In many homes, the sewer drains have worked fine all year with only two people living in the house. All over the Gold Coast families and friends descend on homes where the plumbing has worked fine all year, or so everyone thought.
Many homes plumbing and sewer drains are stretched to breaking point with a sudden increase from two to twenty people plus descending on Christmas Day.
The result is overflowing sewage and no flushing toilet, which can be a real party stopper, especially in our summer’s heat.
Warning signs of a potential blocked sewer at Christmas
As I repeatedly warn everyone, all too often, the warning signs of an impending blockage in your drains have been there for months.
The most common warning signs of a looming problem sewer drain or toilet are:
gurgling sounds coming from the toilet or bathroom floor waste or laundry tub
an overflowing drain gully outside the house
foul odours in the bathroom or toilet
Do you have a Christmas plumbing emergency?
If you have your extended family and friends in your home and are experiencing any of the following, then you have an emergency.
No Water or a Burst Pipe –if your household has no running water or has water flooding everywhere, this is an emergency;
Blocked Sewer Drains –Bathroom, Kitchen, Laundry & Toilet blockages overflowing inside or outside your home is an emergency;
Blocked Toilets –a blocked or overflowing toilet is an emergency;
Gas Leaks –if you can smell gas call us immediately as this can mean there is a leak that’s potentially dangerous.
What will a Plumber cost over the Christmas & New Year Holidays?
After 44 years of providing emergency plumbing services we know near the top of the question list for every client is
Over Christmas and the 2021 new year holidays, we will provide service as usual.
When you call us, we will explain that we charge an initial upfront fault finding/investigation diagnostic evaluation fee and what that fee is as listed below.
Once you are happy to accept our diagnostic pricing, we’ll secure your booking by your providing your credit card to cover the initial fault finding and investigation diagnostic evaluation fee.
Christmas Day Diagnostic Service Fee:Allows for attending to the job site, diagnosing of work required and presenting costed requirements to you –$550.00 or Service Partner $59.40 inclusive of GST
Christmas Eve, Boxing Day & New Years Day Diagnostic Service Fee:Allows for attending to job site, diagnosing of work required and presenting costed requirements to the client –$330.00 or Service Partner $59.40 inclusive of GST
Our on call Christmas emergency plumber Gold Coast employees
Licensed Plumber & Drainer
Gary will be answering the phones over the Christmas period. Gary began the business in 1976 with Whywait Plumbing celebrating 44 years of continuous service on 11 November 2020.
Licensed Plumber, Drainer & Gasfitter
David has worked for us since 2019 and is our emergency plumber on call on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Licensed Plumber & Drainer
Nathan has worked for us since 2015 and is our emergency plumber on call on the Boxing Day public holiday, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
Plumbing quotes over the phone are meaningless without any validation as they are based on perception rather than experienced observation and onsite investigation. Every day we receive phone calls asking us to diagnose a plumbing, drainage or gas problem over the phone. We can only talk in generalities based on the vague information we are given.
Generally, after receiving this general broad sweeping advice, we are then asked how much we would charge to undertake the repair. We then have to explain it’s impossible to give any accurate pricing over the phone without an onsite investigation to diagnose the actual problem.
“When we are asked to diagnose and quote a plumbing problem over the phone, we put on our genie costume and look into our crystal ball.”
The reality is every plumbing problem is unique in its own way. Despite what you think, plumbing installations can be complicated.
Regrettably, 90% of the plumbing infrastructure in any building is concealed.
So what you are observing and attempting to describe to us over the phone is regularly wholly the reverse of what is transpiring under your floor or in the wall.
Sending us photos or videos can be of assistance. Even so, they still only show the extent of the problem, not the actual cause. But the reality is we always cannot give you plumbing quotes over the phone as photos and videos never tell the complete story.
No Professional Plumber Will Give Plumbing Quotes Over The Phone
No professional plumber, no matter how experienced they are can ever give legitimate plumbing quotes over the phone. There is only one way to diagnose a plumbing problem, and that is by an onsite investigation. No matter what you think, you can visually observe, you only see part of the potential problem at best. No two plumbing installations are ever wholly the same no matter how alike they may appear.
Unfortunately, there are too many plumbers who will give quotes over the phone. This is entirely unprofessional and no more than a marketing ploy to entice you to engage them to come to solve your problem. Think about it would you expect a doctor to diagnose a medical condition over the phone. In reality, it’s actually easier to diagnose a medical problem over the phone than it is a plumbing problem, but no doctor will do so without first examining you.
I guarantee that 99% of the time that the plumbing quotes over the phone increase within ten minutes of the plumber’s arrival. This will always be explained away by a myriad of excuses that your description of the problem was not accurately disclosed. It will always be your fault.
The reason the quote they provided to you over the phone increases is simple. Once onsite, the plumber can have a better understanding of all the variables. Even then, once they start on the repairs, there are frequently multiple changes to the cost as more faults appear that were not detected in the initial visual inspections.
Google Searches Do Not Make You a Plumber
It’s continuously amusing talking to someone who has done a Google search to locate what the remedy to their plumbing problem is. Usually, they have already decided what rectification work is required and are ringing getting multiple plumbing quotes over the phone.
It is my experience that 90% of the time the diagnosis is wrong, which in turn ensures the remedy they have decided upon on Google is wrong.
After their Google search, they further confuse themselves by talking to multiple plumbers which just creates further confusion. Ultimately every decision then only becomes about price so they choose a plumber who will come to site for free who advertises “No Call Out Fee”.
Once again, this is a fallacy because no legitimate plumbing business can come to your house for free. Sending a fully equipped truck with a licensed plumber costs at least $150 so I guarantee you will pay all of the costs in one way or another.
Plumbing Problems Are A Challenge For Both Plumber and Client
The reality is solving plumbing problems takes time and patience. We accept that finding a reputable plumbing company can be daunting as often you need to act quickly when a plumbing emergency occurs.
Solving a plumbing problem that is not completely obvious such as water leaking out of a wall can be frustrating. Here at Whywait Plumbing, we are specialist maintenance plumbers so we know that a leak can be occurring in a multitude of locations and running internally until it finds a route to flow freely. That is why we don’t smash open walls or floors to look for the problem but instead use our leak detection equipment to pinpoint the location of the leak.
For a client, this can create a perception we are procrastinating, but the reality is we are using our experience to solve the problem. When it comes to maintenance plumbing, hiring an experienced specialist who is older and wiser will always remove the misconceptions.
Regrettably, plumbers are only remembered for the terrible events that occur, such as a burst pipe or overflowing sewage. Due to the emergency type situations that most people call a plumber, 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.
Do yourself a favour always and engage a plumber that is clearly experienced and been around a while. Above all else, avoid the temptation to get plumbing quotes over the phone. You need to ensure that your plumber comes to the site and undertakes a thorough site inspection before any work is undertaken.
If you need assistance on any plumbing, drainage or gas problem, call us 24/7 on (07) 55804311 as we have 43 years of experience in solving dilemmas that others cannot.
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
Leaking 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.
Overflowing 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.
A 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.
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.
Negligence causes plumbing emergencies as a fact I am becoming acutely aware of with over half of the plumbing emergencies we attend having been caused due to a plumbers negligence in the initial installation.
A large part of this negligence is driven by plumbing work being undertaken to a cost and not to the legislative requirements or standards that plumbers are legally obliged to comply with.
As I constantly have to remind clients who are victims of this negligence in near new or recently renovated buildings – everyone who worked on your home did so because they were the cheapest not because they were the best qualified and skilled to undertake the work. Sadly that is the reality in the construction industry.
The most common plumbing emergencies we see that are in most cases attributable to deliberate negligence by the plumber who did the initial work are:
leaking water-mains laid in rock and backfilled with rock with no compliant bedding or backfill material
broken house sewer drains once again laid in rock and backfilled with rock
mixer taps installed without isolation valves
Negligence by a plumber in installing the examples above are just the tip of the iceberg that we see daily but all cause a great deal of damage and are frequently expensive to repair.
The pressure by builders on plumbers to reduce prices and take “shortcuts” increases daily but is not an excuse to ignore undertaking the work in as set out in AS3500 and called into law through the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.
Under common law, the term “negligence” generally describes damage causing conduct that arises because of the defendant’s carelessness or failure to take reasonable care.
As an example, a plumber who installs a plastic polypipe water main straight onto the rocky ground and then backfills it with the same spoil he dug out has breached his duty of care. As a professional licensed plumber, he is fully aware that the job is not in accordance with clause 5.12 of AS3500 Part 1 for Water Services which states:
The water services shall be surrounded with not less than 75mm of compacted sand, or fine-grained soil, with no hard edged object permitted to come into contact with or resting against any pipe or fitting.
Material used for final backfill shall be free from rock, hard matter or organic material and be broken up to contain no soil larger than 75mm.
As you can see the wording and diagram in Australian Standards are quite specific on how your water main should be installed. They are specific requirements under law not options the plumber can choose to obey.
Very simply if your water main is not installed as above the licensed plumber installing it has done so knowing it is noncompliant and that it is reasonably foreseeable that failure and damage will occur.
In conclusion, I reiterate that most plumbing emergencies are caused by negligence and we are prepared to assist you if you have the willpower to legally seek compensation. It’s your choice but the industry will only be cleaned up when plumbers who continually break the law are hit in their hip pocket.