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Installers Guide

Plumbers directory

Guide to Plumbing and Heating Installers

We receive numerous enquiries whether we offer an installation service for the products we sell. Unfortunately, due to the massive geographical area to which we dispatch it is impossible to do so.

As a company we never recommend installers. We work on the basis that even your best friend will let you down from time to time. We have no desire to let you down so we refrain from getting involved in installation or passing jobs to friends, instead it is our mission to be your best supplier.

Instead we recommend you select an installer who is known in your area for quality workmanship, somebody who does not overcharge and will always be on hand if you have an emergency or failure.

Our guide to avoiding a rogue installer...

We should begin with an apology to all those conscientious people who provide a first class service. Unfortunately, there is a growing element who are getting the industry a poor reputation. Whether this be due to a lazy attitude, a general lack of knowledge or a general contempt for a good work ethic, these rogues prey on the vulnerability of people who know little about plumbing and therefore rely on apparent experts and advice.

If you wish to purchase goods from us and have them installed by a fitter you are perfectly at liberty to do so. You should beware of installers who object to you buying your own goods for them to fit. Plumbers and installers often put a mark-up on goods they supply (a hidden profit on the job) and do not take kindly when deprived of this source of revenue.

Always get more than one quote for a job and be prepared to so NO or walk away from a person who leaves you anything less than confident.

Beware of those who think they know it all. You know, the 'been there, done that, know everything' over confident types. A person good at their trade does not need to show off. Over-confidence leades to assumption which leads to mistakes. A good tradesperson assumes nothing and makes all necessary examinations before formulating a decision.

Don't let somebody talk you into a state of confusion or blind you with science by 'bigging' the job up. Plumbing requires a requisite amount of knowledge and skill but it's not rocket science.

Make sure you ask questions, and continue to do so until you are comfortable that you fully understand what is entailed in order to complete your job and why.

Do not enter into an agreement for works unless you fully understand the scope of those works and the cost. If a plumber is unhappy to explain simply walk away.

Get a price for the finished job. Do not agree to 'day rates'. If a workman is paid by the day there is no urgency to finish the job - meanwhile you pay for each day the job lasts. A good tradesperson will know how long a job should take to complete. Don't accept any excuses to deviate from this advice.

Find out how long it is anticipated your job will take. There is nothing worse than a plumber who keeps disappearing to do other jobs while half way through yours. An open-ended arrangement can often end in tears. You need to know you will receive exclusive attention for the duration of your job.

There aren't too many jobs around the home that are mind-blowingly complicated. Don't let anybody con you into believing otherwise. A walk-in bath for example is easier to install than an ordinary bath in most instances, so run away from anybody who would have you believe otherwise. If you hear "Ooooh dear, ouch, now that is going to be tricky to do..." you might have the first signs of a 'big-up merchant'.

If you are exploring the possibility of changing your boiler BEWARE those who automatically suggest you have a combi. Combination boilers have a place in the world (generally where loft a cupboard space is limited or non existent) but they have limitations you seriously need to know about. They are not the answer to all household requirements and in many situations will leave you numb with disappointment.

If you are changing your hot water cylinder and fancy mains pressure - BEWARE those who immediately guide you towards an unvented system. If you experience such behaviour you might find the installer has limited knowledge of ALL the system types available for you to choose from. While a well installed and well serviced unvented system will work fine there are issues of safety you should be made aware of. If the installer happens to 'forget to mention' said issues - ask yourself why? Seek independent advice.

The plumbing industry is competitive to say the least. From manufacturer to installer, everybody is trying to grab business. Make sure you don't have products recommended to you because they happen to be on 'special offer' at the local merchant. You should not therefore be surprised to discover that a plumber might be tempted to recommend a product for the simple reason there's a few quid extra to be made by selling you a different brand. Do your own homework and research products you intend to spend the next few years with. Armed with a basic knowledge you are less likely to be duped.

If you have any doubts ask elsewhere for a second opinion. Never forget you are in charge. The tradesperson is working for you and don't loose sight of this.

If your installation involves gas ensure your installer is qualified to do the job. This can be checked by asking the individual for their Gas Safe registration number. Do not accept excuses like.... "I used to be registered but it became too expensive" or "I have years of experience in the industry and that's just a way for them to make money". Gas fitters must be registered. It is a criminal offense for an unqualified person to work on gas. Allowing them to do so could invalidate your home insurance and potentially kill you and others. Do do it!

Same applies to unvented hot water systems. The installation of an unvented hot water system that contains more than 15 litres requires the installer to be qualified (G3 Building Regs). Incorrect installation can cause explosion and cost lives. Don't be tempted by amateurs. The results can be lethal.

Unqualified fitters with all the excuses why they don't need registration or qualification are a serious danger. Do not be convinced otherwise. It is The Law.

Courtesy, respect and an explanation cost nothing. If you don't receive these basic considerations then something is already going wrong. Look elsewhere.


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