Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fantastic Four from Guildford join Drain Doctor team

Gordon ‘Don’ Todd has teamed up with his three sons to take on the Guildford and Basingstoke franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing Ltd

Gordon ‘Don’ Todd and his three sons, Gordon junior, Frankie and Charlie, have teamed up to take on the Guildford and Basingstoke franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing.

Gordon and his sons have been trading as a construction company and are now concentrating on plumbing and drainage. Don has been looking for a franchise business in plumbing and drainage for around 12 years. He said: “I looked at other franchise businesses. After I phoned Drain Doctor director Jan Mitman and realised all the help that is available I decided I didn’t need to look any further.”

The ‘Fantastic Four’ will now  run a business that provides emergency drainage and plumbing services to people throughout Guildford, Basingstoke and surrounding area. It will be a family affair, however. Don’s daughter Lauren will run the back office on a part time basis.

Don said: “I intend to expand the business significantly and make the franchise as big as possible. Within a reasonable space of time I hope to have a staff of qualified plumbers and drainage technicians on call in vans fully equipped to deal with most plumbing and drainage problems.”

The Todds have most experience in the domestic plumbing sector so they will be looking for Drain Doctor’s network of national accounts to help support the area and drive the commercial side of the business. Don plans start with two fully equipped vans.

“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,” said Gordon.

“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.”

Speed and efficiency will be the name of the game for drag racing fan Don and his Arsenal-supporting sons. He said: “I aim to give businesses and householders across my 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, seven days 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!”

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Time to prepare for the winter months

Follow a few simple tips to avoid frozen pipes during the cold snap

The clocks have gone back, the evenings are drawing in and there is frost on the ground. Autumn weather will soon give way to winter. You might be looking forward to long Sunday lunches and Christmas, but it is easy to forget how dependent we are on our plumbing systems so now is the right time to put a bit of effort into preparing for the winter months to ensure they are in tip-top working order. Don’t let plumbing failures spoil your enjoyment of the season. This is particularly important if you are expecting to host family or friends over Christmas.

Kitchens, toilets, showers and baths will work a lot harder during these periods than at other times throughout the year so you have to be prepared to avoid having to call a drain cleaning expert. If you are unfortunate enough to need a drain unblocker like Drain Doctor remember that there will be no call out charges, even over bank holidays.

In the kitchen, avoid throwing cooking fats and oils down the drain. The cold will make them set even faster. In winter a clog could be very inconvenient to deal with, even for the most experienced emergency plumbers. Pour fat into an old drink carton and put it in the bin.

To keep drains clear and flowing to avoid a call-out it is a good idea to run some cold water down the drain before and after using it to ensure any small particles stuck to the sides of the pipes are washed away. In order to avoid any uncomfortable moments try to do the washing up when none of your guests are using the shower.

Showers should be spread out around 15 minutes apart. Avoid family and guests taking showers one after another in order to maximise your boiler’s efficiency. You can also turn the water temperature up to ensure everyone has a nice warm shower.

Finally, ensure that your pipes are properly prepared for the winter. Frozen pipes can burst and lead to severe damage. Always know where your water main is so that you can turn it off in an emergency. Drain all of your garden hoses and lag all of the exposed pipes around your house. These simple steps can not only help make your home more energy-efficient, which will save you some money in the process, but they will also help to prevent any major damage as a result of the winter.

Here are a few tips to help protect your plumbing and drains for the rest of the winter:

  1. Locate and label your main stop valve. It is on the incoming mains water supply and is often under the kitchen sink.
  2. Stop valves tend to corrode slightly with time, so once every six months check that it’s working by exercising the valve twice from fully open to fully closed and back again (and always back the valve off ‘half a turn’ from fully open once you’re done).
  3.  Make sure that all your pipes and storage tanks are properly lagged and covered, especially in cooler roof areas and attics.
  4. Open the loft door to warm the roof area in very cold weather. This will stop the pipes up there from freezing up (but it will push up your heating bills – so lagging pipes is a better idea).
  5. Inspect cold water cisterns (they are probably in your loft) annually. If there are any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact a reputable plumber.
  6. Leave the heating on a low temperature to maintain circulation and warmth if you are going away for a few days.
  7. Bleed radiators for maximum efficiency.
  8. Keep curtains closed to retain heat in the home.
  9. Insulate/lag any pipes in exposed areas where they could freeze.
  10. Isolate, drain and insulate any outside taps and pipework.
  11. Try to avoid pouring fat down drains, as it will solidify fast in cold weather.
  12. Plumbing is becoming increasingly technical. Always seek a qualified professional plumber such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Call them 24 hours a day on 0800 3357 999.

 

 

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Today is World Toilet Day – Let’s give a sh..

A few weeks ago we had a look at all those awareness days out there with a nod to ‘Toilet Repair Week’ in the US. There are a huge number of these awareness events in the calendar – some more worthy than others; days like World Toilet Day, which aims to highlight the plight of 2.5 billion people without access to a clean, private toilet.

“I give a shit, do you?” is the plea of the 2012 global World Toilet Day campaign put together by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO). Observed annually on 19 November, World Toilet Day aims to break the taboo around the toilets and draw attention to the existing global sanitation challenge.  Sanitation is a fundamental human right. World Toilet Day was created to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper dignified sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people continue to face.

“Can you imagine not having a toilet?,” asks Saskia Castelein, advocacy and communication officer at WSSCC. “Can you imagine not having privacy when you need to relieve yourself? Although unthinkable for those living in wealthy parts of the world, this is a harsh reality for many – in fact, one in three people on this globe does not have access to a toilet! The World Toilet Day Campaign aims to raise awareness, inspire action, and make sanitation and hygiene for all a reality in the 21st century.”

The benefits of proper sanitation, good hygiene and clean drinking water on health and well being, educational attainment and economic growth are increasingly gaining recognition by the international development community. World Toilet Day is an online advocate for better sanitation and we would like to do our bit by blogging about it.

It’s something we take for granted here in the UK and we only realise how fortunate we are when there is a problem. If you experience any difficulties with you plumbing, toilets or drains don’t forget that Drain Doctor is only a phone call away on  0800 3357 999

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Not much space for the plumbing tools

One Texas plumber has a unique mode of transport to get from job to job. It looks like a bit of a bodge job – and not much space in the back for the tools either. Take a look at this if you don’t believe us.

Texas is famous for its cowboys but back in the UK Drain Doctor plumbers are professionals. Drain Doctor’s vans are fully-equipped to handle most plumbing and drainage emergencies. Technicians carry a complete range of kit ranging from wrenches to the latest in jetting, lining and CCTV technology.

If you see any other odd plumbers’ vehicles on the road let us know. Send in a picture and we’ll feature it on the blog.

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Toilet theme park opens in Korea.

White Toilet Bowl in Malaysia

White Toilet Bowl in Malaysia (Photo credit: epSos.de)

This story from the BBC is, perhaps, one of the strangest celebrations of the toilet you’re likely to see. This museum of the toilet in South Korea does have a serious side – despite the female curator interviewed being unable to stifle a giggle.

The Restroom Cultural Park in the Korean city of Suwon is claimed to be “the world’s first toilet theme park“. Its museum has exhibits including Roman loos, European-style bedpans, and ancient Korean flush toilets. Visitors can glean facts about human waste or stroll around a sculpture garden dedicated to squatting figures.

The theme park was set up to highlight the problem of providing adequate sanitation in developing countries throughout the world.

Wherever there is effective sanitation, however, we also need effective plumbers and drainage experts like Drain Doctor. If you experience blocked drains call us on 0800 3357 999.

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Diamonds are forever

This story from the US just goes to show how being a bit careless can lead to some serious regret. This lady was unlucky enough to accidently throw two diamond rings worth over £6,000 down the toilet.

Luckily, a sewer crew went above and beyond the call of duty to re-unite the woman with her lost jewellery.

Here in the UK Drain Doctor technicians have had to deal with similar emergencies. The team at Anglia Drain Doctor had to search for a set of lost car keys to enable one customer to get to the airport on time to make their holiday flight.

If that wasn’t enough, the team at Bristol rescued a prized Netherland Dwarf rabbit that had got stuck in a drain pipe following some property renovations.

Let us have your stories about strange or valuable items that have been flushed away, only to be retrieved by your caring Drain Doctor technician.

And if you are unlucky enough to lose something of value down the loo call Drain Doctor on 0800 3357 999 and one of our technicians will do our best to get it back for you.

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