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Mitigating Flood Damage: How to Implement Water Surge Protection in Water Pipes

Mitigating Flood Damage: How to Implement Water Surge Protection in Water Pipes

What is a water surge or water hammer?

At Whywait Plumbing, we understand that a water surge or water hammer can be frustrating and potentially damaging for homeowners. That’s why we’re here to explain the problem in simple terms and offer solutions for preventing and resolving it.

Water hammer or water surge is a common issue in any system that utilises pipework, valves, pumps, and other equipment to control water flow or other liquids throughout a building.

One of the most common causes of a water surge or water hammer is the rapid closing of a valve. When a valve is closed quickly, water hits a dead end, sharp bend, or any other situation that creates a high-pressure shockwave to travel through the pipework, causing a loud banging noise and increased pressure. This can damage pipes, fittings, and appliances and cause leaks.

Another common cause of water surge is a problem with your pressure pump system. If your pump is malfunctioning, it can create a surge of pressure that can cause the same issues as a rapidly closed valve.

 The effects of water hammer can range from a loud knocking or banging noise in the pipes to more severe issues such as broken pipework. However, the risks posed by water surge are particularly significant in high-rise buildings.

High-rise buildings are susceptible to water surge

Most high-rise buildings have at least one riser that runs from the basement to the top floor and connects to smaller distribution pipework on each floor. Suppose a pump stops operating, for example, due to a power cut or a fault in the system. In that case, the water pressure in the building gradually declines as outlets are opened, and the remaining water in the system is drained under gravity.

This can create a vacuum in the pipework, depending on whether there are non-return valves or pressure-reducing valves installed in other parts of the water pipe reticulation system. When the power is restored, and the pump begins to operate again, it restores system pressure to pre-set levels. However, if the unit is not designed, installed and maintained correctly and does not have a comprehensive “soft fill mode”, the water hammer or water surge will be almost unavoidable.

In the worst-case scenario, pressurised water is pushed into a vacuum, causing the water to accelerate beyond expected design velocities. This can be due to multiple pumps running or pumps that are designed as “standby”. This results in a hydraulic shock to the pipework that can be beyond the operating pressure of the system, potentially causing weak pipework or connections to burst, resulting in flooding and expensive water damage within the building.

Not only is this expensive to repair, it means downtime to the building’s water supply. It is also a severe health and safety risk to those occupying the building during the burst.

water surge is a danger to high rise buildings on Gold Coast

Recommended precautions

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions. One solution is to ensure that you have a booster set with a surge protection feature, so when the pumps are powered back up, they are limited to one pump and gradually increase their pressure to avoid ramping up too quickly. In addition, an AWSPV valve or an Air and Water Protection Valve can be installed at the top of each riser. This device not only avoids vacuum being created, but it also forces air through the “anti-surge” orifice when the system is filling, allowing for the deceleration of the incoming water supply, thanks to the resistance created by rising air pressure in the AWSPV valve.

This softens the potential pressure spike when the AWSPV valve finally closes. The AWSPV valve design ensures effective de-aeration under all pipeline flow and operating conditions via one of three discharge orifices. Once the system is full and free of air, the valve seals and must be piped to a drain or safe area to ensure any leaks are discharged to a visible position. This ensures that everything is visible without causing further water damage.

In conclusion, a water hammer or water surge is a common issue in any system that utilises pipework, valves, pumps, and other equipment to control water flow throughout a building. High-rise buildings are particularly at risk due to the potential for a vacuum to be created when the water pressure is restored, which can cause a surge in water pressure and potentially cause damage to the pipework or connections. By taking the necessary precautions, such as ensuring a booster set with a surge protection feature and installing an Air and Water Protection Valve, you can avoid these issues and ensure the safety and reliability of your building’s water supply.

Proactive prevention you should implement

To prevent water surge, it is crucial to have your plumbing system regularly inspected and maintained by a professional plumber. This can help identify any potential issues before they become a problem.

Even in your traditional home, installing a water hammer arrestor, a device that absorbs the shock wave created by a rapidly closed valve, can help prevent water surge or water hammer from occurring.

If you have doubts about whether you are experiencing a water hammer or a water surge in your home or your high-rise building, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Whywait Plumbing. Our team of experienced plumbers can diagnose the problem, offer solutions, and get your plumbing system back to working correctly. Whether a simple adjustment or a complex repair, we have the skills and expertise to get the job done right.

At Whywait Plumbing, we are experts in protecting you from water surge or water hammer. We can help you understand the causes of your problems and recommend the best solutions for your home or high-rise building. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

All tap braided flexible hose water damage is eliminated with auto flood stop isolation valves

All tap braided flexible hose water damage is eliminated with auto flood stop isolation valves

Protect your home from burst flexible hoses with auto flood stop isolation valves

One of the most common causes of home water damage is burst flexible hoses. These hoses are often used for taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, and fridges.

While they are convenient, they can also be a source of severe problems if they burst. That’s why it’s essential to have an auto flood stop isolation valve installed on any flexible hose in your home. These valves will automatically shut off the water flow if a hose bursts, helping to prevent extensive damage.

What are auto flood stop isolation valves, and how do they work

Auto flood stop isolation valves are specifically designed to prevent flooding in homes. These isolation valves can detect and arrest water flow when flexible hoses burst, thus preventing water spillage into the adjacent rooms and flooding houses.

The valve works by acting as a check for water should the flexible hose start leaking and detects excessive water usage, triggering an automatic shut-off of the isolation valve so that the house remains safe from water damage. With these auto flood stop isolation valves, homeowners can rest easy knowing their home is protected even when flexible hoses burst.

Burst flexible hoses are a prime reason for installing auto flood stop isolation valves in your home

Installing water auto shut-off valves in your home can be a great way to protect your property from water damage caused by burst flexible hoses. Not only does water damage from these sources cause immediate destruction in the area it leaks, but it can also cause long-term issues as water works its way into walls, floors, and other unseen areas.

Installing water auto shut-off valves helps you avoid expensive repairs that can come with water damage and give you peace of mind knowing that the auto shut-off valve will turn off the water before a disaster quickly. Preventative measures such as installing water auto shut-off valves should be essential to caring for your property and should not be ignored.

How to install them in your home’s plumbing system

Installing auto flood stop isolation valves in your home plumbing system can seem intimidating, but it can be straightforward with the right expertise and assistance. At Whywait Plumbing, we are experienced in installing auto flood stop isolation valves to ensure a secure and proper installation. In addition, we will be able to run through the whole process with you and answer any questions.

Overall, auto flood stop isolation valves provide significant protection for your home plumbing system, making installation worth it in the long run.

The benefits of having auto flood stop isolation valves in your home

Having auto flood-stop isolation valves in your home is a great way to lower your insurance premiums and provide protection from water damage caused by burst flexible hoses. This type of valve automatically shuts off the water supply when it detects excessive water usage, reducing the risk of severe water damage to your home.

This extra layer of defence can give you peace of mind that you are doing all you can to protect your home and lower the chance of incurring expensive rectification costs associated with water damage. Additionally, installing them could mean lower insurance premiums since using such a device shows that you have put measures in place to protect your home from potential disaster.

Why you need auto flood stop isolation valves installed now

Auto flood stop isolation valves are a reliable and effective means of avoiding burst flexible hoses and stopping potentially disastrous leaking in your home. Such valves will detect any burst flexible hoses or fittings immediately. The containment of hot and cold water up to the isolation valve can be stopped within seconds.

This is possible with the help of a built-in detector in the valve that constantly monitors water pressure and flow rate while also ensuring that taps and appliances have the correct amount of pressure running through them. Thus, auto flood stop isolation valves provide homeowners with peace of mind and utmost safety in dealing with burst flexible hoses without incurring too much cost or worries about burst flexible hoses flooding the house.

Although auto flood stop isolation valves are not required to be installed, they offer increased protection for your family and valuables. Imagine the damage that could occur with a bathroom vanity mixer tap hot water flexible hose bursting while you are on holiday. In that case, the valve will automatically shut off the hot water flow into the mixer, limiting the amount of damage that can occur. Installation is relatively simple and can be done by licensed plumbing professionals at Whywait Plumbing.

Have you considered adding auto flood stop isolation valves to your home?

Commendation of Exceptional Service from Whywait Plumbing

Commendation of Exceptional Service from Whywait Plumbing

Whywait Plumbing Receives High Praise for Exceptional Service

Below is an email I received from a client yesterday, which got me thinking once again about how critical we are as plumbers. Yes, electricians are sparkies. They’ve got a cute nickname. And carpenters are chippies, which is also cute. But us plumbers, we are they just called, well, plumbers? Could it be something to do with respect for plumbers stemming from our profession’s long history?

Take a look at the history books. You’ll find plumbum – that’s lead to you and me – being fashioned into pipes by the early Romans. Those pipes, courtesy of your everyday plumber, carried the lifeblood of Rome: clean water in, dirty water out. No plumber, no pipes. No pipes, no Rome. And without Rome, you and I’d be chattering in a different tongue and dancing to the beat of a different legal drum.

Our world today? Brought to you by plumbers with clean water in and dirty water out, still.

On the face of it, plumbing doesn’t look like a walk in the park, does it? Plumbers spend their days on their knees, elbow-deep in what is often a mystery. Plumbers are under sinks wrestling with rot and rats or shoulder-deep in drains tackling who knows what. And if they’re not there, they’re in your ceiling space, bent like a pretzel in the swelter, tools in hand, while the homeowners beneath send desperate prayers.

And yet, who do people dial when disaster strikes? Not the sparky. Not the chippy. It’s the plumber who’s the knight in shining fluro shirts. We’re the ones which stem the flood, who avert the ruin, the guardians of your water pipes and drains, the heroes of your home. We’re your round-the-clock rescuers, knights of the drip and Lancelots of the leak.

I’ve discovered that plumbers are more than just repairmen; you are everyday heroes…

Subject: Commendation of Exceptional Service from Whywait Plumbing

Dear Mr Mays,

I trust this message finds you well. I am writing this email to share my utmost satisfaction and appreciation for the excellent plumbing service I recently received from you and your team.

Before my interaction with you, I was, admittedly, one of those who underappreciated a skilled plumber’s invaluable role in maintaining life’s fundamental necessities. The day my home’s plumbing system suffered a significant malfunction with our sewer drain was a harsh wake-up call. This incident brought to light that the harmony of a home could be disrupted by a plumbing failure, affecting everything from morning rituals to essential domestic routines.

Then came Whywait Plumbing, embodying the knight in shining armour – armed not with a sword but an array of exciting plumbing tools, pipes, and an unparalleled understanding of the intricate plumbing networks. You arrived promptly after my distress call, ready to tackle the issues at hand, a testament to your swift response time.

Your team displayed a unique blend of skill, professionalism, and an intuitive understanding of my home’s plumbing infrastructure. The way your team identified and resolved the problem was almost poetic. It was like watching a maestro conducting a symphony, an artist creating a masterpiece, or a coder decoding complex algorithms. There was a beauty to the simplicity with which you made sense of the chaos and brought harmony back into my home.

Not only was the issue resolved efficiently, but you also took the time to explain the situation and preventative measures to avoid future issues. This commitment to customer education is something I greatly appreciate and is not something that every service provider offers. Your respect for my time, understanding of my concern, and dedication to ensuring a solution that was both quick and lasting is something worth acknowledging.

The experience made me reconsider my previous misconceptions about plumbers and their work. I’ve come to recognise your vital role in our society, upkeeping the comfort and functionality of our homes. I’ve discovered that plumbers are more than just repairmen; you are everyday heroes, quietly ensuring our lives go unhampered.

In conclusion, I want to express my deep gratitude to the entire Whywait Plumbing team. I am beyond satisfied with the service I received. The professionalism, knowledge, and human touch your team brought to the task were simply outstanding. You’ve earned a customer for life, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Whywait Plumbing to anyone needing top-tier plumbing services.

Best Regards,

Tiffany Zang

Choose Whywait and Consider It Done

Upon receiving the email, I immediately contacted Tiffany to extend my gratitude. As we conversed, she shared her previous experiences with service providers on the Gold Coast, echoing the issues I’ve observed throughout many years in the industry. However, as I explained to her, it’s not my place to comment on other businesses. Each one operates distinctively, driven by its unique blend of training, equipment, experience, ethics, and cost structures.

Humbled by her praise, I asked Tiffany’s permission to share her words publicly. She gladly consented, her gratitude palpable for everything our dedicated team at Whywait accomplished to rectify her blocked drains.

In closing, I think Tiffany’s words encapsulate our mission perfectly: “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Whywait Plumbing to anyone needing top-tier plumbing services.” This is a testament to the dedication, expertise, and commitment to customer satisfaction that we strive to uphold in every task we undertake. As we’ve said for many years, choose Whywait and consider it done.

Your plumbing hates you! All homeowners find this out eventually

Your plumbing hates you! All homeowners find this out eventually

Your plumbing hates you! It’s a fact.

Your plumbing hates you because you show no respect for your plumbing systems. You routinely do hideously disgusting things to it, with it and into it.

You routinely ignore the needs of your plumbing systems to be given some tender loving care. You just assume your plumbing will always work for you as you desire.

Your plumbing literally sees you at your worst. As a consequence, it’s always plotting revenge on you. Those gurgling sounds you sometimes hear when you flush the toilet is your plumbing waiting for the right moment to strike back in revenge.

The favourite time for your plumbing to strike back with a lethal attack is at Christmas or Easter when plumbers are scarce and have to charge expensive call-out rates.

That gurgling sound you hear when you flush the toilet is liquid evil

The most mistreated plumbing fixtures in any home are the toilet and kitchen sink. The toilet is the most abused plumbing fixture as it’s considered a receptacle to dispose of anything and everything.

Describing gurgling sounds as liquid evil is a perfect description. The photo below illustrates perfectly why paper towels should not be thrown into the toilet.

Paper towels as you can see are not designed to be flushed down a toilet. Paper towels are not designed to enter your sewer drains. If you choose to flush paper towels into your toilet the photo below perfectly illustrates why your plumbing hates you.
As you can see the plumbing systems had the ultimate revenge for the lack of respect. In this instant, the paper towels work their way through to the manhole and blocked the entire sewer drainage system.

The paper towels will frequently block your toilet pan but they can flush through into the sewer drain where they will slowly go down the drain until they jam against a junction or a point where flow is restricted such as in a manhole.

From there on the whole plumbing system will grind to a halt as the water from every drainage point in your house fills up the sewer drains.

Foreign objects that cause a blocked toilet are flushable wipes, paper towels, facial tissues, cotton tips, Q-tips, cotton buds, ear cleaners, hair removal wax strips, cotton balls, pantie liners, sanitary napkins and our old favourite of children’s toys.

Gurgling drains don’t clear themselves ever!

If your main sewer drains block, it doesn’t take long for your homes toilets and internal drains to begin to back up.

Hopefully, your overflow relief gully works correctly, and the sewage overflows into your garden rather than inside your house. Either way, it’s messy and yucky having to clean up sewage that has overflowed.

Blocked drains, whether backed up or overflowing, are not only inconvenient but can also pose a risk to your health.

Gurgling drains, smelly drains or slow draining sinks are all signs that your blocked drains need urgent attention.

Plumbing problems are confronting

Solving plumbing problems can be a challenge for us as plumbers and you as a client. The reality is solving plumbing problems takes time, patience and, above all, experience.

Google searches do not make you into an instant plumber. In our experience, a Google diagnosis is generally wrong.

Regretfully many people associate plumbers with unpleasant events that they have experienced with their plumbing, such as a burst pipe or overflowing sewage that flooded their house.

Due to the emergency type situations that most people call a plumber out for, there are numerous misconceptions about what a plumber can do and cannot do quickly. In too many circumstances, this is aligned to the cost rather than the outcome which seldom solves the problem.

Your plumbing hates you since you have a lot of plumbing infrastructure 

Bear in mind you have considerable plumbing infrastructure that is out of sight and consequently out of mind. That is until it stops functioning.

The reality is 90% of your plumbing infrastructure is concealed in walls, under your floor, in your roof space or underground outside.

Below the photo of sewer drains, we installed at Southport Sharks illustrates what we face as plumbers when diagnosing your plumbing problems.

The sewer drains inside your house under the floor once installed are inaccessible as they are covered by concrete. To repair the drains is a significant cost in just accessing them coupled with rectification and then replacing the concrete.

sewer drains at Southport Sharks installed by Whywait Plumbing illustrate why your plumbing hates you
Maintaining your plumbing infrastructure is an investment. In our experience, most unforeseen problems with your plumbing originate from when your home was originally constructed. As I’ve said many times these days, in reality, all buildings are constructed to a cost, not to the legal, regulatory standards of the National Construction Code (NCC) administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).

The photo below illustrates how much work we have undertaken to repair broken sewer drains under your concrete floor. In this instance the work required was:

  • locate by CCTV drain camera the exact location of the broken pipes
  • cut the concrete slab with a quick-cut demolition saw
  • remove the slabs of concrete and dispose of off-site
  • excavate by hand to expose the sewer drain pipes
  • cut and remove the broken and crushed sections of the PVC sewer drain
  • install new PVC pipes with flexible joints
  • test the drain to ensure there were no leaks and it was fully functional
  • backfill and compact the excavation
  • drill into the concrete slab to install reinforcing steel to tie the replacement concrete to the existing slab
  • install a replacement concrete slab
your plumbing hates you until Whywait Plumbing repair the drain

Concealed plumbing infrastructure will always be expensive to repair

We understand how you can feel that your plumbing hates you when we have to undertake major work to repair plumbing infrastructure that is concealed in walls or under your concrete floor.

From our perspective, we know we are delivering bad news that you don’t want to hear. The frustrating thing is that you frequently don’t see all the work that goes into repairing a broken sewer drain as by the time we are finished there is literally nothing to see. The video below illustrates perfectly the repairs we undertook on a drain under a 50 year old stone wall and when completed you would never have known we had been there.

Proactive prevention is preferable to a reactive emergency

There will always be unplanned plumbing emergencies that you can never foresee. That is a simple fact of life.

But proactive preventative maintenance can eliminate the majority of potential plumbing emergencies.

This is why we recommend our Service Partner Plan© to all our clients. The annual audit is focused on locating potential problems before they occur.

Enquire today how you can simply be signed up to get extra benefits and service advantages in managing your properties plumbing, drainage, roofing and gas infrastructure.

service partner plan from Whywait Plumbing
Whywait Plumbing are Master Plumbers
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?

Be honest – would you work for free?

More and more Gold Coast plumbing businesses are advertising that they have no call-out fee or a $0 call-out fee.

This creates a perception that you are getting something for free as it 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?

Call Out fees help ensure all costs are transparent

Legitimate, professional plumbing businesses charge a call-out fee because it costs $50 – $150 to arrive at your door.

A call-out fee is there to cover the expense of reaching your home or business. 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.

If a plumber is not charging you a call-out fee, they will charge you the cost of travelling to your home or business elsewhere.

A no-call out fee is purely a marketing ploy

Advertising a $0 call-out fee or no call-out fee is purely playing with words.

A no-call-out fee is a marketing tactic to get you to call them to come to your job.  Plumbers that use this tactic know that you are unlikely to send them away once they are at your home because you want the plumbing work completed.

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 repair

There is no such thing as a free lunch

Splitting costs into the above cost centres is sensible and transparent because every expense must be paid.

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 that you already knew was blocked and then be informed the cost to unblock the drain is $660! It’s 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 or the consumer receiving it.

Two old sayings apply when considering using a plumbing 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 or diagnostic fee and provide an upfront fixed-price guarantee for all residential and domestic clients. As a result, there is no game-playing, our clients are always informed of costs upfront, and there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises.

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