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Alliance can now help with leaky faucet to remodel

Troutdale plumbing company expands into residential services


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Mark Kruckman wanted to be an engineer before he spent a summer working with his brother, who was a plumber. Kruckman is co-owner of Alliance Plumbing and recently expanded the company into a historic former service station in Troutdale.

Sometimes, even the best-laid career plans are subject to change when they’re least expected.

“I wanted to be an engineer when I was in high school,” said Mark Kruckman, general manager and co-owner of Alliance Plumbing in Troutdale. “The summer after I graduated, my brother talked me into going to work with him one day. He was a plumber. I worked with him over the summer and never went on to college like I thought I would. I love what I do now, but I still joke that my brother robbed me of my dream.”

There could be something said for a little brotherly advice, since Kruckman, 40, now has more than 20 years in the plumbing industry under his belt.

He has taken the lessons learned during a volatile economy the past few years to bring Alliance Plumbing into the full-service plumbing market and better serve East County’s residential and commercial customers.

Kruckman, a Corbett native, spent four years as an apprentice plumber following that fateful job shadow years ago. After completing his apprenticeship, he went on to work in the new construction, remodeling and service part of the industry, before opening his own shop at his home.

In 2008, Kruckman signed on with Seattle-based United Plumbing (UBMF), doing primarily new construction and commercial plumbing. He relocated the business to a small building owned by the Handy brothers in Troutdale a couple years later and began to grow the company.

Then the economy sputtered.

“When I first got into this, you could work in new construction and stay with that,” Kruckman said. “But when the economy tanked, you had to diversify to pay the bills. So last year, we decided to broaden our expertise by starting a service shop.”

Kruckman changed the name of the company to Alliance Plumbing in November, coinciding with its move to bigger digs in a historic former service station on the Columbia River Highway in Troutdale. The company’s 35 employees are trained and educated to answer any service call.

“We can do anything from fixing a drippy faucet to plumbing a four-story commercial building or apartment,” Kruckman said. “We do remodels and service all residential plumbing in the Portland metro area, and we service and install residential heating and cooling.”

What sets Alliance Plumbing apart, Kruckman said, is the assessment process he applies to his employees. He observes journeyman and apprentice plumbers on the job site, taking note of where they excel, so he can best utilize their skills.

“There are some guys who can plumb an eight-story building and make it look like artwork,” Kruckman said. “But they may not be the best at working on somebody’s garbage disposal. I think that’s what I do best — find out where people’s expertise is best used.”

Akin to his brother before him, Kruckman believes in mentoring his apprentices and working alongside them to help them grow.

“I won’t ask my guys to do anything I don’t do,” Kruckman said. “If they’re working on a Saturday, I’m on the job site too. We are focusing on meeting all of our customers’ plumbing needs and we’re working hard to be the company that takes all the phone calls.”

More info

The 27th annual Howard Rist Memorial Golf Tournament, sponsored by Technical Fabricators, gets under way with an 8 a.m. shotgun start Friday, June 27, at Gresham Golf Course, 2155 N.E. Division St. Entry fee is $85 per person and includes green fees, cart rental, tournament T-shirt, food and beverage and door prize entry. Golfers can participate in a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and putting contest, with proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish Oregon.

To register a team, join a team or donate, contact Katie Loeb at 503-957-2982 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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