There are alot of TV shows and magazines around today that give the idea that fixing a leaking tap is just a quick 2 minute job and the drip will stop, yes this may be the case in a very rare situation, but in most circumstances this is not the case at all and after trying to fix the leaking tap or taps many people find themselves in a worst situation than when they first started out and all of sudden have a plumbing emergency on the hands.
In this week’s blog I would like to talk to you about leaking taps and what the problems can actually be and what we can do to fix the drip.
Probably the most common type of tap in houses throughout Adelaide is the standard spindle which has a normal everyday washer on the end of it which seals the water when you turn the tap off. Over time the rubber on the tap washer can start to break down. This can be for a number of reasons either excessive use or the housing which the rubber washer sits against has started to deteriorate. The housing which the tap washer seals off against is brass.
Now brass is a very soft metal and is susceptible to pitting and grazing over time, especially in Adelaide where we have very hard water quality. When the brass seating does start to break down you will notice that the tap washer no longer seals off no matter how hard you turn your tap off and the harder you try the more damage you are doing to the tap washer as the soft rubber is getting forced against a rough surface and breaking it down.
In order to now fix this problem the brass housing now needs to be re seated or shaved flat again to give a nice new flat surface for the washer to seal off against. Tools which perform this task are quite often sold at hardware stores and the task is manually performed, this is not a good solution and is not what a qualified master plumber would use to perform this task. A properly kitted out plumber will use a hydro tap re-seating tool which has tungsten teeth and is used by inserting it into a cordless drill and it then slowly grinds away the brass seat until a new flat surface can be achieved.
It is very important to remember that this task cannot be endlessly performed has there is only certain amount of brass seating which can be removed before a new breaching piece must be installed. The average life of a breaching piece in a wall is approx 15 years and this is all dependent on a lot of different variables.
Another point also to note when repairing a leaking tap is that it is a good idea to always re-grease the spindle shaft of the tap with approved silicone grease and to replace the o rings, there can be either one or in some cases two of these which need replacing, they can be hard to remove but the idea is that they are a tight fit and provide a water tight seal.
The second type of tap leak which can occur is from faucets which have ceramic discs inside of them, these can be your flick mixer style taps or your quarter turn style tapware, in most circumstances this type of tapware is a bit more expensive and not as prone to leaks as the ceramic disks have a longer life span, so the initial out lay can be worth in the long run if you can justify the cost of this type of tapware.
When it comes to prolonging the life of ceramic disk tapware water pressure is always a good thing to consider because a ceramic disk spindle operates on the basis of two ceramic disks rotating across each other. Now if the water pressure is to high this will cause the ceramic disk spindles to continually leak as the water pressure will always force these apart and cause a dripping tap. In order to rectify such a situation a water pressure limiting device should be installed and the water pressure adjusted back to 500 kpa,once again a job for a master plumber.
Another good point to remember is that ceramic disk tapware only turns a quarter of the way, so unlike conventional tapware with a washer inside which you can turn in and out numerous times ceramic disk tapware only needs a slight turn and the same to get the tap off, don’t force these beyond a reasonable point of resistance, you will more than likely damage the tap and as previously mentioned these are more expensive so just take care.
If you have a quick look at my video attached with this blog it shows some of the bits and pieces I have referenced in this article and some other tools and materials which are used during the repair to a leaking tap, so please have a look and if you do like it be sure to give it the thumbs up.
I hope this weeks blog installment has given you all a bit of an insight as to what is actually involved with repairing leaking taps and what the different types of taps and fittings there are on the market today in Adelaide. I hope you all had a very nice Christmas/my birthday and have a safe new years eve celebrating the year 2014 and welcoming in the new year, I will talk with you all again in 2015, cheers Aaron.
Blocked Drains, Backflow Valve Testing, Hot Water Repairs, Hot Water Installations, Gas Plumbing, Bathroom Renovations, Leaking Taps and Leaky Toilets yes we fix it all. Whether you live near the old Cheltenham Race Course or near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, nothing is to hard or out of reach, just a quick drive down port road and across woodville road and we are at your place.
When you first make contact with Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting you will talk to the plumber who will be doing the job for you, we are locally owned and operated and value our customers highly, just check out reviews on Google and True Local.
Majority of Mayfair's Plumbing work around the suburb of Woodville comes from repeat business and great customer referrals. Because we are locally owned we can keep the price down and help you keep your dollar in your back pocket without the need to get a second mortgage.
So if you need Quick, FAST, friendly and reliable tradesman NOW!! pick up your phone and dial 0429 361 819 we will have a plumber there to suit your schedule, day or night 24/7.
Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting would like to announce that we are operating in the suburb of Woodville. Our plumbers and licensed gasfitters have grown up in Adelaide's western suburbs and know the water and sewer pipes inside and out. Yes we are slightly biased BUT we think we are "The Best company" that's our opinion, you be the judge and call us today 0429 361 819.
Woodville being one of Adelaide's older suburbs has many ageing plumbing pipes running through the ground and the residents quite often call for the attention of our services. When a customer contacts the team at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting they know that there plumbing problem is about to become our emergency, we can attend to Major Plumbing Emergencies within the hour and can offer our customers in woodville same day hot water replacements, now that's great customer service from the local plumbing.
Septic Tanks, do we still use them? The answer is yes. In Adelaide we still have many septic tanks in use, some are old and there are also new septic tank installations being performed around the state. In the northern suburbs of Adelaide particularly in the Council area of Tea Tree Gully many houses in the suburbs of Fair View Park, Redwood Park and Banksia Park still have the original septic tank installed in the ground from when the house were first built back in the mid to late 90's. Other Council Districts such as Gawler and the Adelaide Hills are also good examples of where septic tanks are still being installed in new house builds today.
So why are these properties still getting septic tanks installed and why did the suburbs in the Tea Tree Gully Council District have septic tanks installed? It is because at the time of construction of the suburbs didn't have mains sewerage piping infrastructure in place and this is also the same with the Gawler and Adelaide Hills council districts to name a few in the local metro of Adelaide.
The discharge from the septic tank either goes to an on site soak-age system where the remaining liquids are trapped and eliminated in the soils allowing vegetation to soak up this water and the excess water evaporated, the design and exact set up of the soak-age system is determined prior to installation with soil samples and testing performed to get the best result for the location. In the more established communities where there is infrastructure in place to take this waste away a drain called a Common Effluent Drain (CED) is in place, this a drainage system where the liquid from the septic tank run off is distributed to. The method in which this liquid is distributed is either by gravity or through a series of pumps, it is then taken away for further treatment and distribution.
What does the word septic mean? Septic refers to anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the septic tank which then decomposes the waste discharged into the tank. In essence a septic tank is a mini on site waste treatment plant (OSWTP) for your own house or office building.
What is a septic tank made of? and what is the life expectancy of a septic tank?
A septic tank is generally constructed from concrete and can also be made from plastic, the sizes of these tanks varies depending on the demand of the septic tank and they can range from 4000 to 7500 litres in capacity.
The life expectancy of a septic tank is approx 50 years, but this can vary quite a bit due to factors such as ground conditions and environmental impacts ie: earth movement and poor installation practices.
A septic tank once installed by a licensed plumber and set up properly then used to the manufacturers instructions is a maintenance free, odour less sewer treatment plant. In the city of Tea Tree Gully Council, the council pump the residents septic tank once every four years and this is all the maintenance that is required, there is no real action required by the home or office occupier.
Although Septic tanks may be frowned upon, in some circumstance there are no alternatives but once set up they are as good as any type of sewerage system. One advantage I have found from a home owners point of view is that the drainage line to the septic tank is not very long (approx 20 metres) so in the event of a blocked drain getting this problem resolved is often quite quick, which means it is a lot cheaper than having to go through a drain line which is connected to mains sewer which can be a minimum of 40 metres in length.
As we get closer to Christmas everyone is starting to think about the holiday break, I will be bringing you weekly blog posts throughout the Christmas and New Year in 2015. I hope you have enjoyed another installment from me this week all about plumbing in South Australia, until next week next stay cool, Aaron.
Safety is always the most important factor that I consider when performing any plumbing or gas project. It can be a Blocked Drain, Hot Water Service Repair or even a Emergency Plumbing call out, safety is always the most important factor to consider, its not only the safety of my own to consider but the safety of others around me when the plumbing is performed.
Probably the most common pieces of safety equipment I use every day are my steel toed work boots, clear safety glasses and ear muffs/ear plugs. Without these three pieces of equipment I wouldn't be able to perform my day to day duties as a licensed plumber in Adelaide safely.
Its not un-common to still see people using power tools such as an angle grinder for example without safety glasses and just looking away whilst they cut the piece of metal or a tile, not only is this extremely dangerous for the person performing the task but this is also putting others around this person in immediate danger as this person is not actually watching what they are doing and the piece of material they are cutting could just fly off into the air and cause a serious injury.
When it comes to performing some of my more specialised plumbing tasks there are various other safety factors to consider, especially when the general public are involved.
Attending a blocked drain with my hydro jet drain cleaner requires extreme caution, in some circumstances the customer is often very curious of the this very powerful machine and they like to look at what the machine is doing down the drain pipe, this is a big no no and I always tell the customer to stand back and away from the inspection openings in the line whilst the hydro jet is running through the sewer pipes. With the high pressure and large amounts of water being produced at any moment a stream of this water can come out of the drain line and cause an injury. In an attempt to keep the public away I always flag off or use witches hats to keep people away from this zone.
Another area of plumbing that requires some extra precautions and safety practices is when I'am working with gas, both natural gas and lpg. It is extremely important to make sure that the area is well ventilated and that there are no naked flames present. Once the project is completed, it is then very important make sure there are no leaks and all of the air is purged from the lines (once again maintaining maximum ventilation).
Some other safety gear which I do use from time time is my hard hat helmet when attending a building site or a premises which demands this type of PPE (personal protection equipment is used) the chances are that if I'am being asked to wear a hard hat then also a high visibility vest will be required for the job. My hard hat is another very important piece of safety gear as it protects my head and the high visibility vest means that my presence on site is much obvious to others and also any types of vehicles which may be operating.
When my work vehicles is required to go onto a large site such as an air port or mine site then a flashing light is needed on the roof of the van and sometimes high visibility striping is required to make the van stand out from large trucks and airplanes etc.
What ever the project is I always do my up most to perform the task safely and acquire the right products to allow that task be performed safely and never put cost before safety, especially when it comes to Plumbing and Gasfitting as there are always many different aspects which can go wrong, but if you are putting the right practices in place you are minimising the risk straight away.
I hop you have all enjoyed another installment to my plumbing and gas blog from Adelaide, South Australia, stay safe and have a great week, Aaron
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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.