About

About Engert Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

In 1891, well over a century ago, Engert Plumbing & Heating, Inc. was established in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our continued focus on customer service and quality workmanship is what makes us one of the oldest family-owned businesses in East Tennessee today. Through the years our dedicated workforce has paved the way by improving the services and developing the expertise necessary for continued growth in a fast pace and expanding environment. As one of the most recognized names in the industry with a reputation second to none, Engert has pioneered many firsts in East Tennessee and has helped shape much of the current skyline in the Knoxville and East Tennessee areas.

As a company known for its superior workmanship and attention to detail, Engert specializes in all areas of mechanical contracting for the commercial and institutional industry. With our winning team of dedicated and experienced employees, we offer unrivaled talent in plumbing, HVAC, shop fabrication, and service work. We look forward to working with you, and we look forward to the future, the next 100 years, as we “continue to serve the customer as we would ourselves.”

1849 – 1869

1849 – 1869

Engert’s storied history begins in 1849 in Mittelrussel, Germany. This is the year the Engert family came to America and settled in Morgan County, Tennessee. In 1869, the future founder of Engert Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Frederic A. “Fritz” Engert was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.

1875

The Engert family moved to Knoxville. This was where Fritz would expand upon his knowledge of the plumbing trade he learned as a boy and where he would establish one of the oldest family businesses in East Tennessee in 1891, then located at 714 Gay Street.

1891

1891

From 1891 to after the turn of the century, Engert would complete the plumbing in many residences in the City of Knoxville and surrounding districts, and in commercial buildings such as Knoxville Knitting Mills and the Arnstein Building at Market and Union Avenue.

1937

1937

Engert’s founder, Fritz Engert, passed away, leaving the company and its day-to-day operations to his nephew, Frank Engert, who had been General Manager for several years. Under Frank’s early leadership, Engert completed such projects as Fulton High School, Greyhound Bus Terminal, and the Boys and Girls Club.

Mid-50s

Mid-50s

In the mid-50s, Frank Engert purchased and restored the Samuel McCammon home, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places and where the company’s headquarters are still located today. During this time, Engert added air conditioning and sheet metal fabrication as part of its business. In 1965, Frank’s nephew, James “Jim” G. Johnston, Jr., became Engert’s General Manager and in 1974 assumed Mr. Engert’s portion of the business upon his death. This shift in management began the company’s transition to being a third-generation family run business.

Late 1960s

Late 1960s

Under Jim’s early management, Engert completed many notable projects around town including Children’s Hospital and the Communications and Administration buildings on the University of Tennessee campus, as well as Gibbs Hall and the UT Vet School.

1970s – 1990s

1970s – 1990s

In the early 70s, Engert installed the first automated duct-fabrication system in East Tennessee allowing it to further expand its growing sheet metal fabrication portion of the business, and in the 90s, a new IBM compatible Engel duct fabricating system was installed. This was the first system of its kind in the United States. These innovative additions helped Engert be part of Knoxville’s continued growth in the latter part of the century. During this time, notable projects included Pilot Oil Headquarters, Fort Sanders Hospital West, Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center, and the Whittle Building in downtown Knoxville.

2005

In November 2005, upon Jim’s untimely passing, his wife, Donna Johnston, chose to continue operation of the business with their son, James “Jason” G. Johnston, IV.

Today And Beyond!

Today, Engert continues to push for excellence in the industry. With the stability of a well-established company with over a century of experience, Engert is positioned for vigorous growth in the coming years. Recently completed projects such as Roane County Medical Center, LeConte Medical Center, and the UT Engineering Building, have helped cement Engert’s reputation as being one of the best in the business. Along with a continued push for excellence, a strong and talented workforce, and a constant drive to meet every customer’s needs, Engert is poised and ready for the future.

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