It seems that plumbers are no different from the other trades in the building industry. When faced with a challenging problem they often have to focus their efforts on “making a plan”. At times, this can lead to innovations.
Take the Raindrain, for example. It is Seaqual’s patented flagship product and is now an industry standard.
Its history is quite interesting. One of Seaqual’s founders (Tony) who has had more than 35 years of experience in the plumbing industry found it inconvenient to have to build gulleys under downpipes.
The materials needed are not usually carried around in the back of a plumber’s bakkie! So Tony started thinking about other available options and did some market research. He established that there were many grates on the market but no grate on a base. He then researched further and found that even overseas no product specifically designed for use underdrain pipes was available.
The rest is history! The Raindrain Nylon was developed, designed and patented for use in heavy traffic areas such as driveways and has become an industry standard. The Raindrain Light soon followed. Made from polypropylene, it was specifically designed for use not only under downpipes but in gardens or anywhere else where rainwater needs to be controlled and removed into an external drainage system.
The moral of this story is simple: plumbers, when you work, give some thought when you encounter problems – no matter how simple they may appear to be. If the solution means inventing something new to improve the industry standards, try and exploit the idea.