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Toilet Hygiene #2

A recent study showed  95 % of men and women say they wash their hands after using the toilet, especially a public toilet.

Funnily enough, only 67% of people actually do wash their hands after using a public loo or the toilets in their workplace. There have been quite a few surveys done on the topic and some innovative ideas to check on whether we did or didn’t wash.

It’s quite well documented that the toilet flush button is one of the most un-hygienic places in the bathroom and I’m hoping that all our readers apply the simple rule.

Flush when you’re finished! But, think about it, What did you do before you flushed the loo?

So, wash your hands after a trip to the bathroom.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands

Winter rain comes with a blast

Winter Rain and blocked pipes.

The forecast east coast low started dumping rain on us last night. Road accidents caused by wet conditions and local flooding are the norm today. The weather bureau suggest these conditions will hang around until Monday.

Blocked storm water drains, storm water pipes and storm water pits have been the order of the day today after the rain came thick and fast.

Where possible, keep your roof gutters and drains clear of leaf debris to avoid flooding and pipe overflows.
rain

Toilet Hygiene #1

Q. What’s the 3rd most un-hygienic place in the bathroom?

A. The toilet flush button.

Who’d have thought? Now, wash your hands!
toilet flush button

A plumbing emergency and ducks we’ve rescued

We were called out to this plumbing emergency that brought an unexpected surprise.

Our client had a blocked drain and when we had just about completed that repair, cutting tree roots from her sewer pipes, she called out because she needed a hand in her back yard.

A mother duck that had been nesting in her dense rear garden had chosen today to take her babies for their first swimming lesson. The ducklings took to the water like ….. well, ducks to water. The only problem was that the water level in the pool was a little low, they couldn’t get out of the pool and they were getting very tired.

Our attempts to rescue them by hand and with the pool scoop, brought a tirade of squawking and flapping of wings from the mother duck. She didn’t want us anywhere near her babies! We found a plank in the back shed which we put in the pool and then draped an old towel along the length of the plank, then stood back.

When mother duck settled down she could see we were trying to help, she led the baby ducklings up the plank and after checking they were all out, she herded them back to the nest in the dense undergrowth.
She gave us another flurry of feathers when we tried to check on the babies.

Every day brings another adventure!

mrs-rogan-ducks-aug034

 

Don’t play Noughts and Crosses when you have sewer problems

Take the guesswork out of excavation!
Today’s post comes courtesy of Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist. At his recent Exponential Business Building Bootcamp, he showed a series of “impossible pictures” from Swedish Artist Erik Johansson. This photo was of particular interest. This is what we want to avoid with the use of Vaporooter when tree roots get into and block your pipes and drains.

Plumbers love your pets

Your Dog and Dealing with Internal Renovations

Dogs and cats find renovations very stressful: there are strangers in their home changing things, moving things around and disrupting their routine. Some of the risks involved range from escape behaviour, bad dog behaviour, territorial behaviour and the general stress of strangers and loud noises in their space. You also have the risk of injury or the potential of your fur baby being exposed to toxins. Unlike the tradesman, there are no protective masks or clothing for your pet.

Lead and Asbestos, as most of us know, are bad for us, but it’s just as bad for our pets. Years ago it was common for house paint to contain high levels of Lead in addition to Asbestos in our walls. Startlingly before 1970 most paints contained up to 50% lead. Disturbing the paint during renovations can be risky business and you need to ensure you keep yours, and your pet’s, exposure levels down and leave this sort of job to the experts!

Lead and Asbestos will only resurface if it is disturbed; your tradie could unintentionally do this and create a risk. If you’re renovating be sure to follow these simple steps to make sure your family and pets are safe from Lead and Asbestos.

Step 1 – Look into how much asbestos you will have to work around and whether your paint contains lead. The most likely places to find lead paint will be on the kitchen and bathroom cupboards, window frames, skirting boards, doors, architraves, picture rails, exterior walls, gutters, metal surfaces and fascias.

Step 2 – Use the appropriate tools and equipment for the task at hand. Protective clothing is a must! A respirator, disposable coveralls, disposable overshoes, a hat, and gloves will protect you from any dust containing lead. Find somewhere to keep your pets safe while the renovations are happening, a relative, friend or a doggy daycare is always a good idea to get the pets out of the house.

Step 3 – Prepare fully for interior or exterior work. Get experts to deal with Asbestos as there is a multitude of legislation governing the tampering and removal of Asbestos.

Step 4 – Deal appropriately with paint containing Lead. Use techniques that minimise the creation and dispersion of dust or fumes. Large portions of dust or wastewater that contain lead can contaminate the house and garden so it is best not to dry sand or use abrasive blasting. It’s always safer to avoid creating the dust as opposed to cleaning it up after as dust containing only 1% lead can be harmful.

Step 5 – Use a 3 bucket wet cleaning method to eliminate any left over chemicals.

Step 6 – Dispose of contaminated waste appropriately.

This Blog Post was kindly supplied by the Friendly Team at Paddington Pups, Queensland’s Number #1 Doggy Daycare Centre.

Plumbers and dogs

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 responsible 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 while your tradesmen are working!

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

What do you know about your gas supply?

Winter starts tomorrow and if gas is your preferred method of heating then read on… Natural gas is a great resource to have in any home for ovens, cooktops and hot water heating. However leaks in a high pressure gas line can be extremely dangerous especially if they go unnoticed or are allowed to continue unchecked. The massive explosion in Bondi Junction last year is an example of how horrible a gas blast can be.

If you live in a building with multiple gas meters, it is really important to know where your gas meter is and how to turn your gas meter off. Make sure all the gas meters in your building are labelled or numbered clearly, so that in the event of an emergency, you can turn your gas off safely.

Which gas meter is mine?

Which gas meter is mine?

Here are some pointers to detect gas leaks early so that appropriate measures can be taken to avoid major damage.

  1. If you suspect a gas leak, mix some bubbles using detergent with water, and cover the suspect area. If bubbles expand, you have found the leak.
  2. Don’t ignore a gas leak. Gas can be dangerous! Not to mention your bills will be increased.
  3. Disconnect your plugged-in gas heater in summer.
  4. When reconnecting the heater in winter and the bayonet is difficult to plug in, it is probably dusty. Dust and lubricate the connection, then try again.
  5. Don’t mess around with gas. If you are not sure don’t touch!

If you are not sure when it comes to a gas pipe problem, always call a licenced plumber and gasfitter.

Water or wine. Is there bacteria in water?

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine… and those who don’t, remember this during the festive season:

As Ben Franklin said; “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom,  in water there is bacteria.”

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) – bacteria found in faeces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poo..

However, We do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and or fermenting.

Remember:

Water = Poo, Wine = Health.

Therefore, it’s better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of S _ _ t

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information, thank my mate David Weekes.

I’m providing it as a public service!

HELP! I’ve got a burst pipe in my bathroom!

This post is relevant to a Randwick plumbing emergency that happened yesterday.

We had an SOS from a long term client “Joan”.

You could hear the panic in her voice. “Come quickly, we have a burst water pipe under our vanity basin and we can’t turn the water off” screamed Joan.

“Is your floor waste drain clear?” we asked. “Yes” Joan replied!

We told her how to minimise the water damage by shutting the cupboard  doors and direct the gushing water towards the floor drain, and then putting a towel across the doorway to keep the water flow in the bathroom.

We were at the house within 15 minutes, and with a large pair of grips, we were able to slow down, but not stop the water flow.

Now, a picture paints a thousand words and this short video will actually take you there.

Please watch and learn.

It’s incredibly simple to figure out where and how to turn off your hot water and cold water supply if you know where they are, and avert any plumbing emergency.

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 save you thousands of dollars!

Plumber rescues Puppy

In early June this year, a young boy in Britain decided to give his one week old puppy a bath using quite an odd method; putting him in the toilet bowl and giving it a flush. The dog was sent down the pipe, well out of reach from the fire brigade who were first on the scene in an attempt to rescue the pup.

A plumber was called in and using a drain camera he found the dog amazingly still alive hours after being flushed about 20 metres from the house. Neighbours from surrounding houses were told to not use water in order to prevent the dog being washed down into the main sewer where rescue attempts would be impossible. The pup was able to be pushed down the line by the plumber towards a manhole where it was pulled to safety. It has been named “Diana” after the company that rescued it.

http://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/plumbing_services.php

Why you should ‘Dial Before You Dig’

Before carrying out any excavation for plumbing repairs, your licensed plumber should do a “Dial before you Dig” check on your property and surrounds.

This process shows where gas, water, sewer, stormwater, telecom and electric services owned by all utilities are located.

Although this is an extreme case, check out what could happen if you don’t know what lies beneath:

dial-dig-1

dial-dig-2

dial-dig-3

 

dial-dig-7

This massive explosion occurred in the USA during September 2008. Although it was caused by pipe corrosion, and not by a farmer digging as several emails have suggested, the extreme destruction seen in the photographs above shows the extensive damage that can be caused by an exploding gas pipe, and how obvious it is that this should be avoided at all costs.

If you’re not sure about the condition of your gas pipes, call a licensed plumber, and remember to always dial before you dig!

http://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/index.php

Danger of Gas Room Heaters

Last weekend, a dear friend asked me to look at his gas room heater.

We opened the heater to have a good look inside and it appeared that the motor had overheated and had started to melt the casing.

It was a disaster waiting to happen!

Fortunately there was a tradesman working next door who quickly came on the scene and disconnected the gas appliance from the gas supply, preventing a potential fire!

Dust buildup will cause  problems like this.

As the days get colder and we turn to our gas room heating appliances to keep us warm, please dust them and make sure you can disconnect them from your gas bayonet  fittings with ease.

If you are unsure, get a competent licensed gasfitter to check them before you use them.
Dangerous gas room heater

Dangerous gas room heater

 

Blocked Drain Fixed with The Electric Eel!

I was on crutches and had asked Bruno the plumber to attend a blocked drain at a well known food shop in Bondi.

Bruno rang me to say that he couldn’t get the electric eel out of the drain pipe and could I come and help?  My wife (who was 8 months pregnant at the time) drove me to the site and I limped in and found Bruno with the electric eel over an access drain and the eel cables stuck fast!

“What happened” I asked. Bruno said “The eel cables just kept going in, so I kept on putting them in”.

“How much cable is in that hole”? I asked. “About 45 feet” (15 metres) he replied!

“How far to the blocked toilet”? I asked”  “About 10 feet” he replied!  I cringed!

I held on to my crutches and tried to help Bruno drag that electric eel out of that pipe. It wouldn’t budge!

Fortunately for us, the house behind the shop was vacant …. except for the “beast” that had been unleashed in the bathroom. The extra 35 feet of eel had come out through the back of the toilet, done a complete circuit of the small bathroom, then out the door and down the hallway towards the kitchen. The spinning action of the eel had allowed it to grab the old carpet hall runner in a “death roll”. When we had tried to wrestle the eel from the pipe, the old carpet had got stuck fast!

Of course we salvaged the situation, had the carpet cleaned, replaced the loo and successfully cleared the blockage.

Some 12 years later when I have a coffee with Bruno (who now has his own very successful plumbing business) and we laugh about our daily plumbing lives, telling those gathered about the dangers of the electric eel, Bruno still blushes and says “David, it’s just The Nature of The Beast“!

Plumbing Tip: Dont keep putting your resources into a black hole!

http://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/plumbing_services.php

Plumbing Industry ‘Food Safe’ Cleaners

Being a plumber, I am often asked how surfaces that need to be ‘food safe‘ e.g. in cafes, restaurants and any establishments that prepare or manufacture food products or meals, should be kept clean.

A colleague, Gavin Buckett, of The Gourmet Guardian is a food safety specialist and has this advice to offer.

In the food industry, most people are aware that bacteria in food can be dangerous, especially if it is served by someone who hasn’t washed their hands or if the food has been stored at the wrong temperature. Equally as well known, is that no one wants to find a Band-Aid, piece of metal or a cigarette butt in their food.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognised preventative food management system, and ALL food safety hazards are categorised into only one of three different types.

The first example above is called a microbiological hazard and is caused by one of three problems: the food hasn’t been handled, stored or transported properly.

The second example is called a physical hazard. A physical hazard is any foreign object or extraneous matter that you would not normally expect to find in that particular food product.

The third type of hazard is called a chemical hazard and is often forgotten or disregarded. Chemical hazards are chemical substances that can cause poisoning or illness if they are not adequately removed or excessive levels are present. We all use chemicals to clean, but did you know that if you use the wrong chemical or use a chemical incorrectly, that what you are doing may be more dangerous than not washing your hands before handling food? Cleaning chemicals are vital in ensuring that dangerous bacteria’s are removed from our kitchens and food contact surfaces, but you must ensure that they are used correctly.

In a separate Blog Post I explain how “Chemicals can clean, but chemicals can kill”, but in short, you must ensure that if you are using a chemical in a kitchen or food processing area, that the chemical is “Food Safe”.

A Food Safe chemical is a chemical that:

  • Is designed for use in the food industry
  • Will not contaminate food or food products if used correctly

In Export Meat Establishments ALL chemicals that are used, must have been approved by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). As a rule of thumb, I recommend to my clients to ONLY use chemicals that have been approved by AQIS, even if they aren’t export registered establishments. The cost of acquiring this approval is $200 and is valid for five years; so if a chemical supplier is not prepared to have the chemical registered then they can’t be serious about it’s suitability for use in the food industry. Once the chemical is approved, it must be used as it is intended to be used. Even if a chemical is deemed food safe, there are some chemicals that are not suitable to use on a food contact surface (such as a disinfectant or floor cleaner).

Always check on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) its:

  • Intended use
  • Correct dilution
  • Any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that might be needed
  • If it needs to air-dry OR be rinsed off after the exposure time

If the MSDS does not state that it is intended for use in food premises, then the chemical must not be used.