What is a Plumbing Emergency?

What is a Plumbing Emergency?

It is my experience that many clients mistakenly believe their job is a plumbing emergency.  The reality is that most are not and just require routine maintenance unless they are:

  • putting your or your family’s life at risk

  • flooding your house

Life-Threatening Plumbing Emergency

Gas Leaks

lraking gas is a plumbing emergency at Whywait PlumbingLeaking gas, whether it’s natural gas or LPG, is dangerous. There are no DIY gas repairs; you must always use a licensed gas fitter.

LPG is highly flammable and being a dense gas; it will sink to your floor and build in intensity. Natural gas is not as combustible as LPG but still dangerous, especially in confined spaces in your home.

If you suspect you can smell gas, then you likely have a gas leak. You need to immediately isolate the gas supply to your home at either the gas meter or at the gas bottles. Once isolated, call us immediately to organise a service call.

While you are waiting for us to arrive at your home ventilate your house by opening doors and windows. Ensure you turn off all your gas appliances and as a precaution your electrical appliances as well. Above all, do not use any naked flames.

Sewage Overflow

overflowing sewage is a plumbing emergency so call Whywait Plumbing nowOverflowing sewage from toilets or floor wastes needs to be taken seriously. Raw sewage flowing into your house or outside is hazardous, and the risk of contamination is real.

Drains overflowing inside or outside your home require urgent attention, which is why we have a 1-hour emergency plumbing response for overflowing blocked drains. Blocked drains are a potential health hazard and need to be solved by trained plumbers with the correct equipment.

Don’t be fooled that overflowing sewage is only from your sewer drains. Sewage overflow can originate from outside your property very quickly, primarily if your home is located below other properties or if you live in a highrise apartment.

Don’t try to solve raw sewage lying around your home yourself as mopping it up solves nothing. Raw sewage contains parasites, fungi and bacteria that will soak into your floors and walls.

The photo on the right is where we had raw sewage flowing through a three-story terrace house and had to remove all the carpet and throw it away as can be seen on the lawn. The sewage had penetrated floors and walls which all required which required a combination of structural drying restoration and replacement of gyprock plaster wall linings.

Burst Pipe

a burst flexi hose is a plumbing emergency so call Whywait PlumbingA burst water pipe or flexi hose is now an everyday occurrence for plumbers. This is due to the amount of plastic piping now installed in homes instead of copper pipe.

A burst flexi hose is unfortunately all too common. An average house now has multiple flexi hoses installed under the kitchen sink, under the bathroom vanity basins, under the toilet cistern and the laundry tub. The reality is that every flexi hose connected is potentially a ticking time bomb.

Burst or ruptured plastic hot and cold water reticulation pipes occur for multiple reasons such as age, high pressure, poor installation, accidentally drilling into them, poor quality pipe fittings or faulty workmanship.

A burst pipe can cause damage fast to your furniture, floor coverings, kitchen cabinets, vanity cabinets, walls and floors. You need to turn your water off quickly when you experience a burst with the best place at the isolating valve at your water meter. Once isolated, call us immediately as this is a plumbing emergency.

A burst pipe or flexi hose is not a DIY repair and needs to be done compliantly by a licensed plumber who will ensure that the pipe is repaired with approved WaterMark products in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018.

What Does a $0 Call Out Fee or No Call Out Fee for Plumbers Really Mean?

What Does a $0 Call Out Fee or No Call Out Fee for Plumbers Really Mean?

More and more Gold Coast plumbing businesses are advertising that they have no call out fee or a $0 call out fee. The perception this creates is that you are getting something for free as they will be cheaper. Of course, perception is never reality as no business can work for free. Let’s face it would you go to work for free?

Let’s face it, would you work for free?

$0 Call Out Fee or No Call Out Fee for Plumbers is not a Whywait Plumbing tactic

Call Out Fees Ensure All Costs Are Transparent

Legitimate, professional plumbing businesses charge a call out fee because it costs from $50 – $150 just to arrive at your door. A call out fee is there to cover the expense to reach your home. This is because employees are still paid for driving to your home plus there is the running cost of the vehicle and all the other costs that never stop in running a business. Simply the call out fee helps cover costs, it’s not a profit centre nor could any plumber live off a call out fee.

Reality is that if a plumber is not charging you a call out fee then they are going to charge you the cost in coming to your home somewhere else.

The reality is that if a plumber is NOT charging a call out fee then the cost is coming from somewhere else…namely the fee they charge for a job.

Advertising a $0 call out fee or no call out fee is purely playing with words. It is a tactic to get you to call them because they know once they are at your home you are unlikely to send them away because you just want the plumbing work done.

There are four separate tasks involved in undertaking a plumbing repair:

  • coming to your home
  • inspecting the reported plumbing problem
  • diagnosing the possible multitude of possibilities for what is causing the problem
  • undertaking the repairs

No Call Out Fee Is Simply Playing Word Games

The splitting of costs into the above cost centres is sensible and transparent because every cost has to be paid for. There is no cost advantage to you if you pay no call out fee but are then charged $155.00 to inspect the blocked toilet and then be told that you have what you already knew that the toilet is blocked and the cost to unblock the drain is $660! Its just semantics and word games to get you to call them because you saw the word FREE.

Remember if something is FREE, it has no value to the business offering it nor to the consumer receiving it. Two old sayings apply when considering using a company that advertises no call out fee:

  • there is no such thing as a free lunch
  • you get what you pay for

At Whywait Plumbing we charge a call out fee and offer an upfront fixed price guarantee. There is no game playing, our customers are always informed and there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises.

Is No Hot Water A Plumbing Emergency?

Is No Hot Water A Plumbing Emergency?

No Hot Water Emergency

If you are reading this blog because you have no hot water and wondering if having no hot water is a plumbing emergency, read on.

Generally speaking, if you have time to research a problem on Google then it’s probably not a plumbing emergency. Technically speaking, having no hot water isn’t exactly a plumbing emergency as the house is not being flooded and no lives are in danger, but still……

If you have no hot water and wish to pay after-hours emergency call-out charges we guarantee a 1-hour service.

But if you can wait to normal business hours for solving why you have no hot water we guarantee a same day service at Whywait Plumbing, but this may not be the case for other Gold Coast plumbing companies.

Even though no hot water usually isn’t an emergency in a technical sense, at Whywait Plumbing, we made the decision many years ago that we don’t consider hot water to be a luxury, so, for this reason, we offer a same day guarantee for a situation where your household is without hot water.

So why haven’t you got hot water?

In our 41 years of experience at Whywait Plumbing,  we have found the most common causes of having no hot water are:

  • Faulty element or thermostat (possibly both)
  • Relief valve constantly leaking
  • Faulty tempering valve
  • Off-Peak relay switch failing to activate
  • Insufficient sunlight to heat solar hot water
  • Demand exceeds capacity
  • Leaking hot water service

Hot Water Troubleshooting Checklist

Follow the DIY checklist below before calling for help starting with

Locate your hot water service and check the following:

  • Check for any leaks at the tank especially around the electrical box. (Do not remove the cover as doing this will expose live wires)
  • If the relief valve is leaking activate lever until the water runs out in a continuous flow, then return the lever to the original position and see if the leak stops.
  • A faulty tempering valve usually results in tepid water rather than no hot water, you can test this by activating the relief valve and checking if the water in the tank is hotter than the water delivered at the taps.
  • If your hot water service is connected to off-peak electricity check with your energy supplier to see if there have been any problems, in your suburb, with transmitting to the relay switch at your home.
  • For solar hot water check for foliage blocking sunlight to panels, that panels are clean and if cloudy or wet that the booster switch is on.

Locate the meter board and check the following:

  • Check the hot water switch is in the on position.
  • Check for a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse.

Emergency or not, having hot water that is not hot enough, or no hot water can be unpleasant and inconvenient.  However, you will be happy to know in most instances, it is a simple fix.

Handy Tips

Whywait Plumbing recommends that all adults residing in a household should at a bare minimum know:

  • Where the main water isolation valve for the property is located.
  • How to turn off the water at the water meter (usually located in a turf box on the property boundary).
  • How to turn off the water at the hot water service.
  • How to isolate the power to the house at the meter board.

Should an emergency arise where any of the above is required having this prior knowledge will allow the situation to be handled quickly and calmly allowing you to make the situation safe and minimising damage to the property.

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