How to Prevent a Moat Around Your House When the Rains Do Hit

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Summer is our wet season in Queensland and spring is the ideal time to check the external plumbing around your home. No one wants a moat around their house when the rains do hit.

Here are some checks and maintenance tips you can do around your house to ensure the water flows where it needs to go.

1. Clean the roof and remove debris

The roof is the largest surface area of the home, which is the first surface to be hit by rain. Ensure the roof is clean and debris-free so that when the rain does hit, it doesn’t wash away debris through the gutters or downpipes, causing a blockage.

2. Empty gutters of leaf debris

Cleaning gutters is an important job every spring to ensure there is no debris preventing the water from flowing through each channel to the storm water drains. Ensure the gutters are cleaned every spring. Leaf matter can break down and congeal in downpipes. This can cause a back-up of water when it rains, and this water has nowhere to go except overflow the edges of the gutters, falling around the house often causing an external flood.

3. Inspect rusty gutters and down pipes and ensure correct fall

Every spring, your gutters and down pipes should be inspected for rust and openings which can cause a water to fall through, instead of being directed away from the home through the existing storm water drainage. Get rusty gutters and down pipes replaced as soon as possible to avoid the inconvenience of an external flood.

Also check for backfall of gutters. The correct fall ensures the water flows towards the downpipes, not away from them.

4. Inspect storm water grates

Often rain events can wash away sand and dirt down storm water grates. This needs to be emptied to ensure a free channel of water to flow through when the next rain event hits.

5. Get your plumber to calculate the right number of downpipes for your roof surface area

Some houses just don’t have enough down pipes to meet the capacity of water fall from the surface area of their roof. If you think this is a problem at your property, call Salmon Plumbing out to investigate and offer a solution. This could be an opportunity to add a rainwater tank or two to be prepared for drought.

6. Have the correct sized storm water pipes underground

Most storm water pipes underground around houses are 90mm PVC. Often this pipe is not big enough for the amount of water that flows through the down pipes. Upgrading these pipes can help prevent a moat situation around your house during a heavy rain event.

Keeping gardens maintained and away from storm water grates ensures water can flow to where it needs to go when it matters most.

The external plumbing to your home is vitally important to prevent floods around your house. External floods can cause damage inside your house, by seeping through window and door openings. It’s an inconvenience that can be avoided with the right storm water drainage around your home.

Another health concern to be aware of is any type of pooling of water in gutters and around the home can also attract mosquitoes. The pools of water offer mozzies the the perfect spot to breed. This is a health concern as mosquitoes can spread the Zika Virus and Ross River Fever. Ensuring adequate storm water drainage can prevent mozzies making a home at your home.

If you have a storm water blockage or have concerns about how rain water is channeled away from your home, give Salmon Plumbing a call. Our plumbers can offer solutions so you’re better prepared when the wet weather hits this summer.

What Kids Need To Know About Plumbing to Prevent an Unexpected Call Out

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Kids are curious creatures. The simplest of activities like throwing a rock or filling a bucket with sand is a natural part of their play and necessary for their growth and development.

They love to explore and create experiments, test boundaries and push all the buttons, eager to see what happens next.

So it’s vitally important we teach our kids about plumbing. There are buttons and pipes and grates and spouts around the home (and even in the extended community like parks) that need to be used with care. Your child may be curious to play with these or use them as part of their play. But it often ends in disaster resulting in an unexpected call out to a plumber, which wasn’t part of the family’s budget for the week.

Here are some things kids need to know about plumbing to prevent an unexpected call out. Most plumbing issues caused by kids can be preventable. These tips as are also important in keeping your child safe.

Teach kids about grates and open pipes outside

The external area around your home will have storm water grates, rain water tanks, downpipes, hose taps and overflow relief gullies.

Down pipes and rainwater tanks are not playground equipment to be climbed on. Any weight on downpipes can disconnect them from gutters.

Grated drains outside like storm water pits or over flow relief gullies (ORG) should not have their grates removed and filled with rocks or garden debris.

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Overflow relief gullies are a sewer trap which ensures any blockages on the main sewer line, don’t back up into your house. It’s important these stay clear so they can do as their name suggests, overflow. Any blockages in an ORG, can cause a backup of waste water to the fixtures in your home, like the sink and basins.

Salmon Plumbing has tools to retrieve rocks or foreign matter thrown down the ORG. Sometimes, the rocks can flush down the line requiring high-pressure drain cleaning equipment to blast the blockage away. Teach kids not to lift grates and throw anything down an open pipe. It will cause a blockage and you will need to call a plumber to remove it.

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In the local community, there are often creeks or waterways with open storm water pipes.  It’s important to teach kids not to swim or wade in these waters – especially in summer during heavy rainfall. Water can travel fast down these pipes, sucking any solid matter or objects with it. Teach kids to keep away from flooded drains at all times to prevent a fatal accident.

Teach kids what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet

Only the three P’s should be flushed down the toilet. Poo, pee and toilet paper. No toys, no wipes, no playdough, kinetic sand or slime. And only a few pieces of toilet paper at a time – not the whole roll!

Sometimes the toilet can be seen as an automatic rubbish bin, flushing away whatever you don’t want. But our sewer system network is not designed for these items. Any plastics or broken toys should be recycled, donated or put in the bin, not flushed down the toilet.

Teach kids to turn the tap off after every use

Overflowing taps can happen. Even adults can be notorious for multitasking and forgetting to turn a tap off, resulting in an unexpected flood. Teach kids to focus on the job at hand and turn the tap off after use. This can ensure no drips, which can be a drain on your water bill.

Tap spouts aren’t monkey bars

A tap spout is not a monkey bar. It’s self-explanatory, but anything that juts out from the wall can often be viewed as something to climb on or swing from to a child.

Keep fingers away from a draining bath

It’s not common, but it does happen when little fingers get caught down the bath drain. To prevent kids getting their fingers stuck, take them out of the bath BEFORE you pull the plug. Also, place little kids away from the plug end of the bath, to prevent the plug being pulled during wash time.

We love kids, and they truly make the world a better place, but their curiosity can cause unexpected plumbing problems.

If your child has been a bit over-eager with the plumbing in your home, and you need some items retrieved or fixed, give Salmon Plumbing a call.

Beware Of This Common Kitchen Sink Blockage Affecting Households Every Winter

Water flowing through the kitchen sink

When winter rolls around, bring on the hot chips and gravy. In fact bring on all the comfort foods like roasts, carbs and casseroles. Anything to keep the belly full and hands warm while embracing all the comforts winter draws us to. Unfortunately, these foods can also cause a common kitchen sink blockage that has plumbers called every winter to fix. Here is the most common kitchen sink blockage you want to avoid this winter.

Common kitchen sink blockage

Oils and fats rinsed down the kitchen sink drain will do more harm than good to your pipes.

In winter, when fats and oils sit in cold pipes, they congeal and form solid clumps, or as Queensland Urban Utilities likes to call them ‘Fatbergs’. These solid masses of fat will block your drains if they are not disposed of accordingly.

If the evening meal has resulted in leftover fats and oils, or gravy that no one has licked off the plate, there are a few ways to dispose of these to prevent blockage.

  1. Allow the fats to cool and solidify then scrape them into the bin.
  2. When rinsing roasting trays or plates with oil slicks or excess sauces and gravy, immediately turn the hot water tap on to ‘flush’ away the oils from the trap.
  3. For extra measure, boil the kettle and pour boiling hot water down the kitchen sink to ensure the breakdown of the fats and oils.
  4. A small squirt of dishwashing liquid down the drain and a full bowl of water drained down the sink will disperse the oils in the pipes, which will prevent blockage.

DIY tricks on fixing a kitchen sink blockage

There are a few DIY tricks that can break up a blocked kitchen sink.

  1. Sprinkle bi-carb soda and pour hot vinegar (microwave for 1 minute) down the drain.
  2. Use a household plunger to loosen the blockage
  3. Undo the sink trap and pour the water into the sink with the plugin. Ensure the trap is free of food blockages.
  4. Pour a household drain cleaner down the sink. These are readily available from your local hardware or grocery store. Do try the natural remedies before going down the chemical aisle.

If none of these remedies removes the blockage, it’s time to call your plumber. A drain cleaning machine or an electric eel may need to be used to blast away the blockage. Salmon Plumbing is experienced in types of blockages. Contact the team to get your kitchen sink unblocked today.