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Brian King began his apprenticeship in the heating and plumbing sector at the age of sixteen and now, more than thirty years later, with over 25 years of running his own business behind him, says that using quality products in his day to day life has been key to his success. He’s always been loyal to brands that have delivered for him over the years and one of those key brands has been Sentinel water treatment products. With his wife Fran who looks after the administration side of the business and plans Brian’s diary so he just heads off to where it says in the diary his next job is, business has been good and using quality water treatment is one reason he suggests why he rarely if ever gets call backs to jobs he’s done. By using Sentinel products he’s confident that the circulating water in a system will behave and that that system will operate as energy efficiently as it’s possible for it to do.
Over the years he has carried out hundreds of domestic boiler and full central heating installations along with additional general plumbing work for his private clients and for local builders operating in the North East of Lincolnshire. For the past ten years, he’s specialised in domestic boiler repairs and has built an excellent reputation in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area, for the quality of work he does.
Part of the success he has had is the ability to keep the business in the family! In 2005 Brian and his wife Fran’s daughter Julia, expressed an interest in joining the business and in 2007 she duly qualified as a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. She has followed in her dad’s footsteps, specialising in domestic gas boiler repairs. She has also set up a web site for Gas Safe Registered Engineers to trade their unwanted domestic gas boiler spare parts – you’ll find it at www.tradeboilerbits.co.uk.
Brian and Fran’s son Tom qualified as a joiner initially, but after two redundancies with major companies, he too looked at the family business as the way forward. He gained his NVQ Level 2 in Plumbing in 2011 and will qualify as a Gas Safe Registered Engineer in the next couple of months. During his time at Grimsby Institute, he has taken part in and won a number of plumbing competitions. The highlight was winning the national ‘SkillPlumb’ event in September 2011, organised by SummitSkills, and as a Gold medallist was awarded the title of ‘Plumbing Operative of the Year’ at their awards for Excellence Ceremony at the World Skills premiere Experience at London’s ExCel Centre in Docklands.
To capitalise on Tom’s natural ability and skills, the business is now tending to carry out more domestic boiler and central heating installations again. Last winter the company averaged more than one a week and this seems to be a pointer for the future direction of the business. Installing radiators, pipework and boilers – currently alongside his dad – is the area in which he sees his future, so the family is happy to see the business developing along those lines, building on the excellent reputation that the business has in the area already.
The business tends to stick with quality branded components, using mainly Vokera boilers, CenterRad (Plumb Center) radiators and Grundfos pumps, but always uses Sentinel water treatment products: “Sentinel X100, X400 and X800 are part of our staple diet,” says Brian. “We know it does the job and we know from our records that jobs where Sentinel has been used are jobs that go well. So when Sentinel launched its new Eliminator heating system filter product last year we were happy to try that and see how we got on with it. We’ve used the new filter on every install we’ve done this winter and we can’t see any reason to switch away from it. It’s easy to fit, does the job well and we’re getting no problems with them at all – which hasn’t been the case with other units we’ve used in the past where leaks were a worry with some units in particular. My customers like the idea of a system that uses cyclone technology – most of them know about it already from their vacuum cleaners and recognise the logic of using it in a water based environment. So Sentinel products are quite literally part of our family business!”
So a true family business if ever there was one – the ‘Combi King’ rules OK – with the help of Sentinel – in Grimsby and Cleethorpes!