Monthly Archives: August 2012

Survey reveals the oddest things block drains

Drain Doctor advice: Throw peelings in the compost and oil in the bin to avoid blocked drains.

According to this article a recent survey revealed some peculiar items found down drains. They included traffic cones, engine parts, guns and ammunition, bales of cocaine and false teeth. Obviously a bit of a rough neighbourhood.

But it’s simple household items such as baby wipes, cooking oil, potato peelings and paint that careless householders are throwing down the drain along with £87 million – the cost of unblocking them – the survey says.

Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage has some handy precautions that you can take to help keep your home’s plumbing in good working order and save some cash in the process:

  • Throw food scraps in the bin and put left over vegetable matter like potato peelings in the compost pile.
  • Avoid pouring grease down the drain, because grease hardens when it’s in your pipes and can cause a blockage over time.
  • Wipe off greasy plates and pans with a paper towel before washing them.
  • Remove small objects from the top of your toilet tank that could fall in causing it to block up.
  • Make sure you throw paper towels, napkins, wet wipes or facial tissue in the bin, don’t flush them down the toilet.
  • And if you’re expecting a police raid, find somewhere other than the toilet to hide your stash of drugs!

These tips will help keep your plumbing in good working condition. However, if you are unlucky enough to have a plumbing emergency, Drain Doctor is always on call, and there’s never an overtime or call-out charge.

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Anglia Drain Doctor in double charity challenge for Help for Heroes

Pictured are Rob Simpson (Drain Doctor), Alex Brigginshaw (Amarynth Pumps), Richard Shaw (Margolis Business Machines) and Russell Stowe (Woodbridge Violins)

Rob Simpson, owner of the East Anglia franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage, is taking part in a double charity challenge in support of Help for Heroes.

The East Anglia Drain Doctor Business, based just outside Ipswich, covers Cambridge, Colchester, Chelmsford, Southend and Ipswich – and all the places in between.

Rob is turning out for his local rugby club in a charity match followed by a driving challenge to travel though ten European countries in just four days.

The Dick Waterson Challenge is a charity rugby match featuring more than 50 over 35 year old players from across East Anglia to be staged at Woodbridge RUFC on 1 September. The match is being played to raise funds for Help for Heroes and Cancer Research UK. Help for Heroes is Drain Doctor’s designated charity for 2011/2012.

Rob said: “I will be taking to the field myself after three years in retirement, which is worthy of a donation in itself.

“If that wasn’t enough, with three daft friends – Alex Brigginshaw, Richard Shaw and Russell Stowe – I shall be setting off four days later on a 2,000-mile tour covering ten European countries and returning on Sunday 9 September.”

Last year the quartet raised £2,000 for Help for Heroes by taking part in the Screwball Rally.

Rob explained: “We are four friends and business owners who are members of Woodbridge Rugby Club. We decided we wanted to do something daft to raise money for Help for Heroes.

“After giving the idea some thought we decided to take part in The Screwball Rally, a race around Europe involving 50 cars going on a 2,000 mile round trip via Mannheim, Prague, Hanover and Amsterdam.

“Our theme, we decided, was Baywatch. We bought a C class Mercedes estate for £400 and painted it bright yellow with bathroom emulsion and added Baywatch logos. Three of us dressed as Pamela Anderson and one as ‘The Hoff’.

“We decided to reprise our roles as ‘Baywatch babes’ this year and take part in another European tour.”

Donate to Rob at www.justgiving.com/teams/rugby-vets

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Mind your business

Drain Doctor prices its jobs before work starts according to a national pricing menu.

This story in The Guardian is a timely reminder to make sure that your tax affairs are up to date. David Gauke, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, is waging war on the ‘hidden economy’.

At Drain Doctor we maintain fixed prices and no overtime is charged 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. Our constant aim is to give superb and specialised service.

Drain Doctor customers can rest assured that if they are unfortunate enough to suffer a plumbing emergency over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Drain Doctor will not charge any more than at any other time of year.

The central principle is to deliver dazzling levels of service in a market plagued by cowboy operators who are overcharging customers for shoddy workmanship. Not only that, the cowboys often request cash-in-hand payments which can cause problems for the reputation of the industry as a whole.

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Take Einstein’s advice – be a plumber

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in 1954 in an interview with Reporter Albert Einstein said: “If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber … in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.”

If he had become a plumber he wouldn’t have been internationally famous – but he would have beaten the economic slump. As recession continues, the economic experiences of the past few years have made increasing numbers of people seek a recession-resistant business opportunity.

The Drain Doctor system is delivering solid financial results for franchisees because, even in a recession, people with a plumbing emergency still need to call a plumber. Because of Drain Doctor’s reputation and levels of service, the plumber they call is increasingly likely to be the local Drain Doctor franchisee.

Starting your own business as a franchisee, rather than totally on your own, provides a considerable level of support and assistance if you choose the right franchise. Buying into a Drain Doctor franchise, which offers a largely recession-resistant business, provides further reassurance that if you are prepared to put in the work you can expect to gain real rewards.

Drain Doctor enables franchisees to be independent operators running their own businesses but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a large national organisation. 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 franchisees develop and grow their business.

Drain Doctor franchisees offer a full 24 hour per day seven-day per week service with no call out charges and they give fixed-price, no obligation quotes with a full guarantee on all their work.

Drain Doctor technicians are trained not just with technical skills – 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.

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Nasty summer niffs mean it’s time to clean out the drains

A Drain Doctor CCTV survey will show you what is in your drains.

Finally, after months of rain, it looks as though summer has arrived. The hot weather might not just bring the sweet perfume from gardens in bloom but a nasty niff as well – a sure sign it could be time to check your drains.

The summer growing season with its combination of rain and warmth may be good for the garden but, below ground, the roots that support the new growth can play havoc with drains and sewers, penetrating pipes and causing blockages.

Locating the blockage can itself be difficult though. The best and most certain way is to put a CCTV camera into the drainage system to see what is actually down there – and where it is.  A reputable drain clearance company will give you a detailed report.

Less serious blockages – in U-bends beneath sinks and baths, for example – require less serious treatment and you can often deal with these yourself.

There are a number of drain clearing products sold in supermarkets and DIY stores. Most will clear the initial problem – but few will stop it coming back.

Rather than using a chemical-based product, take a tip from the professionals and consider using biology to shift the blockage. At Drain Doctor Plumbing we use an enzyme cleaner which digests organic wastes in drains, breaking down fat and grease build ups which lead to odours and blockages. Use the product on a regular basis to keep drains free-flowing and clean-smelling. Using enzymes rather than chemicals is much better for the environment – and, in the long run, much more effective at keeping drains clear.

Prevention, is of course, better than cure and we have a number of tips to avoid summer drainage and plumbing problems.

  • Install a strainer in plug holes to catch hair and other objects that could block drains.
  • Don’t pour fat and grease from cooking down the drain – allow it to cool and put it in the bin.
  • Don’t dispose of old oil, paint or other  substances down the drain.
  • Have an established plumber inspect drains for leaks, damage and corrosion and get problems sorted out while they are small, rather than waiting for a disaster! By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, plumbers can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or misaligned. 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’.

If you do have a drainage problem and simple DIY techniques don’t solve it, call in the professionals – but make sure they are professionals. Drainage is becoming increasingly technical and you should always seek a qualified drainage technician such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Call us 24 hours a day on 0800 3357 999.

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Ice cream and cake for plumbers’ dream team

It’s easy to forget, in all the Olympic excitement, that there are other sporting contests going on.

Photos courtesy of Mr Rooter

And we don’t just mean the cricket test match. Over in the USA, Drain Doctor’s opposite number Mr Rooter has been celebrating the end of the softball season with the New Brighton Girls Recreational Softball team that it sponsors. Mr Rooter has sponsored the team for five years and this year it ended the season with an unbeaten record.Mr. Winky – the mascot for both Mr Rooter and Drain Doctor – joined the girls at their last game earlier this month and then they celebrated their terrific season with cake and ice cream.

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Looking for a great date? Find a plumber!

We never doubted it. But now it’s official. Sort of. Dating website eHarmony says that plumbers make good dates.

We couldn’t decide which Drain Doctor technician we should picture alongside this article – so we borrowed this photo from eHarmony.

Among the 15 reasons listed on eHarmony are the facts that plumbers are refreshingly pretention-free, have job security, are great with their hands (yes, that’s what it says!) and are handy in general – you’ll have your very own handyman/woman.

What’s more, says eHarmony, plumber’s crack “is cute when it’s YOUR plumber’s crack”. We’re not so sure about this and at Drain Doctor we don’t go flashing it about. We do agree, though, with the statement that “plumbers have a great work ethic and demand quality of their work” – especially, of course, Drain Doctor plumbers!

Finding romance probably isn’t the best reason to give Drain Doctor a call. But if you have problems with your plumbing or drainage, give us a ring on 0800 3357 999.

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