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Get your pipes checked…. I did!

November is Men’s Health Month and my reminder came in the mail:

“It’s time to get your pipes checked again,” said the friendly letter from my Colorectal surgeon. It spelled 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 male and 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 and 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.

Happy Plumbers + Great Service = Happy Clients

We have a great team of plumbers here at The Lone Drainer and Pronto! They are good at their job. They Love their work. We call it “Furk”! Having FUn..at..woRK

On Monday afternoon, 27th October 2014, I got the following email:

Hi Dave,
Thank you so very much for taking my phone call early this morning and organising Chris and Leigh to come to my house so quickly.

Chris and Leigh arrived, knocked on my door, introduced themselves with smiles and put me at ease that my sewerage problems would be fixed.

Such a relief. I could not have had nicer people to arrive on my door step. Both well mannered and very pleasant people to talk to.

I also had a problem with my kitchen sink tap. Unfortunately I had to leave Chris at the kitchen sink as I had to go to work. He did a good job and I now have a brand new tap looking at me! Both men were very efficient.

Again, thank you for being so prompt and getting the job on its way.

Kind regards,

Julie B. Randwick NSW

Leigh and Chris with Plunger

Leigh and Chris with Plunger

Water….. Water everywhere!

Its been raining……. a lot! We have had blocked stormwater pipes, blocked sewer pipes, burst pipes, damaged water pipes and leaking taps of all kinds to attend too. The common denominator is Water

Yes, Water.

Now summer is just around the corner and it’s getting hotter, we are exercising more and sweating a lot!
So my simple health tip, not just for athletes, is drink more water! It flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps the brain alert. It just makes you feel better.
Drink h2o

Be careful what you put in your toilet!

Last night we had an emergency call out to a client that we had helped recently. But first, let me paint a picture.

Two weeks ago “Kath”, who lives in a 1920s Coogee building had a blocked shower. Kath said it had been slow to drain since she moved in 6 years ago. A little investigation revealed the original pipes ran through the concrete floor and were corroded internally. Corrosion is one of the drawbacks of living so close to the ocean.

Anyway, The Lone Drainer and Pronto Super-heroes Leigh and Chris, got her shower running “better than ever before”. In fact Kath rang our office to compliment the boys on their Ps, Punctual and Professional.

So I was surprised to get her evening call-out. It turns out her toilet was blocked! But the shower and basin were draining better than ever before. The building has a 2 pipe system; the shower, bath, basin and kitchen sink run down one pipe, while the toilet waste goes down the other.

After a little investigation we found there were tampons caught on the corroded inside of the waste pipe. It was reasonably simple to clear the blockage. Although Kath was a little embarrassed we assured her the best way to prevent it happening again was to follow this simple rule.
Toilet sign

Flush with Facts

August is the month of the good toilet flush!

Flowing sewer drains, my favourite topic in the whole wide world, is Not what I mean dear readers!

I’m talking about the toilet and the cistern; the little tank of water that flushes our loo.

So here’s 3 Flush Facts:

1. The toilet flush button is the most un-hygienic place in your bathroom.

2. A full toilet flush is more water than most people in the world use daily.

3. A leaking toilet cistern can waste up to 24 litres of water daily. That’s a whopping 2160 litres of wasted  water in your quarterly water rates. And that’s from just 1 toilet cistern.

So, next time you are sitting and thinking………. Think about that!

The thinker

 

A plumbing emergency and ducks we’ve rescued

We were called out to this plumbing emergency that brought an unexpected surprise.

Our client had a blocked drain and when we had just about completed that repair, cutting tree roots from her sewer pipes, she called out because she needed a hand in her back yard.

A mother duck that had been nesting in her dense rear garden had chosen today to take her babies for their first swimming lesson. The ducklings took to the water like ….. well, ducks to water. The only problem was that the water level in the pool was a little low, they couldn’t get out of the pool and they were getting very tired.

Our attempts to rescue them by hand and with the pool scoop, brought a tirade of squawking and flapping of wings from the mother duck. She didn’t want us anywhere near her babies! We found a plank in the back shed which we put in the pool and then draped an old towel along the length of the plank, then stood back.

When mother duck settled down she could see we were trying to help, she led the baby ducklings up the plank and after checking they were all out, she herded them back to the nest in the dense undergrowth.
She gave us another flurry of feathers when we tried to check on the babies.

Every day brings another adventure!

mrs-rogan-ducks-aug034

 

Don’t play Noughts and Crosses when you have sewer problems

Take the guesswork out of excavation!
Today’s post comes courtesy of Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist. At his recent Exponential Business Building Bootcamp, he showed a series of “impossible pictures” from Swedish Artist Erik Johansson. This photo was of particular interest. This is what we want to avoid with the use of Vaporooter when tree roots get into and block your pipes and drains.

Common pipelines; easements, ownership and liability #1

 

Common walls and common pipes

One recurring topic of 2010 is the Ownership and liability of common water, sewer and gas pipes.
When we send out an emergency response team to a ruptured gas or water pipeline or an overflowing sewer, the first thing our team thinks about is rescuing the property under threat. Often, it is after the emergency that ownership and liability of the problem are hotly debated.

This series of 3 blog posts is aimed at clarifying some of that debate.

Our friends at the Law Reform Commission have helped to clarify this interesting subject and in part it reads:

In most cases, persons using utility services that pass through several properties benefit by the existence of an easement of access over that service, entitling the user to enter the property on which the service is located in order to attend to the service. However, in the absence of such an easement, the user of the service is not allowed to interfere with the service, even where that interference is for the purpose of maintenance, repair, or relocation of the service.

One explanation of why there may not be an easement is that the properties through which the service runs were once commonly owned. When the common ownership ceased, new owners may have failed to ensure that easements over water pipes or sewer lines existed for the particular part of the property they were purchasing. The problem may have arisen due to an assumption that such a right was simply transferred with the purchased property, or by an omission on the part of the conveyancer. Whatever the reason, the failure to create and register an easement has given rise to a number of lasting problems. These difficulties have been compounded by the general reluctance of the Water Board to impose on new purchasers a requirement to install costly separate connections. Many properties today do not have a viable means of creating a separate connection at reasonable cost.

Carrying Out a CCTV Survey of Sewer Pipes

The Importance of Carrying Out a CCTV Survey of Sewer Pipes when Clearing Blocked Drains

Once again there is water all over the floor from a blocked drain, and you need to grab the phone book and look up plumbing services Sydney to find plumbers that can come out and unblock the drain. You can save yourself repeated repairs and repeated calls for service by simply having a plumbing service carry out a CCTV survey of sewer pipes, so that when there is a problem it will be easy to clear the blocked drain. The CCTV survey can tell you what caused the initial drain blockage.

There are many reasons a drain would get blocked, and having a map of where all the pipes are is going to save you a lot of money in the long run.

Tree roots, industrial waste, and cracked or broken pipes are all reasons the drain might be blocked. The problems that come with blocked drains are foul smells and potential health risks. Call a professional plumbing service to make sure that your plumbing is not going to cause you discomfort in your home or business and end up costing you many times more than it needs to.

It is said that prevention is the best cure and by having a CCTV scan and mapping of your sewer system just got a lot easier with help from professional plumbing services. The scan will clearly show small objects, hair blockages, and any other refuse that is stuck in the drain. The scan maps the sewer lines so that you can track where a problems lies.

Plumbing services that are practised in using the CCTV scans can quickly and easily solve your blockage problems. The clear detail shown with this method will save money right from the start. Instead of having to tear up half of your garden and part of your paved drive, the scan shows exactly where the work needs to be done. Plumbing services have stepped up to the plate to carry out the scans and correct any problems the home owner or business owner may encounter in their plumbing.

By using the opportunity of a blocked drain to get a CCTV scan done, you will be able to better maintain the sewer; now that you know where all the pipes run that is.

Renovation is another time you may want to use the services of a professional plumbing service. The map will give you a clear understanding of where you can and cannot build.

Call on the plumbing services of certified plumbers to address and correct the problems with your system and to maintain them as needed. The CCTV scan saves time and money that would be laid out for labour. Understanding how the pipes run in and around your house will enable you to dig anywhere on your property. Be careful, and be sure to call in a team of professionals that take care of everything from doing the scan to fixing whatever problem you may be having with your plumbing.

Toilet Paper or Bidet?

The Harsh Reality of Using Toilet Paper Rather Than Washing with a Bidet

Having travelled Europe extensively, one gets used to a bidet. Coming back to Australia made some of the queried group bemoan the loss of the bidets they got so used to. The question as to whether or not it was environmentally responsible to throw tissue paper in the toilet or in the trash was raised.

The questioner remarked that they were bothered by how much tissue paper is used by a single family and they wondered just what it takes to remove the paper from sewage lines and from the treatment plants. Some experts were asked this question and they came up with answers to those questions and wonderings. Of course, all the experts came from the plumbing services fields and would know best how to deal with this problem; they gave opinions on what they felt were the best options. We also inquired at several plumbing services and a couple of places that offered a professional plumber.

When attached to a sewer line that is maintained and repaired by a city, the toilet paper is decomposed through the processing system. In order to break down any solid matter that is in the waste water, methane is used. Ways to harness this methane gas is being researched and tested to make this process more efficient. Toilet paper blockages in the sewer lines don’t happen often, but consider the fact that the blockages would be reduced if a bidet were used.

Cleaning one’s self with toilet paper in a home that is hooked to a septic tank can cause all sorts of nasty things to happen inside your house when blockages happen. Plumbing services have to be called in to remove the offending paper, and then any crack in the pipe or seam that is a little rough can gather another huge wad of toilet paper and clog everything up again. This is good news for the plumber; they appreciate the business, but for the home owner, this is a costly repair.

Bidets would do away with the need for toilet paper and end the numerous blockages that are created when someone shoves a huge wad of paper down the toilet.

If you are really lamenting the loss of the bidet, call in the plumbing services and get your bidet installed. Almost any plumber will be more than happy to install a bidet for your home. With a bidet of your own, you will reduce the amount of paper that is used, reducing the amount of trees used in the process.

Giving up the toilet paper is much more sanitary than giving up the bidet. The bidet allows for a cleaner person while not using as many resources.

In the end it was decided that the bidet is the best way to go environmentally, for the best sanitation and for low repair bills.

Don’t Let Tree roots Take Over Sewer pipes!

Today’s post is courtesy of Joe from Woollahra Sydney.

Joe had constant problems with the trees around his Sydney home, and tree roots growing in his sewer pipes, blocking them repeatedly. He would need drain cleaning several times a year to cut the tree roots, as the London Plane trees around his home tightened their vice like grip on his sewer pipes and drains. When this happened, the sewer would overflow in his home and on some occasions the raw sewage would come up in his kitchen sink!

Joe found a way to deal with the tree roots in his sewer pipes, to stop them re-growing and blocking his sewer line.

Now, Joe and his wife Elizabeth, both teachers, travelled to South-east Asia to help those less fortunate and during their travels over summer visited Cambodia and in particular the ancient city of Angkor Wat, built in the early 12th century.

 

Joe at Angkor Wat Beware of tree roots!

Joe at Angkor Wat Beware of tree roots!

Joe was astonished by the power of these tree roots and how they could almost consume these ancient buildings. He couldn’t wait to share this and other images with us.

Joe says, “Don’t let tree roots take over your drains and sewer pipes!”

 

How do Tree Roots Get in Sewer Pipes And what Damage Can They Cause?

Homes that are connected to a municipal or mains sewer system have their biggest plumbing problems when tree roots have grown into pipes. In days gone by, one of the plumbing services would be called in to clear a blockage in the pipe, getting rid of those tree roots, but the tree roots would regrow and block up the sewer up again.

Regrowth of tree roots and the aggressive action of repeat cleaning earthenware or clay pipes with an electric eel or other drain cleaning equipment, is destructive to the integrity of the pipes.  The pipes split, crack and crumble after the roots repeatedly find their way into the pipes. The pipe then has to be replaced  at the home owner’s expense.

Tree roots are going to head for the easiest source of water they can find. A sewer pipe is the perfect environment; there is warmth, a constant stream of water and nutrients from degraded food matter. This is the perfect environment for those tree roots to take over your sewer system because the nutrient leakage through these pipes makes it even more inviting for the tree roots, and they just keep coming.

So the cycle continues!

Several things can be done to prevent root intrusion into the sewage system.

Liquid ambar, camphor laurel, ficus (fig) and London Plane trees are the worst offenders when it comes to sending roots to a convenient water source. Do not plant these varieties close to your sewage system.

Calling  plumber services Sydney to make sure that you can identify where the roots are, where the crack in the pipes is, and how to finally get rid of your root problem, can be costly. It is a good idea to find a plumber that uses a sewer pipe camera in order to identify exactly where the problem is.

There is a chemical treatment that can kill the tree roots invading the pipes without killing the trees; by using an experienced plumber in Sydney that can provide this plumbing service to get rid of those tree roots, you can save yourself costly repair bills.

The best way to avoid tree roots in your sewer pipes is to remove any young trees that are trying to grow near or above the sewer pipe lines. Call in a professional from one of the reputable plumbing services and make sure that when you do engage that plumber, they do all the diagnostics necessary to identify exactly where the problem is before they set about repairing busted pipes and removing those tree roots that will continue to invade the pipe system.

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

Expensive Kitchen Sink Repairs

During  an Advanced Business Mastery session 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

PVC Pipes Blocked by Hills Weeping Fig

The Hills weeping fig (ficus microcarpar var.) is a beautiful tree which in some areas  provides a shady archway for many streets in our Sydney Eastern suburbs.

But why are the residents of these streets pulling out their hair?

The Hills weeping fig is like Jekyll and Hyde.

Dr Jekyll brings shade in summer; tree lined streets become a breezeway, cooling our homes as their majestic branches cast shade and protect us from the searing summer heat, attracting birds to feed on their fruit twice a year.

But, Mr Hyde is lurking. Those same fruit bring flying foxes…and other mysteries.

My interest in this tree is the power of its root system. Their reach is widespread, sometimes 3 or 4 or more times wider than they are high. The root system will move stone walls, lift concrete footpaths and driveways and of course invade sewer and stormwater pipes. The  roots from this tree  just keep on coming after they are internally pruned with an electric eel or “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner.

Last week we attended  to 4 tree root sewer  blockages directly caused by the Hills Weeping fig.

The 2 blocked sewer pipes that particularly interested me were PVC sewer pipes.

Why is that interesting, I hear you ask?

Well… tree roots don’t grow into PVC pipes! …..or do they?

The Kensington blocked drain was in an established housing estate about 10 – 15 years old. The townhouse in question had no previous blocked drain history. The Hills weeping fig was about 30 metres away. Its root system had grown up to this house and had actually grown into the PVC pipeline through a screw-on cap that we plumbers call a cleaning eye. The fine  roots had grown into the cap thread and multiplied inside the pipe thus causing the sewer blockage.

The Bellevue Hill blocked sewer was similar.

This house was built during the year of Sydney’s 2000 Olympic games after the long term owners, were tired of having blocked sewer pipes every 3 months, and tree roots “growing up through the back of the toilet”, amongst other reasons.

During the rebuild all the pipelines were installed in PVC pipes and fittings. The house finish was state of the art plumbing fixtures, with beautiful sandstone tiles around the outside of the house. All the pipes were concealed! No cleaning eyes! Why would we need access to the pipes as they have all been installed in tree root proof PVC?  The nearest fig tree was 30 odd metres away.

Well, what started as a simple blocked floorwaste, grew to removing that beautiful toilet suite to clear the blocked sewer pipe. We used the “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner to remove tree roots from the blocked pipeline. When the blockage was cleared we carried out a camera survey of the pipeline. About 14 metres downstream the camera showed the remnants of the cut tree roots, but just as important, our drain camera survey showed the PVC pipe had been squashed. What was a round internal pipe, was now oval shaped with a crack in at least 1 of the fittings.

Who said tree roots don’t grow in PVC sewer pipes?

Beware Mr Hyde!

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

hills-weeping-fig-tree-or-monster-001-mod

Hills Weeping Fig Tree