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Plumbing Innovations are Disruptive Innovation

Plumbing Innovations are Disruptive Innovation

Plumbing innovations have always been the norm in the plumbing industry. Innovation is change and is always about better ways of doing the same thing.

When I started my apprenticeship the clearing of a blocked drain started using a plunger and was at least a two-man job using 1m long drainage rods. The rods were screwed together and manually pushed slowly down the drain until we hit the blockage. Clearing drains this way frequently took 3-4 hours.

Plumbing innovations mean that we now clear a blocked drain with state of the art high-pressure jetrodding technology that was unknown 20 years ago.

Innovation is always about change, but at Whywait Plumbing we have always been at the forefront of plumbing innovations. We have always lead change as Gold Coast plumbers from the purchase of our first high-pressure water jetting unit in 1992 or installing vehicle tracking systems or introducing guaranteed upfront pricing in 1999.

What we always considered was developing and improving our way of solving your plumbing problems is now referred to as disruptive innovation. I agree disruptive innovation is the new term in business in the 21st century. But it’s not new it’s just a new way of talking about improving our methods and practices using the latest technology.

Change is the norm, but it just appears to be frantic to an outside observer with online banking, online shopping, online flight bookings and so the list goes on. At least with plumbing, it can’t be done online except for those DIY enthusiasts who believe Google Plumbing has all the answers.

The level of disruption through plumbing innovations has impacted all plumbing installation and maintenance has been significant starting with:

  • Increasing use of prefabrication of bathroom and kitchen modules off-site where the plumbing is all undertaken in a factory, transported to the site and connected up to a water and drainage connection.
  • Continual advances in sustainability with the advent of low flow toilets, low flow taps, waterless urinals and recirculated hot water.
  • Advances in energy efficient products with heat pump hot water units, solar hot water, instant hot water and underfloor heating.
  • All of the different materials we now use in the pipework, relining of existing pipework, CCTV cameras to inspect pipes and pipe jointing methods where welding is now obsolete.
  • Excavation methods with advanced technologies in hydro excavation and tracking and locating of underground services.

The ongoing changes in technology in the plumbing industry are disruptive if not embraced. I agree that plumbing innovations cause a significant difference in how we undertake to solve plumbing problems and how the plumbers at Whywait work now.

Ultimately plumbing continues to be about protecting the health and safety of the community for now and the future to ensure we have good quality water and sewer systems in our buildings.

Replacing Your Hot Water Service? What You Need To Know

Replacing Your Hot Water Service? What You Need To Know

Replacing Your Hot Water Service – How Will You Know What’s Right For You?

When replacing your hot water service the most common question asked is what will it cost?
Whilst price is always an important consideration, at Whywait Plumbing believe that there are other equally important factors. This article will help you make an informed decision.

Should The Price of the Replacement Hot Water Service Be The First Consideration?

Besides renovating your home, replacing your hot water service is a major cost. It is often an expense that occurs with very little warning.
Unfortunately, unless you like cold showers, this gives you little time to carefully review available replacement options.

Hot water systems are not all created equal and the choice you make today will be one that lasts for the next ten to fifteen years. With ever-increasing energy costs impacting household budgets, having an efficient and well maintained hot water service has never been more important. A cheap hot water service may cost you a great deal more in ongoing expenses.

With So Many Hot Water Systems On the Market How Do You Know Which One To Choose?

With modern technological advances and the push for energy-efficient heating solutions, it’s no longer a matter of just replacing your hot water system with like for like.  So how do you know which hot water service to buy?

Hot water services are available in electric, gas, solar and heat pump models, and all come in a huge range of sizes. Purchasing the right hot water service for your needs is something you should seek advice about from a qualified hot water specialist. With a little help from Whywait’s Hot Water Specialists you will be able to select the system that best suits your situation.

Hot Water Service FAQ’s

Before making any decisions about a hot water service replacement you will need to think about:

  • What size is your current hot water service and have you ever run out of hot water with your current hot water system?
  • Does your current hot water service operate on an off-peak electricity tariff?
  • Are your hot water needs likely to increase, decrease or stay the same over the next five years?
  • Do you intend to remain in your current property for at least the next five years?
  • What is more important to you the initial up-front installation cost or the ongoing running costs?
  • Is the quality of the product and length of warranty a consideration when comparing hot water services?

Once you have answered the above points it will be time to consider the available options.

Do Solar Hot Water Systems Work In Winter?

Do Solar Hot Water Systems Work In Winter?

Ever wondered if solar hot water systems work in winter? The short answer is Yes, solar hot water systems do work in winter, it’s not that simple though so let us explain.

Solar Hot Water Collectors

The heart of a solar hot water system is its hot water collectors.  Solar hot water collectors capture and retain heat from the sun then transfer this heat to the water stored inside the tank.

So how do solar hot water collectors work?

Put simply, heat and infrared radiation are produced when short wave radiation light hits the reflective surface of the collector’s absorber, which is then trapped inside the collector.
Fluid, usually water, in contact with the absorber collects the trapped heat and transfers it to storage.

A common misconception is that your solar hot water system does not operate as well in the winter due to the cooler temperatures when in fact the real reason is the fewer hours of sunlight.

Solar Hot Water Collector Efficiency

The design of your solar hot water service has incorporated some technical factors to make the collector as efficient as possible.

Flat Panel Solar Collectors

The most common flat panel collector has a large surface area to maximise exposure to the sun. The coating used for the absorber has been formulated to absorb as much heat as possible and the glass is specially designed to allow as much light energy through as possible. Read more about Flat Panel Collectors.

A common misconception is that your solar hot water system does not operate as well in the winter due to the cooler temperatures when in fact the real reason is the fewer hours of sunlight.

Evacuated Tube Collectors

If your system has evacuated tube collectors then they will have long, skinny absorbers inside the glass tube and all the air will have been sucked out, which makes it highly insulated. Read more about Evacuated Tube Collectors.

Solar in a Warmer Climate

Here in Queensland we have a great climate for using Solar Hot Water and in most areas do not need to worry about pipes freezing. So when Queenslanders, or people living in a tropical climate, ask if solar hot water systems work well in winter, there is little to be concerned about. We still need to take some simple steps to ensure our solar hot water system is operating at its best during these cooler months though.

Handy Solar Hot Water Tips

Listed below are some handy tips to ensure your solar hot water system is operating to maximum efficiency and you don’t run out of hot water:

  • Cut back any foliage casting shadows or blocking sunlight from the panels.
  • Ensure there is no built up dirt or grime on the panels and clean with soapy water as required.
  • Check that the relief valve is operating correctly and not leaking.
  • If you run your dishwasher at night check it is connected to cold water only.
  • Any laundry loads done at night are cold water washes.
  • Review you evening hot water usage as remember any hot water used after dark won’t be reheated until the sunlight hits the panels the next morning.
  • Use the electric booster on wet, cloudy or days of heavy demand.

Help Is On Hand

Here at Whywait Plumbing we understand that not everybody has a ladder or is able to climb up on their roof.  Remember we are only a call away and happy to help!

Why Is My Hot Water Not Hot Enough?

Why Is My Hot Water Not Hot Enough?

A common question we get asked this time of year concerning hot water repairs is “Why is my hot water not hot enough?

We find our clients tend to notice this problem predominately when showering and in most instances, the temperature of the water hasn’t suddenly changed. It’s more than when the weather is fresher, and we tend to increase the ratio of hot to cold water, and therefore, any fault that affects the hot water becomes more apparent.

Hot Water Not Hot Enough, Common Causes

When customers ask “why is my hot water not hot enough” we always provide as much information as possible.

In our 42 years of plumbing experience and as hot water specialists, we have found the most common causes of this problem are:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these possible problems.

Malfunctioning tempering valve

Tempering valves are designed to blend hot and cold water to deliver water at a constant temperature that does not exceed 50’C. If water entering the tempering valve contains small amounts of sand or other debris, this can become lodged in the filters of the tempering valve and affect the operation of the valve resulting in lukewarm rather than hot water.  Read more about tempering valves.

Faulty hot water service

If your hot water service is older (usually 10-15 years) or you have overlooked regular maintenance, it could result in a problem with the heating system.

A hot water system fails most commonly at these points:

The element is the mechanism within the hot water service that heats the water with the thermostat being responsible for switching the element on and off. Any problem with either of these parts can result in disruption to your hot water.

The relief valve is responsible for releasing built-up pressure as the water heats. If this valve is continuously leaking, then you will lose hot water which in turn is replaced with cold water that cools the hot water stored in the tank.

Hot water demand exceeds the capacity

Typically if a tanks capacity is over 125L, then you would connect to one of the off-peak tariffs, which means that electricity used by the hot water system will be charged at a lower rate. While this makes for a cost-effective solution, it does come with some limitations as you do not have an unlimited supply and if for any reason your demand for hot water increases there is always the possibility that you could run out of hot water.

If you are finding the hot water in your household is consistently not hot enough, and repairs are not required, then seriously consider a more substantial capacity, new hot water system.

Help Is On Hand

Here at Whywait Plumbing, we don’t consider hot water a luxury, it is a necessity. So if you are experiencing a cold shower and asking yourself why is my hot water not hot enough, call us now for Same Day Service.

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