Here are two of the country’s most common plumbing problems and some good advice on how to deal with them.
When flexible braided metal water pipe hose fails
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These hoses are the flexible braided pipes under your sinks and vanities that often run between your toilet tap and cistern.
These pipes are relatively new additions in Australia only becoming available in the last 15-20 years or so. They are much faster and cheaper to install, however these little pipes are supposedly the largest contributor to household insurance claims in Australia.
When they fail they can lead to flooding and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
This is a topic that is literally very close to home for me.
Several years ago, after being away for a few days I returned to my house to find it steaming like a sauna. One of my flexible hoses had split and had been spraying a mist of hot water throughout the top floor continually for 48 hours. The damage caused by hot water flooding my home was around $50,000!
The damage caused months of inconvenience, but was very preventable and an experience you don’t have to go through if you follow some simple advice.
The braided hoses only have a lifespan of around five years and are rated to 500kpa of pressure (many houses in Australia can easily exceed 500kpa). When the pressure is too high, the hoses can burst.
The best thing to do to with these flexible hoses is to have them replaced every five years, and to have a pressure limiting valve installed to stop excessive water pressure in your plumbing. These pipes should also always be installed with shut off or mini taps so that if the worst does happen then the water can be turned off very quickly.
These three simple and relatively inexpensive things will dramatically reduce your chances of a burst pipe.
PS, it’s also a good idea to turn your water off if you go away for a period of time.
More often than not tree roots are to blame when it comes to blocked drains.
Fortunately due to advances in technology you don’t need to cut down your trees. This can save your endless arguments with neighbours or council, and you don’t need to dig up your entire yard to get a solution.
Especially evident during long dry spells, tree roots seek out sources of water over quite large distances. The roots enter through joints in the pipe or small cracks caused by ground movement.
Once the roots gain access to the drain, they thrive. They love the warmth, and there is plenty of nutrients for them to flourish, and they are generally there to stay.
Using non-intrusive methods to repair your drains and prevent the trees from entering them, you can sleeve or reline your existing drains. A resin coating inserted into the drain creates a very strong and long lasting ‘pipe within a pipe’.
Once your drain has been relined, it is as good as new and can be guaranteed for a further 20 years.
Relining can be carried out on small sections of drains, or you can reline hundreds of metres. You can even reline junctions and bends. In fact, just about anything can be done without the need to dig up your beautiful garden or trees, or remove that concrete driveway or pool area.
Finding out if relining your drain is the right option for you is easy as well. Using a camera your plumber can inspect where and what the blockage is before they start, and they can then explain exactly what they are going to do.
The technology of relining has dramatically changed the way that plumbers repair and or replace blocked drains.