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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.

Burst Pipe in Bentleigh

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Burst water pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems. When it happens, you’ll think that you’re somehow cursed because of the sheer amount of damage it can bring to your home. From the cost of repairing the burst pipe to the cost of refurbishing the damaged areas, a burst pipe can spell disaster.

There are two simple ways to detect if you have a burst pipe. The first obvious sign you have a burst water pipe is leaking water.  Areas around your property that are constantly wet and do not dry up can indicate you have a burst pipe.

The second, and not so obvious sign you have a burst pipe, is a higher than normal water utility bill and water spots appearing on ceilings and floors.  Sometimes, water leaks can go undetected if very small and not seen.  Watching your meter ticking over is another sign that water is being wasted and you may have a burst pipe.

 

BurstCopperPipeWater leaks from old copper pipes that have burst can sometimes be heard. These pipes can be located inside a wall and the “hissing” sound coming from inside the wall can be the water leaking out.

We have come up with 6 Simple Ways You Can Prevent Burst Pipes In Your Home

 Burst pipes are preventable. Preventative actions will not only save you the great stress that comes with this plumbing issue but it will also save you money and water. So instead of thinking you’re “cursed,” take action and minimise your risk for burst pipes by using these six simple ways.

  1. Insulate outside pipes, taps and drain pipes.

Unprotected piping and sometimes freezing temperatures create the perfect situation for a burst pipe in the system. So focus on those two things and use insulate lagging or foam on the outside pipes, taps, and drain pipes. As you do this, make sure to not leave any bends, joints, or taps exposed; use fitted covers for outside taps.

  1. Keep water running through slowly, at all times.

Do this when the temperatures dip really low. Of course, use a bucket to catch the water so you don’t waste the precious resource. By taking this simple step, you can prevent the line from freezing.

  1. Use pipe lagging for unheated areas.

These areas include your garage, loft, and basement. High quality pipe lagging will insulate your pipes in these unheated areas by maintaining the heat within the pipes. Pipe lagging, incidentally, also prevents condensation on cold pipes.

  1. Leave your heating on to 12 degrees centigrade.

During really cold weather, your heating system should keep your piping sufficiently warm, minimising any risk of a burst pipe.

  1. Fix leaks straight away.

Don’t let any plumbing problem get any bigger. Call a licensed plumber when your taps are dripping or leaking. Leaks have a way of turning into a burst pipe when left unresolved.

  1. Get your piping system looked at by a licensed plumber.

When you plan to be away from your home for a long time, make sure that your piping system is in good condition before you make that trip. A proper check up by a licensed plumber will uncover any small issues that may potentially cause a burst pipe. It’s always a good idea to get ahead of any problem before they turn into a huge expensive headache for you.

Then get recommendations from your plumber about how to leave your pipes when you go (i.e., should you leave the heating on, then turn off the stopcock and drain remaining water in the system?).

What makes a plumber a Master Plumber?

AuthenticWe conduct thousands of jobs each year.

We have been operating since 2002 and 63% of our clients are our loyal, repeat clients who appreciate great service and workmanship.

So I have been pondering the question lately. What makes a plumber a “Master” plumber?

Do you need to have an established business – is there a qualification period?

Is there rigorous testing? if so, who conducts these tests?

What standards need to met to qualify?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having an association that helps develop the industry and provides some valuable tools for business owners.  But surely filling in a form and payment a yearly subscription fee does not constitute a “Master” in anything.

I’ve been witnessing some really unethical, dodgy work lately and it grinds my teeth. Literally.

I am frustrated that these tradespeople (I don’t want to call them plumbers – they don’t deserve the title) are getting away with shoddy, unprofessional work.

I pride my team on their workmanship and recognise that they are some of the best in the industry.  We take photos of all our work so that we have a good handle on quality control.  I like to know that my team are performing work to my standard.

I am proud to call myself and my team Master Plumbers.  We own that title. Not just because we pay a membership, but because We Truly. Just. Are.

 

 

How To Choose The Right Plumber

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Bless the internet.

You can find almost anything, at any time, any where, for any price.

Lately I have been trialling an online service.  Our business is listed as a plumbing service provide.  Consumers go online and post jobs they have.

I thought that, considering our organic search rankings has taken an extended vacation to Timbuktoo, I would give this service a go. My gut said no, but my head said go.

I responded to each enquiry, called customers personally and dispatched a plumber out to help them.

What a waste of time.  All these customers were after was a dirt cheap price. Service or quality were not priority.

Should have listened to my gut.

The same can be said when choosing a plumber. Choose a service that feels right. Here are my 3 hot tips on how to choose the right one.

1. Recommendations, word of mouth.  Ask friends and family who they use. They will always be honest with you and only pass on a companies name and number if they had a good experience.

2. Is there a face behind the name? Calling the first company name that appears in a Google search is all well and good, but who are you dealing with? Who is the face that stands behind the name?  If the website says “we are a family owned and operated business” it would be great to see a picture of who they are.  CAUTION: stock images do not count!

3. What GUARANTEES do they give? One of our core values are Authentic.  We asked our team what that meant to them.  Words they used to describe what authentic meant to them were: genuine, real, from the heart.  Our guarantees mean something.  Our word is everything.

We have grown our team yet our roots remain the same. We pride ourselves on being a small company and being authentic matters to us. After all, we take it personally – all of it.

Plumbing Problem Solvers

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Having over 30+ years of combined experience diagnosing and solving plumbing problems Melbourne wide, we believe that with a great deal of knowledge, a little bit of common sense and a great deal of passion we can solve virtually any plumbing problem for our residential and light commercial clients.

We just had a call from a great customer who wants us to come out and quote replacing a new storm water line.  The insurance company sent out their plumber who proceeded to put the electric eel into the drain and tell them “it’s buggered”.When explaining their issue to Darryl, he straight away noticed something didn’t sound right.

Diagnosing plumbing & gas issues in your home is very similar to how a great doctor conducts his diagnosis.

We look at your house holistically and identify where the issue is and how long it’s been happening for to enable us to give you the right diagnosis to rectify the issue. We ask lots of questions and listen for clues.

Recently we attended a job for a Body Corporate to quote works for a diagnosis made by a previous plumber.  Upon a quick visual inspection of the property it appeared that the works to be quoted was not going to solve the problem.

The quote was to catch the water pooling at the bottom of a property.

How about this.  Let’s see where the water is coming from first, and solve that problem – rather than the band-aid solution of catching it at the bottom.  Kind of like taking panadol for a brain tumor.  The tumor is there, it hurts just like a headache, but it’s a tumor. Fix it.

Finding the problem first is paramount to providing a long term solution.

Conduct thorough investigations first, to come up with the best long term, economical solution.

After all, you would be very skeptical, disappointed and extremely angry if you went to your doctor and after a few minor tests such as taking your temperature, listening to your heart rate and taking your blood pressure, the doctor diagnosed you with a terminal illness.

Just like you expect your doctor to be licensed, competent, knowledgeable and have the relevant experience – you want your plumber to be the same.

So don’t call just any plumber. Call the plumbing maintenance EXPERTS – Service Experts.

We have built our reputation on solving the tricky problems.

Dealing with a Drain Blockage

The drain blockage is an inconvenience that most householders will face at some point in time. This article outlines some of the best ways to deal with a drain blockage, along with some of the things to avoid doing when faced with a blocked drain.

Contacting the local council

Property owners should be aware that sometimes the drain blockage can be the council’s responsibility. This is true if the blockage results from the sewage or council-owned drains and pipes that have backed up into the resident’s drainage system.

Read more

Saving Big with Green Energy

Green energy is as much about social responsibility and benefiting the environment as it is about achieving big savings on energy costs. These are three easy ways that any household can make major savings on energy.

  • Unplug chargers and switch off – The average home has dozen of battery-charged devices, such as notebooks, phones and music players. Unplug chargers when not in use to save more on electricity, and get into the habit of switching off anything that is not being used.
  • Harness the power of the sun – Water heating is energy intensive, so households can save more by investing in a solar water heater. Setting the hot water heating to a lower temperature and using an on-demand water heater are also great ways to save if the household does not have a solar water heater.

Homeowners can also harness the power of the sun by drying clothes on the line rather than in a dryer. Line drying gives an added advantage as sunlight has natural disinfecting properties.

Read more

Steps to Preventing Water Damage at Home

Surveys have shown that water damage is one of the most common causes of loss to householders. Taking steps to reduce the risk of water damage can save homeowners time, stress and money.

Common causes

There are three major causes of water damage in the home. Fixture and appliance supply lines can leak water and lead to water damage. These lines include pipes connecting sinks, toilets, washing machines and other appliances.

Read more

A Guide to DIY Plumbing and Maintenance

Plumbing issues can have a disruptive effect in the home. While a plumber can help homeowners solve their plumbing and water issues, some plumbing problems can be avoided or quickly fixed if the householder has some basic DIY knowledge and keeps up with the necessary maintenance.

  • Septic tanks – Septic tanks should be cleaned every five years. A good clean will remove deposits, debris and other build-up that can cause problems in the tank.
  • Low tap water pressure – Low water pressure in taps is another common problem. This can be caused by sediment build-up in the aerator of the tap. A simple clean with vinegar can dislodge and remove the build-up.
  • Garbage disposal – Garbage disposal systems ensure that no large food scraps are sent down into the plumbing system. As such, they should be maintained and cleaned properly. Running hot water can dissolve grease and oils (though these should not be poured into the sink as a general rule) and make the disposal run more smoothly.
  • Leaks – Leaking taps can often be fixed by replacing the tap washer, the o-ring or the jumper valve. If this does not fix the leak, have a licensed plumber check out the tap.