanical’s projects, Brent’s experience with his popular podcast is what gave him the inspiration for launching Miracle Mechanical.
Brent originally started doing tool reviews and offering general skilled trades content on Instagram before moving over to his podcast, Tool Pros, which he started in 2017. He gets help with the podcast from Billy Knoth, who worked as a tech for 20 years and now offers tech support at a local Johnstone Supply.
“Through the podcast, we had established a lot of great business relationships” Brent explains, with many well-known companies sending plenty of tools to review.
“Free tools are great,” Brent adds, “But after I received my eighth impact driver, I started thinking that we could use this platform for something even more helpful than tool reviews and help people take care of their plumbing and HVAC problems.”
And that’s how Miracle Mechanical was born.
“We reached out to the manufacturing community we’d been working with and said, ‘Here’s a thought, but we need some cash to make it happen,’ ’’ Brent adds. “And thankfully, there are a lot of great people out there and they believed in Miracle Mechanical and we were off to the races.”
And since then, the Ridleys have reached out to other companies that they hadn’t worked with for the podcast.
“We’ve built more relationships,” Brent adds, “and been able to keep it all going.”
Plenty To Do
The duo have plenty on their to-do lists these days.
In addition to H&M and the Tool Pros podcast, Brent recently started another podcast called Plumbing School, which he describes as “all things plumbing” and discusses various aspects of the trades, including service and repair and new construction.
Brent stays focused on the day-to-day work of H&M since Kathleen takes care of organizing the podcasts and Miracle Mechanical’s projects – all while busy with her own podcast. The Tool Wife Podcast, launched in September 2019.
“That’s my baby,” Kathleen explains, adding that her podcast bills itself as a “weekly peek into the life of a woman married into the skilled trades industry.”
“It is a lot of work to get everything done,” Brent adds. “But we’re a team.”
In order to figure out whom to help, Kathleen starts the selection process by posting on local social media groups to identify the next candidates. From that point, Kathleen contacts and sets meetings with each individual to assess the needed repairs. Once she makes a selection, it can take two to three months to plan and schedule everything since the Ridleys want the typical eight-hour project day (or days) to go off without a hitch.
“As Miracle Mechanical has become better known,” Kathleen adds. “People are also reaching out to us directly.”
While all the projects to date have been in Georgia, ultimately, the goal is to do so on a broader scale.
“At some point,” Kathleen adds, “we plan on traveling out of our area and helping others all across the country.”
The Ridley’s encourage everyone who wants to support Miracle Mechanical to like, comment and share the project videos on their preferred social media channels. Anyone can easily find the videos on Miracle Mechanical’s YouTube and Instagram channels.
“The more interactions these videos receive the more it helps to promote interest and secure other partners for future projects,” Brent says.
This feature is part of our Plumbers Giving Back series, sponsored by the the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).
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