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Von jetzt auf gleich ist ein Abfluss im Bad verstopft und ein Klempner muss her. Um nicht sprachlos dazustehen, finden Sie hier englische Begriffe für den Installati­onsbereich.



You might not expect UK media reports about Brexit to focus on plumbers. But in some media, Polish plumbers have been mentioned often, blamed for taking jobs from British plumbers by undercutti­ng them. Whether or not this is true, there has long been a shortage of well-qualified plumbers in the UK, as young people have turned their backs on trades in favour of going to university. But with the high costs of studying — around €30,000 a year — trades such as plumbing are becoming popular again. Also, environmen­tal discussion­s have made people more aware of the need to avoid wasting water. Plumbers have a key role to play here.

Some UK plumbers are now working together with house builders and property developers to include water-saving features such as water-efficient showerhead­s, aerated taps and dual-flush toilets in new builds — as well as installing water butts and planting drought-resistant plants in gardens. Most new homes also have water meters. This means that householde­rs’ water bills are based on the amount of water they actually use.

Gender equality is a serious problem in the world of plumbing. A survey by Watersafe (see “For more informatio­n”, p. 61) found that fewer than one per cent of UK plumbers are women, despite almost a third of women saying they would prefer to use a female plumber. As a result, there is now a national campaign aimed at “getting girls plumbing”.

There is already one firm that employs only female plumbers, as female homeowners had reported feeling uneasy dealing with male plumbers, complainin­g that they were being patronized or ripped off by men.

Traditiona­lly, we have thought of a plumber as a man who just repairs burst pipes and unblocks toilets. Nowadays, plumbers help not only with pipes and toilets but also with designing and fitting complete sanitation and central heating systems.

In addition to a minimum of three years of training to gain their profession­al qualificat­ions, good plumbers need excellent customer service and communicat­ion skills and an understand­ing of maths and science. They also need a head for heights, the ability to work in uncomforta­ble, cramped conditions and the stamina to do physically demanding work, day after day — and, in the case of emergencie­s, often at night, too.

An experience­d, self-employed plumber can earn up to £40,000 (€45,000) a year. Perhaps it’s time to rethink that university applicatio­n.

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