“We all know Deaf plumbers are better than the hearing ones!” Meet Anthony Smare, Deaf plumber

Posted on August 6, 2014



How did you become a plumber?

I was working at the time for my father renovating properties and my brother in law who is an electrician mentioned I should look into plumbing as he felt that it was a good trade to go into.

I felt unblocking someone’s filthy toilets would be a problem, especially considering I can’t even pick up my own dog’s poo!

Joking aside I felt this would suit me, and so did my family athough there was not a plumber in our family. I must admit, the prospect of becoming a millionaire was quite inviting.

Anthony Smare

Anthony Smare

Did the college make the course accessible?

I attended college for a total of four years. This consisted of a variety of sessions, some theory based, some practical sessions, and interpreters were paid for by the college.

It was helpful knowing that having an interpreter gave me the support I required to help me to complete the course with good results.

I was also lucky that at this time there were volunteering opportunities available with a friend’s plumbing business, so I was able to put the skills I had learned in the class room to the test, thankfully there were no overflowing toilets yet.

I qualified in 2012 and registered as gas safe engineer (formerly known as Corgi) and work across the North of England.

What are the challenges or differences of being a deaf plumber?

One of the main challenges for deaf plumbers is communication with customers.

My CSW communicates with the customers on my behalf, makes a lot of phone calls, usually to customers, providing quotes, boiler manufacturers’ technical support teams, which is great.

Of course there is the minimal risk that if there is a water leak, I will not hear it – however I rarely work in isolation.

I find myself very lucky to have Access to Work support, as without this I would struggle on a daily basis. Without the support provided, I would not be where I am now.

Not a millionaire yet but…

Would you recommend it to other deaf people?

I do feel being a deaf plumber is fantastic, and highly recommend the plumbing trade for Deaf people.

A lot of the work is visual and manual therefore this is something I think Deaf people excel at.

I now work for B&Q as a sub contractor, fittings bathrooms across the North East of England which means liaising with customers and suppliers is taken out of my hands.

There is a shortage of plumbers and an even bigger shortage of deaf plumbers as we all know we are better than the hearing ones!

What do your customers think of you?

I am well known for getting the job done quickly and to a high standard, which I think at the end of the day is what the customer wants. After all they would not want to go without a toilet for few days!

Anthony Smare describes himself as a Mackem Deaf Plumber and Gas Engineer and Proud of it!

His website, Northstar Plumbing & Heating can be found at www.northstar-plumbing.co.uk. He says: “The website is in a need of updating due to time constrictions! Any deaf website designers available out there to pimp up my website?” If you can help, email thelimpingchicken@gmail.com.

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