Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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 #3 Thomas Crapper

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Thomas Crapper was a plumber in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries who founded his own company in Chelsea London in 1861.

Contrary to popular belief, Crapper did not invent the flushing toilet which is said to have been invented by Sir John Harrington. Crapper however did make several patents relating to drain improvements, water closets and manhole covers. His plumbing business was quite successful, and supplied plumbing to members of the royal family, a feat for which many incorrectly believed he was knighted for.

Although he did not invent the flushing toilet, Thomas Crapper & Co did successfully market and mass produce them.  As soldiers passed throughout England during WWI it is believed that the slang term “crapper” was created due to the frequency of Crapper & Co’s logo being present.

 

1030620thomas20crapper20copy1

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

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.

Stormwater drain blockages

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Send it down Huey!
As Sydney gets through another day of torrential rain and some eastern parts of this country are getting their best rainfall for more than a year, its important to keep your stormwater gutters, downpipes, grates and drains clear.
My own roof gutters were overflowing yesterday ’cause the leaves from our deciduous tree were blocking our down pipes.
Blocked stormwater

Flush with Facts

Monday, August 11th, 2014

August is the month of the good toilet flush!

Flowing sewer drains, my favourite topic in the whole wide world, is Not what I mean dear readers.

I’m talking about the toilet and the cistern, the little tank of water that flushes our loo So here’s 3 Flush Facts

1. The toilet flush button is the most un-hygienic place in your bathroom.

2. A full toilet flush is more water than most people in the world use daily.

3. A leaking toilet cistern can waste upto 24 litres of water daily. That’s a whopping 2160 litres of wasted  water in your quarterly water rates. And that’s from just 1 toilet cistern.

So, next time you are sitting and thinking………. Think about that!

The thinker

 

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

Common pipelines; easements, ownership and liability #3

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

One recurring topic of 2010 is the Ownership and liability of common water, sewer and gas pipes.
When we send out an emergency response team to a ruptured gas or water pipeline or an overflowing sewer, the first thing our team thinks about is rescuing the property under threat.
Often, it is after the emergency has passed, that ownership and liability of the problem are hotly debated.
This series of 3 blog posts is aimed at clarifying some of that debate.

Our friends at the Law Reform Commission have helped to clarify this interesting subject and in part it reads!

LIABILITY FOR COSTS
Role of the Water Board
An important and related issue that was raised in DP 22, in respect of utility services, is establishing liability for the repair and maintenance costs of common service pipes for individual users. The problem only really exists in respect of joint sewer services, because the Water Board will absorb the costs of repair and maintenance of water services (joint or single) within the areas of its operation.7 In those cases where the Board does not assume responsibility, it can still do the repair work itself and then issue notices for payment to the users of the service. The Water Board Act 1987 (NSW) does not contain any guidelines in respect of apportioning the costs of the work carried out.

The Water Board does not assume the same level of responsibility in respect of sewage services. A liability policy similar to the water supply policy (as discussed above) was considered for sewage services, but was rejected as too expensive. Where the Water Board is aware that work needs to be done on a joint sewer service, the Board will issue a defect notice requiring the users to repair the service within a certain period of time. Sometimes repair is ordered to take place within 24 hours, if the damaged service is deemed to be a health risk. It may also be the case that the users of that service realise that the service is in need of repair and attend to the repairs prior to receiving a notice from the Board.

Existing guidelines for apportioning costs
There are no guidelines to assist the owners in dividing the cost of repairs, although DP 22 argued that Regulation 9 of the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation (September 1989) could be interpreted as making owners jointly responsible for the maintenance of their water service pipe, sewer or storm water drain.8 Some users may argue that they were not responsible for any damage to the service and thus refuse to pay anything; other users may argue that the cost of repair should be divided equally, regardless of which users were directly affected, on the basis that the service is jointly owned; and others may consider the amount charged to be excessive and only wish to pay an amount they consider appropriate. Although a recommended rate may be obtained from the Master Plumbers Association, this rate is not a standard or enforceable rate and the final figure charged may be higher or lower depending on the circumstances.

In practice, one user (usually the person most affected by overflow from the blockage) often pays for the repairs and is then forced to seek contribution from the other users, and when payment is not forthcoming, he or she may be forced to litigate for the recovery of the money. Whilst a user may wish to claim equally against each of the other users of the service, it is difficult to prove what their contribution should be. A plumber may be retained to give expert advice about who or what caused the damage to the service. This lack of legislative direction stands in sharp contrast to the specific contributions that unit owners of a Strata Titles plan are required to provide by way of levy where maintenance and repair of the common property is necessary.

Common pipelines; easements, ownership and liability #2

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

One recurring topic of 2010 is the Ownership and liability of common water, sewer and gas pipes.
When we send out an emergency response team to a ruptured gas or water pipeline or an overflowing sewer, the first thing our team thinks about is rescuing the property under threat.
Often, it is after the emergency has passed, that ownership and liability of the problem are hotly debated.
This series of 3 blog posts is aimed at clarifying some of that debate.

Our friends at the Law Reform Commission have helped to clarify this interesting subject and in part it reads!

A user of a service may attempt to disconnect the joint service and force other users of the service to bear the cost of a direct connection to the main service. Such action will however, be illegal unless conducted in accordance with the Water Board Act 1987 (Water Board (Plumbing and Drainage ) Regulation 1989),2 or a court order declaring that the common user of the service has a right to discontinue the service.

The creation of permanent rights of access is seen as a means of avoiding problems of access in respect of utility services, and applications have been made to the courts over the years to have access to and over utilities such as water pipes and sewers recognised as easements of necessity. The courts have, however, gone to considerable lengths to hold that although such an easement may be considered by a landowner to be essential for the reasonable enjoyment of property, it is not an easement of necessity,4 because at law easements over such services are not considered necessary to the land itself.

Although DP 22 raised the possibility of statutory recognition of these “trespassing” services as a means of rectifying the problem, the Board of Surveyors pointed out in their submission6 that few authorities know with any exactitude the location of their service lines. Consequently, the Board of Surveyors opposes the creation of statutory easements over them until such time as they are properly defined on title. The Commission agrees that such a step may be expensive and premature at this stage. It would seem desirable however, that steps are taken in the long term by the relevant authorities to locate such services, properly record them and establish the appropriate rights over them.

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

Saturday, January 1st, 2011


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 Vaporooter when tree roots get into and block your pipes and drains.