Have you fallen for these 5 five plumbing myths?

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When it comes to saving money on plumbing projects, there is something we think you should know. 

Those same Youtube videos, Pinterest hacks, and family recipes that are keeping your toilet bowl sparkling clean or your house odor-free may be doing more damage than you think. 

As plumbing professionals, we want to make sure you’re not doing more bad than good when it comes to your home or business’ plumbing. So, we’ve decided to bust five popular plumbing myths and show you the right ways to look after your water and sanitation systems. 

Myth 1: You can flush more than toilet paper

One of the most common issues Salmon Plumbers have faced is attending to, what we call, a UTB, a.k.a an Unidentified Toilet Blockage. See, when it comes to your bathroom, there are many things that might appear flushable, but actually they aren’t. 

Objects like paper towels, maxi pads, tampons and makeup remover wipes are not designed to go down the toilet and can easily cause a blockage if they are flushed. 

Nothing except toilet paper, not even flushable wipes, should be flushed down the toilet.

Myth 2: You should use bleaching tablets to clean your toilet

Bleach can be a very effective toilet cleaning agent. However, when left to sit in your toilet for too long (usually more than 10 minutes), it can damage the toilet bowl surface and degrade many of its working parts. 

A drop-in bleach tablet continually releases bleach over an extended period of time. So, by placing this in your bowl and simply walking away, you run the risk of issues above, or in some more serious cases, the complete corrosion of your toilet bowl!

While it may require a more hands-on approach, manual cleaning processes with the occasional inclusion of bleach will help you achieve the safest and best clean for your toilet. 

Myth 3: You only need to think about your pipes when there’s a problem

Hair and shampoo in the shower, food and coffee grounds in the kitchen sink, and more, can all accumulate in your pipes over time. So, while you may not think anything is immediately wrong, the slow build-up of a blockage may mean water could start backing up without warning. 

To avoid issues like these occurring so suddenly, arrange regular inspections of your home or business’ plumbing system. This can help you identify problems before they become costly, and enable you to learn the best tactics for maintenance from the plumbing professionals.

Myth 4: You can flush fish down the toilet

Before sending a fish to the porcelain pet heaven, you need to be certain it is no longer alive. 

Many fish that are flushed can end up surviving their journey through the sewer system. From there they can become oversized and reproduce at alarming rates. This can put a number of natural ecosystems at risk.

Myth 5: You can use drain cleaner to avoid calling a plumber

If you find drains in your home are gurgling or slow to empty, don’t reach for the baking soda and vinegar or drain cleaner right away. It’s actually best to contact a plumber to remove the blockage that is impacting your system.

Liquid drain cleaners, and drain cleaning methods, are not actually that effective at clearing blocked drains. What they are 100% good at, however, is eating away at your pipes and flushing dangerous chemicals out into natural ecosystems. 

Fact: Your local plumber will have the best advice for plumbing issues

When you can, it’s best to call your local plumber if you are facing a problem, or need some advice for care and maintenance. 

By consulting a professional, you can trust that you are taking the best care of your property’s plumbing system.

To check out some of our suggestions for ways to improve your plumbing system, check out our other blogs by clicking here

Otherwise, feel free to contact us on 07 3073 9211 for all your plumbing needs.

How to Identify Non-Compliant Plumbing Work in a Property You Wish To Buy

Non compliant plumbing

Spring is often a popular time to purchase a new property or relocate to a new area. If you’re actively searching for properties to buy, you will want to know how to identify non-compliant plumbing work in the property.

It’s becoming more common place for a pre-purchase house inspection to include a plumbing and electrical inspection too. Before, it was recommended for a building inspection and termite inspection before the sale became unconditional.

Unfortunately, the rise of DIY renovators have uncovered some nightmare renovations which should have been conducted by a licensed tradesperson. New home owners can be unbeknown to the potential costs associated with fixing non-compliant plumbing work. It can be in the tens of thousands to rectify.

To avoid the unexpected cash outlay to fix what should have been installed right the first time, pre-purchase plumbing and electrical inspections can offer peace of mind before the sale of the home becomes unconditional. So how do you identify non-compliant plumbing work in a property you wish to buy?

Follow your nose

It’s highly likely the vendor will have the house smelling like roses to draw you in and make an offer. But smells to follow your nose with can lead you to the wet room areas. Un-trapped fixtures will give off a sewer smell. Look inside cupboard doors to check for the s and p traps for the basin and sink wastes. Check for moisture and mould on walls for unsuspected leaks. Mould can give off an unpleasant scent.

Look for unusual pipe installations and back fall

If you see a waste pipe with backfall, or double up connections with A LOT of excess glue, this is an indication of unlicensed plumbing work.

When the pipe is reduced to a smaller diameter pipe in the ground, this is another example of non-compliant plumbing.

These installations can be fixed, however if there are a few areas where the plumbing needs to be demolished and updated, that’s an expense you shouldn’t have to pay. It also prompts a wariness of what else was done unlicensed in the property?

Silicone everywhere

Silicone is needed in the right applications, but when it is smeared in the bathroom like a toddler with toothpaste, you know there is a hidden plumbing problem the owner was trying to fix or conceal. An infrared termite inspection will be able to spot moisture in the area if you are concerned.

Flexible hose connections everywhere

Flexible hoses have their place for connecting taps and toilet cisterns. The issue is when they are connected together like ropes for a water connection. If you see flex hoses connected together for water or gas lines – run.

If it doesn’t look right, it’s probably not

If you find something unusual in the way of plumbing in the property, your suspicions may be right, and it may in fact be illegal. The only way you can be sure is to organise a pre-purchase plumbing inspection.

Salmon Plumbing can check all areas of the property and even put a camera down the drains to ensure there are no hidden surprises down the line which could cost you thousands of dollars to fix. If you’ve already purchased the property and have found unusual smells, siphonage or blockages, contact the team so we can investigate the issues for you.

How to Treat Lead in Water and Tapware

Hot water bath

Lead is something all of us encounter daily. From our air and soil to household dust and paint, however, not many of us are aware that this potentially dangerous metal is also often found lurking in our tap water.

A study from 2016 found that low-level lead water contamination was frighteningly widespread in Australian homes.

The culprit, in this case, was mostly brass tapware fittings, though there are other reasons why there may be lead in your home’s tap water including:

  • Your home has been fitted with lead pipes (these are mostly older homes built prior to the 1930s).
  • Your home or community pipes or fixtures are decaying (you’ll notice leaking, rusty-coloured water and stained dishes if this is the case)
  • Cheap tapware brought from overseas that does not comply with Australian standards. There have also been instances where an Aldi tap was found to have high levels of lead.

The most accurate way to check for lead in your water is to have it tested by a professional. This is because lead cannot be tasted, seen, or smelled.

Why lead needs to be removed from water and tapware

Long term exposure to lead can cause a number of significant health issues, especially if you have infants, young children, or pregnant women in the home.

  • Lead exposure has been known to cause damage to the brain
  • The kidneys
  • Red blood cells

The stakes are even higher for young children. Babies and children exposed to lead can suffer from hearing problems as well as mental and physical impairments.

How much lead is too much in our drinking water

According to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, 0.01mg per litre of lead in our drinking water is “safe” (previously the number was 0.05mg per litre). Despite the acknowledgement of lead being unsafe in our water, there is no enforced monitoring of lead contamination in public water supplies on both a local and national level. This makes it all the more important that we are personally diligent in having our water tested for the safety of our families and our communities.

Tips for treating lead in water and tapware

The first and most important step is requesting that your local water be tested for the presence of lead. Anything above 0.01mg per litre is unsafe and unacceptable.

You can also reduce your exposure to lead on a daily basis by:

1. Running your cold water tap for up to 30 seconds

If the cold water tap hasn’t been used for over six hours, allow it to run for up to 30 seconds before using that water for cooking or drinking.

2. Avoid using water from the hot water tap

Lead is more apparent in hot water, so try to avoid drinking or cooking using water from your hot water tap.

3. Don’t “over boil” your water

The longer you allow a pot of water to boil, the more lead you’ll find in your water due to evaporation.

4. Stop using lead-based cookware

Australian-made cookware likely doesn’t contain lead. But cookware from other countries could very easily contain this dangerous neurotoxin.

5. Replace your old pipes and taps

We recommend buying taps that have the Watermark logo on it as these have the highest quality standards. If you have old taps or corroding pipes, contact one of the friendly plumbing experts here at Salmon Plumbing. We’ll take a look at your plumbing system and provide you with helpful recommendations on how we can increase the safety of your drinking water in an easy and affordable way.

Our team at Salmon Plumbing invite you to contact us online or give us a call now to chat about your plumbing concerns at (07) 3862 2600.