Published in Plumbing Tips, 8th Jun 2018
As the weather is cooling down, more and more Melburnians are starting to rely on indoor and outdoor heaters to keep themselves warm and cosy. Portable gas heaters are are a very popular warming method, as they are relatively inexpensive and energy efficient. But while gas heaters can seem like the perfect solution to combat the winter weather, they actually bring with them a high risk of danger that many homeowners are not aware of. Fixed heaters have a lot of accompanying rules and regulations regarding proper installation, where the heater can be placed, how to properly maintain the appliance, etc. Portable heaters, on the other hand, often have little to no safety instructions at all, and leave all dager prevention practices up to the user’s discretion. The biggest threat when it comes to gas heaters comes from people using outdoor heaters in indoor spaces, which is strongly advised against by professional gasfitters but unfortunately quite common. When gas appliances are trapped in a closed-off area with no way for the gas to escape, users are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If there is any flame present in the area while the heater is on, homes are susceptible to fires or even explosions. Whether the heater is in the bedroom, kitchen, living room or some other part of the house, your roommates and family can be put in a lot of danger if the room doesn not have proper ventilation. Another common problem at the moment comes from homeowners who are using their gas heaters in indoor/outdoor spaces (such as enclosed porches) that still do not have enough airflow to rid the area of accumulated gas. These spaces may seem like an acceptable place to use a portable heater because they are exposed to the outdoors, but if they are not fully open then placing your heater there can still be unsafe. Even the LPG gas bottles alone can be a huge hazard when manually connected to your gas line and kept in closed spaces. It’s important that wherever you put your heater and gas tank has open windows, a chimney or some other spot where the gas can exit out of. Another solution is to nix your gas heater completely and instead opt for another home heating option. Sure, portable gas heaters may be convenient, but they are not worth the risk. If you get in contact with our experienced gas heating experts, they can advise you of the best domestic heating option for your Melbourne residence. If you insist on installing a portable gas heater, they can help you set yours up safely and guide you in the proper way to use it. We can even assess your likelihood of gas leaks and help you minimise your risk. For more information on the risks of gas heaters and what alternative options are available, contact the O’Shea Plumbing team today at 03 9888 2887.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 13th Apr 2018
In Australia, land of the “barbie”, almost every house has a barbecue of its own. These barbecues run on gas, which typically requires an individual liquid propane gas (LPG) tank (easily found at your local petrol station). Although gas tanks are the most easy and efficient way to set up your home barbecue, some locals in Melbourne are now attempting to connect their grills to their home’s natural gas lines. Their main justifications are that they want to avoid the hassle of lugging home and having to refill their gas tanks, and that they are trying to minimise the eyesore of a large gas bottle in their yard. While the decision to swap your barbecue from LPG to your home’s natural gas line may sound like a good idea in theory, it gets a big red flag from us. When you compare the two options, you may actually find that LPG wins every time. Here are the top six reasons to avoid doing so: Conversion Requirements The biggest reason why is because barbecues that require LPG run completely differently than items that use the natural gas in your home gas line. They operate at different pressures and temperatures, and utilise differently sized, injectors / valves. You cannot connect your barbecue to your natural gas line without doing some sort of complicated conversion. New Gas Line Installation Another thing many people don’t realise is that you must install an additional gas line directly to your grill if you want to cater for the extra load to your domestic gas system. Your existing gas pipes may need to upgraded to cope with the extra appliance High Price Even if you are insistent upon making all the necessary conversions and adding additional gas lines so that you can connect your outdoor barbecue, you must note that this process could cost, hundreds or thousands of dollars. Gas fitting is complicated enough on its own, let alone when trying to merge outdoor and indoor fixtures. In many cases, the excessive fees associated with this project is simply not worth it. Lack of Flexibility Another factor to consider is that connecting a barbecue to your natural gas line means that once the barbecue is connected, it cannot be moved. LPG grills, on the other hand, are highly portable and can be relocated as needed. If you have a large outdoor area and would like the flexibility to wheel around your barbecue if you desire a change of location, stick with your strictly LPG version. Indoor or outdoor With many people building Alfresco entertaining areas, its important to realise that there are strict regulations about the installation of these appliances. BBQ’s that are specified for outside, are only to be installed outside, and BBQ’s that are specified for indoor installation are only to be installed indoors. There are regulations as to what is classed as an indoor or outdoor area High Chance of Malfunction There are many things that could go wrong during the LPG to natural gas conversion process– its important to rely on the help of a professional. An improperly installed natural gas barbecue may have very small flames, for instance, and will also have difficulty heating up. You may even find yourself more susceptible to gas leaks once you have attempted to make this swap over. If you are in need of a new gas barbecue for your Melbourne home, we strongly advise that you don’t try to connect it to your domestic gas source. Instead, relish in the freedom and safety that LPG grills allow. The team at O’Shea Plumbing is happy to help you set up and maintain your LPG or natural gas barbecue, if you would like some assistance.
Published in Blog, 24th Mar 2018
Last July, Greensborough resident Sonia Sofianopolous was found face-down and unconscious in her housing unit. Despite efforts by her family and medical professionals, she could not be revived. Upon autopsy, it was discovered that the mother and grandmother, known for staying active and generally being in good health, had high levels of carboxyhaemoglobin (with saturation levels at 64%). Carboxyhaemoglobin occurs when carbon monoxide is inhaled and mixes with red blood cells. Once Energy Safe Victoria caught wind of the incident, they began in-depth investigations and found that 14 units in Sonia’s complex were fitted with her same heater (Vulcan Heritage), which failed Australian tests for product safety standards as well as monoxide spillage tests. While all affected heaters at Sonia’s Greensborough complex were immediately disconnected after the news broke, other locals with Vulcan Heritage Heaters were left largely in the dark. In fact, lawyers representing the company even disputed claims of faulty heaters, instead arguing that perhaps poor ventilation was to blame. Although Energy Safe Victoria now has further plans in place to test carbon monoxide toxicity and general gas heater functionality and processes, it is important that homeowners also take agency to determine whether they are at risk. As the weather cools and Melbourne residents are increasing their home heater use, the risk of harm or death as a result of toxicity increases as well. Victorian coroner Jacqui Hawkins spoke on the issue, saying “I’m concerned there is public safety issues at stake.” The first step you can take towards assessing and managing your level of threat is by having your gas heater inspected and serviced regularly by qualified home heater technicians. It is generally recommended that you get your heater checked every other year at least, although every year is preferable. The news of Sonia Sofianopolous is troubling to say the least, but similar scenarios can be largely avoided when the right preventative measures are in place. If you are concerned about the threat of carbon monoxide leakage or poisoning in your Melbourne home, reach out to the team at O’Shea for more information about how to determine and avert your chances of danger.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 23rd Mar 2018
There are many reasons why it’s important to call a professional plumber for your Melbourne home. Industry trained and licensed plumbers are highly knowledgeable about water fixtures and pipe repair and maintenance. They are able and willing to do the jobs you simply don’t want to or don’t know how to do. They can fix most issues in way less time and for way less money than you would spend trying to do it yourself. That being said, there are certain scenarios where calling a plumber out to your property is a waste of both your time and theirs because you can easily solve the problem on your own. For the untrained eye, a pipe or tap leak can seem like a huge deal, and may send you running to phone the plumber straight away. If you know what signs to look for, however, and have methods in place of addressing them, you may be surprised at what you can achieve by yourself. Of course, there is no comparison between a DIY plumbing project and the effective work of a qualified professional. What we are trying to say is that some more simple fixes can be done without having to schedule and pay for a professional service. If you have a water leak in your Melbourne property, here are a few factors to check for before giving your plumber a call: Clogged Pipes and Drains: When your kitchen or bathroom pipes and drains get clogged up with hair, oil, or other sorts of grime, water can become backed up, leading to excessive water pressure in the pipes and therefore leaks. Be sure to clean your pipes and drains out regularly as a simple way to avoid larger complications down the road. Faulty Valves: Often times, leaks are just a result offaulty pressure relief valves (PTR) or pressure/temperature relief valves (PTRV). Before calling a plumber, locate your valves and lift the lever a few times to clear any blockages. If the valve is old , or the lever has not been lifted for a year or more, then its best to call O’Shea Plumbing to replace the valve, as it may have a build up of debris in the valve that may cause it to continue to run If the leak stops, your problem is solved. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace your valves. Loose or Broken Washers and O-Rings: Sometimes, a bit of a tightening is all you need to stop a pipe leak. Washers and O-Rings have a tendency to loosen up over time, so it pays to check them and tighten them regularly. (Just make sure to not tighten them too much, as this can also be problematic.) If they are cracked or worn down at all, a replacement would probably be beneficial to help manage your leak problem. Worn Out Seals:Leaks from any sort of water fixture, such as washing machines, refrigerators, sinks or toilets, may be a result of old or worn sealant. Replacing your washing machine and fridge doors or installing new seals around your toilet base and sink handles may be enough to fix your leak problem. High Water Pressure:If you hear a banging sound when you turn on your tap, you likely have excessively high water pressure. This can lead to leaks, as too much water is trying to get out of the tap at once and and tries to escape elsewhere. A quick fix for this problem is to utilise an anti-hammer valve, which your plumber can help you install if needed. Reducing high hot and cold water pressure will greatly increase the life of and reduce the risk of damage to all taps, appliances and pipes While most of these sources of water leaks are simple enough to handle on your own, we do recommend that you seek the help of a professional plumber if the problem continues. If you think that you can handle your water leak by yourself but would like a bit of guidance in how to do so, feel free to reach out to the staff at O’Shea Plumbing with questions or concerns.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 5th Mar 2018
Plumbing is a major industry in Melbourne and all around Victoria. Commercial and domestic plumbing is a priority for property owners looking to ensure the health, safety and comfort of their family, employees or guests. Because of the saturation of plumbers in Melbourne, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for the job you need. There are so many to pick from– all with a range of experience and qualifications. Different plumbers can also have quite different price points and fee structures, which can understandably influence your decision-making process. While the necessity of some plumbing company characteristics are negotiable, there is one that is not: All plumbers you hire should always give a Certificate of Compliance for gas work , underground sewer drainage work , and all work over $750.00, so that you can feel secure in their knowledge and ability. Even if it costs you a bit more, this is one necessity that cannot be overlooked. What is a Certificate of Compliance? This refers to a certification for licensed plumbers, distributed by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). It guarantees that they work they do complies with all relevant plumbing standards, rules and regulations within the state. On completion of certain plumbing work, licensed plumbers must send compliance certificates to both the person getting the work done and the VBA. Failure to do so can result in harsh penalties for the plumber as well as potential detriments for you. Why Do Certificates of Compliance Matter? To work as a plumber in Victoria, one must either be licensed or registered through the VBA, or currently be in training under the guidance of a licensed plumber. Certificates of Compliance, are mandatory for plumbers licensed through the VBA (and for good reason). Licensed plumbers exist within the top tier of this hierarchy. It is implied that they hold more knowledge than registered or training plumbers. To uphold this standard, licensed plumbers must be well-trained in any sort of plumbing job they may face before they are able to practice. Certificates of Compliance are to be given for work within the following categories: Drainage Fire Protection Gasfitting Irrigation (Non-agricultural) Mechanical Service Roofing (Stormwater) Sanitary Water Supply Hot Water Although these are the primary areas that are assessed, Certificates of Compliance are also given for work in appliance servicing and conversion, gasfitting work (standard and advanced), refrigerated air conditioning work and backflow prevention. If you need any of these jobs completed, a licensed plumber ready to supply and lodge a Certificate of Compliance should always be the one to take it on. There are many certified plumbers in the Melbourne area, including the entire team at O’Shea Plumbing. Avoid Faulty Workmanship The main benefit for home or business owners of hiring certified plumbers is to reduce the risk of faulty workmanship. This is important regardless of the circumstances, but is especially relevant on any large, time-consuming or expensive project. Certificates of Compliance are mandatory for any plumbing job in Victoria that costs over $750. If you have hired a plumber for a major job and they are hesitant to lodge a Certificate of Compliance, this should be seen as a significant red flag. In any case like this, we recommend that you reconsider the company you are using and look for someone who agrees to maintain proper legislative practices. Hiring a plumber who fails to comply to state regulations can put you and your property at risk. It is not worth it to save a bit of money and hire a dodgy plumber. Instead, invest in a company you can trust, such as O’Shea Plumbing! Our licensed plumbers are fully certified and highly dependable. No matter what sort of plumbing job you need done, we are the optimal team to handle it. Call us today for a quote on your next project.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 23rd Feb 2018
Everybody has experienced issues with their taps at least once in their lifetime and the initial stress and anxiety that accompanies not knowing how to fix the issue at hand. Most people’s first instinct is to call a plumber, but depending on the time of day or your local plumbers schedule, it may take a while before they can visit your property and examine the problem. Before calling a plumber here are a few different steps and measures you can follow to determine whether or not the problem is serious enough that it requires professional help. 1 – Check other taps in your home Sometimes the issue is limited to just one tap as opposed to all of your taps throughout your home. Before calling a plumber it is important to check first exactly how many taps are affected by this water shortage. If it is just one tap that has limited water supply it may just be the case of determining and investigating where the shortage is coming from. For example, your aerators may be blocked on the one tap, which you can check quite easily as they are located at the tip of your water tap. Once you determine how many taps are affected, you can assess the significance of the issue. 2 – Ask Your Neighbours If all of the taps in your home are affected, you should definitely check with your neighbours to see if the issue is just subjected to your individual property or your whole neighbourhood or estate. If it is affecting a larger proportion of your neighbourhood then it is safe to assume that the problem is much larger than initially anticipated. In this instance, you should call the local council to determine what the problem is and when it is expected to be resolved. 3 – Replace Your Tap Washer Cracks and punctures in your waterline can affect your water flow and can be created by branches, debris and other natural products finding their way into your drains. This could potentially be where your restricted or completely cut off water has come from. The actual drain itself may be old and therefore may be damaged through wear and tear which could also have caused this issue. Once again, it is advisable that you call a team of professionals at O’Shea Plumbing to discuss with them how to resolve this issue. 4 – Check the valves in your home Your water supply may have been turned off at your isolation valve. This is located next to your water meter which is usually placed out the front of your home. If you are living in an apartment complex, check with your landlord to see where your standalone system is located. If it is turned off, it may simply be a case of turning it back on so water is restored throughout your home. 5 – Have you paid your water bill? Water companies don’t usually completely shut off your water as a first sign of overdue payments. More than likely, your water pressure would initially be reduced as a sign to indicate that you have not paid your bills. If you have been notified by your water company that you haven’t paid your bills and have experienced restricted water flow recently, then more than likely this is the reason why your water has been cut off this. Sometimes the first reaction when something goes wrong with the taps in our home is to call a plumber. However, more often than not the problem is usually quite miniscule and can be solved by following these simple steps and procedures. For when the problem is more serious than what we’ve listed above, the team at O’Shea Plumbing are more than willing to help you out. Call them today on 03 9888 2887, or fill out the contact form to submit an enquiry, and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 2nd Feb 2018
Allowing someone into your home or professional space doesn’t come without its own set of concerns. You want to ensure that the person hired to do the job will be able to do so without having to worry about ulterior factors at play. Then again, you also want to ensure that you won’t be taken for a ride; whether it comes to fixing problems which don’t really exist or having to pay more for a service than you normally would. Thus, when trying to figure out what makes a good plumber before deciding on a specific professional, be sure to keep the following characteristics of a good plumber in mind: 1. Provides accurate/clear estimates. The last thing you want is a professional plumber who keeps changing a quote. Someone who’s never quite sure what it would cost after all the work has been completed. When searching for a professional plumbing service, you need accurate and clear estimates in order to budget – knowing exactly how much you’re going to have to pay at the end of the day without any sneaky surprises. 2. Not afraid to show credentials. Is the person you’re thinking of hiring qualified to do the job? Any plumber should be licensed, bonded, and insured in order to protect you from possible accidents which may occur on the job. A professional plumber will proudly display these credentials in their own office or be more than happy to show you. 3. Arrives on time. There’s nothing worse than having to push your own appointments aside in order to make time for a plumber, only for the plumber to show up when they feel like it. As unprofessional as it may be, it does happen. 4. Good online track record. With social media taking over these days, online reviews are everywhere. Lucky for you, you’re able to assess the professionalism and quality of work of someone before having to hire them yourself.Check out their Facebook and Google reviews, but keep in mind it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. Check out the way that they handle the negative reviews, as this will give you a more transparent insight to their personality and trustworthiness. 5. Ability to detect possible problems. Professional plumbers with many years of experience will be able to spot potential problems; even if they may seem quite minor at that particular moment. A recent ABC News report revealed a plumber’s mistake when he had to fix a simple leaky pipe, which ended up exposing the tenants to deadly asbestos dust. According to the report, the 26-year-old students, Ella Gleeson and Morgana Russell expected the plumber to fix a leaky pipe in their bathroom wall. “I just assumed he knew what he was doing,” Ms Gleeson said. “When he was finished, the hole he had cut in the tiles above the bathtub was still there. “He was like, ‘that’s for the handyman to fix’. There was just a giant hole in the wall. There was dust everywhere.” Ms Russell added: “I saw a hole in our shower wall. I saw dust all over.” After realising that a handyman is a no-show, they cleaned up the damage caused by the plumber. “The dust just spread around the house,” Ms Gleeson said. Her brother, a carpenter, visited after the third day. “I showed him and his face dropped. That’s asbestos. So then we just panicked,” Ms Gleeson said. Any professional plumber would have realised the dangers and notified the tenants immediately. However, when dealing with someone who’s simply out for the money, doing their job and only that is what you’ll potentially find. Plumbing problems can happen at any moment, any time of the day. Thus, finding a reliable plumber to help you out in a tricky situation will give you peace of mind that everything will be alright. Regardless of the situation at hand, finding a professional plumber with quality characteristics will save you money in the long run and prevent minor problems from becoming massive plumbing issues. Looking for a professional plumber in Melbourne? Get a reliable quote from one of our professional plumbers in Melbourne. Click here. Source: 1, 2, 3
Published in Blog, 29th Aug 2017
Australia is a country that is growing rapidly. The 2016 census, released by Australian Bureau of Statistics, found Australia’s population has grown by 8.8 per cent to 24.4 million people since the last time it was measured in 2011. If you live in Melbourne or Sydney, the city landscape scattered with cranes and construction sites is so normal you probably don’t even notice it anymore. Rapid population growth equals rapid expansion of both the central business district and suburbs. While this exciting expansion has offered a tremendous amount of opportunity for the city, it also comes with risks in how quickly growth is occurring. A construction site may just seem like large metal building machines and concrete blocks, but behind what is visible to the eye are hundreds of specialists, tradesman, and essential regulations. A recent concern to the Senate from Master Plumbers is how regulations are being upheld amidst such fast-moving growth. Below is a quick look at the concern, how it could impact you, and what needs to be done.
Published in Blog, 24th Jul 2017
Famous for bargain buys, discount supermarket chain Aldi can now add lead poisoning to their gamut, with an estimated 12,000 Australian households using lead contaminated kitchen taps bought from the Aldi aisles. The defective Chinese-made kitchen taps are currently under investigation, with lead contamination tests due to be completed by July 31 and serious warnings issued against using the taps for drinking or cooking. The Easy Home spiral ring mixer was particularly popular in the Australian market, due to its sleek style and control function. As expected, soon after being cleared by Australian Safety Standards earlier in the year, the taps quickly flew off shelves and made their way into thousands of Australian kitchens. So, how concerning is lead contamination? Lead is a toxic substance that filters through the body to vital organs such as the brain, kidneys and liver. Over a period of time, ingesting this substance can lead to chronic toxicity. A key concern is that lead stores itself inside teeth and bones, which is predictably even more dangerous for young children. Pregnant women naturally release lead from the bones into the blood, so an increase in lead exposure is a reason for concern for those with young families. How does this happen? While the Aldi “tap fiasco” has justifiably struck a chord with Australian consumers, it’s not to say this is an isolated situation. Many Australian homes and businesses still being shown to have elevated levels of lead and copper within their piping, with city councils regularly replacing pipe connections that were implemented before 1919. The general mindset of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ promotes the idea that, if water is flowing, it is safe to drink, without necessitating further investigation. To say that lead contamination is top of mind for homeowners is a stretch, not to mention the expense involved in getting down to the pipes to check connection materials. How do you prevent this? An interim measure for families concerned about lead pipes would be replacing the faucets as they are the immediate middle-man. Water filters are popular for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most beneficial is that they remove heavy metals efficiently. Ensuring that you have a properly maintained and installed water filtration system can safeguard you from potential lead contamination, offering you peace of mind until they can test definitively for lead. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the council and homeowner to ensure that utilities are properly checked, maintained and replaced by experienced plumbing professionals. Aldi has vowed to take action, should the pending laboratory tests yield the predicted lead levels, and The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has prefaced a supplier and manufacturer recall pre-empting the results. Let the Aldi taps serve as a cautionary reminder that cutting costs on your utilities can lead to some unexpected results. For an expansive range of professional plumbing maintenance and repair services, contact O’Shea Plumbing today!
Published in Blog, 27th Jun 2017
Many homeowners have little idea what type of piping is beneath their kitchen or bathroom sinks, yet these common household fixtures can cause serious unexpected damage. There are already too many stories of people returning home to find water cascading down the stairs due to a burst braided pipe connecting the toilet cistern, or sinks. It’s worth getting to know your household piping a little better before something catches you unaware, like the flexible braided water pipes under your sink. These pipes replaced the old copper piping use in housing and are made of rubber encased in braided layers of stainless steel. Common in modern bathrooms and kitchens on account of their ability to be bent into shape, they’ve been a popular item in residential construction for about 15 years. They are now known to have a lifespan limited to about a decade, which is why recently they have been called to attention, and why you need to have your piping checked as soon as possible.
Published in Blog, 24th May 2017
Our first thought on a cold winter morning is rarely, “I wonder if my hot water heater is okay”. Instead, it is likely you are instead thinking of that toasty warm shower waiting for you, when you eventually get out of bed that is. With that said, should you be doing more to protect your hot water heater in winter? You bet you should. Avoid cold showers this winter and try these simple ways to protect your hot water heater:
Published in Uncategorized, 26th Apr 2017
All across Australia, homeowners are dealing with the aftermath of poorly installed plumbing. Whether it’s the product of an amateur job or a professional service which just isn’t up to scratch, it is important to respond quickly to problems with residential pipework. At O’Shea Plumbing, we see low-quality installations all the time and they can cause a lot of damage if not repaired in the right way. It is why we’re trying to help homeowners recognise the signs of bad pipework and take practical steps to fix it. Keep reading to learn about the most common plumbing mishaps and why they might be playing havoc with your house.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 20th Mar 2017
Plumbing issues can happen to anyone and at any time. It can often be quite difficult to identify and plumbing issues if you don’t know what to out for. So, in order to make it easier for you to identify a major plumbing issue as well as avoid a costly emergency plumbing fee, here are 5 tell-tail signs that something is seriously wrong with your plumbing. Dripping Faucets Faucets often drip from time to time, especially when it’s not been correctly turned all the way off. However, if you notice that your faucet is leaking even when it has been properly turned off this could be a sign of some major plumbing issues. Not only are dripping faucets terribly annoying to listen to, they could also be contributing to an expensive water bill. So if one of your faucets is currently leaking be sure to call a plumber immediately to identify what the problem is. A Clogged Drain A blocked drain is usually pretty easy to deal with. Either using a plunger or a bottle of drain cleaner, both of which can usually be purchased in most supermarkets, more often than not solves the problem. But if you start to notice that there is a foul smell coming from your drain, or that there is a blockage that you are unable to unblock yourself it may be time to call in the professionals. Low Water Pressure Have you ever been in the shower and the pressure suddenly changes as soon as someone runs a tap or turns on the dishwasher? It can be terribly annoying and frustrating – even more so than a leaky faucet! However, low water pressure can also be a sign that there is a leak. Many plumbers are able to check your water pressure and check for faults or leaks. A Running Toilet A toilet that constantly runs or runs for a substantial amount of time after being flushed could be significantly increasing your water bills. Not only that a running toilet is often a telltale sign that the inner workings are due to be replaced. Smells and Stains Funny smells and stains on the ceiling directly underneath your bathroom, or in fact any of the surrounding walls, could be a sign of serious plumbing issues. If you notice any strange stains it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion from your plumber before attempting to deal with the issue yourself. Stains on the wall could be a sign that there is a leak and leaks, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to the foundations of your home. Hopefully, the above warning signs will make it easier for you to identify any plumbing issues before they get out of hand. For those that need some additional assistance, contact O’Shea Plumbing today!
Published in Uncategorized, 28th Feb 2017
Plumbing plays a huge role in our society. Without plumbing, we wouldn’t have the infrastructure and civilisation that we do. Since the Romans and the aqueducts in 312 BC, we have grown as a society and now safe plumbing is the norm for most Western countries. It must be said though, that while we in the Western world enjoy the supreme luxury of being able to turn on a tap to get water, many others in developing countries and even in modern countries have to boil water, travel for many kilometers to get water; and with sanitation being an issue, waterborne diseases are the biggest killer worldwide. A recent study found that 4,000 children die every day from ingesting filthy water and water that is not fit for drinking due to contamination. While we are lucky enough to not face these kinds of sanitation concerns and can enjoy a high standard of cleanliness in our society, there is a concern which – luckily – modern plumbing is able to help with as well. The Zika virus is something that came to light in 2016 as people struggled around the world in the United States of America and Singapore. The disease of Zika virus is caused by infected mosquitos biting a person and transmitting the disease on to them through their skin. Where there’s water… In order to get Zika virus there needs to be mosquitos present, and the plumbing industry has been leading the charge in providing an innovative and effective solution. When flash flooding and heavy rainfall happen, it has resulted in flooded buildings and swamped areas. When this water is left to be stagnant for a period of time, it can quickly turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To combat this, key players in the plumbing industry have stepped up with dewatering pumps which have been deployed throughout Southeast Asia, as a means to help remove stagnant water and emptying out potential risk areas. As plumbers, we often have to clear out contaminated water quickly and efficiently, and it’s vital that we have the right tools for the job to ensure we can work quickly and safely. This is just one such example of how our industry can lead the charge in keeping our world safe against threats. The threat in your home doesn’t have to be huge – but it can come from things like standing water turning into mozzie breeding grounds, or perhaps you have a leak that’s causing potential damage to your home. Whatever the problem, at O’Shea Plumbing we can help you out. Why not get in touch with us today and get a free quote? Call us on 03 9888 2887 and we’ll hit the ground running.
Published in Blog, 8th Dec 2016
Access to clean, running water is something that we don’t question as homeowners. It is an ever-present luxury. We can’t imagine it changing because it feels like such a fundamental and unshakable part of life. Yet, it’s worth stopping to think about just how good your domestic water supply really is right now. Every month, we answer questions from homeowners who have only just realised that they can question the quality of their water; that it is their right to investigate its purity and value. Many of these queries are about the usefulness of water filtration systems, as a way to bypass the additives and chemicals that are found in a domestic supply. If you would like to make your drinking water purer and cleaner, water filtration systems are the right choice. Keep reading to find out why you should have one in your home. Water Is 100% Clean The only way to ensure that drinking water is free of treatment chemicals like fluoride and chlorine is to filter it before it comes out of the tap. There are a staggering 2,100 toxins that may be found in domestic supplies. They include potentially very nasty substances like lead. Filtered water is clean, safe, and contains the perfect balance of healthy minerals. Keeps Pipes Healthy Domestic filtration systems are usually installed at the point at which the water supply actually enters the house. This means that all of the water you use is filtered, whether it is in the bath, the dishwasher, the washing machine, or the sink. When stripped free of heavy metals and minerals, water is a lot less destructive for the inside of pipes and drains. Filtered Is Eco-Friendly The bottled water industry is one of the least sustainable on the planet. It produces billions of empty containers every year. Each bottle takes hundreds of years to biodegrade, so they sit in landfills and take up a vast amount of space. Filtered water is the eco-friendly way to enjoy clean mineral water. Soothes Skin Conditions Exposure to substances like fluoride, chlorine, and heavy metals can make skin conditions worse. So, if anybody in your family suffers from psoriasis or eczema, it is a good idea to make the switch to filtered water for drinking and bathing. Natural Disaster Prevention This is a benefit that tends to be overlooked, but we want to stress its importance. If you have an inbuilt filtration system and a sewer line bursts, your supply will remain clean. All contaminants will be filtered out and there will be no risk to the health of your family. This is a pretty big advantage if you ask us. You’ll Save Money Also, just think about how much money you could save if you stopped buying bottled water. The cost of a domestic water filtration system is surprisingly low and it is an investment in the future of your home. The average cost saving is around $700 per year. This is nothing to scoff at; you could spend that cash on travelling, sprucing up the house, or toys for the kids. Enjoy Tastier Water If all of that isn’t enough, we can promise you that filtered water always tastes better than standard, unfiltered tap water. You don’t get that metallic taste from the presence of heavy minerals and metals. You can’t detect the chlorine or the lead because there isn’t any. It is nothing but pure, clean water; as fresh and healthy as can be. Why a Water Filtration System Should Be Your Next Investment It is easier than you think to have a high-quality filtration system installed in your home, get in touch with O’Shea Plumbing today and our qualified plumbers can have the job can be finished in an afternoon. And you and your family can enjoy all the benefits of filtered water in your home.
Published in Blog, 24th Nov 2016
For first time movers, there are a lot of considerations to think about. Removalists, home and contents insurance, updating your address in all your records, just to name a few. There are, however, several practical considerations to think about when moving into your new home, such as gas and electrical considerations. We’ve compiled a few of the most important gas and electrical issues that you need to be wary of when moving into your next home. Old heaters Heaters do not last forever. If you have an old heater, it’s important to remember that some heaters cannot be repaired for safety reasons and, sometimes, spare parts are not available for older heaters. If your heater is very old (around 15 to 20 years), it may not be possible or worthwhile to repair it. Regarding old unflued gas heaters, these are only allowed by law in homes if they are supplied by an LPG (liquid petroleum gas) cylinder or tank and if they meet strict installation requirements. These heaters do not meet current emission standards. You should consider replacing these heaters if they are more than 10 years old. By law, an existing flueless LPG space heater must only be replaced by an LPG flueless heater that meets very stringent emission conditions. Gas vs electric vs induction cooktops Gas cooktops work by pressing the burner knob down and turning it. This releases the gas and ignites it with an electric current when you turn the switch. You can also light the burner with a match although this is not recommended. Heat is controlled by turning the knob which increases the flame. The higher the flame; the hotter the temperature. Electric cooktops work by turning on the burner. When we do this, a switch opens and sends an electrical current to the burner. This produces heat, which raises the temperature of the burner. Induction cooktops work by using induction heating to heat your cookware directly. An electric current flows through a copper coil in the cooktop which produces a magnetic field. This produces an electric current in the pot which heats the pot and therefore the food. So what does all this mean? It means that your food is cooked using the heat of the cookware, not the cooktop itself, therefore saving you energy and money. You’ll find there are a lot of choices out there for first time movers, whether you’re choosing a cooktop, need a heater installed or need some electrical repairs. No matter what your new home situation is, our experienced and qualified plumbers guarantee proper inspection, service, repair and installation for all gas heater types. One thing we always recommend is that you choose a licensed tradesperson install your new cooktop or heater or do any gas or electrical repairs around the home. It’s safer, they know what they’re doing and there’s less risk of damage to your brand new appliance, your home or yourself! For professional gas heater service and repairs, contact O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Blog, 16th Nov 2016
Tap Troubles It is a dreaded situation to come upon. You walk into the kitchen or bathroom, turn the tap expecting a rush of water to come out, and nothing happens. No matter how many times you twist or turn the handles, water just does not seem to want to flow. Now What Do You Do? Don’t Panic. Check to see if your water supply has been turned off at the isolation valve. This can often be found alongside your water meter at the front of your property, or as a standalone system for those that reside in apartment complexes. Check With Your Supplier Whether due to a simple mistake, or issues involving payments or construction, often times a loss of water is due to the water company shutting off service. Usually you will be informed of this beforehand, however it is always a good plan to ensure that this isn’t the case before looking elsewhere. Ask Your Neighbours Checking as to whether or not this issue is isolated to your property will give you a great insight into what might be causing your tap troubles. The best way to go about this is by asking those around you if their water has been affected in a similar way to your own. If so, this means that it is a larger issue, and is not likely to be something that you will be able to take on yourself. If not however, it means that you have at least ruled out a lot of possible problems that could be causing your current predicament. Probable Problems Debris, roots, tree branches and a variety of other natural nuisances often find their way into drains. While this can be a problem by itself, as more things make their way into the pipes, it can lead to cracks and punctures along the waterline. This can cause a wide variety of issues that can lead to a drop in pressure, or a complete lack of water altogether. Debris isn’t the only cause of damaged pipes, as factors like age, shifts in terrain and the materials used in the production of the pipes are all known to influence the fortitude of plumbing systems. Call Us Attempting to deal with punctured pipes yourself can, more often than not, lead to further issues down the line. In the instance that you find signs of a blockage or break, it’s best to call O’Shea Plumbing for professional assistance. O’Shea are the certified specialists in the repair and maintenance of plumbing systems, and are Melbourne’s first choice for plumbing expertise. Contact the team today on 03 9888 2887, and let the experts take care of it.
Published in Blog, 15th Nov 2016
One of the most common issues in commercial and residential plumbing is when people fail to spot the very clear warning signs. Often, they overlook minor issues and don’t perform routine checks. Simply put, most people often hope plumbing problems will go away by themselves. However, it’s usually easier, faster and cheaper in the long run for experienced plumbers to fix minor issues before they become major disasters. The good news is that with our free hints and tips, home and business owners can easily identify the warning signs themselves. Turn down your hot water heater For those in colder climates, did you know that turning down the temperature 10 degrees on your hot water heater can save you 3 to 4 percent on energy costs? We recommend this especially if you are going on holiday and don’t need to use your hot water. 3-4% is a substantial saving when put into a yearly context, so this is a tip to keep close to your chest. Replace your old bathtub Is your old bathtub leaky, broken or mouldy? Mould can be taken care of, but if leak repairs are costing more than it would to replace the bathtub and shower head, it is certainly time for an update. Avoid the financial mess by replacing your old bathtub, and take care of it well by ventilating the bathroom adequately and regularly. Schedule maintenance checks for toilets and other fixtures Life is easier when you don’t have to call your plumber for last minute emergencies, especially if your toilet is overflowing or a pipe is seriously leaking. To avoid such problems, call in our friendly team of plumbers ahead of time and schedule regular check-ups for all your plumbing fixtures – both inside and outside the house. Hire a professional instead of DIY We know you might want to take matters into your own hands when something needs repair, it’s human nature to do so. However, in most cases, it’s better to save yourself the trouble and call in the professionals for a proper opinion. We have the right tools and experience to resolve the issue and prevent it from happening again. The garbage disposal is not a trash can These days, food wastage is at an all time high. However, this doesn’t mean you can throw anything and everything into the garbage disposal! Avoid throwing poultry bones and skin, fruit or vegetable peels, and cornhusks into the disposal. This will clog up the unit in no time! Of course, not every dripping tap is a disaster waiting to happen. However, many common plumbing problems can be an early indication of something more sinister. Many of the plumbing emergencies that our professionals handle are, in fact, avoidable and preventable. Stick to these 5 proactive tips to help mitigate your plumbing problems this season. For all your plumbing needs, contact O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 20th Oct 2016
The spring is currently in full swing and for many homeowners, it is time to get the trusty, old barbecue back into action. There’s nothing quite like a garden cookout with friends and family, so make the most of the fine weather and show off your grilling skills. At O’Shea Plumbing, we think barbies are a great way to enjoy the sun, as long as they’re used in the right way. This is especially important for butane and propane gas barbecues, which can be very dangerous without the proper level of precaution. They’re pretty easy to use and you don’t have to have any special expertise, but you do need to follow the instructions in the manual and avoid taking any unnecessary risks while lighting and cooking. To help you stay safe at your backyard cookouts, we’ve put together this simple guide to using your gas barbecue safely. Get Outdoor Kitchens Professionally Fitted There are all kinds of different gas barbecue designs. Some are portable and can be moved around on wheels. These are usually powered by disposable gas canisters. Or, there are fully integrated fitted designs that turn the garden into a makeshift ‘outdoor kitchen.’ These are commonly built into a wall or enclosure, where the grill snugly sits. They need to be hooked up to the gas mains by a professional installer. You can check out our gas fitting services for information on how we do this. Cook in a Well Ventilated Area The best place to set up your barbecue is on a deck or patio, but not too close to the house. Make sure that the ground is flat and the barbecue doesn’t rock or tilt. There should sufficient space for air to circulate around the structure so that gas leaks are dispersed and rendered inert as quickly as possible. Click here for advice on what to do if you suspect that your fitted barbecue has a gas leak. Light the Barbecue Safely Lighting propane and butane barbecues isn’t a difficult task, but you should stick to the same key steps every time. The first is to check that all of the burners and rings are turned off. Then, open the lid to get air flowing and eliminate any gas vapours that might have built up inside. Open the gas cylinder valve slowly to start the flow. If you’re using disposable gas bottles, don’t forget to open the service valve before you turn on the controls. Finally, start the ignition source and open up the burner controls closest to it. It is very important that you light each, in sequence, and that you end with the burner furthest away. Keep a Close Eye on the Grill Now, the hard part really begins. You’ve got to satisfy a garden full of hungry mouths and make sure that your steaks and burgers are cooked to perfection. You don’t have much to worry about regards safety at this point, as long as you keep a close eye on the barbecue and ensure that children stay at a distance. You can close the lid once the gas has been burning for a short while and the grill has heated up, but remember not to leave it burning unattended. Why Professional Installation is Necessary Unless you’re a plumber of a gas fitter by trade, it really isn’t safe for you to tamper with the gas mains and try to install a fitted barbecue without professional help. Fortunately, our team of experts aren’t just big barbecue lovers, they are great at installing them too. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us you know what you need to get the summer started in style.
Published in Case Studies, 2nd Aug 2016
Case Study O’SHEA PLUMBING – APPLYING SOUND BUSINESS PRINCIPLES TO ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT Plumbing is a challenging trade: a good plumber needs to understand hydrostatics and hydrodynamics, have all the necessary skills as well as a good dose of common-sense, and be prepared to work in some unpleasant environments. Plumbers who work on existing housing stock also have the additional challenge of working with asbestos. O’Shea Plumbing is a family-owned plumbing company located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, mainly carrying out work on private homes. The owner and managing director, Lawrie O’Shea, has developed an even more cautious approach to handling asbestos than in the past, prompted by Master Plumbers (Victoria) who alerted plumbing companies to the technical and financial risks of working with asbestos. What have they done? Processes which make ‘best practice’ the easiest practice The company has a number of simple but effective processes to make it easy for the company’s plumbers to act appropriately if asbestos is suspected: all staff have the occupational hygienist’s and the asbestos removal contractor’s phone numbers pre-programmed in their phones disposable masks and overalls are standard issue and easily accessible in all company vehicles the company uses scheduling software to minimise the chances of employees being “too rushed, too busy, too little time between jobs” to follow the company processes for dealing with asbestos the owner is always available to be consulted on ambiguous situations. A methodical approach O’Shea Plumbing has an extremely logical approach to working with asbestos or in sites which potentially contain asbestos. It is often hidden – for example, under tiles which might need to be cut in order to carry out plumbing work – and cannot be identified until the work begins. They prioritise identification and management in advance, so that other trades don’t lose a day unnecessarily due to the last-minute identification of asbestos, and the client sees that the company is looking after their health. O’Shea Plumbing Asbestos Management Decision Tree Effective financial practices Apart from being personally committed to best practice in asbestos handling, the owner says it’s the only possible strategic financial decision: “it’s a business-based decision as well as a compliance-based decision”, due to the potential financial liability (not covered by insurance) if a client or staff member fell ill even years later. One risk to companies that undertake best-practice is that they could be underquoted by less careful or less scrupulous companies. O’Shea Plumbing gets around this problem by ensuring that asbestos testing or removal/disposal is always separately identified on any quote, so that a client can differentiate between the plumbing cost and the asbestos-related cost: when quoting, staff bring up the asbestos issue very early with clients – and ensure that the client is well-briefed before work starts. To ensure that best practice is followed, the company has designed a quoting template that makes it easy to separately identify the cost of asbestos-related work; staff have a series of standard clauses for quotations relating to asbestos risk pre-filled in on their iPads. The careful approach (and the separate invoicing) has paid off well for O’Shea Plumbing: their clients are delighted to see they care about this issue and are doing everything they can to protect their clients’ health, and their staff and other trades know that they can be sure they’re working on a site that is completely free of asbestos. Part of a broader message The company has made the ‘asbestos message’ as part of a broader ‘safety message’: it’s not justified to take risks with asbestos, just as it’s not necessary to crawl under low floors and risk damage to your back. This broad safety message is continually emphasised during their regular weekly team meetings. Challenges Many tradies are young, and the young are invincible. It’s necessary to keep emphasising the dangers of asbestos: some younger plumbers can still have too much of the “I’ve got to die of something, so why worry” mentality. There are still relatively low levels of community awareness of the potential risks of asbestos – the message keeps needing to be given. Key messages about how to make it work O’Shea Plumbing’s practices have demonstrated how even a relatively small company can achieve best practice. The key to its success is: making ‘best practice’ the easiest practice having a standard, methodical, company-wide approach to working with asbestos, which incorporates the ‘asbestos message’ as part of a broader ‘safety message’ developing business practices that ensure that a best-practice company is not financially disadvantaged.
Published in Blog, 5th Jul 2016
Hot water systems rarely just completely stop working. In the weeks and months leading up to a complete system failure, there are usually a few signs that the hot water tank or hot water system is about to stop working. Knowing the signs that your hot water system is about to fail could prevent you from waking up in the morning to no hot water in the house. In an effort to avoid a situation like that which would require the help of an emergency plumber in Melbourne, we have created a list of signs that could indicate a hot water system is about to stop working. The Colour of the Water Water coming out of the tap should be crystal clear. It should not appear brown, murky, or cloudy. If you turn on your hot water and see water that is unclear or discoloured, it could be because you need to schedule a hot water system maintenance appointment with a local plumber and quickly. A local Melbourne plumber will be able to determine if the discoloured water is caused by your hot water system or some other type of problem, such as rusty pipes or sewer problems. If your hot water system is to blame, the plumber will conduct a brief hot water maintenance check and get the system running properly. The Temperature of the Water Occasionally, you will need to change the thermostat on your hot water system. This will help you heat up or cool down the water. Unfortunately, if you notice you need to do this on a regular basis or if your water is not heating up to the temperature you want, it could be a sign the system is about to go. If you try to use hot water and nothing comes out, it could be because the heating element on the hot water system has broken. In most cases, replacing the heating element will fix this problem, but not always. In some situations even replacing the heating element will not fix it, which means the entire hot water tank will need to be replaced. A gas heater service from O’Shea Plumbing will give you a good indication of the health of your water heater. Lots of Noise Coming from the Hot Water System Hot water tanks are supposed to be silent. They should not be making any banging or rattling sounds. Noises coming from the hot water system could be due to dirt and debris build up within the system or because of a broken heating element. Most of these problems with a hot water system can easily be avoided or prevented by scheduling a hot water maintenance check with a local Melbourne plumber. O’Shea Plumbing has the experience and knowledge needed to conduct these types of hot water maintenance checks. Keep your hot water system running properly and Schedule a hot water maintenance check with a non-emergency plumber today!
Published in Blog, 13th Aug 2015
While comparison price shopping for a plumber in Melbourne, you will notice that there is a difference in how the plumbers price out their jobs. Some plumbers provide services for a fixed rate, while others structure their pay on an hourly scale. The question that arises with this type of different payment systems is ‘which is better’. We will explore the differences between the two types of plumbers and help you determine which one is the best when you need help with a plumbing problem in the Melbourne area. Fixed Price Plumber The Hourly Rate Plumber Hourly rate plumbers will come to your home and perform whatever plumbing service you need at an hourly rate. The overall price for the specific job, which is billed at a rate that is predetermined before the plumber arrives, will vary depending upon how long the plumber spends on a particular task. For example, an hourly rate plumber will charge you for 2.5 hours of his time for fixing a blocked drain, as opposed to just charging a flat rate. The Fixed Rate Plumber The fixed rate plumber is the direct opposite of the hourly rate plumber. Instead of determining your final bill based on the amount of hours it took to perform a project, your bill is determined by the services the plumber performed. For example, if a plumber comes in and fixes your blocked drains in the kitchen, this is done for a predetermined flat rate. You, the client, will pay the same price regardless of if it takes the plumber 30 minutes or 4 hours. The only time the rate will vary with a fixed rate plumber is if something extra needs to be done. Sometimes a plumber may believe all that needs to be fixed is a blocked drain, but once he starts the work, he notices that the pipes need to be replaced. The price will increase if the pipe needs to be replaced, but this is only done with the permission of the client. O’Shea Plumbing only operates on a fixed price basis. We understand that nobody likes unpleasant surprises, especially in the wallet, which is why our core values of convenience, honesty and accountability are underlined by our fixed price guarantee. If you are not happy with our work, we’ll fix it for free. When Determining whom to Use Do You Use a Fixed Rate or an Hourly Plumber? The choice is ultimately up to you, but most individuals prefer to go with a fixed rate plumber. This is because they know exactly what they will be paying and not experience any surprises along the way. All additional charges are discussed and the client can prepare. Using a fixed rate plumber also allows you to comparison shop for prices. It is easier to compare fixed rates than it is to compare hourly rates. This is because you will know exactly what price you are paying, as opposed to having to guess how long a project will take to complete. Homeowners in the Melbourne area who are looking for a fixed rate plumber can trust the professionals at O’Shea Plumbing. We provide quality non-emergency and emergency plumbing services at fixed rates to all our customers. Call us today to schedule an appointment!
Published in Blog, 31st Oct 2014
Water pressure is defined as the force that pushes water through the pipes. At the end of the day, it’s the same pressure that will determine the flow from your taps. If the pressure is low, the speed at which water flows from the taps reduces so it takes longer to fill a kettle. If the pressure is high, the speed of flow increases. Problems Leading High Water Pressure Causes of Variations In Water Pressure In the Home The amount of pressure at your tap basically depends on two things; how much other customers on the same line are using and the other is how high the tower or the service reservoir is. You will agree that when everyone in the neighborhood has their taps turned on then the pressure on each tap will significantly reduce because you’re sharing the same reservoir and the same delivery lines. That’s why pressure is normally higher late in the night when other people are sleeping and therefore their taps are closed. The early morning is usually marked with very low pressure because everyone is using it in one way or another. The height of your house may also affect the pressure – for example, properties at the top of a raised area (such as a hill)will may experience lower pressures compared to properties at the foot of the hill. High Water Pressure In the Home High water pressure is when water in your pipes is flowing at an abnormally high speed. The municipal water supply pressure for example sometimes runs quite high; in some cases even as high as 150-psi. This is dangerous and must be reported to the relevant authorities (in this case the municipal offices) as soon as possible. According to most national and local building codes, the maximum static pressure should not exceed 80psi which is equivalent to 5.5-bar. Was the high pressure offset by a past maintenance work? If you’ve had supply interruption in the recent past, particularly for maintenance reasons, there is a possibility that the high pressure could be caused by air trapped in your pipes. It may help to run your taps for several minutes as release the trapped air. Was the water supply network re-configured? Pressure changes can also be caused by a reconfiguration of the supply network. Re-configuration simply means moving the water around to places where it is needed and sometimes comes with a change in supply routes. This should be a temporary problem; all you have to do is call your supplier. Could it be that you’ve not adjusted to life in your new home? If you’ve just moved homes, it is possible that you’ve not adjusted to the pressure levels in the new home. Turn the internal stop tap down slowly as you check the pressure until you arrive at a level that you’re comfortable with. Is the pressure reducing valve set too high? One of the simplest ways of fixing high water pressure is to install a pressure reducing valve. The valve helps to bring the pressure to safe levels before it reaches pipes and other plumbing fixtures in your house. However, setting the pressure reducing valve can also cause high pressures in the home. For this reason, it is advisable to hire a professional plumber to fix the valve. Summary If the high pressure problem is persistent, don’t hesitate to call your supply company.
Published in Blog, 6th Oct 2014
Potable, clean water is a necessity everywhere, and modern civilization is no exception. Residences and commercial buildings all need safe drinking water and that is not contaminated with sewage or other toxins for cleaning processes. Plumbers in Melbourne, such as experts in O’Shea Plumbing, know that there are several techniques and processes to prevent backflow, the term for flushing unclean water into the home or business supply. Backflow Prevention Services Prevention of Contamination The device required depends on the hazard level the facility is classified in the Hazard Code provided by the Melbourne governing body. The hazard level is determined by the industry itself and the property usage at the subject facility. As an example only, a ‘moderate hazard’ can require the installation of a Double Check Valve Assembly device, while a ‘severe hazard’ requires a Reduce Pressure Principle device. Since no discernible warning appears of a check valve failures the DCVA mentioned previously must be tested yearly or more often to guarantee proper operation. To prevent such contamination due to backflow the Melbourne health regulatory department requires an air gap or installation of a mechanical backflow assembly for prevention between the delivery point of water and the home or business storage unit or facility. Wherever submerged water main inflow is allowed by regulations, installation of a backflow prevention assembly is required. This prevention assembly protects the potable or safe lines from toxic contamination. Check valves are a common form of backflow prevention and have been in use many years; however more complex systems may be needed in a particular geographical area. Specialized backflow preventing valves can often be installed at important locations in the plumbing system wherever there is a risk chance of contamination of the pipes. Constant Contaminating Industries Some industrial equipment creates its own back pressure. Back pressure forces contaminants to flow into potable piping. Sources of back pressure may be: water distribution pumping system boilers heat exchanging machinery or power washing In this scenario a dangerous and constant risk of nullifying static existence of water pressure may occur in the pipes and causing a disastrous backflow. To reduce the risk of contamination, a backflow preventer should be installed by qualified plumbers in Melbourne. A backflow preventer is definitely needed when possibly toxins are used in industries such as descaling commercial boilers or when bleaches are used in residential power washing. Legal Requirements for Prevention In many countries around the globe the approved backflow prevention assemblies are required by enforceable law regulations. Plumbers in Melbourne are experienced in accordance with plumbing codes for that town, county or province or face enforcement penalties. The usual backflow assembly has test cocks and valves for shut-off and must be tested at time of installation or if relocated or repaired, and also on a scheduled systematic basis. Security cages protect these systems from theft or vandals. Expert plumbers in Melbourne are well aware that local governments require yearly testing of the individual water supply for each facility and any violations are met with penalties. The real penalty for having unclean water is definitely in the sickness and diseases that abound where it is not guaranteed clean and potable for use. The very idea of backflow of sewage and toxic materials into a drinking water supply should convince the populace of the importance of installing backflow prevention assemblies to protect home, business and anywhere piped. Lawry, Noelle and Greg at O’Shea Plumbing are waiting for a call to examine your individual needs and provide free estimate for any requirements.
Published in Blog, 3rd Oct 2014
Electricity is arguably the biggest source of power in the home. However, gas is becoming an increasingly popular choice when energizing common indoor and outdoor appliances. Gas is efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly, and above all very pocket friendly. Indeed, natural gas is considered the cleanest natural fuel emitting 45% less carbon than coal and at least 27% less carbon than oil. Gas is also said to be much cheaper than electricity; according to the U.S. Department of Energy, natural gas is 68% cheaper than electricity per British thermal unit (Btu). Gas Safety Plumbing In Melbourne Of course the initial costs for gas are higher compared to electricity for example, but in the long run the former has proved to be the more cost-effective of the two options. Safety tips for gas plumbing As already mentioned, gas plumbing is a little more demanding compared to electricity installation. And when compared to other plumbing projects such as installation of the water system, gas plumbing is also far more complicated. Gas is inflammable so it must be handled with great care. Even the pipes used must be of the highest quality possible. Listed below are safety tips for gas plumbing. Protect your eyes Gas is very poisonous so it’s advisable to protect your eyes when working. Always wear safety glasses even when you’re just checking the pressure. The risk of small objects falling into your eyes increases when you have to look up in order to attend to the pipes. Apart from that, gas under pressure or flying objects can easily enter your eyes if you don’t have protective glasses on. Be informed Before you start on the project, revisit the building and plumbing codes of the locality to inform yourself on practices that are acceptable and what is not acceptable. See what the laws allow and what is not allowed and ensure to get a permit for practices that require so. It may also help to inform yourself about projects that you can do on your own and those that can only be done by professionals. Protecting your lungs One way of protecting your lungs is to wear a face mask which protects you from inhaling harmful gases. A disposable gas should be used when the project involves sanding and sawing. Protecting your hands Your hands will be coming into contact with different materials and chemicals so it’s important to protect them as well. Wearing gloves should help. Read labels carefully Carefully check all the chemicals and materials you’ll be using, read labels carefully, and follow instructions to the letter. If there are any recommendations, ensure to follow them as well. Be cautious Gas is very dangerous so even the greatest experts need to be cautious with it. You should also be cautions with power tools; if and when you’re required to have two hands on a power tool, ensure to do just that. Be extra careful with soldiering and heating pipes particularly in walls and insulated areas. Never ignore the smell of gas If you smell gas, or suspect that there is a gas leak, stop whatever you’re doing immediately. If you can turn off the gas, do so right away then call the gas company. Never try to establish the cause of the leak on your own. Summary Following these tips doesn’t guarantee complete safety but at least you’ll be doing all you can to protect yourself and the home.
Published in Blog, 2nd Oct 2014
If your pipes are leaking, the next thing is that you won’t have enough water from your taps. It makes everything difficult because you can’t fill your tub as quickly as necessary and even washing can’t be completed in time. Moreover, leaks are very costly. The bill continues to swell even for water that you never used. Surely, everyone would want to bring to an end such problems. Top Household Leak to Save Water From Listed below are 5 of the most common household leaks complete with tips on how to prevent or correct them. 1. Washing Machine Leaks Most people prefer to place the washing machine either on the main floor or close to the living room which is very risky because these are areas where valuable furnishings and most other electronic equipments also reside. Moreover, few laundry rooms have drainage systems that could cause a leak. Consider replacing plastic and rubber hoses with steel braided ones; tighten hose connections whenever you feel that they’re too loose; turn off the supply to your washing machine whenever you leave the house; and if possible replace screw-type valves with dual-ball valves. 2. Water Heater Leaks Water heater leaks, just like washing machine leaks, are very common. The risk becomes even higher if the heater resides on the main floor instead of the basement. Beware that heaters also have a life span – typically about ten years – after which they begin to rust, corrode and eventually leak. To stay safe, consider purchasing a heater with an extended warranty – up to 15 years; occasionally hire a professional to check the system; and flush the hot water tank periodically especially if you use hard water. 3. Plumbing System Leaks Frozen pipes that eventually burst and high water pressure are the two main causes of plumbing leaks. Burst pipes are particularly very costly with repairs often costing in excess of $8,000. The most important thing is to watch out for signs of freezing. Look out for water spots on floors and ceilings; watch out for abnormal bills; and be keen when turning off the faucets – a “banging” sound may signal a breakage. It also helps to check on the pressure and insulating pipes that are prone to freezing. 4. Leaks In Sinks, Bathtubs, and Showers Overflows, clogs, broken plumbing, and faulty pipes are the main sources of leaks in sinks, bathtubs, and showers. To stay safe, regularly inspect you drainage systems and replace deteriorated grout and caulk around sinks, bathtubs, and showers. Look out for soft areas around floors, walls, and bathroom and kitchen plumbing. Finally, fix leaking faucets quickly and call a Melbourne professional plumber for problems that you feel are beyond your capacity. 5. Leaking Roofs, Windows, and Sidings Old roofs, broken windows, and insufficient siding may also cause leaking in the home. When it rains, the rain from outside will easily find way into your house causing several problems. Start by clearing the roof and gutters of branches, leaves, and other debris. The gutters should be cleaned at least twice every year. An inspection of the roof once a year is also recommended. For the windows and doors, repair any damaged caulk and repaint their frames accordingly. Summary There are several other sources of leaks in the home that are not covered here. You are free to find out more about them as it helps you to stay alert and avoid costly repairs necessitated by preventable leaks.
Published in Blog, 1st Oct 2014
In Melbourne we all like to try doing our plumbing ourselves even if just occasionally. We know that there are a few things that we can accomplish without calling the professional plumber and by doing so often save a few dollars. Because plumbing can be complicated, we have discusses 5 best DIY tips for 2014. Plumbing Tips 1. Stop bathroom clogging The bathroom is one place that must remain clean always. First you need to clean your bathroom regularly and using high quality detergent. Your plumber should help you identify the best picks for your case. Bathrooms and tubs drainages are sometimes clogged with hair so you also need to put in place measures to eliminate this problem. For example, you can install strainers in the shower and tub. Remember to clean the strainers regularly as well. Another great tip is to upgrade your faucets to the washer-less variety. These types of washers are far easier to maintain and guarantee higher performance. 2. Toilet maintenance Start by cleaning your toilets regularly. Again there are is a wide variety of toilet cleaning detergents so you may need the advice of your plumber when shopping for them. Never flush Kleenex in the toilet. Unlike toilet paper, Kleenex doesn’t disintegrate quickly which may cause clogging. Maintain the toilet tanks and consider replacing the flapper or ball once a year to prevent water wastage. Actually, if you can upgrade to modern tank fill systems, the better. In the unfortunate event that a hard object such as a toothbrush falls into the toilet, don’t use the plunger; instead, get your wet/dry shop vacuum to suck out the water and the object. 3. Caring for your pipes Frozen pipes are very dangerous. Apart from the fact that you’ll not get enough water from your taps, if left unchecked for an extended period of time, these pipes can burst resulting in even bigger problems. Disconnect outside hose pipes and ensure that outside faucets aren’t leaking or dripping. 4. Ensure that the water heater is in perfect working condition You can test the water heaters relief valve by lifting up the liver and allowing it to snap back. If the valve doesn’t allow hot water into the drainpipe, call a professional. In the cold weather when the heater works even harder, consider flushing it and removing sediments. 5. Care for sinks Don’t pour grease on the kitchen sink – it is a major cause of blockages. When unblocking the sinks, use cup-style plunger – they are mostly dark red in color, somewhat flat with a wide rim. The plungers come in different sizes so you should be able to pick the right one. Summary Remember that in plumbing, prevention is always better than repair. So instead of waiting until your pipes are corroded and the shower head is falling, try identify these problems early and attend to them appropriately. Corrosion for example starts slowly and may go unnoticed for a long time. Meanwhile, the particles falling off the inner linings of your pipes will get into and contaminate the water you drink often resulting in a range of health problems. Unless you’re very keen, by the time you’re repairing or replacing the pipes you may have already visited your doctor complaining about strange stomach problems.
Published in Blog, 30th Sep 2014
Homeowners go to many lengths to keep the cost of their monthly water bill low. This can be such common measures as reducing personal usage or installing efficient appliances. Plumbing Issues Causing High Water Bills One of the most common causes of high water bills that plumbers in Melbourne see is a leak that has developed somewhere in the plumbing. This can be a leak the home owner can see quite obviously such as a dripping faucet. This may be as simple a fix as a seal replacement. It can also be a pipe leak that isn’t as apparent such as a slow leak behind cabinets or outdoors. In this case it is important to look for signs of a leak. Water spots, staining or standing water can all indicate a leak has developed and may be the cause of an increased bill. It is important to try and catch these types of leaks early as they can and will only progress to more serious leaks. Worse problems from an unfixed leak may develop as well and will contribute to an increasing bill as well as a more expensive plumbing visit. One way to avoid this is to have all taps in the house serviced every two years at the very least. This can include cleaning, lubricating and replacing various parts of the tap. Homeowners may feel uncomfortable doing this and opt instead to contact our plumber. Running toilets are another possible place to look for this issue. in most cases it is a simple fix like reattaching the lift chain or closing the flush valve. If these kinds of fixes aren’t helping then a leak might be the culprit and a call to the plumber may be in order. Other appliances to check are washing machines and dishwashers for potential leaks. If there are no leaks and you are experiencing consistently high or rising bills, water pressure could be the problem. Most plumbers in Melbourne would recommend that the homeowner install a controlled pressure system. Besides the advantage of helping conserve water and thereby reducing monthly bills this system can help dishwasher and washing machine hoses last longer. It can also minimize the potential for water hammer to occur. Water hammer is the banging noise that can happen when the tap is turned on. Left unchecked water hammer could result in a burst pipe costing you lots of money for a plumbing emergency call. There are many more advantages to investing in this system which does eventually pay for itself making it a worthwhile purchase. Having several older appliances in the house might be costing lots of money and be the cause of high bills. Water saving appliances like washing machines and dishwashers can help with this. Other options include efficient shower heads. Over the course of a year a water saving shower head could save over 14, 000 litres. Old toilets are horrible consumers. An old toilet in the house could use around 12 litres every time it is flushed. A efficient toilet uses about four litres every time it is flushed. With just five flushes that is a savings of 40 litres and that is an approximate amount for one day and one person. If you are looking for plumbers in Melbourne to help you save money on your monthly bill or diagnose a leak, our family owned company would love to come to your house and help you and also talk to you about some options that might fit your home.
Published in Blog, 18th Sep 2014
Regardless of the type of water heating systems that you own, it is important to have it inspected and cleaned by an expert at least twice a year. Since this is a machine like any other, its parts are bound to malfunction if they are not taken care of. Regular maintenance checks and repairs will ensure that the unit keeps running for many years to come and operates with the fewest issues possible. Maintaining Hot Water System Much as many people might think that having the hot water system cleaned on a yearly basis might be costly, it will actually save you lots of money in the long run. A dirty boiler causes power consumption to go up thereby increasing your monthly power bills significantly. Additionally, when one gets an expert to check on their heating system on a regular basis, it is possible to find small repairs that ought to be done before they can transform into large problems that might seriously compromise the operations of the entire system. Why is the need for hot water system maintenance vital? The need for hot water services is of great essence in the modern day. These systems require some bit of maintenance like venting radiators and drainage of the boiler just to make sure that everything is working as desired. In order to properly maintain your hot water system in Melbourne and other parts of Australia, it is vital to lubricate the motor of your system’s circulating pump regularly. In maintaining this system, you will be able to get the best out if its use in the long run. How to go about this maintenance process There are many options, which you can go for whenever you want to properly maintain your hot water heating system. Here are directions that will help you. First of all, you need to open all valves and radiators and any convectors in order to let air out. Excess air in these passages might be the reason why it is not working as desired. Secondly, you can close the valve. Just make sure you drain the boiler so as to get rid of mineral deposits and rust. The manual from the product manufacturer will help you to understand how to do this. Thirdly, turn off the water and power. Instead of using old cast-iron radiators, modern units have free-standing or rather baseboard convectors. These ones are less bulky, more efficient and even look nicer than the previous types. Fourth, to drain any unwanted mineral deposits and water, stick one end of the garden-hose into the boiler drain cock. Fifth, you can open the vent valves on the radiator that is located on the topmost floor of your house. This allows water to flow back into the system and do so in an effective manner. Six, turn on the supply and then flush through the system. This helps to clean out any sort of debris from the system and the pipes. Last but not least, when the supply stops, you can close the drain cock and the vents. At this end, the hot water system is clean and good to use again. If you have a hot water system in Melbourne, it is important to have it inspected on a regular basis in order to make sure it is working as desired. The experts at O’shea Plumbing will most definitely offer you the high quality services that you desire. We have the skills and competence to do a good job in this regard.
Published in Blog, 21st Aug 2014
Blocked drains is a frustrating, time consuming and even expensive experience. If the block cannot be fixed or removed by the owner, a plumber must be called. The result is the inability to use the drain, possible emergency costs for a plumber and lost time waiting for a plumber to come and the fix completed. There are some common causes of blocked drains which means there are some ways these kinds of blockages can be avoided. Causes For Blocked Drains Some of the most common causes of blocked drains include Trees and Leaves Grease and Fat Hair Foreign objects Usually the cause is a mixture of a couple of these. There are a few ways to help prevent blocked drains but regular maintenance of pipes is very important. If you are attempting to clear the blockage yourself, it is important not to make these mistakes when unblocking a drain. If one of the pipes is cracked, broken, rusted etc. it will need to be replaced. If the fittings between pipes are loose or damaged they will need to be tightened or replaced. These fixes can help prevent blockages from occurring and foreign materials working into the pipes and clogging them. Materials in cracked or loose pipes is particularly an issue for outdoor drains where soil and other materials surround the pipe in the ground. Outdoors it is important to note where pipes run in the ground and make sure to keep trees clear of them. It is also important if there is a place outside where the drain is open at the ground to have a grate on top to keep debris out and also clean off debris regularly. Don’t put grease and fat from cooking down drains even if it isn’t solidified. Liquid fat and grease can solidify inside the pipes eventually building up and causing problems. These items may also collect other objects such as hair and plug pipes. Make sure not to brush hair over sinks where it can get washed into pipes. Hair can also be washed down tub drains, so it is important to have a strainer cover of some kind to prevent a majority of hair getting into pipes. Blocked drains may also be caused by foreign objects such as: Excessive toilet paper Feminine sanitary products Child toys The pathway for most of these items begins with the toilet. It is helpful to close the lid on the toilet to prevent objects from accidentally falling into it. Remember not to flush items down the toilet that do not break down or are very large and may block pipes. Be cognizant of toilet paper usage as large amounts can immediately cause blocked drains or may block drains further down the pipes as the diameter decreases or in bends of the plumbing. It is a good idea to find an experienced and reliable plumber that can be used regularly and can become familiar with the plumbing in your house. That way when there is a maintenance issue with the pipes we will already have some idea where to look so the repair time is shorter. It also means pipes are less likely to have the damages long enough to create a blockage because the repairs are being made early. If you have a blockage or have a pipe that needs to be repaired, contact us for an experienced plumber in the Melbourne area. We are available seven days a week and have super fast response times for emergencies such as blocked drains. Servicing both commercial and residential places. We want to help keep your drains running smoothly.
Published in Blog, 13th Aug 2014
In a world where more people are rolling up their sleeves and doing their own home repairs, there are more frequent and higher chances of accidents and the costs of plumbing repairs for the homeowner after a do it yourself job has been botched, are through the roof. That is why the professional plumbers in Melbourne Australia are urging their local homeowners to call for an emergency plumbing service instead of trying to repair the plumbing issues themselves. Far too often emergencies happen from homeowners trying to fix things on their own and either they, or a small child that lives in the home, is seriously burned or scalded from hot water, in a shower or bath because there is not a thermostatic mixing valve or tempering valve fitted to control the temperature of the hot water. Prevent Expensive Repairs When this happens, burns are the result in every case. No one wants to be burnt and the plumbers in Melbourne Australia are included in the number of people who don’t want to see others get burnt. That’s why knowing what valves need to be fitted and taking the necessary precautions, are things that the average homeowner has no knowledge in. What many people don’t know, but plumbers do, is that the hot water heater installed in the average home is set to a temperature that is high enough to kill off any bacteria. By turning down the temperature of the hot water unit can result in legionella breeding in the hot water unit. This is why the temperature needs to be set hotter in the hot water unit and then broken down by valves before it goes to the bathroom. When a pipe bursts in an area such as the kitchen or bathroom, shutting off the main water switch located either in the basement or outside of the home, is the best way to stop the water from pooling everywhere, and it ensures that the homeowner is kept safe from possible water burns or flooding from a hot water pipe causing plumbing issues. Afterwards, instead of the members of the house rolling up the sleeves and trying to repair the plumbing themselves, a professional plumber needs to be contacted, especially in an emergency case. Plumbers in Melbourne are not the only ones that have emergency services available, there are emergency plumbers located all over Australia. Calling a professional plumber ensures that not only is the job completed correctly, but also that the homeowner is not paying a lot of money for the repairs. The first thing every homeowner thinks when there is a plumbing issue is “Oh, I’ll just go down to the local hardware store, pick up some pipes, and fix it myself. Easy.” The truth is, a repair of the plumbing is far from a simple pipe replacement. There has to be an inspection of all the pipes along the line to see if there are any other weak spots that could lead to another water bursting later on. The pipes have to be fitted, which means that a plumber will have the correct sized pipes with them for nearly all piping needs and can ensure that the pipes fit properly. The work is always guaranteed so that if something happens the next repair is free. Plumbers in Melbourne Australia wants everyone to know that hiring a professional plumber is the safest, and best way to repair any plumbing issue within the home. A repair by professionals keeps the household safe from accidental burning and scalding as well as ensures your plumbing is correct.