Leonard Powers was formed during the latter part of World War II. It was established to furnish the sales of needed materials to the rapidly expanding building industry and small manufacturers in the New York City area. Leonard Powers expanded their business to include the buying and selling of plumbing related parts after the War. The valve reseating tools that started the repair business came from the U.S. Navy. The founders of Leonard Powers had a patent on valve reseating equipment that allowed valves to be rebuilt in line.
Leonard Powers was first located in a small garage on 35th Street between First Avenue and the River. Through the years, the shop’s location took several moves including, at one time, the former studio of a bronze sculptor named Rene Paul Chambellan. Leonard Powers was located at 28th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue for the longest time. It was only in 2014 that Leonard Powers moved from there to its present home on 49th Street.
In the early days, valve repair was strictly performed in the shop. Con Edison maintained the complete steam system including a majority of buildings in their district. Con Ed contracted and maintained many of the high-pressure boilers in buildings that no longer generated their own current. These boilers were utilized within the street steam system when Con Ed’s pressure was inadequate.
As Con Edison freed itself from maintaining most of the reducing valves in buildings, Leonard Powers started field service and replacement/repair of regulators and related equipment. Antiquated technology was being replaced and we were there to help usher in the new, more efficient equipment. Leonard Powers even donated a working Pendleton clock used by Con Edison on many of its original valves to the Smithsonian Institute.
Our repair services continued to expand both in the field and at the shop. Leonard Powers built its reputation of expertise with both big and small clients alike. From the major power plants owned by Lilco, PSE&G, Union Carbide and Johnson & Johnson to other large accounts such as the Housing Authority of NYC to individual buildings we became a leading supplier of steam valve sales and service.
Today, as valves and their parts become commodity items, it is often cheaper and more efficient to replace them than to repair outmoded equipment. This is certainly true with Gate valves. However, Globe style valves of over 2″ continue to be economical to repair. Call us for a free estimate.
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