An the study conducted by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) shows that the vast majority of plumbers (84%) willing to work during the Coronavirus pandemic.
However the study also found that one in ten plumbers said customers are not observing the social distancing guidelines during visits, marking a cause of concern for some.
Whilst just over half (53%) felt current guidance on what constitutes as ‘emergency’ work is insufficient, leaving them to make their own decisions on what type of work to attend to, most (75%) are willing to tend to a burst pipe.
The emergency jobs they are most willing to repair are a burst pipe (75%), a broken boiler (68%), a leaky loo (66%) or a leaky tap (59%). However, they are less likely to do jobs such as kitchen or bathroom installations.
When in the homes of customers, most plumbers are taking extra precautions beyond government advice. More than half are using face masks and wearing shoe covers and gloves. Three quarters (75%) also keep extra sanitizer in their vehicles.
Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “Like many industries, plumbers have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, but it is good to see they are committed to supporting customers in an emergency. Whilst some are now able and willing to go back to work, it is very important that the customers do their best to follow the safety guidelines to keep everyone safe.”
When asked what the most important piece of advice for customers in lockdown is, more than half (52%) said they should locate their stop tap. One in five (22%) advise customers not to ‘Do it Yourself’, in case it makes things worse.
“Some residents might be, understandably, concerned about having someone in their home, but a small leak can cause havoc in the home and is something most homeowners, renters or landlords don’t want to deal with, given the emotional and financial impact it could cause if it’s not fixed properly. It’s always advisable to use an approved WaterSafe plumber to resolve any leaks.”
For customers with concerns about a plumbing issue, nearly one in ten (9%) plumbers are now using video conferencing services such as FaceTime for consultations and twice as many (18%) expect to make better use of social media tools in the future.
The survey of 203 WIAPS-registered plumbers from across the UK took place in May 2020 and was conducted via an online survey provider.