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Saving Money On Water Usage

Water Meter

If you live in an apartment, townhouse or unit you may be paying more for your water bills than you should.

Many properties managed by Owners Corporations or Body Corporates are engaging plumbing professionals to install individual water meters feeding units rather than just “splitting the bill” between occupants.

Some units have families of 5 living in them whilst others are single occupants – all the while having differing levels of water usage.

Installing individual water meters is a project undertaken between the owners corporation, a licensed plumber and the local water authority to ensure that all occupants are only responsible for the water usage within their occupied unit.

As utility rates for gas, electricity and water increase, many occupants welcome the individual water meter installation as opposed to sharing the quarterly invoice for water usage.

Many older units still have galvanised water lines that should also be replaced for copper.  This will also reduce the likelihood of bursts along the old galvanised line. Something we see a lot of in older areas with building over a certain age.

We recently had a call from someone looking to install a new water meter at his unit and had not called a licensed plumber for advice beforehand.  Paperwork had already been lodged with the relevant local water authority to have a new meter installed and they had been given no framework of the work involved.

Always ensure you speak to a licensed plumber before undertaking any project as you may find yourself stuck in a situation that costs you more than you bargained for.

 

Burst Hot Water Unit in St Kilda East

 

RheemHWS


Burst Hot Water Unit (Before)

On Sunday we received an emergency call in East St Kilda where an old Rheem gas hot water unit was making a funny noise and leaking water.

Unfortunately, the homeowner had already called another plumbing company who had let them down so they were admittedly frustrated and cautious when calling us.   We reassured them that we would turn up when we say we will and get them out of trouble.

Once on site we found the existing hot water tank to be burst and will require replacement. Murphy’s law has these things happen at the worst time.  The homeowners are planning an overseas trip in two days time so this could not have come at a more inconvenient time for them.

We supplied and installed the new gas hot water service in the same location and installed new cold water isolation valve, gas isolation and new connections. We also removed the old unit from site and cleaned up all the rubbish.

When performing work on any gas appliances the regulation requires that a gas test be performed on the existing gas line for safety.  We take this very seriously as any gas leak can be very dangerous.  We always consider safety first.  Yes, testing the gas line does come at an additional cost and if a leak is detected there are additional costs to rectify.  However, because we uphold safety first and respect the regulation, we always perform this test.  It’s your safety we care about.

We also supplied and installed a new pressure limiting valve on the cold water meter at front of property.  Water pressure coming into your property should be 500kPa.  If we test your water pressure and it is found to be above this recommended limit, we always recommend installing a pressure limiting valve, known as a PLV, to regulate the water pressure. This can prevent any blow outs in your home and cause major water damage.

ThermannHWS

Thermann Gas Hot Water Unit (After)

Hot Water Emergency

24HourServiceWe were called out to a plumbing emergency in South Melbourne overnight. The owner reported no hot water.

Upon our arrival we noticed that their existing hot water unit had burst and required replacement.

We isolated the cold water and gas to the unit so our customer could still use cold water overnight.

We recommended installing a 5 star gas external hot water system in the same location as the existing unit. We altered some copper pipework to the new unit leaving the existing gas/water isolation valves in position.

We did recommended changing these valves to the customer, however he did not want to go ahead with installing new valves.

We adjusted the PTR (Pressure and Temperature Relief Valve designed to relieve the increase in pressure caused by water expansion during the normal heating cycle) so that it is visible if there is any leakage.

We conducted a test on the gas line for safety and re-lit appliances.

The new hot water unit was filled up and flushed through. The gas was turned on and the new hot water unit was tested and commissioned. We removed the old unit, pack up and cleaned area.

The customer was grateful to have hot water back on and for our prompt service.