Monday, 27 March 2017

Finding a quality plumbing and heating engineer doesn’t have to be difficult

According to a Toolstation survey, a quarter of UK homeowners struggle to find a reliable plumbing and heating engineer, with more people wanting a professional to take on tasks involving gas or water than any other home improvement, meaning the demand for plumbing and heating engineers is consistently high.

But finding a quality plumbing and heating engineer doesn’t have to be difficult. By following a small number of steps, you should be able to source a local, qualified and reputable plumbing and heating engineer.

The first step is to find out whether they are members of a trade association and always check their credentials. Trade associations will always validate a person’s claim to membership, so a two minute phone call could be invaluable. Trade associations usually have minimum requirements to join and should be able to provide you with a list of members in your local area who are able to carry out the specified work.

APHC requires its members to stick to a code of practice and offer recourse if anything goes wrong. You can contact APHC directly on 0121 711 5030 or use their online search facility to source and check that a plumbing and heating engineer is a member.

‘Word of mouth’ recommendations can be useful in determining the reliability of a plumbing and heating engineer, so try and find a trade’s person who has worked for someone you know. Ask friends, family and neighbours and don’t be afraid to ask to look at their work to gain an understanding of how well they carried out the work.

You should also ascertain whether the plumber or heating engineer is qualified, competent and capable of carrying out the work. Make sure you check the person's qualifications and experience of carrying out similar work and get two or more references. Check online for any customer feedback. Read the trader's Facebook page and Twitter feed to see how they are interacting with other customers.

Once you've decided on your plumbing and heating engineer, ask for a detailed written quotation with start and finish times and agreed payment terms. Always use a written contract as it offers you protection should anything go wrong.

When it comes to maintenance work only pay for work that has been done and not by advance payments. Where materials need to be bought in advance, it is reasonable for the plumbing and heating engineer to ask you to pay a fair percentage of these costs as the job progresses, but the amounts have to be reasonable. APHC warns against using a plumbing and heating engineer who demands 100%, or a large proportion, of the fee up front.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wastewater, an untapped resource

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day.

World Water Day is about taking action to tackle the water crisis.

Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

Each year World Water Day has a theme and this year the theme is wastewater.

World Water Day

Throughout the world, the vast majority of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to the land without being treated or reused. According to UN-Water, the organisers of World Water Day, this causes great concern as it is polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.

The campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the fact that instead of wasting wastewater, we should reduce and reuse it. In our homes, we can reuse waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances on our gardens. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In industry and agriculture, we can treat and recycle discharge for things like cooling systems and irrigation.

The campaign believes that by exploiting this valuable resource, we will make the water cycle work better and increase water recycling and safe reuse.

“Wastewater is a valuable resource in a world where water is finite and demand is growing,” says Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organisation. “Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030. It’s all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities. Let’s all reduce and safely reuse more wastewater so that this precious resource serves the needs of increasing populations and a fragile ecosystem.”

The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017, ‘Wastewater, The Untapped Resource’ will be presented around the world on 22 March.

You can download the World Water Day Factsheet here and visit to learn more.

You can get involved over social media:

Twitter @UN_Water #WorldWaterDay
Instagram @un_water
Facebook @UnitedNationsWater

If you need a local and reliable plumber, use to source a qualified APHC member.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The average household water bill will rise by £6 from April, but there are lots of ways to save money

According to Water UK the average water and sewerage bill in England and Wales will rise by £6 to £395 in 2017/18, an increase of two per cent.

These figures are based on an average bill, but what you and I will actually end up paying will vary depending on our individual circumstances. Some people will see increases that might be more or less than this average.

Households can’t switch provider, but there are things that you can do to help reduce your water consumption:

1. Store cold water in the fridge. Instead of running the tap until the water is cold why not fill a bottle or container and store it in your fridge? This works particularly well if you use a jug with a water filter.

2. Reduce how long you shower for. By reducing the time you shower by two minutes, you can save almost 5660 litres of water per year.  Depending on the type of shower you have it may also be more cost effective to shower instead of having a bath which uses an average of 80 litres of water compared to 62 litres for an 8 minute shower. However, a note of caution is needed as some power showers can use up to 136 litres in 8 minutes. 

3. Don't let the water run when shaving or brushing your teeth. To rinse off your razor while shaving, you can use a cup of hot water and when brushing your teeth, you can fill up a cup and turn off the tap. According to Water Wise, if you leave the tap running it wastes 6 litres per minute, so turning the tap off when brushing can save around 12-18 litres per time.

4. Install a low-flow shower head. Installing a low-flow shower head can reduce the amount of water you use while showering by as much as 50 per cent. Other water saving devices can cut consumption by around 25 per cent with some products cutting consumption by 50 per cent. As an example, if you had an average 7 litre toilet and swapped it for a 4/2.5 dual flush then the saving can be roughly 80 litres per day.  However installing a new toilet comes at a cost and should perhaps only be considered if your current toilet needs replacing.
5. Run full loads of dishes and laundry. Running washing machines and dishwashers only when they are full will reduce the number of times you need to run them which will use less water.

6. Consider switching to a water meter.  You can use a water meter calculator available at to find out whether you might save money by switching to a water meter.

7. Check pipes, toilets and taps for leaks.  According to Water Wise, leaking taps waste at least 5,500 litres of water a year; that's enough water wasted to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole summer. Mending your dripping tap washer could save you over £18 a year.

8. Low-income households may be able to gain financial support from their water company as 18 out of 21 water companies will have social tariffs in place from April 1, which over time can help to reduce water bills.  Contact your water company to find out if you qualify.

If you are looking to have plumbing work done in your home you can source a local qualified and reputable plumber via our search facility at The online database allows you to search via a number of criteria including postcode, town or by specific business name.
Note to plumbers.  APHC Certification Ltd. administers a Competent Persons Scheme to enable plumbing and heating engineers to self-certify plumbing and heating works that fall under the scope of Building Regulations.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

When was the last time you gave your plumbing a second thought?

Most of us in our daily lives turn on the tap or flush the toilet without thinking about it, but without good plumbing we would be at the mercy of water-related diseases such as cholera, arsenicosis, bilharzia and typhoid. 
Water influences every aspect of our lives, it influences business, it influences industry, it influences politics and economics.
In developing countries, plumbing is either nonexistent or at best very basic. People suffer serious health consequences, and millions of people die as a result of lack of access to clean water and in effective sanitation.
According to the World Health Organisation, 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to a safe, clean water supply and 2.6 billion people don’t enjoy the use of an effective sanitation system. The tragic result is that 3.1 million children die each year as a result of water-related diseases that could have been prevented if they’d only had access to basic facilities.
Reading this blog will perhaps make you think about how important plumbing and sanitation is in our lives, and perhaps that we should celebrate it? Well the good news is that you can.

Celebrated every year on March 11 each year, World Plumbing Day is an international event initiated by the World Plumbing Council that recognises the important role that plumbing plays in our health and safety.
World Plumbing Day is used as a means of raising awareness of the significant role which the plumbing industry plays in public health around the world. The day is intended to provide everyone with an opportunity to promote the important role played by the plumbing industry.
World Plumbing Day aims to fly the flag for the plumbing industry and you can get involved by:
If you need to find a local qualified and reputable plumber, you can use our search facility at The online database allows you to search via a number of criteria including postcode, town or by specific business name.
As well as offering high levels of customer service and workmanship as standard, APHC members are fully vetted with their work checked annually to uphold high standards of workmanship.