Why poor plumbing practices can lead to bigger problems down the track

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall prey to some simple plumbing mistakes, that can end up costing more time and money down the road.

There are a lot of simple plumbing problems that occur around the home, with some homeowners trying to fix the problem on their own rather than calling out a Sydney plumber. Did you know that even the simplest fixes can lead to some costly mistakes? Here are a few common Do It Yourself plumbing mistakes – and how to fix them.

  • Using too much drain cleaner – commercial drain cleaners are great to use to clear away clogs and helping to reduce built-up residue, however using these products too much, or using too much of them, can damage your drains or blocked drain. Drain cleaners use harsh chemicals to break up solid waste and clean the pipes, but, overusing these products can eat away at the walls of your pipes – metal and PVC. Why not use a pipe snake instead?
  • Using drain cleaners in the wrong places – you need to be careful WHERE you use these products, even if you rarely use them. Most cleaning products are safe to use in the bathroom and kitchen sink, shower, bathtub and toilets but they can be damaging if you use the wrong type of cleaner. To avoid problems read all the safety plumbers directions BEFORE using them.
  • Mismatching your pipes – minor leaks that are visible; such as those under a bathroom or kitchen sink are run of the mill DIY projects most handymen or women undertake at home. When replacing a leaky pipe, many DIY’ers choose the wrong size or type, or try to make the pipes fit using the wrong connectors. For example, you should never try and connect galvanised with copper pipes or you risk corrosion. You must also use a proper connector and sealant, just because two pipes seem tight, doesn’t mean they will hold water. Always double check the type of pipe and connector you need.
  • Not turning off the water – when a pipe springs a leak, or a tap starts dripping it’s easy to forget the first rule of DIY plumbing – Turn OFF the Water! No matter what the repair is, or how important it is, always shut off the water. Leaving the water on and disconnecting a pipe could cause a flood and cost you more than time.
  • Not calling a professional plumber – while there are some jobs you can take on, any repair that is above your ability, requires cutting into the wall or floors or accessing the main water line is best handled by an emergency plumber. While the cost of hiring a pro can put some people *off* the money paid is well worth the assurance that the job has been properly completed.

If you have any plumbing issues, call your Sydney plumbers today on 1300 896 508.


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Everybody wants to save money, and when you save water, you are saving money. The good news is you don’t have to do anything *drastic* just a few simple changes will have a significant impact.

Find and fix any leaks – constantly running toilets and dripping taps can be fixed at home, often without the need to call a plumber. Drips are wasting water, and if you think you have a hidden leak, then it’s time to call your plumber on 1300 896 508 and have the issue looked at professionally.

Water saving tapware – if it’s time to replace some of your taps with plumbers, or your shower head WELS water efficiency ratings are an excellent way to compare products. The more stars on the label, the less water will be used and the more you will save. You could also look at having flow controllers or aerators installed on existing tapware to reduce your water usage.

Water efficient appliances – the WELS rating also applies to water using appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Some newer dishwashers can use as little as half the water of some older models.

Only run full loads – this applies to wash machines and dishwashers, run these appliances when they are full, rather than half full, as it is both more energy and water efficient.

Water efficient toilets – all new toilets come with the half-flush water saving option, which can save families – especially large families, thousands of litres of water per year. If you have an older toilet with a full-flush only cistern, there are some devices available that can be installed in your cistern to reduce the amount of water used for each flush.

Minimise running water – always turn taps off when you are brushing your teeth, you can also save a good amount of water by washing your fruit and vegetables in a basin or dish of water, or with the plug in the sink, rather than under running water.

Reduce your time in the shower – this is a pretty simple water saving tip. Try and encourage everyone in your home to take shorter showers, even if it’s only a minute less. Putting a timer in the bathroom is a great way to help keep everyone on track.

Catch your cold water – use a bucket to catch the first lot of cold water that comes through when running a bath or shower, you can then use the water on your garden.

Install a water tank – collecting and re-using water is an effective way to reduce your water usage, you can even have the rainwater tank diverted, so when you flush the toilet, the tank water is used, or you can use your tank to water the garden or wash the car.

If you are having any water issues, leaks, blockages etc., call your plumber on 1300 896 508 to assess the problem for you.

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Plumbers Direct is a family owned and operated emergency plumbing service that has been operating for over 25 years. Our team work hard, and we are here to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No job is too big or too small, and we offer FREE call outs. You are under no obligation to choose us once we have given you a free quote.

Call us today on 1300 896 508 to arrange a call out.

Life isn’t always easy, and it can be a struggle when an unexpected and unwanted problem pops up. To help out we have regular special offers, our two current promotions are –

  • $50.00 off the total cost of your job when you quote SAVE50
  • For Pensioners we offer a 15% discount – this is 15% forever!

Our business is based in Sydney and run by husband and wife team Anthony and Tanya. This business was built from the ground up with a lot of hard work, and today is a highly regarded business. We care about our clients and customers and also about the community. Plumbers Direct is a proud supporter of the Starlight Foundation, so when you fix your plumbing you are also helping sick kids.

Calling out a plumber can be daunting enough, we don’t want to make that any harder. Anthony is a country man at heart and brings with him those old-fashioned values; an honest day’s work, for an honest day pay, with a down to earth personality that puts customers at ease.

Customers appreciate our caring approach and friendly, open and honest nature, it’s a formula that has seen us in business for a quarter of a century.

Not only do we have great specials, we also provide an emergency call out service. Plumbing problems don’t always happen during 9 to 5. There are occasions when issues happen late at night and on weekends. When you need a fast and professional emergency plumber – no one gets there faster than us. Don’t forget you are eligible to receive either a $50 discount or pensioners 15% discount off your bill.

All our plumbers are not only fully licensed and insured, every plumber is fully qualified to tackle any and every plumbing job you have.

We specialise in all plumbing problems including blocked drains, sewers and pipes. We provide emergency services for everything from a flooded kitchen to a broken sewer. You are guaranteed of quality work and we stand behind each and every job we do providing you with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

For Fast, affordable, free quotes and special offers call now on 1300 896 508 to make an appointment.


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Whether you are re-setting an old toilet following a bathroom renovation or installing a brand-new water-efficient toilet, removing and replacing a toilet is a simple and straightforward job that you can complete in a day.


Switch OFF the water before you do anything! If your bathroom doesn’t have a stopcock in the room, switch off the water at your main supply. Most homes will have the stopcock next to, or close to the toilet, switch it off and disconnect the pipes from your water supply to the base of the toilet cistern.


To empty out the remaining water in the toilet, keep flushing until the cistern is empty. Then use a dry sponge and a bucket to remove any water that is still left in the toilet bowl. You will also need some rags to wipe up any remaining water in the outlet pipe, it’s okay, this is clean water.


This is the *fun* part! If your toilet has been bolted to the floor simply undo the bolts to remove it. If your toilet has been cemented into the floor, you will need to chisel out the cement and then break the toilet off. Remember to wear a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from any flying bits and a good pair of strong gloves to protect your hands. Once the toilet has been removed, use a bucket of water and a cloth to clean the floor. Don’t sweep it up as you will only create more dust.


With the toilet removed and any excess concrete chipped off the floor you may encounter a *smell* coming from the outlet pipe, this is normal, just plug it up with some plastic bags while you work.


Fit the new toilet into the outlet pipe until it is snug, then fasten the toilet to the floor, pop the cistern of top of the base and fasten everything together, you will also need to fasten the cistern to the wall. While you normally use sanitary fixings or rawl bolts to fasten the toilet to the floor contractor adhesives works well too. You can use a glue to affix the base of the toilet onto the tiles.


You will now need to fix a new wax seal between the outlet pipe and toilet. If it hasn’t already been cut, cut it so you can fit the seal around the outlet pipe at the back of the toilet and push it into the main outlet pipe. Ensure there are NO gaps or holes anywhere as water will leak out and onto the floor.


And, now for the tricky part, when you buy a new toilet it won’t come pre-assembled, you need to put everything that fits into the cistern together.

When you are all done, connect the water supply, switch on the water and check for leaks. If you have any issues call 24 hour plumber 1300 896 508, or even better, let Plumbers Direct install or replace your toilet for you!

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When you need an emergency plumber, Plumber’s Direct are Sydney most trusted service for all your commercial plumbing needs. Plumbing systems are complicated, and if you or your tenants notice anything that seems wrong; blockages, knocking, leaks etc. call the team of emergency plumbers on 1300 896 508. With a plumbing service available 24/7 you know you can call a plumber out at any time of the day or night.

When you need help with repairs, upgrades or general maintenance, Sydney calls Plumbers Direct – they can take care of all your plumbing needs –

Leaking showers and taps

these drips and leaks add to your water bill. If you think you have a leak – perhaps due to complaints of high water bills, call Plumbers Direct and have your system looked at.

Leaking toilets

not only can these leaks be noisy and irritating, but they are also wasting your money.

Burst pipes and leak detection

over the years we have helped many agents in Sydney deal with and fix broken, leaky and noisy pipes. Pipes that have burst or are leaking inside your home or business are both dangerous and can be a huge hassle. Emergency plumbers can resolve issues and look for any possible trouble spots.

Blocked Toilets

are your worst nightmare. Not being able to use the toilet properly, especially if your tenants have a restaurant to run, is a problem you don’t want to suffer. It’s a stressful time, but Plumbers Direct can fix the issue fast and have the venue back to normal in no time.

Blocked, overflowing or cracked drains

at Plumbers Direct we can solve issues inside your home and under your home.

Gas Fitting

gas is NOT a do it yourself weekend job, call in the professionals – they can help ensure the security of your premises when it comes to installing a gas line.

Roof Guttering and Downpipes

Plumbers Direct are specialists in installing, cleaning and repairing downpipes and guttering. Bad gutters and downpipes can cause damage to structures, we can get in and solve the issue before any major damage has occurred.

Hot Water repairs

it can be quite expensive replacing a hot water tank, let Plumbers Direct take a look first, they may be able to save you hundreds of dollars and repair the problem, rather than replace your old system with a brand new one. Simply call and arrange a consultation, one of our team will be there at a time convenient to you.

Kitchen and Bathroom renovations

we offer stress-free residential and commercial kitchen renovations that can improve your kitchens plumbing and appliances, with a simple, hassle-free process that gives you peace of mind. New bathroom? We can cover all aspects of your bathroom’s plumbing, so you get the best appliances, installed the best way possible.

These are just some of the reasons Sydney real estate agents choose us for all their plumbing needs. Call today on 1300 896 508 to discuss your problems or issues.


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When you are buying a new home, you want to make sure everything is functioning just as it should. Likewise, if you have been in your home 6 months or 16 years, you still want everything *running smoothly*. When you first move in you check the roof for leaks, check the floorcoverings for signs of water damage and you check your taps for leaks.

You still might encounter issues weeks, months or years down the track and these issues could end up seriously damaging your home and cost you a great deal of money if these issues are left unchecked.

Next time you are doing an inspection around your home – check for these signs. Of course, it’s a good idea to have a plumber come and inspect your home regularly to check for any issues.

Call your local emergency plumber on 1300 896 508 if you find any of these signs

  1. Traces of water around your home’s foundations, water stains on your foundations or walls indicate that there is a drainage issue outside your home. To find the source check your guttering for any blockages and look for any standing water.
  2. You see *standing water* in your yard. It’s normal for water to pool on your lawn for a while following rain or a thunderstorm. However, if you notice puddles long after the sun has returned and it hasn’t been raining for a few days there could be an issue. Water should *run off* from your property. If it’s not, you should talk to a drainage expert, it could be a cracked or leaking pipe below the surface, or you may need a drainage pipe to *pull* water from your lawn and into a drain.
  3. Your foundations are starting to crack. Small, thin fissures in your foundation are quite normal, but if you notice a large hole that is continuing to grow, your foundations could fail. If the floor of your home has become uneven – your foundation could be in trouble. Changes in your foundation allows room for water to get in which only exacerbates the problem.
  4. Depending on the extent of the damage it can put your whole house at risk. Call in an emergency plumber if you notice ANY of these above warning signs so you can get your foundations checked and repaired if necessary, to avoid any unnecessary damage.
  5. Your sewer overflows every time it rains. Blocked sewer can be from something as simple as a build-up of leaves and debris, but, if your sewer has been installed incorrectly clearing the guttering won’t resolve the issue. Call in a professional and see if you need to replace your sewer before it rains again.
  6. Does your home smell like mildew? If you find signs of mould in your home, it could be coming from above or below. Accumulated moisture from a leaking roof will see mould growing on the ceiling or the walls near the ceiling. If mould is around the floor area, or the bottoms of the walls, it may be coming from underneath your home, water could be pooling and isn’t draining away properly.

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Prevent Leaks with These Tips
When to Call an Emergency Plumber
Why Is Water Leaking from My Hot Water System?

Leaking Taps –

When you turn an outside tap on, and you get water leaking from around the handle it could mean a loose packing nut or a faulty washer. Using a wrench or pliers try tightening the nut first. If the leak persists even after you have tightened the nut, turn off the water to the house, remove the tap handle and unscrew the nut. You should be able to pull off the old washer and take it to your emergency plumber or hardware store to find the right replacement.

Pipe cutting –

It can be difficult to cut a thin metal pipe with a hacksaw without mangling the cut or squashing the pipe. To get a good cut insert a wooden rod into the end of the pipe, you want to cut. Wrap one end of the rod with tape to make the rod the same inner size of the pipe. Clamp your pipe and wood into a vice and cut through both the pipe and the wood for a perfect cut.

For bigger or tighter cuts, use a dull blade –

When you need to cut a larger pipe use a reciprocating saw fitted with an older, dull wood blade. Using a new metal blade with sharp teeth tends to grab onto the pipe, and a metal blade actually MELTS plastic instead of cutting it. Dull wood blades cut into plastic without melting the plastic.

For a leak-free connection – de-burr the pipe –

Any burrs on the end of a pipe that is left over will create small channels in the cement when you push the fitting into the pipe. This is how you get leaks, always scrape away burrs with a utility knife before joining the pipes.

Don’t re-use, always buy new fittings –

Rather than re-using old copper pipe fittings, recycle them. It is difficult and time-consuming to take fittings apart and clean them, buy new fittings instead. There is always a chance the old fitting will leak.

Check your supply lines –

Plastic or rubber lines that run from appliances, toilets and taps to shut-off valves can become brittle over time and crack due to age. Eventually, they will burst. Take time at least once a year to inspect all the supply lines to your home. If you find leaks, cracks or corrosion, call your plumber on 1300 896 508 to come out and replace the line.

Have a leak? –

Valves are one of the main culprits because they have moving parts and seals that can wear out. If you do find a strange puddle look at the valve to see if it is leaking. This is one of the most common reasons a plumber gets called out, but it’s an easy fix. Try turning the packing nut slightly – if you over-tighten it the valve won’t turn, if this doesn’t stop the leak, call your local plumber on 1300 896 508 for assistance.

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As a homeowner, it can be difficult to work out what issue requires you to make a call to an emergency plumber. Sadly, things can go wrong – often in the middle of the night, and you need to decide quickly whether to call an emergency plumber or not.

These are some common plumbing issues that occur around the home.

Burst Pipes

Water from a burst pipe can quickly damage your walls, flooring, furniture etc. There are a few things that can cause a pipe to suddenly burst including low-quality or faulty plumbing fixtures, age, or an accidental impact. If you have discovered a burst pipe turn the water off at the mains as soon as possible and call Plumbers Direct – your emergency plumbers on 1300 896 508. The pipe will need to be repaired before the water can be restored to your home.

No hot water

You can manage for a few days without hot water (especially in summer), but in winter or as the days cool down hot water becomes a necessity. The lack of hot water could be due to many things – check the power supply to your hot water system. Is there electricity or gas available in the rest of the house? It is a good idea to check BEFORE you call your plumber.

Water leak

It doesn’t matter where it is coming from; a water leak is bad news. Sometimes hot water storage tanks leak, drains can crack causing a surprise leak, or tap washers fail. A small trickle of water can become a torrent so turn your mains tap off as soon as you can and contact your emergency plumber to avoid an excessive water bill and any damage to your home.

Gas Leak

Leaking gas is dangerous. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off your gas at your homes main valve IMMEDIATELY, open all the doors and windows to allow fresh air into the house and call Plumbers Direct for a gas fitter. Gas is extremely flammable and can cause asphyxiation in confined spaces. Don’t use any electrical equipment, lights, matches, lighters or any type of naked flame when there is a possible gas leak.

Backed up toilet

While a healthy plumbing system should effectively get rid of all waste if a blockage occurs the results can be quite messy. Call an emergency plumber as soon as you can.

If you aren’t sure about the problem, call an emergency plumber on 1300 896 508 for a service anyway. We can discuss the situation and keep you going until business hours if the problem isn’t urgent. Of course, if the issue is critical we will be around to fix the issue as soon as possible.

Read More:

Questions to Ask When Renovating a Bathroom
Steps for Checking Your Water Heater
What to Do If the Toilet Won’t Flush

If you have noticed some water dribbling from your hot water system, don’t call emergency plumbers just yet. In the summer heat the valves in your hot water system can leak, they are designed to release a small amount of water – especially on hot days – to regulate the pressure in the water tank. If, however, the release is a little more than the occasional drip, you may have a leak on your hands, this means you’ll be paying to heat water, only to see it go to waste.

In Summary; If your hot water system is dripping it could be the normal releasing of pressure or a leak.

Two things to keep an eye on –

If your system is leaking every now and then, and only in small amounts it’s likely to be the pressure relief valves. There are two safety valves on a hot water cylinder.

  • A Pressure and temperature relief valve – during heating the valve discharges hot water to the drain line to relieve the pressure generated by overheating, it can also occur on hot summer days when the temperature rises, it’s designed to prevent your tank from over pressurising.
  • An expansion control valve – this opens and releases water if the pressure from your water supply exceeds the pressure of the ECV valve. Unlike the PTR Valve the water it releases is cold, which is less energy consuming and expands the PTR’s life span.

Both valves are designed to allow small amounts of water to drip from your tank to ensure the pressure doesn’t build up. However, this loss should be minor and happen intermittently, if your tank is constantly dripping water it has developed a leak and you should hire emergency plumber on 1300 896 508.

There are several reasons why a water tank leaks.

  • There could be tiny particles of grit caught in the valve, the seal is probably damaged and isn’t sealing properly. It’s worth noting that these valve seals don’t last forever, so, it’s a good idea to have them inspected once or twice a year to ensure they are sealing properly.
  • If you have high water pressure at your home, it can cause your system to leak. If this is the problem, you’ll probably just need a pressure limiting valve installed.
  • The easiest way to tell if your system is relieving pressure, or, leaking is to put an empty ice cream container under the pipe for an hour and see how much water it collects. When you know roughly how much water you are losing give your emergency plumber a call, they’ll help you determine the leak and fix the problem.

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A good plumber is hard to find, regardless of your situation and plumbing needs. Whether building a new home or you require them for commercial purposes, such as maintenance and emergencies for your restaurant or hotel. Finding a good reliable plumber is crucial for your business to keep it running smoothly – plus your staff and your customers will appreciate it. Finding a good plumber, that is reasonably priced and will be available when you need them most is a more difficult task than you would expect.

Rely on us!

That’s why Sydney’s restaurants rely on Plumbers Direct. An Australian company with over 25 years’ experience in the service industry and we have earned ourselves the respect we deserve by offering premium services at reasonable prices.
Restaurateurs across Sydney have been relying on the people at Plumbers Direct for a long time, and there is a good reason for it. We have a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee and will be sure to fix your plumbing problems without hassle. We pride ourselves on our ability to complete the job promptly- so there will be no more looking at your watch scratching your head waiting for your plumber to appear!

We complete the job on the spot

Gone are the days of the plumber doing half the job and then finishing it… well, whenever they get around to it. Plumbers Direct get the job done. Whether you’re just starting up installing that commercial kitchen or you’re after a well established and reliable plumber for emergency services, Plumbers Direct will look after all your plumbing needs. Plumbers Direct offer a 24/7 service and are guaranteed to help you out with those untimely plumbing issues no matter what time of day. You can relax and know that you have someone reliable on speed dial to get the job done fast, ensuring that your restaurant can stay open.

Zero call out fees

Plumbers Direct have no call out fee and will cater your services to suit your needs. We pride ourselves on customer service and will respond to your emergency in a timely manner and do the job properly the first time – so you don’t waste any of your precious time on the phone trying to get the repair job repaired again. We boast a five-star rating and have been specialising our services in Sydney restaurants for decades.
So, if you are in the restaurant game and are in need of a reliable plumber, let’s face it, every restaurant needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Maintenance is part of that, so give our people at Plumbers Direct a call and we will service all your plumbing needs at the drop of a hat.

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Sadly, we are ALL guilty of, at one time or another, putting something down the sink that we shouldn’t. It’s a lot easier just to pour, or let something go down the drain, after all, it can’t hurt, can it?

While your drains are probably working quite well now, it’s only a matter of time before all that grease and grime starts to build up, and then clogs your drain for good.

There are certain items that should never be poured down the sink.

FLOUR – your sink isn’t a bin. If you have ever made a cake, you know that flour and water make a gooey mess, imagine what happens when flour and water meet inside your drain. If you want to avoid a blocked drain, don’t pour flour down the sink.

MILK – while you might be surprised at this one, any dairy products poured down the drain can have an impact on the environment. This is because milk needs large amounts of oxygen to be broken down in the environment which deprives other organisms of the air they need to survive.

COFFEE GROUNDS – coffee smells good, and a lot of people think that pouring coffee grains down the drain will help make it smell a little nicer, but instead, it leads to problems. Coffee grounds stick together and over time can easily block your pipes, add them to your compost heap instead.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLE STICKERS – those pesky, tiny stickers can cause BIG problems. If you have been tempted to let one of those stickers wash down the drain – DON’T. While they look innocent enough, they take years to compost down, which is bad news for both the environment and your pipes.

SEEDS AND GRAINS – seeds, nuts and grains also cause problems for our drains, and this includes cherry pits, corn kernels and chia seeds that expand in water. To keep your pipes clean don’t throw any seeds down the drain instead throw them into the bin or add them to your compost.

RICE AND PASTA – both pasta and rice will continue to absorb liquids – even after being cooked and will turn into a hard-to-break down, sticky mess.

PUMPKIN – cutting up a whole pumpkin is great until it comes time to clean up the mess. You are left with a stringy, orange mess that is hard to clean up, imagine how your pipes would cope if you tossed it down the sink? Add your leftover pumpkin scraps to the compost bin, or garbage bin.

If your drains are blocked call your emergency plumber on 1300 896 508 today.


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If you have decided to tackle a renovation of your bathroom, laundry or kitchen, there are a few things you need to think about.

When you call out for your plumbers in Sydney, these are the top questions to ask:

Does my renovation need a *development application*?

If you want to add anything major – such as an extra bathroom at the back of the house, you will need to ask council permission. For most other work – a straight swap/replacing old for new you should be okay, but it’s best to ask your licensed plumber first. After all, it would be costly to have to undo any work thanks to a legal problem.

What are the warranties on the products supplied?

Buy the best fixtures you can afford, they generally come with longer warranty periods.

Do the fixtures meet Australian standards?

As always – buyer beware. Do your research. There are still loopholes that allow for the sale of items that don’t meet Australian standards, so always make sure you use or buy quality products.

Do I have an up-to-date diagram?

You would need to contact your local water authority to obtain a copy of your property’s *Drainage diagram*; this will show you where all the pipes are (or where they SHOULD be). If the house has been previously renovated, make sure the current layout matches the diagram because if it hasn’t been updated, you could cut through a pipe by accident and end up with a wet mess. Don’t forget if YOU are carrying out any renovations and have made changes to the outlay of pipes – update them on the diagram.

This document is a bit like a time-machine and dates back to when water pipes and drains were installed on the property. With these you can *see behind* the walls, it lets you know what – if anything has been done to the house and if everything is up to standard.

A drainage diagram is an official document that shows the layout of the property and the location of pipes, including where it connects to the waste-water system. There are different types of drainage diagrams, but the one with the best view of your property is the sewerage system diagram. It lets you see where all the original plumbing was and if they have been moved. If they have been moved it’s important to know.

Your home may have a brand-new kitchen or bathroom already, or an extension or new deck has been added, but has the diagram been updated? Have pipes been moved? Should they have been moved? It could be a sign the work wasn’t done by professionals.

Call our 24 hour plumbers on 1300 896 508 before beginning any renovations, use the drainage diagram when planning changes to your home, and ensure they are properly and professionally updated and kept up to date at all times.


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If you suddenly find you don’t have hot water, it could be that one of the elements in your hot water service is at fault. Electric water heater element testing is one way to determine if one or both elements have failed.

In a typical electric water heater, you have four parts that could have failed, any one of these can result in less hot water or no hot water at all. The first thing to check is the elements themselves. The other common problems are with the thermostats.

How hot water elements work

Most electric water heaters have two elements, and both have their own thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t working the elements won’t heat up. The upper heating element and thermostat control the lower heating element and thermostat, and if the upper element and thermostat have gone bad, you won’t have ANY hot water at all. If you don’t have enough hot water, it could be a sign of the lower element and thermostat going bad.

What can you do? If you have a multi-meter and a voltage tester you can check yourself. If you don’t, call your emergency plumber on 1300 896 508 and book an appointment.

There are a few simple things you can do

  • Check your circuit breaker first and make sure it hasn’t been tripped. The electric water heater should be on a dedicated two pole circuit in your breaker box. See if it has tripped – no power – no hot water. If the breaker hasn’t been tripped you will still need to see if you have power in the hot water system, shut the breaker off for the water heater.
  • Many thermostats have a reset button – you will need to shut off the power and remove the covers to reset them.
  • Only perform a water heater element test when the power is OFF. Electric water heaters have a powerful current in them, and you can be seriously hurt from a shock. The current can also ruin your testers – make sure the power is OFF.
  • Checking your water heater power is a must on an electric water heater, unlike gas water heaters, electric units don’t work when the power is off.
  • Remove the covers for the upper element and thermostat, remove the insulation and protective cover, the two hot wires should be at the top of the thermostat. Turn the power back on and CAREFULLY use a non-contact tester to check for power. Make sure the tester is working – so check it on something you know is ok first. Do you have power?

Make sure the power is OFF before you look at or check any electrical devices, and remember to call our 24-hour plumbers if you have any issues you are uncertain of how to tackle.


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Pipe straps can be used to help quieten noisy pipes. If your pipes are rattling, squeaking or banging it doesn’t necessarily mean that your pipes need to be replaced. The air inside the pipes the can cause noises. Another source of noise is the water that is flowing into the pipes – if its level is too high and any air in the pipes isn’t enough to cushion the pressure. Alternatively, the noise can be due to old pipe straps that have loosened. There are a few things you can do to decrease or stop the noises made by banging pipes –

  • You can fix existing pipe straps that are loose or damaged
  • You can install pipe straps, or add additional straps
  • You can call in a plumber

What Are pipe straps?

Pipe straps are also known as pipe clamps, and they are used in the installation of pipelines for several reasons. Mostly, they are used to anchor pipes to the surface where they are being installed to prevent them from falling apart. They are also used to control the vibrations and movement of the pipes as water pressure pushes it towards the edges. If pipe straps are constantly subjected to high amounts of water pressure, it can cause them to loosen. Pipe straps can also become less effective if they have been installed many years ago. It’s important that you maintain your pipe straps to avoid having to endure those irritating sounds coming from your pipelines.

Where to buy pipe straps

Pipe straps are available from plumbing supply stores, and hardware stores, with prices varying between brands and sizes. They can also be made from different materials including metal and plastic. You can hire plumbers Sydney from Plumbers Direct on 1300 896 508 – for advice on the type and size of strap you need to purchase.

How to install pipe straps

If you know how to do it, connecting a pipe strap is quite easy.

  • Determine the location or locations where the banging sounds are being heard – this is where you place your additional pipe straps
  • You can choose to set pipe straps every meter on vertical pipelines or every two meters on horizontal pipes.
  • When you purchase your straps, make sure the bolts are included
  • Install the pipe straps using the metal clamps and tighten the bolts
  • You can also apply some insulating plastic pipes if you need further protection.

Pipe straps can also be supplied and installed by your local plumbers. Along with installing pipe straps, you can also avoid noisy pipes by turning your taps on and off slowly – this way you are regulating the amount of air within the pipes.


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Your toilet is used every day, so you need it to flush, time and time again without fail. Unfortunately, the toilet can clog, which always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time, and if your toilet is starting to overflow, it’s even worse.

Unfortunately, if your toilet does start to overflow, there frequently isn’t much an amateur plumber can do about it, apart from calling out 24 hour plumber at Plumbers Direct on 1300 896 508.

In the meantime –

Stop it at the source

If your toilet has started to overflow you need to stop the flow of water coming from the toilet. In most bathrooms, the best place to find this is at the toilets main shutoff valve. You can often see the water line from your toilet to the bathroom wall; there will be a handle located along the line. If you don’t see a handle, it could mean that your valve has been placed below your floor tiles or behind a wall. If this is the case when your emergency plumber arrives you may need to talk to them about rectifying this for you. Other than shutting the water to your house at the main water valve, the only way to stop the flooding is to turn off the toilets shutoff valve.

Because this valve probably hasn’t often been turned, it may have become sticky or rusted which will make it harder to turn. It’s a good idea to turn the valve every few weeks and then ensure it is accessible, should the unthinkable happen.


If this doesn’t work

If your toilet is still overflowing and you can’t get to the shutoff valve, you need to open the cistern. Remove the lid on top of the cistern and check the flapper. If the flapper is open, reach in and close it manually – this should stop the flow of water. If the flapper isn’t open, or it won’t stay closed manually, find the float ball. This is the part that floats on top of the water to stop the cistern from filling at a certain level. If you lift the float ball to the top of the tank, the water will shut off.


Fixing the clog

Now the flooding has stopped, it’s time to look at the clog. The best way to tackle this is to use a plunger. If you are unable to remove the clog utilising the plunger you need to call in an emergency plumbing and have a professional look at the issue and get it sorted for you. The blockage may be somewhere in the sewerage line and could be anything from tree root damage to just a blockage of toilet paper.


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Of all the fixtures in your home, the kitchen faucet is probably the fixture we use the most, in most households the humble kitchen tap is used up to 40 times a day. From washing hands to rinsing plates, washing vegetables, filling the kettle or washing the dishes, at the end of the day, the kitchen tap gets a real workout. When it’s time to buy a new faucet, our Plumbers Direct team know you need to choose a new fixture that will not only *do the job*, but will keep doing its job for many years to come.

First, you need to decide what *look* you are aiming for – something new and contemporary? Something rustic? Traditional? Antique? Elegant? Copper or bronze coloured faucets are great for a country old world style kitchen. Pewter or nickel coloured taps look great in a traditional kitchen while chrome or stainless steel has a very contemporary look.

Now you have chosen your style, next you need to know your hole configuration. Most sinks come with holes drilled into them ready for the placement of a new faucet. A sink with one hole is made for a single-control faucet, while 3-hole sinks have been designed for a hot and cold-water handle and your tap, while a 4-hole sink has been designed for single control or two handle sinks and accessories (these could be – a soap dispenser, sprayer or filtered water faucet). If you have an under-mount apron front sinkholes are drilled into the countertop behind the sink.

Types of kitchen taps

The right faucet for you depends on personal preference.

  • High-arc taps – if you have a big, roomy sink or fill a lot of large pots, our Sydney team of plumbers believe a high-arc or gooseneck faucet is for you. They give you more room to work. And have tapered handles and flowing curves that can become the focal point of your kitchen. This style is best used in a deep sink, if your sink is shallow you’ll get a lot of splashing.
  • Pull-out and pull-down taps – pull out faucets have a spray head that pulls out towards you, while a pull-down faucet has a spray head that pulls down towards the bottom of the sink. Both options help you water plants or clean the sink. Pull-outs are popular because they are the perfect combination of function and style.
  • Single Handle taps – these faucets are basic and have a single handle that controls flow and temperature.
  • Two-handle taps – (one hot and one cold) provide a classic look that looks great in period style kitchens. They are not as popular as a single handle faucet as they aren’t as easy to use.
  • Touch taps – are growing in popularity and are *hands-free* taps that turn off or on with the touch of a hand.

Call Sydney plumbers today on 1300 896 508 for help with choosing and installing your new taps in Sydney.


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A dripping toilet can be a major annoyance, especially if it never seems to want to stop! It can also lead to a big waste of water so you should get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. Follow these steps to fix your dripping toilet by yourself at home.

Step 1: Is the overflow tube being triggered?

Inside your toilet tank, there will be a few different contraptions. You should first find the overflow tube and check whether the water is going over the top of this tube. If it is, then it might be your ballcock’s inlet vale or an issue with the float. If it’s not, then move along to step 4.

The role of the float is to float as the water goes up, which, will in turn, indicate to the inlet valve to close, thus stopping the water from continuing to fill. An issue with either of these means the water is too high and it will keep running instead of turning off properly.

To check, flush the loo with the top of the tank open. When the water has gone most of the way up, you can grasp the top of the float mechanism that’s attached to a rod and pull it until the water stops. Many times this will work, and it means the float is the problem – not the inlet valve.

Step 2: If the float is the problem

Sometimes you will need to fiddle around with the level that the float sits in the tank. This way you can get it to trigger before the water starts pouring into the overflow tube. There will be a little screw on the ballcock that you can twist that will do exactly this, so have a play around and see if this makes a difference. If it does not make a difference, then it is probably the float itself that needs changing. You can pick up a new one (and the rod) from your local hardware or plumbing service store.

Step 3: If the inlet valve seems to be the issue

If the inlet valve appears to be the issue rather than the float, it’s generally just easier to replace the whole ballcock rather than trying to fix the inlet valve itself. You need to switch off your water either at the valve at the toilet, or the water mains if you can’t find one. Then, flush the toilet until all the water is gone and drain the tank completely by scooping any leftovers out and drying up.

To remove the ballcock, you’ll need to unlock it from the tank itself. On the outside of the tank, you’ll see a nut where the ballcock is secured which you will need to undo. Reach into the tank and take the ballcock out from where it has been secured at the bottom – by pushing up from the outside. Put the new ballcock back in where the old one was and then screw on another nut to secure in place.

Step 4: Is the flapper the problem?

If water isn’t going into the overflow tube on flushing but there’s still dripping or leaking in the bowl then there might be an issue with your flapper. Switch off the water at the valve (or at the mains if it is hidden) and then wait to see if the water level in the tank subsides (about 15 minutes should show results). This might indicate your flapper chain is too tight, or there is a leak.

Change the flapper by draining the tank (outlined in step 3), and then check the flapper seat itself is not dirty, cracked, or damaged and the flapper fits tightly in place. If need be, just pull the flapper out and put back in a new one.

Step 5: It’s time to call a professional

If none of these solutions seemed to fix the issue, and you are finding that your loo is still running, dripping, or leaking, then it’s time to get in the plumbers Sydney to take a look at what could be the problem instead. They are experienced with uncovering more obscure causes of leaks in loos, pipes, and sinks. You have put in a good amount of effort in trying to get the job done yourself, but now and then it’s just going to be something crazy that’s the issue that you’d never heard of. There is no shame in getting an emergency plumber to assess the full situation for you!


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If you notice a leak in your ceiling, there’s a probable hole in your roof. But if it hasn’t been raining, it’s far more likely that there’s a problem with the plumbing. By the time water comes through and starts dripping on the floors, the problem is pretty severe.

Usually, you’ll notice the beginnings of a leak through discoloured patches or maybe mould. Your walls and floor might get damp, and there may be bubbles in the wall paint. But if it’s gotten to the point where water is spilling, put a bucket under the hole to catch the drips. This can prevent slipping or further damage to the floor or carpet.

The point where the water is dripping isn’t necessarily the source of the leak. The water may have rolled down a sloping section of the roof before soaking up one part of the ceiling. If the flow is a steady gush rather than a continuous drip, it could be a burst pipe.

Clearwater also suggests plumbing issues, since rainwater is likely to be brown. It will collect mud and dirt as it flows down the roof, giving it a distinct colour. Another tip is to get into your attic and check the insulation. If it’s dry in the area above the leak, then it means the problem is the piping inside the ceiling, rather than external rain damage.

Some plumbers will advise you to poke a small hole in the ceiling using a screwdriver or something similar. The idea is that widening the hole will reduce the water pressure, and could keep the rest of the wall from collapsing. It’s probably not something you want to do on your own though since you might damage the structure of your house.

Ceiling leaks can be a challenge for the average homeowner because there’s no easy way to get into the ceiling and find out where the problem is. And even if you do, you might just see a confusing network of pipes and beams with no clear indication of how to fix it. For apartments, the leak source might come from the home above you.

The best way to deal with a leak in the ceiling is to call a plumber. They have the right tools and equipment to identify, diagnose, and resolve the problem, and some offer 24 hour plumbing service in case of emergencies. So if you’re concerned your leak could lead to flooding, or if it can’t wait until morning, you can give the plumber a call.

Start by trying to find the cause of the leak. What’s in the space above the leak? If it’s a bathroom, it could be a shower or toilet leak that’s coming through the floor. Toilet leaks can happen when the wax ring is worn out. The ring connects the floor to the bottom of the toilet so when it gets old, the water may seep through when you flush.

Since the toilet is flushed frequently, the water will accumulate and can eventually seep through the floor. It’s a simple thing to fix. You can get a new wax ring from any hardware store and replace the old one. If the position of the leak is closer to the shower, check whether it while someone is using the shower.

If the ceiling leaks while shower water is flowing, the bathroom floor tiles might have a crack in them. If the shower continues to leak even after the water is off, it’s more likely to be a problem in the piping. In that case, you’d have to call a plumber to access and inspect them.

You could start by lining the shower floor with silicone caulk to see if you can prevent overflow from the shower cubicle to the rest of the bathroom. You could also use caulk to fill up any cracks in the floor tile. Check the shower drain, unscrewing it to see its condition. If it’s old and worn out the blocked drain, replace it, or use putty to seal it temporarily.

A ceiling leak isn’t a minor repair job, so all these measures will only help you to confirm its source. Once you have a better idea of what’s causing the leak, call in the professionals and let them sort it out for you. Pick a plumber with excellent references and affordable rates, so that you get a good deal on your repairs.


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When it comes to your toilet, there are some guidelines that you should follow to make sure that you aren’t doing damage to your systems and our underlying waterways, too.

10 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

  1. Tampons: While it might seem convenient to flush tampons down the toilet, these are not to be flushed as they are extremely expandable and can clog up pipes.
  2. Pads: This one should go without saying, but pads are also not to be flushed. Make sure to put them in the bin.
  3. Condoms: Rubbers down the toilet? No way. Make sure to wrap them up and place them in the bin.
  4. Cigarette butts: If you’re having a sneaky smoke in the toilet just butt it out and throw it in the rubbish instead of flushing.
  5. Floss: Stringy plastics have a habit of getting snagged in drains, and your loo is no different. Floss can be particularly hard to fish out, especially if you’ve been flushing it regularly.
  6. Hair: Similar to floss, your hair also gets snagged and then has other nasties catching onto it on the way down, all leading to a particularly unpleasant build up.
  7. Baby wipes: Baby wipes, bathroom wipes, and makeup wipes are all, despite appearances, not supposed to be flushed down the toilet. The material of the wipes doesn’t break up as toilet tissue does.
  8. The toilet roll: Toilet paper is fine, but the toilet roll? If you have gotten to the end of the roll and you’re too lazy to chuck in the bin when you’re changing it then just wait for the next person and leave it on there – it’s the safer option.
  9. Band-aids: Band-aids are unhygienic, we know, but that doesn’t mean that you need to dispose of them as soon as possible in the most environmentally unsafe manner. Wait until you find a bin and then remove the band-aid.
  10. Cotton wool: Despite their natural composition, cotton wool buds are not safe to flush down the toilet. They swell up and get waterlogged when you put them in water – which can end up clogging your pipes.

If you have already flushed one of these items and you’re finding that you have a blocked drain, then there is no need to panic – as 24-hour plumbing .is available with Plumbers Direct. Give us a call on 1300 896 508 and we can sort out your blocked toilet in no time.


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