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Electrical – How Important Is It to Maintain the Electricity in Your Home?

What’s the one thing that most home owners rely on more than anything else in their homes? Electricity of course. Sure, we all need water on a daily basis – especially when staying hydrated, showering, or taking care of the next load of laundry – but without electrical power, we’d really be left in the dark.

There are three main reasons when electric cables and connections will need to be addressed.

First; if a new home is in the process of being built, then a reliable electrician will need to be called out to take care of the connectivity.

Second; if your home could do with a new set of power outlets, then you will undoubtedly need an expert to pay you a visit and take care of this requirement.

Third; if you’ve noticed issues with certain cables, power outlets, or electrical appliances – then a quick spot of maintenance could well be on the cards.

Why is it so important to leave these tasks to the professionals?

Electricity might be one of the most versatile resources in the world, with uses that are still being discovered; but boy oh boy can it be dangerous. Every single year, hundreds of people die as a result of electrocution and although most homes are well-equipped to moderate the flow of energy within walls, under floorboards and inside of devices – there’s really no guarantee.

Even if the job seems fairly straight forward, it’s never a good idea to attempt a repair or check-up unless you have the right amount of experience. All good electricians will boast a range of licenses and certificates and without these, they simply wouldn’t be able to ply their trade. Knowing that the person that’s dealing with your maintenance is as highly trained as they are experienced can be very reassuring.

Is there anything that you can do to help?

For those of you that might hate having to rely on others to get the job done and would like to play a part in the project; the good news is that you can! Instead of unscrewing ports and outlets, or removing cables to expose any areas that may have suffered with damage; it’s best to leave these tasks to the experts.

But what you can do is direct your electrician to your fuse box when they turn up. Rather than risking flicking the wrong switches off, you might just want to take a back seat and let the pros do what they do best. They’ll be able to almost instantly identify which switches control which parts of your home and once they turn them off – they’ll be able to take care of the maintenance with relative ease.

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Plumbing – Three Uses for Plumbers That You Might Have Not Guessed

What do you think about when you hear the word plumber? If you’re anything like us, the first thing that might spring to mind is a man dressed in overalls, with a hammer in his belt and a few pipes to hand. There are some tasks that these experts are well-known for dealing with, including the installation of water systems and repairing boilers, but what you might not know is that these services are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are plenty of other, lesser known options available to those in need and as most plumbers will have specialised in the majority of them – you can rest assured that your task will be in the best of hands. What are these services, you ask? Well, here’s a closer look at three of them that you’d simply have to see to believe!

Underground water flow installation

When it rains the majority of water will be absorbed by soil, or it will evaporate back into the atmosphere. But what about times where rainfall is especially heavy? Where does the water go then? Well, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the horror stories relating to water damage underground and if you happen to have foundations, whether concrete or wood – they might suffer as a result.

A good plumber will be able to install water flow features, runners and underground pipelines to all but eliminate the concern of liquid build-ups.

Irrigation system installation

There are plenty of home owners out there that enjoy growing plants and crops, in fact anyone with a little bit of garden space could take part. Irrigation systems are a great way to provide a consistent level of water to flowers, herbs and any other type of plant – and as plumbers have an uncanny amount of expertise in the field of water-management, they could help to install features of all sizes.

Even if irrigation isn’t up your alley; you could opt for a similarly suited water-supply feature to add a little something to your outdoor space.

Household tasks

Now we know what you’re thinking… household tasks are some of the most common that plumbers offer, but did you know that rather than chucking out an old, worn, or rusted pipe – you could hire a plumbing company to come out and take care of almost anything water-related. They could reline an existing pipe to keep it functioning, even if the outside one is damaged; or they could even repair a faulty cistern and switch out its internal components.

When it comes to the day to day running of your home, your options will be almost endless – and considering that all plumbing agents are well versed at regular tasks, you’ll undoubtedly find a reason to get in touch with one of them.

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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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Work Desk vs Toilet – Which Has More Germs?

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Did you know that the desktop is one of the germiest places in the office and that 20-30% of women’s handbags have fecal bacteria underneath?

Or that the average work station is jam packed with more germs per square inch than the office toilet, a recent study in University of Arizona revealed.

Research to determine germ hot zones — areas that are prime habitats for viruses causing colds and flu — found typical office phones and desktops, including computer keyboards and mice, have up to 25,000 bacteria per square inch compared to a mere 49 bacteria per square inch on workplace toilet seats.

Office phones, desktops, computer keyboards and mouse, have up to 25,000 bacteria per square inch compared to a mere 49 bacteria per square inch on toilet seats.

A recent survey by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention exposed some disturbing hand hygiene trends. It was discovered that one in three adults don’t wash their hands after using the toilet. One in four don’t wash after changing a baby’s diaper. Fewer than half wash after handling pets or cleaning up after them, only one in three wash after sneezing or coughing and hardly anyone washes after handling money, a major carrier of disease.

With more than 80% of infections carried through the environment, work desks become more susceptible to transmission of germs.

University of Arizona microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba says that coughing and sneezing can leave behind “a minefield of viruses” that can live on a surface for up to three days.

According to Health Canada, about 25 per cent of us are felled by the flu each season and 26 per cent get flu shots.

Here are 3 tips to keep your work area as clean as your toilet:

1. Avoid eating in your work desk. If you want to continue your work, make sure to clean

your desk afterwards. Always wipe before and after you eat, to clean any spills right away.

2. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand sanitizers

are an excellent addition to hand washing.

3. Wet the hands with warm water, apply soap, lather for 20 seconds, rinse, towel dry and turn

the tap off with the towel.

Always remember, Stay home if you’re sick, avoid those who are ill, see a healthcare

provider when needed, get regular physical activity and maintain healthy nutrition. Manage

your stress, get enough sleep and wash your hands.

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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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Failed Flexi’s Flood™

Burst Flexible Water ConnectorIn a recent Channel 7 news segment, Service Experts was cited as the Melbourne plumber documenting the issue of burst flexible hoses online.

For many years we have been attending to flooding in properties that causes thousands of dollars damage to the property, treasured belongings and lengthy insurance claims.

The cause?

Burst flexible water connections, flexi’s for short – and Failed Flexi’s Flood™!

Having served thousands of clients over 14years, Service Experts has witnessed the damage that burst flexible water connectors cause.

Most properties contain several sets of flexi-hoses under sinks, vanities, and connected to dishwashers and washing machines. All of these can cause major floods in a matter of seconds when they burst. To prevent major flooding and damage flexi hoses must be inspected at least every five years.

Early signs that old flexi-hoses are about to fail and cause flooding will be indicated by brown spots appearing along the flexi-hose and/or the hose being kinked and stretched. Brown spots that appearing along the flexi-hose are signs of rust and a warning sign that the hose will burst in a matter of time.

Service Experts replaces worn and burst fled-hoses with heavy duty, durable, longer lasting flexi-hoses that carries a 15 year manufacturer warranty.

In the recent Channel 7 news segment, the reported mentions a strata building in Brisbane that had several units experience flooding and damage caused by these burst flexible hoses and had moved to have all flexible hoses checked and replaced throughout the building.

Service Experts has been documenting the damage caused by these burst flexible hoses for many years and educating and warning all customers of the potential dangers lurking behind toilets, under vanities, sinks, washing machines and taps.

To view these videos and more, visit Service Experts’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/PlumbAssist

If you want to save thousands of dollars in repairs and unwanted insurance claims, call Service Experts on 1300 390 045.

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How To Prevent Major Flooding In Your Home

Darryl Simon, owner of Service Experts was recently featured in a Channel 7 segment on burst flexible hoses, the damage they cause and how to prevent flooding from happening in your home or at work.

Darryl has been documenting the effects these braided hoses have when burst.  Service Experts has attended to hundreds of burst flexible hoses and prevented thousands more from failing and causing flooding to homes.

These flexible braided hoses connect taps and toilets to water and fail over time.  When they fail and burst, they cause an immense amount of water damage and can cause tens of thousands of dollars damage to your home or business.

This can be easily preventable by visually checking these hoses on a regular basis.

Look out for any brown spots.  This means that the steel braided outer is rusting and may fail shortly.

Look for any kinks or twists in the hose.  This can also lead to the hoses failing and bursting.

Change all old hoses for new hoses that have a 15 year warranty.

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?).

Burst Hot Water Unit in St Kilda East

 

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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.

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Thermann Gas Hot Water Unit (After)

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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.