One of our more challenging jobs this week was for an existing client of ours who lives in Norwood, SA 5067 just behind the Britannia hotel near the infamous Dequetteville terrace round about in Kent Town. They had come home from a day out to find water dripping through there light fittings in the kitchen, they had isolated the water and electricity to the home to make it safe before our arrival onsite.
Upon our arrival we had a quick debrief with the customer about the layout of the home given it is 2 storeys in construction and only 14 years old. They had not reported of any prior problems and there was nothing to note that could have recently contributed to this new plumbing problem, very bizarre! We went upstairs directly above where the problem seemed to be coming from below, this is where the main bathroom is situated. After a few measurements the leak was pin pointed towards the side of the bathroom where the bath and toilet are situated. The bath is mounted in a hob with a mixer tap mounted inside of it. My first thoughts where that perhaps the connectors which join the tapware to the Rehau pipe work had started to perish and this was weeping through into the ceiling below? Fortunately, the wall hung toilet had an in wall cistern and there was a small service duct behind the bathroom for the Caroma invisi inwall cistern and the return air duct for the heating and cooling system.
Our approach when investigating any type of water or gas leak is always using the least invasive steps first before delving into the deep end. With access into the bath hob via the service duct it was easy to establish if this the location where the problem was coming from. We accurately marked out the location where the mixer tap was located on the other side of the wall and then cut a hole to get a visual on what was occurring under the bath. We could see a far way into the bath cavity, but to get an accurate view we used our Ridgid See Snake drain camera to have a good look at just what was going on under the bath. The entire bath tub space was bone dry and there was absolutely zero indication of a leak what so ever, so where was the problem coming from?
The next step was to open up the ceiling space in the kitchen as this was most likely an outcome that would be needed one day to repair the damage created by this ongoing water leak. Once the ceiling was opened there was a small amount of water inside but the initial thoughts of it being a mains pressure issue leaking out of the Rehau pipe work were quickly diminished. The water leak was consistent yet not showing the characteristics of that of a mains pressure water escape. The cavity between the two floors was quite crowded with plumbing, gas and sewer pipes running everywhere to service the bathroom above. After some extensive inspections of the ceiling cavity it seemed that somehow the water was dripping through from the toilet location above? But how??
As I previously mentioned early in this post the toilet upstairs in the main bathroom was a Caroma wall hung pan with an Invisi in wall cistern dual flush operated by round buttons via air hoses. Servicing these toilet cisterns is never an easy job and unless you know what you’re doing it really can be a tricky spot to find yourself in. To start with we removed the access panels behind the cistern which exposed the rear of the toilet pans connections, low and behold there it was a consistent drip coming out of the toilets flush pipe where it joins onto the pan, but how was this occurring? Inside of the toilet pan there was a very very minute weep escaping into the toilet itself via the cistern due to the fact that the cistern out let rubber was failing ever so slightly, almost impossible to spot, this would be because majority of the water leaving the cistern was going into the ceiling space below. The key seal rubber in the back of the pan was failing.
First job was to have the wall hung ceramic toilet pan removed, luckily this was one of the early models Caroma made and so it was not silicone sealed to the wall just held on by two 12mm bolts and foam gasket so removal was relatively easy compared to some jobs (if you’re a plumber reading this you’ll know exactly what I mean). The toilet pan came off very easy (as you can see in the image below), the key seal rubber was never installed in a true tradesman like manner to start with you could see it had been forced into its location and the flush pipe was cut on a bad angle and no one had ever bothered to file it after cutting it so it had lots of rough and sharp edges never a great start to achieving a water tight connection with any plumbing fitting.
While we had the toilet pan off we suggested to the owner that the tiered looking pan collar rubber be replaced and also the other components inside of the cistern be replaced while we had it all exposed, they agreed. The parts for this project where sourced from Tradelink Norwood on Charles Street, number 70.
The flush pipe was straitened up with a pvc saw (and checked for length, ok) it was then filed smooth, the new key seal and pan collar rubbers where installed and a small amount of lube placed onto the rubbers to help preserve them and also allow ease of installation. It was then time to place the pan back on the wall, everything went smoothly! It was then onto the reconditioning of the toilet cisterns internals, what a challenge! Due to the nature of these cisterns you are basically plumbing blind and purely relying upon experience and feel, very tricky and a full supply of patience is required. All of these parts are made from plastic and as we all know plastic gets brittle over time so due caution should be taken not to force something the wrong way and cause another problem. After a very long 20 minutes the inlet valve and outlet valves had been removed and re installed (including flush buttons) and the cistern was working again, a fantastic result to a long afternoon.
While starting to pack up we always perform a thorough amount of testing by flushing the toilet and letting it fill up and discharge to check everything is working correctly and that the leak was also fixed. If your experiencing a water leak that might need our services, please get in contact today on 0429 361 819 or at email@example.com
We all know that at times the budget can be a little stretched and there’s simply no more room to move especially when it comes to finding the money for a new hot water system, but it’s an essential part of any household’s functionality, so what can you do?
Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting have partnered up with Certegy Ezi Pay to help you get brand new hot water without having to come up with the money up front. Through teaming up with Certegy Ezi Pay we can now offer any of our new or existing customers up to 24 months interest fee Hot Water Installations, what a relief. It’s so simple and just about anyone can get approval and with over a million Australians currently using Certegy Ezi Pay there’s no reason not to, so what are you waiting for?
You can apply online for approval today or even pre-approval and then when the time is right for you to engage the services of Mayfair Plumbing to have your hot water upgraded we will happily book you in, we even offer same day emergency hot water replacements 24/7. With no interest to pay ever over 12 or 24 months the choice is yours, visit us today for more information mayfairplumbing.com.au/finance-talk-to-us-about-financing-your-project/
Nearly everyone in Adelaide would be very familiar with the name Rinnai. Whether its hot water, heating or cooking Rinnai have been a house hold name for many years in South Australia. Particularly when it comes to the heating of hot water Rinnai have a variety of systems available today on the plumbing market.
The Rinnai B16 model is the most popular brand of hot water heaters that Rinnai have on the Adelaide hot water market today. These units are from the same family as the Infinity range and Builders range of hot water systems so models such as the Infinity 16, Infinity 20, Infinity 26, B20 and B26 are all of the same nature just slightly different sizes and different warranties. In the Infinity range the heat exchangers have a 12-year warranty and the B range which stands for Builders range has a 10-year warranty on its heat exchanger, that’s the only real difference and the Infinity units are all white, the builders range is grey.
These continuous flow hot water hot water services can be sensitive to high water pressure and it is recommended that if the water pressure on site is close to or above 800kpa that a pressure limiting valve be installed either at the water meter or at a minimum close to the cold water inlet to the hot water system and the pressure be limited back to 500kpa. What this is doing is protecting the “water flow sensor” a very integral part of the operations of this hot water service. When the water flow sensor fails you will notice the water coming out of the hot taps slows down to a trickle only. This problem with the water flow sensor can be intermittent and play up only during times of high water pressure being delivered to the hot water service if there are no pressure limiting devices installed.
The water flow sensor controls the flow rate in which the water runs through the hot water service allowing the correct amount of gas to be consumed by the unit and deliver the right amount of hot water to the taps. When this part fails it is recommended (as mentioned previously) to have a pressure limiting device installed also along with a non-return valve on the hot water outlet to protect the new part from spikes of high pressure in the future.
The cost of having this part replaced along with the pressure limiting device and non-return valve is a quarter of the price of having a whole new unit supplied and installed so a repair is definitely worth the investment. From our experience at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting these problems tend to happen around the half way mark of the hot water services life and therefore the cost of repairs is justified, if how-ever this problem with the water flow sensor was to occur at the other end of the heaters life a replacement would most likely be the recommended option. The Rinnai B16 is being manufactured today so a relatively easy swap over could be achieved. The Rinnai B16 superseded models such as the Rinnai V1200 and the B24 superseded the Rinnai V1500 all of which can experience similar issues with their water flow sensors.
If you are experiencing problems with your Rinnai hot water call experts not just an everyday run of the mill plumbing company, speak with Adelaide’s most respected and trusted plumbing company who know what they are doing and who can successfully fix your hot water problems without having to upgrade to a new unit until the time is right, speak with Mayfair Plumbing today on 0429 361 819 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.