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Asbestos In Your Bathroom

Asbestos In Your Bathroom

Asbestos in your bathroom is just one of the many issues that can confront you when undertaking a bathroom renovation. Until the early 1980’s the use of asbestos sheets in bathrooms was the norm and can be sitting beneath your bathroom tiles with potential deadly consequences.

Asbestos removal by specialist licensed contractors is only one of the issues you must be aware of when undertaking a DIY bathroom renovation. Despite what you get told in big box hardware outlets such as Bunnings or Masters there are a number of areas that must be undertaken by fully licensed and insured professional contractors being:

  • electrical
  • plumbing and gas fitting
  • asbestos removal
  • water proofing
  • pest control

In all of the above DIY is not an option to reduce costs as doing so has consequences because it is:

  • illegal
  • dangerous to the point of being life threatening
  • usually results in non compliant and sub standard installation
  • non insurable with it creating a situation where any future insurance claims will be denied and the policy null and void
  • removes all warranty protection from products that are defective

If you are confident and capable Whywait Plumbing fully endorse undertaking labouring work yourself, purchasing materials and running the project but remember short cuts and cheap non compliant products will always come back to haunt you.

By Gary Mays

Can My Gas BBQ Explode

Can My Gas BBQ Explode

Can my gas BBQ explode is a question we get asked every summer as we all love a barbecue its part of our lifestyle. But every year far too many people suffer severe burns and injuries.

Most barbecues have been lying around, unused over the winter months and as soon as the warm weather returns we all fire up the barbecue without a second thought as to whether its safe to use.

Gas bottles with their regulator and hose connections are the most common potential for leaking LPG gas to literally explode when you are using it.

Before using your barbecue this summer we recommend that you spend 5 minutes to carry out the following:

  • check all your connections are tight
  • check the gas hose from the bottle to the barbecue to make sure it has not perished
  • a soapy water spray leak test on the gas bottle, gas regulator, rubber hose and hose connections

Above is a short video that will run you through seven simple checks before using your barbecue that shows all of the tests listed above including a soapy water test.

Once you have checked your connections are tight and checked the rubber gas hose for any signs of being perished please ensure you carry out a soapy water leak of all the connections.

parts of a gas bottle

You can create soapy water in a bowl with soap and brush it on, or preferably use a spray bottle where you put some gel soap into a spray bottle with water and spray all of the connections.

If a leak is present, the soapy water will produce bubbles indicating the location of the leak. If a leak is detected, you may need to disconnect the joint and clean the mating surfaces. Then re-connect and re-check for leaks again. If you continue to see leaks then it is likely that fitting needs replacing before using the barbecue.

A gas leak on a barbecue can spread very quickly as you can see in the photo above which is why you should follow these basic rules:

  • never use a gas barbecue indoors or in a confined space
  • do not connect or disconnect a LPG cylinder in the vicinity of a naked flame and always shut off the cylinder valve before disconnecting from the barbecue
  • do not use a gas barbecue in windy conditions as if the flames are blown out the LPG can accumulate and create a potential explosion

LPG gas cylinders seldom explode because they all come with a pressure relief valve so if there is a problem with heating up, the relief valve automatically allows the LPG to vent. Consequently rather than exploding the venting LPG in the worst possible scenario can ignite if there is an ignition source and you have a spectacular plume of flame going upwards. The cylinder will in a short time run out of gas and the flame will extinguish and this is why you always use a barbecue outside and away from the house in a well-ventilated area separated from ignition sources.

Remember if you smell gas always turn off the valve at the gas bottle. All gas installation work must be undertaken by a licensed gasfitter so if you have any questions contact Whywait Plumbing Services now.

By Gary Mays

A Plumbing Inspection Is Not A Guarantee

A Plumbing Inspection Is Not A Guarantee

A plumbing inspection by the council is not a guarantee and never have been, they are a compliance audit – nothing more, nothing less.

Recently Kelly from Hope Island sent me an email which began with the comment that, “builders are liars, plumbers are incompetent and the Gold Coast plumbing inspectors are frauds who take no responsibility…..” 

I can only repeat to Kelly what many of us know and see everyday in new or recently renovated buildings – “everyone who worked on your home did so because they were the cheapest not because they were the best qualified and skilled to undertake the work.” Sadly that has become the reality in the construction industry.

The pressure by builders on plumbers to reduce prices and take “SHORT CUTS” increases daily as I have stated previously and in fairness is frequently driven by the client demanding a cheaper price looking for the “BEST DEAL”.

In respect to Kelly’s comment about the Gold Coast plumbing inspectors, I understand the remark as there is a common urban myth that once your home or building has had a final inspection that it has been certified by the council and that the plumbing is perfect and that they are guaranteeing it.

This is not correct as the plumbing inspectors functions are set out in the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002. A plumbing inspector’s functions are to conduct investigations and inspections for monitoring and enforcing compliance with-
(a) the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002; or
(b) the Sustainable Planning Act 2009; or
(c) the Local Government Act 2009.

The important word in the legislation is COMPLIANCE. When the council inspector signs off the plumbing and drainage work on your home after being requested to undertake a final inspection by the licensed plumber who is responsible for the work you will only get a letter that says it is a PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE and it will state clearly that, “This Compliance Certificate approves the regulated work or on-site sewerage work for the above property in respect of Compliance Permit number…..”   

A compliance certificate from the plumbing inspectors are not a guarantee in any way shape or form and should not be construed as such.

Unfortunately and sadly but these days it is ultimately up to you to make sure that you are getting high standard, quality work by ensuring you are dealing with reputable, experienced licensed contractors who perform work to the standards set out in the Plumbing Code of Australia.

Always ask to see the plumber’s contractors license and always ensure for insurance purposes you get a copy of either the council compliance certificate or the QBCC form 4 compliance certificate depending upon the work you have had undertaken.

By Gary Mays

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