Kitten makes Mr Rooter a TV stars

Cat in drainThe Pittsburgh franchisee of Drain Doctor’s ‘opposite number’ in the USA – where the business is known as Mr Rooter – has featured in local newspapers and on television after rescuing a kitten from a drain.

A local couple kept hearing meowing in their garage – although they don’t have a cat. Investigations revealed that the cries were coming from a kitten trapped in a drain beneath the garage floor.

They tried soaping it with dish washing liquid to slide it out. They called a local animal charity for help. Nothing worked.

Eventually they called Mr. Rooter. Technician Brian Bruni decided the only way they would get the cat free was to use a jackhammer to break up the concrete around the drain. Even when that was done, there was still a cast iron drain stuck around the kitten’s neck which had to be carefully split using a hammer and chisel.

Although it was wet and shaking, the cat appears to be OK – and it has now been adopted by the couple who own the garage which nearly became its last resting place.

You can read the story and see the TV coverage here: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/08/25/couple-calls-mr-rooter-to-rescue-kitten-trapped-in-drain/

 

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Nasty summer niffs or flash floods mean it is time to check your drains!

A Drain Doctor CCTV survey will show you what is in your drains.

A Drain Doctor CCTV survey will show you what is in your drains.

As the recent hot and humid weather is followed by heavy thundery downpours sweeping across the UK, the sweet perfume from gardens in bloom may be replaced by a nasty niff and uncharacteristic flooding may occur. These are sure signs it is time to check your drains.

The warm wet weather that followed the recent heat wave may be good for the garden. Below ground, though, the roots that support the new growth can play havoc with drains and sewers, penetrating pipes and causing blockages. And it’s set to continue for a little while yet.

As a householder, if the blockage is within the boundary of your property, you are responsible for clearing it. If it is beneath the street outside, it is probably the responsibility of the water company.

Locating the blockage can itself be difficult though. The best and most certain way is to put a CCTV camera into the drainage system to see what is actually down there – and where it is. A reputable drain clearance company will give you a detailed report.

There are a number of drain clearing products sold in supermarkets and DIY stores. Some will clear the initial problem – but few will stop it coming back.

Rather than using a chemical-based product, take a tip from the professionals and consider using biology to shift the blockage. The UK’s largest emergency plumbing and drain clearance business Drain Doctor Plumbing, for example, uses an enzyme cleaner which digests organic wastes in drains, breaking down fat and grease build ups which lead to odours and blockages. The company recommends using the product on a regular basis to keep drains free-flowing and clean-smelling.

Robin Banks of Drain Doctor says: “Using enzymes rather than chemicals is much better for the environment – and, in the long run, much more effective at keeping drains clear.”

Even enzymes, though, won’t get rid of roots which can grow across pipes and then catch debris coming down the drain until it builds up to create a really effective blockage. If that happens you will need a specialist with the right equipment to remove the roots and repair the drain.

Prevention is, of course, better than cure and Drain Doctor has a number of tips to avoid summer drainage and plumbing problems.

  • Install a strainer in plug holes to catch hair and other objects that could block drains.
  • Don’t pour fat and grease from cooking down the drain – allow it to cool and put it in the bin.
  • Don’t dispose of old oil, paint or other substances down the drain.
  • Have an established plumber inspect drains for leaks, damage and corrosion and get problems sorted out while they are small, rather than waiting for a disaster! By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, plumbers can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or penetrated by roots. Ask the plumber to give a diagnosis of the work needed and provide a written estimate up front. The ones who don’t probably have something to hide such as VAT costs or other ‘extras’.

If you do have a drainage problem and simple DIY techniques don’t solve it, call in the professionals – but make sure they are professionals. Drainage is becoming increasingly technical and you should always seek a qualified drainage technician such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Call them 24 hours a day on 0800 3357 999.

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Give plumbing problems the red card during the World Cup with handy hints from Drain Doctor Plumbing

Don't  let a plumbing emergency spoil your World Cup party.

Don’t let a plumbing emergency spoil your World Cup party.

With the World Cup just a few weeks away and football fever about to engulf the whole country, it is time to get friends and family together and settle down in front of the television to watch Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and the rest of the boys in Brazil as they aim to win the biggest prize in football.

However, any celebrations may be cut short if there is a drainage disaster – and you’ll feel more like a hapless amateur defender than a World Cup winning superstar if plumbing problems mean your partying is ruled offside.

“All of the Drain Doctor Plumbing franchisees across England are right behind Roy Hodgson’s men and it is set to be a thrilling World Cup. However, the joy of England’s progression will be severely hindered by blocked toilets or problems with drainage. Nobody wants a blocked toilet causing problems during what could be England’s finest hour,” said Robin Banks, Drain Doctor Plumbing’s national franchise operations manager.

“With parties and barbecues themed around England’s matches, people will be eating and drinking more – this obviously leads to more trips to the toilet. This puts extra strain on toilets and can increase the risk of problems.” 

According to Drain Doctor Plumbing, simple cleaning and maintenance should be done to prevent major and expensive repairs. It has produced a simple check list for football fans to ensure problems are identified before kick off and that major repair work can be given the red card:

  • Always know where your main stop valve is located and ensure it is labelled. It is on the incoming mains water supply and is often under the kitchen sink.
  • Stop valves tend to corrode slightly with time, so check that it’s working by exercising the valve twice from fully open to fully closed and back again (and always back the valve off ‘half a turn’ from fully open once you’re done).
  • Inspect toilet cisterns both inside and out for operation and wear. If there are any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact Drain Doctor.
  • Stock all bathrooms with standard toilet paper – this is less likely to cause a blockage than more expensive types. Don’t flush paper towels or napkins.
  • Remove small items that may be above the toilet. These could be accidentally knocked into the bowl and may cause a blockage.
  • Have Drain Doctor plumbing inspect pipes for leaks, damage and corrosion. By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, plumbers can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or misaligned.
  • Get Drain Doctor to give a diagnosis of the work needed and provide an estimate of the work that needs to be done upfront.
  • Drain Doctor will allow you to pay for a job when it is complete and you are fully satisfied with the work.
  • If England gets knocked out, resist the temptation to flush your football shirt down the loo!

Launched in the United Kingdom in 1993, Drain Doctor Plumbing quickly grew to become the country’s premier combined emergency plumbing and drain repair service. It now provides a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service across the country with each franchise run as an independent business.

Drain Doctor Plumbing – 0800 3357 999

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Bedford Drain Doctors Scoop Third National Business Award

Michelle and Stuart Brock receive their growth award from Drain Doctor Plumbing chairman Freddie Mitman (left).

Michelle and Stuart Brock receive their growth award from Drain Doctor Plumbing chairman Freddie Mitman (left).

For the third year in succession Stuart Brock’s decision to launch his own Drain Doctor Plumbing business covering Bedford, Milton Keynes and the surrounding villages has proved a winner. In 2012 he was named most progressive new franchisee at the national group’s annual awards ceremony. The following year he scooped an award for business growth – and he has repeated the same feat this year.

Group founder and chairman Freddie Mitman presented Stuart and his wife Michelle with their trophy at a gala awards night at the Holiday Inn in historic Stratford-upon-Avon.

The award is presented to franchisees who have achieved substantial growth for their business.

Freddie Mitman said: “The winners of these awards, like Michelle and Stuart, often go on to be perennial award winners in other categories year after year. They attain special achievements within the network and these awards recognise that. They are the future of our business.

“The winners all come from very different parts of the country proving that sustained growth does not favour certain areas or regions, it can happen anywhere that the franchisee ‘makes it happen’”.

Stuart said: “Drain Doctor’s success in Bedford has come from offering local businesses and householders ‘dazzling’ levels of service in an industry that is plagued by ‘cowboy’ operators.”

Stuart launched his franchise in January 2011. He provides a wide range of plumbing and drainage repairs, including high-pressure jetting, ‘no-dig’ drain re-lining and closed circuit camera surveys.

Stuart and Michelle more than achieved their target turnover during 2013 in spite of the recession and now have plans for further growth in 2014.

Positive word of mouth set the Brocks on their new business path. Stuart and Michelle researched various franchise businesses for a while. They looked at the Drain Doctor model on the recommendation of close friend Martin Humphrey, who has run the Stevenage and Luton franchise since February 2010.

Stuart said. “Martin’s franchise and the Bedford and Milton Keynes franchise were originally parts of the same franchise area. Martin purchased his area when the franchisee was downsizing and he knew that he would be looking to sell the remaining part of his business in the future.

“Joining Drain Doctor Plumbing was most definitely the best thing I have done.”

Freddie Mitman said: “Stuart and his team have fully absorbed the Drain Doctor ethos of delivering exceptional standards of customer service.”

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South West London Drain Doctor is Franchise of the Year

Fanchise of the Year 2014Brother and sister Aaron Clark and Natalie O’Brien’s decision to give up their respective careers and launch their own Drain Doctor Plumbing business covering South West London is still proving a winner. They have crowned their fifth successful year in business by being presented with the Franchise of the Year award at the national group’s annual awards ceremony.

Group founder and chairman Freddie Mitman presented Aaron and Natalie with their trophy at a gala awards night at the Holiday Inn in Stratford upon Avon.

The award is given to those franchisees who have not only generated outstanding financial results but have also developed good customer relationships, are good Drain Doctor ‘team players’ and follow the Drain Doctor ‘system’ to provide dazzling levels of customer service.

The dynamic duo are no strangers to awards. They won the group’s ‘most progressive franchise’ award after only their first year in business in 2010.

Freddie Mitman said: “The winners of our ‘most progressive franchise’ awards often go on to be perennial award winners in other categories year after year. They are the future of our business. This has been borne out yet again.

“This year’s Franchise of the Year winner is a brother and sister team where the two of them work wonderfully well together. They are highly ambitious with a great attitude and have really shown the potential of the area where they are in business.”

Aaron and Natalie launched their London South West franchise in June 2009. Aaron, who has always worked as a plumber, took on his Drain Doctor business after spending time employed as a technician with another London Drain Doctor franchisee. He said then that the time was right for him to take on his own business.

Aaron’s sister Natalie O’Brien is a mother and former singer who had a top 30 hit in 2003 with a dance cover version of Air Supply’s ‘I’m all out of love.’

Natalie said: “I left the music industry to have my children and then I trained as a beautician. When Aaron said he was taking on the London SW Drain Doctor business I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to help run a family business and use all the skills I have to provide ‘dazzling’ customer service.”

Between them Aaron and Natalie provide a wide range of plumbing and drainage repairs, including high-pressure jetting, ‘no-dig’ drain re-linings and closed circuit camera surveys.

Aaron and Natalie more than achieved their target turnover during 2013 in spite of the recession and now have plans for further growth.

“Joining Drain Doctor Plumbing was most definitely the best thing I have done,” Aaron said. “We investigated other franchise options when we decided to launch a new business and were impressed by Drain Doctor Plumbing’s professionalism.

“Natalie and I opted to join Drain Doctor because the company has a real focus on customer service. I can be an independent operator running my own business but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a national organisation.”

Freddie Mitman added: “Aaron and Natalie and their great team have fully absorbed the Drain Doctor ethos of delivering exceptional standards of customer service.”

You can also see more on this on the British Franchise Association website.

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Chester Drain Doctor Cures Hotel Cellar Pong

When staff at a hotel in Chester noticed a bad odour and began receiving complaints from a neighbouring business the management they called Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage for a diagnosis and cure.

Technicians from the Drain Doctor Chester franchise business wearing full protective kit, waders and breathing apparatus located the source of the problem in a sealed cellar.

Co-owner of the franchise Clive Tucker explained: “We discovered a cellar in the basement of the hotel which had been closed off since 1982. The only access to the room was by squeezing in between two air ducts.

“The technicians were able to assess the situation in the first instance by using gas monitoring equipment, then gained access to the room via the air ducts. On inspecting the cellar they found that it had filled up with foul waste from a manhole cover.

“Foul water had backed up due to a blockage in the drain and the pressure had forced up the manhole causing the room to slowly fill with waste. This situation had developed to such an extent that it was causing problems with the smell.”

Once the problem had been found Drain Doctor’s technicians were able to release the pressure in the drain by jetting. The remaining waste was removed by pumping into a tanker and the cellar was jetted and carefully cleaned.

Clive added: “Within 36 hours of getting the original call we were able to leave the hotel with a clean and usable cellar safe in the knowledge that staff would not receive any further complaints from guests and neighbours.

“This job was just one example of the ‘dazzling’ levels of service our customers can expect.”

Drain Doctor Chester cellar clearance

Hotel staff in Chester noticed a bad odour coming from overflowing drains in the basement and called Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage Ltd for a diagnosis and cure.

Drain Doctor clear cellar drain

Drain Doctor located the manhole and cleared the cellar.

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Slough Drain Doctor “Doing His Own Thing”

New Drain Doctor Slough

After 16 years working for his father in the drainage industry, Conway Porterfield is starting his own company as the Drain Doctor franchisee for Slough.

After 16 years working for his father in the drainage industry, Conway Porterfield is starting his own company as the Drain Doctor franchisee for Slough.

Although part of the national Drain Doctor network – the UK’s largest combined plumbing and drainage business – the Slough operation will be an independent franchise operation.

“After 16 years working with my father I reckon it is time to do my own thing,” said Conway.

He did careful research before taking on the Drain Doctor franchise. Some of his friends own franchises from other plumbing companies and have given him ‘inside information’ about what is good – and bad – with each of them.

“I have heard some real horror stories about franchise companies,” he said. “But I have found that Drain Doctor is different. You may be running your own business but Drain Doctor is there to help in all sorts of ways, providing the back-up of a large national organisation.

“With other plumbing and drainage franchises you just don’t get the same support that you do with a Drain Doctor franchise.”

Initially Conway will be a ‘one man band’, operating from a van equipped to deal with most plumbing and drainage emergencies. He has plans to rapidly expand the business, however, and aims to have another technician working alongside him within six months.

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