I'm very fortunate to have worked all across South Australia and this has given me many great experiences and challenges along the way, especially when working in the Adelaide Hills as a plumber.
Due to fact that the residents and businesses here have limited access to Natural Gas, if a property is using gas it will most likely be LPG bottled gas. The pipe work for this must always be installed by a licensed gasfitter. It also means that the appliances using the LPG are using a different type of gas jet due to the higher pressure which LPG operates at (approx 2.75 kpa) compared with Natural Gas (approx 1.4 kpa). There are also various restrictions involved with the placement of LPG bottles and certain requirements on how these bottles must be secured when placed in there final destination. If you have engage the services of a licensed gas fitter then they will be able to advise you on the correct location to meet Australian Standards.
When it comes to fire protection on commercial premises the hydrant boosters which operate in the Adelaide Hills district need to be equipped with a specific type of filling coupling to suit CFS requirements which differs from the type Adelaide's Metropolitan Fire Department use in Metro areas. In most cases access to large volumes of mains pressure water is not always easy to come by and that is why storage tanks are put in place. This was the case when I worked at Macclesfield Primary School a 5 years ago. The School didn't have access to large volumes of mains pressure water, so in case of a fire we had to install 2 x 40,000 Litre water storage tanks with quick recovery devices which would refill the tanks as they were emptied by the Country Fire Department (CFS) during a fire.
Another project which I have also recently been involved with as a plumber was at Aldgate where I was asked to install a bathroom to an existing granny flat. My customer didn't have mains sewer at there house so the new drains had to be connected to a septic sewage system. These systems are more common in the Adelaide Hills districts, remote locations of South Australia and Yorke Peninsula, but having said that there are still a few suburbs such as Banksia Park, Redwood Park and Tea Tree Gully that still have a few of these septic tanks installed back from when these houses were first constructed and the adequate infrastructure was not available at the time. As a licensed tradesman you get to see things that other trades do not, like the septic sewerage systems.
In the locations of the Adelaide Foot Hills closer to the city fringe such as Mt Osmond, Belair, Skye and Blackwood working as a plumber clearing my customers blocked storm water and sewer drain systems can also prove to be quite the challenge. This can be for a variety reason, but mainly due to access. These properties are often on a low side of the road or the high side of the road, meaning that getting the plumbing service van onto these properties can be very hard, luckily I have equipped my plumbing van with enough length of hoses for the hydro jet drain cleaning machine to still access the drains from as far away as the street if needs be. Yes I have been caught out a few times during my plumbing career and I have learnt my lessons.
Reflecting further on my comments above about properties being on the high side or low side of the street, this can also cause issues getting sewerage or storm water out to the street level and sometimes a pumping station is required. How this operates is that the sewer or storm water initially flows to the pumping station via gravity, once it enters the pumping chamber the liquid will fill up to a certain level and activate a float switch to turn the pump on and the liquid will be pumped out the drains at street level. Regular maintenance by a plumber Adelaide Hills is crucial, because the last thing you want is a backed up drain with no where for it to empty except in your house, then you will have a plumbing emergency.
My most common Adelaide Hills emergency plumbing call out from my customers is they have either run out of LPG, there hot water service has stopped working and need hot water repairs or there sewer/storm water pumping station has stopped pumping, and these problems always happen on a weekend when it is an absolute plumbing emergency for the customer. In most cases I can always get the issues sorted out for them on the same day (same day hot water repairs and servicing Adelaide Hills) and sometimes with in the hour which makes them very happy and leaves me feeling good knowing I've helped someone out of an emergency plumbing situation.
I hope you enjoyed my latest plumbing blog and I look forward to writing another installment soon, have a nice week and remember if you do need a tradie call Mayfair today 0429 361 819
There are many different styles and designs of tap ware, shower roses, toilets and vanity units on the market today. Whether you visit a store like Bunnings, Reece or Routleys the choices are endless and the price range can vary a great deal as well. With some entry level tap sets starting at around $100 and other top of the range items heading into the many hundreds of dollars the sky’s the limit. With brands such as Caroma, Posh, Base, Grohe and Dorf on the market it comes down to personal taste and budget.
There are also a few other things to consider when making your selections to go into your bathroom, laundry and kitchen areas. I have listed a few of these below for your help:
1. In the kitchen do you currently have a flick mixer tap?
If yes, then it shouldn’t be too hard replacing this with another flick mixer tap. If you do not currently have a flick mixer style tap and the tap ware is mounted on the wall, the chances are this will require a bit more work to get the hot and cold pipes to a location that allows the new flick mixer to be installed.
2. Does your current tap ware in the bathroom have spindles with washers or spindles with ceramic disc quarter turn taps?
It is always best to try and replace like with like when it comes to the type of spindle you are selecting (unless you are doing a complete makeover of the bathroom and removing all the old pipes). The reason I suggest this is that the existing pipe work was set up to take the type of spindles currently installed and may not suit the different style you are about to introduce. The ceramic disc quarter turn spindles require a nice new housing to seal properly and this cannot always be achieved in older properties. This should not how ever affect the type of tap you select because most manufacturers offer both styles as an option, with the ceramic disc quarter turn always being the more expensive option.
3. What type of shower rose to select?
Are you looking to now buy a shower rose on a sliding rail? If so can this rail be mounted to the wall adequately? And is the location of the old plumbing pipes known? If you have a solid brick house then mounting the rail will not be a problem, it’s just knowing where the old pipe work runs so it doesn’t get drilled through when mounting the rail, and in most cases this isn’t a problem.
4. What type of hot water service do you have installed?
This can affect the shower rose selection also. Do you have a gravity fed Hot Water Service in the roof? Or do you have an Instant Gas Continuous Flow Hot Water System installed? Both of these units will require a shower rose which allows full flow without restriction from a water saver device. In most cases these devices can be adjusted if the rose comes with it factory installed, but it is ideal to select a shower rose which allows full flow.
5. What is the current location of the hot and cold pipes coming out of the wall and waste pipe in your vanity unit?
This is an important thing to consider when selecting your new vanity unit. It is important to make sure that the plumbing points (water and waste) are positioned inside the cupboard of the vanity unit not behind draws as this will not allow the draws to close properly once installed.
6. Are you upgrading the whole toilet suite or just the cistern?
The old toilet pans were manufactured to take anywhere up to 11L of water per full flush, if you are now buying a new cistern without the pan and leaving the old pan in place, it is important to ask if the new cisterns water flushing amount can be adjusted. This due to fact that with the small amount of water the new cisterns now discharge it will more than likely not be enough to move the waste through the old S Trap bend on the toilet.
These are a few of the more common situations which I come across when installing new taps and toilets in my customer’s houses across Adelaide. I will always suggest to my customers that if you are unsure give me a call or send me an email with some pictures of what you currently have installed and what you now want to install, rather than buying the item and then finding it won’t suit your house.
Good luck shopping and I hope to hear from you soon. Aaron at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting.
I have recently come across some interesting scenarios across Adelaide when replacing existing Gas Ovens and Cook Tops with new Gas Ovens and Cookers.
My customers have gone out to various retailers and purchased a nice new Gas Cooker and had the item delivered to their house. They have then called me out to plumb it up for them. This is a great idea until I've found that the gas configurations on the new appliance are completely different to the existing configuration, or in another location that does not suit the new appliance, or as I found just this week a larger power supply is needed to now power the oven part of the new appliance.
Unfortunately when things like this occur these jobs then take longer to perform and inevitably end up costing my customer more than they had budgeted for in the first place.
I would like to give a few handy tips on things to look out for if you’re in the market for a new Gas Oven and Gas Cook Top.
1. If you’re new oven has gas to the cook top burners but the actual oven below is electrical, check to see what type of power supply it needs. Most commonly is 10 amp which everyone has in their house, but as I found this week my customer’s new oven needed a 15 amp power point which meant running a whole new power line to this oven, an added cost which they never budgeted for.
2. Does your existing oven sit on legs off the floor? Does the new one sit lower to the floor? If so where does the gas supply come from? As I recently found myself in this scenario I had a very hard time getting the new Gas Oven to go back to wall because the original gas supply came from the floor and the new oven sat a lot lower to the ground.
3. Is your new oven the same width as the old one? Will it fit in the desired location? The most common width of Gas Ovens South Australia is approx 600mm wide, but there are a lot of different sizes now entering the market, so it pays to check.
4. How deep is the new Gas Oven? Will it stick out past the bench further than the old oven? And if so is this going to be a problem?
Depending on exactly what is involved with the installation of your oven most jobs take approx 2 hours on wards. The factors which will determine how long a job like this take are mostly covered off above but can also include:
1. Does the existing gas connection have an isolation valve? If not it will need one installed to comply with the current Australian Standards for Gas.
2. Can the new item be installed with a approved flexible gas connection hose? If not it will need to be installed with hard drawn copper which will take a bit longer due to rigidity of this pipe work.
3. Is the existing gas pipe line in the house hold sound (no leaks)? If not the leak in the system will need to be located before any further gas work can continue.
4. And what type of safety devices does the manufacturer want installed to stop the oven from tilting and moving away from the wall. These all vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and the time can also vary due the type of surface I’m fixing into ie: concrete, wooden floor boards and plasterboard/gyprock.
I hope that some of these tips are of use to you and if in doubt give me a call before you make your next big purchase and we can either talk about it over the phone or I can make a site visit to check the appliance is going to suit its new home.
Please also take a moment to view the video below on a very popular SMEG freestanding gas oven.
Throughout this wet winter I've been very busy unblocking my customers Storm Water Drains in various different locations through out the state. Some of the jobs I have attended to have been commercial properties located in the City and other domestic properties in the Adelaide Hills.
I often get asked “how can I avoid Blocked Storm Water Drains?”
Below are a few handy tips:
· Installing gutter guard on your roof gutters to limit leaves and sticks entering your drains.
· Install a leaf diverter on your down pipes allowing the leaves to fall to the ground rather than clogging up your drains.
· Make sure that any grates installed in your pavers and concrete are not exposed to large amounts of dirt and sand run off from gardens and paths. If they are and this cannot be avoided look at installing filters on these grates to stop this fine material from entering your drains.
· If you’re installing a new storm water drain try to ensure that the whole drain has grade/fall out to the street, allowing for any debris to move through the drain freely, rather than settling in the drain over time.
· If you notice your storm water lines are draining slowly have them cleaned out sooner rather than later, chances are it will take a lot less time to resolve.
· Get your storm water drains regularly (once per year) hydro jetted to ensure large build-up of debris in the drains does not occur.
By following these tips it can help to avoid over flowing storm water drains at your house during a huge storm which can cause large amounts of damage. In some cases the costs may not covered by your insurance company.
If your blocked storm water pipes are left un-attended for too long and regular maintenance is not performed it can be very costly to resolve, a section of the drain may need to be replaced and depending on its location it can be very invasive.
I hope that you find these tips handy and it helps you keep the flow running through your storm water lines around Adelaide, have a great week.
Keeping up to date and informed with all the ever changing Australian Standards and codes associated with Plumbing and Gasfitting in Adelaide can be quite time consuming. But it is essential as it allows me to offer honest and professional up to date knowledge for all my customers.
At times it can be challenging educating my customers that certain items relating to their plumbing and gas work needs to be at a certain height or specific distance away from other items due to risk of explosion or potential harm to others. Sometimes this is because another tradesman has performed a certain task years ago but not to the Australian Standards, customers will often say “But it’s been like this for years and nothing’s happened, why do I need to change it?” I explain that just because nothing has happened it doesn’t mean this is right and that it will need to changed to ensure the safety of you and your family.
It is unfortunate that there are still Plumbers and Gasfitters around Adelaide still taking short cuts and putting the public’s lives in danger.
I was recently called out to a customer’s house in Kensington Gardens, they had a really badly blocked drain. After using my hydro jet drain machine for a couple of hours and not having any success getting the drain clear, I explained to the customer that I can still fix this blockage for you, but I just need to install another inspection point on the drain which took approx 2 hours to perform and enabled me to clear the blocked drain 100%. The total cost for this whole job was approx. $750 and it was all sorted out for them.
As it has come to light over the past week 4 of Adelaide’s plumbing companies which have a monopoly on the market have been providing dishonest and unprofessional plumbing services. A job which I just mentioned above in Kensington Gardens, these plumbing firms have been advising that they need to replace the whole drain and charging $20,000 for this work. This is not good practice and is taking advantage of the public and is giving other plumbers a bad reputation, who are trying to do the right thing by their customers. Please view these two videos bellow as Today Tonight expose these Plumbing and Gas companies in Adelaide.
today tonight adelaide plumbers exposed part 1
today tonight adelaide plumbers exposed part 2
It is not only blocked drains where this type of practise it taking place. I often get called out to many locations around Adelaide such as: Prospect, Mile End, St Marys and Norwood to investigate No Hot Water. One of the first things I try to do is gauge how old the Hot Water Service is, then see what the problem is and finally discuss the options with the customer and what costs are involved with each option.
If the Hot Water Service is out of warranty but is only 4 or 5 years old it is usually beneficially financially to replace the broken part and this in most cases this comes in under half the cost of a new system. If the Hot Water Service is heading more towards 8 – 9 years old and the parts are out of warranty it is more practical to start discussing replacement costs and options, this is due to the fact that at this age the likelihood of other problems starting to arise soon is possible. I always like to do this with my customers rather than telling them before I have even arrived and assessed the job that they will need a new Hot Water Service and quoting some astronomical price over the phone as some companies are known to do.
Gas leaks are also a common job which I attend. This can be quite a tricky job at times given that these pipes are often underground or in ceilings. I was called to a house this week in Woodville where the Gas Company was upgrading the Gas Mains in the street and detected a Gas Leak at my customer’s house. I explained to the customer that I will spend a short period of time trying to ascertain where the leak may be coming from and testing the most accessible joints with soapy water and seeing if I can locate the leak. Rather than coming to the house and telling the customer I can’t find the gas leak and you will need a new gas main at a cost of $8,000, I spent approx. 1 hour with the customer looking over the appliances they had installed (Gas Water Heater, Gas Cooker and Gas Heater) and pipe work locations, it turned out that the cook top burner was still in an “on position” and showing up as a leak on the gas testing device. After eliminating this and re testing the gas service there was no leak, a job which others may have charged thousands of dollars for and left the customer without gas for days was solved in a short time for only a couple of hundred dollars, the customer was very grateful.
I have found over my many years of being involved with Plumbing and the public the KEY is keeping the lines of communication always open between me and my customers, if I’m running late always contact my customer 30 minutes before I’m due to arrive and explain I’m held up and will be a few minutes late. If a job is taking longer than I thought, explain to the customer what is happening and why, and if there will be any variation in costs. And most of all always do a follow up call or sms the next day to see if they are happy with the work and if everything I have done is still working well.
By doing these above points I have found that the customer is appreciative of the work I have performed and will quite often refer me to others or post a review online about the service I have provided.
It has been a busy week plumbing in Adelaide for me which is great news and the weather has been good for most of it which is another good thing as majority of my work has been outside.
The week started off with some storm water drain replacements in Westbourne Park. The customer has a fairly new house but has never been really happy with the flow of the storm water drains particularly in a heavy down pour. I initially attended the property with my hydro jet drain cleaner to see if I could move any debris which may be blocking the drain, but in certain areas even my smallest hose and nozzle struggled to get through the pipes. The customer then had a drain inspection camera put into the pipes and found that during the original installation two sections had been severely squashed and broken. I have since dug up these pipes removed the damaged sections and reinstalled new pipes along with the paver removal and reinstatement, you wouldn’t know I’d been there, the customer was very happy.
Later in the week I was working in Modbury removing and old rangehood and free standing gas cooker. At first this seemed to be a simple job but as I removed the old rangehood I found that the previous installer had done a dodgy job and to properly install the customer’s new rangehood was going to be a bigger job than I think the customer thought. Luckily enough I had the help of my Electrician Robbie who I use on all my projects and together we got a great result for the customer.
The Gas cooker was probably the easier part of the job, as with all gas projects I always test the customer’s whole gas system for soundness prior to any work being performed which was fine. The only thing that needed some additional work was that the previous plumber did not install an isolation valve on the appliance outlet which is very important and is part of the Australian Standards, once this was all altered the appliance went in smoothly and works perfect.
Moving towards the end of the week I have been working on two new houses in Glynde, this is work I’m doing for another plumber whilst they are really busy. These new houses are quite a nice design and have two bathrooms and three bedrooms, they have rain water tanks installed at the rear of the property and this feeds into the laundry so the customer has the option of using rain water in the future if they choose.
All the new houses we do these days have a 500kpa water pressure limiting device installed on the incoming cold water line, this protects all taps and appliances from high pressure fluctuations as per manufacturers recommendations allowing you as the customer to get a longer life from all your water devices as they are not subjected to extreme pressures which can be common in some areas around Adelaide such as Mitcham, Ingle Farm, Prospect, Tea Tree Gully, Fullarton, Henley Beach and Burnside.
To finish the week off I was called to a property in Myrtle Bank the customer has been experiencing very high water bills and the gardener they use mentioned that the planter boxes are always very wet. It turns out that the valve which feeds water to these plants was corroded and stuck in an on position, this would explain the high water bill and green luscious plants all year round. I removed the old isolation valve and installed a brand new one, this was a quick little job but the result is great for the customer.
And finally I was in Unley clearing a blocked sewer drain for one of my existing customers. Their drain had been blocked for a few days I think but it only started getting bad in last day hence the phone call. I went through the whole drain with my Hydro Jet Drain Cleaner using two different nozzles a screw driver nozzle to start with to get the blockage moving and then to finish I went through the whole drain with a new nozzle I have recently purchased the “WART HOG”.
The customer said to me “Aaron’ wow I can’t believe how thorough you are being! All the other plumbers we have ever called just come out and put a plunger down the drain and charge me $150 for 5 minutes work and leave”. My customer said I can see how hard you’re working and this is why we have called you again, you’re honest and very professional and we know that if you’re doing the job for us it’s going to be right.
Once the blockage was cleared and the drain was tested to see that it was flowing freely I was then asked to install some taps for them in their kitchen, which I did, they were very happy, which makes me very happy also.
This has been a week of plumbing at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting in Adelaide I look forward to posting more blogs next week, hope you have a great weekend.
CALL NOW: 0429 361 819
Aaron Stewart owns and works in the business of Mayfair Plumbing & Gas Fitting from there offices now based in Adelaide, South Australia. Aaron and his team of licensed plumbers and design consultants are passionate about there work. In this blog they will bring you plumbing and gas tips gathered from around the globe over 20 plus years of experiences in the many different fields of plumbing. If you are looking for a plumbing firm who can do everything from design, construct, project management and scheduled on site maintenance contact the Mayfair Plumbing Group.