Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions that we can broadly answer

Are blocked drains covered by home insurance?

Very rarely. Blocked drains are something that happen over time and can be avoided with general maintenance. If you were to get a plumber out 2 to 3 times a year to clear out your drains you would have higher luck being covered by home insurance but this is still not a guarantee.

Can blocked drains make you ill?

Yes, leaving a drain blocked can become a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites which can ultimately make you and your family sick. The types of illness' that you can get from leaving a drain blocked can vary from minor to quite severe. If you have a blocked drain contact your local plumber as soon as possible.

Can hot water pipes sweat?

Not normally, pipe sweating occurs when the water inside of the pipe is much colder than the air surrounding the pipe. The result is the formation of moisture on the outside of the pipe making it appear as though the pipe is sweating.

How do I know if I have a leak?

Normally a leaking water pipe will cause visual flooding and high water bills. If you have a leak you can sometimes even hear water sounds from inside the walls and roof or under the floor. Another tell tale sign is if you have low water pressure. Having your home or business regularly inspected by a plumber can help to identify leaks before they become serious.

 

How much does it cost for a plumber?

This question gets asked a lot and without having fixed prices it is difficult to answer. The reason why not just plumbers but all tradespeople don't state prices is because they are completely dependant on the size of the job. Below is examples of how jobs can differ.

  • Example 1 - We diagnosed that Jane Doe's toilet wasn't flushing due to a lot of slack in the lift chain inside of the cistern. Once shortened the toilet flushed perfectly.
  • Example 2 - We diagnosed that John Smith's toilet wasn't flushing due to a blockage in the water pipe located in the wall. This required us to unplumb the toilet then using a drain snake we were able to clear the blockage. Once the toilet was plumbed back where it was and it flushed perfectly

In the examples above both toilets didn't flush but both required different things in order to get them flushing again. It is due to this that prices vary from job to job.

How to know when I need a plumber?

Anytime you find a problem with the plumbing in your home or business you should call a plumber. Whether it is to assess the problem or to fix it, a plumber is the only person that can give proper advice on the problem. If it is an emergency, ensure that you clearly state the emergency when talking to the plumber. Any plumbing problem big or small if left unfixed has the potential to turn into an emergency.

Is a drain snake or auger dangerous?

If you are not trained in how to use an auger (drain snake) properly it is strongly advised that you leave it to a professional plumber to use. These tools are great for unblocking stubborn blockages but, they can also do a lot of damage to the drain pipes if you don't know what you are doing. This can result in the problem going from a simple blocked drain to a flood.

My toilet won't flush what can I do?

If your toilet is clogged you can normally get it back to normal by using a plunger or a bucket of hot water. Make sure to check that there is water in the cistern before trying to flush. If you are unable to get your toilet flushing after using a plunger and hot water or your cistern isn't filling up with water then we recommend calling your local plumber to come out and take a look.

 

What can cause low water pressure?

Other than a leak in the pipes, water pressure can be affected by valve problems, debris buildups, and other blockages. It is recommended to check with your neighbours first to see if their water pressure is low as well. If this is the case then we recommend checking NSW Water for news and updates. If your neighbours aren't experiencing low water pressure you should get in contact with your local plumber.

What hot water system do i have?

There are a few ways to tell what type of hot water system you have.

Method 1: If you remove the access panel from the side of the water heater and check inside for a blue flame. If you have one this means that you have a gas system.

Method 2: Look on the top of your water heater for an extension type cord. It is usually thick and is either black or grey. This indicates that your system is electric.

Method 3: If you see a black pipe going into the bottom of the tank that is about 25mm thick, this generally indicates that you have a gas system.

Method 4: If you see a copper pipe going into the bottom of the tank that is approximately 6mm thick, this means that you have a gas system.

Method 5: Look around your water heater for a vent on the top of the heater. Because electric hot water systems don't require a vent you have a gas hot water system.

If in doubt it is always wise to consult your local plumber to determine what type of hot water system you have.

 

What hot water tank do i need?
This will completely depend on your need for the hot water system. If you have a large family you will most probably require a larger tank than what you would if you lived by yourself. This would be determined on a case by case basis so having a chat with your local plumber should help you make a more educated decision on what size you would need.
What types of hot water systems are there?

The main types of water heaters in Australia are:

  • Electric - Storage or instantaneous
  • Gas (Natural or LPG) - Storage, instantaneous and continuous
  • Solar - Electric or Gas (Both Natural and LPG) boosted
  • Heat Pump
Where is hot water heater pilot light?

The pilot light is generally located underneath your water heater. There will usually be a removable panel at the bottom of your water heater and once removed the pilot light can be accessed and ignited from there.

Where is the hot water thermostat?

If you don't have a newer system with a digital thermostat in either your bathroom or laundry then your thermostat will be located on your hot water system. It is advised that you get a licenced plumber to adjust your thermostat.

Where to turn hot water supply off?

On nearly every hot water heater there will be a dedicated shut off valved which should be located on the cold inlet pipes. This is generally a gate style valve that is either on or off and should rarely be in between. Simply turn the valve clockwise as far as you can and that should shut off any new hot water into your system. As for the inside of your home, you should have stop valves that connect to water supply tubes. You will generally find you kitchen one underneath the sink. Turn the handles clockwise to turn them off.

Who is responsible for blocked drains tenant or landlord?

Under tenancy law landlords are responsible for repairs throughout the lease. They can also face rent reductions and must pay compensation if a tenants goods happen to get damaged or if the landlord fails to have repairs carried out. However, if it is deemed that the repairs were required based on damage or neglegence done by the tenant then it is the tenants responsibility to pay the bill.


Why do my drains smell?

If you have an odour coming from your drains chances are it is because of sulphur. To be more specific hydrogen sulphide gas is caused by bacteria in the pipes. Although it is good to note that this isn't the only reason for smelly drains it is a very common reason. In order to fix the problem, you need to disinfect the pipes.

 

This can be done by pouring half a cup of bleach down your drain or alternatively, you can use half a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar. Keep in mind that if you use the latter of the two there will be a mini chemical reaction that will cause foam to come back up the pipe, it is advised that you block the drain after pouring the vinegar to help force the foam through the pipe.

 

After either method, you should then wash warm to hot water down the drain. If this does not work then you should contact your local plumber.

Why do my pipes make knocking sounds?

Knocking pipes are usually caused by improperly secured piping, or by air bubbles being compressed within the pipes. Neither of these are a major cause for concern. Having your pipes secured with proper fittings should stop any shaking during use. However, if the problem is due to air bubbles then a visit from your local plumber can help to remove the problem.

Why does my drain clog and how do I unblock it?

Drains can clog due to a number of different reasons the main being debris such as oil, soap, hair and food products building up over time and creating a blockage. There are many different drain cleaners on the market that are a good first step to unblocking a drain yourself. Sometimes drains are beyond the abilities of domestic drain cleaning chemicals though, if this is the case then it's time to call your local plumber.

Why sink is draining slowly?

Most likely it is due to a blockage further down the drain pipe. You can try some drain cleaners but if they don't work, we would recommend that you contact your local plumber as soon as possible. Slow draining is usually what happens before the drain is completely blocked.

Can't see your question?

If you have a question that you would like answered please ask us below and we will endevour to answer it promptly and update our FAQ.

* Required



Everyday Plumbing Reviews Summary

5/5 5 3 Reviews

View All

Book a Plumber

Important: If you need a Plumber quickly, please phone us on 0406 400 200 24 hours a day and talk direct to a qualified plumber. If you fill the form in below, we will assume your enquiry is not an emergency and respond accordingly.

Contact Details
Job Information
Submission

Book a Plumber

Important: If you need a Plumber quickly, please phone us on 0406 400 200 24 hours a day and talk direct to a qualified plumber. If you fill the form in below, we will assume your enquiry is not an emergency and respond accordingly.

0406 400 200