As our planet grows older and we all start to become more educated about the effects our existence is doing to it we are becoming ever more concerned about the ways in which hot water is delivered to our properties. It's not just on a domestic scale many new commercial developments today are extremely focused on just how the overall energy consumption a building is using.
At Mayfair Plumbing we have certainly noticed a large swing towards more energy efficient methods of heating water. Depending on the system selected for the property enough energy can be generated from the sun to provide hot water for almost 3/4 of the year without any contribution from the grid or gas consumption.
In an ideal world everyone would have access to 5 star energy efficient heating methods for their water, but unfortunately this is not always the case and in the majority of the world they are not taking advantage of what could potentially be saving them hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year on their utilities bills.
In South Australia we are particularly lucky in a sense that we have full access to gas (either bottled or piped), electricity and sun (solar). Whether or not people and developers are taking full advantage of this is another question.
Manufacturers such as Rheem are amongest the popular water heating companies in Australia today because they offer a broad range of systems. Starting off with the not so energy efficient is the electrical storage models. These come in various sizes and can be located inside or outside of the property. Moving towards the far more energy efficient models is the gas fired systems whether it be a storage style of system or a continuous flow model these are extremely popular across Adelaide. BUT what would now be considered the most energy efficient range of water heaters is anything which has a solar component involved, which I will go into detail in the next paragraph.
Solar is the future of energy efficient hot water in Adelaide the reason is that while you are using the sun's rays it costs nothing! Solar hot water systems are typically partnered with a secondary heat source in times of cooler weather particularly during the peak of winter they will rely on this heating component to top up the water temperature in the cylinder. Fuel such as gas or electricity can be used to contribute to the warming of the water inside the tank. Typically speaking in South Australia a solar hot water service will deliver enough heat for around 9 months of the year without the need for any additional fuel source to heat the water making this an exceptional source for energy efficient hot water.
There are of course many options when it comes to using the sun's rays to heat our water. In a commercial arrangement you will now see that many roof tops have a large bank of solar panels where the water is first fed through these numerous panels to preheat the water, it will then return through a number of continuous flow water heaters in case the water temperature needs topping up and it is then stored in large cylinders for times of peak demand for hot water ie: night times when majority of tenants or occupiers are at home.
With many councils and architects now specifying that a development must comply with a minimum 5 star energy rating it's no wonder we are now seeing so many hot water installations combined with a solar component.
Our business model specialises in the repairs and servicing to these systems, we also participate in the new installations of these types of hot water services. Locations such as Mawson Lakes and Woodcroft where this technology has already been in use for 10 plus years we are now seeing an increase in our service and repair calls. In locations such as Henley Beach and Glenside there is still a large amount of new installations being performed due to the large amount of new homes still being constructed today. Whatever your hot water needs are please contact us today.
After attending a blocked drain this week for one of my customers asked me "do I also repair hot water systems?" I replied yes I can handle all types of plumbing jobs. Another job I attended to was fixing some leaking taps for another customer and they also asked "do you do bathroom renovations and gas plumbing?" I replied yes I perform all types of plumbing and gasfitting work.
I do often get asked if I can do various types of plumbing jobs as most plumbers only specialise or prefer to stick to one area of the plumbing & gasfitting field. I have personally decided to model my business around any type of plumbing work leaving my scope for new business wide open.
I would like to outline below the areas and types of projects I can perform for you in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills:
What I have tried to high light above for all of my existing and new clients is a list of the plumbing and gas projects which I can readily perform for you anywhere at anytime in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills districts. Feel free to call me at anytime and discuss your plumbing requirements, I would be only to happy to help you. Have a nice week, Aaron Stewart (owner/operator) - MAYFAIR Plumbing and Gasfitting, 10 Jervois Street, Hawthorn, SA 5062 - 0429 361 819.
My week as an Emergency Plumber/Gasfitter in Adelaide kicked off at approx 10 pm Sunday night with a call to assist with a Blocked Drain at a Glenelg Hotel. I arrived to find a basin which was badly blocked and was not draining away. Someone had obviously put something down the drain and had caused it to back up. Within 30 minutes after arrival I had the drain flowing freely again thanks to the help from my Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning Machine, the Manager at the Hotel was extremely happy and so were the many people partying Sunday night away.
During Monday I was called out to another Major Plumbing Emergency, a gas leak. My customer called from there property in Payneham. They contacted the gas company because they could smell gas, upon arrival the gas company performed a test for soundness on the gas pipework and found that there was a bad leak. I arrived to the house and after doing some exploration work for approx 1 hour found that an old copper fitting that was flared to suit a compression style fitting had worn away and a hole was now present in the copper pipe causing the gas leak. After removing this section of pipe work and installing a new piece of copper tube with my viega propress tool (which requires no welding, ideal for roof spaces) I re-tested the gas line and it was sound and safe to be turned back on for the customer.
Later in the week I received another Emergency Plumbing call from a customer who had no hot water. She had come home to find that the tank on her hot water system had started to leak and no longer had hot water. This job was not too far from where I live over in St Marys. I was able to get to the house within an hour of receiving her phone call and stop the old hot water system from leaking and then proceed to connect a temporary loan hot water system which I have developed so that my customer could still have hot water for the night and next morning.
During the course of the next day I then gathered a few different options for the customer and then proceeded to install a new Rheem Stellar 5 star rated gas hot water system.
Looking forwards toward the end of the week I'm sure there will be other emergency plumbing calls over the new weekend approaching, more than likely a burst water pipe or another blocked sewer main and if the weather does turn bad the likely hood of a roof leak or over flowing storm water drain is even a chance. But what ever the need is I always keep the van and all my machinery in top working order to ensure great reliable emergency plumbing services and most importantly always with a friendly smile.
Have a top weekend and I will talk with you all again next week, happy plumbing :-)).
A topic which I'm sure most people are interested in, how to avoid an unnecessary large Plumbing bill next time you call me Aaron from Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting out to your house in Adelaide.
When you own a house, unit or apartment it is inevitable that one day you will need to call a plumber at some stage to assist with a problem you have, whether it be a Blocked Drain, Leaking Taps, Burst Water Pipe or even no Hot Water.
There are a few tips which I'd like to give to allow you to avoid unnecessary costs next time you call me out to help you with your plumbing and gas problems.
Have you recently flushed the toilet, done a load of washing or had a shower and noticed that the drain is gurgling and slow to drain away? This is a good indication that you have the starting signs of a blocked drain. It is better to have this cleaned out now rather than waiting for the drain to completely start over flowing. The time that it will take me to clear this blockage with my hydro jet drain machine can be less than half if the blockage is tackled in its early stages and costing you half the price.
Leaking and Stiff Taps
Are your taps dripping and hard to turn off? If seen to early the chances of being able to remove the tap ware without damage is far greater than leaving it till later and causing damage to the taps etc due to corrosion. Depending on what the actual problem is with the taps and what is actually causing the leak, the housing of the tap may need to be re-seated and if caught early enough this can be done without leading major works such as removing tiles and replacing the breaching piece inside the wall.
Hot Water Service Leaking
If you have a storage hot water service (tank which holds all your hot water) over time the Pressure Relief Valves need replacing and a sign of this needing attention is that they continually start to drip which can then develop into a steady flow of water. Having these seen to in the early stages can avoid an emergency call out in the middle of the night or on a weekend if the Pressure Relief Valve all of a sudden starts to discharge huge volumes of water.
Gas Room Heater Not Performing at 100% Capacity
Gas room heaters have filters installed in them which over a period of time get clogged up from dust in the air and this then starts to affect the operation of the heater. It is always a good idea to have these filters regularly cleaned or replaced depending on the age of the filters. This allows your Gas Heater to breathe and do its job without putting strain on the components inside the heater which can lead to various parts needing replacing and can be quite costly.
Sometimes a roof leak cannot be avoided a tree branch might fall on your roof or the roof is really old and has corroded away, but it is always a good idea to ensure that your gutters are regularly cleaned out and that your storm water drains are clear and free flowing. By ensuring that your gutters are clean and that your storm water drains are not blocked this will at least allow water to move away from the roof during a rain storm and help eliminate the chances of a nasty roof leak and potential internal damage to you home.
Burt Water Pipes
If you have a house pre 1980's chances are that you may still have galvanized water pipes installed. Over time these start to rust out slowly and show signs of leaking, you may notice a little rust stain on the concrete or a slow trickle of water coming from the water main along the side of your house. It is a good idea to have this inspected sooner rather than later because at some stage this will get worst and it may just all of sudden start gushing water out leaving you with a plumbing emergency in Adelaide.
Fluctuating Hot Water
Have you noticed that the Hot Water in your house is fluctuating between hot and cold? There could be a variety of different components in your Hot Water Service which are causing this to happen depending on the age and type of Hot Water System you have (Gas Continuous Flow, Electric Storage, Solar Hot Water) if diagnosed early and during normal business hours these parts can be sourced if not already in my service van and the problem can be fixed for you straight away rather than waiting till you come home after a hard days work and find you have only cold water and its more than likely going to require an emergency plumbing call out which will cost more in labour and the parts may not be available till the next day leaving you with no Hot Water.
I hope that after reading my Blog today these tips and advice I have given enables you to avoid a plumbing emergency in Adelaide and allows me to fix your plumbing and gas issues at a competitive price next time the needs arises to give me a call, Aaron from Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting - Plumber Adelaide 0429 361 819.
What is a Backflow Valve? What does a Backflow Prevention Valve do? What does a Backflow Valve look like? Who can test my Backflow Valve?
These are very common questions most of my customers ask. They have never heard about these valves which help protect our most valuable resource WATER. If you have sub surface irrigation at your house chances are you have a Backflow Valve installed and if you operate a commercial or industrial business that uses chemicals or contaminated wastes the likely hood is that you will have at least one if not more of these Backflow preventing devices installed.
These valves require yearly testing by a licensed plumber who has Backflow accreditation to ensure they are operating correctly. The test form must then be filled out each time and submitted back to the OTR (office of technical regulator) in South Australia. Below is a picture of a Backflow Valve and a copy of the current test report I fill out each time I perform a test on these devices.
Backflow Valves come in all different sizes and shapes depending of the hazard rating they are required to protect. There are 3 different hazard ratings:
An example of Backflow occurring
There can be many instances of a cross-connection hazard. To explain the risk which is involved, imagine that one end of your garden hose is attached to your water system and the other end is placed down into a bucket of liquid fertiliser. At the same time a sudden loss of water occurs in the main water pipes serving your home (such as a water main break or large volumes of water released from a fire hydrant, which is very common in Adelaide these days as our pipes are getting old). The pressure drop causes a reverse flow in the water line and in a system with no Backflow prevention liquid fertiliser from the bucket is sucked into your properties drinking water and potentially into the main water line servicing your local suburbs.
However, if the outlet your garden hose is connected to is equipped with a Backflow prevention device, the reverse flow would cause the check valve inside the Backflow device to engage and stop the Backflow at the hose connection point which will stop contamination of the drinking water pipes.
For more information on Backflow please have a look at this video which I have created to give you a complete understanding of exactly what Backflow is all about and the devices which are used to protect our vital drinking water.
Keep your water safe and clean from un wanted contaminants call Aaron today at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting with all your Backflow needs and questions in South Australia.
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.
Technology has changed the way people receive hot water to their homes along with the ever increasing awareness for the environment which has helped drive the change in hot water systems.
Back when I first started my own business I would get a lot of jobs involving low pressure hot water systems in the roof, these systems were very popular back in the 1960’s and 1970’s throughout Adelaide. They were usually a large copper tank which sat in the middle of the house where the roofs pitch was its greatest to allow maximum room for the unit to be installed and later serviced. They were either powered by electricity or natural gas. Although these tanks would last for 20 plus years (with some routine maintenance performed in between) because of the low pressure inside the tank and the fact that the tank was copper (great resistance to corrosion) people were always disappointed with the low pressure from these tanks.
As technology and systems had moved on from the in ceiling hot water systems people started requesting alternatives to their old system. If my customer had natural gas pipes already to the property I would suggest that they look at installing a mains pressure instant gas hot water service (which is a small box that sits on the wall and only creates hot water on demand) or if they did not have natural gas I suggested they look at installing a mains pressure electric hot water service storage unit, most commonly a 250 litre unit would be supplied. The change from low pressure hot water to mains pressure was a welcomed relief to my customer.
Now moving forward from these days many more options are now on the market such as Solar Powered Hot Water, Heat Pump Hot Water Systems, Gas Storage, Solar Boosted, Electric Continuous Flow and the most common Natural Gas Instant Hot Water Systems.
In some circumstances if you do not have gas already installed to your property and it is available in the street the government are offering rebates to have a gas powered hot water service installed which is a great incentive to install a new Instant Hot Water Service.
Some of the common brands that I install for my customers are Rinnai, Rheem and Bosch. Rinnai have a large focus on instant hot water systems (the small box that sits on your wall) and in my experience offer good value for money in these range of system. Options that people often consider when installing a new gas powered instant hot water system such as a Rinnai B16 or a Rinnai Infinity 26 is a control pad which allows you to dial up the desired temperature from your bathroom before even getting in the shower. In the past these controllers needed to be wired up, but just recently the manufacturers have released a wireless controller which eliminates the need to run cables and makes installing these controllers to existing house’s much easy for me the plumber and cheaper to the customer as the labour time is less than halved.
When it comes to choosing the right size hot water system for your house it is quite simple, if you have a small house with only one bathroom, laundry and kitchen a Rinnai 16 is a good choice, the number 16 stands for how many litres a minute of hot water this unit will deliver. If you have a larger house which has two bathrooms, laundry and kitchen then a Rinnai Infinity 26 is a better choice delivering 26 litres a minute of hot water. In some circumstances these days due to the size of houses and distances between bathrooms some builders are installing two hot water units (one at each end of the house) so that people don’t have to wait long periods of time to get hot water.
The best thing about all this new technology is that majority of these systems deliver a minimum of a 5 star energy rating and some even as high as 7 stars which means my customers are miles in front when it comes to their gas and electricity bills and considering the ever increasing costs in these this is a huge bonus.
I look forward to hearing from you soon about your next hot water project. Please feel to look over our yellow pages listing for some extra information also.
A lot of people ask me “Aaron why is my sewer drain blocked”? There are various reasons for your drain to slowly clear away or even over flow.
If you live in a house which was built prior to 1980 in Adelaide there is an extremely high probability that your house drain pipes are constructed of earthenware/clay pipes. Over the many years of being buried in the ground these pipes begin to crack due to ground movement.
This can cause two problems,
Firstly if a cracked or broken piece of pipe is intruding into the drain it will allow debris - which comes down the drain - to catch on the sharp edges and clog your drain pipes.
Secondly after years of being in the ground the joints which hold these pipes together begin to deteriorate and moisture from the drain seeps out. Nearby tree roots sense this moisture in the ground and target this area and invade the drain. I’ve often found that after a long dry summer in Adelaide the number of blocked sewer drains I get called to is quite large due to the trees being very thirsty.
It is not always that I get called to a blocked sewer drain I often get called to help unblock a customer’s storm water drain somewhere in Adelaide - especially during winter when we have our first big rain people often notice if they have a problem.
Over the various seasons our storm water pipes are exposed to lots of different items which can cause them to block up ie: leaves, dirt, bird droppings and twigs. After a period of time these items settle in the drain and need assistance to help move them out of your drain.
At Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting I use some of the latest technology to clear my customers blocked drain pipes. A lot of people often ask will you bring out the electric eel or that metal snake machine to clean my drain? I let them know that I no longer use that type of drain cleaning equipment and that I now use a Hydro Jet drain cleaner. The hydro jet is a machine which uses water pressurised at approx. 4000psi and 31litres per minute to clear your drain. There are various nozzles which I can attach to the end of the hose to tackle any blocked drain. The great thing about this piece of equipment is that I can now clear drains sized from 40mm to 200mm with the same machine just by varying the different nozzles, hoses and pressures. Please have a look at the you tube video bellow for further information on hydro jet drain cleaning.
With some of my customers who have continual problems with their drain pipes sewer or storm water I have suggested to them that getting an internal view of what is occurring inside the drain may be a good idea. This is done by using a procedure where I use a water proof camera which is attached to the end of a cable which is monitored from ground level on a full colour computer allowing all surveying to be photographed and recorded in live time.
By doing this we can ascertain exactly where the problem is and what has caused it. Sometimes the problem is as simple as tree roots entering through a minor crack or a flat section or drain pipe which allows the debris to move slowly and in worst case scenarios the drain pipe has collapsed or severely broken away. Whatever the problem is I can always pin point it.
If you have a blocked drain and need some help getting it to clear please call me at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting 0429 361 819 or visit our web page all about blocked drains and also visit us at the yellow pages and see what other services we can offer you today.
Mayfair plumbing will be regularly posting here with news, events, plumbing tips and advice from our base in Adelaide, South Australia. Feel free to comment or make suggestions.
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.