Specialising in geothermal heat pumps and underfloor heating, Clash Plumbing & Heating Ltd. was named as Domestic Plumbing & Heating Contractor of the Year at this year’s prestigious Irish Plumbing & Heating Awards. We travelled to Tralee in County Kerry and caught up with director Trevor O’Shea to find out more.
When it comes to scooping All-Ireland titles, nobody does it better than Kerry men. Thus, it was hardly a major surprise when the 2017 Domestic Plumbing & Heating Contractor of the Year Award winged its way to the Kingdom.
Trevor O’Shea of Clash Plumbing & Heating Ltd. – who specialises in delivering energy-efficient systems with low running costs to domestic (and occasionally commercial) buildings – was the delighted recipient of the award at a presentation ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House:
“It was a nice surprise,” he told Building Ireland. “It’s great to get this recognition for all the hard work that’s gone in over the years. While the bit of publicity won’t do any harm, it was definitely more about the recognition as far as I’m concerned.”
Trevor inherited his passion for mechanical services from his father, Jeremiah O’Shea, who retired five years ago, having worked as a plumbing and heating contractor for in excess of half a century. Clash Plumbing & Heating Ltd. was established as a continuation of Jeremiah’s business. “My father started plumbing when he was 13 and I started going out with him from a young age, too. I now have a 14-year-old son who comes out with me sometimes, so hopefully there’ll be a third generation in the business,” the Kerry man states.
“We currently have three people working here, all of whom are vastly experienced and fully qualified. One of the lads has been with us for over 20 years, going back to my father’s days. We cover Kerry and the Greater Munster area and 95% of our business is domestic work for private clients. We specialise in bespoke installation on one-off houses and 70% of it would be work on new homes.”
Full plumbing, heating, heat recover and solar PV panel services are provided all over Kerry and into neighbouring Cork and Limerick. “We specialise in heat pumps and underfloor heating,” says Trevor. “Underfloor heating is all that’s going into new houses these days. Because we are so used to providing that service, our labour is more efficient and therefore more affordable. We give our clients value for money and that’s why we are in business for so long.
“The price of underfloor heating pipes has also come down and all of the materials used have reduced in price, compared to the rising cost of steel radiators. The same applies to heat pumps, which are also becoming more and more popular.”
Alluding to the benefits of having underfloor heating installed in a home as opposed to more traditional central heating systems, Trevor continues: “You get a more even and more comfortable heat and you have exceptionally low running costs. I’d always invite a prospective new customer to speak to one of my previous clients so they can find out about the service from the point of view of somebody who’s had the system installed rather than taking my word for it. These referrals are very important.”
A certified heat pump installer, Clash Plumbing & Heating Ltd. provides a complete heating and plumbing service including heat pump installations, ground source heat pumps, Air to Water heat pumps, underfloor heating solutions, solid fuel stoves, solar PV panels, central heating breakdown and repair service, boiler installations, servicing and repairs, complete bathroom refurbishments (design and installation), complete central heating installation, solar heating systems, air conditioning and refrigeration services, power flushing of central heating systems, domestic gas and boiler servicing and repair, hot and cold water plumbing (mains pressure, storage / booster pumps and hot water cylinder repairs), power flushing and blocked drains, waste plumbing and sanitary ware, breakdowns and leaks.
“In the case where a home has an inefficient heating system, we can do a full survey of that home to determine what would be the best system to retrofit. We can make these homes more efficient and more comfortable. At the end of the day, efficiency and low running costs are what people are looking for and more people are prepared to spend money wisely at the start in order to save themselves in the long term.”
As well as providing a professional service, Trevor also offers a friendly one: “I always answer the phone and I always turn up when I tell a customer I’m going to be there. I treat people with respect because it costs nothing to be nice. If it’s an emergency, you go straight away. But, if it’s not, it doesn’t take much to take the call and tell the client you will get back to them asap.”
This is part of the reason why Clash Plumbing & Heating Ltd. has never had to advertise, instead attracting a steady stream of business through positive word of mouth.
Trevor’s services are in big demand but he has no intention of losing the run of himself. “We’ve had large numbers working with us in the past but I like to keep a light crew now and provide a personal service. There’s scope for expansion but the two lads I have here now are very reliable and I’m very happy with the way things are running.
“Our focus is very much on the renewable side of things these days,” he concludes. “Running costs in buildings are a very big factor and the lower they are, the better for the owner. We can do a retrofit to replace oil boilers that are costing over €4,000 per year and replace them with geothermal heat pumps, which can provide 24-hour heating and hot water for a large house for around €1,000 per year. That’s what everybody is going for now; I haven’t fitted an oil or gas boiler in years.”
Clash Plumbing & Heating Ltd.,
Tralee, County Kerry.
Tel: 066 7125639
Fax: 066 7124755
Mobile: 087 65948 39
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, October 2017, Vol 3 No 9