Author Archives: hollamike

Water law to end dripping taps

Western Cape provincial building, Cape Town.

Image via Wikipedia

According to media reports, local government in Cape Town, South Africa, has passed a law to say that houses being sold need a certificate from a plumber.

The certificate will verify that the property has no plumbing problems. If there are problems – even as simple as dripping taps – they need to be fixed before the property can be sold.

The law is aimed at cutting water waste as there is a real shortage of water in the Western Cape area of South Africa. Other cities are expected to pass similar laws, according to the local media.

As the UK begins to feel the effect of climate change, could we see similar laws enacted here? It does not seem likely. Not yet.


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Police swoop on plumbing work

You never know what you’re going to find when you go out on a plumbing job.

According to local news reports, what a plumber in Memphis found when trying to clear a blocked toilet was bones.  Police were called in and are now examining the material.

Are these human or animal bones? Is this the start of a murder investigation? We don’t know. Watch this space!

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Bankers seeking plumbing jobs?

I know things are tough in the world of merchant banking (some bonuses have been cut below the million pound mark, I hear) but when I saw the headline ‘J P Morgan pushes for plumbing jobs’ I thought Drain Doctor had an unlikely new competitor.

It turns out to have nothing to do with real plumbing – more about “the humdrum business of cash management and trade finance for multinationals”.

I bet it is still less useful than real plumbing. And much better paid.

How did we let the world get into this topsy-turvy mess?

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What is an ‘electron plumber’?

I met someone at the weekend who described himself as an ‘electron plumber’. I thought I knew a bit about plumbing but this was a phrase that I hadn’t heard before.

In the plumbing business we connect pipes to make sure water goes where it is supposed to go, doesn’t leak, and that different water flows (waste and drinking water, for example) don’t mix.

An electron plumber apparently does much the same thing with wires and electron flows. He or she connects computer networks and similar things to ensure that data can go where it is supposed to go without leaking and without getting mixed with other data streams.

I would previously have described such people as ‘electricians’ or maybe ‘computer technicians’. I have to confess that ‘electron plumber’ sounds much better and, once you are familiar with the term, it is a pretty neat description of what they do.

What has this to do with Drain Doctor? Absolutely nothing. And that’s the point.

If you have a water leak, call Drain Doctor (0800 70 71 72 or for a plumber.

If you have an electron leak – well, I don’t know who you call for an electron plumber. But definitely not Drain Doctor.


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Ask more dumb questions – make fewer dumb mistakes

This item on the blog of our US sister company Mr Rooter caught my eye.

“Asking dumb questions is easier than correcting dumb mistakes” writes Mary Kennedy Thompson, President of Mr. Rooter Corporation.

It makes a good ‘sound bite’ – not least because it is true. All of us are often too concerned about looking stupid to ask the questions we should ask.

At Drain Doctor we try to make all our communications simple and straight-forward. We try to avoid using jargon and explain to customers clearly what we are doing and why. But if you did not understand our explanation about what we are planning to do to your plumbing – ask us to explain it again.

We don’t expect you to be a plumbing expert. It is part of our job to explain things in a simple, non-technical manner.

That way, you can decide whether you want a job done or not, knowing exactly what is involved and what it will cost before we start work.

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Don’t call the Drain Doctor

For most plumbing problems I would always recommend that you call Drain Doctor (0800 70 71 72).

But for some plumbing problems, a Drain Doctor may not be what you need. Snakes in the drains (as experienced by one Canadian in this story) may be one of those problems where a vet would be more appropriate than a plumber.

Then again, how’s the vet going to get at the snake if it is in the pipework? Maybe you need and vet and a plumber? And a first-aider standing by just in case?


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Coleen Rooney to open plumbers’ merchant (not)

OK – I admit I was a bit slow on the uptake. When I saw a link to the headline here that Colleen Rooney – wife of footballer Wayne Rooney – was about to open a shop in Manchester selling plumbing fixtures and fittings, I was momentarily intrigued enough to follow through to the website carrying the story.

I should have realised from the website address that it is entirely a spoof.

Still, it makes you think (well, it makes me think, anyway). Which other ‘celebs’ would make a contribution to the plumbing and drainage business?

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