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Blocked Drains

What are the causes of blocked drains?

Blocked drains are not just a health hazard the can cause substantial damage to the property.

Most common causes of blocked drains are due to:

  • Excessive usage of toilet paper flushed down toilets
  • Misalignment of pipes, resulting in incorrect flow of water
  • Pipes collapsed caused by movement or due to older pipes
  • Cracks in pipe due to tree roots which hand grown through into drain causing blockages

What are the signs of a blocked drain?

Blocked drain can be detected a number of ways and the signs of a blockage occurring usually progress over time.

The most common signs are:

  • Odors that blocked drain gives due to restricted air flow which causes trap seal to be pulled out
  • You will also hear sucking or groaning noises created by the blockage causing the water to vibrate.
  • Other signs is drains taking longer then usual to drain, a good way to test is by filling up basin to top with water and release plug and see how long it takes to drian.

What equipment is used to clear drains?

Plumbers use a variety of equipment to fix and detect blocked drains.

The most common equipment used by plumber are:

  • Plunger: used to push blockage and break up debris to allow water to flush through and clear blockages
  • Drain Snake/Auger: inserted into drain and rotates with different heads that are removable and interchangeable to break down and clear debris/fats/oils
  • CCTV Cameras is a very important tool this allows footage and inspection of inside drain to determine and locate if there is any issues in drain which are causing blockages to occur
  • High Pressure Water Jetter used by plumbers clear build up remove blockage at same time clean drain of build up

Hot Water

Why do I not have hot water?

Every brand of hot water system has a lifespan depending on the brand and material used to manufacture, usually average lifespan is 7-12 years. Generally when the hot water system is around 7-12 years old problems which have caused no hot water is generally due to ageing.

Other reasons for not having hot water are the following:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Tank capacity to small for the household’s needs
  • Faulty thermostat/controller
  • Faulty tempering valve
  • Water leaks
  • Gas leak

Why is my hot water system leaking?

Hot water system leaking can be a major problem or a indication of maintenance required. A little leakage from pressure temperature relief valve (PTR), for instance is a common problem which does not pose any risks.

This is an indication of maintenance is required.

A big leak near the top or at the bottom of your heating system is a concern, in this cause it is recommended to stop using the hot water system and call a licensed plumber immediately.

What is the best brand of water systems?

There are a number of brands offering hot water systems, you have quite a few brands to choose from:

  • Thermann
  • Rheem
  • Vulcan
  • Rinnai
  • Aquamax
  • Everhot
  • Dux

If you are unsure what hot water system would best suite you and your needs, seek the help of a experienced and reputable plumbing company. Who offer all brands of hot water systems and provide expert advice and provide valuable suggestions. Choosing the right hot water system would be beneficial and allow for many years of efficient hot water.

Hot often should I service my hot water system?

There a many types of hot water system these are a few of the main systems continuous flow, gas/electric, solar, heat pump and gas/electric storage Maintenance period and guidelines recommended:

  • Continuous flow: Annual Services
  • Electric/Gas Solar: Every 5 years
  • Heat Pump: Every 5 years
  • Solar: Every 5 years

Depending on your system and environment/location you live in inspection of sacrificial and PTR valves.

To extend life and longevity of of your hot water system is highly dependent and consistent maintenance of your hot water system. The most important mechanism to is the sacrificial anode.

This a key part of your system, the anode is a metal rod constructed from aluminium or magnesium, and coated in zinc. Found hanging down inside your hot water tank, it attracts impurities and minerals in the channeling water which can potentially cause rusting and/or deterioration.


What do I do if I have a burst pipe?

When a pipe bursts, go to your home’s main water valve and shut it off immediately. Turn the valve clockwise by hand or use a meter key. It helps to find your water valve now, before you need to know where it is. It’s a good idea to find a plumber now, before you need to call them for emergency service.

What do I do if I have an plumbing emergency?

Like all emergencies, plumbing emergencies have a way of popping up out of the blue and wrecking havoc, no matter the time of day. The important thing is knowing what to do when an emergency strikes.

Here’s some tips to following when have a plumbing emergency:

  • First thing’s first, remain calm! Panicking will not solve the problem
  • Assess the emergency what’s on going on so that you can provide your plumber with as much information as possible
  • Contact a trustworthy, professional plumber who you know will be able to sort the problem no matter the time of day.
  • With the plumber now on their way, it’s time to do some damage control.

As soon as you notice any major plumbing problem (like a burst pipe), make sure that you turn off the main water valve to your home. In most cases this will be located outside the home on the water meter. In case you don’t know where that is… The water meter is located somewhere along the front boundary of your property. While shutting off the mains won’t solve the problem it will prevent water from flooding your home. If you know where exactly the issue is located you may be able to turn off the water at the appliance, for example the toilet so that you can access water in the rest of your home while you wait for the plumber. Our top tip to anyone experiencing a plumbing emergency? … Call as soon as possible! The longer you leave it, the worse it becomes and the more expensive the problem will be.


How dangerous is a gas leak in my house?

If you have had a leak in your home for a while, there is an increased risk of explosion. Call the emergency number for your utility company. But make the call away from the area of the suspected gas leak. Phones can create sparks, which may ignite the gas. Also, head to the emergency room, or call an ambulance if your symptoms are severe.

Natural gas has become a widespread energy source because it’s highly combustible, which means that it can produce large amounts of heat when you burn small amounts. Consequently, a natural gas leak can increase the risk of fire and explosion since it spreads quickly and combusts easily.

What are the signs of a gas leak?

To help ensure that you live safely using natural gas, be aware of the signs of a gas leak. A gas leak indoors is the most dangerous, since the levels of gas in the air can quickly build up to levels that are toxic and highly explosive, so it is important to know the signs:

  • Unpleasant smell: Neither natural gas nor liquid propane has any color or odor, but utility companies include an additive that gives the gas a highly distinctive odor that almost anyone can recognize. Known as mecaptan or methanethiol, this substance is harmless but pungent-smelling; it is often described as having an odor like rotten eggs or rotting cabbage. If you can smell this odor in your home, it is likely that you have a gas leak.
  • Hissing sound: A hissing sound coming from the area around a gas appliance is often a sign of a gas leak. This is a highly dangerous situation, since it means that large quantities of gas are escaping. If you can hear a gas leak, you almost certainly will also smell it. Don’t try to fix the connection yourself; leave the house and call the utility company to investigate.
  • Dead house plants: Plants are extremely sensitive to any buildup of gas in the air, and they may begin to die before you can detect any gas odor in the air. Failing house plants may indicate you have a slow gas leak that is otherwise undetectable.
Outdoor Signs

Look outside the home as well for evidence of a gas leak, including:

Visible air movement: A gas leak from an underground pipe can cause dirt to be thrown into the air or plants to be blown, as if by a breeze. Unusual air movement from the ground near the home is a possible sign of a gas leak.

Bubbles: A leak in a gas pipe can sometimes cause bubbling in moist ground areas around the home. A water puddle that bubbles may be hiding a leaking underground gas pipe.

Dying plants: Plant life near a gas leak will become sickly and eventually die. While plants can certainly wilt and die due to a variety of reasons, plants that die without an obvious cause can indicate a gas leak. A natural gas leak blocks a flower’s source of oxygen and fruits and vegetables will change color when they come in contact with natural gas. If you see dead or discolored plants surrounded by healthy green plants, it is worth investigating.

Dry spot inside an area of moist ground: A gas leak can dry out moist ground, so if you see an unusual spot of dry earth within a moist area, it may mean that leaking gas from an underground pipe is drying out the soil.

Ground on fire: A clearly defined blue or yellow flame coming from the ground, or a flame appearing to hover above the ground, is a clear sign of a gas leak in an underground pipe. Move far away from the area and call the authorities immediately.

How do I check for a gas leak?

There are specific tools that you may use to check for a gas leak if you suspect that there might be one. A gas leak detector would be the best choice as it is intended for the very purpose of detecting gas leaks.

However, if you have a carbon monoxide detector at home, it would do the job too. While it doesn’t specifically detect gas leaks, it measures the levels of potentially dangerous gases in the air and it would alert you of the gas leak if you already suspect one. You may also apply a solution of soapy water along the pipe and watch for bubbles forming due to the leaking gas.

What do I do if I have no gas?

There are a few simple checks to carry out which allow you to determine and possibly correct the problem. Please carry them out in the order listed. While this section is based on LPG tanks, the procedure for a cylinder supply is similar. Before you continue, make sure that you have turned off all burners that do not have flame-failure devices fitted – in particular, make sure all cooker and grill taps are in the off position.

1) Check that the tank is not empty

On the vast majority of tanks, the contents gauge is on the top of the tank facing upwards (do not confuse it with the other gauge on the tank, a pressure gauge, which is screwed into the valve that your gas supply pipe is connected to and is shown in the next photo). The contents gauge is graduated in percentages, and 5% or less means that it is empty.

If, instead of a bulk tank, you have cylinders connected to an automatic changeover regulator, the regulator will usually display a red indicator if the bank of cylinders is empty. They have a knob which you can turn to get it to operate from the reserve bank – if it also shows red in this position, you are out of gas (or the cylinders are turned off).

2) Check that the isolation valves are not turned off

There are usually two, one is at the tank – your gas supply pipe is screwed into this valve. It works similarly to an ordinary water tap – turn it clockwise to turn it off and anticlockwise to turn it on. The picture shows a service valve with a pressure gauge (which is usually but not always fitted).

There is usually a second valve on the outside of your premises, close to where the gas supply pipe enters your building – this is a quarter-turn valve, make sure it is also in the on position (the photo shows it in the on position, when it is in the off position the handle is perpendicular to the pipe).

Cylinder installations often have an isolation valve on the pipework between the cylinders and where the pipe enters the house, in addition to the cylinder valves, which operate similar to a tank service valve.

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