Randwick Council trees are responsible for my Blocked Drain

Blocked drains are a large part of our workday; every day! And 85% of blocked drains are caused by tree roots. Our home is Coogee Randwick, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney Australia.

Tree-lined streets in Randwick Council are the reason for a lot of the blocked drains that we attend to. They damage the sewer drains and stormwater pipes that take wastewater off your property.

Many homeowners hold the council responsible for their blockage and have expectations that the council will clear their blocked drains for free because they own the trees.

Well in some cases they do.

But, Randwick Council gets their income from you the ratepayer and as you’d expect they have guidelines for spending ratepayers money to fix your blocked drains.

If you live in one of these Sydney suburbs managed by Randwick Council including Centennial Park, Chifley, Coogee, Kensington, Kingsford, Little Bay, Malabar, Maroubra, Matraville, Pagewood, Phillip Bay, Port Botany and Randwick, click here to see Randwick Council Sewerage Stormwater Drain Blockage Policy.

The top points are that you the homeowner:

  • Must have a sewer service diagram for your home
  • Must maintain your sewer pipes.
  • Must prevent sewer blockages
  • Must prevent sewerage from escaping into the environment
  • Maybe entitled to the Council plumber clearing your blocked drain

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.

Don’t do this in the bathroom!

During our Coronavirus work schedule, I’ve found some fun hints and tips about plumbing and health that are worth sharing.

How germs spread:

  • on your toothbrush,
  • your toilet seat,
  • and the toilet flush button, are just a few examples.

How is water connected to my toilet cistern?

Many modern toilets have a concealed cistern. That’s the tank that holds the water that flushes the loo. Now, they do look fantastic and they do save water.

The small dual flush buttons are the access panel for the internal workings of the cistern. When they need maintenance, the only way to repair them is through that access panel.

The water tap is usually built into the wall and this one couldn’t be replaced without cutting into the wall behind.

Cow gets stuck in sewer manhole

During a long career dealing with blocked drains we have seen some unusual things in the sewer, and this is one of them.

This 1:53sec YouTube clip shows a team of Chinese firefighters, police and vets rescue a cow that has fallen down a sewer maintenance hole.

The pregnant cow looks pretty uncomfortable as she is winched out of the manhole. But she ambles off into the night with her grateful owner as if nothing has happened.

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.

Get into hot water this Winter!

With the winter season underway, its time to think about hot water.

Take 10 minutes to check on your water heater.
Is it gas or electric?

Check it’s location. Ensure that it’s not leaking on any of the pipes or connections.

Check the cold water control feed tap, usually on the bottom left of the heater. Make sure it turns off and back on.

If you have a storage tank, make sure you check the pressure relief valve is working correctly. And that it’s not leaking.

An efficient water heater will supply all the hot water your family will need this winter.

If you’re not sure, call me on 02 9664 4990!

The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries. Madrigal Communications

The Lone Drainer Coronavirus Diaries has been a chance to check in with small businesses to find out how they have been getting on during the Coronavirus lockdown of 2020.

In this clip, I speak with Tim Entwisle from Madrigal Communications.
Tim writes up tender documents for Aussie companies that are applying for large government contracts in the construction, energy and telecom sectors.

I’ve known Tim for about eight years. He’s a Rugby fanatic, an ocean swimmer, a wordsmith. Tim loves language, and he blogs about our language. He has written several blogs about Coronavirus.

Check them out on his website. https://madrigal.com.au/word-of-the-week-blog/

Know your water heater #1

Hi, its Dave Conroy here from The Lone Drainer and Pronto.

As we approach the winter of 2020, my message for today is about hot water.

You need to know how to turn off the water supply to your water heater.
And most importantly, I want you to know what a temperature and pressure relief valve is.

This 1min 48 sec YouTube clip will show you how it’s done on a 50-litre heater. Yours may be different. If you would like to know more……Call me!

Plumbers bathroom cleaning tip #1

Some bathrooms are a little neglected; especially if there are boys in the house.

Like many among us, during Coronavirus isolation, I’ve taken the opportunity to catch up on a few old recipes, a stack of books and some cleaning. And, I feel sharing the following cleaning tip would save everyone some time.

You will need:
1. A can of the cheapest shaving cream you can find in Woolies or Coles.
2. 2 Old bath towels

Spray the shaving cream on and around your toilet, including the floor.
Taking the toilet seat off would earn extra points.

Leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Then, wipe off the excess with an old bath towel and some hot water and wipe over with the other towel.

I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries The Fudge Shop #1

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

In this short clip I chat with Adam Joseph, owner of The Fudge Shop in Darling Harbour Sydney NSW.

The Fudge Shop has been shut down and Adam shares how the Coronavirus has affected his family and his business.

The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries D’Ettorre Real Estate #3 SME Advice

In this episode of The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries, I speak with Dom D’Ettorre, principal of D’Ettorre Real Estate in Woollahra Sydney.

Subsidies are available for commercial tenants. SME’s – Small to medium entrepreneurs.┬áBeautician, dentists, yoga studios and gymnasiums have lost 100% of their business income.

Find out how that affects the tenants and the property owners. “It’s NOT 1 size fits all.”

The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries D’Ettore Real Estate #2 Negative Gearing

In this edition of The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries, I speak with Dom D’Ettorre, principal of D’Ettorre Real Estate in Woollahra Sydney about how his negatively geared owners are being affected.

Investors have bought properties as AirBnB sites and now as travel is severely restricted the owners have to adjust quickly to manage the finance on their properties.

Some properties may be vacant for 6-12 weeks

Mum and dad investors who thought “I’m going to buy an investment property” and borrowed 90% and now lost their job… it’s going to hurt.

Listen and learn from Dom’s experience.

The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries D’Ettorre Real Estate #1 What’s going on

In this edition of The Lone Drainer And Pronto Coronavirus Diaries, I speak with Dom D’Ettorre, principal of D’Ettorre Real Estate in Woollahra Sydney.
2020 was shaping up as a landmark year for Sydney real estate, then the Coronavirus came to our shores.

Dom shares how his clients, property owners and their tenants are responding to the rapid-fire changes to the Sydney real estate world during the lockdown. He shares how vendors and prospective buyers are changing their habits, their expectations, their motivations and the pressures affecting them.

Toilet paper is no longer a hot ticket. Guess what is?

The stampede on toilet paper has slowed for now. But I overheard an 18 year old chemist assistant telling her mum about the latest hot items running out the door of her pharmacy during the lockdown over the last 4 weeks that is worth sharing.

She rattled off a list of items and her thoughts on why.

With respect to brand names…
Armaforce – General health.
Panadol – Just in case they get the virus.
Thermometers – 36.3 is normal body temperature.
Lemsip – To keep colds away.
Betadine – I don’t know why.
Voltaren – Over training by the work from home crew.
Thrush cream – They’re all wearing leggings and have thrush. Bad idea.
Pregnancy test kits – There will be a baby boom early 2021.
Nail polish – They can’t go anywhere.