Monthly Archives: March 2012

Drain Doctor tips on coping with hosepipe ban as drought area widens

Drain Doctor advice: Turn off running water and fix dripping taps to save water.

As the area officially in drought in the UK widens to include South Yorkshire and the April 5 hosepipe ban looms, Drain Doctor offers some advice to consumers and technicians alike on how to cope with the ban.

The current position would suggest that water used to fill jetting machines for drain clearance is not covered by the ban. However, using a domestic water supply for a jetter used to clean a patio or a car is likely to be included in the ban. The ban is focussing on domestic and recreational use of hosepipes but this could change as the drought continues to bite.

Ofwat guidance on hosepipe use is as follows:

Watering of private gardens and washing of private motor cars with a hosepipe or sprinkler is prohibited during a hosepipe ban.

  • You can wash cars or water gardens using buckets and/or watering cans.
  • Commercial activities are generally not affected by hosepipe bans. However, a gardener or window cleaner must not use a hosepipe or sprinkler connected to a customer’s private supply.

Visit www.hosepipeban.org.uk/2012 for more information on the dos and don’ts laid out by the various water companies. The ban, to be introduced on 5 April, will be introduced by Anglian Water, Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Sutton & East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East.

Drain Doctor would also like to reiterate the following tips for saving water:

  1. Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.
  2. Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.
  3. Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  4. Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can use as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.
  5. If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.
  6. Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.
  7. Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.
  8. Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.
  9. Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

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Drain Doctor welcomes ex-Yell men to Chester, Wirral and North Wales

When transport company owners Mark Lloyd and Clive Tucker were looking to expand their business interests, recommendations from former colleagues at Yell led them to Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage Ltd. Impressed by what they saw the pair have taken on the franchise business for Chester, North Wales and the Wirral.

Mark and Clive currently manage a fleet of 20 wheelchair-adapted minibuses for special needs schools and social services. However, neither of them drives the buses so they have ample time to devote to another business.

Clive is a friend of Rob Simpson from his days with Yell. Rob, who runs the successful Anglia Drain Doctor franchise business, was encouraging when Clive contacted him for advice as the pair explored their options. Mark also knows Richard Scandrett, also from Yell, who runs the Wolverhampton franchise with his father Alan.

Mark Lloyd said: “I knew Richard at Yell and we have kept in touch through social networking and Facebook. I could see how well he was doing with his Drain Doctor business so I contacted him to find out more about it – which was positive. Clive and I then got in touch with company director Jan Mitman at Drain Doctor and rest is history.”

They have started with two vans and two technicians in Chester and North Wales and will also be working the new Wirral area with a view to buying it later.

Clive Tucker said: “We are developing a commercial company and we have aggressive growth plans. There is potential for ten vans in the area. Within three years we hope to have a staff of seven or eight qualified plumbers and drainage technicians on call in vans fully equipped to deal with most plumbing and drainage problems.

“Drain Doctor has a proven system that offers a largely recession-proof opportunity where we can still be independent operators running our own business but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a large national organisation.

“Mark and I looked at other business ideas but you don’t get the same support that you do with a Drain Doctor franchise. With some other franchises you are left on your own. Drain Doctor offers great contacts with insurance companies and has a national account network that will help me to develop and grow the business.”

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Water saving tips for hosepipe ban hit UK from across the pond

Following the news that the use of hose pipes is to be banned in parts of the UK, news comes to us from our friends at Mr Rooter that it’s ‘Fix a Leak Week’ in the US. It’s sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and calls attention to the importance of conserving water.

The EPA WaterSense website advises Americans to repair leaks in three areas: the sink, the toilet and the shower.

This is also true here in the UK.  See Drain Doctor’s water-saving tips for easy ways to help beat the drought.

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UK drought leads to hosepipe ban – Drain Doctor offers water-saving tips

Don't leave taps running. Turn them off and fix dripping taps to save water.

Parts of the UK – mostly in the South East of England – have been drought areas since February. Now, a hose pipe ban has been declared by Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East. The Environment Agency has warned that the drought could spread to effect other areas including East Yorkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire if the current dry spell continues.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “We’re doing all we can to reduce the impact on agriculture and wildlife but everyone can play their part. Households know how to use less water and everyone can do their bit to use water more wisely throughout the year.”

In what is the worst drought to effect the UK since 1976 it is vitally important that we all take steps to save water. At Drain Doctor we have put together some tips to help our customers to do just that:

  • Check your plumbing and drains for leaks
  • Turn off your tap when you are brushing your teeth
  • Take showers rather than baths
  • Take fewer showers and for less time
  • Repair any dripping taps
  • Only use what water you need when filling the kettle to make tea or coffee
  • Only use the washing machine when you can put a full load into it
  • Keep water in the fridge to chill so that you don’t need to run the tap to get cool water each time
  • Place a brick or a ‘hippo’ in the toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water flushed
  • If you’re not in a ‘hose pipe ban area,’ use a shut-off nozzle on your hose pipe if you are using it in the garden or to wash the car
  • Use a mulch on beds and vegetable plots to retain moisture in the soil to reduce the amount of watering
  • Use a water butt to collect rainwater to use on the garden
  • Install rainwater and grey water harvesting systems

For more information on water harvesting systems and how you can save water contact Drain Doctor on 0800 33 57 999

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Drain Doctor welcomes new Oxfordshire franchisees

Jon and Lisa Parker have taken on Drain Doctor franchise areas to provide emergency plumbing and drainage services to businesses and homes in Oxfordshire, including Oxford, Banbury, Bicester, Abingdon, Witney, Buckingham and Chipping Norton.

When an unexpected life event forced ex-pat Jon Parker and his wife Lisa to return to the UK they were looking for a franchise business with potential. They found it in the Oxford and Banbury franchise of Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage Ltd.

Jon has been in and out of the drainage industry for 15 years, starting as a plumber’s mate and more recently working as a night supervisor for a rail company.

Working on the London Underground has given Jon the opportunity to acquire training in a variety of aspects of drainage including London Transport’s site person in charge (SPIC) level certification and training on working in confined spaces in London’s sewer system. In three and a half years working on the underground Jon has had to deal with everything from blockages caused by discarded bicycles to a rat as ‘big as a fox!’

Jon and Lisa have experience in business administration and management. Jon explained: “In 2003 we had the opportunity to emigrate to Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca in Spain. Initially I didn’t have a job to go to but found work with Iberian International in its call centre. Within three years I became manager while Lisa worked in its banking and mortgage department.

“We had been in Spain for six years when I had another opportunity to go to New Zealand with my brother. Unfortunately, it was at this point that Lisa was diagnosed with a serious illness and we had to return to the UK.”

Keeping a positive life attitude has been important to Jon and Lisa. While Lisa was undergoing treatment Jon looked for new business opportunities close to the family home in Northampton. Jon said: “I was looking for franchise businesses in particular and after some research I found Drain Doctor – a business which is a perfect fit with my skills and experience.

“It has a proven system that offers a largely recession-proof opportunity where I can still be an independent operator running my own business but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a large national organisation.

“I looked at other business ideas but you don’t get the same support that you do with a Drain Doctor franchise. With some other franchises you are left on your own. Drain Doctor offers great contacts with insurance companies and has a national account network that will help me to develop and grow the business.”

Lisa has now made a full recovery and will be assisting Jon with the admin side of the business as well as helping to look after their two daughters, Charley (12) and Millie (9).

The couple will start with one employee and two vans and hope to start expanding the business within a year.

Jon added: “We aim to give businesses and householders across our franchise areas the same ‘dazzling’ level of service which Drain Doctor provides across the rest of the country.

“Our customers get fixed-price, no obligation quotes, a complete guarantee on all our work, and a full 24 hour per day seven day per week service with no call out charges – so people pay the same price for work at any time of day or night. What’s more, we turn up at the agreed time”, said Jon.

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Drain Doctor Simon plunges into Moroccan desert for Help for Heroes

This year’s chosen charity for Drain Doctor is Help for Heroes. We have already had some interesting stories on how people in the network have been helping. Take Rob Simpson’s ‘wacky race’ across Europe in the Screwball Rally for example.

Now, Simon Tait from the South Manchester franchise of Drain Doctor has taken to the saddle. He has recently returned from a 1,000-mile off-road motorbike trip across the mountains and deserts of Morocco – raising cash for the charity on the way.

The charity has personal meaning for Simon. He served in the Territorial Army for a time and he has friends currently seriving in Afghanistan and others who served in Iraq.

To donate to Simon visit http://www.justgiving.com/draindoctor

Well done Simon.

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Renew washer hoses to avoid domestic water damage

Washer.600pix

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We’ve just had a new washing machine at home. The old one – which we have had for 16 years – has ‘given up the ghost’.

When I was plumbing the new machine into the cold water I noticed some water had leaked behind the kitchen units and had damaged the shelves. It was with interest then that I came across this advice on the blog of Drain Doctor’s counterparts in the United States, Mr Rooter.

Washing machine hose failure is one of the top five causes of water damage in a home according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.  If you still have rubber hoses connecting your washing machine to its water source you might want to spend a little time to reduce your risk of a potential flood.

Here are the steps to follow when installing new washing machines hoses:

1)      Purchase stainless steel braided flexible hoses (recommend 5-inch minimum).

2)      Turn hot and cold water off at the water connection (confirm by turning the washer on to ensure water is off).

3)      Move the washer away from the wall for access. (Be sure not to damage the floor when moving the washer).

4)      Have a small bucket handy to catch water remaining in hoses once disconnected.

5)      Use adjustable pliers to unscrew hot and cold hoses from the wall anticlockwise.

6)      Remove hoses from the machine in a anticlockwise direction.

7)      Install stainless steel braided hoses, making sure hose washers are in place before tightening both ends of the hoses in a clockwise direction.

8)      Turn water on to leak test before moving washer back into position.

9)      While you are at it, clean behind the washing machine to avoid other potential hazards.

10)  Return appliances to their original position.

We hope you find these tips useful.

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