3 Unbelievably Creative Ancient Plumbing Systems

While we take pride in sharing regular advice and insights to help you care for your residential or commercial plumbing systems, we also love sharing the amazing history of sanitation.

Today, we want to do just that by taking a deep dive into the ancient timeline of plumbing systems around the world.

We’re going to take a look at the first toilet, a plumbing system involving a pigsty and 21st century solutions in B.C. bathhouses. Let’s get into it.

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How to find and hire a plumber you can trust

Hiring someone to help you fit out your home or business with the best plumbing system can be nerve-wracking.

In this day and age, there are a million and one plumbers out there, so how do you know who is the best one? Who is the most cost-effective? And most importantly…who is qualified?

Lucky for you, we’ve got the ultimate guide to help you find the right plumber for all your residential and commercial maintenance or emergency needs. Check it out below.

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5 plumbing tools every home or business owner should have

Now, before we get into this one, let’s get one thing straight: if you don’t know what you’re doing, you should always call a prFISHional (that’s us!).

However, there are some more minor plumbing issues that many home or business owners can actually solve themselves, with the help of some easy-to-use tools they have laying around.

We’ve put together this list of the top five plumbing tools you should have to help you in the case of a minor emergency, check them out below.

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Introducing the latest and greatest service from Salmon Plumbing… Pipe Relining!

The team at Salmon Plumbing are adding a new service to their bank of offerings – Pipe relining!

Pipe relining isn’t exactly new on the plumbing scene, but it has been gaining a lot of popularity recently. Mostly due to its ability to help homeowners improve the overall health and life of their plumbing systems.

So, how exactly does pipe relining work? And what are its advantages over other popular plumbing techniques? Well, we’re going to tell you!

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3 ways you can prepare your plumbing for the Australian Summer

As Spring eases us into the Australian heat, now’s probably the time to start prepping your property’s plumbing system for the summer.

The hotter months can wreak havoc on plumbing systems and lead to damage without the proper preparation.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together 4 tasks you can add to your Sunday to-do list so that you don’t have to stare down an expensive plumbing bill around Christmas time.

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Salmon Plumbing are looking for another proFISHional plumber!

Yep. You read that right, we’re looking for another fish to add to our tank – particularly one with gasfitting qualifications and experience.

With over 28 years in the business, whoever joins our squad is going to be signing up to gain some serious expertise in the plumbing world.

We’re a pretty laid-back school of fish, with just a few common goals – complete the work, do it well and make sure to have fun where you can.

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10 ways to save on your next water bill

No one likes the shock of opening up a water bill in the mail and seeing numbers that just don’t add up.

Or worse, seeing numbers that may make sense but aren’t exactly welcome news for your wallet!

Lucky for you, the latest catch of the day at Salmon Plumbing includes ten top tips for water conservation and water bill reduction.

  1. Use your dishwasher to get the job done.

Handwashing uses 3 times more water than a machine. To save with a dishwasher, make sure your system has a WELS rating of at least 4.5 as this uses only 15L of water per cycle.

  1. Ditch the garbage disposal.

In-sink garbage disposal systems don’t just ramp up your water usage, they also overload your septic tank or sewage system, which can lead to some sudden and nasty surprises.

  1. Check your taps, toilets, hot water system and pipes for water leaks.

One small leak can waste up to 9,000L of water in a year. That’s a lot of Sunday brunches, movie tickets or morning coffees!

  1. Stop rinsing fruit and veggies with running water.

This uses way more water than necessary. Instead, try filling up the sink or a bowl with warm water and washing your produce there.

  1. Switch to a low-flow showerhead.

Most showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water a minute, a low flow showerhead will use 2 gallons or less. When used right, a low-flow showerhead can save as much as 20L of water!

  1. Don’t use toilets in your homes like rubbish bins.

It’s not just personal hygiene products that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet – cigarette butts, tissues, and other trash are all spending your money every time they’re flushed.

  1. Consider investing in a dual flush toilet.

This kind of toilet allows full flush for solid waste and half flush for liquid waste – meaning you can save up to 70% more water when you go number 1 and reduce your next water bill.

  1. Cut down to one load of laundry per week.

Washing your laundry only once a week can save up to 120L of water, and if you opt to handwash your delicates then you can save even more!

  1. Make sure you use a bucket when washing your car.

Using a running hose to wash your car can waste up to 200L of water. By using a bucket instead and only a hose for rinsing, you can cut that amount by about 50%.

  1. Stop hosing down sidewalks and driveways.

We know dirt and leaves might crowd your walkways, but you can just as easily combat those with a leaf blower or a broom. Try to only use your hose on really grimy spots.

And the most important tip of all: make sure you’ve got an on-time, eFISHient plumber, like Salmon Plumbing to help you with water emergencies.

We’re always here and ready to help those in the Brisbane region with any plumbing needs, from burst pipes to hot water, and everything in between.

You can call us on 07 3862 2600 at any hour of the day, we’ll always pick up the phone.

To learn more home care tips for your plumbing system, click here to check out the Salmon Plumbing blog.

5 plumbing problems you should NEVER solve yourself

These days, thanks to the internet, many people fancy themselves skilled enough to be their own in-house plumber.

While we love the enthusiasm, at Salmon Plumbing, sometimes we think there are bigger fish these people can fry. Especially when there are actual, qualified plumbers all around to assist with any issues!

Making sure you pick a qualified plumber over an online how-to article is especially important when it comes to certain appliances and home projects.

Without them and their knowledge, one wrong move can cost you a lot more than money – you could lose your home!

Check out which plumbing problems we think you should leave to the proFISHionals, below.

  1. Faulty hot water units.

When faced with a stone-cold shower, most people would be inclined to tamper with their hot water system for a quick fix.

However, make note, trying to repair a gas or electric hot water unit yourself is incredibly dangerous.

Not only can you cause more damage, but the combination of water and gas or electricity means that there are additional risks of electrocution or gas leaks.

  1. Underground water leaks.

When it comes to water leaks, most would be inclined to think all that’s required is a tightening of a fitting on a tap or a jiggle of the toilet handle.

However, that’s not always the best, or safest solution.

Some water leaks are invisible as they occur underground where cracks or breakages have formed in pipes. It is unsafe for homeowners to investigate these issues themselves as they risk making a problem worse without the right equipment or experience.  

  1. Gas leaks.

Gas leaks are even more dangerous than water as gas is combustible. This means that they pose a huge risk to you or your family when heat or fire is close by. Gas can also have detrimental impacts on the body if it is inhaled excessively.

Instead of fiddling with the dials on a stove or opening an oven to investigate the sudden smell of gas, you should call a gas fitter right away.

  1. Persistent drainage problems.

Everyone and their mother has got a strategy for removing a blockage from a drain – but what about when they don’t work?

If you regular solution isn’t getting rid of the problem, it may be a sign that something more sinister is at play further down in your plumbing system.

When this is the case, you need to call a plumber as they have the equipment, qualifications and expertise you need to successfully resolve the problem without causing further issues.

  1. Building a stormwater drainage system.

In Queensland, stormwater can be installed by unlicensed people and is not regularly inspected by building or plumbing inspectors.

So, it’s a favourite for home handymen and other unqualified people to try themselves…

Unfortunately, poor storm water system design and installation is one of the leading causes of home defects in Queensland and can cause $1000’s of in damage and even become hazardous to your health through mould and vermin infestation  

Make sure that you hire a plumbing professional to help you design, install and maintain your stormwater drainage system.

And if all else fails, call the most eFISHcient plumber this side of Brisbane!

The team at Salmon Plumbing are available around the clock to help you with any plumbing problems or enquiries.

All you need to do is dial 07 3073 9211 and one of our team will answer the call, ready to assist you.

If you want to learn more ways you can protect your plumbing system, make sure to check out our blog.

Australia’s Proud Plumbing History: The Hamilton Syphon

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The trade contracting industries of Australia are behind some of the biggest and best man-made marvels. For plumbers, one of the most well-known is the Hamilton Syphon.  

Many people typically associate plumbing with backed up toilets, burst pipes or leaky roofs. But, what about the modern systems that solved large-scale community problems like sewage and water treatment?

Plumbers have been at the forefront of sanitation for longer than many care to think, and it’s important to tip our hats to the hard work that the men and women of our past have done.

The Hamilton Syphon was the solution to a sewage problem that had plagued Brisbane for decades. Bad planning, debt, a depression and World War II had meant that the city was around 40 years behind others when it came to providing sewage and water treatment services to its outer suburbs. 

Its creation was part of a plan to transfer sewage from the south side of the Brisbane river at Cowper Street in Bulimba to the treatment plant on Kingsford Smith Drive in Hamilton via a tunnel under the Brisbane River.

Tender for the project was won by MR Hornibrook Pty Ltd, a prominent civil engineering contracting company at the time. The work designed by the team at MR Hornibrook involved the sinking of two vertical shafts at each side of the river, and then the connection of them with a tunnel roughly 600 metres long underneath.

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Perhaps the most daunting and dangerous part of it all was that the digging of the tunnel was not supported by the advanced technology we have today. Instead, the tunnel was constructed by men with rock-drilling machinery mounted on a wheeled hydraulic system. With such a simple, yet cumbersome, system, progress was slow, with the tunnel only lengthened by about 9 metres each week. 

To give you an idea about the conditions these fearless men were working in, here’s a quote from page 3 of a 1951 edition of The Courier Mail that details the project:

“The four experienced miners at the tunnel face work in a roaring wet, grey fog. They guide two long rock-drills fixed to a wheeled hydraulic mounting…River water seeps down the brightly lit walls enclosing the 10ft diameter tunnel. The men leave the tunnel when gelignite plugged into the drill holes is exploded electrically from above.”

Once the tunnel was finished, the work wasn’t done either. It then needed to lined with a special concrete sealer that prevented leaks from the river entering the tunnel – meaning more tradesmen were sent into the dark depths to work quickly and efficiently. 

Then, sewage pipes had to be installed and maintained to ensure they were working correctly – meaning that sending tradesmen down into the tunnel was a regular occurance. 

Work was completed on the Hamilton Syphon in 1955. However, the tunnel is still used today and has even undergone further maintenance. 

A few years ago some major renovations were required to repair some cracks that had occurred in the Syphon and upgrade access areas for workers that would be maintaining the Syphon.

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Meyjor Industries Pty Ltd took on this renovation project, with their director noting it’s difficulties and the precision-planning it required:

“Tough engineering challenges were inherent in this project form the start, including the requirements of confined space entry, the likelihood of sulphuric gas being present in the horizontal tunnel and requiring ventilation, workers requiring breathing apparatus in case of emergency and the difficulties with being able to get a man box down the shaft to ensure workers could safely remove and install platforms. Intensive planning was undertaken by the project crew before works commenced to ensure safety of workers was paramount, and to ensure project completion would be on schedule.”

To this day, the Hamilton Syphon is still used by Brisbane, and is regularly maintained and walked through by tradesman. 

It is one of the great marvels that the trade contracting world has to offer, and a true testament to the notion that man will go anywhere. 

To read about other plumbing marvels or learn about Salmon Plumbing and the services we offer, click here to read our blog.

10 Items You Shouldn’t Wash Down Your Kitchen Sink

10 Items You Shouldn't Wash Down Your Kitchen Sink

We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished dinner and a long day, and you just want the washing up to be done so you can crawl into bed. Or you’re groggily walking into the kitchen the morning after a big night and can’t believe the mess you made. 

In these times it can be tempting to wash anything and everything you can down the sink. It’s easy, it’s fast and it means you can have a clean kitchen sooner. So, what’s the harm, right?

Wrong. While we know it’s easier, washing a number of different things down your sink can be dangerous for your plumbing system and lead to cracked pipes, blockages or worse. 

Here’s our advice for 10 things you should avoid washing down your kitchen sink. 

1. PASTA 

The plumbing system that connects to your sink has a fixed width. The semolina in pasta can cause it to absorb liquid and swell which means that too washing too much down the drain can block, or worse, corrode your pipes. 

2. BONES

Especially those from beef, pork, lamb or poultry. Bones from these animals are big enough that they can cause a blockage in your sink and leads to overflows that can damage your plumbing system and your property. 

3. GREASE

This liquid can stick to the inside of your pipes, and the pipes that your water flows into in the street, causing major blockages over time. If you’re looking for other options, leave the grease to cool first, and then dispose of it in your rubbish bin.

4. FLOUR  

Much like pasta, flour coagulates when mixed with water. This mixture when washed down the drain can coat the edges of your pipes and catch other bits of food or debris that is washed down, which can cause a blockage and break down your pipes. 

5. UNUSED MEDICATION

Tipping or dissolving unused medication down the sink may seem harmless, but the truth is that the chemicals you’re getting rid of may end up back in your drinking water and the environment. 

6. EGGSHELLS

The impact of eggshells down the drain is very similar to flour. They can build-up and cause blockages and overflow quickly and easily. Try putting these in your compost or rubbish bin instead. 

7. MILK 

This one often catches people off guard. Milk, like all dairy products, is considered a highly polluting substance due to its high oxygen demand. This means that when it is released into environments with sewage, it can deprive other organisms of oxygen to survive. 

8. PAPER PRODUCTS

You remember spit balls from primary school? Those things you’d load up into a straw and rocket at a friend? Picture that but bigger and blocking your drainage and causing overflow in your kitchen. Putting paper products down the sink is nothing but trouble for your pipes. 

9. FRUIT AND VEGGIE STICKERS

These bad boys belong in the bin. When they get washed down your drain, they can they clog your pipes and also block filters in water treatment plants due to their adhesive being unable to dissolve in water. 

10. COFFEE GROUNDS 

Everyone loves a good brew in the morning – but what you might not is the blockages that can occur when you tip coffee grounds down the kitchen sink. Grounds can stick together and cause a blockage that cannot be easily moved with water. Instead, try using these grounds as part of your compost.

IT’S TIME TO MOVE YOUR RUBBISH BIN A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE SINK 

Disposing of liquids, solids and the in-between properly will help you preserve your pipes for longer and avoid any other damage occurring to your property as a result of blockages and overflow. 

If you do find yourself stuck in a mucky situation though, don’t fret! The team at Salmon Plumbing are more than happy to help you. Give us a call on 07 3862 2600 for any plumbing assistance you might need. 

To learn more about how you can care for your home’s plumbing system, check out our blog.