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A video-call app called Clipfix offering plumbing advice and solutions via a video call can be accessed by Retiremove visitors for free until the end of June

Clipfix, set up two years ago by plumber PJ Luard,has seen a rise in demand of some 400 per cent since lockdown from people aged over 60 who have been afraid to let tradesmen into their homes.

Now PJ has decided to ease lockdown anxieties and help cash-strapped people stuck at home by letting homeowners speak to qualified plumbers “face to face” for free over their mobile phone to help them fix their plumbing problems.

PJ is campaigning that many plumbing issues can be fixed without an expensive callout fee and is offering Retiremove visitors a free consultation with one of his plumbers, which typically take 15 minutes, but with the fee waived until end of June if it goes over.

Roger and Suzie Marwood, a couple in their 70s self-isolating on the Isle of Wight, woke up one lockdown morning in March to find their boiler was not working, and local plumbers were closed.

“Most plumbers had closed down due to lockdown measures,” explains Roger. “Our daughter gave us the details of the Clipfix app – and five minutes later I was video-calling with a plumber directly, who talked me through how to fix the lack of water pressure and fault F22 on our boiler – all while he was still in his pyjamas!

“We’ve been safe, warm and cosy ever since.”

Free until the end of June

The app details plumbers’ qualifications, experience, and insurance details so you can be sure you are talking to an expert.

You can download Clipfix app for free on Apple Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Just enter your free discount coupon code RETIREMOVE2020 when making a booking.

The app has a unique interface between user and plumber that allows users to fix issues themselves. For example, you can easily turn the torch on when in dark spaces in the app, and the plumber takes photos during the video call, so the user has a report and pictures they can refer to if they need to in the future.

“Many plumbing issues can be fixed within 15 minutes without an expensive callout fee,” says PJ who usually charges £15 for 15 minutes.

“With guidance from a professional, most problems can be fixed by the homeowners themselves.”

Things that can be fixed or done with help through video and tools you will need

  • It’s a great time to bleed the radiators to ensure they are pumping out as much heat as possible. Don’t forget to refill the pressure in the boiler afterwards if required. You’ll need a bleed key for this though.
  • Dripping taps can be fixed.  You’ll need spare washers or cartridges, and normally screwdrivers, plumbers grips and spanners are the tools of choice here.
  • If you have a slow draining shower/basin or sink waste, they tend to get blocked up with hair or food.  You can carefully remove the trap(U-bend), clean it out and replace it.  This doesn’t normally require tools.
  • A slow filling loo can be really annoying.  Quite often it either needs the ball valve to be moved slightly, or a diaphragm changing.  This can be pretty easy if there is isolation valve beneath the cistern.  Again, a screwdriver, pare of grips and an adjustable spanner is all you need.

While some cases will be serious enough to require a plumber to visit your home, already having a diagnosis from an accredited plumber will help reduce costs.

It will also minimise in-person interaction during a time when we should all be isolating, and ultimately lessen unnecessary stress arising in these uncertain times.