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Plumbing Maintenance List | Tell Tale Signs When A Plumber Is Needed

Plumbing Maintenance List | Tell Tale Signs When A Plumber Is Needed

When To Call A Plumber

Just like anything these days plumbing too gets tired with use and decay. Knowing when to call a plumber in time to fix your plumbing is crucial if you want to save in expensive repair bills.

It is advisable not to try doing a repair job yourself unless you are a licensed and insured plumber. Any damage to the property may not be covered by insurance. So its best to call a licensed plumber to check the cause of the problem and fix it immediately.

Here is a list of tell tale signs that the plumbing in your home, office or commercial premises may need a good look over by an experienced plumber.

  1. BACK UP IN PIPE WORK: Backup in the pipe and drainage systems on your property. If you are experiencing back-up in your drains or sewage systems regularly then it may be advisable to get a plumber around with his camera to take a look at what is happening inside those pipes. Possibly the pipework may be clogged with debris or tree roots.
  2. POOR WATER QUALITY: This normally comes when pipework is old and rusty. This maybe from old pipes on the property or old and rusting hot water system. Calling a plumber is the best advise we can give you as he will give you a full report of what is happening with the plumbing and a quotation to repair old pipework.
  3. NOISY PIPEWORK: Noisy pipes indicate that the pipework is getting weak and may need to be replaced. Best to call a plumbing contractor in the neighborhood to do a routine check.
  4. BLOCKAGE OR CLOGGING: Your toilet, bathroom basin, tub or kitchen sink may time to time get blocked. It may be simple to use a plunger to get right of the problem and flush everything down the drain. However, if the problem persists please call a plumbing company near you to come over and check the issue with the clogged pipes or basin. Quite often this will help locate the problem sooner and help prevent expensive cleanup bill so repair jobs to carpet, walls due to water overflowing and flooding the home or business.
  5. WATER BUBBLING: Bubbling water sounds after the toilet is flushed normally is a sign that a pipe maybe cracked or faulty. Best to call a plumber to look at this before the damage escalates.
  6. INCREASE IN WATER BILL: This is a clear sign that either the residents of the premises are using too much water or that water maybe leaking from a tap or from a hidden cracked pipe underground. Get a plumber to come in and check this emergency as it will lead to further water bills being too high.
  7. NO OR VERY LOW WATER PRESSURE: When water pressure is almost zero or not present then this may indicate that somewhere in the pipework there is a leaking pipe. Another thing to remember is that if the pressure in the pipework fluctuate daily this too will indicate water pressure is being lost due to a leaking pipe.
  8. WET OR SOGGY LAWN PATCHES: Are you seen your lawn damp and soggy when it hasn’t rained for a while? This may indicate that there is possibly a leaking pipe under the grass and water is leaking out. This will cause your water bill to increase as well as contaminate the water supply entering the home or business pipework systems. Best to call Plumbaround to come by to check what the plumbing problem is. It is important to know that is the water leak in inside your property then its your responsibility. The council will take care of leaks outside your property boundary. You may need to discuss this with your plumber when they come to inspect.
  9. BAD SMELLS: Bad smells coming from drains is a early signal that the sewage system may be clogging up and will need looking at. Call your local licensed plumber with a snake to come and fix this smelly problem.
  10. NO HOT WATER: When the hot water system if not giving you enough hot water supply then its possible you may need the system to be replaced. Get a professional licensed plumber such as Plumbaround to come by and give you a quote to replace the HWS.
  11. DRIPPING TAPS, LEAKING SHOWER HEADS: We all have had leaking taps, dripping shower heads. Most often we ignore this until the water bill arrives and it far exceeds the norm. There are many causes that may lead to the leaks. Some are: poorly installed washer. Damaged or corroded washers, Damaged or loose o-rings, Wear and tear of cartridge, Value seat damage or mineral build-up,Excessive high water pressure, A leaking pipe that has not been diagnosed.
  12. TOILET WON’T STOP RUNNING: This is a silent problem. You probably won’t even hear it. The leaking cistern will cause your water bill to increase each quarter. The issue maybe that the flapper is faulty in the cistern. The flapper is designed to help seal the toilet cistern from the bowl. A faulty or cracked flapper will not seal the cistern, causing water to leak through. Most often this is the water leaking sound you may hear when you pass the toilet each day. You must stop the leak by calling a plumber immediately.
  13. BACKFLOW EMERGENCY: What is a backflow… Backflow is when water backs up in the pipe system and comes back up and overflows into the sink, toilet bowl or bathroom. This potentially can destroy furnishing in kitchen, living spaces, damaging carpet, cupboards, floors and even your furniture. The worse thing is the backflow water brings with it foul smells and germs that can contaminate your drinking water system and be hazardous to your health. This is an emergency that you just need to call your local plumbing contractor called Plumbaround.
  14. WATER ACCUMULATING NEAR BASE OF DISHWASHER OR WASHING MACHINE: Call a plumber to come and check the intake and outtake lines to the equipment.
  15. WATER STAINS UNDER KITCHEN OR BATHROOM CABINETS: This indicates that possible water leaks are happening.
  16. SLOW DRAINING SINKS EVEN AFTER PLUNGING: This normally indicates that there is grim from food waste that maybe stuck along the inside lining of the pipes and not allowing water to flow easily. Its best to call a plumber as he will need to locate where this maybe coming from. Sometimes it could be near the sink itself or possibly hidden in the walls or under the house. The plumber will use a camera to locate the problem and then come up with the solution to fix the blocked pipe. Having a regular maintenance of your property done by a plumber each year maybe the best answer.

Other Resources!

Click here to read up on more frequently asked questions around plumbing issues.

What is Backflow Prevention and why is it important?

What is Backflow Prevention and why is it important?

Here in Australia, strict regulations around water backflow prevention allow us to enjoy some of the cleanest, safest and most reliable water in the world, straight from our taps.

Typically, your plumbing flows in one direction, from your potable water supply through the taps and other outlets in your building, down the drain and into the sewer system. Good water pressure maintains this flow so you can turn on your tap and enjoy fresh, safe drinking water.

If the Mains water pressure goes below the adequate pressure in your plumbing supply, the flow can change direction, hence the name ‘backflow’. This backflow can cause serious problems of waste, pollutants and other hazardous materials entering and contaminating your (or your neighbour’s) drinking water, posing hazardous health risks.   

Changes in pressure can occur if the water main bursts or if there’s a high demand, for example during fire fighting operations. Flooding, as seen during extreme weather events, can also cause issues with backflow.  Risks of backflow contamination can come from water used in domestic and commercial developments, manufacturing, farming and irrigation systems, and medical and sanitation equipment.

Backflow prevention is a term used to prevent the reverse flow of this potentially polluted or contaminated water entering your potable water supply.

Having contaminated water enter your water supply can be prevented by the installation and proper maintenance of a backflow prevention device. This device, and its reliable maintenance, will ensure that water flows in one direction, as typically intended.  The regular testing and maintenance of these devices is essential for preserving the high standards of water quality that we all expect.

You should have a backflow prevention device on your property if you have any of the following:

  • an irrigation system
  • fire hose reels or hydrants
  • industrial equipment
  • water outlets in proximity to pollutants, grease traps or chemicals
  • an alternate water supply
  • chemical cleaning areas
  • an area where you perform any other commercial activities involving water.

Backflow prevention devices differ depending on the level of potential risk of water contamination. This risk is thoroughly and expertly assessed prior to installation.  

Most devices installed for commercial operations are complex and Australian law requires them to be tested annually by a qualified and accredited plumber.

The steps involved in backflow prevention device maintenance include:

Investigate: your Master Plumber will thoroughly check your backflow prevention device for any signs of deterioration or wear and tear.

Test: your Master Plumber will test your device to ensure it is functioning correctly, effectively and efficiently. The requirements on the Test Tag will be completed and certified.

Lodge: your Master Plumber will record and lodge the results of the test with Council within 10 working days.

Repair: your Master Plumber will complete any maintenance or repairs on the device, if required. The device will then be re-tested, and the results will be recorded and re-lodged to the Council.

Each back flow prevention device owner, or tenant, is responsible for the Council registration of the device, the annual testing of the device by a qualified and accredited plumber, and the cost of annual testing and any maintenance.

Are you looking for a Master Plumber experienced in Backflow maintenance? The Plumbaround team can help. Our plumbers are Licensed and Qualified to test, install and certify your Backflow Prevention devices. Backflow devices are required to be tested annually by law. We can take care of testing, certifying and lodging the required Council forms for you. To schedule a job, call our team on 07 3038 1038 or book online.

Brisbane Summer Storms: How to Protect Your Home Plumbing

Brisbane Summer Storms: How to Protect Your Home Plumbing

When you think of Summer, do you think warm (sometimes hot) days, barmy nights, barbecues with friends and visits to the beach? 

Summer is just around the corner and with it will no doubt come some pretty violent storms. As we’ve seen in the past, Summer storms can wreak havoc on home plumbing if plumbing maintenance has been neglected.  

With longer daylight hours coming, you’ve got a lot of socialising and relaxing to look forward to but first, there’s some simple things you should do to protect your home plumbing from storm damage. Here’s just a few:

#1  Wait up on the Washing Machine

Summer often means extra people in the house, especially with school holidays. With visits to the beach, outdoor activities and swimming, extra laundry can pile up which means your washing machine can get a real workout. No-one wants an ‘indoor flood’ so it’s a good idea to inspect your washing machine’s drainage system, hoses, pipes and joints.  

Heavy laundry loads can cause overflows and blockages so be careful what and how much you’re putting in. After beach visits, hiking or camping, make sure you shake out the sand and rinse muddy clothes with a bucket of water before you throw them in the machine. Sand can scratch the drum and too much sand or mud can cause blockages in your machine and your plumbing.

#2  Declutter your Gutters

It’s also a good idea to check your roof and gutters, even if you don’t have trees close to your home. Leaves, branches and twigs can be transported by birds and wind, and can cause a build-up in your gutters over time. Gutters can often be a breeding ground for pests and birds to nest too.  

Signs of blocked gutters and downpipes include birds and pests hanging around your roof, roof leaks, water spilling over the sides, sagging gutters, stains on the siding, plants growing from your gutters, flooding or pooling of water, rotting fascia boards and cracking of concrete below.

Clogged gutters can cause excess water to overflow and collect around the foundations of your home, which can lead to structural damage. So to avoid any damage and costly repairs, inspect your roof and guttering, and get any problems fixed by a roof specialist before the Summer storms hit.

#3  Free your Pipes, Sewer and Storm Water Drains

Heavy rain can cause leaves, dirt, sticks and other debris to block pipes, sewers, and drains, causing water to backup. There are signs that may appear if you have pipes, sewer or drain blockages. These may include, but are not limited to, flooding, bubbling in the yard, toilets gurgling, slow sink drainage, bad smells coming from drains, overflowing waste drains in the floor or the sewer, and water pooling during heavy downpours. Some blockages however, are insidious, meaning you might not know about them until it’s too late.

During Spring, tree roots are activated after being relatively dormant in winter. Some of these roots can belong to trees up to 10 metres from your home, and they could be penetrating your drains causing a collection of leaves and other debris to block your pipes. And, if a tree gets blown over in a storm, they can sometimes uproot pipes and drains as well.

So, take a walk around your home.  Check all your taps and toilets, and inspect outside areas where leaves and debris gather. Cut back any overgrown foliage and keep drainage areas clean and free of materials that might cause blockages.

An expert drainage plumber using a CCTV camera can identify any areas of concern within your drains and stormwater system around your home. This camera allows the plumber to find the source of the blockage, find the correct depth of the problem, and assists in the decision of how to best fix the issue.   

Our friendly plumbers at Plumbaround are all experts in diagnosing blockages, utilising hydrojetting, an incredibly powerful drain cleaning machine that uses high-pressure water jets to clear pipes and drains. We are also well equipped to replace any damaged pipes if needed. Call us on 07 3038 1038 to schedule a job or book online.

5 Tips on How to Save Money on Your Water Bills

5 Tips on How to Save Money on Your Water Bills

You only have to bring up the subject of water with someone in outback Queensland to quickly learn how scarce this precious resource is. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on the planet, and let’s face it, without fresh water, life on land wouldn’t exist.  

Australians are among the highest consumers of water per capita in the world, using on average an astonishing 340 litres of water per person, per day. That’s roughly 1,400 cups of coffee! Nearly 35% is used to water our gardens and 19% is flushed down the toilet. It’s a fact that every time you flush, you’re using up to 12 litres of water.

With the coming summer and Christmas season you might have more people in the house. This starts you thinking about how your home (and your pocket) will cope with the extra usage of water. With the price of water increasing exponentially, despite record rainfalls, it’s a good time to set some strategies in place in your home so you won’t get caught with a bill you’re struggling to pay.

Whilst we would never suggest you stop watering your prize roses or flushing the loo (not a pleasant thought), there are some simple ways to save money on your water bills. Here’s our top 5 tips:

Tip #1 – Sing a Song in the Shower

The length of a good song is about 4 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time for a shower, and it’s all you really need. Try blasting out your favourite ditty next time you jump in the shower, be mindful of doing what you need to do… and don’t spend any more time in there than you need to. By the end of the song, you should be well and truly done.

Got a teenager in the house who loves taking 30 minute showers? (seriously, what do they do in there?!). You could try passing them the next water bill, though probably a more effective way to save any angst, is to install a water-saving shower head and aerators to your taps. This is a great and cheap way to save water and money.

Tip #2  – Flush the 3 P’s Only 

Toilets are really only designed to take the 3 P’s – Pee, Poo and Paper (toilet paper). Everything else should be binned, even those wipes that claim to be ‘flushable’. Sanitary products, newspaper, paper towels and other bulky or absorbent materials can actually block your drains which can cause leaks. This means a house call from your plumber to fix the problem and a possible rectification cost for any damage the leak might cause.

Tip #3 – Become a Leak Detective

Leaks are a nuisance and can cause significant damage to your home. Sometimes you can hear them, sometimes you can see them, but some are not detectable at all until it’s too late and your water bill reveals a problem. Make it a habit to regularly check taps, including the bases, drains and all the pipework underneath the sinks. Don’t just look though, run your hand, perhaps with a cloth, around each joint and along the pipes to feel if there is any evidence of moisture. Being scrupulous in determining whether you have any leaks in your home could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Tip #4 – Retrain Your Lawn

Over-watering your lawn can cause the roots to sit close to the soil surface. Watering your lawn less will encourage the roots to grow deeper, making it a more hardy lawn and saving water in the process. Also, in summer, set your mower higher and let your lawn grow longer. This will not only save on water, but the longer grass will shade the soil surface, reducing evaporation loss.  

Tip #5 – Install Water-Saving Gadgets

Using less water will always save you money and there are many nifty, innovative plumbing gadgets and fixtures designed to do just that. Simply investing in a modern toilet, changing your shower head, installing mixer taps and adding timers to your hoses can go a long way in preventing water over-use.  

Look for showers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, urinals, taps and flow controllers that display the WELS star rating for water efficiency. The National Water Efficiency Label and Standards (WELS) is a scheme that ensures consumers like you are able to make informed and climate-conscious decisions about the products available for efficient water use. It is a requirement of Australian Law that these products display a WELS label.

Any time is a good time to action water saving tips, especially in this volatile economic climate. If you could take on one or all five of our tips, you could literally save bucket loads (pardon the pun!), of water and money.

Water conservation and lowering your water bills is really important to us at Plumbaround. For professional advice or to schedule a job, talk to our friendly team at Plumbaround today.

What is Commercial Plumbing and Why is it Important?

What is Commercial Plumbing and Why is it Important?

Plumbing services are not all equal.  

Whilst all plumbers deal with leaks, burst pipes, blocked toilets and broken gutters, commercial plumbers are specialists in maintaining, repairing and installing plumbing systems in commercial establishments such as offices, schools, restaurants, body corporate buildings and shopping centres.

A commercial plumber needs to be able to read and navigate building plans and designs, including those of multi-storey and high-rise constructions.  They may also design commercial plumbing infrastructures, including pipework and sewerage systems, so they need to be well educated in plumbing regulations and comply with relevant building codes.

Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important to ensure you engage a commercial plumber for your business.

More flexible work schedules

A plumbing issue can disrupt business operations, no less maintenance and repair work.  In many cases, commercial plumbers can avail themselves to work during times when customers and employees are not present so as to minimise distractions and disruptions.

In addition to this, many businesses, like restaurants, operate at night and plumbing disasters don’t generally seem to happen during the day.  To avoid the risk of lost revenue, it’s important to be able to contact a qualified commercial plumbing specialist 24 hours a day.

Specialist tools and equipment

All plumbers rely on specialist tools such as pipe wrenches, toilet augers, sink snakes and plungers.  Commercial properties usually have heavy-duty piping and the jobs are larger in scale, so commercial plumbers require a more advanced set of tools which can include hydrojetters, inspection cameras, large industrial drain cleaners, tile saws, generators and industrial wet and dry vacuum cleaners.

Bigger means better

Commercial plumbers work on larger, more complex projects, often in various industrial settings and multiple storey constructions.  They can encounter many different plumbing systems, more than that of a residential plumber.  This also means they have to work with and navigate heavy-duty equipment, and be experienced in dealing with the dangers of these machines.   A commercial plumber understands the safety hazards in industrial settings, and is more able to complete the bigger jobs accurately and efficiently. 

Preventative maintenance

Commercial operations can’t afford to have ‘down-time’ so preventative maintenance is essential.  Scheduled maintenance tasks on a commercial property allows for asset protection and extends the longevity of the facilities, especially if they’re in high use.  A reputable commercial plumber who’s licensed, insured and confident in their work will be able to ensure that all your plumbing systems are working at their best.  

Our team at Plumbaround can perform routine inspections, complete any works required and provide a report on their findings, giving you a good overview of the needs of your facilities.

At Plumbaround, we ensure we deliver reliable and cost effective plumbing solutions for your commercial business.  We are the plumbers you can rely on. To schedule a light commercial job, call us today on 07 3038 1038 or book online here.

5 Benefits of Regular Plumbing Maintenance

5 Benefits of Regular Plumbing Maintenance

Plumbing isn’t always on top of our list when we think of maintaining our home, until something happens like a water leak or blocked drain.  

According to the Queensland Department of Environment, Land and Water, leaking pipes and dripping taps are responsible for the wastage of around 9,000 litres of water a year, while a leaking toilet can waste more than 60,000 litres.  Reflecting on what that could look like on your water bill, you could save thousands of dollars just by having them fixed.

Water leaks can cause dangerous mould and mildew problems impacting occupants’ health.  Severe leaks can affect the structural integrity of your home and even damage the foundations, requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.

As a landowner, it is your responsibility to install and maintain any plumbing, and then identify and fix any leaks on your property.  

To avoid an unwanted costly mess, we’ve put together our top five benefits to you if you were to engage a qualified plumber to perform regular maintenance on your home.

#1  Drastic reduction in water bills

This is obvious.  If a leak has appeared anywhere in or around your home, your water bills will reflect that.  Routine maintenance by a qualified plumber is extremely valuable as it ensures your water bills are kept as low as possible, saving you thousands of dollars in the long-term.  It can also help to prevent the risk of a major fault in your plumbing system causing an emergency.

#2  Prolong the life of your pipes

Strong chemicals and caustic drain cleaners regularly poured down drains and pipes to remove blockages can corrode pipes, shortening their lifespan.  Regular plumbing maintenance can prevent small problems becoming larger just by a plumber checking your pipes for any damage, and clearing them of any goop build-up using safe and effective methods.

#3  Experience better water pressure

It can be very frustrating when you take a shower under low water pressure.  Water leaks in other taps around the house or lime build-up in the shower attachments can result in reduced water pressure.  A plumber contracted to perform regular maintenance will test your water pressure, and search for and rectify any issues.

#4  Better health for you and your family

Ruptured and/or leaking water pipes, taps, roofs, hot water systems, ground water damage and even sewer backup are the main causes of mould growth in the home.  Mould can lead to a number of health issues including allergies, asthma and a compromised immune system.   Regular inspections by a qualified plumber can identify where mould is coming from, and take actionable steps to solve it and prevent it from happening again.

#5  Boost your home’s value

Plumbing systems account for around 10% of the total value of your house.  Lower water bills, a reduction in the risk of burst pipes causing severe damage, a mould and mildew-free house, good water pressure and the fact that you engage a plumber to conduct regular maintenance, will go a long way in improving the value of your home and attracting a favourable offer if you decide to sell.

Regular plumbing maintenance results in ensuring that your plumbing systems remain functional throughout the whole year.  This is the perfect time of the year to call Plumbaround about a regular maintenance program for your home so that you don’t have to encounter plumbing issues like a blocked drain (or worse) in the long run.

To book a plumbing maintenance job with us at Plumbaround, call today on 07 3038 1038 or book online here.