Plumbers are often taken for granted. They come round to fix our leaking taps or replace a part on our loo and we think nothing of it.
But what about all the other less-than-glamourous jobs that they do? Here are 10 things that plumbers would like you to know about the grisly side of their work.
1. Restaurant kitchen sinks are worse than loos.
A clogged toilet might be pretty gross, but plumbers say that restaurant kitchen sinks are worse. Often they are blocked with fat deposits from food, which leaves a stench that is impossible to get off.
Some plumbers have reported using rubbing alcohol to get the smell off their skin and binning their clothes!
2. Stop trying to flush your mobile phone down the toilet.
So many people have done it. They’ve dropped their phone in the loo and then are too disgusted to retrieve it from the toilet bowl. But plumbers ask you to not try to flush your phone down – it won’t go. It will just cause a blockage somewhere down the line.
3. Don’t believe in the ‘flushable’ wipes.
According to plumbers, those wipes that claim to be flushable are not. They don’t break up as well as toilet paper so can cause as many blockages as baby wipes.
4. Drain cleaners aren’t the miracle you think they are.
Those drain cleaners that claim to unblock your plugholes are only temporary fixes at best. What’s more, if you end up calling a plumber to unblock your drain, they risk being covered in chemicals whilst they’re doing the job. Let them know what you’ve put down your drain before they start.
5. Don’t stand too close to them if they’ve been dealing with sewers or toilets.
You can imagine why. That’s all I’ll say.
6. They can get very, very ill.
Plumbers deal with faecal matter a lot. That means they can get sick a lot, too. Common illnesses amongst plumbers are E.Coli, hepatitis and stomach parasites.
7. They have a great tip for waste disposal units.
Apparently, popping a couple of ice cubes down the disposal unit can dislodge bits of food to prevent blockages. They also recommend putting some lemon peel down there too to reduce odours.
8. Don’t be put off by new tools.
We’re often told to watch out for plumbers with new tools. But the real thing you should be looking for is the organisation of their tools.
Think about it – their tools must get dirty pretty quickly.
9. Wait until a Tuesday to call a plumber.
People avoid calling a plumber out on a weekend so they don’t have to pay the extra fees. That means a lot of plumbers are booked up on Mondays. Call on a Tuesday when things have slowed down a bit.
Another good time is after New Year’s Day – most people won’t want to pay out for things right after the Christmas holidays.
10. Help them out.
They’re not asking you to help them unblock your drain, but make sure you give your plumber access to whatever it is they’re fixing. If they need to get under your sink, move everything out of the way.
If they have to move your items for you, you’ll only have to pay more in labour charges.
So next time you call a plumber, bear these things in mind. Not only will it change your outlook on their job, but it might save you a few pounds too!