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Sydney’s Plumbing Ticking Time Bomb

G’day, It’s Dave Conroy from The Lone Drainer and Pronto here, your trusted plumbing superheroes. Today, we’re here to talk about a silent menace lurking in the plumbing systems of Sydney – flexible water connections.

We plumbers call them flexis.

You might not think about them often, but those little hoses are like ticking time bombs waiting to go off. They’re commonly used in modern plumbing, connecting your taps, toilets, and appliances to the water supply. Over time, they can become a major source of plumbing disasters.

You see, these connections are typically made of rubber or plastic, covered with a braided stainless steel hose, which can degrade and weaken over time. And when they decide to give up the ghost, you’re in for a nasty surprise – flooded bathrooms and kitchens! That’s a sight no one wants to come home to.

So, what’s the solution? Regular maintenance and replacement of these flexible water connections. Here’s why it’s essential:

  1. Prevent Costly Damage: Burst flexible water connections can lead to extensive water damage in your home. Not only will you have to deal with the inconvenience of repairs, but you’ll also be stuck with a hefty bill. By checking and changing them regularly, you can avoid these costly disasters.
  2. Enhance Water Efficiency: Old and deteriorating connections can also result in water wastage. Replacing them with newer, more efficient ones will help you save on your water bills and contribute to water conservation efforts in Sydney.
  3. Improve Safety: Water damage can lead to dangerous mould and mildew growth, which poses health risks. Regular maintenance keeps your home safe and healthy for your family.
  4. Peace of Mind: When you know your plumbing is in tip-top shape, you can rest easy, knowing that you won’t wake up to a flooded house one day.

In conclusion, don’t underestimate the importance of inspecting and changing your flexible water connections regularly. It’s a simple, yet effective way to prevent potential plumbing disasters and keep your home safe and dry. The Lone Drainer and Pronto are here to help you with any plumbing concerns you may have, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance.

51 Reasons to Love Your Plumber

Last week we made another blood donation at the LifeBlood mobile donor caravan at Coogee Oval.

During a few moments of contemplation while some of the good stuff was taken from my left arm, I had this realisation.

Its nearly September 30th 2023, and with the Australian summer and the Christmas holiday season and the end of the year only 92 days away, here’s 50 more reasons to love your plumber:

  1. Punctuality: They respect your time by arriving on schedule.
  2. Friendly Demeanor: A pleasant attitude makes interactions more enjoyable.
  3. Professionalism: Plumbers conduct themselves with professionalism in all dealings.
  4. Accountability: They take responsibility for their work and any issues that arise.
  5. Communication: Good plumbers communicate clearly and effectively.
  6. Accessibility: You can easily reach them when you need assistance.
  7. Emergency Preparedness: Plumbers are equipped to handle urgent situations.
  8. Efficiency: They work quickly without sacrificing quality.
  9. Upfront Pricing: Many plumbers provide cost estimates before starting work.
  10. Experience with Older Homes: We’re skilled in working with older plumbing systems.
  11. Thorough Inspections: Plumbers inspect your plumbing system thoroughly to identify hidden issues.
  12. Innovative Solutions: They offer creative solutions to unique plumbing challenges.
  13. Flexibility in Scheduling: Accommodating your schedule is a priority.
  14. Friendly Advice: Plumbers give helpful tips for maintaining your plumbing.
  15. Transparent Billing: Clear invoices break down the cost of services.
  16. Courteousness: They treat your home with respect and politeness.
  17. Clean Appearance: A professional appearance instills confidence. Could need a haircut.
  18. Availability for Questions: We’re happy to answer your plumbing-related queries.
  19. Waste Removal: Proper disposal of old parts and waste is their responsibility.
  20. Quality Materials: They use high-quality materials for repairs and installations.
  21. Flexible Payment Options: Some plumbers offer payment plans or financing.
  22. Licensed and Certified: Qualified plumbers have the necessary licenses and certifications.
  23. Hassle-Free Repairs: We’ll handle all aspects of the repair process.
  24. Adherence to Safety Standards: Safety is a top priority on the job.
  25. Respect for Your Property: Plumbers take precautions to avoid damage during work.
  26. Protection for Your Flooring: They use protective coverings to keep your floors clean.
  27. Genuine Care: Good plumbers genuinely care about your plumbing issues.
  28. Problem Diagnosis: They accurately diagnose the root causes of plumbing problems.
  29. Longevity of Repairs: Repairs are done to last, saving you money over time.
  30. Insurance Claims Assistance: We can help with insurance claims for plumbing-related damage.
  31. Energy Efficiency Tips: Plumbers provide advice on reducing energy consumption.
  32. Dependability: You can rely on them for consistent quality work.
  33. Customization: Tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.
  34. Water Pressure Optimization: We ensure your water pressure is just right.
  35. Versatility: Plumbers handle a wide range of plumbing problems.
  36. Accessibility Features: They can install accessible plumbing fixtures if needed.
  37. Aesthetics: Attention to detail in installations for an aesthetically pleasing result.
  38. Project Management: Coordinating the multiple aspects of some plumbing projects.
  39. Prepared for Unforeseen Issues: They’re ready for unexpected challenges.
  40. Emergency Prevention: Plumbers help prevent plumbing emergencies.
  41. Eco-Friendly Practices: Some plumbers focus on green plumbing solutions.
  42. Prompt Response to Inquiries: Quick responses to your calls or messages.
  43. Family-Owned Businesses: Supporting local, family-owned plumbing businesses.
  44. Community Involvement: Some plumbers do unseen work in the community.
  45. Clear Documentation: Detailed records of services provided.
  46. Consistency in Quality: Reliable service you can count on.
  47. Follow-Up Services: We check in after service to ensure everything is working correctly.
  48. Custom Maintenance Plans: We can give tailored plans for ongoing plumbing care.
  49. Warranty Fulfillment: Honoring warranties for their work.
  50. Peace of Mind: Ultimately, they provide peace of mind knowing your plumbing needs are in capable hands.

Any great plumber is a valued part of your household, offering expertise, reliability, and peace of mind for all your plumbing stuff. They’ll even carry your groceries in from the car

So next time you need to call a plumber……..

World Plumbing Day 2023! Seven tips from your plumber

Saturday, March 11th 2023 is World Plumbing Day.

Plumbing is something we all take for granted. World Plumbing Day is the day to thank your plumber as you brush your teeth, flush your toilet and have a hot shower.

We don’t pay any attention to our plumbing unless, its not working. So spare a thought for your plumber who is on standby to help you. Why not put his name and telephone number into your mobile phone, Just in case!

Here are 7 easy plumbing tips to help around your home

  1. Know where your main water shut-off valve is: In case of a plumbing emergency (like a burst pipe), it’s important to know where your main shut-off valve is so you can turn off the water supply to your home. Bonus tip: Check that it works!
  2. Know where your water heater is. Check it periodically to see it’s not leaking. Learn how to turn it off and back on again. Bonus tip: Know if it’s heated by gas or electricity.
  3. Don’t pour grease or cooking oil down your drains: Grease and oil can build up in your pipes and cause blocked drains, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Use a drain strainer in the sink to catch scraps of food.
  4. Keep a sink plunger in your home. Know how to use it!
  5. Check for leaks: Regularly check for leaks under kitchen sinks and vanity basins. If you see signs of water, have your plumber repair them as soon as possible to prevent water damage. Bonus tip: Flexible water connections have become very common in Australian homes. Some Home insurance companies insist homeowners check them regularly and have your plumber change them periodically. When they burst, they cause a lot of water damage very fast. (See Tip #1)
  6. Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper: Flushing things like “flushable” wipes, sanitary products, or paper towels will block your drains.
  7. Leaking toilet cisterns can waste a lot of water. Know how to turn your cistern on and off until its fixed. Bonus tip: If you’re desperate, you can flush your toilet with a bucket of water.

Make sure you get a professional for complex plumbing problems. While some plumbing repairs can be undertaken by a competent home owner, more complex tasks like installing a new water heater or fixing a concealed leak should be left to a professional plumber to ensure they’re done properly.

Emergency plumbing in rain-soaked Sydney

March 8th 2022.
Today was full of plumbing emergency calls.
Driving through our rain-soaked city can be dangerous as drivers speed through puddles and potholes to get to their destinations with scant regard to other road users.
Our client in the Ryde area had a faulty pump under their house and the lower floor was in danger of flooding their rumpus room and home gym. The pump was resuscitated for now but, it needs to be replaced.


See the journey from Ryde back to our Coogee HQ along Victoria Road, over the Gladesville, Iron Cove and Anzac bridges before crossing Darling Harbour then through the city and Darlinghurst, Anzac Parade and Randwick Racecourse.


The roads are soaked and the rain keeps coming.


High winds are forecast for later tonight.
If you can clear any leaf debris from pits, roof gutters and drains around your house, better do it soon!
Then tighten your seatbelts Sydney.


Winds are forecast to blow up to 35 knots (70 kph) tonight.

If you need a hand call us on 02 9664 4990

When Wylie’s Baths needs a plumber

Wylie’s Baths in Coogee 2034 has kept within the Covid 19 guidelines to remain open for their patrons during the StayInside orders of 2021. They have over 50,000 swimmers a year and occasionally need help from their local friendly plumber.

The baths manager Courtney tells in 1 min 27sec what goes on behind the scenes to deliver a unique ocean pool where you can get a great cup of coffee and a sandwich.

Check it out!

Flushable wipes block drains

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 blocked drains 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!

To put it simply, hygienic wipes don’t break down like toilet paper and as many household pipelines have imperfections, the wipes get caught and cause a blocked drain.

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.

Know your water heater #2

The hot water tempering valve
Knowledge about your water heater will save you money!

Second in the series, this 44-sec clip will show you a typical tempering valve on a gas water heater. That’s the blue valve on the side of the heater.

It should be checked by your plumber annually and replaced every five years.

The tempering valve is fitted to prevent scalding of the aged, the infirmed and young kids. It should be on every storage(and continuous) water heater like this.

If you are changing or upgrading your water heater, you should have a Tempering valve fitted.

The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries #1 Wylies Baths

The Lone Drainer Coronavirus Diaries is a chance to catch up with some of our friends and businesses that we help, and that help us, to see how they are affected during the Coronavirus lock down of 2020.

In this short 4.33 minute YouTube clip I speak with Courtney Tallon, the manager of Wylies baths in Coogee NSW.

Japanese tech gadget prevents elderly toilet accidents

Sydney April 6th 2020

Approaching a milestone birthday, its fair to say that my personal plumbing is in reasonable working condition. I have a skin check annually and a biennial colonoscopy and prostate check. And, I encourage my peers to do the same.

But, when my middle son recently took a trip to Japan it inspired me to research the technology that’s available with Japanese plumbing.
And apart from the wonderful bidet type toilets that do everything, I found this little gadget.

It simply measures what is going on with your personal plumbing.
When you’re out and about and your bowels need to be emptied, it sends you a text message warning that you’d better get to a toilet in the next ten minutes.

Now, I hope my three boys don’t have to help their dad with his toileting, but the benefits of the Japanese Poo app for the aged and disabled seem like a helpful advancement.

I encourage you to follow the link to see it.

More rain please


The rain has kept emergency plumbers on their toes.

If you need help with a flooding emergency, please call us.

Meanwhile, blow the rain to the west.
Our country cousins need it!

Storms bring blocked drains

The well-needed rain that arrived in Sydney over the last few days has created many blocked drains and grates that can easily be fixed.

Take the opportunity in between showers to check any pits or drains around your home that may be blocked by leaf debris or dirt. Put on your gardening or washing up gloves to clean them out; it may save you from some unexpected flooding.

The blocked drain shown here was covered by leaves and gum nuts blown off in the storm. It wasn’t able to cope with the deluge of water that caused the garage to flood.

If your roof gutters are full and overflowing, it may be leaf debris and twigs or even a tennis ball from the summer back yard cricket series blocking the gutter outlets.
If you choose to put a ladder up to the roof gutters to have a look, please be very careful.
Take care climbing on your roof.
It may be very slippery!

My bathroom is flooding!

There are busted pipes in peoples homes every day. Knowing where to turn off your hot and cold water 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 with a difference requesting an emergency plumber.

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.

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, ruined the carpet throughout her home and flooded the property below.

The neighbour below had to force 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.

Sewer overflow makes Coogee a “smelly place”

Coogee means “smelly place” and yesterday the beautiful beach, just 500 metres from our HQ, lived up to the name given it by indigenous Australians. The smell and subsequent beach closure was brought about by a Sydney Water  blocked sewer main in nearby Dudley Street.

The overflowing sewer main spilled into the storm water system which then discharged into the surf just near the Coogee Surf Club. Randwick City Council closed the beach and drained the Ross Jones pool that sits adjacent to the surf club and the storm water discharge.

Sydney Water maintenance crews cleared a blockage in the sewer main that was caused by tree roots.

The tree root blockage and sewer overflow was completely preventable. The beach has been re-opened today.

Clipping from Sydney’s Daily Telegraph:
2016 04 14 Cooge sewer spill Daily Telegraph article

A plumbers view – Super Bowl 2016

Sunday, February 7th was Super Bowl 50 Sunday in San Francisco. By now you may know The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 at Levi’s Stadium.

What’s that got to do with plumbing? I hear you ask. Well plenty; according to the Scott Tissue company, the toilet is flushed more during halftime than at any other point during the year. That’s 90 million flushes, using 350 million gallons or 1,323,000,000 litres of water, which is the same amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in seven minutes.

Now, that is…..a Super Bowl!

I’d like to know how many blocked drains happened on Super Bowl Sunday!
Superbowl 2016

Don’t flush those flushable wipes

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 pipelines have imperfections, the wipes can get caught and cause a blockage.

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

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

Why this plumber makes a regular blood donation

New Blood 2
Its a simple thing to give blood. It doesn’t hurt at all! In fact it makes you feel really good…. and you get to help someone else.

Who knows, I may get to help you or your loved ones.

So what does that have to do with plumbing……

Well, only that all of your pipes need flushing from time to time. Even your personal pipes!

This is Furk! Having FUn at woRK.

Rain causes Bronte wall collapse

Sydney’s sustained rainfall has almost washed out the third cricket test between Australia and the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The rain may have helped the Windies at the SCG but nearby Bronte residents awoke yesterday to find their Macpherson Street neighbours wall had collapsed into the street.

My initial drive past the site to survey the damage was met by a pile of sand, outdoor table and chairs, a picket fence and kids cubby house that had slipped onto the road.
Bronte collapsed wall
It was interesting to see old earthenware pipes amongst the rubble. Maybe their stormwater pipes were blocked or leaking into the sand, probably washing out the pipe line, and the continuous rain caused the collapse.

I do not believe anyone has been injured. Here’s hoping this family can get back into their home soon.

Back to work for a New Year

Many of us are back to work today January 4th 2016 after our Christmas break. We have had 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. This is the time 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 any plumbing emergency over the Christmas holidays.

A blocked drain can be caused by putting the wrong things down your sinks, pipes and toilets. This can leave you with an expensive plumbing bill to unblock your pipes. It can also lead to an increase in 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 which are 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.

Here are 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. Approximately 10 litres per person.
4. Check that 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.

Why men spend so much time in the Loo!

Why men spend so much time in the loo is still a mystery to me!

My Dad could disappear in there for what seemed like hours; he would emerge with the Herald under his arm and an understanding of what had been happening in the world.

He took time to think! Meditation perhaps?

My eldest son is just the same. He has Dad’s brains.

Personally, I get in, do what I have too and get the hell out of there.

This clip is fun! If you have similar experiences let me know.

Get your personal pipes checked…. I did!

November is Men’s Health Month and my reminder came in the mail. “Its time to get your pipes checked again” said the friendly letter from my Colorectal surgeon. It spelt out the process, the fasting, the preparation, the costs, the procedure on the day, what to expect afterwards, the discomfort but most of all…….. the benefit!

So on Sunday I began the preparation for a colonoscopy on Monday. After a healthy and hearty breakfast on Sunday morning it was a time of fasting. No food! Then, from early afternoon into the evening I had to take not 1, not 2, but 3 doses of fairly unpleasant medicine that would clean my internal pipes so the surgeon could put his camera through them.

Now all this makes sense to a 54 year old father of 3 healthy and happy sons whose father, after being diagnosed with Prostate cancer passed away a few years ago.

So, I hear you ask, why is your plumber telling you this?

If your body is a temple as mine is, and your home is your castle, then it’s appropriate to get your pipes checked, especially if your castle has a history of problems or blockages in your sewer pipes.

There are many parallels between a Colonoscopy and a Drainoscopy.

To get a Drainoscopy is easy!

We clear your pipes and then put a specialized drain camera through the pipes to find out what is actually going on in there. Then we take the vision and put it on our YouTube channel with a description of what is going on in the pipes. You can see it, you can share it, you can get a second opinion, you can evaluate the information and understand exactly what is going on underground or in your pipes.

Yes, it is a little uncomfortable. But now I know that after Dr “L” has treated 2 areas of interest and checked my prostate, my pipes are in good condition. I’ve seen the pictures. And at the appropriate time, he will send me a reminder for my next Drainoscopy er Colonoscopy.

So to end on a high note watch this fun YouTube clip.