Yearly Archives: 2009

Water or wine. Is there bacteria in water?

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine… and those who don’t, remember this during the festive season:

As Ben Franklin said; “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom,  in water there is bacteria.”

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) – bacteria found in faeces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poo..

However, We do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and or fermenting.

Remember:

Water = Poo, Wine = Health.

Therefore, it’s better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of S _ _ t

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information, thank my mate David Weekes.

I’m providing it as a public service!

S_ _ T Happens. Short Guide to Comparative Religions

Every now and then, things come across my desk that I must share, and those of you who follow the Lone Drainer and Pronto blog know that S_ _T is, something that, well  it happens.

At Christmas, this is a tongue in cheek twist on “our subject”:

Taoism                         S _ _ t happens.

Buddhism                     If S _ _t happens, it’s not really S _ _t.

Islam                           If S_ _t happens, it’s the will of Allah.

Protestantism              S _ _t happens because you don’t work hard enough.

Judaism                      Why does S _ _t always happen to us?

Hinduism                    This S_ _t happened before.

Catholicism                 S _ _t happens because you’re bad.

Hare Krishna              S _ _t happens rama rama.

T.V Evangelism           Send more S _ _t.

Atheism                       No S _ _t.

Jehovah’s Witness      Knock knock, S_ _t happens.

Hedonism                   There’s nothing like a good S _ _t happening.

Christian Science        S _ _t happens in your mind.

Agnosticism                Maybe S _ _t happens, maybe it doesn’t.

Existentialism              What is S _ _t anyway?

Stoicism                     This S _ _t doesn’t bother me.

Rastafarianism            Let’s smoke this S _ _t.

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/blocked-drains.html

Plumbing emergencies during the Christmas season

Today’s post is on behalf of all our team, we wish you Peace, Happiness and Family togetherness during the festive season.

Spend as much time as you can with the ones you love and the ones who love you.

May 2010 be your Best Year Ever.

During the festive season, if  you need help with a plumbing emergency, Just call!

I can’t turn my water meter off!

If you have a plumbing emergency, or you have water running all over your house, or a split tap washer, or burst water heater and  your water meter won’t turn off, you may be in trouble!

If your meter tap has a tee-head on it, turn it off in a clockwise direction as firmly as you can. Firmly; don’t overdo it.

If your meter tap is missing the tee-head, get a large pair of grips and turn it off in a clockwise direction as firmly as you can. Firmly; don’t overdo it.

Open a garden tap to let out the pressure.

Then call an emergency plumber!

Check out this video below that shows what we do to upgrade your water meter control valve.

Great fun on a hot day!

Before a plumbing emergency arises ensure you know where and how to turn off your cold water supply. It’s incredibly simple if you know where it is.

I want you to have our plumbing Hints and Tips, they are free.

Simply fill in the box on our home page to get our Plumbing Hints and Tips.

I know they will help you in a plumbing emergency!

HELP! I’ve got a burst pipe in my bathroom!

This post is relevant to a Randwick plumbing emergency that happened yesterday.

We had an SOS from a long term client “Joan”.

You could hear the panic in her voice. “Come quickly, we have a burst water pipe under our vanity basin and we can’t turn the water off” screamed Joan.

“Is your floor waste drain clear?” we asked. “Yes” Joan replied!

We told her how to minimise the water damage by shutting the cupboard  doors and direct the gushing water towards the floor drain, and then putting a towel across the doorway to keep the water flow in the bathroom.

We were at the house within 15 minutes, and with a large pair of grips, we were able to slow down, but not stop the water flow.

Now, a picture paints a thousand words and this short video will actually take you there.

Please watch and learn.

It’s incredibly simple to figure out where and how to turn off your hot water and cold water supply if you know where they are, and avert any plumbing emergency.

I want you to have our plumbing Hints and Tips, they are free. Simply fill in the box on our home page to get our Plumbing Hints and Tips.

I know they will save you thousands of dollars!

What’s that smell? A pig of a gas leak

As licensed gasfitters,we have electronic equipment  that detects  gas leaks from all sorts of gas appliance, gas pipelines and gas meters, but this one  is unusual….

A big pig with flatulence sparked a “gas emergency” near the Victorian city of Bendigo last week when the smell wafting from a  120kg oinker sparked fears of a potentially dangerous gas leak.

Two CFA tankers and a dozen firefighters responded to a nightime callout to search for the source of the suspected gas leak on a rural property at Axedale, east of Bendigo.

The ever alert firemen soon sniffed out the source; a pet sow startled from her snooze. “She got very excited and she squealed and farted and squealed and farted” said Fire Chief Peter Harkins.

Chief Harkins said the family who owned the pig had done the right thing by reporting a suspected gas leak.

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/gas-gas-gas.html

Stylish French @ Reims and Beaune Hotel

Sydney builder Steve Miller and his wife Carmel were on a working holiday in France and visited this beautiful hotel.

If  you think your kitchen sink tap  or mixer tap needs replacing or  the gooseneck spout  over your tubs is old, then check out this “Gooseneck” spout that made up the plumbing in the hotel kitchen sink.

Steve says it’s gold plated and still works beautifully.

Reims and Beaune Real Goose neck spout 117

Reims and Beaune 111 downsize

This image shows the magnificent detail on the hotels slate tiled roof. Steve was in awe of the skills used to create the turrets, dormers and finials that adorn the roof.

Being a plumber my interest was in the roof gutters made from lead, and well, there are no downpipes, only gutter outlets or “spitters” in the shape of a Gargoyle, that spat the roof rainwater out onto the gravel driveway.

The French are all class!

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/plumbing-services.html

Expensive Kitchen Sink Repairs

During  an Advanced Business Mastery session I had the pleasure to meet Peter August  from Australian Bullion Company, www.austbullionco.com.au.

Peter’s knowledge of Gold and other precious metals, his wealth of experience, and his stories about the mystical and precious metals he deals in, had us all amazed.

In the early 1980s, when the price of gold was around $400 per ounce, I was called to an elderly lady’s home to assist with a blocked sink. I removed all the usual cleaning products from the blocked drain; detergent, sponges and a nest of plastic bags.

Two of the plastic bags were surprisingly heavy to lift. I needed both hands and all my strength to lift these two bags onto the kitchen bench. Inside each of the bags was a gold bar roughly the size of a house brick. I felt like I was in Aladdin’s cave! The elderly lady was standing over my shoulder. She didn’t offer any explanation…. and I didn’t ask.

I went out to the truck to get some more tools to finish the plumbing repairs and when I came back in, the bags and their precious contents were gone.

Based on the standard mass of a gold bar and the price at the time, I estimate that one of those bars would have been worth about $160,000.

Meeting Peter reminded me of this incident. After retelling it to him, he pointed out that earlier this month (September 09) gold had reached a price of  US$1000 per ounce, and then estimated that one of those bars would have been worth at least US$400,000.

Not a bad mornings work.

Peter J August, Managing Director of Australian Bullion Company:

http://www.australianbullioncompany.com.au/index.php

www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au

Holy S_ _t! A Gondoliers impressions

Today’s post comes courtesy of  the World Famous Venetian Gondolier, my mate Giovanni Giudice.

I met Gio in the summer of 07 -08. He was visiting Australia, learning to surf and was escaping the Venetian winter because “business is slow”. Gio was staying in Coogee at the home of a client who funnily enough had a blocked drain. We hit it off straight away; I told him about places to visit along our beautiful coast and Gio in return told stories of the romantic city of Venice, Italy.

Invariably the conversation got back to blocked sewers and blocked drains and how different it would be to deal with a blocked drain in Venice, compared to being a Sydney plumber. Upon his return to Venice, Gio answered my question with a series of photos he took on the way to his gondola one morning.

Below are the photos he sent of a septic boat, pumping the waste from the Palace of the Bishop of Venice.

Gio Venice2

Gio Venice4

If any of our readers are lucky enough to be travelling to Venice, ask for Gio’s contact for the best gondola tour of that beautiful city.

A Sign of the Times?

A Picture paints a thousand words. We really enjoyed these photos, and hope you will as well….

Antimimeticisomorphism-Stoolbus

Antimimeticisomorphism-Political Promises

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au

 

Green Loans

Green Loans have been set up by the Australian Government in order to provide subsidised loans to assist in making houses more environmentally friendly. This is a great way to provide financial assistance to households to gain access to the resources they need to invest in energy and water efficient technologies, and hence reduce total greenhouse emissions from domestic households.  After undertaking a free “home sustainability assessment”, owners or tenants of eligible homes are allowed to take out a loan of up to $10,000 at zero interest in order to make the changes suggested in the assessment.

The assessment is carried out by a qualified expert assessor and will provide advice from the smallest behaviour change to major investments such as photovoltaic panels or a solar hot water system which can be installed by your local plumber. The assessment itself is also completely free and should only take around 1.5 hours. While only one green loan can be made per assessment, this loan can be used to carry out a number of different projects.

Funding for these loans is obviously limited so those interested should act fast. If you would like to be considered for a loan, book a Sustainability Assessment by calling the hotline on – 1800 895 076.

More information is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/greenloans/

Are you Ready for Spring?

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! This means footy finals, Spring Racing and cricket! You don’t have to change your sleep habits to watch the games, and you can start planning a good old BBQ with family and friends.

This also means that people will want to get their backyard into shape, and the NSW State Government is helping with this by offering rebates for some water saving devices. More information about this can be found at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/rebates/

Here are some simple ways to save water around the house but still keep your garden looking its best during the hot summer:

– Install a timer irrigation system. Drip lines are effective as they deliver water straight to the plant root system and largely avoid water loss through evaporation.

– Use mulch throughout your garden beds to further trim down evaporation.

– Install a trigger nozzle. They save water by shutting off a hose between watering different plants in the garden.

– Install a rainwater tank to capture otherwise wasted rain water that runs off the household roof. The NSW Government provides rebates of up to $1500 for such tanks.

– Think about installing rain and soil sensors which prevent irrigation systems from operating unnecessarily after rainfall.

Also if you are installing a new BBQ, always remember to use a licensed gasfitter!

 

www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au

Overlooked Grand Final Heroes – Plumbers!

With a crowd of nearly 100,000 spectators expected to cram the Melbourne Cricket Ground this Saturday for what is obviously one of the biggest annual sporting events in Australia, it puts a large burden on the grounds personnel and infrastructure.

The challenge includes the upkeep of the ground’s 546 urinal stalls, 166 individual urinals and 345 toilets. Whilst this may seem daunting, the 3.5 million people who annually pass through the MCG gates during the course of the season provide great training and testing for these bathroom facilities, and give plumbers and curators a great idea of whether or not the lavatories will be able to cope on the last weekend in September.

During the large scale redevelopment and rebuilding of stands at MCG earlier this decade, plumbing was also improved.

In recent years, improved crowd control and regulation has ended the outlandishly large crowds on Grand Final Day, such as the enormous 121,696 people who packed the MCG in the 1970 Collingwood v Carlton match. Although people may not drink as much at the football game as back then, facilities and maintenance practices today are still light-years ahead of what they were. This includes a team of plumbers outsourced by the grounds manager who must go to great lengths in preparation for a big event to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Whilst crowd satisfaction is the foremost goal at a large event, in the 21st century the sustainability of a venue must also be taken into account. One of the ways the MCG attempts to be more eco-friendly is by catching rainwater from the gigantic Northern Stand roof and storing it in a 1.5 million litre tank below gate one.

Even though it is very easy to forget about plumbing when at the footy, it is still amazing how much time, effort and planning must go into managing something as simple as bathrooms, in order for fans to have an enjoyable, comfortable and trouble free day.  

mcg-grand-final

www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au

The Lone Drainer And Pronto!

At The Lone Drainer and Pronto we’re not like other cowboy plumbers…

We fix your blocked drains, leaking taps and toilets with Silver bullet speed and without making a mess. And before we start, we provide you with our legendary no-surprise fixed quote that blends over 40 years of plumbing experience, technology and training so good…. even other plumbers seek our advice!

(02) 9664 4990 http://www.TheLoneDrainerAndPronto.com.au

Thanks to Dr Marc Dussault for helping us “hit our targets”.
Check him out at http://www.antimimeticisomorphism.com/

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/

Even Wizards need a Plumber

To be a plumber is to be a Wizard (ace, adept, champion, genius, hotshot, magician, mavin, sensation, star, superstar, virtuoso, whizz, wiz)

This was taken from the Sydney Morning Herald on 26th August, 2009.

Wizard ID Plumber

SSSSSire CCCCertainly SSSSSounds like a job for The Lone Drainer and Pronto

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/index.php

Plumber rescues Puppy

In early June this year, a young boy in Britain decided to give his one week old puppy a bath using quite an odd method; putting him in the toilet bowl and giving it a flush. The dog was sent down the pipe, well out of reach from the fire brigade who were first on the scene in an attempt to rescue the pup.

A plumber was called in and using a drain camera he found the dog amazingly still alive hours after being flushed about 20 metres from the house. Neighbours from surrounding houses were told to not use water in order to prevent the dog being washed down into the main sewer where rescue attempts would be impossible. The pup was able to be pushed down the line by the plumber towards a manhole where it was pulled to safety. It has been named “Diana” after the company that rescued it.

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/plumbing_services.php

Eradicating tree root problems

Tree roots are a very common cause for blocked drains, however the extent of damage that tree roots can cause before a problem is recognised, can vary greatly. To get rid of a tree root problem you must know what condition of the pipes are.

The Lone Drainer and Pronto has a number of weapons in its arsenal to combat those all-invasive tree roots; but in order to decide on the correct solution for the situation at hand, it is good practice to know what is happening with the drain. In many cases we insist on the use a special drain camera to view the location of the blockage and the condition of the connecting pipes.

The drain cameras we use are an enormous cost saver and allow us to determine the condition of underground pipes. Our pipe locating equipment shows us where to dig, minimising the need for large excavations to locate them. This reduces the guesswork and helps us make informed decisions on how to treat your particular blocked drain. In 2009 it makes great sense to use the technology available to us; it helps us help you!

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/plumbing_services.php

S_ _t Happens. The Most Functional English Word

Well, it’s s_ _t. That’s right, s_ _t! S_ _t may just be the most functional word in the English language.

You can smoke s_ _t, buy s_ _t, sell s_ _t, lose s_ _t, find s_ _t, forget s_ _t, and tell others to eat s_ _t.

Some people know their s_ _t, while others can’t tell the difference between s_ _t and shineola.

There are lucky s_ _ts, dumb s_ _ts, and crazy s_ _ts. There is bull s_ _t, horse s_ _t, and chicken s_ _t.

You can throw s_ _t, sling s_ _t, catch s_ _t, shoot the s_ _t, or duck when the s_ _t hits the fan.

You can give a s_ _t or serve s_ _t on a shingle.

You can find yourself in deep s_ _t or be happier than a pig in s_ _t.

Some days are colder than s_ _t, some days are hotter than s_ _t, and some days are just plain s_ _tty.

Some music sounds like s_ _t, things can look like s_ _t, and there are times when you feel like s_ _t.

You can have too much s_ _t, not enough s_ _t, the right s_ _t, the wrong s_ _t or a lot of weird s_ _t.

You can carry s_ _t, have a mountain of s_ _t, or find yourself up s_ _t creek without a paddle.

Sometimes everything you touch turns to s_ _t and other times you fall in a bucket of s_ _t and come out smelling like a rose.

When you stop to consider all the facts, it’s the basic building block of the English language.

And remember, once you know your s_ _t, you don’t need to know anything else!!

You could pass this along, if you give a s_ _t; or not do so if you don’t give a s_ _t!

Well, s_ _t, it’s time for me to go. Just wanted you to know that I do give a s_ _t and hope you had a nice day, without a bunch of s_ _t. But, if you happened to catch a load of s_ _t from some s_ _t head………..

Well, S_ _t Happens!!!

Actually SHIFT HAPPENS and if you don’t SHIFT, you’ll be in a lot of s_ _t!

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/index.php

Why you should ‘Dial Before You Dig’

Before carrying out any excavation for plumbing repairs, your licensed plumber should do a “Dial before you Dig” check on your property and surrounds.

This process shows where gas, water, sewer, stormwater, telecom and electric services owned by all utilities are located.

Although this is an extreme case, check out what could happen if you don’t know what lies beneath:

dial-dig-1

dial-dig-2

dial-dig-3

 

dial-dig-7

 

 

 

 

This massive explosion occurred in the USA during September 2008. Although it was caused by pipe corrosion, and not by a farmer digging as several emails have suggested, the extreme destruction seen in the photographs above shows the extensive damage that can be caused by an exploding gas pipe, and how obvious it is that this should be avoided at all costs.

If you’re not sure about the condition of your gas pipes, call a licensed plumber, and remember to always dial before you dig!

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/index.php

Plumbing Fixtures or Art?

Artist Clark Sorensen, the man who created the urinal/sculpture of former U.S. President George W Bush, has many other wonderful plumbing creations which can be used as functioning wash basins and urinals.

For examples of creative plumbing products and further information check out: http://www.clarkmade.com/

shell-urinal-2

shell-urinal-3

shell-urinal-6

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/

Aussie Bidet Toilet Seat

Recently The Lone Drainer and Pronto were called to repair a leaking toilet cistern in Bondi Junction. I was surprised to see this toilet not only had a flush button but came with a remote control as well. The client informed me that the toilet actually contained a bidet built into the toilet seat, complete with retracting heated water spout, air dryer, and instant seat heater, all of which are adjustable to suit individual comforts and anatomy. Whilst the bidet is a very popular plumbing fixture in Europe, by comparison, I have come across few during my many years of plumbing in Australia.

The bidet toilet seat is a compromise.

Whilst this can be deemed as a “luxury” item for most, our client revealed that a relative of theirs who has suffered a stroke also had a bidet toilet seat installed and with the loss of mobility in extremities after the stroke, this has proved to be of great assistance to them and their family when using the bathroom.

What a great idea! A bidet toilet seat could be of great assistance for the elderly, disabled, infirmed or even people with sports injuries.

http://www.TheLoneDrainerAndPronto.com.au/unmasked.php

bidet-toilet-seat-0041

 

Plumbing Emergency – Now, that is Pronto!

The fastest dispatch and delivery of service for a plumbing emergency was…yesterday morning!

The previous plumbing emergency that we attended to had a setback because another sustained downpour had flooded the local streets making visibility very poor as well as comfort levels.

We had stopped for some morning tea, a hot coffee and some sustenance along a well known fast food strip and as we were finishing our break the mobile phone rang….

A local Medical Centre called, asking for fast plumbing service to repair their one and only badly leaking toilet. There was water all over the floor and the waiting room was full of patients. The very polite receptionist was screaming for HELP!

Little did she know we were parked 30 metres from her front door and were ready to take action.

3 minutes after the phone call for emergency plumbing was received, our heroes walked through the front door of the Medical Centre, ready for action.

25 minutes later, the leaking toilet was fixed. The faulty water inlet valve was replaced. The leaking waste pipe was sealed.

The receptionist was overwhelmed.  “Lone Drainer, you really fixed our plumbing Pronto” she said.

When the Lone Drainer says Pronto, He means it!

That’s great service from an eastern suburbs emergency plumber!

George Bush Toilets

The reign of US President George W Bush has come to an end, but as this piece of urinal art proves, when it comes to “Dubya”, many people will never grow tired of taking the piss….

presidential_urinal_1

The creator of this fantastic piece is a subscriber to “toilet humour“. His bathroom creations are unbelievable; I will soon share with you some of his other works.

And for all you plumbers, imagine clearing a blocked drain in the outlet of this urinal; be careful now!

www.TheLoneDrainerAndPronto.com.au

 

Toilet Humour

A toilet is a plumbing fixture and disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of bodily wastes: urine and faecal matter. Additionally, vomit and menstrual waste is sometimes disposed in toilets in western societies.

The word “toilet” can be used to refer to the fixture itself or to the room containing the fixture, especially in British English. In Canadian English, the latter is euphemistically called a washroom, and in American English, a restroom or bathroom. The latter term usually refers to a room that also contains a bath tub. A room with only a toilet and a sink is sometimes called a half-bathroom or a powder room.

There are two basic types of toilets: the dry toilet, and the wet toilet – the latter being the most commonly known and producer of blackwater. The dry toilet needs no plumbing for water input or evacuation, but is often coupled with some ventilation system.

Humour

Humour or humor (see American and British English spelling differences) is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. Many theories exist about what humour is and what social function it serves. People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. The majority of people are able to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a “sense of humour.”

When attending to blocked drains we sometimes encounter “Toilet Humour”!

www.TheLoneDrainerAndPronto.com.au

 

PVC Pipes Blocked by Hills Weeping Fig

The Hills weeping fig (ficus microcarpar var.) is a beautiful tree which in some cases  provides a shady archway for many streets in our Sydney Eastern suburbs.

But why are the residents of these streets pulling out their hair?

The Hills weeping fig is like Jekyll and Hyde.

Dr Jekyll brings shade in summer; tree lined streets become a breezeway, cooling our homes as their majestic branches cast shade and protect us from the searing summer heat, attracting birds to feed on their fruit twice a year.

But, Mr Hyde is lurking. Those same fruit bring flying foxes…and other mysteries.

My interest in this tree is the power of its root system. Their reach is widespread, sometimes 3 or 4 or more times wider than they are high. The root system will move stone walls, lift concrete footpaths and driveways and of course invade sewer and stormwater pipes. The  roots from this tree  just keep on coming after they are internally pruned with an electric eel or “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner.

Last week we attended  to 4 tree root sewer  blockages directly caused by the Hills Weeping fig.

The 2 blocked sewer pipes that particularly interested me were in PVC sewer pipes.

Why is that interesting, I hear you ask?

Well… tree roots don’t grow into PVC pipes! …..or do they?

The Kensington blocked drain was in an established housing estate about 10 – 15 years old. The townhouse in question had no previous blocked drain history. The Hills weeping fig was about 30 metres away. Its root system had grown up to this house and had actually grown into the PVC pipeline through a screw on cap that we plumbers call a cleaning eye. The fine  roots had grown into the cap thread and multiplied inside the pipe thus causing the sewer blockage.

The Bellevue Hill blocked sewer was similar.

This house was built during the year of Sydney’s 2000 Olympic games after the long term owners, were tired of having blocked sewer pipes every 3 months, and tree roots “growing up through the back of the toilet”, amongst other reasons.

During the rebuild all the pipelines were installed in PVC pipes and fittings. The house finish was state of the art plumbing fixtures, with beautiful sandstone tiles around the outside of the house. All the pipes were concealed! No cleaning eyes! Why would we need access to the pipes as they have all been installed in tree root proof PVC?  The nearest fig tree was 30 odd metres away.

Well, what started as a simple blocked floorwaste, grew to removing that beautiful toilet suite to clear the blocked sewer pipe. We used the “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner to remove tree roots from the blocked pipeline. When the blockage was cleared we carried out a camera survey of the pipeline. About 14 metres downstream the camera showed the remnants of the cut tree roots, but just as important, our drain camera survey showed the PVC pipe had been squashed. What was a round internal pipe, was now oval shaped with a crack in at least 1 of the fittings.

Who said tree roots don’t grow in PVC sewer pipes?

Beware Mr Hyde!

https://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/vaporooter.php

hills-weeping-fig-tree-or-monster-001-mod

Hills Weeping Fig Tree