Fending off competition from over 400 other plumbers nationwide, Martin Warnes has been crowned 2019’s UK Plumber of the Year.

The Essex plumber was able to outlast four other finalists to take home the crown after wowing the judging panel with his impressive qualifications and organic growth of his business.

 

plumber of the year

 

All Hail the King

Entering the trade in 2007 as a local apprentice, Martin made the jump to become a self-employed plumber back in 2009.

Capping off his tenth year as a solo tradesman in style, the Essex man can now add the title of Plumber of the Year to his growing list of accomplishments.

Following the win, a shocked Martin remarked:

“I still can’t believe I’ve actually won. I love what I do and to be recognised for it by such a fantastic competition really is the icing on the cake.”

The win sees Martin take home the prestigious title, as well as the £15k prize pot and some pretty lofty bragging rights for the next 12 months.

 

A Royal Flush

Now in its fifth year, the Plumber of the Year competition has been recognising industry excellence across the nation since 2015.

The competition itself takes place over the course of sixth months, involving a public vote, shortlisting and, for the five finalists, a 30-minute interview, where their skills, attitude and business acumen are put to the test.

The victory puts Martin in exclusive company, joining previous winners Josh Colbert, Shaun Scott, Drew Styles and Steve Bartin.

 

Untapped Potential

Of course, the journey to the Plumber of the Year crown all began with a single step for Martin Warnes. You too could begin your journey by entering the trade today.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, why not explore the variety of plumbing courses at Access Training?

We have a whole host of courses available for all skill levels, designed to help you become the very best plumber you can be, whether you’re experienced or not.

Check the list of courses below and see what’s on offer at Access Training:

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Professional Plumbing Course

Premier Plumbing Course

Bathroom Fitting Course

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

 

For more information on the variety of courses available at Access Training, why not give us a call today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the button below.

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Returning for its fifth year, the UK Plumber of the Year competition will reach its climax next month, as a new king is crowned.

A joint venture of JT, Bristan and Wolseley UK, the competition has grown in popularity year-on-year since its launch in 2015.

This year was no different with applicants from across the UK throwing their hat into the ring with hopes of becoming Plumber of the Year.

 

plumber of the year, plumber of the year 2019

 

The Final Countdown

From an original shortlist of 10 candidates, the field has been whittled down to just five remaining finalists as a result of a public vote.

The final five include:

  • Christopher Clare – Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside
  • Paul Clark – The Wirral, Merseyside
  • Caine Curtis – Yeovil, Somerset
  • Dan Tempest – Pontefract, West Yorkshire
  • Martin Warnes – Harwich, Essex

The five nominees will now go on to the grand finale, set to take place next month.

 

A Hot Pot

This year’s Plumber of the Year prize pot consists of a variety of industry perks, including £2000 worth of items from JT, £2000 worth of vouchers to be spent at Wolseley and £1000 worth of products from Bristan.

Bristan is also throwing in their new Rapid 4in-1 Boiling Water Tap and, yes, they’re even including the kitchen sink – quite literally.

The top prize also features a variety of other perks, from Apple products courtesy of Vendigo Finance to a beer-centric getaway from Cornwall’s Proper Job beer.

 

A New King

Last year’s final was won by Steve Bartin from Taunton, who walked away with the title and his part of a prize pot totalling £10,000.

Speaking at the time, Bartin said: “It’s an honour to call myself the UK Plumber of the Year. I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and I feel like all those extra hours and dedication have paid off.”

In one month’s time, that honour will fall to a new plumbing king when one of the final five is crowned the 2019 winner.

 

Pipe Dreams

The Plumber of the Year award is a great way to recognise trade excellence and for the plumbers themselves to gain some well-deserved recognition from industry and public alike.

Many of these finalists and past winners will have started out with little to no experience at all yet, through heart, drive and determination, have made it to the top of the trade.

If you are looking to start your journey into the world of plumbing or simply looking to sharpen your skills and add a few strings to your bow, why not take a plumbing course with Access Training UK?

Our wide range of courses caters to all experience levels, with each one designed to help you learn and grow into a better plumber and skilled professional.

Who knows, in a few years’ time, you too could find yourself in the finals of the Plumber of the Year! Every journey starts with a single step, so make yours now with Access Training UK.

 

For more information on plumbing courses from Access Training UK, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the link below.

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A recent study by Which? has revealed that dodgy DIY is a primary cause for plumber call-outs across the UK.

In a survey that covered over 3800 Brits, the variety of home maintenance jobs tackled by the untrained, unequipped and unqualified ranged from unblocking a toilet to fitting an entire bathroom suite.

Somewhat predictably, these DIY plumbing jobs often end in a damp squib, leaving many homeowners in hot water.

As a result, this translates to a lot of extra work for UK plumbers.

 

diy disasters,diy plumbing courses

 

The Numbers

The results of the study highlighted some interesting trends, particularly when it comes to the common DIY tasks we attempt at home.

According to the Which? study, 53% of those that took part had attempted to replace a set of taps themselves.

Theoretically, assuming this survey is indicative of the nation as a whole, that means over half of Britain has dabbled in home plumbing in pursuit of saving a few quid.

Meanwhile, a further 41% had attempted to plumb in an appliance themselves and 35% have attempted to fix a leak.

 

DI-Why?

On the flip side of these figures, traders are commonly hired to help solve these issues created by over-enthusiastic DIYers.

In fact, over 60% of the traders surveyed had been called in to finish the aforementioned tasks, proving that there really is no substitute for first-hand knowledge and professional experience.

Worse still, these DIY disasters often lead to even worse problems occurring, from small leaks developing into larger issues to poor installation completely ruining kitchens.

 

DIY Plumbing Courses

One thing that’s abundantly clear from the study is that DIY plumbing jobs are a sure-fire way to get yourself in deep water – quite literally at times!

That being said, here at Access Training UK, we have a variety of entry-level plumbing courses available, designed to help you not only become a DIY VIP but also a veritable plumbing pro in no time at all.

Ideal for anyone looking to learn a new skill, perfect their DIY skills or change their career path entirely, these plumbing related courses have the ability to change your life as well as your home.

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Designed for absolute beginners, this course provides you with a firm understanding of the basics and sets you up for a potential new career in the trade.

 

Professional Plumbing Course

This all-level course provides a variety of useful qualifications, designed to equip you with the knowledge to confidently enter the world of professional plumbing.

 

Advanced Plumbing Course

Ideal for beginners or those looking to update their existing skills, this course allows you to learn the ins and outs of plumbing and gas fitting.

 

Bathroom Installation Course

Specifically designed for those that want to design and install bathroom suites to a professional standard, this course is open to all skill levels.

 

For more information on our plumbing courses, call now on 0800 345 7492 or hit the button below to get in touch online.

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Whether you dream of becoming a professional plumber or would simply like to improve your skills so you become handier around the home, a great place to start is understanding the most common plumbing problems and how to fix them. 

From dripping taps to leaking pipes, here are just a few of the most common water woes you may come across: More...



So, you want to learn how to fix a boiler and heating systems, but does that mean you need gas engineer course or a plumbing course? We often receive questions about the difference between the two jobs, so we thought we’d write a blog post that’ll clear up the issue and put the differences in black and white. More...


There is nothing worse than a boiler breaking down or having a plumbing issue during winter. No heating or warm water could mean some chilly days are in store. So, what can you do to prevent the big freeze taking over a home?

Some experts believe wrapping up a hot water cylinder to be a cost-effective solution. More...



With 2016 fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider a career change or think about learning some new skills. If you're looking for an area of industry that offers a steady stream of work and income, then why not train to become a plumber?

At Access Training, we offer a range of plumbing courses, to suit both beginners as well as experienced plumbers:

  • Our Essential Plumbing Course is great for people who want to learn the basics of the trade, setting a foundation on which to build a portfolio of plumbing skills in order to go on to further training. 
  • For a combination of practical and technical plumbing knowledge, our Professional Plumbing Course will equip you with all the skills you need to become a professional plumber. By the end of the course, you will have achieved the qualifications necessary to start your career in plumbing. While this course is designed with beginners in mind, it would also suit experienced candidates looking to update their skills.
  • Candidates who are looking to become professional plumbers/heating engineers should consider our Premier Plumbing Course, which will allow you to also gain multiple gas and electrical qualifications, enabling you to join the Gas Safe Register and take on a wider variety of jobs.
If you're interested in enrolling on one of our courses or finding out more information, please feel free to get in touch with us today.

For regular updates about Access Training, you can follow us on Twitter.

Social media site for plumbers

Many of the plumbers reading this blog post will already be using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their businesses. But did you know that there's now a dedicated social media network exclusively for the plumbing trade? Say hello to Connect.

Launched by leading shower/taps brand Bristan, Connect is an online platform that aims to provide installers with a dedicated area for them to get in touch with one another to share information or ask questions. Joining is completely free, and users will be able to upload images and videos of their work or products they think are worth recommending to others. In turn, the community will also provide news and information on the latest products, how-to tutorials, industry news and first access to promotional offers and discounts on Bristan's shower and tap products. It's the ultimate social media platform for plumbers!

Connect's creation was spurred on by Bristan's largest survey to date, which was conducted earlier this year. They found that many installers felt that there were few opportunities online for them to share information with each other. Signing up has been made as hassle-free as possible; you don't even need to create an all-new account! Instead, you can just sign up with an existing Facebook or Twitter profile. 

For more information you can visit the site at www.bristanconnect.com

Via HPM Magazine

Meanwhile, you can also keep up with Access Training on Facebook (link here) and Twitter (@accesstraining1). For more information on our range of trades training courses, which include plumbing, electrics, gas engineering, bricklaying, carpentry, tiling, plastering, painting/decorating and more - give our advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.

Plumbers are an incredibly important part of our society and most homeowners would be stuck without them. However if seems many are not getting the thanks and appreciation they deserve, with research revealing that UK plumbers are not only getting paid late but are often finding themselves chasing up said payments.

The survey from Worldpay looked at over 1000 tradespeople from across the country, and found plumbers have to chase their earnings up for around 27 weeks - almost twice as long as the average wait time of 15 weeks. More specific data found included that tradespeople are typically paid late once a month, with the annual total late payments owed coming to around £799. Worse still, most of this debt (£770) gets wiped off completely. Meanwhile the average figure for plumbers is significantly larger rising to upwards of £,948 a year. This resulted in over half of respondents admitting to have problems with their cash flow, in additional to worrying about damaging customer relationships and time wasted on chasing payments.

In an attempt to combat this, Worldpay have offered plumbers a few suggestions to help ensure they always get paid on time;

  • Offer customers a wider variety of payment methods. Out of the plumbers spoken to that were paid late in the last 12 months, 73% said that automated (ie card) payments are important for maintaining a regular cash flow.
  • When in doubt, check your customers' credit history. It costs a small fee, but could provide further information.
  • Ensure you have the name and details of the person(s) responsible for paying.
  • Make sure you have properly agreed contract terms. Getting proper legal advice from the get-go may seem like a hassle but could save a lot of time and money in the long run.
  • Consider charging interest on late payments. Making your customers immediately aware of this should hopefully put them off paying late.

With this advice in mind, attaining that dream of becoming a professional plumber should be one step easier. However before you can even think about businesses and payment options, you're going to need the necessery plumbing skills and the qualifications to prove it. Give Access Training a call on 0800 345 7492 to find out more about our range of intensive plumbing courses.

With the UK becoming more and more aware of dodgy tradespeople thanks to the horror stories reported all over the media (and often on this very blog too!), more has to be done for consumers to be reassured that the people are hiring are honest and fully qualified. The gas industry has the Gas Safe Register, and electricians have any number of competent person schemes - what is there for plumbers?

In previous blog posts last year we introduced WaterSafe - the first plumbing body of its kind. Set up back in October 2013, this national assurance scheme is designed to recognise competent plumbers as well as protect homeowners and plumbing businesses alike. WaterSafe has the backing of all UK water suppliers and water quality regulators, having been developed by all seven existing Approved Contractors' Schemes. Although it hasn't been around long WaterSafe seems to be making a huge impression on the plumbing world, exceeding expectations and targets when it comes to membership figures.

Now WaterSafe have teamed up with BPEC to create a course that ensures plumbers receive all the qualifications required to join the scheme. The specially designed qualification is equivalent to the NVQ Level 2 and Water Regulations certificates - both of which are qualifications we offer here at Access Training Academies. So while the specialised course itself is still rolling out across the country (to date only three training centres in the UK have been given the go-ahead to run it), aspiring plumbers elsewhere should know that we can still offer them the means to eventually become part of this great (and FREE) scheme. 

To find out more about our intensive plumbing courses and the qualifications you'll need to be viewed as an experienced, competent and QUALIFIED plumber, give our course advice team a call on 0800 345 7492. Stamping out rouge tradespeople is something we all need to be a part of, and the first step toward doing that is properly setting them apart from the honest ones in the country such as yourself.

As we've previously mentioned, Access Training have made a few changes to the way we run the Unvented Cylinders plumbing course recently. With the new City & Guilds syllabus our course follows, students are now required physically commission and maintain a cylinder in order to achieve the qualification. This is important as it will make sure candidates are physically familiar with unvented cylinders rather than just having a theoretical knowledge of how to handle them. Knowing in theory is all well and good, but this is one area inparticularly that can go wrong without the right skills and know-how.

An Unvented Cylinder is a hot water storage system that relies on storage cylinders fed directly from cold water mains and do not incorporate a vent pipe to relieve excess build-up pressure to atmosphere. The pressure for the hot water system is then derived from the mains pressure supply rather than a cold water storage tank. The advantages of using such a system include:

  • Balanced pressure in both hot and cold taps for showers
  • Higher water pressures available for hot taps
  • No storage cistern, eliminating any risk of contamination
  • Can be fitted anywhere in the house, making them suitable for one-storey dwellings
  • Quicker to install with less pipework and no cold storage tanks needed in the loft
  • Can possibly be used with smaller diameter pipework
  • Gives architects and service designers greater flexibility of design

Unvented cylinders are also the only systems currently used with renewable energy supplies such as ground & air heat pumps and underfloor heating, due to their nature of being almost 100% energy efficient. This makes them even more of an important thing as households strive to become greener and save energy (as well as money!).

However despite these numerous advantages installers should still show great caution and care when dealing with unvented cylinders, as failing to properly install them is extremely dangerous. Unvented hot water systems usually operate above atmospheric pressure and unless the right measures are taken to prevent overheating, the results can be quite explosive to say the least. Just have a look at this video of what can happen if adequate checks and protection haven't been made:

VIEW ON YOUTUBE

But don't let this video put you off them. As long as they are installed correctly with all of the proper safety precautions in place unvented cylinders are perfectly safe. All plumbers handling unvented cylinders are required to be qualified in accordance with Part G of the Building Regulations, which can be achieved through the Access Training Academies Unvented Hot Water Cylinders course.

For more information on our Unvented course or our wider range of intensive plumbing courses, please take a look at the plumbing section linked on the left hand side of the page. Alternatively, you can speak to our course advice team to have any questions you may have answered personally - simply call 0800 345 7492 or fill in the information form provided on this website.

2014 is already shaping up to be a big year for Access Training Academies, and today (the 13th January) marks the first steps we'll be taking to make your training experience here even better. This year ACS gas assessments will be returning to our Cardiff training centre.

Now students that complete their gas training at Access will be able to complete their Logic ACS (Accredited Certification Scheme) gas assessments here. ACS is the industry recognised and accepted route for students to enter into the gas industry, earning their gas certificate which is needed to become a member of the Gas Safe Register. This itself is a legal requirement to be able to work on all gas installations and appliances in the UK. These assessments will not only be available to those who have completed an extensive gas course here, but is also open to others who may have completed a gas course elsewhere.

Students will be able to complete both the written and practical assessments required to qualify, covering the CCN1 Core Domestic Gas Safety module and then any of the additional appliance assessments relevant to your area of work. This includes the CENWAT (Central Heating Boilers & Water Heaters) qualification, CKR1 (Cookers), HTR1 (Gas Fires) and more. For a full list of what we can offer you here at Access, please get in contact.

To find out more about ACS gas assessments, our plumbing training or any of the many other trades training courses we provide here at Access please get in contact with our course advice team on 0800 345 7492 or via the form provided on this website. They'll be more than happy to answer any further questions you might have, as well as arrange of a tour of our facilities so you can get a first-hand look at what we do.