Published in Blog, 5th Jan 2021
Do you suspect that the Hot Water System (HWS) in your home or commercial property is on its last legs? Or, perhaps you’re just curious how long your type of system might last? Read on to find out the average lifespan of a Hot Water System and how you can extend the average life span. How Long Do Water Heaters Last? On average, it is generally considered that a vitreous enamel storage HWS will last for up to 10 years. Stainless steel and continuous flow units will generally last longer than this. The life of any HWS will be extended by regular servicing and by controlling the hot and cold water pressures. This is done by fitting a pressure reduction or limit valve on most units and a cold expansion valve on a storage unit. This will greatly reduce the pressure inside the HWS and help extend the life of the unit. Regular changing of the anode in a vitreous enamel HWS will generally extend the lifespan. How often the anode needs to be changed will depend on the quality and deterioration of the vitreous enamel coating on the inside of the HWS. So generally, it’s best to remove the anode every 4 to 5 years and check to see how much of the anode has worn away. If it is badly worn, then replace the anode, and shorten the time between checking it to a shorter time span. If it is not very worn away, then lengthen the time span between checking. The life of some Hot Water Units have been extended by 20+ years thanks to regular replacement of the anode. On some HWS, removing some of the insulation is required to access the anode. This insulation may not be able to be replaced as well as the original, so there may be some trade-off between extending the life of the HWU and a possible reduction of efficiency of the unit. Stainless steel Hot Water Systems do not have an anode. Continuous flow Hot Water Systems will last – especially if they are regularly serviced – and are more efficient, are much more compact, and will not run out of hot water. They are a more modern option and a popular choice for new installations. If a Hot Water System repair is needed and the system is getting on in years, it is generally a very good idea to consider whether spending the money on the repair is a good investment, or whether the installation of a new more high efficient unit with a manufacturer’s warranty would be a better choice. O’Shea Plumbing are specialists in Hot Water services, repairs and installations across Melbourne. We offer repair and replacement systems across leading brands including Rheem, Aquamax, Rinnai, Stiebel Eltron and Vulcan. Call us on (03) 9888 2887 today – the plumbers Melbourne can rely on!
Published in Blog, 22nd Dec 2020
Are you going on vacation and are wondering if you should turn off your water or gas water heater for vacation? Read on to find out more! It is a great idea to turn off the hot and cold water when you are going away on vacation. Doing so will give you peace of mind that you have taken away the pressure in your pipes, appliances, etc. and eliminated the risk of coming home to find that a water pipe has burst and flooded your home. Also, with a mains pressure Hot Water System (HWS) you are not keeping the cylinder hot for all of the time you are away, therefore saving you on your gas or power bill costs. How to turn off your Hot Water System for vacation On properties that have a storage HWS, firstly turn off the isolation valve that can be found before the water meter, or it may be on the outside wall of units. It is important to know where isolation valves are and how to operate them. If you can’t find the valves, ask your plumber or property manager. If the isolation valve does not turn off the water completely, then get your plumber to replace it. Next, turn the knob on the gas controller to the pilot position. It is recommended that you don’t turn the knob to the off position as this will extinguish the pilot light, which can be difficult to relight and may require the assistance of a plumber. If you have an electric HWS, then turn off the switch in the electric meter box marked ‘Hot Water’. Be aware that if you have a system that only heats overnight, you may be without hot water until the next day When you return home after vacation, just turn on the water isolation valve and then turn the knob on the gas controller to the ‘on’ position or the electric switch to the ‘on’ position and everything should begin operating again. With a continuous flow HWS, it is even easier. All you have to do is to turn off the water at the isolation valve. As continuous flow systems do not have a pilot – they only heat the water that you need, when you need it – there is no need to turn anything off, other than the water inlet to your house. So when you return home, turn on the water and continuous flow HWS will work right away, no need to worry about whether the pilot light has gone out. Worry is the last thing you need when returning home from vacation. By doing these things, you can relax and have a great holiday knowing that you are not going to return home to be met by a flooded house or other HWS issues. If you are having someone coming around to water the garden or some plants for you while you are away, then they will need to turn on the isolation valve, but make sure to request that they turn the valve back to the ‘off’ position once the watering is completed. If you have an automatic watering system, then you may be able to get a plumber to install an isolation valve that isolates the water to the house and leaves the water connected to the sprinkler system and outside garden taps. O’Shea Plumbing are the plumbers Melbourne can rely on, call us today on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 14th Dec 2020
Andrew was working on a sewer drain blockage in Malvern around the time that Melbourne’s COVID lockdown restrictions were easing. Andrew managed to clear this blockage, however during the course of these works a neighbour came and asked if Andrew could come and have a look at a leaking toilet, which was quoted for and completed the next day. Another neighbour, Jenifer, asked for a business card and asked if O’Shea Plumbing could come and have a look at a few issues at her property. Upon arrival, Andrew noticed that the concrete path was lifting and cracking with a large volume of mint growing between the cracks. Andrew inspected the closest downpipe and found the plumber who installed it had buried the metal downpipe in the ground and over the years this had rusted away. Any water which was meant to be going into stormwater drain was not and was actually tunnelling under the concrete path causing this to drop and crack. Andrew also noticed that the waste pipe from the kitchen sink had rusted apart and the drain in the section had dropped causing more issues with the wastewater not going where it should. Andrew had a look at what was involved in rectifying both issues and provided Jenifer with options to fix one or both of the problems. Explaining to Jenifer what was involved and a timeframe of when O’Shea Plumbing can start and how long the job should go for. Jenifer considered the quote for 24hrs and approved the works on the Friday before Melbourne Cup. Andrew organised this job to be started on the Wednesday after the Cup. When Wednesday came around, Andrew got to work. There was a bit of concrete cutting and digging to expose the damaged areas and a bin was provided to remove the rubble and excess soil. Andrew worked hard to get this job finished in time and to a high standard. Once the plumbing works had been complete, Andrew ordered enough crushed rock to fill the hole to the surface so that Jenifer’s family could use their back yard again without the risk of falling in a large hole. The reason Andrew backfilled the hole with crushed rock was so that when the concreter comes to repair the path/driveway that this will have less chance to sink causing damage again to the drains. Andrew finished the works and even investigated/cleared the drains at no extra charge as he was waiting for a delivery of the crushed rock. Andrew also found a second downpipe which had completely detached from the stormwater drain and rectified this at no further charge. At the end of the job, Andrew left Jenifer with a clean backyard and the section of sewer and two sections of stormwater in perfect working order. Jenifer was so happy with the service which was provided to her that she asked Andrew to come back to complete further works on her property. O’Shea Plumbing provides professional, high quality plumbing services to residents in the Melbourne and surrounding suburbs. Call us on (03) 9888 2887. We are the plumbers Melbourne can trust!
Published in Blog, 3rd Dec 2020
Have you ever encountered a loud banging noise when you turn off your taps? You can’t see where it is but you know it’s coming from the plumbing system – that’s what you call water hammer! Water hammer is generally caused when water at high pressures is stopped suddenly by a valve, tap or a solenoid valve on an appliance. When the flow of water is stopped suddenly it causes shock waves to travel back down the pipes making the pipes bang and thump, resulting in the banging noise. Sometimes a worn tap washer on a tap can cause water hammer. This can occur when the tap is being turned on and as the washer is worn and stretched to a larger than normal size, it tends to bounce on and off the tap seat, turning on and off the water and sending the shock waves down the pipe, this can result in a continuous vibration, that is a type of water hammer. Faulty pressure reduction or duo valves are also possible causes. Changing the pressure reduction valve to a different type – e.g. a right angle to a straight valve – or altering the adjustment of the pressure of the valve may be required to remedy this. Water hammer should be fixed or at least reduced as soon as possible as it can create further damage to your plumbing system, such as burst pipes, damage to appliances, reduced life of mixer taps and flexible connectors. Reducing hot and cold water pressures is the first step to stopping or reducing water hammer. Replacing damaged tap washers and valves may also be required. Supply and installation of an air chamber and or a water hammer arrestor may also be needed. O’Shea Plumbing can help you identify the best fix for your water hammer. Some plumbers have attempted to fix water hammer by installing a section of plastic pipe like Auspex, Rehau or Sharkbite into a copper water service. This may stop the water hammer, but this section of plastic pipe will be under a lot of pressure and could eventually burst, therefore it is not a recommended solution. O’Shea’s plumbers will work hard to ensure they find the best water hammer fix for your property. We will determine where and why the water hammer problem is occurring and then take the necessary steps to fix it. No more banging or thumping pipes – We have the water hammer fix you are looking for! If you are looking for a plumber Melbourne residents trust, call O’Shea Plumbing today – (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 7th Aug 2020
At O’Shea Plumbing we pride ourselves not just our workmanship but on the service provided from initial contact to the finished job. We have regular meetings to discuss ways to become more than just the typical, traditional trade people, but a standout service. At O’Shea Plumbing we regularly go above and beyond when it comes to your plumbing as we want everybody to have the best plumbing possible. As the old saying goes, preventative maintenance every is the best kind of maintenance. One of the things we at O’Shea Plumbing do before any work starts is explain to our clients our agenda so that everything our plumbers are going to do during the service call is completely clear. We explain that we will be looking at not just the problem that the client called us out for, but any deeper underlying issues which could have caused the problem in the first place. The next part of what our plumber will be doing (with the client’s consent of course) is giving a thorough evaluation on the entire plumbing system, followed by providing you, the client, with different options to fix the issue. Our plumber will not start any work without getting client approval to do so and are looking to complete the works then and there, depending on what the issue is. The team at O’Shea Plumbing hope to provide you with five-star service. All of our plumbers are assisting the efforts to protect our community by having completed COVID training on the steps and measures we as plumbers can take to help stop the spread. One of the things we do at O’Shea Plumbing which may differ from other plumbers is that we measure water pressures and temperatures and advise clients on ways of protecting all of their water fixtures, pipes and eliminating any noise in water pipes commonly known as water hammer. By doing so, we hope to prevent other potential plumbing issues from occurring. We look at any valves that we can see and make sure these are up to scratch, for example, if a client has an older butterfly gas isolation valve. This will be brought to the client’s attention as these are known for gas leaks due to the materials they are made of and the age of these. All of this before the client has agreed to proceed with any work, at no extra charge and with no pressure or obligation to proceed with any works. Before and after any gas works are done our plumber will pressure test the existing gas installation to make sure there are no gas leaks which the client may not be aware of. It’s these little things that O’Shea Plumbing do which have given us a reputation of being very professional and courteous plumbers. A single call to O’Shea Plumbing will provide you with quick, easy access to experienced plumbing professionals that will provide a variety of services ranging from basic maintenance and repairs to emergency drain cleaning and sewer repair. Contact us for a fast quote. O’Shea are the plumbers Melbourne can rely on – Call us today on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Blog, 31st May 2020
Are you wondering what types of plumbing problems should have you picking up the phone and dialling an emergency plumber in Melbourne? Below we’ve listed 7 types of plumbing emergencies to be aware of. 1. Blocked Sewers Blocked Sewers where the drain is partially or fully blocked and no water or waste will go down the drain can potentially turn into a much worse situation where the drain blockage causes a back surge of sewage. This back surge does not happen often, but it is important that the householder’s drain is set up correctly with an overflow relief gully or a reflux valve to help prevent this from happening. 2. Blocked Storm Water Drains Blocked Storm Water Drains are another issue, particularly during heavy rain, when the blockage can result in flooding. O’Shea Plumbing has had instances where the problem was initially thought to be a roof issue only to discover that during heavy rain the downpipes were filling up. After an inspection of the drains with a camera it was found there were defects that had been in the drain from when the building was first built. 3. Burst or Broken Water Pipes Burst or Broken Water Pipes, either hot or cold are definitely an emergency domestic plumbing issue. These can be old galvanised, copper, or plastic pipes that are past their use-by date where the quality begins to decline. Sometimes the copper pipes burst because the pipe has a very thin gauge or wall thickness, or sometimes corrosion will cause the burst. It doesn’t seem to be as prevalent now, but a blue, green corrosion in copper pipes was a common problem for a while. Plastic pipes are quite common in new houses, one problem that frequently comes up with these pipes is vermin; rats and mice nibbling on the pipes and putting holes in the pipe. Burst flexible connectors are also common these days. They are used as connections under mixer taps, toilets, etc. In years gone by, copper was used in these situations so there was nowhere near the same occurrences of bursts in this area. O’Shea Plumbing strongly recommends the use of pex connectors along with hot and cold water pressure control, at the outlet of the water meter and at the hot water unit (only needed on mains pressure water heaters). Doing both of these things will go a long way in avoiding a burst flexible connector. 4. Burst water heaters Burst water heaters are another emergency. It is handy for the householder to familiarize themselves with the location of the water, gas, and electric isolation valves / switches and what they look like in order to be able to turn off the hot water heater in an emergency. 5. Roof Leaks Roof Leaks can sometimes be very obvious and other times can be very difficult to find. Water can enter the roof at one spot, and then run down adhering to timbers or roof materials to another spot before showing up. So it can take an extremely experienced roof plumber to find these types of leaks. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the signs of water damage so that you can identify damage as soon as possible. 6. Gas Leaks Gas Leaks are very dangerous and need to be attended to quickly. If the householder or anyone can smell gas, then it is strongly recommended to turn off the gas at the isolation valve at the gas meter and ring a gas plumber in Melbourne to locate and fix the leak. 7. Hot Water and Heating unit stop working We are so reliant on having readily available, reliable hot water and heating units, so when they fail, we need a plumbing company that can respond quickly and get them back up and running as soon as possible. If you are in need of an emergency plumber who can give you a fast quote and efficiently fix the problem, call on the professionals at O’Shea Plumbing. Contact us on (03) 9888 2887 and we’ll come running!
Published in Blog, 27th May 2020
O’Shea Plumbing certainly does carry out a lot of emergency service domestic plumbing jobs. We realise how important it is to deliver a fast response to calls both from our existing clients and from the wider community. The importance of having a fast response is not only to get the clients services up and running as soon as possible, but it also is critical to minimise any damage that can be caused as a result of the blockage, broken pipe, burst hot water heater, gas leak in Melbourne, etc. At O’Shea Plumbing, we DO provide an emergency service seven days a week during normal working hours. We DON’T offer 24-hour after-hours service, as we find that it is difficult to do this whilst at the same time complying with the requirements of giving our valued plumbers the required number of hours rest between completing an after-hours job and starting work the next day. This rest period is a requirement of Worksafe Victoria; an employee must have this break between an after-hours call out and recommencement of work. If an employee does not have the required amount of rest, there is an increased risk of an accident due to fatigue. At O’Shea Plumbing, the safety of our team members is the top priority. As an alternative to going out on an after-hours call out, we regularly give our clients – or any member of the public who calls us – advice on how to make the situation safe until we are available to investigate and fix the issue (e.g. how to turn off an isolation valve, turning the gas off, or how to relight a hot water unit, etc.). Lawrie (owner of O’Shea Plumbing) has done this via FaceTime, which has proved very helpful in making sure that the client is doing the correct thing and making the situation safe. Maybe in the future we can offer our client a 24-hour service, but in the meantime, whenever we do a service call, we are always discussing preventive maintenance with our clients and asking them to keep an eye out for issues that could be potential problems. We all know the importance of having our cars serviced, and to carry out any repairs that are recommended by our mechanic, and if you don’t, then your car will break down and leave you stranded. The same applies to your house, if you don’t keep up regular servicing and recommended repairs then it will break down, potentially resulting in expensive after-hours repairs. In addition to preventative maintenance, the fitting of hot and cold water pressure reduction valves is very important reducing the risk of burst pipes, mixer taps failing or burst flexible connectors. If you require an emergency plumber in Melbourne give the team at O’Shea Plumbing a call on (03) 9888 2887. We’ll Come Running!
Published in Blog, 25th May 2020
In a recent update from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), they announced they would be increasing their use of infringement notices to tackle the high prevalence of plumbing offences occurring under Building Act 1993. VBA will focus initially on two offenses the have high frequencies of non-compliance that consumers often report to the VBA: Failure of the plumbing practitioner to give customers a plumbing compliance certificate within five working days; and Failure to have plumbing work prepared for a scheduled inspection. The VBA continues to see this type of non-compliance, even after warnings have been issued to plumbing practitioners, and hope that the increase in infringement notices will reduce detriment and damage faced by consumers. It will also allow them to focus their resources into proactive inspections, enforcement, and targeted harm-reduction activities. Since 1978, O’Shea Plumbing and our plumbers have pride ourselves on providing fast, dependable service to all of our customers. We ensure that our plumbers keep up with the latest training, both in-house and from external sources. We always obtain the latest Australian Standards to ensure the work we are doing is compliant. Our company is registered, fully licensed and experienced. You can depend on us. Call us today to arrange a fast quote on 03 9888 2887.
Published in Blog, 24th May 2020
Have you noticed the water at the base of your shower isn’t draining properly? This is likely a sign that there is a blockage. Below we’ll discuss how plumbers clear a blocked shower drain. How a plumber clears a blocked shower drain depends on where the blockage is located in the drain and also takes into consideration whether the building is on stumps or is on a concrete slab. Firstly, the blocked shower may only be in the grate or trap (or S bend as clients can call it) area. In this case, a plunger may be all that is required to remove the blockage. The plunger may also be helpful on a blockage in the shower drain. When using a plunger, there is no guarantee on how well it has cleared the drain, except to simply turn on the shower and see how the water gets away. It is a good idea to have several buckets of water prepared to quickly pour down the drain to give the shower a stress test. This is good to do particularly if the shower is on a slab, and is difficult to access. A tip for plunging a shower; use a cup plunger or fold the flange into the plunger and ensure the plunger keeps a tight seal against the floor of the shower when plunging. If there is access under the building, then the trap may be able to be removed and cleaned out. It’s also possible that there may be inspection openings in the drain to allow small drain cleaning cables to be run through the drain. These cables can either be hand operated or be driven by a machine and work to clear the drain from any blockages. Small drain cleaning cable machines are good for clearing waste pipes between basins, sinks, baths, showers etc. and the sewerage drain. Water jet machines with a normal or a whip hose are a great option to clear blocked showers. They have the ability with their forward and rear jet to pull the hose through the drain and thus allow the plumber to extract any hair or build up out of the drain. This type of machine (and the aforementioned small cable machine) are best used by a licensed plumbing professional such as the plumbers from O’Shea Plumbing who can help you clear your blocked drains in Melbourne. Ridgid micro cameras are also good, depending on the job to inspect the drain to see where the blockage is and to check how successful the unblocking process has been. If you would like to learn more about how plumbers unblock drains, read our blog about it HERE. If you’re experiencing a blocked shower drain or another plumbing issue, contact the professionals at O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887. We’ll come running!
Published in Blog, 20th May 2020
If you’ve been searching for a “plumber in my area”, you may be finding that there is an abundance of businesses and professionals around. Before engaging in work with any of them, it’s extremely important to check that the plumber that you intend to use for any plumbing work is licensed and that the plumbers that work for that licensed plumber are registered. It’s also important to check that the plumbers who work for a builder or bathroom/kitchen renovation company are licensed and/or registered. You can check that a plumber is qualified for the work you need done by asking to see their plumbing license or registration card. When checking this it is important to check that the classes of work listed on the rear of the plumbers license or registration card match the type of work that you intend for them to carry out. The classes of work listed on the card are the kinds of work that the plumber is able to lawfully carry out. So make sure to ask the plumber to show you their license or registration card and check the back of it. Another way to check if a plumber is licensed or registered is to check the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website (www.vba.vic.gov.au). On VBA’s website, you can click ‘Find a practitioner’ at the top of the page, scroll down to ‘Find a Plumbing Practitioner’, from there you can enter the plumbers license or registration number or their name to find out if they are licensed and/or registered and, if so, what classes of work they are licensed or registered to conduct. There is a lot of information on the website to read before you engage a plumber. You can also search the ‘Disciplinary Register’ on VBA’s website to see if the plumber you intend to use has had any disciplinary action taken against them. A licensed plumber generally has the higher experience and knowledge than a registered plumber and can supervise a registered plumber or plumbing apprentice in the same classes that they hold a license in. Only a licensed plumber can issue a Certificate of Compliance that certifies that the work they have carried out complies with the relevant regulations and standards. A licensed plumber must hold insurance that protects the householder in case of faulty work. It’s also important to check with the licensed plumber that they will give you a Certificate of Compliance on completion of the work. At O’Shea Plumbing, our clients are able to rest easy knowing our company and plumbers are registered, fully licensed and experienced. If you want plumbing professionals that you can trust, get in touch with the team at O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 4th May 2020
If you suspect there may be a water leak occurring somewhere in your house, but can’t see a visible sign of it yet follow our tips below to detecting a water leak. The first thing that a householder can do to detect if they have a water leak is to take a reading of their water meter before leaving the property, and then take another reading when returning home. If there is an increase in the reading, then there must be a leak. Sometimes you can see water running down the back of the toilet bowl, but if it is a very slow leak you will need to carry out this check. Turn off the mini stop at the toilet(s) and repeat the process as above. You may also need to turn off the hot water unit, the sprinkler system or any other facilities that use water and complete this test to get an indication where the leak may be located. If your house is on stumps then you could check the pipes under the house for leaks, otherwise, the leak may be in a wall, underground or under the concrete slab of your house. In this case, you will need to call a plumber who has pipe and leak detection equipment. The team at O’Shea Plumbing are trained specialists in water leak detection in Melbourne. This tracing equipment can determine where the pipes are (subject to the pipes being metal). The tracing equipment works by equipment putting an electrical field into the metal pipe that can be picked up and followed. There are sometimes instances where tracing metal pipes can be difficult, for example, when a section of plastic pipe has been put in as a repair on an underground pipe. In cases like this, the electrical field will not continue and the pipe cannot continue to be traced unless the plumber excavates, finds the cause of the interruption, and relocates the tracing equipment to beyond the plastic pipe to continue tracing. Once the line of the where the pipe is situated is found and marked, then the leak detection equipment is used to attempt to find the leak. Leak detection can also be difficult due to noises in the area, such as people walking, talking, traffic noise, or planes flying overhead. Sometimes it is just best to make an early decision to replace the pipes, O’Shea Plumbing has had jobs where, when the leak was found, it was in such a spot that a lot of damage to the building would be done to the building to access and repair the leak, so after having spent a fair amount of money locating the leak, a replacement was considered the best option available. If you think there is a water leak on your property or want to enlist the professionals to detect a water leak or broken pipe, contact O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887 for a fast quote.
Published in Blog, 14th Apr 2020
Natural gas appliances, be it for cooking, water heating, home heating, pool heating, etc. are extremely safe as long as they are installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions and meet AS/NZS 5601 regulations. The installation needs to be pressure tested to prove that it is sound and has no gas leaks. The appliance also needs to be commissioned. Commissioning is a mandatory procedure that must always be done following the installation of a gas appliance, heater, etc. to ensure that the appliance, flue & room ventilation are in accordance with manufacturer’s installation instructions, building regulations and safety requirements. Another important thing is that the appliance needs to be regularly serviced. The gas service should include any necessary cleaning, inspection for any faults, have a burner pressure check (and any other relevant checks) done and, if relevant, have a carbon monoxide test carried out. Everyone knows if you buy a good reputable brand of car, that you need to get it regularly serviced, otherwise it will breakdown and leave you stranded. It is the same with natural gas appliances. Manufacturers like Rheem, Vulcan, Aquamax, Rinnai and Brivis put thousands of hours into the designing, testing of appliances to make sure that they are safe. They do not release any appliance that is not safe and has not been approved by the relevant authorities like the Australian Gas Association. State authorities like Energysafe Victoria and the Victorian Building Authority inspectors are also very vigilant on ensuring that gas appliances and the installation of them are safe and sound. If you need a gas appliance installed or serviced, call the professionals at O’Shea Plumbing. Our team of gas heating and fitting specialists are ready to help you out! Call us now on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Blog, 24th Mar 2020
Have you had to call a plumber to your property to fix an issue with your drains? Like you, many clients call up with drain blockages or old drains breaking which they need repaired urgently by a plumber in Melbourne. O’Shea plumbing have dealt with plenty of drain related incidents. In many cases, we offer a few solutions for the client to pick from to resolve their drain problem. One of the longer-term solutions that we sometimes offer clients is to have their drain relined. Relining a drain or sewer pipe involves the insertion of a sewer pipe liner into the drain. The sewer liner then fixes itself to the surroundings of the existing drain permanently, relining the drain pipe from within – no digging required. It can be difficult to make an immediate decision about how to fix your drain, but your plumbing professional will be able to help you make an informed decision. To help you further, we’ve compiled a list of benefits and drawbacks of relining your drain. Benefits of Relining Drains Causes less disturbance to the landscape, paving, foundations, etc. of your property as there is no digging required Relining is a great option when the drain is under or close to the foundation of a building or a large tree, as there will be no risk of damage to the building or the tree roots. A regular replacement of the drain may disturb these and make the structure or tree unstable Smart choice when the drain is located underneath paving, as there are no (or reduced) paving restoration costs Can be cost-effective when compared to other solutions Is often the smarter solution that prevents further damage or deterioration of your pipes. Drawbacks of Relining Drains If the drain is badly broken, is out of alignment, or has an incorrect or negative gradient then relining will not correct these issues. Only a replacement of the drain will solve this Some drains are better off being completely renewed, that includes the replacement of all junctions, D.G’s, the B.T, and other drains. O’Shea Plumbing has seen competitors reline quotes which only specified relining of the main run drain, where O’Shea Plumbing gave a quote for the same job to replace all the main run drains including the junctions, D.T.’s, etc. O’Shea Plumbing provided a high-quality job at a lower price than our competitors. If you choose O’Shea Plumbing as your blocked drain plumber in Melbourne we will give you options to solve your drain blockage or drain issue, including: Attempting to clear all the roots from the drain Attempting to clear all the roots from the drain and use RootX to inhibit the root regrowth Relining all or some of the drain To excavate and replace all or some sections of the drain We give you solution options to pick from, and when discussing your options we will always maintain full disclosure about the prices and fee structure associated with each. If you need a plumber in Melbourne, contact the plumbing professionals at O’Shea Plumbing. Call us on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 17th Mar 2020
Have you noticed gurgling coming from your lavatory? You may be wondering ‘what are the noises coming from my toilet?’ We can tell you that it’s definitely not a positive sound and your toilet is most likely trying to tell you that there is a plumbing problem! Gurgling sounds when you flush the toilet, or even when you have used another nearby toilet or fixture, is generally a sign that there is a partial blockage in the sewer drain. Especially, if you notice the water rises up in the toilet and then goes down after flushing, gurgling as it takes most of the water out of the bowl. This type of blockage could be caused by tree roots, a break in the drain, an object that has been flushed down the drain or a grease build-up. O’Shea Plumbing strongly recommend that any grease from cooking is not poured down the drain and is instead left to solidify, wrapped in paper, and put out with the rubbish. If you are experiencing gurgling sounds coming from your toilet or think you may have a blockage we recommend you contact a domestic plumbing professional that specialises in blocked drains in Melbourne. Another noise you may hear coming from the toilet is the sound of running water, indicating that the cistern is not shutting off properly. A faulty inlet or outlet valve may be the cause of this. In these cases sometimes water can be seen running down the back of the bowl and causing the water in the bowl to quiver. Not only is this sound irritating, but it’s also a problem as the water running down into the bowl could be causing the price of your normal water bill to be higher than usual – costing you hard-earned dollars that we’re sure you’d rather be saving! O’Shea Plumbing has seen plenty of cases like these before. One time, we were contacted by a client who was experiencing strange sounds coming from their plumbing system. One of O’Shea’s plumbers called out to the property to investigate and the client told them that they could hear a water hammer noise that was bothering them. Water hammer occurs when water travels through the pipes at an irregular speed, and sometimes when the water makes a sudden change in direction. When either of these things occurs in the pipes, it can create an uneven flow of water, resulting in the thumping, banging, or vibrations associated with water hammer. During the call-out, the plumber couldn’t hear the water hammer but the client could and it bothered them, so the O’Shea plumber was determined to find and fix the issue. When the inlet valves were shut off, the client could detect water hammer in another part of the house. It took our plumber several attempts of supplying and fitting different makes of inlet valve to stop the noise, but we eventually found a valve that solved the issue. The client was so pleased with the result that they left a 5-star review on Google saying that she was extremely grateful that O’Shea Plumbing was so persistent in finding a solution for the noise problem. She can now go about her day without the irritating sounds of water hammer rattling through her home. If you are experiencing issues with gurgling toilets, blocked drains or water hammer give the plumbing professionals at O’Shea Plumbing a call today on (03) 9888 2887 to schedule an appointment with a non-emergency or emergency plumber in Melbourne to fix your water hammer problem.
Published in Blog, 6th Mar 2020
If you’ve turned on the taps and the water is not flowing at its usual rate, there could be a number of reasons for this. Below we’ll discuss some of the reasons why your home might be experiencing poor water pressure. Planned or emergency works in your local area It is possible that the water pressure issues you are experiencing are being caused by planned or emergency works happening in your area. These could be planned maintenance or a plumbing emergency such as a burst water main. If the works are planned, then locals in the area are often notified in advance so that they can make alternate plans. You can view reports of planned and emergency works happening on the Yarra Valley Water website. If you can’t find works happening near you then check with your neighbours to see whether their plumbing is being affected. If their plumbing is fine, then it’s probable that the water pressure issue lies within your property. Another way to check who is responsible for the problem is the “Bucket Test”. Ensure the stop tap on the water meter is fully open, fill a 10L bucket using the tap closest to the water meter, and time how long it takes to fill. If it takes longer than 30 seconds to fill, then this indicates there is an issue with the supply of water to the property (call the water supplier), but if it fills within 30 seconds then this indicates the issue is most likely on your property (call a plumber). Water leak or burst pipe If the issue is on your property, the first reason may be that you have a water leak or a burst water pipe. Take a reading of your water meter at a time when you don’t need to use water for an hour or two, then take another reading after this time has elapsed. If there is a difference in the readings you may have a water leak. In the case of a leak, you should immediately call the professionals in water leak detection in Melbourne. O’Shea Plumbing have specialty pipe and leak detection equipment to investigate, find and fix domestic and commercial water leaks. We understand that water leaks can be dangerous for your home, so we’re committed to finding and fixing all leaks quickly and efficiently. O’Shea’s accredited professionals can conduct replacements, repairs, alterations, servicing and testing. Corroded water pipes Another reason for poor water pressure may be due to old galvanised iron water pipes that are corroded inside, greatly restricting the flow of water to your home’s taps. In this case, it is likely you will need to replace the pipes – call O’Shea Plumbing to give you a fast quote! It is surprising to some clients that fitting a pressure reduction valve (PRV) is recommended at the same time that the cold water pipes are replaced. The PRV works to reduce the water pressure to 500 kpa to protect mixing taps, appliances and to help prevent water hammer. The reason the PRV is recommended is because in some areas the pressure in the water main is high, but because of the restriction in the old galvanised iron pipes the flow through the pipes is poor. Once the new pipes are fitted the flow of water will be greatly increased, even with the PRV fitted. If you are experiencing issues with water pressure or have another general plumbing enquiry call O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887. Call for a fast quote – we’ll come running!
Published in Blog, 3rd Mar 2020
Have you noticed the water coming out of your tap has a cloudy look to it? When the water coming out of your drinking and washing facilities isn’t clear, this is a sign that you may have a plumbing problem on your hands. The most common occasions when you may think your water is cloudy is when it is coming out of a hot water tap or when it comes from a mains pressure hot water unit. You will notice when you initially fill a glass with hot water that the water in the glass is cloudy, and then, over a few minutes, the water in the glass will become clear. This water is perfectly safe, though we do not recommend that anyone drink water from a hot water unit. The reason for the “cloudy” water in this situation, is that when the hot water is delivered out of the mains water heater under pressure it contains an extra molecule of oxygen, which dissipates over time when left in the open air. Another reason you may be experiencing cloudy or discoloured water could be due to poor quality water pipes or old galvanised pipes. This situation often happens when the water has been sitting unused in the pipes while the occupants of the building have been away, or even overnight, when the water has not been used for some hours. In this case, the water pipes need to be replaced, because it is not only causing the poor water quality, but there is an increased risk of the pipes bursting and causing more extensive damage from leaking water pipes. Cloudy water can also occur after a broken water main in the local area has been fixed by the water company, there can be some air and discolouration of the water. The water companies usually do a great job in flushing the mains before reconnection, but sometimes discolouration may occur. This is nothing to worry about as the cloudy water will eventually flush itself out as the taps are turned on and used. The water supply to the citizens of Melbourne is amongst the best in the world. But like anything, it can be improved. A water filter greatly improves the quality of the drinking water coming from your taps. Water filtration provides a host of benefits that should not be overlooked, such as a better taste and smell, fewer contaminants, and it’s far cheaper (and more environmentally friendly) than forking out money for bottled water. A dual cartridge is the best water filtration system for most people as it removes sediment, taste and odour, without removing the beneficial minerals that are vital for good health. The other option is reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a process used to treat water and remove contaminants. The process includes using pressure to push water molecules through a semipermeable membrane. This method is generally only for people who have a certain health condition, cafes and restaurants wanting to make great coffee, or dental practices, etc. Whether your family is searching for the best in health care, afflicted by allergies or other medical conditions that require consistently clean filtered water or simply feel compelled to treat water from non-municipal supplies, we have the right solution for you. O’Shea Plumbing offer installation and servicing of tap, countertop and under bench filters as well as reverse osmosis. Clean water is necessary for healthy living, so if have cloudy water coming from your taps or want to improve the quality of your drinking water by adding a filter, contact the plumbing professionals at O’Shea Plumbing on 03 9888 2887 for a fast quote.
Published in Blog, 7th Feb 2020
O’Shea Plumbing has completed quite a number of jobs for Andrew from Vermont over the years. Included in these jobs was the supply and installation of Caroma toilet suites, installation of tap sets, the replacement of a hot water heater and the installation of a vanity unit that Andrew had selected and supplied. Andrew is one of many loyal clients of O’Shea Plumbing, who value the quality work and reliable service that this company delivers. Things like; always turning up on time, doing exactly what was detailed in the quote, and fixed price quotes so the client can relax in the knowledge that they won’t be charged any more than the total amount of the quote that they approved. Clients such as Andrew also rest assured in the knowledge that O’Shea Plumbing check and guarantee all of their work, for example, all gas installation work will be pressure tested before, during and after each job to ensure that there are no gas leaks. Andrew recently rang our office again. He has purchased another vanity unit that he would like installed by the plumbing professionals that he trusts – O’Shea Plumbing. For more of our loyal clients’ plumbing stories, check out the case studies on the O’Shea Plumbing blog. Contact O’Shea Plumbing today to get a fixed quote for your plumbing needs. For peace of mind and 100% satisfaction guarantee call us today on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Blog, 11th Dec 2019
If you’ve experienced a blocked drain in your home or workplace before then you know calling a professional, such as the team at O’Shea Plumbing, is the best and quickest way to fix the problem. Below we’ve put together a list of the equipment that our plumbers use to fix drain blockages. HAND PLUNGERS – Depending on the situation, these may be the first thing used to attempt to clear blockages in toilets, basins, sinks, laundry troughs, for localised blockages. At O’Shea Plumbing, we don’t use chemicals to clear blockages as some of them are ineffective or others are hazardous and dangerous. TOILET CLOSET AUGER – Some plumbers use these to clear blockages in toilets where it is a localised blockage. SMALL CABLE DRAIN CLEANING MACHINES – These machines are good for clearing waste pipes. A waste pipe is the connection pipe between basins, sinks, baths, showers etc. and the sewerage drain. A cable is driven down the pipe with different cutters attached to clear the blockage. PLUMBERS PLUNGER – Plumbers either make these themselves, or buy them ready-made and use them to attempt to clear localised blockages in disconnector gullies or boundary traps. SMALL WATER, HYDRO JET – Some plumbers use these to clear blockages in sewers and stormwater drains. At O’Shea Plumbing we find these inadequate for clearing serious tree roots out of drains, so we only use these machine for clearing waste pipes. Different size hoses and nozzles, with forward and back jets (depending on the job), are fed into the pipe to clear the blockage. These are particularly effective on blockages caused by grease. CABLE DRAIN CLEANING MACHINES – A reliable machine, Ridgid 1500, that’s great for clearing tree roots and other blockages from sewerage and stormwater drains. Sections of cable are joined together, different cutter heads are attached, and the cables are fed into the drain to clear the blockage. At O’Shea Plumbing we start off with a small-sized cutter head and work towards attempting to get a full-sized cutter through the drain to completely clear the drain. This will always depend on the amount of tree root in the drain, and if the drain is broken. In these cases it may be the best option to replace, or reline, some or all of the drain. DRAIN CAMERA – The cable with a self-levelling camera head are fed into the drain. These are used to inspect the drain so decisions can be made as to the best course of action to clear, repair, replace or reline the drain are made. NAVITRACK – This Ridgid Navitrack is a very valuable piece of equipment. It allows the plumber to track and locate a sonde that is in the drain camera head. This gives the plumber the exact location and depth of the drain and if applicable the defect in the drain. TRUCK / TRAILER MOUNT WATER HYDRO WATER JET MACHINES – These machines are great for clearing tree root and grease blockages from drains. These machines have the correct water volume and water pressure to do the job. The machine is generally left in the street when in use. A hose is fed into the property where it is joined to a smaller hose reel. The hose from this reel – with either nozzles with forward and rear or attachments such as a Warthog nozzle – are very effective in clearing drains. ROOTX – This is a great product that plumbers can put down the drain after tree roots have been cleared, to inhibit the tree roots from growing back into the drain. This product must be installed either immediately after the tree root has been removed or approximately 6 to 8 weeks later once the tree roots start to regrow. RootX is environmentally friendly and does not damage the tree/s. If you’re experiencing a blocked drain, contact the professionals at O’Shea Plumbing in Mount Waverley VIC, Wantirna VIC, Bentleigh VIC, and Bundoora VIC. We’ll come running!
Published in Blog, 6th Sep 2019
Some time ago, ‘Michelle’ from Hampton VIC contacted Chelsea at O’Shea Plumbing. She reached out to our main office in Mt Waverley VIC. Michelle was struggling with the fact that she has not had a proper hot shower in three days. It was at best a lukewarm shower, which on a cold Melbourne winter’s morning is not the most appealing thing to get out of bed for! When Andrew (an O’Shea Plumbing team member from the Bentleigh Vic depot) finished his job in Moorabbin VIC and was notified to drop into Michelle’s house. He was able to fit in a visit before heading off to install a new toilet in Armadale. When Andrew arrived he looked around the house to see if there was anything that appeared obvious to him as a source of the problem. There was nothing visibly untoward. However, Andrew noticed that the hot water pipe went from the hot water unit (HWU) and into the roof. He decided he would go up there to investigate. Once in the roof, Andrew found a tempering valve. He asked the client to turn on the hot tap in the bathroom. Now, with the water running, he could feel the hot water pipe going into the tempering valve (which was hot) and then on the outlet side of the tempering valve (which was cold). He had successfully located the issue! Andrew provided a quote to replace the tempering valve. This made sense, as it was the incorrect one in the first place. Additionally, Andrew noticed that one of Michelle’s mixer taps was leaking causing a nasty looking stain on her otherwise pristine porcelain basin. Andrew provided options to fix this and asked if there were any other issues that Michelle wanted him to look at. All in all, Andrew provided options on a new tempering valve, fixing the mixer tap, investigating the diverter kit for their shower, a new flexible hose from the shower outlet to the shower outlet, as well as water pressure control (to protect and/or minimise the chance of these things happening again for a long time). Andrew went back the very next day and completed the works. Michele and her family were very happy that not only their major plumbing issue was dealt with quickly and professionally but that all other existing and potential issues were taken care of at the same time. For reliable plumbers Melbourne and Hampton locals can rely on, call the team of plumbing experts at O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 6th Sep 2019
When your drinking water comes out of the tap tasting and smelling strange or looking cloudy you immediately know that it’s not safe to drink. But what about the contaminants in our water that we can’t sense? A recent review by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that microplastics are present in our drinking water. Studies have found that people are ingesting approximately 5 grams of plastic each week, which is approximately the weight of a credit card. There are concerns about the effects that microplastics are having on our health, but findings are limited at this stage, so the effects are still unknown. To prevent the unknown effects of microplastic in our drinking water experts are suggesting the use of water filters. ‘“Opting for filters would aid in the removal of the microplastics. It would also aid in the removal of other pollutants like heavy metals and pathogens,” said Dr Paul Harvey, an environmental scientist and environmental chemist at Macquarie University’. At O’shea Plumbing, we believe that all people deserve access to high-quality, purified water as it provides a host of benefits that should not be overlooked. We will find the best water filter solution for you, no matter your reasons. Some benefits of a water filtration system installation include: Better taste and smell Fewer contaminants Fresher water Much cheaper than buying bottled water O’shea Plumbing offer servicing and installation of all Aqualife water filtration products for domestic and commercial use. To combat the prevalence of microplastics in your water, consider installing a water filter. If you would like to know more about how a water filter can benefit you give us a call on 03 9888 2887, we’ll help discover the best option for you.
Published in Blog, 16th Aug 2019
In this next blog, we take a look at the story of O’Shea Plumbing owner Lawrie and his personal plumbing practices. Lawrie started O’Shea Plumbing as a business in 1978. Firstly, he set up shop in Wantirna VIC. Moving on to Mount Waverley VIC, he set up the head office which remains in the same place to this day. Adding the locations of Bentleigh VIC and Bundoora VIC. O’Shea Plumbing has become a well known, loved and trusted plumbing service in the Melbourne area. Over time, Lawrie has worked in various parts of Melbourne, meeting people from all walks of life with a multitude of different plumbing issues. He has added to the team, hiring many plumbers (including his son and daughter). He is passionate not just about plumbing but providing the best possible methods to make his client’s lives easier. Lawrie has obviously completed all the plumbing maintenance on his own property and lives by the best possible plumbing practice in real life. For example, pressure control is installed on his water meter limiting the pressure coming through the water meter to 500KPA. Lawrie has also installed a cold water expansion valve at the hot water unit as well as a limit valve from the hot outlet (doing this to hot and cold water systems protects all water fixtures). Since Lawrie installed these valves he has had no water hammer and has not had to install a new Hot Water Unit (HWU) or change any tap washers since 1990! This just proves that there is a difference between changing a tap washer (as well as any mixer tap) and the cause of the problem being treated. Taking Lawrie’s approach means avoiding having the washer blowing out again (requiring more work to be done to it) and protecting the water fixture with best plumbing possible. The anode has been changed in Lawrie’s gas hot water unit every four years, this has resulted in the HWU (that usually lasts for 10 years) having an extended longevity at over 29 years old! This just goes to show the benefit of having good plumbing in your home. Why not have a chat to the O’Shea Plumbing team and see what they can do for you today? For reliable plumbers Melbourne locals can rely on, call the team of plumbing experts at O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 29th Mar 2019
O’Shea Plumbing is an experienced, friendly and hardworking business operating out of Mount Waverley VIC (head office). Other locations include Wantirna VIC, Bentleigh VIC, Bundoora VIC and Burwood VIC Our team prides itself on carrying out all plumbing, drainage and gas work to an exceptionally high standard. This is alongside consistently great service. You can trust O’Shea Plumbing to ‘do things by the book’. We ensure that the correct applications are submitted prior to work, that inspections are booked and that road opening permits are obtained where required. At O’Shea Plumbing, we source the correct fittings and materials. We also keep them in stock wherever possible. This means that jobs can be completed with minimal delay. Some of these items include E.G. Tapered brass fittings and 20 kg lead or PVC wall sleeves. These are not usually available from ‘The Plumbers Supplies’ in Mitcham VIC or ‘Reece’ in Burwood VIC (or other plumbers suppliers). Our workers’ safety is our top priority. Our regular responsibilities include organising scaffold for working at heights, trench shoring (for trenches over 1.5m deep) and asbestos awareness (we hire a licensed asbestos removalist even when a small amount of asbestos needs to be removed). These are just a few of the ways that O’Shea Plumbing stands out from the crowd. Just ask us what we can do for you. For reliable plumbers Melbourne locals can rely on, call the team of plumbing experts at O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Blog, 8th Mar 2019
As most would already be aware, Lawrie O’Shea is the proud owner of O’Shea Plumbing (our main office is situated in Mount Waverley, VIC). But his own own house is also a big part of the ‘O’Shea story’. Lawrie’s unique property is located in Wantirna, VIC and forms the basis of an interesting case study in and of itself. Lawrie has lived in this house since he had it built in the early 1980s. Remarkably, he completed all of the plumbing work in the house entirely on his own. Lawrie’s house has some noteworthy features and specifications which are particularly relevant from a building and design standpoint. The residential structure is built to be very energy efficient, facing the north with wide eaves. This aspect allows winter sun to filter through, whilst eliminating the full heat of summer’s glare. Therefore, the effects of extremes in temperature are minimised throughout the home, reducing the need for gas, electric or other forms of heating/cooling expenditure. Additionally, a solar gas hot water system works well in assisting the reduction of energy bills. Solar pool heating means that the pool can be used for more months of the year, providing obvious economic benefits. Another measure of frugality and eco-consciousness is the ‘Vulcan Freeloader’ hot water tank installed on the property. The anode in this system needs only be changed every four to five years. This result is a vastly extended life span of the hot water tank. It’s still functioning equally as well today as when it was first installed 27 years ago Photovoltaic panels on the roof help to further reduce electricity bills and water pressure reduction is of great benefit. A ‘Wilkins’ pressure reduction valve is fitted at the outlet of the water meter. A cold water expansion valve is fitted to the inlet and a limit valve is fitted to the outlet of the hot water unit. All these valves were sourced locally from ‘The Plumbers Coop’ in Mitcham, VIC. The fittings of these valves equals optimised operational performance for all of the plumbing pipes, mixing valves, taps, and appliances installed in Lawrie’s property. Amazingly, two ‘Dorf’ shower mixer taps are still going strong even after 30 years! All these smart measures implemented in Lawrie’s home are highly recommended for the residential building sector and, indeed, any individual homeowner who would like to reduce their maintenance and energy costs alongside their environmental footprint.
Published in Blog, 15th Feb 2019
The weekend before Christmas seems to throw up a number of interesting jobs for the team at O’Shea Plumbing. From sewer blockages to gas leaks…right through to burst hot water units… there’s always something to keep us busy! We work across all areas of Melbourne, VIC and frequently receive calls from people needing our help with plumbing who either reside in or operate business premises in the suburbs of Balwyn, Mt Waverley, Glen Iris and Hawthorn…and, just about everywhere in between! After we receive an initial request, we will hit the road promptly to be onsite, solving plumbing problems left, right and centre! The Christmas period of 2018 was no exception. Whilst our clients were getting ready to go away or have Christmas parties, our plumbers were still on hand to help in any way possible. What follows is a typical ‘day in the life’ for an O’Shea plumber (especially during peak holiday seasons). When a client in Glen Iris, called us in a panic (to tell us that their sewer drain was blocked), one of our professionally trained and certified plumbers was quickly sourced to assist. Our plumber went out to the property in question in order to clear an old earthenware drain, making short shift of the problem with our highly effective ‘Ridgid’ drain clean machine (with 100 mm cutting head). He also checked the drain with our ‘Ridgid’ CCTV camera in order to ensure that the drain was clear, providing that extra peace-of-mind for the client. Once our plumber had finished clearing the client’s sewer drain in Glen Iris, he moved on to a second plumbing job in Mt Waverley. After efficiently fixing the problem at a property in this location, he was able to assist yet another client in Hawthorn. This was his third plumbing job in one day, with ‘nothing too much of an ask’. The client here had a burst hot water unit; our plumber quickly called around to our suppliers for a suitable replacement. After a thorough and safe installation, our client was able to enjoy hot water again. However, just as our plumber was about to go home for the day a client from Balwyn called with a gas leak. Our trusty team member raced over to test the gas line and to investigate the property in question. He located and fixed a leak in the client’s kitchen (under the stove top). He then performed a gas test from the meter to prove that the gas installation was sound. This meant that the client’s gas was once again safe to use and they were able to cook that all-important Christmas turkey! No matter the season, this is ‘all in a day’s work’ for our reputable team members here at O’Shea Plumbing!
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 Services Melbourne 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.