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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.

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

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

New Blood

New Blood 2
Its a simple thing to give blood. It doesn’t hurt at all! In fact it makes you feel really good…. and you get to help someone else.

Who knows, I may get to help you or your loved ones.

So what does that have to do with plumbing……

Well, only that all of your pipes need flushing from time to time. Even your personal pipes!

This is Furk! Having FUn at woRK.

Think before you flush the toilet.

Christmas 2015 is upon us. Most of us slow down and enjoy the festive season and the Aussie summer.
But please think before you flush. We are here to help you with a plumbing emergency over the Christmas holidays.

A blocked drain can be caused by putting the wrong things down your sinks, pipes and toilets and it can leave you with an expensive plumbing bill to unblock your pipes. It can also lead to the amount of waste moving through our sewage treatment works at Malabar, Bondi and Manly.

These extra items have to be screened out, dumped in bins and trucked off to a landfill site. Unsuitable flushed items can lead to sewer overflows and problems in the sewer mains simply caused by small items getting caught and blocking the network.

Don't do it.

Don’t do it.

An overflowing sewer main in your property or worse, in your home, is very unpleasant. So, keep it simple and flush only the three Ps….. pee, poo and paper.

Storm drains overflow

We had another storm blast through Sydney this afternoon.

We were safely on a boat in Rushcutters Bay fitting the gas cooker as the 60 knot wind blew through.
Safe from the storm
The rain poured down with hail stones thrown in. The storm flooded all the local street drains and in some places the gutters were up to 400mm deep in stormwater.

Please check the grates and drains around your home and ensure that they are clear and running freely. The storms come quickly and can create lots of damage fast.

If you need help…… Call us!

Ready for Sydney Storm Season

Sydney storm season got under way last night with a spectacular electric light show to compliment Ed Sheeran doing his stuff.
storm season
Make sure you take precautions around your home in case severe weather hits.

Severe weather, heavy rain and electrical storms can affect pumps and boosters throughout our network which can affect our water supply and sewer pumping stations.

5 tips to get you ready:
1. Candle and matches. Have them handy.
2. Know where and how to turn off your water supply.
3. Have 3 days supply of fresh water in containers. Approx 10 litres per person.
4. Check your storm water grates and drains are clear of leaf debris and dirt.
5. Ensure your storm water down pipes are clear and not connected to the sewer.

If you’re not sure, Ask us!

Welcome to Movember. Mens Health Month

Mens health is something very close to my heart. Having lost my dad in 2009 to prostate cancer at 73 is something that changed the way I look at my own health and health checks.

Over this month Movember I plan to share the personal stories of plumbing colleagues, clients and work mates. They’re all just normal men who felt a slight change in their bodies and had the courage and the good sense or friendly push to go and get their things checked out.

I’ve got some simple health tips that work for me and if they work for me, then, they’ll work for you too!
I’ve got some great summer recipes.

So, I can hear you asking…. What the hell has mens health got to do with plumbing? Well it has everything to do with plumbing. Our bodies are temples, our home is our castle and our pipes within our temple and our castles need to function properly or we are “up shit creek”!

I’ve got some youTube clips to share some funny, some educational, some frightening!

8 Reasons to drink water!

water yogi

It’s easy to take water for granted.

I spend most of my life working with water, delivering it to your taps and toilets and working on blocked drains that won’t allow waste water to run away.

My entire family’s leisure time is spent scuba diving and snorkeling, surfing and sailing, swimming and socialising on and in the water. And when we’ve finished having fun in the water, we all shower off! Water is a major part of our life.

But drinking water is something I must make part of my life as middle age sneaks up on me. I know to be with the ones I love and do the things I love,  I must have good health. And, I usually say if I can do it, then it’s pretty easy to do!

So here’s my top 8 good reasons why I should drink more water:

Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes out the by-products of fat breakdown.  Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less.  Plus, water has zero calories.

A Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps relieve headache and back pain usually caused by dehydration.  Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one. This is a big one for me.

Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, so drinking water helps you think better and be more alert, cause we need more alerts!

Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature, so you should feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water helps fuel your muscles; and I need that.

Helps with Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps with digestion.  Fibre and water should  go hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement. Water is good for the personal plumbing as well as the house plumbing.

Reduce Sickness: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and things like kidney stones and heart attack.  I fill the water jug and roughly cut 2 or 3 lemons, add them in and leave it to sit for a while. It apparently helps intestinal problems. Plus it can improve your immune system.

Improve your Mood: Your body feels very good and that’s why you feel happy. Helps with Furking   (Having fun…….. while you’re working).

Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Some studies of the digestive system show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with your bladder lining. Now, that sounds good to me!

Water Saving Tips for your Garden.

water plants
Did you know about 35% of household water usage occurs in the garden?

In my daily rounds the common theme is how the spring has unfolded, the gardens are in bloom, the Jasmine flowers have come and gone. We’ve had very little rain lately on the coast but, after recent temperatures reaching 36 degrees, our gardens are dry.

It helps if you know the needs of your plants. More plants die from over watering than lack of water so don’t drown ’em.

So here are a few water saving Do’s and Dont’s:
– Do choose water efficient plants and grasses.
– Do mulch your garden.
– Do install a drip feed system to water the gardens and lawns. It’s pretty easy to do. If you need a hand just ask us.
– Don’t water in the heat of the day. Heat = Evaporation and the watering process can burn your lawn and plants. Water early or late. Cool is good!
– Don’t assume the garden needs watering. Check the soil to see whether its dry before turning on that hose.
– Don’t water for long periods if your garden slopes. The water just runs off. Allow it to soak in!
– Don’t water on windy days especially with sprinklers and fine sprays. Wind increases evaporation.
– Don’t water everyday, if its practical give em a drink twice a week to encourage the roots to grow deeper
– Don’t water for 1-2 weeks after a good soaking rain.

– Don’t forget to drink yourself. Personal hydration is even more important!
Kanga Paws

Just Add Water

Everyone is talking about the upcoming summer like the imminent return of an old old friend. My sunrise learn to surf visits to the local beaches find them full of boys and girls and boot campers getting buffed for the summer unveiling of the new bod. And everyone is drinking water out of water bottles.

Now, hydration is not a new theme and the sweat produced to work that body needs to be topped up with good old H2O, Adams ale, water, the universal solvent. Its well known that people who engage in strenuous physical exertion or live in a hot climate (that’s us people) need to drink plenty of water.

After swallowing more than my share of the Tasman Sea most mornings, I guzzle water from the beach taps to re-hydrate myself.Drink Aqua

The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on your body size. A simple rule of thumb, 2/3 of our body consists of water.

Did you know that your tissues and organs are mainly made up of water?
• Muscle consists of 75% water, Blood consists of 83% water, Bone consists of 22% of water, Brain consists of 90% of water.
• The recommended is 8-10 glasses of aqua per day.
• So remember, if your gonna work it, you have to re-hydrate it.
• Dr Dave says Drink more water!

Water saving tips for Spring

Now we are really into spring,  the gardens are blooming and after our long weekend heatwave, the lawn needs to be watered.

A dripping tap can waste up to anywhere between 30 and 200 litres of water a day. That’s over 70,000 litres a year.
dripping tap
So here are a couple of simple water saving tips to get you through spring and the long hot summer ahead.

Ensure all household and garden taps are always turned off tightly so they don’t drip. Don’t force taps as you can damage them and actually cause leaks.
Develop a regular routine of checking all indoor and outdoor taps, washers and pipes for leaks, cracks and breaks. Check all your household appliances for water leaks. Learn how to repair leaking taps; a new washer is inexpensive and easily available at your local hardware store.

If in doubt call us for some over the phone guidance on  02 9664 4990.

Water….. Water everywhere!

Its been raining……. a lot! We have had blocked stormwater pipes, blocked sewer pipes, burst pipes, damaged water pipes and leaking taps of all kinds to attend too. The common denominator is Water

Yes, Water.

Now summer is just around the corner and it’s getting hotter. We are exercising more and sweating a lot!
So my simple health tip, not just for athletes, is drink more water! It flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps the brain alert. It just makes you feel better.
Drink h2o

Help! Where does my Hot Water turn off?

HELP!

“My water heater is spitting out hot water and steam. Can you get over here Urgently?” “I don’t know how to turn it off and I think it’s going to explode!”

Monday morning brought a call from Deborah in Randwick. It sounds like a job for The Lone Drainer ……and Pronto.

Of course we were able to rescue Deborah. We replaced the water heater and the gas and water shut-off valves that controlled the unit. But, how many people don’t know how to turn off their water heater?

This image shows where to shut off the water and gas supply to the heater. Why don’t you practice turning the water heater off when it isn’t urgent?

If you need help Call us 02 9664 4990

Water heater valves

Don’t put it down your toilet!

Last night we had an emergency call out to a client we had helped recently. But first, let me paint a picture.

Two weeks ago “Kath”, who lives in a 1920s Coogee building had a blocked shower. Kath said it had been slow to drain since she moved in 6 years ago. A little investigation revealed the original pipes ran through the concrete floor and were corroded internally. Corrosion is one of the drawbacks living so close to the ocean.

Anyway, The Lone Drainer and Pronto Super-heroes Leigh and Chris, got her shower running “better than ever before”. In fact Kath rang our office to compliment the boys on their Ps, Punctual and Professional.

So I was surprised to get her evening call-out. It turns out her toilet was blocked! The shower and basin were draining better than ever before. The building has a 2 pipe system and shower, bath, basin and kitchen sink run down one pipe, while the toilet waste goes down the other.

After a little investigation we found there were tampons caught on the corroded inside of the waste pipe.
It was reasonably simple to clear the blockage. Although Kath was a little embarrassed we assured her the best way to prevent it happening again was to follow this simple rule.
Toilet sign

Flush with Facts

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 up to 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?

Who turned off the hot water?… 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 those that answered that the hot water is gonna get turned off in 1/2 hour for about 1/2 an hour.                                                                                                                                                                                          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.

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. 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

Toilet Hygiene

Here is a little fun on Friday! Have a great weekend.

And wash your hands!

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.

Washing machines & dishwasher maintenance

With 3 growing boys living at home who eat like there is no tomorrow, between playing rugby, cricket and doing patrols at Coogee Surf Club, we have plenty of dishes to wash up every day as well as laundry to do 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 install a new dishwasher 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, so 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 when you return.

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 of furniture were damaged.
  • The carpets in the hallway were waterlogged.
  • The parquet flooring at the end of the hallway had buckled and would need major repairs, then re-sanding and staining.
  • Not to mention the aggravation of removing all furniture and of course taking the young children away from the home for several days whilst these procedures were carried out. The fumes from the floor staining were intoxicating.

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.

Hot Water Heaters are Big ticket items $$$$

  1. Where is your hot water supply coming from.
  2. Is it electric or gas? Can you turn off the supply safely?
  3. The pressure relief valve (T&PR valve), usually near the top of the heater, should be eased quarterly; it does drip water under normal circumstances, but should not constantly be running.
  4. Turning your water heater off whilst on holidays saves electricity and gas. The unit will heat and cool whilst you’re away, wasting energy & your money. Turn it on when you return, have a coffee, unpack, say hi to neighbours etc. The water will be hot before you know it
  5. Don’t forget to shut off the water valve. Storage heaters are under pressure. My brother in law had his water heater burst about the time he boarded a jet for the islands. After 2 weeks, the damage to carpet, floorboards, furniture, paint added up – $$$$!
  6. Flexible water connections on the inlet and outlet of your water heater are dangerous. Check if you have them. If you do, I strongly recommend you have them removed and have the connections redone in copper tube and brass fittings. I guarantee these flexis will rupture and if they are indoors the damage they can cause is huge.
  7. Rusty water coming from the unit is a sign of age and potential disaster. Don’t ignore it!
Temperature & Pressure Relief valves. Dont forget to activate them

Temperature & Pressure Relief valves. Don’t forget to activate them.

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.