Image by Houstonian via Flickr
Texas has a reputation for breeding rough, tough folk. The ‘Lone Star’ state is chock-a-block with oilmen, ranchers, Texas Rangers and cowboys. Even the plumbers carry six shooters it seems.
We recently came across this story from the United States about the owner of a Texas plumbing business who faced a robber on his premises. According to The Star Telegram, the plumber wrestled with the intruder before shooting at him. The robber fled empty-handed before police arrived on the scene.
Thankfully, armed robbery is relatvely rare here. UK gun laws prevent people from carrying firearms, but it is good sense to be aware of the potential risk of robbery and to take reasonable precautions to safeguard your safety and that of your technicians and staff.
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When I was a lad (it was some time ago) Halloween was not something that figured large on our calendar. It is only in recent years that ‘trick or treat’ and pumpkin lanterns have become commonplace in the UK at the end of October.
According to Mr Rooter, Drain Doctor’s sister company in the USA and Canada, we may be in danger of importing some other Halloween traditions – like drains blocked with pumpkin waste.
But the trick to keeping pumpkin pulp and seeds from turning Halloween into a plumbing nightmare is as easy as pie.
“Instead of carving your jack-o’-lantern in or by the kitchen sink, try a newspaper,” advises Stacy Miskew of Mr Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton. “You need to be cautious when removing and disposing of the pumpkin’s sticky substance.”
When pumpkin pulp goes down the kitchen sink drain, the orange substance hardens and sticks to the pipes. Pumpkin carvers can end up with clogged drains if they aren’t careful.
That is a Halloween tradition we probably do not want to import to the UK.
It is good to be able to report that the campaign to save the neon plumbing supplies sign that we reported on a few weeks ago has achieved success, according to local media reports in Michigan, USA.
The Brenske Plumbing Supply Company’s 1950′s illuminated neon sign was so well-known that when its premises were redeveloped to become a pharmacy, the sign was rescued and put in a local museum. Now the museum says it has raised almost all the money needed to re-erect the sign and preserve it for future generations. Work is already under way to place the sign in its new home.
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First we had bank worker Mary Bale getting caught on CCTV depositing a moggy in a wheelie bin.
Now it seems kittens are getting flushed down toilets. New South Wales emergency services were called to a home in Sydney’s North West recently when a kitten was flushed down a loo by a two-year old girl. The kitten survived. Rescuers were able to locate the pussy using a CCTV camera in the drain. They removed the toilet and a concrete slab in order to get the kitten out.
Hopefully the little girl wasn’t unduly influenced by Ding Dong Bell. Anyway, all’s well that ends well.
Remember, don’t use the toilet like a rubbish bin. Don’t flush large items such as nappies and avoid flushing wet wipes and materials that don’t break down in the water. If the toilet blocks – call the Drain Doctor.
Image courtesy Dietmar Tollerian
Surfing the net looking for a weekend break recently Drain Doctor came across this unusual hotel in Austria.
The rooms of the Park Hotel at Ottensheim near Linz are pods made from recycled sewer pipes. Each cylindrical pod features a double bed, light, storage space and a sleeping bag. A porthole window provides a view to the outside world.
Guests can book online at Das Park Hotel.
The only drawback – no en suite. Toilets and showers, breakfast and other hotel facilities are provided through existing public infrastructure. In addition guests only need pay what they feel their stay in the hotel is worth.
Perhaps Drain Doctor could branch out into the hotel trade?
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To help the environment Drain Doctor Birmingham and West Midlands is reducing its carbon footprint by using greener fuels!
It has now changed to a fuel suppliers which provides it with a five per cent blend of biodiesel for its vans and machinery. To demonstrate its carbon reduction the fuel company provides Drain Doctor with a certificate that shows its exact carbon reduction in kilograms.
Since implementing the change Drain Doctor Birmingham’s carbon emission reduction on 1,175 litres of fuel is 1,55 kilograms!!
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Just days after we asked on this blog for a statue of a plumber to be erected in London we read that a seven-foot tall bronze of an apprentice plumber is to be placed in Cannon Street, site of the original hall of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers.
The monument will be installed next year to mark the 400th anniversary of the company receiving its Royal Charter from King James I.
The power of this blog is impressive, don’t you think? We have only to make a suggestion and the authorities rush to implement our ideas.
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It might seem hard to believe as we bask in the Indian Summer sunshine but winter is just around the corner. The long-range weather forecast from the Met Office says we’re in for unsettled weather and spells of frost towards the end of October. Then the clocks go back an hour and before you know it the late autumn weather will have given away to winter.
Perhaps it’s a little early, but checking your plumbing and drainage now and following a few simple tips now could save a lot of frustration later.
Turning off your central heating in the winter can lead to the system freezing, causing a burst pipe. Ice in the pipes can put them under immense pressure and both metal and plastic pipes can be affected. The most vulnerable to damage are pipes in areas exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hoses and water supply pipes in unheated areas like the garage, cellar or attic.
Disconnect external hoses and store them before the onset of winter. Also insulate external taps.
Don’t leave garage doors open where there is a water supply pipe that is likely to freeze. Pipes can freeze up in a matter of minutes in severely cold weather.
You could add anti-freeze to the water in the central heating system. Pour anti-freeze into the cistern in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions then drain off enough water to allow it to be drawn into the system. After restoring the water in the cistern to its correct level, turn on the heating for a short while to allow the anti-freeze to mix thoroughly with the water.
If you suffer regularly from burst pipes invest in some trace heat tape to keep the temperatures of the problem pipes above freezing point. Wrap the tape around the pipe before lagging it. One end will be attached to a special block supplied with the tape, the other to the frost thermostat. As the temperature drops, the thermostat switches on and the tape heats up just enough to prevent the pipes from freezing.
It’s also a good idea to know where your stopcock is. If you are unfortunate to have your pipes freeze then you will need to turn off the water supply to the house. Find the tap which is at the lowest point in the house and turn it on to allow water in the system caused by the thawing ice to drain away. Then find the frozen pipe and gently heat it with a hair dryer to melt the ice. Never use a naked flame to do this.
If you do end up with burst pipes this winter and you need emergency repairs then call a qualified plumber. Drain Doctor technicians are on call 24 hours a day seven days a week and there is no emergency call out charge
Drain Doctor plumbers in the UK do a number of things for charity – but posing for a calendar is not (yet) one of them.
A group of US plumbers is doing so, however, according to the story here. And if you want to see what the calendar looks like, you can get a preview here.
So come on Drain Doctors, don’t be shy. Which of you wants to be Mr January?
Some things are supposed to be flushed down the drain – and some things are not.
Drugs are one of the things that should definitely not go down the drain. They can cause all sorts of environmental problems.
Which is why I was pleased to see this programme in the USA to help prevent the disposal of medicines into the drainage system. Maybe it is something we should consider here in the UK.