Practicing my sheet metalwork skills in Ban Bat, a small hamlet in Central Bangkok where artisan families make traditional alms bowls for buddhist monks.
The alms bowl (batra) is made to resemble the wheel of Dharma with eight spokes.
The monks use the bowl when they collect food and other presents from the public on their daily alms round.
Buddhist legislation ensures that such bowls are sold "at reasonable prices.”
Here is a test bay in the Plumbing workshop at Dusit Technical College in Northern Bangkok.
Almost all pipework in Thailand is made from blue PVC, joints being made with solvent weld method.
The pipes and fittings are all produced locally.
| ||Thai water goddess.|
In Buddhism cleanliness is very important, and in fact most asian religions emphasise that you should be clean when you meet with your God.
In Thailand the main source of fuel for cooking is LPG.
Thailand has its own off shore gas deposits, but also need large gas imports from India.
Gas installation work is not regulated in Thailand, nor is the delivery of LPG from LPG Sales Depot to point of use.
Thai population is overwhelmingly Buddhist.
In Bangkok you will find several streets dedicated entirely to shops manufacturing and selling figures of Buddha in all sizes and poses.
Metropolitan Water Authority also use blue PVC pipe as their preferred material for all mains pipelines.
This is a 200 mm mains pipe, with a tapping clamp for a 20 mm house connection.
Most old mains pipes are made from asbestos cement, nevertheless considered to be safe as the pipes through the years have acquired an inner lining.
My two visits to Metropolitan Water Authority (MWA) were highlights of my scholarship visit.
Here I shake hands with Corporate Training Manager Ms Yanee Thanaton.
We had several meetings, and MWA will wish to be a prominent stakeholder, should Thailand decide to regulate Plumbing work and Plumbing practitioneers.
Here I am with my OVEC guide and my hosts at an MWA treatment plant in Laksi, Northern Bangkok.
Bangkok Water Supply is ISO 9001-certified, and they have a highly skilled work force.
At The Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Department of Curriculum Development.
To the left is curriculum developer Mr Suchart Kitpitak.
To the right is Ms Maturode Sumranpon, Secretary in charge of International Cooperation, who throughout my visit worked wonders to get me into places otherwise closed to me.
Outside Bangkok, and in Bangkok outside the common tourist areas this will be a typical Thai toilet.
The toilet pan is for squatting on, and with slightly raised footplates. Next to it you see a vessel of water and a scoop.
From the scoop you get the water , both for ”the flush” and for your personal cleansing.
The pipework in Thailand is above anything else very functional.
This is a typical Bangkok meter installation, exposed to great risk of mechanical damage but in fact hardly ever damaged.
Metropolitan Water Authority (MWA) in Bangkok employ gangs of Street Plumbers.
Their only plumbing task is to make the installation from mains to water meter.
The street plumberr uniform is of same light blue colour as the PVC pipes.
Picture of my hotel toilet bowl.
To prevent the risk of self siphonage and a subsequent loss of water seal, there is first a normal flushing out of the contents.
Then the trap is filled with water from the cistern, filled through the hole seen here below the water seal.
| ||On my trip outside Bangkok we went to Saraburi Polytechnic 100 km north of Bangkok.|
Here I have a go at teaching sheet metal bending to three Thai girl students in the construction programme.
An assorted pile of plastic fittings used by the street plumbers.
Black PE compression joint fittings,
and blue PVC for solvent weld joints
During my field visits to housing estates under construction it became clear that the pipework come before the walls when building single-storey housing.
There is right now a lot of new construction work taking place, and college students in the construction programme will find internships at such sites and benefit from learning on the job.
| ||Supply pipes and drain pipes, again all made from blue PVC, here in a high rise building, before a suspended ceiling is installed. |
Mains pipe layer preparing a 200 mm adaptor for joining to new pipework.
Mains repair work often takes place after dark and in tough conditions in water-filled trenches and with heavy bends and branches made from metal.
The yellow tubes carry electrical cables, and as in the rest of the world the utility companies compete for space below ground level
Here I am on a building site with student interns from Dusit Technical College.
In fact most of the practical training in the construction programmes takes place on building sites rather than in college workshops.
This gives the construction companies an opportunity to headhunt the best students at graduation.
Here I am with headmaster and students at Saraburi college and Fixit Centre.
Fixit Centres provide service and repair of all mechanical and electrical equipment to prolong the life cycle of such objects, and also provide a small income for the students doing the repairs.
NB: Thailand secondary school curriculum has a subject called ”sufficiency economy.”
Thai people hold highest respect for the Royal Family. King Bhumipol has ruled since 1946 and is almost revered as a God.
Pictures of King Bhumipol and Queen Sirikit can be found all over town in shop windows, facades of public buildings etc.
There are shops dedicated entirely to selling photos and likenesses of the royal couple and their children.
Every year King Bhumipol will dedicate some days to being a monk and dresses accordingly.
Waste water is not always treated at source.
Here rainwater and sewage enters a klong (canal), which also used for waterborne transport.
Many water companies generate part of their income from selling bottled drinking water.
At this MWA training facility staff from water companies all over Thailand are taught the basics of bottling.
| ||Upper secondary school students on a scholarship course at Metropolitan Water Authority in Laksi learning the sacred art of Plumbing.|
| ||Middle management water company staff on a training course, monitoring workers laying a mains pipeline, 150 mm blue PVC.|
In most modern housing the pressure hose has replaced the ladle for manual personal cleansing, and the squat pedestal has been replaced by a standard low level combination suite.
Traditional Flush toilet, but with with hand-held nozzle for personal cleansing in lieu of toilet paper.
This type of installation is prevalent in high rise buildings and modern housing.
I have nothing but fond memories of Thailand and the Thai people, smiling and gentle, happy, curious, wanting to learn about other nations ……
And with some very good ideas that the rest of us could learn from, in the aftermath of the Copenhagen Climate Conference.
See files wild card 1 and wild card 2, and file on Grundfos ReWard scheme.
Savasdee (hello , goodbye)
Jer gan mai
This is Benny Wielandt , Bangkok,Thailand, signing off from a wonderful study tour.
Plumbers Of The World Unite
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