My life as a Plumber in Adelaide this week has been very interesting and has kept me quite busy. I have been doing a few different things such as a Natural Gas Hot Water installation in Banksia Park, Bathroom renovation in Henley Beach, Plumbing Report in Hindmarsh, Emergency Plumbing call out in Adelaide and the rest of my time has been working with Waterless Urinals in the suburb of Unley.
I was first called to attend a commercial office building with a report of blocked urinals in the men’s toilet bock on the first floor; upon arriving to site I found that the urinals on this level (top floor) of the building were waterless urinals. Now before I go any further I would like to explain what a waterless urinal is. The conventional urinal always has some sort of water flushing device installed with it, whether it is a cistern or an auto flushing device. These are used to dilute the urine and avoid a build-up of urine in the drain causing blocked drains. The new eco-friendly style of urinals on the market now no longer require a cistern or auto flush device and rely on a special integral trap which catches the urine and dilutes it before discharging into the sewer drains. Now as long as these are flushed weekly and the chemical additive is maintained there are no problems with this type of urinal, but if they are not there can be huge problems and this is where my story continues.
I was informed that this was an on going issue with these urinals and that the next port of call was to investigate what is actually causing the problem. After removing one of the urinals from the wall I found that the drains had a bad build-up of urine scale and this was just at the start of the drain. In order to gain proper access to the rest of the drain I first had to try and clear the blockages in the sewer line so that I could then insert a sewer drain camera and have a full visual of what is actually going on inside the drain. I set up my hydro jet drain cleaner and started to clean the line with one of my smallest hoses, after approx. 30 minutes I managed to burrow a small hole in the line and started to get some water flowing, enough to now insert the sewer camera.
Once inside the sewer pipe line it become very obvious that this had indeed been an issue for a long time and the urine build up in this pipe had been growing for many years. Unfortunately the cleaning contractor in charge or maintaining the urinals wasn’t doing the correct maintenance and the waterless urinal wasn’t doing its correct job (diluting the urine).
So the next step was to start hydro jetting the entire sewer line, after 1 hour of jetting and checking progress with the CCTV camera it became apparent that progress was very slow. The more current build-up of urine had been cleared away from the 80mm drain pipe which now left a 40mm diameter hole in the sewer line, but the remaining build up stuck the pipe walls was going to take some serious work to remove 100%.
I started using my remote mini reel with the screw driver nozzle and hydro jetting the line with 4000psi of water at 26 litres a minute working this back and forth on the affected areas, this went on for another 2 hours and progress was gradually being achieved, the very bad sections of the line where gradually returning to the normal status which was great news. After a total of four hours hydro jetting the sewer line and checking in continually with the CCTV camera I had returned the pipe to its original status, the whole pipe line had been de scaled and it was 100% clean, just like its original installed status.
This was a great result and it was not invasive at all, it allowed for the problem to be fixed without having to replace the sewer lines which was first thought might have to be the case due to the severity of the blocked drain lines. If the sewer pipe lines did need replacing it would have been a huge project and the costs would have been well into the tens of thousands of dollars due to the locations of these pipes etc. Instead this job has cost only a small fraction of that amount and the total down time for this toilet block was only a couple of days.
The urinal has now been re installed and the toilet blocked cleaned. Now as long as the manufacturer’s instructions are followed closely (see the video below) there will never be a problem like this again which will be good news and provide the owner of the building with trouble free eco-friendly plumbing for many more years to come in the future.
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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.