Monthly Archives: April 2012

Flooding despite the drought

A CCTV inspection of the drain will show the nature and location of the problem.

Despite a drought being declared and hosepipe bans being put in place, in an ironic climatic twist communities in the South West have been disrupted by flooding caused by recent high rainfall. Businesses elsewhere in England could also face serious disruption and may lose customers if they don’t take steps to prevent flooding, warns the UK’s largest emergency plumbing and drainage company.

Drain Doctor Plumbing is urging businesses to make sure their drains are free of any blockages to ensure the potential risk of flooding is minimised. A simple CCTV drain survey can help to identify any blockages or potential problems.

Drain Doctor Plumbing’s chairman Freddie Mitman said: “Many people think flooding is something that won’t happen to them but the risk is there. Being unprepared simply means the chance of an incident increases.

“Although insurance policies can cover damage to property, damage to businesses in terms of lost working hours and even lost clients is often not covered. This is why it is vitally important for businesses to take the time now to make sure their drains are clear of any blockages and are in good working order.

“The Association of British Insurers predicts that coastal floods and storm damage will increase significantly over the next 50 years. Inland, more frequent heavy rainstorms and increased winter rainfall could result in more flooding from rivers.

“This spells trouble for businesses across the country which aren’t adequately prepared for the damage flooding can do.”

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Drought now affecting half the country

drought

drought (Photo credit: iamleeg)

In the wake of the announcement of the first parts of the country to be declared in drought, and the introduction of the hosepipe ban earlier this month, further drought zones have been designated in another 17 counties. The Environment Agency has extended its drought map to include the Midlands and the South West of England.

Despite the recent welcome rainfall, drought restrictions could remain in place until at least Christmas in what is likely to be the driest year in the UK since 1976. It is therefore essential that we all take steps to use water wisely. Drain Doctor would like to reiterate some water-saving tips we published recently:

  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.
  • Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.
  • Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

Also, don’t forget to follow OFWAT’s advice on hosepipe useage:

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.

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New Telford and Shrewsbury Drain Doctor likes the business so much – he bought two

When recruitment consultant Nick Moran decided to change careers, he made a complete switch. He decided to take on a Drain Doctor franchise – and ended up buying two!

Nick has been running his own London-based recruitment consultancy, head-hunting high-flying personnel to work for the firms that keep the technology of the world’s financial centres running smoothly.

Commenting on his decision to change careers Nick said: “After my experience in the volatile financial services industry I wanted something that was more down-to-earth and recession-proof. Drain Doctor meets that need.”

He is so impressed with the Drain Doctor business model that he has bought two adjacent franchise areas and will now be running a business that provides emergency drainage and plumbing services to people in and around Telford, Shrewsbury and Hereford as well as across a large part of mid Wales.

He said: “I have plans to considerably expand the business. Within a reasonable space of time I hope to have a staff of eight or ten qualified plumbers and drainage technicians on call in vans fully equipped to deal with most plumbing and drainage problems

“Taking on a single franchise area would be a good start, perhaps, but it does not have enough potential for growth. There is no guarantee that when we reach the maximum size that a single franchise area will support, there will be another area nearby into which we can expand.

“So I have made a bigger financial commitment – although I prefer to think of it as an investment! – and taken on two areas.”

Nick intends to work ‘on the vans’ himself for two or three months to get some practical experience before moving back into a more sales-oriented role that will focus on growing the business over the medium term.

In the meantime he is demonstrating further commitment to his new enterprise by moving to Shrewsbury to be more accessible to his customers.

He said: “Drain Doctor 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 plumbing/drainage franchises 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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Historic privy saved for posterity

Prebendal Manor House, Nassington.

Prebendal Manor House, Nassington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story about the restoration of a dilapidated 19th century ‘two holer’ privy in the garden of Prebendal Manor House, a Grade I listed building near Peterborough, caught our eye. The outdoor lav at the historic house in Nassington is the museum’s latest visitor attraction following a two-month overhaul.

If any Drain Doctor technicians out there have worked on an old outhouse or a clapped out (Thomas) Crapper we would be delighted to hear from you.

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Drain Doctor’s advice for DIY plumbers in tough times

Large image of household plungers: on the left...

Large image of household plungers: on the left, a toilet plunger, on the right, a sink plunger. Deutsch: Handbetriebene Saugglocken der Sanitärtechnik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During these tough economic times it is tempting to try to do basic DIY jobs ourselves. This includes simple plumbing and drain clearance jobs. But beware, there are pitfalls to catch out the unwary DIY plumber.

Most minor blockages can be diagnosed and dealt with easily, as long as the person doing the unblocking pays close attention to a few basics.

Don’t take the plunge

When faced with a blocked sink or toilet the first thing that most of us reach for is the plunger. This simple device removes blockages by producing an airtight seal and creating suction to remove debris.

Interestingly enough, however, many plumbers don’t count plungers as part of their tool kits, and for good reason. Not only do they create a dangerous mess by splashing toilet water around, they can also push the obstruction farther into the pipe. Augers work much better.

Take care with chemicals

Commercially available chemicals are easy to use and very effective at removing blockages but they can be extremely dangerous to health and to the environment. They should be handled with care while wearing gloves and protective eyewear in case of splashing.

Keep an eye on slow drains

There are other Eco-friendly liquids marketed for unblocking drains, including Drain Doctor’s own micro biological MS enzyme cleaner. They contain natural enzymes or microorganisms that can deal with organic obstructions in the pipe. They are intended for use on drains that begin to develop issues and are more of a preventative measure. Boiled water with sea salt can also be an effective pipe flush if done periodically, helping to avoid future messy cleanups caused by full-blown blockages.

If you are in any doubt about how to tackle a particular job then call the professionals. Drain Doctor is available around the clock 365 days of the year on 0800 3357 999.

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