Plumbers: Two recommendations

Being reasonably handy, I like to try to tackle most jobs around the house, but if I’m not sure, or it’s something critical that don’t feel I fully understand, I call an expert. Most peculiarly the two most recent visits I’ve had from plumbers were today and exactly a year ago today, and I’m posting to recommend them both as being helpful, straightforward, and a pleasure to deal with:

Michael Cosgrove
‭07956 917274‬
Last year Mike freed a stuck shut-off valve in a very difficult to reach place; a void in a corner of a tiled wall and a tiled floor, not even big enough to get your fist in, difficult to heat up or apply penetrating oil to (I had already tried everything I could think of), and with a risk of too much torque breaking the copper pipe on either side if the spindle was just forced. I'm sorry to say I can't remember how he solved it, but solve it he did, and the spindle is still turning freely.

Neil Protheroe, pH Plumbing & Heating
07731 997936
Mike's voicemail announced he is not available until September, so I called Neil this afternoon about a situation I found myself in while replacing a shower mixer bar, where I couldn’t turn the mains water back on without risking a leak that would go through the ceiling below. He asked me to send him a photograph of the plumbing problem by text, and came within an hour. I still wanted to do the main part of the job myself, so Neil identified the brand of hardware (which was mostly concealed behind tile!), graciously explained exactly what I needed to know about the nature of the problem fitting, and made sure (by testing) that it would be watertight when I finished the job.


  • I've used Michael a couple of times; he's terrific. He travels everywhere by bike, which I like too.
  • I called Michael round to have a look at a shower pump that was sometimes not working, he identified that it had not been installed on the level which may have accelerated its decline, thx Sunlight loft converters, he made it level and strapped it down. Some time later I got Neil to replace it and he pointed out pumps should never be stopped from moving slightly as it will damage them. The pump cost a fortune but Neil didn't.
  • Vote for Michael, not for Neil. I originally contacted Neil to descale a shower cartridge. He came around, couldn't actually extract the cartridge, told me he'd fixed the problem but would return if needed. He didn't fix the problem and wouldn't respond to my calls / messages. Michael came around and fixed it. He also returned straight away when I discovered a small leak.
  • The answer is clearly to arrange a fight between them, armed only with long-handled plungers
  • does michael do heavier work like changing pipes, heaters locations etc?
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