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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So as not to offend anyone here who is a professional plumber who takes pride in their work, this is part tongue in cheek, part rant.

I’ve yet to have an especially positive experience with plumbers. They’ve never arrived equipped for the job. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told - preceded by the sucking in of breath - that ‘I ain’t got that part on the van, mate’, before they disappear off to get the part, which takes... oooh, a whole billable hour. Fancy that!

I’ve also been asked by them whether I have a ladder, and/or a long hose pipe; living in a flat must be a clue that I have no use for those things. ‘Ah, that’s a shame, mate. Coz i ain’t got that on the van.’ And there goes another billable hour racked up as they trot off to find those things that should be on their van.

Compare this to an AA van. If you call in because your battery is knackered, he’ll arrive with his van and fit a new one; one that he’s got... on the van. If your distributor is foobed, chances are he’ll have one... on the van. If you call in with a puncture, upon arrival he won’t ask ‘aye mate. You ain’t got a wheel brace I can borrow ‘av ya?’ No. Coz he’s got one... on the van.

Which begs the question. If there’s nothing in it, why on earth does a plumber need something as chuffing big as a van? Apart from his lunch, what on earth is in a plumber’s van? Why doesn’t he just turn up on moped, instead?

😁
 

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Why do you think that shyster who owns Pimlico Plumbers is a multi-squillionaire and can afford hilarious personalised plates (BOG 1 etc) for his entire fleet of (EMPTY!) vans!

As for the moped idea, they need the van to cart away all your money!! :p 😂
 

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I have had bad experiences of unreliable Stan Laurel head scratchers when quoting for a job over the years, with what seem like breathing problems when discussing prices ;)For the last five years I have had a reliable, honest and genuinely nice guy doing our plumbing.

Plumbers basically have you over a barrel and they know it. They earn enough to have really nice vans.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, chaps. Of all the trades I’ve had at home, plumbers have been the most exasperating. Nothing there has ever been simple (even if the fix was), or took less than three dragged out hours (yes, I know the answer is do it yourself; but equally when I can’t, it shouldn’t be an open book to take the mick.) For the sake of balance, sparks have been the best trades; cheerful, chirpy, quick, efficient and every price paid has felt like a fair one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have had bad experiences of unreliable Stan Laurel head scratchers when quoting for a job over the years, with what seem like breathing problems when discussing prices
lol, love that line :)
 

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Have had all those experiences, plus a plumber who would charge for sitting in our kitchen recounting his marital problems, and a pair who vented a tumble dryer through the wall, but didn't fit a vent cap because why would they carry one of those. (They were late too, because they'd driven to Pratts Bottom where I'm glad not to live, instead of Locksbottom where I'm afraid I do).

Once when a radiator valve burst I panicked and called a 24 hour plumber. A bored wife answered the phone. 'He ain't ere. He ain't never ere. 'es a 24 ahr plumber.' Saved me a fortune as I fixed it myself, initially with a washing machine hose over the pipe to pour the water out of the landing window. (I did consider leaving it like that, but my own wife objected).

However, for the last few years have had a reliable, friendly guy who undercharges, pops round f.o.c. to diagnose, and is honest if a job is too big for him. Used someone else to fit a new boiler, because of that, and he was more expensive but great too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
It’s the look of surprise that gets me.

if you go to a dentist with a problem with your tooth, the dentist doesn’t look surprised when you say you have a problem with your tooth. The dentist doesn’t then say: ‘tooth? Hmm. Not done one of them before’, then shuffle off for an hour or so to google ‘tooth’.

I once blocked my toilet (no details needed) and the baffled plumber asked - after the de rigueur in take of breath - ‘what’s happened ‘ere, then?’ You’re the experienced plumber that’s seen hundreds of these jobs; what you think has happened here?
 
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Wont go down well with UK plumbers....but competition should sharpen you up......!!!!.....but the key is when you need a plumber....just make sure hes Polish!! More reliable, as good if not better standard of work, cheaper. And Polish plumbers are (I'e read this so dont flame me if Im wrong) supposed to be qualified to a higher standard if the qualified in their home land than UK plumbers. Ive used two or three for home and work.....and the one thing they do is actually TURN UP when they should...give or take ten minutes....something UK plumbers seem completely incapable of!
 

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Thanks, chaps. Of all the trades I’ve had at home, plumbers have been the most exasperating. Nothing there has ever been simple (even if the fix was), or took less than three dragged out hours (yes, I know the answer is do it yourself; but equally when I can’t, it shouldn’t be an open book to take the mick.) For the sake of balance, sparks have been the best trades; cheerful, chirpy, quick, efficient and every price paid has felt like a fair one.
I once had used electrician who was also a plumber. I think he called himself a "mechanical services engineer" :)

He told me "plumbing is easy, all you need to remember is that 5h1t runs downhill".

:sneaky:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I once had used electrician who was also a plumber. I think he called himself a "mechanical services engineer" :)

He told me "plumbing is easy, all you need to remember is that 5h1t runs downhill".

:sneaky:
I once had a problem with a hot water tank (basically it’s nothing more complex than a kettle; big tank with a heater element in it).

plumber turned up - ‘that’s an electrician’s job.’

electrician turned up - ‘that’s a plumber’s job.’

and so the merry-go-round went on and on, leaving me without hot water for two weeks (‘that’s not considered an emergency, sir,’ according to Halifax. Then, what is?)

If I was this inept, apathetic and disinterested in the service I deliver to my clients, I’d be fired.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Wont go down well with UK plumbers....but competition should sharpen you up......!!!!.....but the key is when you need a plumber....just make sure hes Polish!! More reliable, as good if not better standard of work, cheaper. And Polish plumbers are (I'e read this so dont flame me if Im wrong) supposed to be qualified to a higher standard if the qualified in their home land than UK plumbers. Ive used two or three for home and work.....and the one thing they do is actually TURN UP when they should...give or take ten minutes....something UK plumbers seem completely incapable of!
You’ve hit on something there. I’ve often thought that the solution to many utility problems at home, is a nice Polish bloke and £200 in cash.

The bodgers, the chin scratchers, the deep breath ‘that’s gonna cost ya, mate’ inhalers, can get into their (empty) van, take a really long drive, and don’t bother coming back.
 
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When we moved into our current house, a 6 ft 7 inch tall plumber worked on the central heating. Every time he went through a doorway he hit his head on the frame. This didn't inspire confidence.

As he was about to leave, I led him back to the living room (bang of head), and pointed out a bulge in the carpet, asking: "Are you missing any tools?" He flatly denied anything to do with the bulge, even though he'd had the floorboards up. I peeled back the carpet and presented him with a large screwdriver. "Oh yes," he said, "that is mine."

That night the house boiled: every pipe and radiator banged and bubbled like a kettle. He'd rewired the thermostat back to front. When I remonstrated, he was indignant. "I'm a plumber, not an electrician." He'd been doing me a favour, you see. To the extent that I replaced every radiator valve in the house myself, as they all leaked after boiling to death.

It was a long time ago now and he'll be older. I hope he's shrunk.
 

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I had a silly experience when I had a fault with the filler valve/ ball valve in a toilet. I had taken out a plumbing cover policy with British Gas as part of their home cover service so I thought this would be an opportunity to make use of the service. I made the call. They first caller was a gas fitter who came in spite of the fact that I insisted that it was a plumbing fault on on a toilet. The call centre guy said a gas fitter had to call in first and he would call in to advise that a plumber was needed. The gas fitter made the required call and off he went. The plumber was on his way. I called to let them know that the toilet I had was fitted with a shallower than normal cistern therefore would need a short stem inlet valve. "don't worry, he will have one on the van". When the plumber arrived he looked at the cistern and said I would need a short stem inlet valve and he didn't have one on the van. Need to make another appointment, he said. I started to get testy at this point. I only called the gas board because I had the home care policy, I would alternatively have called into the local plumbing shop, purchased a short stem inlet valve and fitted it myself, all in about half an hour. The plumber capitulated, went to my local plumbing shop, got the valve and called back to fit it. I should had bitten the bullet to start with and done the job myself. British gas inefficiency ruled.
 

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Thanks, chaps. Of all the trades I’ve had at home, plumbers have been the most exasperating. Nothing there has ever been simple (even if the fix was), or took less than three dragged out hours (yes, I know the answer is do it yourself; but equally when I can’t, it shouldn’t be an open book to take the mick.) For the sake of balance, sparks have been the best trades; cheerful, chirpy, quick, efficient and every price paid has felt like a fair one.

Problem is that plumbing is ****.

I had to fix the bath a few weeks ago as water was pissing out the bottom of it - free standing thing with a drain underneath. The bits connecting it all up were just rubbish plastic, as soon as you tightened it enough to grip the washer, the threads failed.

So off I go to the plumbing shop. The bloke considers the gubbins for a moment, and returns with more **** plastic. No, I don't want that, I want the "professional version", made of metal with decent thread pitches, and I don't care what it costs. They don't have that, apparently professionals "stick some goo in it to make it seal".

Is it any wonder plumbers are miserable?
 

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I was talking to a guy who was site managing new developments a while back and aware of how things should be done. He said they were using plastic push-fit as they can use cheaper non-skilled people to do the work. The results include pipes draining uphill and rarely were they getting kitchens square enough to put in a kitchen without bodging the worktops and units in place.
A couple of years back the hot water pipe to the loft conversion bathroom failed. A neighbour who’s a plumber fixed it and it was caused by the builders plumber forgetting a vital washer in the join. If we hadn’t heard the depressurising in the pipes we’d have had a massive replastering etc down the entire house.
 
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