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Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

Q. How often should a hot water system be serviced?

You need to check the relief valves that they are in working order every 4months and replace these valves every five years. The anode in an electric and solar hot water system requires replacement every five years.

Q. What would cause a toilet to continuously keep filling the cistern on the wall?

Your cistern is probably overflowing due to a failed fill valve, debris under the fill valve rubber or the float is set too high.

Q. Besides a leaking faucet or pipe what else can contribute to a high water bill?

Leaks are commonly found in toilet tanks, resulting from worn parts or improper alignment of a part of the flushing mechanism. Stop these leaks right away because they’ll add up in your monthly utilities

Q. My toilet is running what can I do?

A running toilet is usually the result of a broken or faulty flapper (aka, flush valve or “tank” ball) in the bottom of the tank that needs to be replaced. The chain in your tank could be the culprit as well. If it is too long it can get caught under the flapper. Both problems are easily fixed.

Q. Water doesn’t enter the toilet bowl when I flush. What is wrong?

First, make sure your water supply is turned on. When you’ve determined this, remove the toilet tank cover. Chances are it is the chain to the flapper that is either broken or come loose. Another possibility could be a blockage in the toilet “jets” that run around the rim of your toilet.

Q. If I have a major water leak in my home what should I do?

First, turn off your water supply at the main shut-off valve. As a homeowner it’s important to know where this is located and educate your family member as well. Second, always contact a professional plumber during emergencies. And don’t touch any wet electrical fittings – call in an electrician to deal with that.

Q. My water heater has a horrible smell almost like rotten eggs. What is causing it and what do I do?

Your water heater tank has a magnesium anode rod (aka “sacrificial” anode) that protects the tank surface. If your tank has a lot of sulfur in the water or bacteria in the tank the anode rod interacts with this and generates an odour. Replacing the magnesium anode rod with an aluminium anode may minimize the problem. However, the most efficient method of eliminating the hydrogen sulfide odour is to control the bacteria and the best way to do this is to annually drain and refill your water heater.

Q. Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners?

Drain cleaners are usually very toxic, not a good thing to keep around the home especially if you have children or pets. These toxic chemicals also have a negative effect on your pipes, causing deterioration from the inside out. When this happens, the drains lines will need to be replaced. There are various products on the market that contain “friendly” bacteria and enzymes. These work great for keeping drain sludge and grease from building up on the pipes. For serious clogs contact a professional plumber.

Q. What would cause the water to be rusty and brown?

Corrosion/rust forms on the inside of water pipes. A change in water pressure will cause this rust to turn loose and come through the taps. Sediment from the hot water heater. If the glass lining in the hot water heater may be compromised, allowing the metal jacket to rust. If this is the case, you are not long till the hot water system starts to leak.

Q. Why does it take so long for hot water to arrive in the shower?

Several conditions contribute. Distance your shower is from the hot water heater, type and age and size of pipe to your shower from your hot water heater and climate. Cold weather climate tends to cool the static water in the pipes while waiting to be turned on. Old pipes have a build up of rust / minerals inside slowing the normal flow. Distance, well it takes a while for the hot water to leave the tank and get to the tap especially if the other two factors are involved. Insulation of the pipes will alleviate some of this issue. This will help save energy and keep the water in the pipes hotter longer. If the water still takes an unacceptable time to warm up you have a circulation pump that circulates water from the hot line to the water heater through the cold line, installed. This means that you'll have hot water at the hot tap immediately.

Q. Why would a tap in upstairs bathroom not flow at all when other taps in the house are fine?

The tap washer inside of the tap may have failed and is not allowing water to pass. There may be a blockage of debris pipe leading to that tap or on the out let of that tap.

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Q. Why would a toilet when flushed fill the bowl completely of water and then the waste hole would bubble up with water?

You have a blockage, within the main drainage line and the water is coming up in the other waste holes to alleviate pressure.

Q. Do you do home inspections for the purchase or sale of a home?

We would be happy to have a plumber come out and do a full plumbing inspection. We do not do inspections on the structure, only the plumbing. We offer free inspections with plumbing services.

Q. When I turn off a faucet, I hear a banging noise. What causes it?

This is called "water hammer". When water travelling quickly through a pipe has to stop ( when you close the valve) the force of the water shakes or vibrates any pipe not strapped securely. A mechanical water hammer arrestor installed on your distribution system will usually correct this. (Or don't close the valve so quickly)

Q. Should I turn off the water supply to my home if I am gone for an extended period of time like a holiday?

Yes. A washing machine hose will usually wait for you to go on holidays before it bursts. The plastic arm on a toilet ballcock probably won't snap while you are home. Water heater tanks that fail can't flood your garage if you are home. Ask your insurance agent what he thinks.

Q. When you take a shower and you lose hot water when someone else in the home runs water?

The problem may be that your main water pipes are too small. New pipes might need to be installed in the home. Or, there could be sediment build up or corrosion at the opening of the water heater hot water valve. Sediment or corrosion could cause fluctuations in the water temperature.

A professional plumber should be called to assess the situation, since solutions could include replacement of corroded pipes, checking the water heater, or replacing the shower system with one that is pressure balanced.

The best way to determine the source of the problem and ensure that you have it repaired correctly is to contact an experienced Disaster Blaster Sydney plumber.

Q. Are the plumbers of disaster Blaster Plumbing Services fully licensed and insured Sydney plumbers and gasfitters?

Yes we carry all gas fitting and plumbing licence along with all necessary legal requirements and liabilities insuring your safety along with our Sydney plumber’s safety. All our plumbers comply with OH&S and carry green and white cards.

Q. How much will a plumbing job cost me?

The cost of your domestic or commercial plumbing is based on the job. We provide a fixed price at the beginning of the service and we do not charge any extra no matter how long we stay on the job. We charge per job and not by the hour. We discuss all the pros and cons before any service is commenced to get your full understanding and satisfaction. We only put the best of our ability, workmanship and skills when providing a plumbing service.