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So far padmin has created 30 blog entries.
2610, 2016

How broken promises, lies and disappointment led us to serving our customers better and keeps our quality control in-house.

October 26th, 2016|Blocked Drains, Burst Pipe|0 Comments

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Yesterday I went on site to watch one of our team skillfully drive a 5 tonne excavator.

Big boys playing with big toys.

The job of a plumber isn’t just the typical stereotype of a bloke with his hands stuck down a toilet….even the equipment and technology used these days is a far cry from that image.

This week we are performing a dig up to rectify a boundary trap that has collapsed. The boundary trap is made of old earthenware and is approximately 3M deep.

Safety first.  Safety equipment is used to ensure our team and the community are kept safe.

But yesterday didn’t just happen by fluke or luck.  There has been days of frustration due to broken promises, lies and plenty of disappointment.

This led us to re-adjust our thinking, change the way we look at situations and find a solution to bring the very best service to our clients and keep scheduling and quality control in house.

Not all companies actually perform the works they have quoted.   Sub-contracting work out is common place in the construction industry and truth be told, not all companies have the knowledge, expertise, resources and infrastructure to perform bigger jobs like the one we are performing in-house.

There was a time earlier this year that we requested a job to be sub-contracted out to a contractor we had a previous relationship with and knew that the final product was going to meet our high quality standards.  We had spent lots of time with the customer, quoted the works and won the job.  Next step was to lock down the sub-contractor to begin works, something that is out of our control regarding their availability and timeframe.

We eventually locked the contractor down to a day and time and notified our client.

That day and time came and went…no sign of the contractor and although we had attempted several times to make contact – nothing. we got crickets.

Eventually we received a text notifying from the contractor letting us know that due to personal reasons he would not be undertaking any more work and closing his business down. We had lots of  little lies from this contractor before, but none so bold.

Communication and integrity are two of our core and they had both been compromised.

We then contacted our network and was connected to another plumber who we spoke to.  We told him the job is his he just need to re-quote it and turn up.  I think he actually did a site visit, but no quote and no communication.  Again disappointment.  This is how tradespeople get a bad reputation for not turning up or not sending the quote through.  The most simplest thing to do is just turn up – on time would be better.  This is something we have been doing for nearly 15 years.

The customer we had made promises to is a very good customer and we always fulfil on our promises.  So we told her that we would sort it out.

We went about and figured it out.  Safety equipment. Excavation. Resources. Time. Manpower. We got the job done and it was perfect.  Their home was left as though we were never there.  A very proud moment for us as we came together, worked as a team and got the job done.  We learnt lessons along the way and admittedly did not make any money on the job, but great lessons lead to a better service for our customers in the future.

A few weeks passed and we were driving along the road when we pulled up at a set of red traffic lights.  Next to our car on our left was a truck with two guys in it that belonged to the contractor whose business was apparently closing down.  So we rolled down our window and asked if “Bob” was working and the business was still up and running.  To which we received the answer of  “yeah of course”.

So, “Bob” we want to thank you. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to step up and grow our business by offering our customers great service with full control of quality in-house and prompt scheduling without the need to coordinate and rely on a sub-contractor.

By keeping drainage works in house it allows us to provide our customers with a full end-to-end service.  We keep drainage machines, high pressure water jetters and drainage cameras in our vehicles and are ready for all your blocked drain, collapsed sewers, stormwater repairs and replacements and have the ability to re-line patches of drains as well.

Be careful when engaging a company to undertake major works like this. Here are 5 things to keep in mind:

  1. Is the company you have engaged undertaking the works?
  2. How will quality control be handled if they are not?
  3. Is everything included in the quotation ie  excavation, safety, reinstate of concrete?
  4. Is the company fully licensed and insured?
  5. How long has the company been operating for – will they answer their phone when something goes wrong?

Our team have a combined 35+ years of experience in all areas of drain repairs and replacements and customers have the benefit of not waiting weeks to get their problems fixed.

We can also put you in touch with our happy customers who have drainage works completed for peace of mind.   We conduct these major works for residential, light commercial and body corporate clients.

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2410, 2016

Work Desk vs Toilet – Which Has More Germs?

October 24th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

high-germ-zones-office-space

Did you know that the desktop is one of the germiest places in the office and that 20-30% of women’s handbags have fecal bacteria underneath?

Or that the average work station is jam packed with more germs per square inch than the office toilet, a recent study in University of Arizona revealed.

Research to determine germ hot zones — areas that are prime habitats for viruses causing colds and flu — found typical office phones and desktops, including computer keyboards and mice, have up to 25,000 bacteria per square inch compared to a mere 49 bacteria per square inch on workplace toilet seats.

Office phones, desktops, computer keyboards and mouse, have up to 25,000 bacteria per square inch compared to a mere 49 bacteria per square inch on toilet seats.

A recent survey by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention exposed some disturbing hand hygiene trends. It was discovered that one in three adults don’t wash their hands after using the toilet. One in four don’t wash after changing a baby’s diaper. Fewer than half wash after handling pets or cleaning up after them, only one in three wash after sneezing or coughing and hardly anyone washes after handling money, a major carrier of disease.

With more than 80% of infections carried through the environment, work desks become more susceptible to transmission of germs.

University of Arizona microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba says that coughing and sneezing can leave behind “a minefield of viruses” that can live on a surface for up to three days.

According to Health Canada, about 25 per cent of us are felled by the flu each season and 26 per cent get flu shots.

Here are 3 tips to keep your work area as clean as your toilet:

1. Avoid eating in your work desk. If you want to continue your work, make sure to clean

your desk afterwards. Always wipe before and after you eat, to clean any spills right away.

2. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand sanitizers

are an excellent addition to hand washing.

3. Wet the hands with warm water, apply soap, lather for 20 seconds, rinse, towel dry and turn

the tap off with the towel.

Always remember, Stay home if you’re sick, avoid those who are ill, see a healthcare

provider when needed, get regular physical activity and maintain healthy nutrition. Manage

your stress, get enough sleep and wash your hands.

2010, 2016

Why Flushable Wipes Shouldn’t Be Flushed

October 20th, 2016|24 Hour Plumbing, Blocked Drains, Blogs|0 Comments

flushablewipes_1All too often we attend to blocked drains that are caused by flushable wipes and last night was no exception.  Last night we were called out to an emergency blocked drain in Box Hill. Upon the service experts inspection he found the sewer drain to be blocked at the boundary trap.

The service expert set up his drainage equipment including a high pressure water jetter and CCTV drain camera equipment to investigate the blockage to the boundary trap located at the rear of the property.

He found that the issues were located down the boundary trap and there were tree roots growing into the drain just past the inspection going to the main sewer.  The drain was full of tree roots and these so called “flushable wipes”

Kleenex’s range of flushable wipes are getting the thumbs down from consumer group CHOICE.

In 2015, Choice awarded these flushable wipes the Shonky Award.  Choice conducted tests on Kleenex’s ‘Clean Ripple’ range, finding the wipes post a blockage threat to household drainage pipes.

It’s claimed the so-called flushables cost the Australian water waste industry about $15 million to clear every year. One Aussie household was hit with a plumbing bill of $16,000 after the wet wipes clogged their pipes.

“Although the new wipes disintegrate more than the old wipes, they don’t break down fast enough,” said Choice Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

“We believe they post a blockage threat, particularly in the first several metres of pipe on the consumer’s property.”

Well, we agree and warn against the use of flushable wipes, that aren’t so flushable after all.  The issue of these flushable wipes can be exacerbated by the state of your sewerage drains.  If your drains are prone to clogging because of tree roots, then flushable wipes are only going to make it worse and clog quicker and more frequently.

Stick to good old toilet paper.  It will save you money in the short term and save you the frustration of a 10pm emergency call to a plumber too.

2909, 2016

Failed Flexi’s Flood™

September 29th, 2016|24 Hour Plumbing, Burst Pipe|0 Comments

Burst Flexible Water ConnectorIn a recent Channel 7 news segment, PlumberAssist was cited as the Melbourne plumber documenting the issue of burst flexible hoses online.

For many years we have been attending to flooding in properties that causes thousands of dollars damage to the property, treasured belongings and lengthy insurance claims.

The cause?

Burst flexible water connections, flexi’s for short – and Failed Flexi’s Flood™!

Having served thousands of clients over 14years, PlumberAssist has witnessed the damage that burst flexible water connectors cause.

Most properties contain several sets of flexi-hoses under sinks, vanities, and connected to dishwashers and washing machines. All of these can cause major floods in a matter of seconds when they burst. To prevent major flooding and damage flexi hoses must be inspected at least every five years.

Early signs that old flexi-hoses are about to fail and cause flooding will be indicated by brown spots appearing along the flexi-hose and/or the hose being kinked and stretched. Brown spots that appearing along the flexi-hose are signs of rust and a warning sign that the hose will burst in a matter of time.

PlumberAssist replaces worn and burst fled-hoses with heavy duty, durable, longer lasting flexi-hoses that carries a 15 year manufacturer warranty.

In the recent Channel 7 news segment, the reported mentions a strata building in Brisbane that had several units experience flooding and damage caused by these burst flexible hoses and had moved to have all flexible hoses checked and replaced throughout the building.

PlumberAssist has been documenting the damage caused by these burst flexible hoses for many years and educating and warning all customers of the potential dangers lurking behind toilets, under vanities, sinks, washing machines and taps.

To view these videos and more, visit PlumberAssist’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/PlumbAssist

If you want to save thousands of dollars in repairs and unwanted insurance claims, call PlumberAssist on 1300 390 045.

604, 2016

How To Prevent Major Flooding In Your Home

April 6th, 2016|Burst Pipe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Darryl Simon, owner of PlumberAssist was recently featured in a Channel 7 segment on burst flexible hoses, the damage they cause and how to prevent flooding from happening in your home or at work.

Darryl has been documenting the effects these braided hoses have when burst.  PlumberAssist has attended to hundreds of burst flexible hoses and prevented thousands more from failing and causing flooding to homes.

These flexible braided hoses connect taps and toilets to water and fail over time.  When they fail and burst, they cause an immense amount of water damage and can cause tens of thousands of dollars damage to your home or business.

This can be easily preventable by visually checking these hoses on a regular basis.

Look out for any brown spots.  This means that the steel braided outer is rusting and may fail shortly.

Look for any kinks or twists in the hose.  This can also lead to the hoses failing and bursting.

Change all old hoses for new hoses that have a 15 year warranty.

2203, 2016

Burst Pipe in Bentleigh

March 22nd, 2016|Blogs|0 Comments

BurstPipe

Burst water pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems. When it happens, you’ll think that you’re somehow cursed because of the sheer amount of damage it can bring to your home. From the cost of repairing the burst pipe to the cost of refurbishing the damaged areas, a burst pipe can spell disaster.

There are two simple ways to detect if you have a burst pipe. The first obvious sign you have a burst water pipe is leaking water.  Areas around your property that are constantly wet and do not dry up can indicate you have a burst pipe.

The second, and not so obvious sign you have a burst pipe, is a higher than normal water utility bill and water spots appearing on ceilings and floors.  Sometimes, water leaks can go undetected if very small and not seen.  Watching your meter ticking over is another sign that water is being wasted and you may have a burst pipe.

 

BurstCopperPipeWater leaks from old copper pipes that have burst can sometimes be heard. These pipes can be located inside a wall and the “hissing” sound coming from inside the wall can be the water leaking out.

We have come up with 6 Simple Ways You Can Prevent Burst Pipes In Your Home

 Burst pipes are preventable. Preventative actions will not only save you the great stress that comes with this plumbing issue but it will also save you money and water. So instead of thinking you’re “cursed,” take action and minimise your risk for burst pipes by using these six simple ways.

  1. Insulate outside pipes, taps and drain pipes.

Unprotected piping and sometimes freezing temperatures create the perfect situation for a burst pipe in the system. So focus on those two things and use insulate lagging or foam on the outside pipes, taps, and drain pipes. As you do this, make sure to not leave any bends, joints, or taps exposed; use fitted covers for outside taps.

  1. Keep water running through slowly, at all times.

Do this when the temperatures dip really low. Of course, use a bucket to catch the water so you don’t waste the precious resource. By taking this simple step, you can prevent the line from freezing.

  1. Use pipe lagging for unheated areas.

These areas include your garage, loft, and basement. High quality pipe lagging will insulate your pipes in these unheated areas by maintaining the heat within the pipes. Pipe lagging, incidentally, also prevents condensation on cold pipes.

  1. Leave your heating on to 12 degrees centigrade.

During really cold weather, your heating system should keep your piping sufficiently warm, minimising any risk of a burst pipe.

  1. Fix leaks straight away.

Don’t let any plumbing problem get any bigger. Call a licensed plumber when your taps are dripping or leaking. Leaks have a way of turning into a burst pipe when left unresolved.

  1. Get your piping system looked at by a licensed plumber.

When you plan to be away from your home for a long time, make sure that your piping system is in good condition before you make that trip. A proper check up by a licensed plumber will uncover any small issues that may potentially cause a burst pipe. It’s always a good idea to get ahead of any problem before they turn into a huge expensive headache for you.

Then get recommendations from your plumber about how to leave your pipes when you go (i.e., should you leave the heating on, then turn off the stopcock and drain remaining water in the system?).

102, 2016

Burst Hot Water Unit in St Kilda East

February 1st, 2016|Hot Water|0 Comments

 

RheemHWS


Burst Hot Water Unit (Before)

On Sunday we received an emergency call in East St Kilda where an old Rheem gas hot water unit was making a funny noise and leaking water.

Unfortunately, the homeowner had already called another plumbing company who had let them down so they were admittedly frustrated and cautious when calling us.   We reassured them that we would turn up when we say we will and get them out of trouble.

Once on site we found the existing hot water tank to be burst and will require replacement. Murphy’s law has these things happen at the worst time.  The homeowners are planning an overseas trip in two days time so this could not have come at a more inconvenient time for them.

We supplied and installed the new gas hot water service in the same location and installed new cold water isolation valve, gas isolation and new connections. We also removed the old unit from site and cleaned up all the rubbish.

When performing work on any gas appliances the regulation requires that a gas test be performed on the existing gas line for safety.  We take this very seriously as any gas leak can be very dangerous.  We always consider safety first.  Yes, testing the gas line does come at an additional cost and if a leak is detected there are additional costs to rectify.  However, because we uphold safety first and respect the regulation, we always perform this test.  It’s your safety we care about.

We also supplied and installed a new pressure limiting valve on the cold water meter at front of property.  Water pressure coming into your property should be 500kPa.  If we test your water pressure and it is found to be above this recommended limit, we always recommend installing a pressure limiting valve, known as a PLV, to regulate the water pressure. This can prevent any blow outs in your home and cause major water damage.

ThermannHWS

Thermann Gas Hot Water Unit (After)

3001, 2016

Blocked Drain Surrey Hills

January 30th, 2016|Blocked Drains, Uncategorized|0 Comments

DrainageEquipmentWe attended to an emergency blocked drain in Surrey Hills on Friday night and found the shower and basin to be filling up with water and gurgling when the home owner had a shower or flushed the toilet.  This was quite a complicated blocked drain we needed to get a sewer plan from the local water authority.  This plan outlines where drains should run to and termination points such as the boundary trap.

Once we investigated what was happening we returned to site and attempted to locate boundary trap in the front of the property.

We located the cast iron boundary trap that was approximately 2.5m left to right and approximately 1.5m inside boundary when you are looking from the street. Once the boundary trap lid was removed we noticed that the shaft was blocked.  We used our drainage equipment to try and clear the blockage in addition to using CCTV equipment.  The CCTV is like a pair of eyes inside the drain for the plumber.  It gives us a good visual of what is happening inside the drain and what is causing the blocked drain. For instance, the drain could be full of tree roots or the drain pipe could be damaged and broken.

In this case this boundary trap feeds the next door neighbour and was blocked at the base of an old trap. We cleared through with drain machine and tested neighbours drains that runs into this boundary. It was still blocked.

Our next course of action action was to pull out the toilet in the ensuite and insert CCTV.  We now saw that the line was totally blocked and traced the line. Our equipment was getting stuck at a paver location at the front of the property.

We then set up the drainage machine and tried to clear the blocked drain through the toilet branch located at the boundary at front approx 500mm next to the neighbours boundary trap.
DrainTreeRootsWe then moved the drain machine and cleared the lead off with machine. As you can see in this picture from the CCTV equipment, tree roots were the main cause of this blocked drain. Checked with CCTV and lead off to boundary has cracked and there are tree roots present. Cut back with machine up lead off and check ok. Flush through with water, test toilets and fill bath and flush through ok. Drain holds water within 1 meter of trap lead off.

Cleared through boundary with cutter x2 cables check with CCTV and there are tree roots
Present outside property which will need to be cleared out by local water authority. Put the existing toilet back into position and tested.  When you need an expert who can solve your blocked drains on the same day and guarantee a long term solution, call the blocked drain experts. PlumberAssist 1300390045.

2909, 2015

Bathroom Renovation in Ormond

September 29th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Renovations can be tricky work.  Retro fitting into existing spaces, even more trickier sometimes. Trust me on this, we have a semi-detached 1920’s brick home in Melbourne’s South East and having completed Part 1 of our renovation several years ago, Part 2 had been extensively delayed because of the time consuming, tricky nature of the renovation.  Hind sight would have had us knock down and build instead.  Part 2 of the renovation will have us add a second storey to the existing house. Plans and neeearly finalised, so will keep you all posted on our progress.

In the meantime, here is a small bathroom renovation we recently completed in Ormond.

Kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovations are not really part of our core business, however when we have a great working relationship with a client who is constantly renovating properties, we jump at the chance to be of service to them.

This project was for a bathroom renovation upstairs at a property in Ormond.  The existing bathroom had been stripped out, linings and floors removed and was ready for works to begin. The existing bathroom had a shower and vanity.

The new bathroom layout includes the set up for toilet, shower and vanity.
The existing sewer stack runs under the floor in the bathroom. We needed to alter this stack so that we could cut in a junction to run sewer to new toilet position, vanity and shower. Connect vent back up to stack which terminates through roof.
The builder needed to form flooring in shower base and set up a shower grate in position so we could connect up to waste.

Here are a couple of before pictures:

Before Picture

Before Picture

Before Picture

Before Picture

 

The water pipe work was adjusted  to run to new vanity, toilet and shower positions. Pipe work was run in Rehau piping. Install shower mixer in marked position.
Turn water back on to test new pipe work, silicon around pipes penetrating timbers.
Exact positions of shower mixer/rail and vanity were still to be confirmed. These were needed before commencement of pre pipe.

Once bathroom has been tiled and painted we returned to site and fitted off fixtures. Installed new toilet, connecting up to water supply fitted with mini stop. Connect up tapware and waste for the new vanity. Installed new shower rail, and fit off cover plate and handle for shower mixer.

Here are some pictures of what the bathroom renovation looked like once completed.

Toilet

Toilet

After Picture of Basin Vanity

After Picture of Basin Vanity

Shower Rail

Shower Rail

 

3108, 2015

Quality, Service & Price…Can You Really Have It All?

August 31st, 2015|24 Hour Plumbing|0 Comments

ProductServiceCostI received a phone call yesterday afternoon.  As PlumberAssist offers a 24 hour 7 day emergency plumbing service, the phone rings at all times of the day & night.

It was “Nick” (name changed for obvious reasons).  He had a toilet that was blocked because excessive toilet paper had been flushed down it (aka he had a big dump).

“Of course we can help you Nick”.  “I can dispatch a plumber to be on your doorstep within the next 1 hour to help you out. Just to let you know, we do have an after hours service call.”

I went on to clarify our after hour charges and accepted forms of payment upon completion of the job.

“What?!”, screamed “Nick” down the other end of the phone. “Really?!” – “Yes Nick”, I replied.  “It is Sunday but I can get our on-call plumber to attend within 60minutes”.

“I don’t want to pay that much”, said “Nick”. “What else can I do?” I suggested that our service call was pretty fair considering it was Sunday and I could have a plumber attend within 60 minutes. If we weren’t the right fit for “Nick”, I suggested that he kept scrolling down Mr Google to find a plumber who could come out within a 60 minute time frame and help him out.

As the internet becomes more and more competitive in the plumbing industry and service seeking sites become more prevalent, we face this scenario quite a bit.

Customers want quick service.  Like yesterday!  They want a quality service and they want the cheapest price.

It is well known that out of the three – Service, Quality and Price, you can really only have two.  If you don’t care about quality you can have a cheap price, but you can’t expect good service too.  If you care about service, not so fussed about quality you will probably still pay a decent price. If you want good service and good quality, then be prepared to pay a fair and reasonable price for that.

In addition to “Nick’s” phone call,  our on-call plumber attended to three other plumbing emergencies over the weekend. These lovely customers appreciated the prompt service and the fact that their problem was fixed so they could get on with enjoying the rest of their weekend.

I hope “Nick” got his toilet unblocked….