Archives

Blocked Pipes and Council Trees

Did you know many blocked sewers are caused by the tree roots from Council street trees?
Tree crushes sewerThis issue is becoming a very big drain on the budget of many local councils.
The council owned trees that make some of our more sought after suburban streets very special, are creating havoc underground by repeatedly blocking the sewer pipelines from many of the homes on those streets. Councils are fighting a losing battle trying to bring the tree roots under control.

The budgets of many local councils are strained as they just can’t keep up with the demand of their ratepayers to attend to sewer blockages caused by these street trees.

There is an economical way for local councils to Stop Tree Roots in Pipes and ease the burden on the budget and the ratepayers who have regular tree root blockages.

Vaporooter Kills Roots. Period!

Flush with Facts #3 Thomas Crapper

Thomas Crapper was a plumber in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries who founded his own company in Chelsea, London in 1861.

Contrary to popular belief, Crapper did not invent the flushing toilet; that is said to have been invented by Sir John Harrington. Crapper however did make several patents relating to drain improvements, water closets and manhole covers. His plumbing business was quite successful, and supplied plumbing to members of the royal family, a feat for which many incorrectly believed he was knighted.

Although he did not invent the flushing toilet, Thomas Crapper & Co did successfully market and mass produce them.  As soldiers passed throughout England during WWI it is believed that the slang term “crapper” was created due to the Crapper & Co’s logo being displayed everywhere.

 

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

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!

Who turned off the hot water?

Who turned off the hot water?… That was the call today from the residents in a block of 82 home units.

Our clients shower tap was leaking; a 1/2 bucket of hot water every minute and needed new washers.

So, “Where does the Hot Water turn off?” asked The Lone Drainer. “I don’t know”, replied our client! What followed was a search for the hot water shut off in all the usual places; under the vanity basin…. no; under the kitchen sink…. no; in the bathroom ceiling…. no; what about the duct in the hallway…. no!

Next, The Lone Drainer called the maintenance manager’s mobile, courtesy of the Emergency Number notice in the foyer. When he finally responded, The Lone Drainer and Pronto already knew that the valves in the cupboard shut off all the units on the other side of the hallway, but not ours.

“The hot water shut off valve should be in that duct” said Al the manager. “It’s not!” said The Lone Drainer. “Any suggestions?”

“So you’re gonna have to shut down hot water for the whole building” says Al.

Woman in shower cap Now there is a protocol for shutting down water to a building with 82 units at midday. Normally it’s a notice on the board and in the lift a couple of days in advance. Not today!

I had Pronto go to the foyer and buzz every unit to tell those that answered that the hot water is gonna get turned off in 1/2 hour for about 1/2 an hour.

By the time we shut down the boiler, drained the building then removed the shower tap and re-washered it, replaced O-rings and lubricated the moving parts, put the tap back together and turned the boiler valves back on, an hour and 15 minutes had gone by. Luckily only 18 of 82 residents came looking for the reason they had no hot water on this cold Sydney day.

Moral of the story:

Know where your hot and cold water turns off…. And make sure it does! Now, that sounds like a job for The Lone Drainer and Pronto!

My car is powered by sewage

Methane powered beetle

Methane powered beetle

This post was brought to my attention by the ever vigilant Richard Piper. When you ring our office for help you may speak to him. Tell him you enjoyed this post; I did!

Sewage powered VW Beetle hits the road in Bristol! A Volkswagen Beetle powered by gas from sewage has taken to the road for the first time in Britain.

This converted Beetle car runs on methane gas. The Bio-Bug was launched on Thursday by Wessex Water, which is generating methane from human waste at a sewage treatment works near Bristol.

The company claims the prototype is able to cover 10,000 miles annually on the waste from 70 households.

If the trial proves successful, Volkswagen will consider converting some of its fleet of vehicles to run on biogas.

Mohammed Saddiq, of GENeco, a Wessex Water subsidiary which runs the biogas plant at Avonmouth, said: “Our site has been producing biogas for many years, which we use to generate electricity to power the site and export to the National Grid. With the surplus gas we had available we wanted to put it to good use in a sustainable and efficient way. We decided to power a vehicle on the gas, offering a sustainable alternative to using fossil fuels which we so heavily rely on in the UK.

“If you were to drive the car you wouldn’t know it was powered by biogas as it performs just like any conventional car. It is probably the most sustainable car around.”

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association said the launch of the Bio-Bug proved that biomethane from sewage sludge could be used as an alternative fuel for vehicles.

Lord Rupert Redesdale, the association’s chairman, said: “This is a very exciting and forward-thinking project demonstrating the myriad benefits of anaerobic digestion (releasing energy from waste). Biomethane cars could be just as important as electric cars.”

Last month Volkswagen announced plans to conquer the green market with a new generation of hybrid and electric cars.

Antonio Gaudi water conservationist

Barcelona 2010

To visit Park Guell and see the home and creative brilliance of Antonio Gaudi is a special treat.
Gaudi created Park Guell for the citizens of Barcelona. It has gardens and homes with a view of the city and the Plaza.

The Plaza is a meeting place for the people of the city and the brightly coloured mosaic seating around the manmade plaza had a secondary purpose. The dry Mediterranean weather usually meant excess water used on something as soothing as a fountain for the citizens and visitors to the city was a waste of water. That didn’t phase Gaudi.

The water catchment created by the Plaza was a brilliant idea to collect any rainwater that fell, and through an underground filter and the storage system, the rainwater was then piped to the mouth of a Mosaic dragon lying in a garden with a fish and lily pond at the bottom of the beautiful staircase.

The ergonomic design of the seating around the Plaza, which was beautifully decorated in mosaics, was incredibly comfortable to sit back, relax and talk with friends and family.

Gaudi’s design allowed any water from those brief showers to fall to the back of the seating and then get channelled off quickly into a gutter on the outside of the seating and then dispersed to the dry garden areas below through a series of “spitters” hand carved in stone.

Absolutely Beautiful!

Park Guell Lion

Park Guell Lion

Rain lions

Rain lions

A place for inspiration and relief

In previous blog posts on urinals  and toilets, I showed you a field goal in a urinal that helped to reduce spillage, and also the infamous ‘fly in the urinal’ at Schiphol Airport. So once again, courtesy of Exponential Growth Strategist (http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com) Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com)  here is another photo, this time of  an unknown location in Amsterdam. This is just another example of how we can all take life a little less seriously and enjoy ourselves a little more.

A place for reflection

A place for reflection

 

The next time you come across an interesting bathroom or other plumbing related installation, please take a picture and forward it to me – this blog is a collaborative effort from people travelling all over the world to bring you a mosaic of photos, articles and facts that are curious, intriguing and fun.

 

Draining the “Coffee makers lane”

  Our Venetian correspondent is at it again!

As you have seen in previous posts, Holy S – – T ! A Gondoliers impression and The latest sewer notes and history of Venice, Gio, the Venetian Gondolier, knows how much our readers love to see how waste water and sewer is moved around Venice.

Hey mate!
I’m so proud to be on the site that I decided to send you more stuff about Venice. Here is first of all a picture of my lane ” calle del Caffettier” ( the coffee maker lane) while a draining is on the go.

As you see on the first pic our local plumber has the drain hose on the left side of the lane with all the pipe going over the bridge.

Venice pumping waste

Venice pumping waste

Then you see how the pipe goes to the canal where the drain boat is waiting with the plumbers mate.

Venetian drain boat collecting waste

Venetian drain boat collecting waste

Then a picture of our proud fire patrol just after the draining of a boat that sunk because the owner did not drain the rain out…. shame!

Venice fire team to the rescue

Venice fire team to the rescue

That is all my friend.

See the statue of our Lady on the top of the wall near my house? Isn’t it a corner of paradise?

A special piece of Venice

A special piece of Venice

Yes it is Gio. Thanks for sharing it with us!

More from Venice 2

St Marco drain boat

St Marco drain boat

Now Giovanni knows his way around the lagoon and the Grand Canal and all the other canals of the beautiful city of Venice.

His impressions of the sewers and sights of Venice along with his images of the way sewer is transported from the grand homes and palaces along the canals is always educational.

Apart from being a wonderful host and waterman, this excerpt from a recent correspondence underlines just how well our correspondent in Venice knows his way around his water bound city.

Hey Dave!
So can you imagine that Sophie the daughter of a friend from Evans Head, came to visit me in Venice?
Yesterday we had a great evening and this morning I had to wake up early ‘cause I had a commitment with a Norwegian novelist. He is writing a novel about somebody escaping from an island in the lagoon of Venice with a gondola, so he had to check out if it was possible for somebody to do it without knowing anything about a gondola before the moment of the escape.

I took him out on my gondola this morning at 8 for some research and now I’m back. I took these pics on the trip.

Gondolier at rest

Gondolier at rest

So dear readers, this gondolier knows his S – – T.

Please enjoy some more images of Venice courtesy of Gio.

Cruise ship at anchor Venice

Cruise ship at anchor Venice

The latest sewer notes and history of Venice

Mozarts neighbours get the drains cleared

Mozarts neighbours get the drains cleared

More S – – T from Venice! The best part about this blog is sharing with so many people and getting your insights into my topic, S – – T.
Our knowledge of the sewers of the world grows.

Basically, we all use our toilets regularly and if you are not, then seek medical advice. Now I’m not going to get into anything unsavoury in this post, but I have a few toilet jokes and stories lined up for you in the future. So stay regular!

Our regular readers would have read about the world famous Venetian Gondolier my friend Giovanni Giudice in earlier blog posts like Holy S – – T.  A Gondoliers impression.

Here in Australia, as we drift into the cooler months it’s spring in Venice and Gio has been keeping me up to date with some interesting facts about the sewer movements and the history of his home town.

Here is an excerpt from a recent communiqué:

Mozart slept here!

Mozart slept here!

Yesterday I took these pics of drain boats in the first one you can see how they get the pipes to the house. This house is just in front of the house where Mozart, Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, stayed when he came to Venice in the Carnival of 1771.

This is written on the marble white stuff you see. Probably there is still some Mozart S- -T!!

 

 

 

Drain boat at St Marco square

Drain boat at St Marco square

This pic is of another Drain boat in front of San Marco Square. As you see from the last picture, I have taken all these pics from my gondola. You can see I’m under the bridge and you see the back (stern) of my lady, my gondola.

Take care my friend,
Giovanni

If you are travelling to Venice and need a guide, look for Giovanni, he is the best!

Something to aim for….a fly on the wall

In a previous blog post  He aims, he shoots, he scores, I showed you a field goal in a urinal to reduce spillage. Some people were wondering what the original one at Schiphol Airport (http://www.schiphol.nl/) looks like… So once again, courtesy of Exponential Growth Strategist (http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com) Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com)  here is the infamous fly in the urinal at Schiphol Airport!

 

a-fly-at-schiphol-airport

 This blog is all about having fun with everything having to do with plumbing, plumbing services and plumbing repairs. If you come across anything that you think my readers would enjoy – please send it to me via a comment on this blog. In advance, I thank you for making this a top blog for plumbing aficionados!

Sydney Plumbers love our drinking water!

The interest over the new Sydney water desalination plant just continues to grow.

After blogging 2 weeks ago about the taste of our drinking water,  a topic that is very important to me, we have been contacted by lots of people who also have an interest in our Sydney drinking water. I believe we have here in Sydney Australia, one of the best water supplies in the world and now that we have the Desalination plant, it does secure our drinking future.

Most of our clients have shared with us their thoughts on the flavour of our drinking water, the colour of the water, the taste  and smell of the water; and  you are all correct.

Just make sure, if you have leaking taps or running toilets, you have them repaired as soon as possible.

Save water where you can and keep drinking water. It makes you feel alive!

He aims, he shoots, he scores!

Today’s blog post is from Exponential Growth Strategist (http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com) Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com) who tells me that Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam setup a test with a fly printed at the bottom of the men’s urinals to ‘reduce’ spillage. From memory, the reduction was astonishing, 75%+ reduction. The reason it seems is that given a target, men can actually aim quite well…

Marc came across this version of the same principle in his native Montreal, Quebec at a local sports restaurant called La Cage Aux Sports (http://www.cage.ca/pointe-claire)…

 cage-aux-sports-urinal

 

La Cage Aux Sports Urinal

a-fly-at-schiphol-airport

Schiphol Airport Urinal

Let’s face it – spillage or no spillage – this just looks like a lot of fun doesn’t it?

 

Psst! If you look closely at the floor – there’s no spillage!!!

 

Would you use this loo?

 I have just returned from Louisville Kentucky where I attended the 30th Annual  Pumper and Cleaner Environmental Expo. 

This is one of the western world’s greatest collections of experts, gathering to talk about S _ _ T.

How to clean it, clear it, move it, store it, collect it and record it.

Over the next few weeks I will share with you some of the sights and sounds and people that made Louisville 2010 the greatest plumbing expo so far this decade; http://www.pumpershow.com/.

Please come back to this blog page over the next few weeks to see and enjoy some images of Louisville, KY through the eyes of  The Lone Drainer and Pronto.

In the meantime enjoy these images of a very unusual public toilet. I ask you, Would you use this Loo?

see thru loo houston


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve seen the outside view,  take a look at the view from the inside out.

see thru loo inside out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s made entirely of one-way glass! No one can see you from the outside, but when you are inside it’s like sitting in a clear glass box!

Could You….???       Now would you use this fun toilet?

http://www.TheLoneDrainerAndPronto.com.au

Tree Roots Growing In Sewer Pipes

Are the Roots of my Neighbours Trees, or the Trees Growing Out the Front of My Property, Growing in my Sewer Pipes?

One of the major plumbing concerns is trees that send roots into sewer lines, especially in homes that were built over twenty years ago. Trees are equipped with water finding capabilities that send tiny roots in every direction in a quest for water. The trenches where there are sewer lines do not usually have hard packed soil therefore, roots gravitate to this loose soil. When these roots invade from trees growing out the front of your property or from across the street and get into the sewer system, it is time to call in the professionals who do plumbing that know how to deal with a blocked drain. Read More

Plumbing Sydney – The Advantages Of Quotes From Plumbers

There are Advantages of acquiring Quotes and Upfront Pricing from Tradesmen/Plumbers with Reliable Reputations Before Starting Simple Maintenance Jobs.

Home owners are often faced with the dilemma of trying to fix their plumbing themselves or calling in a professional plumber to get the job done. The advantages of quotes, upfront pricing and a reliable reputation can mean all the difference in the world in the amount you end up having to pay for the work done.

When looking for reputable plumbing services, check with the Better Business Bureau and with the certification board that certifies services for plumbing in Sydney. All the professionals are certified for plumbing Sydney.

Some of the things you should expect when choosing a plumber is convenient scheduling of service technicians along with a notice of their expected time of arrival. You are better able to maintain your schedule when you know what time the service technician is going to be at your door.

You should also expect a service technician to be well groomed and wear clean boots/shoes or protective booties inside your home in order to protect your floors. A complete plumbing system investigation should take place with a provision of price before the job is started. A couple days after the service call is made to your home, there should be a follow up call that checks to make sure everything is working just the way it is supposed to.

On the occasions you need to call in professional plumbing services, make sure you get estimates and a repair plan that specifies that no work will be done without your authorization and you should, if you can, get a second opinion if there is any more work to be done. Having to search for plumbing contractors in Sydney may seem like a daunting task, but if you just follow a few simple steps you can get your work done professionally and have peace of mind knowing you shopped around, and checked out the plumbers credentials.

One of the advantages of having an upfront pricing is that you are better able to budget for the cost of the repairs or new plumbing that may have to be installed. Knowing ahead of time what something is going to cost enables you to ensure that only the work that needs doing will be done, and anything extra will be placed on a separate estimate and quote.

It is understood that at some point in time something in the sewer system and plumbing system is going to go wrong after years of use. Taking care of the maintenance of your home is much easier when you are doing business with certified professional services for plumbing. As you look in the phone book  or search engine for “Plumbing Sydney” keep in mind the things that a quote with upfront pricing can do for your budget and your peace of mind. It is always easier when you know what to expect from the plumbing services you are going to get.

Upfront pricing helps prevent “cost over-run” when the plumber seems to continue to find one thing after another wrong and wants to charge for each and every extra procedure. Don’t get ripped off, check credentials, get an upfront quote, and make sure you know exactly what the plumber is going to charge you for.

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 so classy!

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

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