The Limp and the Waddling Plumbers!


Dad and I have been in the swing of work since Boxing Day last year which is much earlier than we anticipated going back because as you know, my dad had a hip replacement operation 7 weeks ago and I am 34 weeks pregnant. I have joked to our clients that when we come out, it will be the lame and the knocked up plumbers arriving at their door!


But truth be told my Dad is doing FABULOUSLY with his new hip. He has a slight limp which is to be expected but we have been able to install toilet suites and do basic plumbing maintenance jobs. I have to be careful bending over and I have to watch getting too hot especially with the heat spell that we have been experiencing. I have benefited from being active though, and I really enjoy talking to our clients and assisting them with their plumbing needs.


Our work hasn’t been without drama though. We have had one brand new toilet cistern that once installed was working well, but when the client used it, the cistern wouldn’t cut off and the only way to fix it was to jiggle the buttons to stop it running. In the end, we had to return and install a new cistern and take away the faulty cistern.


Also our Italian toilets that I wrote about last week, one of them had a slight drip on the waste which would only happen on the 10th flush. My dad spent over 4 hours on the toilet suite trying to work out where the water was coming from. Other plumbers have advised that they have had issues with the same toilet suites. We still don’t know if we’ve fixed the problem and have advised the client to keep a watch on it and call us at the end of the week to advise if the leak has stopped.


There are times when as a plumber, problems are out of our control and it can be a faulty fixture or badly manufactured item that can be the root of our problems! Sometimes the client can blame the plumber because of the issues, but plumbers don’t manufacture the fixtures or fittings. Both clients in the above situations didn’t blame us at all, but when we did commercial work, tenants would always blame the plumber because their Zip unit wouldn’t work or their grey water pump would block up.


At the end of the day, it’s a matter of conscience and good customer service to fix a faulty job even if it’s not our fault. It means we keep our good reputation and the client can trust us with jobs in the future.


Another way of earning trust with a client and repeat business is explaining how to fix a problem in the future that they don’t require a license to do themselves. For example, another loyal client had gotten her husband to replace the push up plug and waste in their basin. Unfortunately, it leaked when her husband installed it and this lovely client had to ring me and ask if I could fix it for her.


The pop up plug and wastes do tend to get stuck after a while and can often need replacing every couple of years. All that was needed was silicone to be smeared in two places on the plug and waste and strength to tighten it into place. We explained to the client why her husband’s installation failed and drew a diagram of what would need to be done in the future when they would need to replace the rest of the plug and wastes in the other bathrooms. Should they have any issues, they know they can ring us too.


I must stress that plumbing is a licensed trade and most (if not really all) plumbing installations require a licensed plumber to do them. With that said, simple jobs like replacing a plug and waste or tap washers can be done by a client to save money. More often than not though, we are called after the husband has had a go and their installation has failed. It just proves that plumbers are a skilled trade and their experience and knowledge shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Next week I will be having my first give-away on this blog and a review of a product that will save plumbers, other trades and even DIY handymen/women a lot of hassle when installing silicone. The product is Australian made and owned, designed by a plumber in Victoria. Stay tuned next week for the review and details on the give-away!