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.

Five Reasons to Choose a Salmon Plumber

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The next time a pipe bursts in your roof, or you get an unexpected leak in your home, the team at Salmon Plumbing in Brisbane are more than ready to assist you. 

Plus, we’re more than just a collection of pretty faces. There are plenty of features of our business that differentiate us from the QLD plumbing market, to start though, we’ll just give you the top 5. 

1. WE’RE OPEN 24/7 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in our 30 years in the plumbing industry, it’s that problems don’t just happen during daylight hours. 

Our years of experience have taught us that the metropolitan Brisbane community needs around the clock assistance. This is why we now ensure we’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Our scheduling system enables us to always have a plumber available to assist you with any unexpected problem – no matter if it’s in the middle of the night or just before lunch. And you can call to make a booking any time.

2. WE HAVE A HIGHLY SKILLED TEAM 

We know that our Salmon Plumbers are our biggest asset. In fact, we’ve taught more than half of our team ourselves! We’ve raised them from the small fry apprentices they came to us as, to the full-time licensed plumbers turning up at your door today.  

Additionally, we also keep our team’s skills up to date. All of our licensed tradesmen undergo continual professional development in a range of business areas, including technical skills, customer services and product training. 

3. WE’RE PEOPLE TOO

Part of the problem with 21st century plumbers is that they think that everything can be done by a system. And while that is efficient, is not eFISHant, at Salmon Plumbing, we believe that when it comes to the phone, you need that human element. 

When you call in for assistance, you don’t want a robot, you want to hear a friendly voice and know that there’s someone there to help you, no matter the time or the problem. 

That’s why when you call Salmon Plumbing, a member of our dedicated scheduling team will take your details and help with your enquiry. You will never get an answering machine or call centre operator with us.  

4. WE’VE GOT THE SYSTEMS FOR MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY

While we prioritise that human element when it comes to answering our phones, Salmon Plumbing does have a number of systems to support our plumbers to ensure they can attend your property and resolve your issue as quickly as possible. 

We have invested in powerful job and project monitoring systems. Additionally, our vehicles are also tracked by satellite navigation. This enables us to respond to your job, emergency or otherwise, quickly and efficiently anywhere in the metropolitan Brisbane area.

5. WE LEAVE NO MESS BEHIND

We know some of our customers have been burned in the past by plumbers who may have gotten the job done but destroyed half their property in the process. 

At Salmon Plumbing, we’ve taught our tradesman that cleaning up is just as important as solving a problem. 

Our staff are trained to lay down mats to protect your floor and other surfaces when attending, and they are equipped with a cleaning kit and vacuum cleaner so that all we leave behind is a job well done. 

SALMON PLUMBERS ARE THE ONLY FISH IN THE SEA YOU NEED WHEN IT COMES TO PLUMBING. 

Our around the clock assistance, qualified staff and dedication to customer satisfaction is what makes us a leading plumber in the Brisbane metropolitan area. 

We offer a range of plumbing services to potential customer, from hot water system installation and replacement, to blocked drain or pipe resolution, to emergency plumbing assistance. 

To learn more about our services, or to get high quality assistance in a pinch, give us a call on 07 3862 2600 today. 

3 ways to preserve your plumbing this winter

3 ways to preserve your plumbing this winter

When the colder months roll around and the warmth of your bed becomes harder to leave in the morning, it’s likely that plumbing is the last thing on your mind. 

Now, however, is the perfect time to perform some routine maintenance around your home that can ensure your plumbing system is clean and clear for another year around the sun!

Completing these three tasks annually in the wintertime, when the weather is cooler and more pleasant, will mean you can preserve your plumbing without breaking too much of a sweat. 

1. Clear out gutters and downpipes

Overflowing gutters can cause roof leaks and damage to your home’s structure. Over time, they can also break down your guttering system and impact its ability to protect your property.

As winter is generally considered to be drier, it’s a great time to clean out your gutters and downpipes. This routine maintenance can then prevent issues from occurring when summer, and the rain, roll around.

If you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty, you can also contact one of the team at Salmon Plumbing to come out and do the job for you!

2. Check your roof for any leaks or damages

Summer storms in Queensland are intense, and can challenge the best of properties. So, the winter is one of the best times to investigate any leaks or concerns you’ve had with your roof. 

This task in particular can be pretty hard and dangerous without the right training or knowledge, so for this one we recommend getting the help of a plumbing pro-fish-ional (hint, hint!)

3. Consider the health of your hot water system

A love for cold showers is pretty rare to find, even in the summertime. In winter, however, a cold shower is just plain cruel! 

To avoid the shock to your system that an unwanted cold shower can bring, the lead up to winter is also a good time to consider the health of your hot water system.

Have you found that water has been slow to heat up? Or perhaps that the heat isn’t hot for long enough? These are warning signs that it might be time for a new hot water system. 

Your best bet is to contact a plumber for a routine check-up. They will review the overall health of your system and report back to you on whether or not it’s time for a new one. 

So there you have it! Three ways you can use the winter time to properly preserve your plumbing. 

If you’d like a professional to help you out with any of the issues we’ve mentioned above, feel free to contact the team at Salmon Plumbing. 

With plenty of experience, our crew are happy to help you devise a solid maintenance plan that will see your plumbing system have a happy and healthy lifecycle. 
To find even more ways you can look after your plumbing system, click here to check out our blog. Otherwise, call us any time on 07 3073 9211.

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.

5 Reasons You Should Replace the Old Galvanised Water Pipes in Your Home

Rusted Galvanised Water Pipe
Credit: https://www.theplumbette.com.au/plumbing/what-causes-brown-water-through-taps/

Old galvanised pipe was used to plumb water into homes fifty years ago. Unfortunately, many homes still have these pipes as the source of their water lines to their home. Without a doubt, there can be issues within the plumbing of the home due to not updating these pipes to copper.

Let me ask you a question. Would you drink water sitting in a rusty bucket overnight? Probably not. But this is what many of us are doing when we drink tap water that has been through old galvanised water pipes in our homes. Older and exposed plastic pipe is also not great for our health. Old pipe work is bad for our health and can cause long term issues in other areas of the home. Here are 5 reasons why you should replace the old galvanised water pipes in your home.

1. It will improve the taste and odour of the water

Rusty water has a metallic taste and odour. It’s not particularly pleasant. When drinking and bathing in this water, it can be disconcerting to consider what impurities are being absorbed into our bodies from this contaminated water.

2. It will remove the probability of legionella bacteria

30% of homes with galvanised or old plastic piping in their home had tested for Legionella bacteria in their water supply. To avoid the growth of legionella bacteria, replace your water pipes.

3. Can prolong the life of your dishwasher and washing machine

The rusty water used through the dishwasher and washing machine can affect the effectiveness of the machine. It can also cause premature life span to your appliances.

4. Will avoid build-up of scale and sludge in hot water system

Hot water units can also be affected by rust contaminated water from galvanised pipes. Hot water units are expensive to replace. If you want to prolong the life of  your hot water unit too, consider changing your water pipes.

5. You will have clear water

This is the best benefit of all after replacing your galvanised water pipes.

We often associate brown water as dirty water. And essentially it is dirty water which has been turned brown due to the rust sediment in the pipes. This water can stain clothes, leave a film on crockery and glasses and can cause the water to be brown through the tap faucet. A brown bath anyone?

If you want to protect your belongings and avoid a brown bath, upgrade your water pipes. Clear water is healthy and vital for washing, hygiene and general wellbeing. It will also eliminate the need for a higher than normal reliance on detergents and cleaners to keep your items clean because of the brown water. This can help save money and the environment.

For help replacing the old galvanised water pipes in your home, contact Salmon Plumbing for an inspection.

Could Your Gutters Handle a Freak Hail Storm?

Hail on the roof

Could your gutters handle a freak hail storm? Is your water tank well maintained to ensure any overflow of water is stored in the tank?

Much of QLD is desperate need for a heavy downpour (or many) to fill water tanks and our dams to prevent water restrictions coming into place. Let alone the stress on our farmers and rural communities who rely on rain for their crops and general living.

But while we hope for rain, the odd storm can bring the unexpected occurrence of hail. It’s important to check your gutters and downpipes to ensure they can handle not only a heavy downpour but hail as well.

Gutter Maintenance

If your gutters are incorrectly installed, rusted out or are blocked due to leaf debris, this can cause damage to your property. It also leaves your property unprepared should that freak hail storm hit your home.

Well maintained gutters can

  • Protect fascia boards and roofing timbers
  • Prevent damage of overflowing water to footings and foundations
  • Prevent water ingress during rain events
  • Remove the attraction for mosquitos carrying RRF and Zika, as pooled water is the perfect breeding ground
  • Prevent the breakdown of moist leaves and debris, which can leach acid and rust gutters quickly

An inspection from Salmon Plumbing can check your gutters are correctly installed and we can identify rust and give a quote for the replacement.

Rainwater Collection Maintenance

The condition of your gutters and downpipes will determine the health of your rainwater collection system. When hail melts, it will carry whatever is sitting in your gutters, through to your rainwater tank.

A well-maintained rainwater collection system can

  • Prevent a health hazard of dirty water being used
  • The correct strainers to the tank can prevent mosquitoes
  • Prolong the life of your water pump
  • Prolong the life of your toilet cisterns. Dirty tank water can cause the inner parts of your toilet cistern to deteriorate. It can also cause the toilet to smell. When a toilet flushes, water turns into an aerosol which you can inhale and this can be bad for your health.
  • Prolong the life of your washing machine as dirty tank water can stain the inner drum of the machine and leave an odour.

To ensure your gutters and rainwater collection system are in good working order, contact Salmon Plumbing for an inspection.

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.