Monthly Archives: May 2011

Crawley Drain Doctor flushes out felon

Paul Thorogood (left) and Crawley Drain Doctor franchisee Gavin Dimmock.

Public spirited Drain Doctor technician Paul Thorogood has been praised by Wandsworth Police after his tip-off led to a burglar getting caught red handed.

Paul, who works for the Crawley and Gatwick franchise, was on a routine call out to repair a leaking pipe in a Wandsworth loft when the incident happened. 

“I had gone out to the van to fetch something and I was just about to put the key in the door when I heard the sound of glass being smashed,” said Paul. 

“At first I didn’t think anything of it as there are a number loft conversions going on in the area. But when I saw rustling in the bushes in front of a house opposite I thought that something wasn’t quite right.” 

Watching the house for a few moments Paul saw someone climbing into the house through the front window. The quick thinking plumber called the local police who were on the scene in minutes. 

The police were able to apprehend the thief before he could make his escape. When Paul returned to the office there was a message from the police thanking him for his help in foiling the burglary. 

Crawley franchisee Gavin Dimmock said: “We are proud of Paul and his public spiritedness. His quick thinking was able to prevent a burglary and resulted in the crook being caught in the act. Paul’s actions just go to show that you can trust Drain Doctor to deliver dazzling service in more ways than one.”


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Plumbers’ wedding


Image via Wikipedia

We love people to love plumbers – so the story here of a couple dressing up as world-famous plumber Mario and his girlfriend for their wedding is one we just had to share with you. Unfortunately the choice of theme seems to be more about the computer game than about Mario’s profession but we will take it a compliment to plumbers anyway.

What we really want to hear about, though, is someone who loves Drain Doctor so much that they get married in Drain Doctor overalls, with the bride arriving at the ceremony in a Drain Doctor van.

If anyone out there reading this fancies a marriage with a Drain Doctor theme, we would be delighted to help!

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Safety at work highlighted as HSE fines maintenance firm

A story in a recent edition of Pham News has highlighted the importance of safety at work. In short, a plumbing technician from a maintenance firm was using an unblocker with a high concentration of  sulphuric acid to unblock a sink. The chemical erupted, raining down on the operative and eating through the paper overalls that he was wearing, causing him serious burns to his face and body. His ‘personal protective equipment’ (PPE) was inadequate and he was not properly supervised. The firm ended up in court and was fined.

Health and safety at work is an important issue that should not be overlooked by franchisees and their technicians.

Drain Doctor prides itself on its high standards of workmanship and customer service. Technicians always make sure that they are wearing adequate protection including suitable overalls, head-gear and eye protection. When using chemicals technicians will ensure that they are suitable for the job in hand.

If you are using chemicals yourself as a householder, you should take similar precautions – and always read the instructions.

Some blockages can’t be shifted using chemicals and mechanical unblocking using an auger may be necessary, particularly if the blockage is a long distance from the plug hole or drain opening. Be aware that if someone else has already tried to shift the blockage, the water trapped in the drain may contain chemicals – so take care!

If you are in any doubt about the suitability of chemicals then don’t use them.

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Filed under Franchise news, Hints and tips, News, Service

The wrong kind of toilet paper blocks drains

Pink toilet paper

Image via Wikipedia

Impregnated toilet papers, ‘wet wipes’ and similar innovations are leading to increasing numbers of blocked drains.

Drain Doctor is receiving an increasing number of calls from householders who may have happy bottoms but are unable to flush their toilets. The problem is particularly significant in towns and cities with large areas of Victorian housing served by Victorian drains and sewers.

These new papers and wipes are not broken down by the flushing action in the same way as conventional toilet papers – they do not shear as easily. They therefore remain as whole sheets which can cause blockages if the flush does not clear them out of the drain and into the sewer.

There is a particular problem in older houses because the Victorians over-engineered everything. They put in 6 inch diameter drains where 4 inch diameter would have been quite large enough. This was OK when used with Victorian toilets because they were over-engineered as well – they released huge quantities of water when they were flushed.

Modern cisterns use much less water. This is not usually a problem because it is still enough to shear normal toilet paper and flush all the detritus through to the sewer. With some of these new wipes and papers, though, material is left in the pipes and gradually builds up to create a blockage.

The problem of drains getting blocked by the ‘wrong kind of toilet paper’ isn’t confined to the UK though. In the US similar problems have been reported.

The University of Colorado is blaming blocked drains and subsequent flooding problems which cost the institution more than $40,000 to repair on defective toilet paper. According to a lawsuit filed against Waxie Enterprises and Royal Paper Converting the paper they supplied to the university failed to disperse properly causing the toilets and the sewer lines to become clogged.

It is good for our business because we are getting an increasing number of calls but it would save householders and businesses money and inconvenience if they gave more thought to what they are flushing down the toilet – and the paper manufacturers thought more about the quality of their paper.

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Filed under Hints and tips, News

Drain Doctor’s price check policy avoids shocks

Drain Doctor technicians will always agree the price for a job from a national pricing menu before starting work.

Agreeing the cost of plumbing work up-front can help avoid rip-offs, misunderstandings and unpleasant situations like this one from the United States.

Recently, a plumber told police he was threatened while working at the home of a 75-year-old man who was upset about the cost of his repairs. The man told the plumber as he left that he would shoot up the plumber’s house if there were any more problems. The plumber told police he was taking the man’s threat seriously because he had seen the old man holding a revolver earlier in the day. However, there was no further incident and no charges were brought.

A burst pipe or blocked lavatory is always a problem. ‘Rip off’ plumbers, who can charge a small fortune just to take a look at the problem, turn it into a nightmare.

Drain Doctor charges no overtime for evening, weekend or bank holiday emergencies and there are no call-out charges . Every job is priced before work starts, working to a national pricing menu.

We are truly on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Service requests are handled quickly and efficiently and prices are agreed before the job is done, so there are no surprises – like the one that was in store for that American plumber. Our constant aim is to give superb and specialised service in a market plagued by cowboy operators who are overcharging customers for shoddy workmanship. Franchisees offer a full 24 hour per day seven day per week service and they give fixed-price, no obligation quotes with a full guarantee on all their work.

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