We’ve all heard those scary stories about ’cowboy’ builders, plumbers and contractors who’ve overcharged homeowners and then left a property in disarray after a seemingly simple job. And although they’re very rare, it’s still important to ensure that your plumbing job is performed by a trustworthy professional who has trained on a plumbing course and who will give you a reliable service at a fair price.
So how can we tell the cowboys from the good guys?
Research reliable plumbers
Be sure to ask a variety of people who they use for plumbing services in the local area. By contacting someone who’s trusted by friends and family (preferably that you also know), you’re much more likely to avoid disreputable plumbers. Also, be sure to request references from prospective plumbers; if they don’t possess a portfolio of satisfied customers, then it may be worth looking elsewhere.
Get a written quote
It may sound simple, but a good, trusted, trained plumber will have no problem providing a written quote for the work he’s about to undertake. If your selected plumber scribbles a quote on a note or will only offer a verbal agreement, it’s not worth the hassle.
Insist on a trained individual
Plumbers of any repute will have a recognised plumbing qualification that shows they have the core competencies to get your job done quickly and effectively, so you should insist on your plumber having one.
Ask for insurance policies
A trusted plumber will have an insurance policy that will protect both you and them in the event of anything going wrong, so don’t start working with someone who doesn’t have one.
And don’t forget, you have the capability to stop cowboy plumbers yourself by letting other people know of better tradesmen elsewhere. If your plumber is friendly, flexible and competent, then be sure to tell your friends, who will be far more likely to use them rather than an untrustworthy scammer.
Do you think you have the skills to become a plumber? Hone them with plumbing courses at Access. There are a range of different plumbing courses available – to learn more call 0800 345 7492.
Did you know that most plumbing jobs can solved with relative ease at home without having to use a professional plumber? And while larger work should still be carried out by professionals who have been trained on a top plumbing course, being aware of how to mend more menial matters will certainly save you money in the long run.
Here’s a list of the five most common plumbing problems – and how you can fix them:
1. Dripping taps
Perhaps the issue of the dripping tap is the most common problem in plumbing. And while it’s seen as a relatively minor problem that can easily be ignored, if left too long it can result in high water bills. The most common solution to a faulty faucet is to replace the worn or broken washer inside, but sometimes you may need new taps. Worry not, even these can be simply installed without having to consult someone who’s been on a plumbing course – just remember to switch the water off first!
2. Bunged-up drains
Drains are designed to allow water to flow through, but occasionally larger items can find their way down and block the passage, especially in kitchen sinks where leftover food can become a problem.
The powerful suction provided by a humble plunger can often break a block’s resistance, or if that doesn’t work, try unscrewing the fixture under your sink and cleaning it out. But hold your breath – it may smell…
3. Blocked bogs
One of the most dreaded of plumbing’s complications, and similar to a clogged drain, where waste (all together now: eeeeuuuwww) builds up and causes a blocked toilet. Again, a plunger is your friend, and if that doesn’t work use a sewer snake (not a real one), which is a device that can wind through a toilet’s U-bend and push the problem far, far away.
4. Broken water boiler
We all need hot water, and it can be awful when a boiler breaks. But before contacting a professional who’s trained on a plumbing course, test your boiler’s pipes and connections to the rest of the house. You may find the problem can be solved simply and without great expense by replacing a broken part.
5. Leaky pipes
Often, when your pipes spring a leak it’s because one has been knocked out of place. By tightening the affected joint, you may be able to solve the problem. Or, if that doesn’t work and there’s an actual hole in your pipe causing leakage, you may need to replace the pipe.
Are you interested in becoming a plumber? Here at Access Training we offer plumbing courses that cater for all levels of ability, whatever your background and whatever your goals. To learn more about our flexible plumbing course please speak to one of our friendly advisors today on 0800 345 7492.
Recent research has been conducted over in the US into the difference in efficiency of hard and soft water and the subsequent impact on plumbing and heating systems.
The study has been conducted by the Water Quality Association, which recorded the drop in efficiency caused by hard water in both stored and tankless gas water heaters. The study found that for every 86ppm (parts per million) of hardness in the water (with 150ppm the common measure of hard water) there was a resultant drop in the efficiency of the systems of 4 per cent when using 190 litres a day.
So for those living in hard water areas the reduction in efficiency could amount to just under 10 per cent, whilst individuals in very hard water areas could experience a decrease in efficiency of 20 per cent. The research also found that hard water and subsequent build up of lime scale could damage water heaters, leading some to fail in less than two years.
This inefficiency increases energy bills, which many households are struggling to pay with the economy in such a sad state. There are however some excellent systems on the market that can protect your hot water systems from limescale and corrosion and increase the efficiency of the system along with its likely lifespan.
Most of these soft water systems use a patented zinc sacrificial anode system, which releases and combines zinc ions and calcium/magnesium ions together to from aragonite, which is a non-adhering lime. Once treated the water is perfectly drinkable and still contains the natural minerals that occur in water naturally.
To learn the latest techniques used by plumbers and to achieve the qualifications you need to get ahead in the industry, plumbing training here at Access ensures courses that fit around your existing schedule, with pass rates for many of our courses exceeding 95%. Call us on 0800 345 7492 for further information.
Whether you are a first-time property developer or a veteran, plumbing courses and other vocational courses can save you a lot of money when refurbishing your property. By learning hands-on skills you can save money not only on labour but also by ensuring work is carried out properly, to the correct time-scale and to a fair budget.
Plumbing courses can be taken at a number of different levels, so whether you only know a little or already know a lot, you can add to your skills. Essentially, for property developers, vocational and plumbing courses are an investment in skill. Over time, the savings you will make on labour and on will accumulate; you could soon stand to save an awful lot of money, especially if you see property development as a long term ‘career’.
The problem is, the property market is no longer what it once was. Property developers do not have unlimited funds to throw at a building and still see a return on their investment. This means that plumbing courses, and other practical courses, are more important than ever before. Being canny and in the know about the trades will allow you to make informed decisions about your overhaul of your properties.
Plumbing courses could also save you money if you are simply developing your own property. Renovating an old, tumbledown place can be a very cheap way of find your footing on the property ladder, but if you don’t know your way around the plumbing and fall prey to an unscrupulous plumber, it could be even more expensive then purchasing a brand new property.
To find out about Access Training’s plumbing courses or other vocational courses browse the rest of the website. We offer flexible plumbing courses to suit all levels, all abilities and all timescales. To speak to one of our knowledgeable staff call 0800 345 7492 today.
The NICEIC has just has published the results of a survey which asked registered electrical contractors their thoughts on Part P of the Building Regulations. Around 1,500 completed the survey. The results obtained, which reflected a wide spread of electricians’ views, are to be considered by the Government in their latest review of current Building Regulations.
As discussed in previous posts, the effectiveness of Part P is currently being looked at and re-examined by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, who published the initial legislation back in 2005. This dictated that electrical courses graduates working domestically must have attended one of a specific range of electrical courses to become a qualified installer. They also had to be part of a Competent Person Scheme.
There has been much debate regarding the changes needed, with most agreeing that Part P electrical courses should be amended to improve the current model. The responses received from the NICEIC survey support this view with 85% believing it should be retained. Three quarters of contributors said that there should be a pubic list of approved electrical installers for consumers to use, preventing unqualified electricians from carrying out domestic electrical work.
One of the most telling findings was that half of the respondents have seen a marked increase in the standard of electrical work since Part P was brought in as an essential element of electrical courses.
Other notable findings were that 75% of contributors said they wanted firmer action to be taken against those individuals who did not comply with the scheme. At present prosecutions are virtually non-existent.
Finally, an important point the electrical courses graduates wanted homeowners to understand was which DIY tasks they can carry out themselves as opposed to those they need a qualified electrician to complete.
Here at Access Training we feel that safety comes first and that, despite its numerous faults, Part P has been an undoubted success since its introduction, increasing the quality of the workmanship being carried out in people’s homes.
Here at Access Training we offer Part P electrical courses which will enable you to reach the industry required standard. If you require any further information regarding Part P electrical courses, or any of our other courses for that matter, please call 0800 345 7492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.