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.

Your plumbing hates you! All homeowners find this out eventually 1
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.
Your plumbing hates you! All homeowners find this out eventually 2
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.

Your plumbing hates you! All homeowners find this out eventually 3

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.

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?

Call Out fees help 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 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.

Reality is that 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.

What Does a $0 Call Out Fee or No Call Out Fee for Plumbers Really Mean? 4

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

The splitting of costs into the above cost centres is sensible and transparent because every cost must 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 that you already knew was blocked and then to be informed 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 or to 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 fee or diagnostic fee and provide an upfront fixed price guarantee for all residential, domestic clients. There is no game playing, our clients are always informed of costs upfront, 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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