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How broken promises, lies and disappointment led us to serving our customers better and keeps our quality control in-house.

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Yesterday I went on site to watch one of our team skillfully drive a 5 tonne excavator.

Big boys playing with big toys.

The job of a plumber isn’t just the typical stereotype of a bloke with his hands stuck down a toilet….even the equipment and technology used these days is a far cry from that image.

This week we are performing a dig up to rectify a boundary trap that has collapsed. The boundary trap is made of old earthenware and is approximately 3M deep.

Safety first.  Safety equipment is used to ensure our team and the community are kept safe.

But yesterday didn’t just happen by fluke or luck.  There has been days of frustration due to broken promises, lies and plenty of disappointment.

This led us to re-adjust our thinking, change the way we look at situations and find a solution to bring the very best service to our clients and keep scheduling and quality control in house.

Not all companies actually perform the works they have quoted.   Sub-contracting work out is common place in the construction industry and truth be told, not all companies have the knowledge, expertise, resources and infrastructure to perform bigger jobs like the one we are performing in-house.

There was a time earlier this year that we requested a job to be sub-contracted out to a contractor we had a previous relationship with and knew that the final product was going to meet our high quality standards.  We had spent lots of time with the customer, quoted the works and won the job.  Next step was to lock down the sub-contractor to begin works, something that is out of our control regarding their availability and timeframe.

We eventually locked the contractor down to a day and time and notified our client.

That day and time came and went…no sign of the contractor and although we had attempted several times to make contact – nothing. we got crickets.

Eventually we received a text notifying from the contractor letting us know that due to personal reasons he would not be undertaking any more work and closing his business down. We had lots of  little lies from this contractor before, but none so bold.

Communication and integrity are two of our core and they had both been compromised.

We then contacted our network and was connected to another plumber who we spoke to.  We told him the job is his he just need to re-quote it and turn up.  I think he actually did a site visit, but no quote and no communication.  Again disappointment.  This is how tradespeople get a bad reputation for not turning up or not sending the quote through.  The most simplest thing to do is just turn up – on time would be better.  This is something we have been doing for nearly 15 years.

The customer we had made promises to is a very good customer and we always fulfil on our promises.  So we told her that we would sort it out.

We went about and figured it out.  Safety equipment. Excavation. Resources. Time. Manpower. We got the job done and it was perfect.  Their home was left as though we were never there.  A very proud moment for us as we came together, worked as a team and got the job done.  We learnt lessons along the way and admittedly did not make any money on the job, but great lessons lead to a better service for our customers in the future.

A few weeks passed and we were driving along the road when we pulled up at a set of red traffic lights.  Next to our car on our left was a truck with two guys in it that belonged to the contractor whose business was apparently closing down.  So we rolled down our window and asked if “Bob” was working and the business was still up and running.  To which we received the answer of  “yeah of course”.

So, “Bob” we want to thank you. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to step up and grow our business by offering our customers great service with full control of quality in-house and prompt scheduling without the need to coordinate and rely on a sub-contractor.

By keeping drainage works in house it allows us to provide our customers with a full end-to-end service.  We keep drainage machines, high pressure water jetters and drainage cameras in our vehicles and are ready for all your blocked drain, collapsed sewers, stormwater repairs and replacements and have the ability to re-line patches of drains as well.

Be careful when engaging a company to undertake major works like this. Here are 5 things to keep in mind:

  1. Is the company you have engaged undertaking the works?
  2. How will quality control be handled if they are not?
  3. Is everything included in the quotation ie  excavation, safety, reinstate of concrete?
  4. Is the company fully licensed and insured?
  5. How long has the company been operating for – will they answer their phone when something goes wrong?

Our team have a combined 35+ years of experience in all areas of drain repairs and replacements and customers have the benefit of not waiting weeks to get their problems fixed.

We can also put you in touch with our happy customers who have drainage works completed for peace of mind.   We conduct these major works for residential, light commercial and body corporate clients.

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Why Flushable Wipes Shouldn’t Be Flushed

flushablewipes_1All too often we attend to blocked drains that are caused by flushable wipes and last night was no exception.  Last night we were called out to an emergency blocked drain in Box Hill. Upon the service experts inspection he found the sewer drain to be blocked at the boundary trap.

The service expert set up his drainage equipment including a high pressure water jetter and CCTV drain camera equipment to investigate the blockage to the boundary trap located at the rear of the property.

He found that the issues were located down the boundary trap and there were tree roots growing into the drain just past the inspection going to the main sewer.  The drain was full of tree roots and these so called “flushable wipes”

Kleenex’s range of flushable wipes are getting the thumbs down from consumer group CHOICE.

In 2015, Choice awarded these flushable wipes the Shonky Award.  Choice conducted tests on Kleenex’s ‘Clean Ripple’ range, finding the wipes post a blockage threat to household drainage pipes.

It’s claimed the so-called flushables cost the Australian water waste industry about $15 million to clear every year. One Aussie household was hit with a plumbing bill of $16,000 after the wet wipes clogged their pipes.

“Although the new wipes disintegrate more than the old wipes, they don’t break down fast enough,” said Choice Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

“We believe they post a blockage threat, particularly in the first several metres of pipe on the consumer’s property.”

Well, we agree and warn against the use of flushable wipes, that aren’t so flushable after all.  The issue of these flushable wipes can be exacerbated by the state of your sewerage drains.  If your drains are prone to clogging because of tree roots, then flushable wipes are only going to make it worse and clog quicker and more frequently.

Stick to good old toilet paper.  It will save you money in the short term and save you the frustration of a 10pm emergency call to a plumber too.

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Blocked Drain Surrey Hills

DrainageEquipmentWe attended to an emergency blocked drain in Surrey Hills on Friday night and found the shower and basin to be filling up with water and gurgling when the home owner had a shower or flushed the toilet.  This was quite a complicated blocked drain we needed to get a sewer plan from the local water authority.  This plan outlines where drains should run to and termination points such as the boundary trap.

Once we investigated what was happening we returned to site and attempted to locate boundary trap in the front of the property.

We located the cast iron boundary trap that was approximately 2.5m left to right and approximately 1.5m inside boundary when you are looking from the street. Once the boundary trap lid was removed we noticed that the shaft was blocked.  We used our drainage equipment to try and clear the blockage in addition to using CCTV equipment.  The CCTV is like a pair of eyes inside the drain for the plumber.  It gives us a good visual of what is happening inside the drain and what is causing the blocked drain. For instance, the drain could be full of tree roots or the drain pipe could be damaged and broken.

In this case this boundary trap feeds the next door neighbour and was blocked at the base of an old trap. We cleared through with drain machine and tested neighbours drains that runs into this boundary. It was still blocked.

Our next course of action action was to pull out the toilet in the ensuite and insert CCTV.  We now saw that the line was totally blocked and traced the line. Our equipment was getting stuck at a paver location at the front of the property.

We then set up the drainage machine and tried to clear the blocked drain through the toilet branch located at the boundary at front approx 500mm next to the neighbours boundary trap.
DrainTreeRootsWe then moved the drain machine and cleared the lead off with machine. As you can see in this picture from the CCTV equipment, tree roots were the main cause of this blocked drain. Checked with CCTV and lead off to boundary has cracked and there are tree roots present. Cut back with machine up lead off and check ok. Flush through with water, test toilets and fill bath and flush through ok. Drain holds water within 1 meter of trap lead off.

Cleared through boundary with cutter x2 cables check with CCTV and there are tree roots
Present outside property which will need to be cleared out by local water authority. Put the existing toilet back into position and tested.  When you need an expert who can solve your blocked drains on the same day and guarantee a long term solution, call the blocked drain experts. Service Experts 1300390045.

Dealing with Blocked Drains

PlungerCrazyOnce you detect that you have a blocked toilet or blocked drains in your home, it is imperative to act quickly and call in expert help at the earliest time possible. The longer you wait, your hassles can be further compounded, especially if you just have one toilet in your home.

Plumbing emergencies often crop up when you least expect them. As such, it would be beneficial to make the necessary preparations ahead of time. First, you need to find a reputable plumber and have their contact details handy even before you need one. This will allow you to save the time and effort required in finding a plumber and you can be ready to call one as soon as a plumbing problem arises.

Next, you need to know the exact steps that you should undertake to contain the problem at hand even before help arrives.

For a blocked toilet, Melbourne plumbers outline the steps homeowners need to go through until the plumbing specialists they’ve called get to the property.

The first thing you need to do, of course, is to call a plumber to help solve the problem.

Once you have placed a call for the plumber, the next thing to do on the list is to shut off the water supply going to the toilet. Here, it is not necessary to cut off the water supply to the whole house. Rather, you can shut off the supply going to the toilet by finding the component that supplies water to it. Typically, this can be found on the wall behind the toilet. This will prevent the water from rising. Do take note that, at best, the water should hold steady. If this does not stop the water from rising, you will need to shut off the water mains.

Once you have contained the overflow of water, the next thing that you can do before the plumber arrives is to clean up as much of the mess as you possibly can, using buckets, mops and towels. As for the water in the toilet, you can simply leave it as it is and let your plumber deal with it when he arrives.

In particular, you should focus your attention on the areas near and around baseboards and cabinets. When water seeps into these, it is highly likely that these can be damaged. As such, you have to make sure that these are dried as quickly as possible. After dealing with these areas, you can turn your attention to the standing water on the floors.

The important thing to remember about plumbing emergencies, including blocked toilets and blocked drains is to remain calm and act promptly. This will allow you to contain the problem at hand and minimise possible damage.