A combination of disposable wipes, paper towels and toilet paper blocking a drain because they were unable to break down in water.
Plumbing urban myths abound these days with social media and media sensationalism.
For the plumbing technicians at Whywait it’s frequently hard to get clients to understand factual information because they have Googled their problem and found what is, in reality, a plumbing urban myth that seems to fit.
Unfortunately, plumbing urban myths abound and below are a few popular myths and the real facts:
- Myth – disposable baby, kitchen or bathroom wipes and paper towels can be flushed down a toilet. Fact – The photo above is a pipe full of disposable wipes, paper towels and toilet paper that shows they don’t break down and degrade like toilet paper but pile up inside the drain and block your entire sewer drainage system.
- Myth – loud banging noises in a hot water service are a warning sign that it is about to burst and leak. Fact – unfortunately, there are no real warning signs that a hot water service is about to start leaking. If you do hear banging or rumbling noises coming from the actual storage tank it indicates that the loose minerals in the sediment in the bottom of the tank are causing air bubbles during the heating cycle and that in reality, your hot water service needs a 5 yearly service that includes flushing the tank of sediment.
- Myth – Thomas Crapper invented the toilet. Fact – No he did not invent it but made it work better with the flushing mechanism.
- Myth – Water flushes in a toilet clockwise in Australia in the southern hemisphere but anti-clockwise in Germany in the northern hemisphere. Fact – No the actual design of the toilet bowl dictates which direction water flushes as such a small amount of water is not affected by the Coriolis Effect.
Myths are often fun but the reality is plumbing urban myths can be dangerous if taken as factual which is why plumbing problems should always be diagnosed and repaired by a licensed plumbing contractor.
Not Compliant? It’ll Be Expensive!
Plumbing Costs for Correct and Compliant Work
Plumbing is expensive if not done correctly and compliantly. Quality plumbing is not a luxury but is a legal requirement under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.
Cheap, illegal plumbing repaired by Whywait Plumbing after sewer odours were escaping inside an office because there was a 35mm gap allowing the odours to escape where a 65mm pipe had been pushed inside a 100mm pipe
Not everyone can afford a Lexus GS450h at $130497 or a BMW 7 Series 760Li 4 door Sedan at $141,200, but everyone can afford and should ensure they use a quality plumbing company. So if price is your only consideration, PLEASE phone another plumber as there are plenty of “cheap”, “competitively priced”, “discount”, “budget priced” plumbers out there who will do your work to a price but for your own sake please make sure they are:
- licensed plumbers by the Plumbing Industry Council
- licensed plumbing contractors with Queensland Building and Construction Commission
- insured for your protection with at least $10 million of Public Liability
However if you have come to the conclusion that your home is your biggest investment and you want to maintain your home to peak value then please phone Whywait Plumbing provided you want the work undertaken legally and compliantly with Australian WaterMark approved materials and highly skilled licensed plumbers who guarantee their work.
Please don’t phone us and ask for free quotes or free advice over the phone as no professional plumber can give you a price over the phone without an on-site diagnosis. Believe me, every plumbing installation is a one-off no matter how similar they appear.
Just remember if you use the cheap meeting the standard market price plumber ask to visually to see their plumbing license and their contractor’s license as they are required to carry them with them by law. In the end, these licenses are put in place by the Queensland Government for your protection, not for the plumber’s protection.
If you want cheap plumbing or free plumbing estimates or discount to meet the market pricing please do both of us a favour and save each others time by calling someone else.
By Gary Mays
Increases continue for average Gold Coast water bill in 2014
The average Gold Coast water bill continues to increase. Did you know another water bill will arrive soon, in October despite the fact you have not yet received your six-monthly water account for the first half of 2014?
Due to legislative changes as from 1 July 2014, your water account will be issued quarterly, usually in July, October, January and April of each year.
The rationale behind this law change is that quarterly bills will assist in monitoring your water usage plus the bills will not be as large as they have been previously when bills only came out every six months.
Tugun Desalination Plant that was constructed entirely from borrowed money that we repay for now in our water bills even though it only operates in “hot standby” mode when there is a critical supply emergency
For most clients of Whywait Plumbing that means you will be getting another bill from Gold Coast Water or Logan Water in October, albeit only about half of the one you will receive for the first six months of 2014.
Many of us remember when water was virtually free on the Gold Coast and the only time you got charged for it was if you used excess water over and above the very generous allowance that was paid for as part of your council rates.
However, cheap water is the past thanks to poorly costed projects such as the construction of the South-East Queensland water grid and the Tugun desalination plant.
The reality of today is that water is expensive. The only guarantee anyone can give you on the cost of water is that it will continually increase every year.
For Gold Coast and Logan residential property owners who use the average water consumption of 250k/L annually your yearly bill on the Gold Coast will be $1887.20 compared to Logan of $1939.60 which is a slight difference of $52.40.
Ultimately we all have to be vigilant in ensuring that the integrity of our household water reticulation pipes is maintained at all times because a small water leak left to flow can add up to thousands of dollars in a very short time. This is why Whywait recommend every home should have water leak monitoring installed.
An observant client phoned Whywait Plumbing this week asking, “what do rust spots mean on the flexible hoses on my tap in the kitchen sink.”
Rust is always a warning sign and in a kitchen cupboard, rust spots on the exterior of the stainless steel braided flexible hoses are a good indication that the hose should be replaced before it bursts. The rust is caused by either of the following:
- chemical leakage from household chemicals stored in the cupboard
- deterioration of the inner rubber tube liner
Essentially all stainless steel braided flexible hoses are a stainless steel braided sheath over an inner tube, usually made of highly durable EDPM rubber. The water pressure forces the EDPM rubber inner tubing to expand against the braiding to avoid any uneven stress pressure and preventing further expansion.
If the inner tube liner ruptures and starts to leak the braided stainless steel is also unlikely to rupture at the same time. Usually, water will just leak through the braided stainless steel initially which will result in either rust spots, water leaking or ultimately if the warning signs go unseen a burst hose with the resultant flooding.
Like all plumbing fixtures, a stainless steel flexible hose has a life expectancy and does require periodic checking based on:
- ensuring water pressures are not exceeding 500kPa
- ensuring water temperature is not excessive
- are not being affected by corrosive chemicals
- are installed correctly and the hose is not kinked or stretched
Preventative maintenance is always the most positive way to prevent plumbing emergencies which is why Whywait Plumbing Service Partners receive annual testing of stainless steel flexible hose tap connectors where we identify the location and condition of all flexible tap or hose connections in your home used on your sink, vanity and toilet cisterns to ensure you have no potential bursts lurking in your kitchen or bathroom.
Regular inspections are a key component in minimising the risk of a flooded house from a burst flexible hose and regardless our recommendation is to replace them every 3-5 years as part of a proactive preventative maintenance plan.
By Gary Mays
During much of the year on the Gold Coast we frequently hear clients ask why do I need to maintain my hot water system there is nothing wrong with it and I’m still getting plenty of hot water. In summer it is easy to forget just how much we depend on our hot water systems for showering, bathing, cooking, washing dishes and washing laundry.
But by April many people suddenly appreciate just how important their hot water system is when it fails to deliver enough or frequently no hot water. Frequently the signs that there is a problem with the hot water system have been there for months and often would have been diagnosed and rectified as part of an annual service. Because hot water systems appear to be complicated many people adopt a head in the sand approach but in reality like most working fixtures in your home they will always benefit immensely from a bit of routine maintenance
In over 37 years of experience we at Whywait Plumbing are well aware that Murphy’s Law applies usually in a spectacular fashion to the failure of a hot water system with most of them failing and leaking late at night usually when it is very cold. In all honesty basic maintenance of your hot water system is fairly simple but vitally it can double the effective lifespan of your hot water system.
To maintain your hot water system the main things you need to allow for are:
- replacing the sacrificial anode every 5 – 7 years
- flushing out all of the minerals and sediment that over time are deposited in the bottom of the storage tank every 3 – 5 years
- have the tempering valve maintained, tested and certified every year
- flush the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) every 3 – 6 months
- replace the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) every 3 – 4 years
- replace the expansion control valve (ECV valve) every 3 – 5 years
Apart from flushing the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) all the other work is legally required to be undertaken by a licensed plumber.
Most concerning from our perspective is the failure to replace the sacrificial anode which is the biggest single cause of premature hot water service failure. Regularly replacing your sacrificial anode will extend the life of your hot water service by ten years or even more. Whywait strongly recommend that you call us to service your hot water system and replace the sacrificial anode every 5 years as the cost of the service is minor compared to the thousands of dollars replacement costs not mentioning the inconvenience.
The one task we recommend you personally undertake is to activate and flush the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve. TPR valves continuously work automatically discharging hot water if the temperature or pressure of the water in the storage tank gets too high. Many people fail to understand if your TPR valve is not functioning properly it can potentially cause the tank to explode.
Flushing a TPR valve is relatively easy and straightforward, plus is something you can do yourself, but if the valve is already continually dripping water in all likelihood it needs replacing. To trigger the relief valve and flush it out all you need to do is lift the lever on the front of the valve all the way open and let water discharge from the drain pipe for 5 – 10 seconds then slowly put back the lever in place.
Very simply maintaining your hot water system is an investment not a cost.
By Gary Mays
Drinking water keeps you smarter, slimmer & younger and best of all its virtually free from your tap. Critically water keeps your body hydrated because every single cell in your body needs water to absorb nutrients and remove waste products.
If you like the way your water tastes then whole of house water filtration from Whywait Plumbing is the solution you should explore to ensure you drink more water. Once you understand drinking more water is critical to your body functioning there are additional benefits such as:
- Drinking Water Makes You Smarter: water can increase your cognitive function as your brain needs plenty of oxygen and drinking plenty of water ensures your brain gets all the oxygen it needs. In fact 8 glasses of water a day improves your cognitive performance by as much as 30%.
- Drinking Water Helps You Loose Weight: water suppresses your appetite plus helps your body burn stored fat. When you drink plenty of water your liver is able to metabolise stored fat efficiently plus flushing toxins from your body and preventing constipation.
- Drinking Water Keeps You Young: water is great for your skin keeping your skin moisturised plus reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Not drinking enough water makes your body retain what it has and this retention makes your skin puffy.
To get the advantages of drinking water and enhance your family’s wellbeing you need to remove the chemicals in your home’s water. In fact if you knew the dangers that lurk in your water you would already have Whywait Plumbing installing a whole of house water filtration system that ensures clean, odour free, delicious water throughout the whole house guaranteeing a constant supply of delicious water throughout the whole house. Whole of house filters are a convenient, cost efficient way to effectively remove or reduce many of the undesirable chemicals, disinfectant by-products and volatile organic compounds commonly found in your water supply.
By Gary Mays