“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.

The Limping Chicken is the world’s 6th most popular disability blog. Check out what our supporters provide: 

The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. 

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.

The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:


Posted in: anthony smale