Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 


Dean Leith Plumbing, Heating & Soft Water Service

Send a link to a friend

[June 14, 2010]  In 1946 a young Dean Leith returned home from the service and found a job with plumber Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes had purchased the business from W.E. Bouillon as a young man. Rhodes was getting on in years by 1946, and he decided that it was time to retire.

Leith formed a partnership with the plumbing shop secretary, Lillian Schide, and together they purchased the business from Rhodes. For the next few years, the two would run the business together, but then in 1950 Leith became the sole proprietor of the shop.

For 60 years now, the business has been family-owned. When Dean Leith retired over a dozen years ago, his sons Phil and Mark stepped in.

The two Leith sons grew up in the business, learning the trade as they followed their father and developing their own skills along the way.

To be a plumber journeyman, one first has to become an apprentice. During apprenticeship the would-be journeyman will study and work a total of five years while learning the trade through education and experience.

Once the apprenticeship is complete, a state exam is required before the apprentice can become a licensed journeyman.

Leith offers a wide variety of products and services in the Lincoln and Logan County area. Not only are they available for clogged sewers and broken water lines; the business also sells and installs Weil-McLain steam and hot water heating systems.

Hot water systems use water boilers and slowly circulate heat throughout the home. One of the advantages of hot water heat is that it causes less turbulence inside the home, thus helping to cut down on dust. The systems are also quieter, with no blower system, plus the life span of hot water boilers is about 25 years, which is 10 to 15 years longer than a traditional forced-air furnace.

In addition to hot water heat, the business also offers water softeners, water heaters, well pumps and water filtering systems.

The Leiths say that over the years the mechanics behind plumbing have not changed as much as the materials used. In the beginning, plumbing systems were constructed primarily of cast iron, then it progressed to the use of copper, and now much of what is done in newer homes is PVC.

For the homeowner, one of the worst things he or she can hear is that there is a break in their sewer line. According to Phil Leith, the cost of digging up and repairing or replacing a sewer line can run into the thousands of dollars.

Typically the sewer main for the city will be located in the middle of the street in front of the home. The location where the home sewer enters the main is called the tap. Anything that breaks between the tap and the home is the homeowner's responsibility.

[to top of second column]


Leith says that once the break in the line is located, he hires contractors to dig out the line, and then he does the repair. If the break is under the street, that's when the big bucks can really start adding up.

The homeowner is responsible for the expense of tearing out the street where the break has occurred. They are also responsible for rebuilding the street once the work is completed, and that has to be done according to street department specifications.

Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot a homeowner can do to keep their sewer line from breaking.

Many of the problems, though, are associated with older sewers where tile was used rather than PVC. Leith explained that with the old-style tile, the joints break loose and, among other things, allow for tree roots to infiltrate.

On the bright side, once a homeowner knows that they have the potential for this kind of problem, they can treat their sewer line with copper sulfate to keep roots at bay.

In addition to the plumbing work the Leiths do, their secondary business is water softener systems and softener salt. The name brands they offer are Autotrol softener systems and Dura Cube softener salt.

The Leith plumbing shop is located at 410 Broadway. According to Phil they have been in the same location since their dad bought the business. The business has a staff of five: the two brothers, Donnie Wheeler, Michael Horn and Dawn Jones.

While Phil and Mark today have established their own mark as successful businessmen in Lincoln, they had a good teacher and example in their father.

Phil laughs and says about his dad: "This July he's going to be 90 years old, but he still stops in and checks on us once in a while."

Considering that, perhaps the Leith brothers won't mind sharing their spotlight with their dad.


Business Spotlight archives

< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor