Tag Archives: Christmas

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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Happy New Year – unless your toilet blocks!

Drain Doctor franchisees across the country have been busy over Christmas and the days since, sorting out emergency plumbing problems for households and businesses.  Blocked drains, blocked loos, leaking pipes – it is all in a day’s work for Drain Doctor, even over the festive holiday.

Don’t forget that Drain Doctor will also be working on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day offering the same high standard of service at the same competitive prices as it does all through the rest of the year. There are no call-out charges and no ‘overtime rates’ for working on bank holidays.

So, all of us at Drain Doctor hope you have a great New Year celebration. If a plumbing disaster does strike, though, give us a call on 0800 3357 999.


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Anglia Drain Doctor spreads some Christmas cheer with Help for Heroes

Rob and Sam Simpson present a cheque to Domini Pocock, Help for Heroes’ local co-ordinator for Suffolk.

The team at the East Anglia franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage is spreading Christmas cheer to injured service personnel by contributing to the Help for Heroes Christmas Stocking Appeal.

“As part of our fund-raising for Help for Heroes this year we have decided to email Christmas wishes to our customers instead of sending them Christmas cards. We have used the money we would have spent on cards and postage to contribute to the Help for Heroes Christmas Stocking Appeal.

“We were able to spend around £200 on a couple of ‘stockings’ which include basic necessities like toiletries and shaving gear, fun items including playing cards as well as a couple of luxuries such as a clock radio and an iTunes voucher.”

Help for Heroes is Drain Doctor’s designated charity for 2011/2012. The idea behind the stocking appeal is to help to bring a little Christmas joy to wounded services personnel as they come to terms with their life changing injuries. This year, Help for Heroes is providing Christmas stockings to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Headley Court and the Personnel Recovery Centres.

Rob added: “Earlier this year some friends and I also took part in The Screwball Rally, a race around Europe which involved 50 cars going on a 2,000 mile round trip via Mannheim, Prague, Hanover and Amsterdam, to raise money for Help for Heroes.

“Our theme was Baywatch. Three of us dressed as Pamela Anderson and one as ‘The Hoff’ and we rallied in a bright yellow C class Mercedes estate which we bought for £400.

“I thought we would build on that with something a bit more festive that would provide a tangible treat for some of our heroes.”

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Avoid toilet stress this Christmas with a few tips from the Drain Doctor

Follow Drain Doctor's tips for a stress free Christmas

If you are hosting a Christmas party or family get together this year you’ll want to add preparing your kitchen and bathroom to your list of things to do. You don’t need a plumbing disaster ruining the festive fun.

Christmas is probably the largest single day of food consumption in the UK.

According to statistics from the British Turkey Information Service, in the UK at Christmas we consume approximately 10 million turkeys, 25 million Christmas puddings, 250 million pints of beer and 35 million bottles of wine. Meanwhile, Santa chomps his way through roughly seven million mince pies left for him by children on Christmas Eve.

At this time of year your family and friends cram into your home to help eat all that food, which means your kitchen drains and toilets will likely be working overtime.

Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage has some handy precautions that you can take before your guests arrive to help keep your home’s plumbing in good working order:

  • Throw food scraps in the bin and put left over vegetable matter like sprout and 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 your rubbish bin is easy to see so guests won’t flush paper towels, napkins or facial tissue down the toilet.
  • You may want to stock your bathroom with single-ply toilet paper, depending on the number of people attending your party. This can really help to avoid a blockage.

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 on call at Christmas, and there’s never an overtime or call-out charge.

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Plumber saves Christmas

Santa Claus with a little girl

Image via Wikipedia

A poet at our sister company in the USA – Mr Rooter – has written the following which appears on the Mrs Rooter blog.

We thought we would share it with you this Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve it was Snowing

The weather was cold

But Santa and his reindeer

Continued on so bold


The clickety-clack of the reindeer paws

And the ho-ho-ho of dear Santa Claus

 He sprang to the chimney in less than a dash

And landed below with a terrible splash

 The chimney you see to Santa’s amazement

Went to the fireplace down in the basement

 The sewer was blocked and all he could see

Was two feet of water and floating “uch”

 Santa thought he was finished

He’d not get to his sled

When a shadow appeared

Top of the stairs dead ahead

 The bangety-bang-bang of a sewer machine

As it came down the steps for the sewer to clean

 Santa then smiled cause in the dim light

Mr. Rooter was there to deliver his plight

 Merry Christmas said he

And Santa replied

If it wasn’t for you

Christmas could’ve been done

The basement was clean in less than an hour

Santa went up to catch a quick shower

 Mr. Rooter was gone by the time Santa was done

But he swore to his reindeer he’d tell everyone


Mr. Rooter saved Christmas Santa said with a blink

HO-HO-HO don’t you know they’re “Quick as a Wink”.


Don’t forget, if you need a plumber today or tomorrow (or at any time over the holiday period) you can call Drain Doctor on 0800 70 71 72. There are no call-out charges and no extra costs for holiday working.

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Avoid rip-off Christmas plumbers

A burst pipe or blocked lavatory is a problem at any time of the year – at Christmas it can be an expensive nightmare. ‘Rip off’ plumbers can charge a small fortune just to take a look at the problem. 

Drain Doctor is reassuring its customers that it is maintaining its price check policy, even if it is called out to an emergency over the festive season.

No overtime is charged for evening, weekend or bank holiday emergencies and there are no call-out charges – not even on Christmas Day. Every job is priced before work starts, working to a national pricing menu.

Drain Doctor chairman Freddie Mitman said: “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 this Christmas or New Year, Drain Doctor will not charge any more than at any other time of year.”


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Drain Doctor won’t keep you waiting at Christmas – or any other time

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...

Image via Wikipedia

A recent consumer survey has revealed that householders waste 800 million hours every year waiting for deliveries or repair men to turn up. This can be a real worry at Christmas, waiting for that vital last gift to arrive or getting the house ready for family and friends. 

National emergency drain repair company Drain Doctor Plumbing is helping to ensure that its customers are not among the 79 per cent of the population left waiting by reinforcing its own ‘customer comes first’ policy. 

According to the survey, the average waiting time is four hours but in reality customers can be left waiting the whole day to accept the service. 

Commenting on the survey, Drain Doctor chairman Freddie Mitman said: “Householders are expected to be available at the convenience of the supplier of the goods or services. There seems to be a notion in service providers that there will always be someone at home to receive them. 

“They don’t seem to realise that many householders are at work and have to take time off.” 

Often the delivery or the service visit fails to materialise during the agreed time, sometimes without even the courtesy of an explanatory phone call, which is a worry for people trying to make arrangements in time for Christmas. 

Not so with Drain Doctor Plumbing, explained Freddie Mitman. “We offer an exact time for all our service calls. If we are running late we inform the customer before the appointed time to arrange an alternative time convenient to them. 

“As part of our ‘dazzling’ customer service Drain Doctor has a policy that the customer comes first and we arrange all our calls with this in mind. What’s more there are no call out charges – even at Christmas.”

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