At Whywait Plumbing we are frequently asked about installing water filters to make the water from the tap taste better. This we understand and agree with because everyone should ensure the water they drink, shower in, cook with, prepare coffee and tea with is as pure and safe as it can possibly be.
What frequently confuses us is clients saying yes I would like a filter but it is expensive to install and maintain so I am better off buying bottles of water. This astounds us on so many levels as about 40% of bottled water is regular tap water which is 1120 times more expensive than tap water costing on average $3000 per kilolitre compared to $3.27 per kilolitre from Gold Coast City Council or $5.06 per kilolitre from Logan City Council.
Whywait Plumbing can supply and install water filters from $202.15 with the ongoing maintenance costs for replacement filters from $22.30 which is only the cost of 70 bottles of water. Bottled water is not the solution it is the problem with people paying an astounding premium for a product that is frequently full of contaminants such as arsenic, fluoride, antimony and pharmaceutical drugs.
We all need to drink more water as your body is 70% water with your blood, muscles, lungs, and brain all containing water. You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. Water also helps transport oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. Drinking too little water or losing too much water leads to dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration include thirst, pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation.
You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating, and you lose more water when you’re active than when you’re sedentary. Diuretics, medications and alcohol increase the amount of water your body loses. A strong odour from your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, may indicate that you may not be getting enough water. Lost water must be replaced by the water in the foods you eat and the beverages you drink.
Everyone has different needs on how much water they need to drink. At least twenty percent of the water you need comes from the foods you eat. The rest comes from the beverages you drink. As a general rule 8 glasses of water a day are recommended although this depends on the amount of physical activity you undertake and the climate where you live.
Water is the best choice for re-hydration because it’s cheap and has no calories or added ingredients. Sweetened soft drinks have added sugar that adds extra calories but no additional nutritional value. Sports drinks contain minerals that may help keep your electrolytes in balance, which is good for recovering after a hard gym work out, but contain sugar and calories that you may not want. Vegetable juices can be a good choice because they have vitamins and minerals your body requires. Fruit juices are okay in moderation but frequently contain high sugar levels that you do not want. Caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee count, but too much caffeine can effect you.
Generally we all need to drink more water and the best way to ensure we drink the water our bodies require is to ensure a good quality and good tasting water supply is always readily available in our home or place of work. The best way to guarantee this is to install a water filter which is good for you and good for the environment. A water filter is a logical and cheaper alternative to bottled water as a single filter can prevent thousands of plastic water bottles from ending up in landfill and waterways further polluting our environment.
At Whywait Plumbing Services, we install, maintain and repair all types and models of water filtration systems. Whole of house or single above sink, you can trust Whywait Plumbing to provide the right solution for you and your family.
Mould is a common problem in bathrooms in South East Queensland due to our sub-tropical climate. Like most problems prevention is vital and often very simple.
Black mould on bathroom tiles
Because your bathroom and especially the shower area are the wettest areas in your home it is not uncommon to see black mould growing in the grouting and silicon sealants. Mould loves your bathroom because it is the perfect atmosphere to create the ideal conditions for mould growth in the cracks and gaps in the tiling. Consequently black mould grows in behind and through the grout joints on the tiles. As can be seen on the photo on the right black mould loves getting in behind the silicon seal on the internal corners whether it be the wall or the floor.
The most common area to find mould is in your shower where it is nourished by your body oils, shampoo and soap residue that are left behind every time the shower is used.
Poor air circulation actively assists mould growth as the warmth and moisture created in the enclosed area of a shower offer further ideal conditions for mould growth in the dark areas of the shower around the internal corners and the shower floor drain. Poor air circulation is easily resolved by ensuring you install a good quality bathroom extraction fan above the shower that turns on automatically to remove all of the steam and water particles while you are using the shower.
If you are suffering from black mould growth in your bathroom then Whywait Plumbing recommend that you act early to remove it before permanent stains are created. To get rid of early mould growth the best solution is to use a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Simply mix one cup of water with white vinegar and water to create a smooth paste. Then apply the paste to the areas where mould is growing, gently scrubing it with an old soft tooth brush until it starts to turn white and then leave it. After half an hour rinse off all the paste using your shower spray and if any mould still is visible you will need to repeat applying the paste and scrubbing it until all of the mould has disappeared.
The paste above will work perfectly on mould that is detected and removed early but if you have a real infestation then use a 50/50 mix of water and bleach in a spray bottle. Ensure you have adequate ventilation in the bathroom before you begin lightly spraying the mould. Once again spray then leave for half an hour, rinse off and spray again until all of the mould has disappeared.
Mould behind the silicon sealant on the internal corners will require more thorough work. First use a utility knife to scrape off all of the silicon and you may need to use a blade to scrape the remnants clear off the tiles. Once all of the silicon has been removed spray the mould with the 50/50 bleach until it has all disappeared. Once the mould has gone rinse the area clean and dry it thoroughly with a hot air dryer to ensure there is no moisture trapped in the open joint. Finally reapply a good quality mould resistant silicon to the joint which is specifically designed for high moisture areas.
If mould reappears within a few weeks then you may have problems with leaking pipes or fittings that require a thorough investigation by Whywait Plumbing to ensure you are not damaging internal frames and wall linings.
Remember mould is only a sympton of a bigger problem and ignoring will not make it disappear. If in any doubt call Whywait Plumbing for advice on how to deal with mould in your bathroom.
Traditionally toilets flushed 11 litres or 3 gallons of water every time they were flushed with the water all flowing along through a drainage system that was designed for large flows of water. Unless a drain was broken or roots entered the drain it was not common for a drain to block. That was of course until the advent of reduced flow dual flush toilets.
Now that toilet only flushes 4.5 litres of water on a full flush and 3 litres of water on a half flush into the drainage system. Coupled with reduced flows from every other tap this has produced a situation where drains designed for large flows of water have had the water flow reduced by 60% in most cases.
The increase in blocked drains due to the reduced water flows has been a big boost for plumbing companies such as Whywait Plumbing with drains clogging up for no other reason than lack of water flow. Often there is a dual problem of incorrect fall on the drain which creates high spots in the pipe leading to the drain becoming clogged at that point.
In Singapore scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have invented a new toilet system that will reduce the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90 per cent compared to current toilet systems. Dubbed the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet, it has two chambers that separate the liquid and solid wastes. Using vacuum suction technology, similar to those used in aircraft toilets it uses 0.2 litres of water for urine and 1.0 litres of water for solids.
The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet installed in a standard public toilet which is flushed 100 times a day, is expected to save 160000 litres of water a year. The NTU scientists are now looking to carry out trials by installing the toilet prototypes in two NTU public toilet facilities. This trial is important due to the issues that plumbers are already aware of with the drains blocking at 4.5/3 litre flushes so a 1.0/0.2 litre flush is expected to exacerbate this problem in existing buildings.
The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet with it’s two chambers that separate the liquid and solid wastes also will turn human waste into electricity and fertilisers. The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet will divert the liquid waste to a processing facility where components used for fertilisers such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be recovered. At the same time, the solid waste will be sent to a bioreactor where it will be digested to release bio-gas which contains methane. Methane is odourless and can be used to replace natural gas used in stoves for cooking. Methane can also be converted to electricity if used to fuel power plants or fuel cells. ‘Grey water’ (used water from the laundry, shower and kitchen sink) can be released back into the drainage systems without further need for complex waste water treatment, while leftover food wastes can be sent either to the bioreactors or turned into compost and mixed with soil, resulting in a complete recovery of resources.
The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet uses will be limited in traditional buildings but will be useful for eco resorts, new housing estates, hotels, resorts, and especially communities not linked to the main sewerage system or unable to be connected and so require their own sewerage facilities.
Associate Professor Wang Jing-Yuan, Director of the Residues and Resource Reclamation Centre (R3C) at NTU who is leading the research project, said that their ultimate aim is not only for the new toilet system to save water, but to have a complete recovery of resources so that none will be wasted in resource-scarce Singapore. “Having the human waste separated at source and processed on-site would lower costs needed in recovering resources, as treating mixed waste is energy intensive and not cost-effective,” Prof Wang said. “With our innovative toilet system, we can use simpler and cheaper methods of harvesting the useful chemicals and even produce fuel and energy from waste.”
The development of a No-Mix Vacuum Toilet has great potential for use on the Gold Coast in the development of tourist facilities in environmentally sensative areas where traditional sewerage systems cannot be installed.