Published in Blog, 5th Oct 2018
Nicholas Banfield, a 23 year old sailor from Tasmania unfortunately passed away a few years ago from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was an experienced sailor, and had grown up on the water, his father said. Nicholas had taken his girlfriend, also 23, out on his yacht on Sydney Harbour on a Friday night, the ABC reported. After his girlfriend called her parents two days later in a state of confusion, police began a search of the area. They were eventually found, and the woman was taken to hospital in a serious condition. It was unfortunately too late for Nicholas Banfield, who was found dead on the yacht. Coroners call for mandatory carbon monoxide alarms When the police found the boat, the gas stove was switched on, which lead police to believe it was carbon monoxide poisoning, which was later confirmed by tests. Carbon monoxide, unlike gas, does not have a smell. So you cannot see or smell it, making it a silent but deadly killer. Most boat engines emit carbon monoxide, as well as some cooking appliances and home and commercial heaters. The threat of carbon monoxide poisoning in an industrial setting is taken very seriously and procedures are put in place, but what most people will not know is that carbon monoxide poisoning can also happen in the home. The coroner who examined Nicholas Banfield’s body, has asked for urgent consideration of mandatory carbon monoxide alarms. He showed ABC a carbon monoxide alarm worth $50 that could have saved the life of Nicholas Banfield and many others. Fully licensed plumbers inspect and repair gas heaters Malfunctioning gas heaters within the home have the potential to be very dangerous for your family. O’Shea Plumbing can provide you with an inspection and repair of your gas heater seven days a week. There are a few signs you can look out for that will tell you your gas heater may need repairing: Unusual noises coming from the gas heating unit A yellow gas flame instead of a blue flame If you notice any of the above signs, or have any suspicion that your heater may be malfunctioning, it is important to turn off the unit immediately, have it inspected right away. An inspection from highly experienced, fully licensed plumber will provide your home with better safety than a carbon monoxide alarms, some of which can be unreliable or can miss signs of carbon monoxide leaks. If, after the inspection, the unit is found to be broken, O’Shea Plumbing can repair the unit onsite. Gas leak detection Gas leaks can be highly dangerous both within the home and business, and must be taken extremely seriously if one is suspected. Gas leaks can be a health risk to those who work or live in a building, as well as a danger to the building itself. A gas leak in the home or otherwise is flammable, so poses an immediate threat to the safety of the area. If a gas leak comes into contact with flame or spark, it can cause a fire or explosion. If you notice any of the following signs, you might have a gas leak issue: The smell of gas Higher gas bills than usual Your gas cooktop won’t light The heating isn’t working If you have noticed any of the above, contact a O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887 today for a fast quote. O’Shea Plumbing offers expertly trained professional plumbers who are highly experienced in gas leak detection. It is also recommended to have older gas appliances serviced by a professional, as they can be the cause of gas leaks. Gas heater installations Gas heater installations should only ever be handled by a professional, licenced plumber. As should any issue pertaining to gas heating units, including leak detection, inspection, and repair. If someone other than a licenced professional handles the installation or service of a gas unit, the results can be dangerous, and even life threatening. O’Shea Plumbing have a team of fully licenced and highly experienced professionals who are trained to expertly install gas heater units safely. The team at O’Shea Plumbing can also install hot water units, cookers, and even gas lighting. O’Shea Plumbing offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all their services, ensuring you are getting the best in the business every time. If you have any concerns about potential gas or carbon monoxide leaks, call O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887 for a free quote. O’Shea Plumbing offer 7 day servicing in Melbourne.
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 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 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 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.