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How to Recognise Different Pipes BEFORE You Make a Costly Mistake

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

How to Recognise Different Pipes BEFORE You Make a Costly Mistake

It takes all sorts of pipes to plumb a house. But every house, no matter where it is located in Sydney, will have three pipe systems.  It’s important to know the different pipes in your house so you understand how the plumbing works in your property. This knowledge can also help you when you have to explain to your plumber the reason for your call out. This information is crucial in giving the plumber a heads up on what materials will be needed to fix your plumbing problem.  

Legally, the only person who should be interfering with the pipes on your property is a licensed plumber. Often mistakes can occur when the wrong pipes are connected together. This can result in hefty fines from the local council if you get found out.  

Guide to different pipes in your house

Waste Pipes

Waste pipes are the pipes that carry waste water to the sewer. Typically, a waste pipe will connect from the waste outlet of a fixture and travel to a main sewer waste that connects into the local sewer line on your street. For modern or newly renovated homes, this waste pipe will be white PVC. It will be sewer grade PVC when underground.

Older homes dated in the pre-1960’s may have copper, cast iron or clay waste pipes. Often these waste lines are replaced with PVC during a renovation. Occasionally, plumbers will come across these older pipes if the house hasn’t been updated since its construction.  

Water Pipes

Water pipes, as the name suggests, carry potable water (drinking water) to various taps in the house. This water can be carried in pipes made from galvanised steel, copper or plastic pipe known as PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) or PB (polybutylene).

Copper is the most common water pipe in homes, but homes built from the 2000’s onwards will have their water lines run with PEX or PB.

Plastic pipes have their own regulations and rulings on where they can be installed in a home. For example, they must be lagged when run underground and they cannot be installed outside where they can be hit by UV rays.

There are pros and cons for plastic and copper pipe use for water lines in a house. A plumber will have the know-how on what fittings are needed to adapt from one pipe material to another.

Stormwater Pipes

Stormwater pipes are connected to the roof drainage that directs rainwater away from the house to stormwater drains. These pipes will always be 90mm-100mm PVC pipe.

It is common for stormwater and sewer waste pipes to be incorrectly identified. When this happens, the wrong pipes can be interconnected and result in waste water travelling through the incorrect drainage system. This can become a health issue if sewerage is connected to the stormwater. This is why using a licensed plumber for all your waste and water pipe connection is important.

Natural Gas or LPG Pipes

Gas pipes can be galvanised steel pipes, copper pipes, nylon and PEX-AL-PE Composite pipes. The plastic or composite pipes will often be yellow or orange in colour, which differentiates its use for the application of gas installations. It’s a more durable pipe and does require specific fittings and tools to install and maintain.

Recycled water Pipes

Recycled water pipes will be copper or PEX pipe in the colour of purple (lilac). If your plumbing problem is in relation to recycled water pipes, identifying the right pipe material can give a plumber a head start in knowing what tools and fittings will be needed for the job.

Not an expert on pipes in plumbing? That’s okay – we are! Call Gladesville Plumbing today – our team of licensed plumbers can help.

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How Likely IS It That I’ll Find A Snake In My Toilet Bowl?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

How Likely IS It That I’ll Find A Snake In My Toilet Bowl?

We’ve all seen or heard about the movie Snakes on a Plane, but in recent weeks, ‘snake in toilet bowl’ has made the national news.

This startling headline is not new, but it is becoming more common each summer in Australia.   Snakes can not only find their way into your toilet bowl, they can swim through sewers and contort themselves through the s bend of your toilet pan to say hello. Freaked out yet? Let’s see how common it is to find a snake in your toilet bowl and what to do if you find one peeking under the toilet seat.

How do snakes get into the toilet? 

Surprise! Snake in the toilet bowl!

There are two ways for a snake to get into a toilet.

The first is through an opening in your house like an open window or sliding door. When it’s especially hot and dry in summer, snakes will look for water and the toilet bowl is the ultimate watering hole.

The second way snakes can get into a toilet is through an opening in the sewer. Sewers can be a hiding ground for mice and rats. Snakes will enter the sewer to get their next meal. They can make their way through a sewer and slither their way through the s bend of a toilet.

How often do snakes end up in toilets?

It’s a fairly rare occurrence for snakes to end up in a toilet. Most snake handlers retrieve snakes from backyards or in bedrooms, rather than from the toilet. However, the heat can make snakes come out more frequently, so the occurrence can increase if you haven’t put prevention mechanisms in place to deter a snake entering your home.  

How to prevent a snake curling up in your toilet bowl

The best ways to prevent a snake making its way into your toilet is to make your home less attractive to the snake in the first place.

  • Keep windows and sliding doors in the bathroom closed or ensure the screens are fully intact so a snake can’t slide its way in.
  • Prevent a mouse or rat infestation in your home with the correct rodent protection. Snakes will follow the food trail, so if you have mice or rats near or in your house, get rid of them ASAP.
  • Ensure your ORG has the inserted grate and is not left open for a snake to enter.
  • Ensure seals on garage doors and any openings into your house are maintained.

What to do if you find a snake in your toilet

If you find a snake in your toilet, your local plumber is not the right person to call. You will need to call your local wildlife snake catcher.

Once the snake has been caught, Gladesville Plumbing can come to inspect the toilet. A drain camera can be placed down the toilet and sewer to ensure there are no baby snakes slithering about.

Found something scarier than a snake in the toilet? Contact the team at Gladesville Plumbing. We’re only a call away to help with all your plumbing needs! 

 

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Common Issues Plumbers in Marsfield Fix Regularly

Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Common Issues Plumbers in Marsfield Fix Regularly

A local plumber is the best person to call when a plumbing emergency crops up from nowhere. Plumbers in Marsfield come across similar plumbing problems, household to household. While the problems can be avoided with education on domestic use, some issues are caused by lack of maintenance and upgrades to the existing plumbing services to the property.

If you live in Marsfield, here are some of the common plumbing problems your plumber will find via the two highly trafficked rooms in your home.

Bathroom Plumbing Problems

The two main plumbing problems in bathrooms in Marsfield are leaks and blockages.

Bathroom Blockages

The waste pipes connecting the basin, shower and bath to the floor waste are often a smaller diameter (between 32 to 40mm and the shower having a 40-100mm diameter depending on the age of the home). Often these pipes become clogged with hair, shampoos and conditioners and any hygiene products that get washed down. It is a common occurrence for these fixtures to block over time. The best way to unblock any fixture in a bathroom is by calling a plumber, who will use a sani-snake and ensure the pipe is clear from the fixture to the floor waste. For blockages that are difficult to dislodge, a jet rodding machine may be needed.

Toilet blockages can usually be unblocked with the use of a plunger. In some cases, plunging rods or a jet rodder may need to be used. A plumber will own all of these tools and equipment, which makes them the best person to handle the job.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are a plumbing emergency that needs urgent attention to prevent further water damage in your property. A water leak can spring from a welded joint in the wall that has cracked due to ground movement or the bursting of a chrome flexi hose under a basin. A water leak in the bathroom can always been managed by turning the water off at your meter. Your Marsfield plumber may need to turn the water back on to locate the leak if it’s not obvious.

Leaking toilets will often need to be inspected to work out what needs to be replaced to fix the leak. Not all toilets are the same, so calling a plumber to investigate will save you the time and hassle of working out how to fix the toilet leak.

Older homes can also experience water leaks from the shower tray. This type of leak is a sign a full renovation of the bathroom may be needed to restore the water proof membrane in the bathroom.

Kitchen Plumbing Problems

Just like the bathroom, your kitchen can also experience blockages and leaks at the kitchen sink. Never pour fats and oils down the kitchen sink as this can solidify in cooler months causing an unwanted blockage.

The most common taps in the kitchen are a sink mixer. These taps are always connected to the water supply with flex hoses. Regularly check the hoses for fraying, and call your Marsfield Plumber to replace if you can see rust. This is a sure sign it may burst in the future.

Dishwashers can also be a pain point in the kitchen, as no one likes washing by hand when the dishwasher can’t be used. Plumbers can only plumb a dishwasher in by putting water into the appliance and connecting the waste hose to the sink waste. If the dishwasher stops draining or malfunctions, it’s likely you will need an appliance repairer, rather than your plumber to fix.

The plumbing problems experience by Marsfield residents can be resolved with a call out to your local Marsfield Plumber.

When it comes to experienced plumbers, Marsfield residents rely on Gladesville Plumbing. Call us today for friendly and professional service.

 

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Dishwasher Installation Sydney – Do You REALLY Need A Plumber?

Posted by on Mar 8, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Dishwasher Installation Sydney – Do You REALLY Need A Plumber?

Many would agree a dishwasher should be installed in every kitchen. While older kitchens can be reconfigured to allow for a dishwasher installation, most new kitchens have the space allowance for a dishwasher to be slid into place.

The installation of a dishwasher can be quite an easy process, however, it’s important to check if you can do this installation yourself and what to be wary of if it’s installed incorrectly.

Dishwashers require certain fittings to ensure optimal performance. It may be tempting to try and install a dishwasher yourself, but here are some reasons why it’s best to hire a plumber for the job.

Not Using a Licensed Plumber Can Void the Dishwasher Warranty

Every dishwasher will come with a warranty, and the booklet will state the warranty is void if the dishwasher has not been installed by a licensed tradesperson.

All dishwashers require a licensed plumber to install the plumbing and an electrician for the power outlet.

Licensed plumbers know the requirements of a dishwasher installation. Most handy people won’t.

Dishwashers require a mini stop tap and pressure limiting valve. The mini stop tap allows for easy connection of the water hose, without turning the water off at the main.

A pressure-limiting valve prevents blowouts if the water pressure fluctuates. Most appliances will have a maximum pressure that they can handle, and a pressure-limiting valve will ensure the water pressure doesn’t go beyond what the appliance can handle. It’s also usually a mandatory requirement as part of the warranty.

A pressure limiting valve ensures the correct pressure of water is fed into the dishwasher. If the water pressure is too high for the dishwasher, it can cause a blow-out or affect the appliance’s performance, causing it to have a shorter lifespan.

Some dishwashers will have these valves automatically fitted within the water hose, but a plumber will know if your dishwasher does or doesn’t have one and will ensure one is installed to guarantee longevity and safe use of the appliance.

Damage by dishwasher leaks may not be covered by insurance

It’s easy for a cross thread to occur when connecting the cold water hose to the water point, or under-tightening the waste hose onto the tit of a trap on a sink waste. A plumber will triple check their work and get the dishwasher installed right the first time. For those that aren’t familiar with a dishwasher installation, these common mistakes can cause water damage. If the insurance company finds the dishwasher wasn’t installed by a licensed tradesperson, a claim for damage can be denied.

Replacing materials in an older kitchen can cause headaches

If a dishwasher installation ends horribly with a flood which requires water damaged floors and cabinetry to be replaced, this can mean a big financial outlay. There is also the issue of finding similar materials to match in with the existing kitchen. The headaches aren’t worth the stress. Hire a plumber for your dishwasher installation, not matter how easy it may seem to be.

For professional dishwasher installation, Sydney specialists Gladesville Plumbing are your first choice. Call our friendly team today on 9817 4777. 

 

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My Outside Drain Is Blocked! What Do I Do?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

My Outside Drain Is Blocked! What Do I Do?

When an outside drain is blocked, it can be a nasty surprise to find in the garden. Overflowing stormwater from a grated pit or sewerage from an overflow relief gully (ORG) are the two common types of blocked drains that occur outside. If you find you have a blocked drain outside, here is how to respond to the blockage.

Identify the type of blocked drain and respond appropriately

If there is clear water with leaf matter overflowing out of a grated drain, this means there is a blockage of the stormwater. This type of blocked drain does not require immediate attention, unless it causes a flood (which can initiate damage to property) or a wet weather event is on its way which has the potential to flood. A stormwater blockage is usually caused by rubbish or an accumulation of leaf and garden matter that can get stuck in the stormwater pipe. Using a rod plunger or a mop as a plunger can flush the blockage, but if this is of no use, you will need to call a plumber.

If you have a round 100mm grated drain that is overflowing raw sewerage, this is a big problem and needs a plumber’s attention immediately. This type of blockage can be caused by a blockage in the Sydney Water main in your street, or it could be a blockage on your main house sewer caused by foreign matter or tree roots.

If you know your sewer is prone to tree roots, get these investigated yearly with a drain camera and cleaning machine. Consider getting the problem area replaced to prevent future blockages.

Prevention is better than cure

Blocked drains outside can often be avoided. Here are some tips to maintain the stormwater and sewer waste connections from your property.

Maintain outside stormwater drains

  • Clear gutters of leaf and branch matter regularly.
  • Use a hose to clear out down pipes.
  • Use a hose to clear out stormwater drains.
  • Always keep gardens and trees trimmed to ensure their foliage doesn’t fall into gutters or lay across stormwater grates.

Maintain outside sewerage drains

  • Inspect the Overflow Relief Gully quarterly to check on the water levels. If it’s a high water level, you may have a partial blockage on your sewer line.
  • Never glue the ORG grate or cover the grate. It’s meant to pop up if an overflow of sewerage occurs. Covering the grate can redirect an overflow of sewerage into your property.
  • If you know your sewer is prone to tree roots, get these investigated yearly with a drain camera and cleaning machine.
  • Only flush pee, poo and paper down toilets. Anything else has the potential to block the sewer and cause a nasty overflow outside.

Outside drain blocked? Give Gladesville Plumbing a call. We have the experience and tools required to get your pipes free flowing again.

 

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What Causes A Blocked Storm Water Drain & What Should I Do About It?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

What Causes A Blocked Storm Water Drain & What Should I Do About It?

 

A blocked storm water drain is a plumbing problem that generally presents itself during a weather event like rain or a storm. Your property will be fitted with gutters, down pipes and storm water drainage pits that collect the rain water and dispel it to the storm water drainage network in your street. If you notice water overflowing out of your gutters or water pooling around your home, you have a blocked storm water drain.

Ensuring each storm water drain is clear and free from blockages is important to safeguard your home from a possible flood causing a moat-like situation around your home. Blocked gutters can cause water to seep into the home which will ruin ceilings with water damage. It can also lap into the house under doors causing floor damage.  It’s vitally important that the storm water drainage system around your home is maintained and blockages are fixed as soon as they are identified. Let’s look at some of the key blockages found in storm water drains and how they can be rectified and prevented.

What causes a blocked storm water drain?

The most common blockages to storm water drains are environmental matter like leaves, dirt, pebbles, sand, sticks and even garden covering materials like bark and mulch. Water will pick up whatever is in its path and carry it down the grates and pipes. An accumulation of this matter will cause a blockage. The problem with storm water drains is water generally runs down them during a rain event and if no one checks the drains after rain, the environmental matter can consolidate, causing a blockage.

Blockages in storm water can also be caused by rubbish or the incorrect connection of the sewer pipes to the storm water. When this is identified on a property, it’s mandatory for the sewer pipe to be reconnected to the sewerage system. It’s a matter of safety and wellbeing for the community.

These are the major causes of blockages in storm water, so what can be done to fix or prevent them?

How to fix a blocked storm water drain

Depending on the blockage, you may be able to fix it yourself by using a plunger. In most cases, calling a plumber like Gladesville Plumbing is going to save you time and money. They will use plunging rods or a jet rodding machine to blast the blockage away to ensure the pipe is free of obstruction.

How to prevent a blocked storm water drain

The best way to prevent a blocked storm water drain is to keep gardens well maintained and remove any leaf matter from the gutters. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year removing all tree branches, leaves and any other matter that has accumulated throughout the year. Always use gloves when doing this job and ensure you stand on a ladder that is erected safely.

If you have noticed more rainwater is flowing out of the gutters than down them or the pooling of water around your home, it may be time to call Gladesville Plumbing to unblock your storm water drains.

Think you’ve got a blocked storm water drain? Let our friendly team resolve the issue for you! Call Gladesville Plumbing on 9817 4777.

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