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  1. Plumbing Health & Safety Chris Derrer 21-Aug-2018
  2. Plumbing tips for Apprentices Chris Derrer 21-Aug-2018

Plumbing Health & Safety

Chris Derrer - Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Health and safety doesn’t really cross your mind when danger is your middle name… or whatever other cringey, overused cliché you said to your colleague when you were feeling brave. Nevertheless, health and safety needs to be followed for your own wellbeing and to make sure you’re covered by your insurance, should the unfortunate happen. So to make life easier, here’s some tips to make sure you’re being H&S conscious. Some of these all of us are occasionally guilty of not doing. Let us on our social media which ones are most appropriate to you, either on Facebook or Twitter


Don’t be a fool… Use the right tool!

Sometimes we can mistakes, other times we’re looking for a quick way around something, but you should use the correct tools for the specified job to limit risk of injury and to avoid the embarrassing botch job. If you don’t have the right tool on you, come back to it when you do. Odds are, it can wait.


Carry a pair of goggles

It’s hardly breaking news, but getting things in your eyes can do serious damage, plus it really hurts. Dirty water, drain chemicals or metal dust and shavings from cutting through a metal pipe can all cause blindness. So probably best you just carry a pair of goggles in case any of these tasks come up. Don’t worry about looking daft, it’s better to look daft than not be able to look at anything ever again!


Wear Apropriate Footwear

Whether you like steel toe-cap boots or just some good sturdy work boots, these are a life saver to all tradesmen, be they construction workers or plumbers like you. Not only do steel toe-caps give off the “I know what I’m doing, stand back” vibe, but they protect falling, heavy objects like tools, parts and entire surfaces breaking your toes. Seriously they are absolutely solid and you can usually get a decent pair without breaking the bank.


Think Clearly and don’t rush

Go back to your training in your head, do you see yourself doing something you remember being told not do, or was shown how to do it a safer way? Then revert back, it’s probably a good idea to apply the sanest practices possible, whilst keeping it simple. You may be hungry or ready to knock off for the weekend, but rushing is where the majority of silly mistakes creep in.


Mask Away Mould

Water makes the objects in contact with it… wet, no brainer right? So it’s only natural that you’ll work in some damp environments. Damp brings mould, mould isn’t very compatible with human health, so not good right? Of course! We would recommend masking it with tape while you work, as skin contact can cause irritability and breathing in the spores can cause respiratory problems, especially if you have asthma!

All simple tricks and tips, but they could save you in the long run. If you have any more suggestions, send them us on Facebook or Twitter.

Plumbing tips for Apprentices

Chris Derrer - Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Here at HPS we really do like to see new, young tradespeople rise through the ranks in our world of plumbing. We’re also very glad that the number of trade apprentices has risen for the first time in quite a few years, it’s like we’re cool again!

We are aware that out there, there will be people that will give you all sorts of tips and advice, some may mislead you into making a mistake, be it minor or costly, but you’ll learn more from these mistakes than any textbook could ever teach, so don’t be disheartened. We’re also always here, to help you learn a couple of tips and tricks that may prove useful to make a job quicker or create less hassle and fuss. Let’s look at a few simple problems with quick and easy fixes to help out you apprentices.

Stuck Pipe? Heat it up…

If you have to remove an old threaded connection and it won’t budge, there’s a good chance that it has gone so rigid and stiff that you can’t physically remove it with your hand or even one of your trusty spanners… boo! However, there is a quick and easy fix out there… Heat. Yes, metal expands under heat which means the threaded connection becomes looser through changing shape slightly, then it’s all pretty straight forward. You might need to grab your blow torch for metal pipes, but some boiling water should work for the plastic pipes! Apply the heat until it is loosened and hey presto!

Fixing a clog in seconds… Literally

You don’t always have to snake out the drain, sometime you don’t even need a plunger… sometimes, all you need is a wet and dry vacuum! Apply the nozzle over the waste and turn it on, full suction and ‘thunk’ no more blockage. This isn’t an exact science, but can be a handy tip to try!

Sealing Pipe Threads? Plumber tape!

We don’t think that using duct tape to secure a wall or shower in place is a good idea but for simple pipe threads, it can do a job, even if just a temporary one. Tape is for pipe threads only. Don’t use it on compression or other connections. Be sure to wrap around 3 times (minimum) - Many plumbers will tell you that is the magic number.

Caulk… Not Putty

Putty seems fun… Looks like play-dough, it’s malleable, it’s sticky and it’s got a cool silly name. But what if I told you that not a lot of plumbers use putty… Why? Because Caulk exists. Putty has a habit of reacting with some types of plastic and damaging them, as well as drying out and getting completely stuck. Caulk is silicone based and is a longer lasting, higher durability sealant that will son become your best pal as you develop in your career.

Get on the dope!

You’ve heard of dope before right? No, not that kind… but pipe dope. Pipe dope is used on pipe thread to create a leakproof and pressure tight seal. So don’t be a dope, use dope.

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