Archives

Toilet Hygiene #1

Q. What’s the 3rd most un-hygienic place in the bathroom?

A. The toilet flush button.

Who’d have thought? Now, wash your hands!
toilet flush button

Flush with Facts #2

August is the month of the good toilet flush!

Did you know the dual flush toilet cistern was a 1980 Australian invention by Bruce Thompson, an employee of Caroma?

The dual flush toilet cistern saves 32,000 litres of water per household per year. In 2014 most modern toilet cisterns have an internal overflow tube, so if your float valve doesn’t shut off, the water runs straight into your loo, rather than overflowing onto the floor….. So the single flush toilet cistern should be a thing of the past!

The Lone Drainer Rides West

Shitbox RallyGood Luck to Henry Midgley and Ryan Spaccavento setting off for adventure tomorrow in the 2014 Perth-Darwin Shitbox Rally . Travel safely boys, have fun raising funds for the Cancer Council. If there are any plumbing emergencies or blocked drains out there, I guess the other drivers are going to come looking for you. ūüôā

Does Your Water Taste Different?

Since the new Sydney Water desalination plant was commissioned January 28th 2010, we have had one of the hottest and yet wettest Sydney summers in recent years.

During this hot weather period, we insist that all the people on our plumbing service team, especially the plumbers out in the field, take water bottles and re-hydrate regularly.

Some on our team believe that the Sydney tap water is “different” since the desalination plant started mixing with our traditional water source.

I had to keep drinking to test the tap water, but, I think the water tastes a little “sweeter”.

Now “portable” water as our water supply is known to¬† plumbing professionals, should be without:

  • odour
  • colour
  • flavour

So we started to ask some of our clients what they thought, and we got some different feedback.

Some said it is sweeter, like me. Others reported the water was a different colour. Some even believed the new water supply had caused their taps and toilets to leak. Mind you, these comments were received whilst repairing those same leaking taps and  leaking and running toilets.

So, is our water supply different? What are you mixing it with?  Tell us what you think via the comments box.

As an incentive for the best Sydney Water story, I have 5  exotic Golf club caps to give away, courtesy of Champion Sports.

The US Masters begins next week Thursday April 8th РSunday April 11th, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia, so post your comments by Friday April 16th, 2010 and  the 5 best Water stories will be eligible to win a prize.

Oh and keep drinking water! We recommend it.

So you think you’re having a bad day?

Today’s blog post is from Exponential Growth Strategist Dr Marc Dussault. (http://www.MarcDussault.com).

Some days when you think you are home free, there is a trap waiting for you.

Have you ever had a day like that?

Marc takes business growth very seriously, but insists we plumbers take time to have a laugh, even at our own expense.

Thanks for the medicine Dr! 

 

2010-03-25-so-you-think-your-having-a-bad-day

http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com

 

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!

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  Advanced Business Mastery 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

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/

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/

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

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

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!

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

 

The History of Plumbing

Here’s something the Romans did for us – they invented plumbing!

By Adam Hart-Davis

Julius Caesar had a weekend native-bashing excursion to Britain in 55 BC. But I guess he didn’t enjoy the damp boarding houses with their fierce landladies, for he quickly went back to Rome, and naturally claimed a great victory. Almost a hundred years later the emperor Claudius sent a powerful invading army, and the Romans then occupied Britain for the next 350 years. What did those Romans ever do for us?

Flushing lavatories

The Romans were keen on hygiene and built public baths in all their cities. Many of them have survived, notably the grand complex at Bath. The bath houses were places for social gathering, gossiping, and exchanging news. In the same complex there were communal lavatories, often flushed with the used bathwater.

There is a well-preserved lavatory at Housesteads Roman fort, near Hexham, on Hadrian’s wall. The camp was home to some 800 soldiers, and the communal lavatory in the south-east corner must have accommodated a dozen men at a time, shoulder to shoulder, without any partitions. The sewage fell into a trench, and rainwater, collected in a cistern, flushed it away through the outer wall of the camp and into the civilian settlement outside.

A shallow channel in front of the sitting men also contained running water, probably to rinse the sponges on sticks that they used to wipe their bums. Each soldier probably carried his own sponge, since using one immediately after someone else would not have been appealing.

The Latin word for sewer is cloaca ‚ÄĒ the main sewer in Rome was called the cloaca maxima ‚ÄĒ and the Romans worshipped Cloacina, the goddess of the lavatory. There is even a poem in her honour:

O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
Look on thy servant with a smiling face.
Soft and cohesive let my offering flow‚ÄĒ
Not rudely swift, nor obstinately slow.

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

Plumbing Apprenticeship – ‘Giving back to the Community’

At The Lone Drainer and Pronto we like “Giving¬†Back”¬†to the community because the Plumbing industry has been very good to me and my family.

Every year around January we have anywhere from 5 to 20 boys (or their mothers) contact us inquiring about a plumbing apprenticeship. We have trained 9 apprentices in 20 years (plumbers apprenticeship is 4 years).

In early January we received the usual phone calls, letters and emails from people asking aboutplumbing apprenticeship. One day we received a call from a lady (she sounded late 40’s early 50’s) asking for a plumbing apprenticeship. I replied saying, ‚Äúwith the greatest respect, you sound a little old to be starting an apprenticeship.‚ÄĚ

You could almost hear this lady blushing down the phone… She said, “I‚Äôm ringing for my son.” She told me all he ever wanted to be was a plumber! So we talked a little about her son and about his experience and she said he was very shy! I asked her to get him to ring and speak to me if he was keen about trying to develop the skills that he would need in his preferred occupation.

Three days later ¬†her son ‚ÄúFrancis‚ÄĚ rang and he told me how they had laughed about my quip about his mum being ‚Äúa little old to start‚ÄĚ.¬†He sounded like a great kid and I invited him over to our office to talk. I showed him around our office, workshop and store and he was able to take a look at plumbing stuff, pipes and fittings. He loved the experience! I could not take him on at that time, but invited him to come back at his leisure and ask questions or check out anything about plumbing that he was interested in.

Francis came back twice over the next few weeks and about a month later, he rang me to say he had got an apprenticeship with a plumbing company near his home. He sounded completely different to the shy kid who got his mum to ring. He said he had the confidence to apply for a job because the things we had shown him, the pipes, the fittings, the equipment, the jargon, had given him enough confidence to get him over the line at another job interview.

He thanked me profusely.

I see Francis at local plumbing suppliers and he always has a smile and we have a chat. It’s great to know our industry will be in good hands in the future.

The distinction!
No matter how simple, always try to pass on the knowledge, educate and inform!

It’s like sowing a crop!

Plant the seeds …¬†Add water and sunshine …¬† Prepare for harvest.

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