West London plumbing contractor Staunch & Flow is launching plumbing courses for absolute beginners this autumn to help its customers avoid call out fees.

The 4-hour course costs £60 and, the company says, will provide the customers with the confidence and skill to deal with simple everyday plumbing jobs. "People like feeling in control and I felt that if we could empower them to change a tap washer or disconnect and reconnect a washing machine then it would be a really valuable tool," said managing director Sam Kershaw.

"Essentially a call out fee for a simple two minute job does not make for happy customers, and cross customers make for cross plumbers," he added. Kershaw identified a female customer demand in particular for basic plumbing knowledge so that they could deal with simple plumbing jobs themselves, after two harsh winters which saw UK plumber call-outs rocket to their highest level for years.

"Even the simplest techniques can prevent a potentially damaging flood or leak in the home," said Kershaw who also provides a guide to 'plumber lingo' so that participants learn how not to get caught out by rogue plumbers.

Kershaw set up Staunch & Flow five years ago offering plumbing and installation of solar panels, heat pumps and wood chip boilers and AGA and Rayburn servicing within London and the M25.