An independent electric and plumbing supplier known for sharing expertise with DIYers in Bend is closed.

Searings Electric and Plumbing at 1259 NE Second St. closed about a month ago, owner Scott Steinbrecher said. Searings filed for bankruptcy protection April 11. Steinbrecher was not available to answer questions Monday.

The business struggled over the last couple years, and Steinbrecher was offered a job by a competitor, attorney Brian Hemphill of McCord & Hemphill said. Steinbrecher’s initial plan was to wind the business down on his own, but he didn’t have time, he said.

Searings filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is an organized liquidation of assets. The building and land are owned by the John Steinbrecher Family Trust.

Scott Steinbrecher’s father, John Steinbrecher is owed $8,400 in rent, according to the court filing.

Searings’ 14,000-square-foot retail building was listed for sale on LoopNet for $2.3 million. The listing agents could not be reached for comment.

Searings was one of several independently owned plumbing and electrical suppliers by the same name. A Searing store in Corvallis closed in 2015, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, and the Searings in Longview, Washington, closed last year, TDN.com reported.

Both stores were in their second generation of ownership, and the owners cited competition from big-box hardware stores.

Searings of Bend had earned an average 4.9 stars from Google reviews, based on 31 reviews. “They have helped me with installing a new water line for my ice maker, setting up a (three) station home sprinkler system, a hydroponics system, and even helped me create a tomato hothouse out of PVC pipe,” one customer wrote five years ago. “You know they are good when the big box stores on the north end of town recommend them.”

A review written three months ago was equally glowing: “It is extremely rare that you find someone willing to explain how a project should be done, meticulously put together your order, and encourage you to call them if you have problems.”

Money will be available to Searings’ unsecured creditors, according to the bankruptcy court filing. Assets were estimated at $50,000 to $100,000, and liabilities at $100,000 to $500,000.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com

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