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Plumbing Urban Myths

Plumbing Urban Myths

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.

Plumbing Guarantees

Plumbing Guarantees

Plumbing guarantees are a source of constant confusion. A guarantee of the fixtures and fittings installed is always carried by the manufacturer not the plumber who installed them. Ultimately all a plumber can guarantee is his workmanship and service levels.

When you use Whywait Plumbing we guarantee you many things and we stand behind all those guarantees because we want you to have a positive experience. At Whywait Plumbers Gold Coast, we enjoy a 95% customer satisfaction rating and this is why:

  • We show up on time.
  • We send only licensed and trained plumbers to your home, each one a full-time Whywait employee.
  • Training and development are ongoing events for every member of our staff.
  • You receive a guaranteed up-front price before we start any work.
  • Our equipment and tools are the latest and best in the business which helps us do our job better and with a better end result.
  • We keep our trucks well-stocked enabling us to complete most repairs with just one visit to your home.

We’re ensure you and our team members are protected by:

  • Maintaining public liability insurance coverage for $20,000,000 that protects your property should a part fail in your home or business.
  • Maintaining WorkCover insurance cover should one of our employees have an accident.
  • Providing warranty protection on the jobs we undertake for you.
  • Ensuring we are fully licensed as plumbing contractors in Queensland and New South Wales.
  • Investing in state of the art communications systems to answer your calls and dispatch our plumbers to your home or business.
  • Investing in modern vehicles that are correctly maintained.
  • Complying with the Fair Work Act.
  • Responding promptly on a 24 hour, 7 day basis to customers who call us in a crisis because they have a water leak, a blocked drain or have no hot water.

I urge you to ask questions about how you will be charged for plumbing services, insurance coverage and licensing before deciding which plumbing company to hire.  Because the more you ask, the more you’ll see that our family-owned and operated company stands head and shoulders above the rest in true value offered.

By Gary Mays

The Risks of Living With High Water Pressure?

Do you know the risks of living with high water pressure because I frequently listen to clients of Whywait Plumbing recollecting the days gone by when high water pressure was the norm. For many high water pressure had been a bonus, especially when water was virtually provided for free. High water pressure enabled many to stand in one spot and water the whole garden or to literally pressure clean the car or driveway.

Both Gold Coast and Logan council areas in the past had high water pressure delivery. Frequently in excess of 800kPa and often as high as 1100kPa. In reality high water pressures caused many problems with damage to pipes, appliances, taps, valves and fittings from water hammer which also reduced their operational life plus caused excessive noise in the water reticulation system.

Legally under Australian Standards, AS/NZS 3500.1:2003, Plumbing and Drainage – Water Services, the relevant clause is 3.3.4 which states, “Maximum pressure within buildings – Provision shall be made to ensure that the maximum operating pressure at any outlet, other than a fire service outlet, within a building does not exceed 500 kPa.” This was further reinforced with amendments in 2010 to clause 3.2.1 which states, “The maximum flow rate from a shower, basin and kitchen sink or laundry trough outlet shall not exceed 9 L/min.”

These very clear definitions within Australian Standards create a dangerous situation that many home and building owners are unaware of. This is because they have the incoming mains water pressure set above the maximum legislated operating pressure of 500kPa level for most connected plumbing fixtures. These plumbing fixtures include dishwashers, washing machines, ice makers, boiling water units, mixer taps, refrigerators with water dispensers and hot water systems.

Having excessive water pressure can cause you more problems than you may be aware of. Aside from damage to pipes, appliances, taps, valves and fittings from water hammer which also reduced their operational life plus caused excessive noise in the water reticulation system, you may also be voiding your property insurance and manufacturer’s warranty on any number of these expensive household appliances.

Most insurance policies and appliance warranties are void if your water pressure is above the recommended operational levels. This will always come back to the requirements of Australian Standards which is of course 500kPa.

Most hot water system warranties are void above 500kPa once again with the reference point being the requirements of Australian Standards. Many people are fooled into thinking they have a compliant system as they have pressure limiting valves installed. In reality the majority of these valves over 3 years old are faulty and in need of replacement.

As council water retailers will not guarantee supply pressures the onus is back on home and building owners to ensure they are compliant with Australian Standards. Most homes and buildings constructed since 2003 have pressure reduction valves installed after the water meter but these frequently require recalibration. Homes and buildings constructed before 2003 seldom have a pressure reduction valve installed which means they are susceptible to the fluctuations in water supply pressure.

The risks of high water pressure can be devastating on multiple fronts so if you are unsure of what your water pressure is and whether your system is compliant in regard to your insurance policies then contact Whywait Plumbing Services now to carry out a comprehensive analysis of your incoming water pressure to ensure you are aware of the risks of living with high water pressure..

By Gary Mays

Do You Know The Risks of Living With High Water Pressure?

For the plumbing technicians at Whywait Plumbing listening to clients recollecting the days gone by when high water pressure was the norm are a frequent occurrence. For many high water pressure had been a bonus, especially when water was virtually provided for free. High water pressure enabled many to stand in one spot and water the whole garden or to literally pressure clean the car or driveway.

Both Gold Coast and Logan regions had high water pressure delivery, frequently in excess of 800kPa and often as high as 1100kPa. In reality high water pressures caused many problems with damage to pipes, appliances, taps, valves and fittings from water hammer which also reduced their operational life plus caused excessive noise in the water reticulation system.

Legally under AS/NZS 3500.1:2003, Plumbing and Drainage – Water Services, the relevant clause is 3.3.4 which states, “Maximum pressure within buildings – Provision shall be made to ensure that the maximum operating pressure at any outlet, other than a fire service outlet, within a building does not exceed 500 kPa.” This was further reinforced with amendments in 2010 to clause 3.2.1 which states, “The maximum flow rate from a shower, basin and kitchen sink or laundry trough outlet shall not exceed 9 L/min.”

These very clear definitions within Australian Standards create a dangerous situation that many home and building owners are unaware of. This is because they have the incoming mains water pressure set above the maximum legislated operating pressure of 500kPa level for most connected plumbing fixtures. These plumbing fixtures include dishwashers, washing machines, mixer taps, refrigerators with water purification and hot water systems.

Having excessive water pressure can cause you more problems than you may be aware of. Aside from damage to pipes, appliances, taps, valves and fittings from water hammer which also reduced their operational life plus caused excessive noise in the water reticulation system, you may also be voiding your property insurance and manufacturer’s warranty on any number of these expensive household appliances.

Most insurance policies and appliance warranties are void if your water pressure is above the recommended operational levels. This will always come back to the requirements of Australian Standards which is of course 500kPa.

Most hot water system warranties are void above 500kPa once again with the reference point being the requirements of Australian Standards. Many people are fooled into thinking they have a compliant system as they have pressure limiting valves installed. In reality the majority of these valves over 3 years old are faulty and in need of replacement.

As council water retailers will not guarantee supply pressures the onus is back on home and building owners to ensure they are compliant with Australian Standards. Most homes and buildings constructed since 2003 have pressure reduction valves installed after the water meter but these frequently require recalibration. Homes and buildings constructed before 2003 seldom have a pressure reduction valve installed which means they are susceptible to the fluctuations in water supply pressure.

If you think a flooded house cannot happen to you then read the story Faulty Plumbing Will Flood Your Home where faulty piping in the ceiling flooded part of a home and resulted in water damage in excess of $50,000. Luckily this homes water pressure was reduced to a compliant level of 500kPa and their insurance policy covered the damage.

If you are unsure of what your water pressure is and whether your system is compliant in regard to your insurance policies then contact Whywait Plumbing Services now to carry out a comprehensive analysis of your incoming water pressure.

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