Archives for plumbing

Christmas in the Heating Industry

Christmas Tree

 Those of us that work in the heating and plumbing industry will know that Christmas is always a busy time.

Central heating systems and plumbing problems don’t care that it’s Christmas Day, so there is no way to ensure that your system stops working at a more opportune or convenient time.

There are of course ways to try and reduce the chances of your boiler breaking down over Christmas. Regular servicing is recommended once a year for oil & gas boilers and it certainly pays to be vigilant and try and spot potential problems before they snowball and become something more serious.

If your central heating system does pack up around Christmas time it isn’t the end of the world. It is still possible to source parts as companies such as Direct Heating Supplies do still open over the festive period.

However delays are to be expected as depots are likely to be closed or operating at reduced hours. The best thing you can do is to try and remain patient and work out when the quickest time you can get your part is.

If you are really desperate for a particular part and really cannot wait, you may need to consider either collecting the part yourself or paying  the cost of an express delivery service that can get you your item a lot faster.

First for Female Plumbers

The world’s first fully qualifying training course specifically for women to train and qualify as plumbers is to be launched in the New Year.

Stopcocks Women Plumbers are collaborating with West Herts College and EasMechanical Ltd to provide training that integrates workshop and workplace learning with a full service of mentoring, support and supervision.

Hattie Hasan at work

Hattie Hasan founder of Stopcocks says

After over 20 years working as a self-employed plumber I realised that although there are a few schemes providing apprenticeships there wasn’t really anything which fitted the needs and responsibilities of adult learners.

Private Training Institutions offer flexibility but what people who passionately want to become plumbers need is both a way to be able to earn quite quickly and also to properly gain skills, competence and confidence.

We have been mentoring and supporting City & Guilds technical certificate level female plumbers to gain their NVQ2 for some time now and had the infrastructure in place to be able to extend this for women training from scratch.

Women who decide to become plumbers are in our experience extraordinarily committed to both the craft and to providing great service to customers, this needs to be supported.

Eamon Wilson from EasMechanical Ltd approached us and established this three-way collaboration.

West Herts College are providing the workshop and theory training over 8 weeks during 2013 starting this January.

The unique piece of the jigsaw is that Stopcocks will be mentoring, supervising and supporting the trainees to begin work from around month 6.

We have a specific system that enables our trainees to begin taking on jobs and building their skills and confidence without becoming overwhelmed or leaving customers in the lurch.

As well as all the mentoring and on the job support we also provide our own additional training that helps trainees to transfer the skills and knowledge gained in the workshop into real life. Our plumbers often work together and when they get bigger jobs they can draw in another of our plumbers with the right skills meaning they don’t have to disappoint customers.

In the years we’ve been working with female plumbers we’ve discovered it’s not skills but confidence they lack. Our mentoring is an essential back-up. We’ve found that almost always they are competent to do the job but don’t quite believe it.

The plumbing industry is made up mostly of sole traders or very small firms. it’s unrealistic to expect people to have the time in their schedule to teach, even if they have the skills to do this. That’s why we decided to take a totally different approach.

As outsiders within the industry we have a unique perspective and aren’t hampered by ‘the way it’s always been done’.

With the reputation of plumbers as bad as it can be we realised something radical had to be done. Customers intrinsically trust women but we don’t leave it to chance and all our plumbers benefit from customer service training and are bound by both a strict Code of Conduct and a Fair Pricing Policy.

Since we’re women plumbers we’re starting with that but look out, we’re on our way to transform the construction industry as a whole!

Registration for training closes on 22nd December 2012. Please contact with enquiries or phone 0800 862 0010.

About Hattie Hasan: Hattie is the founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers and has worked as a plumber since 1989 as Stopcocks. She founded Stopcocks Women Plumbers in 2009 after realising that the plumber training system had a serious leak

For more information on training with Stopcocks go here: