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Art going down the drain

drainArt13Is street art going down the drain? It seems so. Artists from across the world have been drawing inspiration from drainage, as this collection of pictures demonstrates. http://www.angliadraindoctor.co.uk/street-art/

If you have examples of street art that you’d like to share – whether involving drains or not – do post a link here.

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Women in franchising

Jan MitmanToday, Drain Doctor franchise director Jan Mitman is attending a British Franchise Association seminar, entitled Women in Franchising.

Jan, along with 94 other ladies from every conceivable branch of the franchise industry, is at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham to enjoy a packed programme of interactive seminars and roundtable discussions on a broad spectrum of business topics including; marketing, social media, personal branding, business building and legal issues.

The event was launched in 2013, during during Jan’s time as chair of the BFA Midlands Forum. It is for all women looking to inspire, network and share experiences about their involvement within the sector. It is a great opportunity to get involved in discussions on how more individuals, organisations and the entire franchise industry can mentor and inspire more women to join a thriving sector.

Jan, who helped establish the Drain Doctor business in the UK with her husband Freddie in 1993, is probably the most influential woman in the UK plumbing and drainage industry.

Drain Doctor has been involved in franchising for 20 years and is a full member of the BFA. Jan understands the franchise business from the viewpoint of both franchisees and franchisors. She says that that events like this help franchise companies to grow their brands and the synergy that can be created gives the women attending greater strength to see, and achieve, their goals.

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Are you living R.I.C.H.?

You cannot get too much of a good thing!

Dina Dwyer-Owens, executive chairwoman of The Dwyer Group, is speaking at The National Franchise Exhibition 2014 – twice!

On both 3 and 4 October Dina will be asking “Are You Living R.I.C.H.?”.

Dina Dwyer-OwensIn 2005, Dina launched the Live R.I.C.H. campaign to promote The Dwyer Group Code of Values and the themes of Respect, Integrity, Customer focus and Having fun in the process of growing a company. She also released her book, “Live R.I.C.H.: How to build success in your company and your life with a proven Code of Values.”

Dina is an international speaker on how to Live R.I.C.H. and she credits ethics in business and in life as a foundation to true happiness.

She is well known in the USA for her participation in CBS’s Emmy-winning hit reality show “Undercover Boss” and the first-ever special episode “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses.”

Dwyer Group is the US-based master franchisor for Drain Doctor.

Many of Drain Doctor’s staff and franchisees will be in the audience at The National Franchise Exhibition to hear her speak. Drain Doctor will be exhibiting at the show – please do come and visit us on stand F30.

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Kitten makes Mr Rooter a TV star

Cat in drainThe Pittsburgh franchisee of Drain Doctor’s ‘opposite number’ in the USA – where the business is known as Mr Rooter – has featured in local newspapers and on television after rescuing a kitten from a drain.

A local couple kept hearing meowing in their garage – although they don’t have a cat. Investigations revealed that the cries were coming from a kitten trapped in a drain beneath the garage floor.

They tried soaping it with dish washing liquid to slide it out. They called a local animal charity for help. Nothing worked.

Eventually they called Mr. Rooter. Technician Brian Bruni decided the only way they would get the cat free was to use a jackhammer to break up the concrete around the drain. Even when that was done, there was still a cast iron drain stuck around the kitten’s neck which had to be carefully split using a hammer and chisel.

Although it was wet and shaking, the cat appears to be OK – and it has now been adopted by the couple who own the garage which nearly became its last resting place.

You can read the story and see the TV coverage here: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/08/25/couple-calls-mr-rooter-to-rescue-kitten-trapped-in-drain/

 

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Nasty summer niffs or flash floods mean it is time to check your drains!

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

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

As the recent hot and humid weather is followed by heavy thundery downpours sweeping across the UK, the sweet perfume from gardens in bloom may be replaced by a nasty niff and uncharacteristic flooding may occur. These are sure signs it is time to check your drains.

The warm wet weather that followed the recent heat wave may be good for the garden. Below ground, though, the roots that support the new growth can play havoc with drains and sewers, penetrating pipes and causing blockages. And it’s set to continue for a little while yet.

As a householder, if the blockage is within the boundary of your property, you are responsible for clearing it. If it is beneath the street outside, it is probably the responsibility of the water company.

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.

There are a number of drain clearing products sold in supermarkets and DIY stores. Some 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. The UK’s largest emergency plumbing and drain clearance business Drain Doctor Plumbing, for example, uses an enzyme cleaner which digests organic wastes in drains, breaking down fat and grease build ups which lead to odours and blockages. The company recommends using the product on a regular basis to keep drains free-flowing and clean-smelling.

Robin Banks of Drain Doctor says: “Using enzymes rather than chemicals is much better for the environment – and, in the long run, much more effective at keeping drains clear.”

Even enzymes, though, won’t get rid of roots which can grow across pipes and then catch debris coming down the drain until it builds up to create a really effective blockage. If that happens you will need a specialist with the right equipment to remove the roots and repair the drain.

Prevention is, of course, better than cure and Drain Doctor has 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 penetrated by roots. 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 them 24 hours a day on 0800 3357 999.

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Bedford Drain Doctors Scoop Third National Business Award

Michelle and Stuart Brock receive their growth award from Drain Doctor Plumbing chairman Freddie Mitman (left).

Michelle and Stuart Brock receive their growth award from Drain Doctor Plumbing chairman Freddie Mitman (left).

For the third year in succession Stuart Brock’s decision to launch his own Drain Doctor Plumbing business covering Bedford, Milton Keynes and the surrounding villages has proved a winner. In 2012 he was named most progressive new franchisee at the national group’s annual awards ceremony. The following year he scooped an award for business growth – and he has repeated the same feat this year.

Group founder and chairman Freddie Mitman presented Stuart and his wife Michelle with their trophy at a gala awards night at the Holiday Inn in historic Stratford-upon-Avon.

The award is presented to franchisees who have achieved substantial growth for their business.

Freddie Mitman said: “The winners of these awards, like Michelle and Stuart, often go on to be perennial award winners in other categories year after year. They attain special achievements within the network and these awards recognise that. They are the future of our business.

“The winners all come from very different parts of the country proving that sustained growth does not favour certain areas or regions, it can happen anywhere that the franchisee ‘makes it happen’”.

Stuart said: “Drain Doctor’s success in Bedford has come from offering local businesses and householders ‘dazzling’ levels of service in an industry that is plagued by ‘cowboy’ operators.”

Stuart launched his franchise in January 2011. He provides a wide range of plumbing and drainage repairs, including high-pressure jetting, ‘no-dig’ drain re-lining and closed circuit camera surveys.

Stuart and Michelle more than achieved their target turnover during 2013 in spite of the recession and now have plans for further growth in 2014.

Positive word of mouth set the Brocks on their new business path. Stuart and Michelle researched various franchise businesses for a while. They looked at the Drain Doctor model on the recommendation of close friend Martin Humphrey, who has run the Stevenage and Luton franchise since February 2010.

Stuart said. “Martin’s franchise and the Bedford and Milton Keynes franchise were originally parts of the same franchise area. Martin purchased his area when the franchisee was downsizing and he knew that he would be looking to sell the remaining part of his business in the future.

“Joining Drain Doctor Plumbing was most definitely the best thing I have done.”

Freddie Mitman said: “Stuart and his team have fully absorbed the Drain Doctor ethos of delivering exceptional standards of customer service.”

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Home and business owners get flood warning

Drain Doctor CCTV inspection

Drain Doctor carries out CCTV drain surveys and uses a number of techniques to clear blockages

Homeowners and businesses have received a winter flood warning from the UK’s largest combined plumbing and drainage business. Companies could face massive disruption over the coming months if they don’t take steps to prevent flooding now.

Drain Doctor Plumbing Ltd (www.draindoctor.co.uk) is urging homeowners and business people to make sure drains are free of blockages. This will help to minimise the risk of flooding as we head towards the two months of the year (January and February) which the Meteorological Office says usually combine the highest rainfall of the year with the lowest temperatures. A thaw after heavy snowfall, if combined with rain which helps to melt the ice, can lead to huge amounts of water being released into drains.

Preliminary weather forecasts (http://www.ukweatherforecast.co.uk/winter-forecast-2013/) for January and February are for colder than average months with more frequent snowfall than in recent years.

According to recent figures from the Association of British Insurers 47,000 UK bus

inesses were hit by flooding in 2012 and total flooding claims with insurers for households and businesses exceeded £1.1 billion. However, a simple CCTV drain survey can help to identify any blockages or potential problems.

Drain Doctor Plumbing 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.”

As well as a CCTV drain survey, there are a number of other measures businesses can take to protect their property. This includes taking advice from a specialist flood surveyor, fitting water resistant doors and window frames or speaking with specialist organisations such as the Environment Agency or the Flood Protection Association.

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