Archive for the ‘How to’ Category

Stop Leaking Taps

Monday, September 8th, 2014

As a plumber, the majority of house calls I have to make are to do with leaking taps. Obviously in most cases it is correct to call a plumber but some times we are called to houses to carry out a simple job that takes five minutes and could have been easily completed by anyone with a little know how. Here are a few pointers that can help to avoid problems like these:

  1. Treat taps gently. They should be turned off with thumb & forefinger. If you are having an arm wrestle turning your taps off, stop it!
  2. Try to repair a dripping tap if you can. Always turn the water to the house off first!
  3. Simple repairs can be done by anyone. Don’t forget the o-rings, tap washers, tap seats and fibre washers. Lubricate them all.
  4. There are so many types of taps available today, even the pros need to seek advice.
  5. There is no shame in not being able to repair a dripping tap. I have seen grown plumbers cry over leaks like these

Flush with Facts #2

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

August is the month of the good toilet flush!
Did You Know
The dual flush toilet cistern was an Australian invention in 1980 by Bruce Thompson an employee of Caroma.
The dual flush toilet cistern saves 32,000 litres of water per household per year.
In 2014, most modern toilet cisterns have an internal overflow tube, so if your float valve doesn’t shut off, the water runs straight into your loo, rather than overflowing onto the floor…..
So
The single flush toilet cistern should be a thing of the past.

Who turned off the hot water?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

That was the call today from the residents in a block of 82 home units.                                                                                                                         Our clients shower tap was leaking a 1/2 bucket of hot water every minute and needed new washers. So “Where does the Hot Water turn off?” asked The Lone Drainer”, I don’t know replied our client!” What followed was a search for the hot water shut off in all the usual places. Under the vanity basin….. no, Under the kitchen sink…..no, In the bathroom ceiling…..no, What about the duct in the hallway…..no                                                                                                                 Next, The Lone Drainer called the maintenance manager’s mobile, courtesy of the Emergency Number notice in the foyer. When he finally responded, The Lone Drainer…. and Pronto already knew that the valves in the cupboard shut off all the units on the other side of the hallway, but not ours.

“The hot water shut off valve should be in that duct” said Al the manager                                                                                                                                                         “It’s not!” said The Lone Drainer “Any suggestions?” “So you’re gonna have to shut down hot water for the whole building” says Al. Woman in shower cap Now there is a protocol for shutting down water to a building with 82 units at midday. Normally it’s a notice on the board and in the lift a couple of days in advance. Not today!

I had Pronto go to the foyer and buzz every unit to tell ‘em (those that answered) “The hot water is gonna get turned off in 1/2 hour for about 1/2 an hour” said Pronto And we did.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            By the time we shut down the boiler, drained the building then removed the shower tap and re-washered it, replaced O-rings and lubricated the moving parts, put the tap back together and turned the boiler valves back on it was 1 hour 15 minutes. Luckily only 18 of 82 residents came looking for the reason they had no hot water on this cold Sydney day.

Moral of the Story!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Know where your hot and cold water turns off…. And make sure it does! Now, that sounds like a job for The Lone Drainer and Pronto!

3 Tips for Healthy Hot Water.

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Who had a cold shower this morning?
Winter makes the need for hot water a high priority.
If you think your heater is under performing do this quick water heater health check.
1. Check the colour of your water.     If its brown, your water heater has a buildup of sediment or rust
2. Check your Temperature and pressure relief valve (like the one shown below), pull the lever. It should spurt out water till you let go of the lever and if it dribbles afterwards, it needs attention.
3. Does the stop valve work? Try turning it off, test the water at your hot taps and turn it back on. Ideally it should Stop the water flow through the heater.
Hot water T & PR valve
Whether your water heater is gas or electric, storage or continuous check it regularly.

If your hot water runs out get your friendly plumber to check it over

Washing machines & dishwasher maintenance

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

With 3 growing boys living at home, they eat like there is no tomorrow and playing rugby, cricket and doing patrols at Coogee Surf Club, we have plenty of washing and dishes to wash up every day.
So much so, that both appliances broke down at the same time.
Yes it happens to plumbers as well!

So we had our brightest plumbing apprentice just instal a new diswasher and washing machine and it made me aware of the importance of these water appliances and how we should maintain them.

1. Their hoses are rubber, with hot water they perish and may rupture so check them regularly
2. Many people turn these control valves or taps off at the end of every wash. In our house that would be impossible
3. Turn taps off when going on holidays. Don’t forget to turn them back on

Just recently, our emergency plumbers rescued a young mother who had been to Adelaide for three weeks. The hose feeding her washing machine ruptured causing many dollars worth of damage. Her washing machine shorted out electrically (needs a new machine), the laundry /bathroom was covered in mould from the steam (needs repainting), assorted bits and pieces damaged, carpets in the hallway waterlogged, and the parquet flooring at the end of the hallway had buckled and will need major repairs, then re-sanding and staining. Not to mention the aggravation of removing all furniture and of course the young children from the home for several days whilst these procedures are carried out. The fumes from the floor staining will be intoxicating

Plumbers and puppy dogs

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Can Your Dog and the Tradies Play Nice?

Renovations and refurbishing is a hectic and stressful time for anyone involved, but what about the family pooch. Are you having concerns with your dog getting under feet, barking at the strange men in his house or stealing tools?

This is a common problem. Just like us, your dog can get very stressed about having work done in his home. Any behaviour associated with this stress can be a safety risk for not only your dog but also the tradies. As far as your dog is concerned, the tradies are strangers who have come into their home and have started changing things! In addition to this stress there is also the risk of your dog escaping from the yard, the loud noises of building can also cause significant fear and stress, not to mention the potential for injury, or being exposed to toxins. Unlike the tradesman, there are no protective masks or clothing for your dog.

The best and safest way to deal with this tense situation is to relocate your Dog while any work is being done. If it’s a day to day thing then a Doggy Daycare may be just what you need! You can drop off your pooch in the morning before work and easily collect him or her at the end of day, your dog will be exhausted and happy after a day of walks, play and socialisation.

The best way to get your pooch into daycare is to make contact, check their specific requirements and availability. It is the norm for your daycare to ask for a copy of your dog’s current vaccination certificate, your contact details and the details of your vet. Your dog should be desexed (assuming they are old enough) and they should be friendly and socialise well with other dogs, a responsibly daycare will also provide stringent supervision on those first few days to make sure everyone is getting along. Then you can rest easy that your dog is playing and having a great time at daycare instead of stressing out and getting underfoot of your tradesmen!

This Information was supplied by the Friendly Team at Paddington Pups, Doggy Day Care Centre, Dog Grooming and Dog Supplies Brisbane.

Draining the Coffee makers lane

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Our Venetian correspondent is at it again.                                                                                                                                                                                   As you have seen in previous posts Holy S – – T ! A Gondoliers impression and The latest sewer notes and history of Venice
Gio the Venetian Gondolier knows how much our readers love to see how waste water and sewer is moved around Venice.
Hey mate!
I’m so proud to be on the site that I decided to send you more stuff about Venice,
Here is first of all a picture of my lane ” calle del Caffettier” ( the coffee maker lane) while a draining is on the go.

As you see on the first pic our local plumber has the drain hose on the left side of the lane with all the pipe going over the bridge.

Venice pumping waste

Venice pumping waste

Then you see how the pipe goes to the canal where the drain boat is waiting with the plumbers mate.

Venetian drain boat collecting waste

Venetian drain boat collecting waste

Then a picture of our proud fire patrol just after the draining of a boat that sunk because the owner did not drain the rain out…. shame!

Venice fire team to the rescue

Venice fire team to the rescue

That is all my friend.

See the statue of our Lady on the top of the wall near my house? Isn’t it a corner of paradise?

A special piece of Venice

A special piece of Venice

Yes it is Gio. Thanks for sharing it with us!

The latest sewer notes and history of Venice

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Mozarts neighbours get the drains cleared

Mozarts neighbours get the drains cleared

More S – – T from Venice.
The best part about this blog is sharing with so many people and getting your insights into my topic S – – T.
Our knowledge of the sewers of the world grows.
Basically, we all use our toilets regularly and if you are not, then seek medical advice. Now I’m not going to get into anything unsavoury in this post, but I have a few toilet jokes and stories lined up for you in the future.
So stay regular!
Our regular readers would have read about the world famous Venetian Gondolier my friend Giovanni Giudice in earlier blog posts like Holy S – – T.  A Gondoliers impression.

Here in Australia, as we drift into the cooler months it’s spring in Venice and Gio has been keeping me up to date with some interesting facts about the sewer movements and the history of his home town.
Here is an excerpt from a recent communiqué:

Mozart slept here!

Mozart slept here!

Yesterday I took these pics of drain boats in the first one you can see how they get the pipes to the house. This house is just in front of the house where Mozart, Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, stayed when he came to Venice in the Carnival of 1771. This is written on the marble white stuff you see. Probably there is still some Mozart S – -T!!

This pic is of another Drain boat in front of San Marco Square. As you see from the last picture I have taken all these pics from my gondola. You can see I’m under the bridge and you see the back (stern) of my lady, my gondola.
take care my friend
Giovanni

Drain boat at St Marco square

Drain boat at St Marco square

If you are travelling to Venice and need a guide, look for Giovanni, he is the best!

No hot water during the long hot summer?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Welcome to 2010.

Over the Christmas and New Year period we have been called to rescue people with all sorts of plumbing emergencies!  

Burst water pipes, blocked sewer drains, leaking taps and toilets are commonplace, but, here at the height of summer calls for help for running hot water is at an all time high!

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I can’t turn my water meter off!

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

If you have a plumbing emergency, you have running water in your house, a split tap washer or burst water heater and  your water meter won’t turn off.

You may be in trouble!

If your meter tap has a tee-head on it, turn it off in a clockwise direction as firmly as you can. Firmly, don’t overdo it.

If your meter tap is missing the tee-head, get a large pair of grips and turn it off in a clockwise direction as firmly as you can. Firmly, don’t overdo it.

Open a garden tap to let out the pressure.

Then call an emergency plumber! 

Check out this video below showing what we do to upgrade your water meter control valve.

Great fun on a hot day!

Where and how to turn off your cold water supply is incredibly simple if you know where it is, before any plumbing emergency arises

I want you to have our plumbing Hints and Tips, they are free.

Simply fill in the box on our home page to get our Plumbing Hints and Tips.

I know they will help save you in a plumbing emergency!