Check your storm drains

The well needed rain that arrived in Sydney over the last few days has created many blocked storm water drains.

Take the opportunity in between showers to check any pits or drains around your home that may be blocked by leaf debris or dirt.
If you can clean them out it may save you from some unexpected flooding.
The drain shown here was covered by leaves and gum nuts blown off in the storm wasn’t able to cope with the deluge of water.
The garage was flooded.

Take care climbing on your roof. It may be very slippery!

The Lone Drainer’s Recipe #3

The Lone Drainer’s Mushroom Sauce for Pasta
(which doubles as a fabulous addition as a sauce for steak the next night, and takes care of two of the five vegetables per day you are meant to eat.)
This recipe is an example of The Hardworking Plumber’s Secret Timesaving Tip: Cook It Once, Use It Twice, (tastes sensational both times!)
This recipe is so simple as to be hardly a recipe, but it’s impressive to eat nonetheless and made in a matter of minutes. I put this on the stove, on a low heat, go have a shower, (yeah, yeah, I know its dangerous, but The Lone Drainer and his Team are tired after a hard day on the tools and a shower while dinner cooks saves precious minutes which means we get to eat earlier.
(Ed: gotta give it to Dave Conroy, always thinking, thinking…).
And credit where credit is due, this recipe was pretty well invented by Leigh, the best gasfitter in Sydney’s east, then developed by me, whom some experts would say is the best and most modest plumber in the Eastern suburbs….

INGREDIENTS:
½ a box of already cut up mushrooms, the kind you buy at the supermarket
Left over white wine
Garlic (buy the bags of single clove garlic from Harris Farm Markets as they take less time to cut and peel- see pic)
Three tablespoons of cream
A tablespoon of parsley if you have it,
A decent glug, glug, glug of olive oil, i.e. three big tablespoons if you want to be accurate
A bag of salad mix
METHOD
Chop up the garlic any old how. Small is good.
In a largish frypan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat, add the garlic, fry until it smells good but not brown, tip in the half box of mushrooms, stir, turn heat down, add a cup of white wine, and half a cup of water or stock, (the mushrooms should be more or less covered with liquid), stir and let stew while you take a shower or set the table. Put a big pot of salted water on low heat, (again the amount of salt doesn’t really matter, but if you like precision, a tablespoon will do).
Okay, all cleaned up now, turn the heat up under the pasta water till its boiling, add the pasta.
Throw some of the salad leaves into a bowl and dress with a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of vinegar. Put on the table. This is your salad to go with the pasta.
Add three tablespoons of cream to your mushrooms and stir. Turn off the heat under them but leave in pan on stove.
Once the pasta is cooked, (it should still have a bit of bite to it as it will go on cooking in the sauce) drain it, put in a largish bowl and add the mushroom sauce to it. Stir and eat. Delicious!
Here is a pic of the pasta in the bowl, ready to eat: (note the inspection outlet in the background- we plumbers are always experimenting with the latest technology)
Next week, we’ll talk about the Plumbers’ pantry cupboard and what you need to keep in it in order to be able to make a delicious dinner in ten minutes flat every night.
Until then,

Read our blog. Cook our food. Admire our plumbing.

The Lone Drainer’s Recipe #2

I scream, you scream, we’ll all scream for
The Lone Drainer’s Passionfruit Ice Cream

I, Dave Conroy, the master of the fast but excellent tasting recipe, have developed a speedy, easy, no- equipment- necessary recipe for fantastic icecream. OK, it’s not super healthy, but it is home made, you know every single good ingredient (3) that’s in it because you put them there and its 100% natural.

Here is the recipe:

Go to the supermarket on the way home from work.
Buy 1 can of condensed milk and 1 carton of cream and 6 passionfruit.
Stir the cream and condensed milk together in a saucepan over a low heat.
Add the insides of the 6 passionfruit and let it sit off the heat while you open a beer, watch the news, have a shower or water the garden.

Then, (and this is the good bit) raid the grog cupboard, find some vodka. Any other liquor will do, but vodka is good because it has no flavor or colour. Gin will work just as well. Anything that won’t mask the flavor of the passionfruit. Add a good slug, around two tablespoons. Stir. Put the lot in a plastic container and stick it in the freezer. It’ll be ready in about an hour.

This wondrous creation has been tried and tested in the The Lone Drainer Test Kitchen many times. There is science at the back of it too. The alcohol in the vodka stops the icecream forming crystals, which make for an unpleasant texture. Alcohol just won’t freeze in a normal domestic freezer. So it keeps the ice cream creamy. Ipso facto, you don’t have to do all that churning with machines and gadgets and what not.

We’ve tried it with whisky and two espresso coffees instead of the passionfruit and that came out tops too. It’s just not a fussy recipe. But it won’t work without the grog. Trust me. I’m a plumber. And I don’t like to waste good alcohol.
Here is a picture of two thirds of my last batch of passionfruit icecream. I did want to photograph it BEFORE eating it, but just couldn’t resist. Evidence of how good it is.

Read our blog. Cook my food. Admire our plumbing.

The Lone Drainer Recipe collection

The Lone Drainer Recipe Collection

It’s the second month of the New Year and we’re all still full of good intentions.
I, The Lone Drainer, the fastest plumber in the Eastern suburbs, hereby announce my New Years Resolution: I will become a better cook. I am committing in print in the hope that my public announcement will help me stick to the program.

Here’s how it will work:

Every week, I will publish a new recipe, fully tried and tested in The Lone Drainer Coogee kitchen and stomach. I’m aiming for easy, fast and not too many ingredients. And something that won’t make me fat. I want to be a fit, healthy fifty year old. (Ed: who are you kidding Dave? Rumour has it you’re closer to sixty already!)

It won’t always be a recipe, sometimes it will just be a meal idea, suitable for a man to make. (OK, sexist, I know. I’ll rephrase that. What I mean is suitable for me, a mere male without a lot of cooking skills, but certainly a man who likes to eat well)

Here is No 1 Recipe, a sample of my easy- after- a -hard –days- work –plumbing meal idea:

Go to the supermarket.
Buy a bag of mixed salad leaves, a bottle of bread and butter pickles, and a piece of salmon.
Put two potatoes and two carrots on to boil.(Good plumbers need carbs. We work hard and burn a lot of energy)
Spread the salad leaves on a plate. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil on the leaves. (uncooked olive oil is good for keeping cholesterol down)

BBQ the salmon. Or cook it on a heavy cast iron frypan. Six and two minutes on a gas stove

Put the salmon on top of the leaves. Put the now cooked potatoes and carrots next to the salmon on the plate . Add a couple of dill pickles. There is dinner. Four vegetables, fish for protein and a few carbs for energy. Twenty minutes tops.

Read our blog. Cook my food. Admire our plumbing.

Never a cross word…


HOW CLEVER ARE YOU? WIN A PRIZE TODAY! (Yes! A prize from Dave, The Lone Drainer!)

The first person to email us (info@thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au)a photo of the correctly completed crossword,(click on the link on the line below) wins a box of the excellent and bio friendly “Who Gives A Crap” toilet paper. crossword

Inventor rolls out 100 years.

Milestones come and go.
However,
It shouldn’t pass without notice that January 23rd 2019 is the centenary of application No.9902/19 with the Commonwealth of Australia’s patent office of the “serving apparatus for toilet paper” also known as the toilet paper roll holder.

The invention dispenses a product most of us use daily.

Whether your favourite toilet roll is textured or patterned, two or four-ply, premium or pulped, waxed or lotioned, the standard sized roll or the jumbo or jumbo junior, whether you roll over or under, please take a moment to contemplate the genius of Clarence Edward Anable of Sacramento California.

Mr Anable’s revolutionary invention has, without doubt, improved the sanitary status of the world.

How much to fix my toilet?

Running toilet quote…..Is all an email said earlier this week, with the attached picture.

It’s hard to say from this picture I said, but I tried to help the writer by asking a few simple questions
Is it a close coupled suite?
Or are the pan and cistern separate?
Is it the inlet or outlet valve leaking?
Does the water turn off at the control valve?
Is the connection between the control valve and the cistern hard drawn tube or is it one of those flexible braided connections?
The outlet valve is redundant. It could be rewashered if that’s the problem, was part of my email response

The flushing toilet is a wonder of the modern world we can take for granted considering our previous post about 4.4 billion people not having a toilet.
But
Our local bathroom suppliers currently have 48 different types of toilet cisterns on display and that’s not including the antique in our picture.
They all have different water connections and flushing mechanisms.
So please, help us help you by providing as much information as possible about your particular leaking toilet.
In the meantime, you can turn off the water and flush your loo with a bucket.

World Toilet Day 2018

November 19th 2018 is World Toilet Day
With the population of the world now at approximately 7.7 billion people, many of us would be surprised to learn that over 4.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet or running water to wash their hands.

According to a UN report, a third of schools worldwide don’t have any clean toilet facilities and nearly 1 billion school children don’t have hand washing facilities.

It seems extraordinary that in a world where most people have a mobile telephone approximately 892 million people have to squat out in the open.

This, of course, has knock-on hygiene effects with the pollution of domestic drinking water being a direct contributor to many cases of sickness disease and even death for those less fortunate than us.

Today, as you use your dual flush toilet in the privacy of your home, workplace or school, spare a thought for these people.

You may also consider buying Who Gives a Crap toilet paper.

Who Gives a Crap donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those who have none.

Responsibility for sewer pipes

Did you know homeowners are responsible for their sewer pipes up to and including where they meet the Sydney Water sewer mains?

A lot of people are shocked to find out this piece of information.

If you need to renew your sewer pipe line because it has been damaged by tree roots and those pipes are out in the middle the road, then the homeowner is responsible for all costs associated with that renewal, including Council road opening fees.

Gas heater time again

Winter 2018 is coming to Sydney.
With some much needed rain approaching as we head towards June 1st, it’s time to go looking for some indoor heating.
If you haven’t run your gas heater since last winter, please dust it and ensure the bayonet fittings are well lubricated before inserting the heater hose.
Check for leaks.
If you’re not sure
Call Us!

How do tree roots get into pipes? #2

In my last post I described how tree roots can easily travel through the soil loosened by excavation for your pipe installation.

Do you know why tree roots grow in sewer pipes from the top of the pipe joints?

Condensation is formed when we run water from our water pipes, through our drains.

Especially when we have a hot shower, wash our clothes or dishes in hot or warm water.
When the warm water enters the drains buried in the cold earth, condensation is formed, and it gathers on the inside top of our sewer pipes and drains.

The tree roots moving through our already loosened soils can now move along the top of the pipelines and are attracted to the warmth and moisture inside.
All they need now is a way into the pipe.

This 1.58sec clip shows how.

How do tree roots get into pipes?

Tree roots grow through trenches dug for plumbing pipes.

When plumbers excavate a trench in virgin soil to lay our pipelines to take the waste water from your home, we till the soil.

The simple method of excavating the soil with a shovel or even a mechanical excavator like a backhoe actually breaks up the soil.

See the tree in our attached pic?

Its root system will be able to grow through the trench looking for weakness in the pipe line.

After we complete our excavations and lay the pipes in the trenches, we back fill the trench, putting the excavated soils back.

Sometimes we water in the soil and quite often use a compactor to help with the back fill process.

Excavations are often back filled with an aggregate like blue metal gravel.

The back filled trench is never as compact as the virgin soil.

It provides the roots of nearby trees a much easier path to “wander” along in their search for water and nutrients.

Do tree roots grow in PVC pipes?

Do tree roots grow in PVC pipe?
Yes they do!
The PVC pipe shown here in this Youtube clip has tree roots growing in through the wall of the pipe in three different places.
There is a significant Norfolk pine tree and a Paperbark tree within two-three metres of the pipe.
The roots were cut from this pipeline about 8 weeks ago.
This survey was taken before applying Vaporooter to the pipe line.
Vaporooter will NOT fix a broken pipe.
Vaporooter stops tree roots in drains!
In this case, we are only keeping the roots at bay until the necessary repairs are undertaken.

Giving a Crap on World Toilet Day 2017

The Lone Drainer and Pronto, Sydney will pay tribute to a unique and special observance whose goal is to install a working toilet in emergent nations.

On November 19, The Lone Drainer and Pronto (TLDP), will participate in the World Toilet Day 2017 (WTD2017), a United Nations’ (UN) worldwide event that will highlight the lack of proper sanitation and safely-managed toilets a problem affecting over 4.5 billion people in economically developing nations.
(more…)

Wipe your bum for a good cause!

We all poop. Most of us daily, and some of us do so in style. Now your idea of style can be different to mine, but style is a luxury some simply don’t have.

That’s exactly what the World Poop Day is about!

You might have noticed I have been recently ranting about the ‘poop day’ or to be more specific the World Toilet Day 2017 (WTD2017).

This event is not a joke, not a metaphor of some kind – it’s a REAL DEAL.

If your toilet was blocked for a week, then you probably would be jumping out of your skin, right? What if you had no toilet for two weeks or a month?

Unthinkable! Well, some poor folk in third world places have no toilet at all. If you had no proper toilet you’d need to squat wherever you can, which sometimes may be very uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Imagine this. You watch the footy (your team is hammering the other team!) where suddenly you have to go for number two. Easy, you visit the loo.

But what if you didn’t have one?

Option one, you run outside, squat anywhere. Shoot.

Option two, you run next to your neighbour’s house (you don’t want to poop under your own window). Poop.

Option three, poop in your pants. Wash later. You don’t want to miss your favourite game.

Luckily, for most Aussies we don’t have to think about it, we simply head for the throne, and on the throne, we sit. But we need more thrones especially for those who cannot afford one! No need for fancy ones, only appropriate ones.

That’s the appeal of the WTD2017 (build more thrones, and create proper sanitation conditions for those in need). We need appropriate thrones that can properly take care of business without polluting the environment.

On November 19, 2017 (the WTD2017) be sure to pause and feel grateful if you have access to a working toilet. Billions around the world aren’t so lucky!

If you would like to do something positive, you can purchase the Who Gives a Crap toilet paper – we give 50% of the profits towards building more toilets.

Be sure to forward this page on to friends and family. We all need to wipe ourselves after taking a dump – now you can wipe yourself for a good cause!