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The Lone Drainer’s Recipe #3

The Lone Drainer’s Mushroom Sauce for Pasta
(which doubles as a fabulous addition as a sauce for steak the next night, and takes care of two of the five vegetables per day you are meant to eat.)
This recipe is an example of The Hardworking Plumber’s Secret Timesaving Tip: Cook It Once, Use It Twice, (tastes sensational both times!)

This recipe is so simple as to be hardly a recipe, but it’s impressive to eat nonetheless and made in a matter of minutes. I put this on the stove, on a low heat, go have a shower, (yeah, yeah, I know its dangerous, but The Lone Drainer and his Team are tired after a hard day on the tools and a shower while dinner cooks saves precious minutes which means we get to eat earlier.
(Ed: gotta give it to Dave Conroy, always thinking, thinking…).

And credit where credit is due, this recipe was pretty well invented by Leigh, the best gasfitter in Sydney’s east, then developed by me, whom some experts would say is the best and most modest plumber in the Eastern suburbs….

INGREDIENTS:
½ a box of already cut up mushrooms, the kind you buy at the supermarket
Left over white wine
Garlic (buy the bags of single clove garlic from Harris Farm Markets as they take less time to cut and peel- see pic)
Three tablespoons of cream
A tablespoon of parsley if you have it,
A decent glug, glug, glug of olive oil, i.e. three big tablespoons if you want to be accurate
A bag of salad mix

METHOD
Chop up the garlic any old how. Small is good.
In a largish frypan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat, add the garlic, fry until it smells good but not brown, tip in the half box of mushrooms, stir, turn heat down, add a cup of white wine, and half a cup of water or stock, (the mushrooms should be more or less covered with liquid), stir and let stew while you take a shower or set the table. Put a big pot of salted water on low heat, (again the amount of salt doesn’t really matter, but if you like precision, a tablespoon will do).

Okay, all cleaned up now, turn the heat up under the pasta water till its boiling, add the pasta.

Throw some of the salad leaves into a bowl and dress with a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of vinegar. Put on the table. This is your salad to go with the pasta.

Add three tablespoons of cream to your mushrooms and stir. Turn off the heat under them but leave in pan on stove.
Once the pasta is cooked, (it should still have a bit of bite to it as it will go on cooking in the sauce) drain it, put in a largish bowl and add the mushroom sauce to it. Stir and eat. Delicious!

Here is a pic of the pasta in the bowl, ready to eat: (note the inspection outlet in the background- we plumbers are always experimenting with the latest technology)

Next week, we’ll talk about the Plumbers’ pantry cupboard and what you need to keep in it in order to be able to make a delicious dinner in ten minutes flat every night.
Until then,

Read our blog. Cook our food. Admire our plumbing.

The Lone Drainer’s Recipe #2

I scream, you scream, we’ll all scream for
The Lone Drainer’s Passionfruit Ice Cream

I, Dave Conroy, the master of the fast but excellent tasting recipe, have developed a speedy, easy, no- equipment- necessary recipe for fantastic icecream. OK, it’s not super healthy, but it is home made, you know every single good ingredient (3) that’s in it because you put them there and its 100% natural.

Here is the recipe:

Go to the supermarket on the way home from work.
Buy 1 can of condensed milk and 1 carton of cream and 6 passionfruit.
Stir the cream and condensed milk together in a saucepan over a low heat.
Add the insides of the 6 passionfruit and let it sit off the heat while you open a beer, watch the news, have a shower or water the garden.

Then, (and this is the good bit) raid the grog cupboard, find some vodka. Any other liquor will do, but vodka is good because it has no flavor or colour. Gin will work just as well. Anything that won’t mask the flavor of the passionfruit. Add a good slug, around two tablespoons. Stir. Put the lot in a plastic container and stick it in the freezer. It’ll be ready in about an hour.

This wondrous creation has been tried and tested in the The Lone Drainer Test Kitchen many times. There is science at the back of it too. The alcohol in the vodka stops the icecream forming crystals, which make for an unpleasant texture. Alcohol just won’t freeze in a normal domestic freezer. So it keeps the ice cream creamy. Ipso facto, you don’t have to do all that churning with machines and gadgets and what not.

We’ve tried it with whisky and two espresso coffees instead of the passionfruit and that came out tops too. It’s just not a fussy recipe. But it won’t work without the grog. Trust me. I’m a plumber. And I don’t like to waste good alcohol.
Here is a picture of two thirds of my last batch of passionfruit icecream. I did want to photograph it BEFORE eating it, but just couldn’t resist. Evidence of how good it is.

Read our blog. Cook my food. Admire our plumbing.

The Lone Drainer Recipe collection

The Lone Drainer Recipe Collection

It’s the second month of the New Year and we’re all still full of good intentions.
I, The Lone Drainer, the fastest plumber in the Eastern suburbs, hereby announce my New Years Resolution: I will become a better cook. I am committing in print in the hope that my public announcement will help me stick to the program.

Here’s how it will work:

Every week, I will publish a new recipe, fully tried and tested in The Lone Drainer Coogee kitchen and stomach. I’m aiming for easy, fast and not too many ingredients. And something that won’t make me fat. I want to be a fit, healthy fifty year old. (Ed: who are you kidding Dave? Rumour has it you’re closer to sixty already!)

It won’t always be a recipe, sometimes it will just be a meal idea, suitable for a man to make. (OK, sexist, I know. I’ll rephrase that. What I mean is suitable for me, a mere male without a lot of cooking skills, but certainly a man who likes to eat well)

Here is No 1 Recipe, a sample of my easy- after- a -hard –days- work –plumbing meal idea:

Go to the supermarket.
Buy a bag of mixed salad leaves, a bottle of bread and butter pickles, and a piece of salmon.
Put two potatoes and two carrots on to boil.(Good plumbers need carbs. We work hard and burn a lot of energy)
Spread the salad leaves on a plate. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil on the leaves. (uncooked olive oil is good for keeping cholesterol down)

BBQ the salmon. Or cook it on a heavy cast iron frypan. Six and two minutes on a gas stove

Put the salmon on top of the leaves. Put the now cooked potatoes and carrots next to the salmon on the plate . Add a couple of dill pickles. There is dinner. Four vegetables, fish for protein and a few carbs for energy. Twenty minutes tops.

Read our blog. Cook my food. Admire our plumbing.

Use Toilet Paper not Tissues

Tristan from The Lone Drainer And Pronto gives a simple demonstration as to why you should use toilet paper rather than facial tissues in the bathroom.

Toilet paper breaks down when it gets into water, whereas facial tissues bind together rather than falling apart.

Beware, facial tissues can cause a costly blocked drain.
Use toilet paper, not tissues.

My bathroom is flooding!

Pipes burst in peoples homes every day.
Knowing where your hot and cold water turn off could be the difference between having a few wet items under the kitchen sink and having a total flood.

Yesterday morning we had an urgent phone call for an emergency plumber with a difference.

Allan, the homeowner knew exactly where to turn off the water to his home unit.
A flexible connection under his bathroom vanity basin had burst.
Allan heard a “pop” then the sound of running water as it gushed out of his bathroom vanity basin onto the floor and out the door.

Fortunately, shutting off the water quickly kept the damage to a minimum.

We were able to rescue Allan and his family pronto.

We replaced the ruptured hot flexible connection and changed the corroded looking cold connection also.

My toilet cistern is leaking #1

“My cistern is leaking into the toilet pan”
If you press the Full and Half flush buttons and they don’t effectively clear the toilet bowl,
That is, their isn’t enough water in the toilet cistern to do the job
or
The buttons just don’t work
or
the cistern just won’t refill or it’s slow to fill
Then
I know how to fix the toilet that won’t flush properly.
This pic shows the water inlet to the cistern and the outlet valve or flushing mechanism that sends the water into your toilet pan.

Either of the valves shown could be faulty.
If the inlet valve doesn’t shut-off, it will cause the cistern to overfill and spill into the overflow tube that will run down into the pan.
You may need a new inlet valve.
If the outlet valve is leaking into the pan, the outlet valve may need to be replaced or re-washered.
Either of these valves leaking could be causing leaks into the pan.

If you’re not sure, just ask us.

Toilet won’t flush properly #1

“My toilet won’t flush properly” is a common cry for help in our emergency plumbing business.
We then ask, Do you mean the dirty water won’t flush away?
If the answer is yes and it looks like this,
then you have a blocked drain and you need a blocked drain expert quickly

However, if you press the Full and Half flush buttons and they don’t effectively clear the toilet bowl,
That is, their isn’t enough water in the toilet cistern to do the job
or
The buttons just don’t work
or
the cistern just won’t refill or it’s slow to fill
Then
I know how to fix the toilet that won’t flush properly.

Urgent hot water help

Its really important to know a few simple things about your water heater.

I just had an emergency call from Emma, who returned from visiting the UK for Christmas.
While she was away her water heater leaked through the kitchen cupboards and ruined the carpet throughout her home and flooded the property below.

The neighbour below, forced entry into her unit to turn off the water to protect his property.

Over the phone, Emma asked for help replacing her existing water heater

I asked her to send a picture of the heater and I now know,

  • There is no safe tray under the heater. Installing a safe tray to prevent future flooding should be considered.
  • The water heater currently is an 80Ltr unit. The modern version is slightly larger and won’t fit in the cupboard. The cupboard may need to be dismantled to remove the existing and fit a new unit.
  • A 50-litre heater may also be too big. (Please check the cupboard dimensions)
  • The current water heater does not have a tempering valve fitted. Australian Standard states “A tempering valve to be a part of any new hot water installation”.
  • There is a flexible connection between the Duo valve and the heater. Australian Standard states “Flexible connections do not comply”.

Does the cold water control valve that shuts off the water to your entire home work efficiently?
It will need to, so that the Duo (control) valve  the water heater can be worked on.

Take 3 tips.

  • Know where your water heater is.
  • Know how it turns off.
  • Turn off the water and electricity or gas before you go on holidays.

If you’re not sure…ask me.

Winter rain comes with a blast

Winter Rain and blocked pipes.

The forecast east coast low started dumping rain on us last night. Road accidents caused by wet conditions and local flooding are the norm today. The weather bureau suggest these conditions will hang around until Monday.

Blocked storm water drains, storm water pipes and storm water pits have been the order of the day today after the rain came thick and fast.

Where possible, keep your roof gutters and drains clear of leaf debris to avoid flooding and pipe overflows.
rain

Wipes can be expensive

As you know, up to 85% of blocked drains are caused by tree roots and can be easily managed.

But, there is a growing number of blockages that are caused by “hygienic wipes”. Hygienic wipes block up house drains and sewer mains that cost homeowners and Sydney Water a fortune to maintain. So be careful what you flush!

Simply, hygienic wipes don’t break down like toilet paper and as many household pipe lines have imperfections, the wipes can get caught and start a blockage.

If you are polishing your bottom….. and flushing more wipes, you could be in trouble.

This Choice magazine Youtube video shows how wipes don’t break down for up to 21 hours.

Clear the air

Many of us are back to work today January 4th 2016 after our Christmas break. Time, love and laughter with family and friends, rest and re-charge.

We’ve had a few plumbing emergencies that couldn’t wait. Blocked drains, burst water pipes and a rusty galvanised gas service that led to a complete pipe re-run on New Years Eve.

People are grateful to have help from an emergency plumber.

They also like to laugh and learn. I recommend you watch this clip for Poo Pourri. This is what I call Furk!

Having FUn at woRK

BTW After the laughing stopped, I ordered some Poo Pourri. It works! If you’d like some let me know.

Think before you flush the toilet.

Christmas 2015 is upon us. Most of us slow down and enjoy the festive season and the Aussie summer.
But please think before you flush. We are here to help you with a plumbing emergency over the Christmas holidays.

A blocked drain can be caused by putting the wrong things down your sinks, pipes and toilets and it can leave you with an expensive plumbing bill to unblock your pipes. It can also lead to the amount of waste moving through our sewage treatment works at Malabar, Bondi and Manly.

These extra items have to be screened out, dumped in bins and trucked off to a landfill site. Unsuitable flushed items can lead to sewer overflows and problems in the sewer mains simply caused by small items getting caught and blocking the network.

Don't do it.

Don’t do it.

An overflowing sewer main in your property or worse, in your home, is very unpleasant. So, keep it simple and flush only the three Ps….. pee, poo and paper.

Storm drains overflow

We had another storm blast through Sydney this afternoon.

We were safely on a boat in Rushcutters Bay fitting the gas cooker as the 60 knot wind blew through.
Safe from the storm
The rain poured down with hail stones thrown in. The storm flooded all the local street drains and in some places the gutters were up to 400mm deep in stormwater.

Please check the grates and drains around your home and ensure that they are clear and running freely. The storms come quickly and can create lots of damage fast.

If you need help…… Call us!

Ready for Sydney Storm Season

Sydney storm season got under way last night with a spectacular electric light show to compliment Ed Sheeran doing his stuff.
storm season
Make sure you take precautions around your home in case severe weather hits.

Severe weather, heavy rain and electrical storms can affect pumps and boosters throughout our network which can affect our water supply and sewer pumping stations.

5 tips to get you ready:
1. Candle and matches. Have them handy.
2. Know where and how to turn off your water supply.
3. Have 3 days supply of fresh water in containers. Approx 10 litres per person.
4. Check your storm water grates and drains are clear of leaf debris and dirt.
5. Ensure your storm water down pipes are clear and not connected to the sewer.

If you’re not sure, Ask us!

Plumbing Emergency – Can’t turn the water off!

When you have a plumbing emergency

On Thursday night a client rang after 9.00pm to say her basin tap that had been leaking for a few weeks was now gushing water… and the water meter at the front of the house wouldn’t shut off.
images
We were able to rescue her family quite quickly. However it was an expensive process.

What’s the take away from that? If your taps don’t feel right, please don’t ignore it. Call a plumber and schedule a repair. And if your water meter wont shut off, it sounds like a job for The Lone Drainer and Pronto.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Mains Pressure Hot Water Heater

The lifespan of a water heater is about eight to twelve years, depending on whether it is inside or out, near the ocean, or you carryout simple maintenance procedures. Modern tanks are lined with steel, and this lining can break down over time. Here are some tips to prolong the life of your mains pressure hot water heater.

  • Installing a second anode rod prolongs the life of the water heater greatly. The anode rod undergoes corrosion as time moves on and collects this corrosion in order to prevent so much corrosion in the tank.
  • A pressurised system needs a Temperature and Pressure Relief valve to be working effectively in order to prolong the life of the water heater. As water heats, it expands and needs somewhere to go. A T&PR valve will prevent stress on the water heater and the hot water plumbing system by taking the discharge.

Ease this valve regularly

Ease this valve regularly

  • Annual flushing of an older tank will help keep it working and prevent sedimentary build-up inside the tank. Newer tanks are often self-cleaning; they may cost more but are able to last for many years to come.
  • Very high water pressure can damage your appliances and cause the water heater to wear out too early. Installing a pressure limiting valve  regulates system pressure and reduces the wear and tear on your hot water plumbing and your appliances.
  • Scaling is a big problem for water heaters in areas where the public water systems have excess mineral contents. In many instances a water softener is the answer to this problem. The water softener reduces wear and tear on the water system and helps your soap suds up better.

Should your water heater stop working for you, be sure to call in emergency plumbing services and restore the hot water supply back in your house.  The Lone Drainer and Pronto plumbing services  have an emergency plumbing services number where you can reach a professional plumber twenty four hours a day to take care of any problem you may be having with the plumbing. NEVER attempt to do it yourself as you do require a qualified plumber to assist you in this situation.

Follow the suggestions mentioned and prolong the life of your mains pressure hot water heater. You want the hot water heater in your home or business to perform exactly as it should at all times. By taking care of the water heater and making sure you cover most of these things, you will save yourself the expense of replacing a whole system or  the frustration of not knowing just what to do when the whole thing seems to be under performing or even leaking.

It is never nice to have a plumbing emergency, but in the unfortunate circumstance that you do, it is nice to know that emergency plumbing services are available. Many reputable companies will come back the next day with a follow up to make sure that everything is working the way it is supposed to, as well as to make sure that there are no more immediate problems that could potentially shut your water off for an extended period of time.

When you have to choose a regular plumber, be sure that they have plumbing services for any emergency and reasonable charges for their plumbing services. They should also give you a price for the job upfront, before they start.

http://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/hot-water-services.html