Monthly Archives: June 2010

Avoid rip-off plumbers with these golden rules for drain delight

Foul odours or overflowing waste water from your drains? You probably have a serious blockage somewhere in your sewerage pipes.

There’s no need to panic – but you will have to call out a plumber. We are constantly hearing about rip-off, incompetent plumbers who are only out to make a swift buck. However, you need not get caught out by a dodgy tradesman.

To ensure you call out a reputable, honest plumber, follow Drain Doctor Plumbing’s ten golden rules for finding the right person: 

1. Does the plumber offer free call outs? You should not have to pay to be told what is wrong – you should only pay for the work done.

2. You need a plumber with a fixed price structure. If a pipe bursts on a Bank Holiday – you don’t want to pay astronomical fees to have the problem fixed. Ask to see their written pricing policy.

3. 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’.

4. Make sure you receive a company-headed receipt and guarantee once the work is complete.

5. Is the plumber environmentally friendly? Find out if he or she used mechanical methods to clear blockages, rather than using expensive, unnecessary and inefficient chemicals.

6. A plumber may have to use a high pressure water jetting machine to clear certain problems. This can be expensive, so if it is needed make sure the cost of it is included in the initial estimate. 

7. If they don’t offer, ask for a free camera survey of the drain once it has been cleared. This will help ensure the blockage has been fully cleared and may even highlight other issues.

8. Find a plumber that will allow you to pay for a job when it is complete and you are fully satisfied with the work.

9. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong after a plumber has made repairs, will they make a return visit free of charge to take another look at the problem?

10. It is advisable for work to be carried out by a reputable, qualified and well established firm, such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Call 24 hours a day on 0800 70 71 72.


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Drain Doctor leads the field in drain condition reporting

Drain Doctor has become the first emergency plumbing franchise organisation to train its franchisees in the new WinCan V8 drainage inspection software.

Peterborough-based Drain Doctor Plumbing  has become the first national emergency plumbing and drainage repair franchise organisation to adopt the new WinCan version 8 drainage inspection software. 

WinCan is the internationally accepted standard system for reporting on the condition of drains. It is widely supported by many of the major insurance companies and water utilities. 

Steve Peregrine of Drain Doctor’s franchise support team said: “WinCan V8’s extensive toolkit lets us document critical inspection work rapidly and thoroughly. Installed on an industrial PC it enables our technicians to log digital video from CCTV inspections, still images and text data in an extensive, searchable database. 

“Its reporting tools and a freeware viewer make it easy to share inspection results between technicians and head office. It means that we can provide an even better level of service to our customers, both commercial and domestic.” 

Drain Doctor recently held training for WinCan V8 at its head office in Peterborough to enable its franchisees to train in the use of the new software and get some hands-on experience. 

Commenting on the new software, Paul Woodhouse, WinCan’s managing director said: “The training sessions held over a four-day period were a great success and we were able to demonstrate how effective and easy to use the new software is. We are delighted that Drain Doctor has chosen the latest version of WinCan. As a progressive leading UK emergency plumbing and drain repair company it’s fitting that they should be the first to use the innovative new software. 

“Version 8 of WinCan will allow Drain Doctor’s technicians to undertake detailed surveys of drains, upload them to a sophisticated system that lets them interpret digital images of potential problems and develop permanent solutions.”

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Chartered civil engineers take up Drain Doctoring

Krishna Moorthy has taken up 'Drain Doctoring.'

Two chartered civil engineers with over 30 years experience have left the board of a blue chip engineering consultancy to start their own plumbing and drainage business. Krishna Moorthy and Paul Fleetham have taken over the London South East, Bromley and Bexley and Tonbridge Wells franchise areas of Drain Doctor Plumbing.

As chartered civil engineers Krishna and Paul had progressed to the board of a blue chip consulting engineers that turns over £200 million per year. When the company was taken over by an American firm and the board function was moved to the United States he decided to review other business opportunities. Krishna will be the Director in-charge of the operations and Paul Fleetham will concentrate on business development. 

Krishna said: “I looked at franchise businesses related to civil engineering that would also provide a service to the public. I also wanted to remain in the maintenance and construction sector. 

“The idea of buying a going concern with the franchise support of a national organisation appealed to me. The London South East franchise presented an existing business linked to the sector that I wanted to be involved in and has an excellent reputation, built up by the current franchisees Alvin and Korina Jones. 

“After researching the business I spoke to a number of bankers about the opportunity. They all said that they would provide me with the maximum amount of finance available for a small business start-up if I went for a Drain Doctor franchise. That reputation and endorsement influenced my decision.” 

Krishna firmly believes that with the support of Drain Doctor he can take the business into new areas. He said: “With my experience there are a number of other things that I can bring to the business for Drain Doctor to consider beyond our core plumbing and drain repair business. 

“I would eventually like to exploit other niche areas of the market by extending the scope of the Drain Doctor business into other areas of civil engineering, capitalising on areas in which Paul and I have worked in the past. I would like to explore expansion into these areas with Drain Doctor backing.” 

Krishna is looking at areas including pipeline work for water companies, work on highways drainage, civil construction and providing survey services for local authorities. He has a three-part plan for expanding his business. 

He explained: “The game plan is first to get the optimum set up within the franchise area with the existing four vans and technicians. There is excellent potential to expand this. Currently the population of the franchise areas could sustain a business with up to 17 vans by maintaining the traditional Drain Doctor service. 

“Secondly, I would like to train my technicians for highways work in order to gain the appropriate licences so that we can tap additional markets. 

“Finally, I want to look at other ways of drawing on my connections and past experience to further expand our portfolio of services.”

Welcome Krishna and Paul.

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Arrest a plumber – fix the jail

Plumbing problems abound at the local jail, according to a report by the Mendocino County grand jury in the USA. Among the problems are toilets with leaky bowls and continually running tank water; too much or too little water pressure in drinking fountains; some drinking fountains running continually; leaky plumbing on the jail’s outside walls; and repairs made with self-manufactured parts, including a combination of various metals and plastics.

The grand jury has produced a report demanding repairs should be made. It titled the report ‘Arrest a Plumber – Fix the Jail!’.

We hope it’s just a joke (surely, it is just a joke?). Otherwise there may be a lot of nervous plumbers in the locality.

And given the cuts in public spending now being implemented in the UK, we can only hope that the idea in the title of the report does not catch on over here!

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Where does the water go?

Trust Drain Doctor to solve any plumbing problems.

Continuing our series about the plumbing in your home – and how to look after it – it’s time to consider where the water goes when it gets into your home.

British homes have one of two types of cold water supply – direct and indirect. 

A direct supply means that all the cold water taps and toilets in the house are supplied with water directly from the rising main.  This is also known as a high pressure system.

With an indirect system usually only the cold water tap over the kitchen sink (and possibly the water feed to the washing machine) are attached to the rising main.  The rising main goes straight up to discharge water into the cold-water storage cistern, normally located in the roof space.  This cistern has pipes that supply water to the cold taps in the bathroom, the lavatory cisterns and the hot water system via gravity.  This is known as a low pressure system.

It has an overflow pipe to carry excess water out of the house in case the cistern over fills or the ball valve fails.  The overflow normally emerges from the side of the house at around roof level – so if you see water gushing (or even dripping) from a pipe somewhere up high on the building, it almost certainly means the cistern is overflowing. It will not do any damage but you need to get it fixed. Give Drain Doctor a call and we will investigate to find out what the problem is and give you a quote for fixing it.

The capacity of the average domestic cold water cistern is around 230 litres (50 gallons). That is a lot of water so call Drain Doctor if you think that the overflow pipe has become blocked or damaged. If the water comes through your ceiling, instead of going through the overflow pipe, you will have a serious flood!

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Harvest time for summer rain

Collect and use rainwater with a harvesting system.

After a recent spell of dry, warm weather in the UK we are now getting wet under heavy rain showers. However, the amount of rain is still not enough to fully replenish our reservoirs. No doubt, later in the summer, we will all experience the usual hose pipe bans.

We all need to take our responsibilities for the environment seriously, which is why we at Peterborough-based Drain Doctor Plumbing are offering rainwater harvesting systems as part of our portfolio of plumbing and drainage services. 

Usually rainwater runs off roofs through the soakaway system and is lost. In properties that have the old combined sewage system, rainwater joins the foul water and flows through the drainage system to the local water treatment plant for cleaning. 

Now it is possible for homeowners to collect and use rainwater and re-use ‘grey’ waste water from sinks and baths – helping to save money and the environment in the process. Reduced water consumption can lower bills and help to create a more sustainable built environment. 

In addition to existing plumbing and drainage services, Drain Doctor provides a complete rainwater harvesting installation service that includes site surveys, planning consultations and building and inspection work. 

There are two types of water harvesting system. By installing a collection tank in the garden, rainwater runoff from the roof can be collected and used to fill a water butt or supply a garden tap by use of a pump. 

Rainwater is harvested for non-drinking water applications and can also be pumped back into the house for use in flushing toilets and filling washing machines. 

The second type of water harvesting involves collecting grey water from sinks, washing machines and dishwashers and using it to flush the toilets. With this system household water is used twice which has an immediate payback on the water meter. 

Drain Doctor franchisees offering the service will project manage the whole installation from start to finish. We will liaise with planners and complete the work using selected highly trained subcontractors, tailoring each solution to the customer’s requirements. The customer will have one point of contact from the start to final completion of the project.

 Robin Banks, operations manager.

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Helping in Haiti

Mr Rooter – Drain Doctor’s ‘opposite number’ in the USA – has been helping earthquake victims in Haiti get access to clean water.

You can read all about it on the Mrs Rooter blog at

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