Monthly Archives: August 2010

Portugal Drain Doctor advice on keeping Legionella at bay

Since April 2010 it has been compulsory in Portugal to install thermal panels to produce hot water.

Businesses in the Algarve region need to ensure their solar heating systems are carefully maintained. Regular inspection is essential to avoid the build up of the deadly Legionella bacteria, the cause of Legionnaire’s Disease.

Since April 2010 it has been compulsory in Portugal to install thermal panels to produce hot water. This has led to the potential for an increase in Legionella bacteria in the solar water collection tanks and pipes in heating systems. In hotels and resorts it is mandatory to ensure that water in these reservoirs is heated to 70 degrees Celsius in order to prevent this potential build up.

To ensure that solar heating systems operate at their optimum level they must be regularly serviced on an annual basis. To guarantee the quality of the thermal solar collection systems professional installers and maintenance providers must be certified by the Direcção Geral de Geologia e Energia (DGGE). Installers must have the Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) Technician Installer Solar Thermal Systems.

It is important to have these checks carried out by a properly qualified technician. Drain Doctor is a certificated provider of maintenance services for solar heating systems. Our maintenance technician holds the appropriate CAP certificate.

To ensure the systems are functioning to their best and to help avoid the build up of Legionella annual maintenance of the solar system should include the following: 

  • Cleaning of solar collectors.
  • Checking of the pump.
  • Adjusting the flow and pressure of the solar circuit.
  • Checking the expansion vessel.
  • Setting the preload (if necessary)
  • Verifiying of the concentration of antifreeze fluid.
  • Checking the PH of the antifreeze fluid.
  • Inspecting the structure.
  • Verifying of the security features on the collectors and circulation group.
  • Checking the temperature probes and the installation of the solar collector.
  • Visually verifying stored water.
  • Verifying of deposit magnesium anode (hot water).
  • Verifying the safety valve (hot water).
  • Checking and adjustment of the thermostatic mixing valve (hot water).
  • Renewing, if necessary, the liquid in the solar circuit or replacement of pressure in the loop.
  • Purging the solar collectors and circulation group.
  • Checking the proper functioning of clocks, thermostats and programmers. 

Drain Doctor in the Algarve region covers Loulé, Faro, Silves, Vilamoura, Portimão and Lagos. It is demonstrating the concept of Drain Doctor’s guaranteed 24 hours per day 365 days per year service with a fixed price ‘menu’ and no call-out or out-of-hours charges.


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John Lennon’s toilet fetches £9,500 – Imagine!

Image: R Kerwood

A porcelain toilet used by music legend John Lennon has been bought at auction by a ‘potty’  overseas collector. The unnamed investor paid a whopping £9,500 for the toilet – almost ten times its auction estimate.

The pan has been in the shed of builder John Hancock for nearly

40 years. He was given the loo by Lennon to use for a plant pot after the former Beatle had the bathroom at his home in Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire refurbished in 1972.


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Serious about plumbing

An old Thomas Crapper WC

You know you are in a serious business when university professors deliver lectures about the history of the profession.

Unfortunately this one is in the USA so I am not likely to attend.

But if you want to go along to hear professor of architecture Jacek Bigosinski talk about the history of plumbing from ancient times to the Victorian era, it sounds like a great night out (seriously, it does – doesn’t it?).

He will also (according to the publicity for his talk) “explore whether the driving force behind the rapid spread of indoor plumbing in the 19th century was generated by convenience, social status or necessity” – as well as discussing how modern plumbing changed American lifestyles.

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The beauty of plumbing

I am always interested in what other bloggers write about plumbing. So I was intrigued when the ‘Mrs Great Britain Blog’ published an article on ‘being a good plumber’.

The blog says it is about ‘beauty and style’. Now, Drain Doctor undoubtedly has some good-looking plumbers but the link with beauty and style seems slight.

So does Mrs Great Britain’s knowledge of plumbing and the English language. And, indeed, her knowledge of Great Britain! I guess the blog is written in some foreign country by someone who would not know a U-bend from a torque wrench.

So don’t take too much notice of Mrs Great Britain’s advice. Just join me in wondering why this material is being published.

It is a funny old business, blogging. And plumbing too, come to think of it.

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Plumbing could be the remedy for exam result woes

Last week record numbers of students received their A level results. As a result record numbers have applied for places at UK universities. Such is the competition for places that around 150,000 applicants are likely to be disappointed. Some of these will go on gap years, others will go into an already competitive jobs market.

Today, students up and down the country will receive their GCSE results. Some will choose not to continue education to A level and look instead to join the workforce. The problem is that they will find themselves in competition with A level students who have not found a university place.

Vocational training could be the answer for those who, for whatever reason, feel that academia is not for them. Training as a plumber or drainage engineer can help students looking for a career in plumbing or drainage to secure work with companies like Drain Doctor.

Drain Doctor technicians are trained not just with technical skills in an increasingly technical industry – including the latest techniques such as closed circuit camera drain surveys and no-dig drain repairs – but in customer care that is reflected in such things as wearing overshoes while in customers’ homes and clearing up carefully after every job.

Vocational training can give young people not just work skills but valuable business and life skills as well.

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Football boss Karren Brady says plumbing course better than university

According to an article in a national newspaper, West Ham vice-chair (and former Birmingham City boss) Karren Brady believes a course in plumbing is better training for an entrepreneur than a university degree.

Who are we to disagree?

As a national franchise business, Drain Doctor uniquely combines plumbing and entrepreneurial skills. You don’t need to be a plumber to run a Drain Doctor franchise but several of our best franchise owners did start out as plumbers – and still turn out to tackle plumbing and drainage emergencies themselves when they need to.


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You can trust a Drain Doctor plumber

Trust Drain Doctor to solve any plumbing problems.

According to a recent survey carried out by the Co-operative Bank, plumbers rank alongside bankers, MPs and estate agents as one of the least trusted professions.

The survey says that the top 10 most distrusted professions are:

1. Politicians
2. Bankers
3. Journalists
4. Car Salesmen
5. Estate Agents
6. Electricians
7. Plumbers
8. Builders
9. Car Mechanics
10. Footballers

While it is certain that the plumbing trade is plagued by cowboy operators with some emergency plumbing companies charging rip off prices once they have been called out, Drain Doctor is not one of them.

Drain Doctor offers a fixed price menu with no call out charges and prides itself on providing a dazzling level of service. There is no call out charge and customers are given a no obligation quote before work starts.

This is one ‘top 10’ that the plumbing industry does not want to be in. With hard work and more transparency over pricing perhaps we can get ourselves into the ‘top 10’ most trusted professions alongside other emergency services.


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