Why Should We Protect Licensed Plumbers

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Why Should We Protect Licensed Plumbers

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Perhaps it’s too dramatic to call plumbers a threatened species. But with a number of plumbing suppliers selling direct to the public, and the university of YouTube giving DIYers a step-by-step guide to the basics, the temptation for the public to do their own work has never been greater.

As an online plumbing supplier, at Forge Plumbing we have skin in this particular game. We believe that licensed plumbers should be protected at all costs, which is why we never sell direct to the consumer.

Here are three reasons why.

1. Professional plumbers keep homeowners safe

Plumbing isn’t a part-time hobby — it’s a highly skilled profession that demands years of training. This training teaches plumbers techniques that ensure all work is done to a certain safety standard, because the consequences of mistakes are incredibly serious.

Refusing to supply consumers is an act of protecting the public from itself.

Plumbing repairs are the most common form of home repair in the U.S., and are often required because the homeowner attempted the original job themselves. One in 10 U.S. homes has a leak that wastes more than 90 gallons of water per day, which can cause significant damage, particularly if the leak springs while the homeowner is away. And insurers often won’t cover these damages when they find out that the plumbing was a home job.

Faulty gasfitting, meanwhile, represents an even more severe and immediate risk of a fire or explosion.

2. Professional plumbers keep society ticking

Plumbers protect both the public and our environment by ensuring drinking water is potable and sewerage and industrial waste is safely dealt with. They keep waterways clean and clear, while ensuring the water in every home is fit for use, from the tap to the toilet bowl.

In many ways plumbers underpin modern society. That might sound a bit grandiose, but it’s true: imagine still having to empty a bedpan into the street. Government understands the importance of safe and reliable plumbing, which is why it’s a licensed trade.

3. Selling to consumers devalues the trade

What message are we sending when we happily supply the public with tools and materials designed to be used by professionals? In short, that unqualified people are fine to use them, that the job isn’t that hard, and that the risks are limited.

It doesn’t matter that none of these things are true — the plumbing and gasfitting trade is devalued in the eyes of the consumer, who may be less likely to get professional help in the future, or be less willing to pay a tradesperson what they’re worth.

Why do we protect licensed plumbers?

You won’t hear the arguments above from many big trade suppliers, as they’re usually more than happy to sell to the public. Why? Because they can charge an inflated rate, and they tend to prioritize profits. They then add disclaimers and hire expensive lawyers to protect them from any liability when accidents inevitably happen.

At Forge Plumbing, your online plumbing supplier, we believe selling to unqualified individuals insults and undermines the role of plumbers. 

So we don’t.

We also don’t believe in tiered pricing that rewards the biggest players simply for being big. We instead offer the same low prices to all our customers. We never show our prices to the general public, so plumbers can add margin to materials as they see fit.

We treat our customers equally, and like the highly skilled professionals they are. While other trade businesses go wherever the money leads, no matter the consequences for plumbers and the public, we’ll be here supplying high quality products and materials exclusively to those who are trained to use them.

Licensed plumbers keep society running. They’re worth protecting, so that’s what we’ll continue to do.

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