We chatted to Leon from LVG Projects in Cape Town, about all things plumbing, especially what it takes to learn how to be a plumber and why it is important to hire a professional & accredited plumber.
How long have you been a professional plumber?
I’ve been a professional, qualified plumber operating in Cape Town and surrounds for 10 Years.
How long did you have to study / apprentice for?
A plumber student will enroll in a training program for about a month to learn the basics of plumbing and the theory aspects. That equips the trainee plumber to apprentice with a qualified plumber for a few years. After that they should have enough experience to do the plumbing trade test. The plumbing trade test qualifies you to do projects on your own. If you are not a qualified plumber you’re not legally entitled to do plumbing work.
I went through all of the steps from plumbing college to apprentice and then passed my plumbing trade test to become a qualified plumber.
What made you want to become a plumber?
Water is a very important life-giving force and without plumbing, it cannot be effectively utilised. Modern cities and towns depend on plumbing and their plumbers. Plumbing has the power to streamline (pardon the pun) modern life.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
As a plumber, I enjoy creating solutions for spaces. If I can make my client’s life easier and more practical, I have achieved my goal.
How long have you been running your own plumbing business?
For the past 6 years I’ve been running LVG projects, we are a reputable plumbing business in the Greater Cape Town area.
How do you make sure that projects are finished successfully ?
I work closely with my plumbing team members and make sure that they know what the client and I expect. After each project I inspect the premises closely to ensure that it adheres to the original vision.
How important is it that a plumber is registered with a professional organisation like PIRB?
It is very important as it represents and protects plumbers and their clients. It ensures that fair practise takes place on both sides. Without it, it is more difficult to create a basis of trust between plumbers and clients. It is also a good way for a customer to know that their plumber is qualified and likely to be a good choice for their project.
What kind of hours do you work?
We normally have 8 hour work days, excluding the occasional plumbing emergencies after hours.
What is the worst part of the job?
Sewer systems can be unpleasant.
Do you have a crazy story about a plumbing accident?
A new and inexperienced trainee plumber once installed shower heads upside down. He hadn’t realised this until I turned on the water and it hit the ceiling instead of the shower floor. The client and I had a good laugh.
What makes a good plumber?
A good plumber does not only look at functionality, but also at aesthetic details. My job is also to contribute to the interior of a space. Working effectively and sparingly with water is also very important, especially in our current water crisis.
What do you think customers should look for when trying to find a plumber?
Customers should look for plumbers who do not rely on quick fixes and shortcuts. A good plumber will create lasting solutions and respect a customer’s house/ the designated work space. Professional plumbing qualifications and membership of PIRB are a must for any plumber but beyond that if you are looking for a good plumber- look for how professional they are when they are first quoting. If a plumber acts unprofessionally his work will probably not be that good.
What makes your business special?
At LVG Projects we specialise in small and large plumbing projects. Whether a client has a dripping tap or a home renovation, we have the specialised teams to meet the client’s plumbing needs. We strive to have a good rapport with clients and to put a smile on their faces.