Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing
FUN FRIDAY: Crew finds 1,000-year-old skeleton

Plumbers find a lot of unusual items while working but a 1,000-year-old skeleton must take the prize for the most bizarre.

HomeServe restarts call centre service

Home emergency repairs business HomeServe, which closed its call centre at the end of October, has restarted its telesales operation.

APHC and SNIPEF welcome revised VAT advice

The Plumbing & Heating Contractors' Alliance and the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation have welcomed revised guidance from HMRC on the application of VAT on energy-saving materials, which should clarify rates for installers.

'Silent killer' costs over £1 million a year

A report has been launched as a result of a six-month parliamentary inquiry examining how the toll carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning takes on public health and the NHS budget can be mitigated.

Plumbing firm in hot water over plagiarism

Pimlico Plumbers' managing director is seeking a six-figure compensation settlement from a Birmingham plumbing firm over claims it stole content from the London company's website.

Balfour Beatty strike ballot kicks off next week

Union Unite is to start balloting around 1,000 members at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services next Wednesday.

Wiltshire company penalised for logo misuse

A Wiltshire company has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs after being found guilty of illegally using the HETAS logo.

Grafton warns profit growth will slow

Further evidence of falling consumer spending on their homes has been revealed by the Grafton Group.

Vogue under attack

Radiator and towel rail manufacturer Vogue (UK) has revealed its main factory has been targeted by metal thieves and arsonists 15 times in 18 months.

Scot plumber conquers personal Dragon's Den

A Scottish plumber has had his invention cleared for distribution in the UK.

Firms scoop £630m Home Group repair contract

Contractors Mears, Morrisons, Roalco, Willmott Dixon and gas boiler specialist WRB have won deals for Home Group's £630 million home repairs and maintenance programme.

Cardiff gas engineers fined over carbon monoxide poisoning

A Cardiff-based plumbing firm has pleaded guilty after being accused of causing CO poisoning.

Wolseley UK completes sale of Build Center

Wolseley UK has completed the sale of its Build Center business to Jewson, which is part of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution.

American plumber finds 20-grand - in air duct

A plumber from Florida, who had been called to an empty house to fix a water leak, discovered nearly $20,000 contained in two aluminium foil-wrapped packages that fell out of an air duct.

Fines from HSE to hit £750

Plans for the HSE to charge small firms £750 or more when inspectors find a fault have been attacked by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Tragic toddler death industry wake-up call

The death of a West Midlands toddler after being scalded in a shower is yet another tragic reminder of how dangerous hot water can be to vulnerable groups, warns anti-scald specialist Inta.

Job risk as government slashes support for solar

Thousands of UK jobs are now at risk, following the cuts to the solar power subsidy, says international law firm Eversheds.

Guidance on water heating

New guidelines have been issued for water heating to the owners of hot water plants and operators following an incident where a resident was killed by scalding water controlled by a housing association.

Another threat to the Green Deal

The Office of National Statistics is to make a crucial decision that affects the future of the government's flagship Green Deal energy-efficiency scheme, according to BusinessGreen.com.

Cardiff gas fitter fined for working without registration

A gas fitter has been fined for installing a boiler in a domestic property, despite not being Gas Safe registered.

Proposed abolition of unfair dismissal laws welcomed

Plumbing entrepreneur Charlie Mullins says businesses can be boosted by proposed changes to the law which would allow companies to dismiss unproductive workers without explanation.

Heating engineer electrocuted

A heating engineer has died following electric shock while attempting to repair a central heating system.

Plumbers 'too busy' to get paid

Payment company quotetopay conducted a survey with visitors to PHEX Manchester this year and found 52% of plumbers have not collected a payment from a customer.

Millions lost through escape-of-water damage

Figures released by insurance business Legal & General reveals that house insurance claims from damage caused by the escape of water in UK homes cost the insurance industry £730 million in 2010.

Joe the Plumber and US domination

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher became a household name during the 2008 presidential campaign and he's been working hard to bring about political change in the States ever since.

Drain Doctor offers accredited training

Drain Doctor Plumbing & Drainage has teamed up with City & Guilds to provide an accredited training programme for its franchisees and technicians.

Plumber joins rogue trader fight

Thomas Henson, who trades as The Jobbing Plumber, is the latest recruit to join South Tyneside's Safetraders scheme register.

Dim forecast for newbuild plumbing work

Newbuild housing is set to decrease with housing starts in 2012 the second lowest since 1945, according to the latest forecast from the Construction Products Association.

Man jailed for dangerous gas work

A man who falsely claimed he was a registered gas engineer has been sent to prison for two years for endangering people's lives at two properties in Lancashire, including a baby boy.

NICEIC urges homeowners to ASK

The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) has launched a consumer campaign ASK - 'Ask for NICEIC, See if it's legit, Keep your home safe'.

Plumbers should help customers deal with rising fuel costs

Plumbers should help customers cope with the rising cost of fuel, says the CIPHE.

Asbestos training pledge target smashed

The asbestos training pledge target has been smashed and thousands of tradesmen are to get free asbestos awareness training in a bid to tackle ignorance about one of Britain's biggest industrial killers.

Community service for builder after unsafe gas work

A self-employed builder has been given a Community Service Order after he carried out unsafe gas installation work at a house near Dumfries.

Unite targets HVCA in pay row

Union leaders have accused the HVCA of not having enough money to lead M&E contractors into a new pay and conditions deal, claiming the trade body 'failed to balance its books for the last two years'.

Adey searches for eco-inventors

Magnetic filtration company Adey Professional Heating Solutions has launched a nationwide competition to search for potential 'eco-inventors' working within the heating and plumbing industry.

Transatlantic approach could save UK construction

The UK could learn a lot from the US when it comes to construction, and vice-versa, which could in turn revive the British sector, according to Richard Fewings of McBains Cooper.

Plumber fined for illegal gas work

A plumber carried out gas work at four houses in Worcester, despite not being Gas Safe registered.

Small traders lose millions in web con

More than 4,000 small traders have been ripped off for £1 million by websites claiming they could find them work.

DIY site leaves much to be desired

A local plumber in Liverpool has taken it upon himself to re-design his own website with but it seems to have sprung a leak.

Burglars raid plumbing shop

Police are looking for ram raiders who used a stolen van to smash into an Aldershot plumbing supplies shop to steal copper pipes.

Scrap metal fiddle busted

An investigation has been launched into allegations of workers pocketing cash from selling scrap metal ripped from buildings, the Evening News reports.

Unregistered gas fitter fined

A gas fitter has been fined after he misled a customer to believe he was legally registered and then carried out faulty work.

BSI releases Green Deal standard for industry review

The British Standards Institution has released the draft Green Deal standard for the installation of energy-efficiency measures to comply with the UK government's Green Deal initiative and is asking the industry to get involved and share their feedback before it is finalised.

Grafton slams government for RHI setback

The decision by the government to put back implementation of the Renewable Heat Incentive is an own-goal, according to builders and plumbers merchant group Grafton.

Plumber's apprentice stands tall in London

HRH the Duke of Gloucester has unveiled Martin Jennings' sculpture of the Plumber's Apprentice at Cannon Street Station to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers receiving its Royal Charter from King James I in 1611.

Business meets asbestos training plea

Businesses have responded to a campaign to help make young tradespeople aware of the deadly dangers of asbestos by donating 4,000 hours of training.

Cameron calls for housing revolution

Prime minister David Cameron has called for a "new Tory housing revolution" in his leader's speech to the Conservative conference.

Protest in Cambuslang over wage agreement

Construction workers are protesting at a Lanarkshire fire station to fight plans by up to eight firms to introduce a single joint industry building engineering services national agreement.

Council says 'we'll do it ourselves' to cut costs

Rochdale caretakers and building attendants who work in council buildings are being trained in basic plumbing and building maintenance in a bid to reduce the authority's repair bills.

NAPIT offers free renewables workshops

London-based trade installers can take advantage of free Renewable Energy workshops throughout October and November from NAPIT.