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, 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 Plumbing Tips, 11th Aug 2020
Let’s be very clear about this – A gas leak can cause an explosion. A gas leak can most definitely cause an explosion if the gas/air mixture is in certain parameters. If you smell a gas leak in Melbourne (or anywhere), you must never ignore it. No matter whether in a public place or your own home. The stream of gas from the leak is highly flammable. This means that if there’s a flame or spark in the vicinity of the leak, it can cause a fire or explosion. It is extremely important to immediately turn off the gas and call a gas plumber if you are able to smell gas. For easier and more immediate detection, an odorant is added to natural and LPG gas so that any leaks can be detected quickly by smell. Not sure what to do if you smell gas? Read our blog about what to do in the case of a gas leak. Natural gas is generally considered to be safer than LPG gas, as natural gas is lighter than air and so will then dissipate if there is a leak. LPG on the other hand, being heavier than air, can lay in holes or low areas in the ground or buildings unless dispersed by wind. This can result in an explosion if there is a source of ignition. This makes LPG more dangerous than natural gas. Regardless of the type, it is still important to report all gas leaks in Melbourne, as gas can build up in a confined space and potentially create a dangerous situation or explosion. One time a client of O’Shea Plumbing rang to request an investigation of a gas leak. After pressure testing the client’s natural gas installation and finding it to be sound, the O’Shea gas plumber asked the client why he had called for the investigation. The client showed the plumber how the concrete and bricks of the rear steps of his house had been blown off the back of the house down to the back garden. The client went on to explain that this happened when he had flicked a cigarette butt under the stairs. Checking under the house showed an empty LPG gas bottle lying on its side. The client had thrown the LPG bottle under the house after returning home from a recent camping trip. The isolation valve of the bottle had been knocked open, causing gas to escape and lay underneath a depression in the stairs until the client’s cigarette butt ignited the gas and caused an explosion. Thankfully the client was ok, however, this situation could have turned out very differently for them. It’s important to take care of all gas installations, fixtures, gas bottles, etc. to keep you and your family safe. Remember: preventative care and maintenance are can save you from a costly accident or fix-up in the future. Want to know more about how professional plumbers deal with gas leaks? Take a look at our blog where we discuss how O’Shea Plumbing fixes gas leaks. The gas fitting professionals at O’Shea Plumbing are accredited and licensed to conduct gas replacements, repairs, alterations, servicing, testing. There are no better professional gas leak plumbers in Melbourne than the O’Shea team. O’Shea Plumbing has been in business since 1978 and has been a member of The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia for over 40 years, so you can rest assured that we’re trusted professionals when it comes to gas and water leak detection. With us, you’ll get a quick response so you can sort out your gas leak issue as soon as possible. O’Shea are the plumbers Melbourne can rely on – Call us today on (03) 9888 2887, we’ll come running.
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 Plumbing Tips, 28th Jul 2020
Yes, gas leaks are a common occurrence. O’Shea Plumbing receives many calls to fix gas leaks. Most of them are for natural gas leaks. A number of them are for leaks at or near gas cookers and appliances. As the cookers are indoors the gas can more easily be smelt and detected quickly. Other leaks sometimes occur at the gas meter. If the leak is on the inlet pipe, regulator or the meter itself, then it’s the responsibility of the gas supply company to fix this and you can call the number on the top right-hand corner of your gas bill to get this fixed for free. Another common area where gas leaks occur is on old galvanised gas pipes. The worst of these are galvanised gas pipes that are lying on the ground under houses. The bottom of the pipe has contact with the damp wet soil and that is where the rapid corrosion occurs. Safe and newly installed pipes are typically installed away from the ground where potential damage can occur. You can read a previous O’Shea case study where Lawrie (O’Shea owner) and Kevin (O’Shea Plumber) attended a gas leak on a rental property where the old galvanised gas pipes were badly rusted and lying on the ground under the house. Read the case study to find out how the plumbers solved the issue. O’Shea Plumbing does find many leaks during installation works, as they always pressure test gas installations before and after every job to ensure that the installation is safe. A lot of clients are not aware that they have a gas leak at their house as natural gas is lighter than air, so the gas just dissipates and goes unnoticed. Professional plumbing companies always pressure test every job. Another big problem area for gas leaks is BBQ gas bottles. It is very important to test the connections with a soapy water mixture. The soapy mixture can be made up of a simple combination of dishwashing liquid and water. O’Shea Plumbing recommends that you use a paintbrush to apply the soapy water mixture. This allows the mixture to create a good lather with the soapy water that is the best to show up any leaks. The leaks will show in the form of soapy bubbling. Remember: Always check for leaks every time you change over a gas bottle. Gas leaks can be dangerous for your household or your employees. In order to solve this issue, our gas fitting professionals are accredited in conducting gas system replacements, repairs, alterations, servicing and testing. We have access to the latest gas leak tracing technology, making your gas leaks are a thing of the past. Contact us today for a fast quote. If you are looking for a plumber Melbourne residents trust, call O’Shea Plumbing! Call us today on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Plumbing Tips, 22nd Jul 2020
Fixing a gas leak is a job for the professionals, so here is some insight into how the team at O’Shea Plumbing handle a gas leak. The first thing to do before fixing a gas leak is to locate where the leak is. Soapy water can be used to check pipe joints in the vicinity of where the gas is smelt. A paintbrush is good to use to apply the soapy water, as a good lather can be created and this helps to be able to detect any bubbles where the gas is escaping. A manometer is used to pressure test from the fitting line at the gas meter to confirm that there is a leak and to determine the rate of the leak. Plumbers are allowed to leave the gas connected if they follow the instructions re permissible leaks on the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website. The leak has to be within specified limits and provided that there is no smell of gas. Another piece of equipment that can be useful is a gas leak detector. At O’Shea Plumbing we use an Accutherm TPI 775 combination CO and gas leak detector. This unit is returned to Accutherm each year for a service and recalibration to ensure that the readings given are accurate. Long term clients of O’Shea Plumbing, an older couple, rang to say that their family insisted that they get the gas smell in their garage checked out. Pressure testing of the gas installation from the meter proved that the gas pipes were sound. Using the gas leak detection equipment, proved that indeed they did have a gas leak, they were advised to contact their gas supply company to check if the leak was on the supply pipe on the inlet side of the gas meter. Sometimes galvanised gas pipes are found to be badly rusted. The worst ones can be where the old pipes are lying on the ground under the house. In these cases, it is generally best to just go straight to replacing all or sections of the gas pipes. Other times the detection process includes disconnecting appliances one at a time, capping off the gas pipe, pressure testing again or doing the same with sections of pipe or branch pipes and retesting, and show where the leak is. If the leak is on the gas appliance, then a decision has to be made to investigate where the leak is on the appliance or just replace the appliance. Sometimes the faulty part is no longer available, so with an older appliance, it may be best to just go for the replacement straight away. Once the leak has been located then decisions can be made as to the best way to fix it. At O’Shea Plumbing, our experienced gas plumbers handle gas leak detection for all leaks in Melbourne using the latest gas leak detection equipment. O’Shea Plumbing has been operating since 1978 and has been a member of The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia for over 40 years, so you can rest assured that we’re the most experienced professionals when it comes to water and gas leak detection. Our quick, reliable service means that you can solve your gas leak issues in no time. O’Shea are the plumbers Melbourne can rely on – Call us today on (03) 9888 2887 for a fast quote.
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, 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 Plumbing Tips, 29th Apr 2020
Have your sinks and toilets been draining slowly? This could mean it’s time to have your drains checked for potential blockages and cleaned out. Below we discuss how and who cleans out drains. Do Plumbers Clean Drains? The simple answer is yes, plumbers do clean drains. This generally occurs when the drains are blocked. The most common cause of blockages in Melbourne are tree roots because we are a city with a high number of trees. The tree roots get into the drains through very small cracks and then grow inside the drain. If the roots become too dense, this will create a drain blockage. The blockages may also occur because of broken drains or as a result of people putting cooking grease down the drain. O’Shea Plumbing recommends that you let the cooking grease solidify, wrap it in paper and put it out in the rubbish bin. Drains can sometimes be cleared by the use of a plunger. You can purchase these from a regular hardware store. The use of chemicals is not recommended, as these can be hazardous, dangerous or sometimes ineffective. If the drain remains blocked, any chemicals that were put down the drain can also become hazardous to any plumber that may be required to remove the blockage. Cable or water jet machines are good for cleaning drains, followed up by the use of a drain camera to view the inside of the drain. A Ridgid Navitrack is also a valuable piece of equipment to locate the position and depth of the drain camera head so that the position of any defect or break in the drain can be located prior to excavation and repair, or a reline of the drain is carried out. Drain cleaning is not a DIY project and should not be attempted by the householders. O’Shea Plumbing highly recommends calling a blocked drain plumber in Melbourne to resolve the issue. We have had instances where people have hired drain cleaning equipment only to have the cables and other parts of the equipment break or get jammed in the drain. The hire company has then informed the person that they are required to keep paying for the hire until the equipment is returned or pay for the replacement of the equipment. Besides the monetary cost, there are also safety risks involved with using the drain cleaning equipment. Plumbers are highly trained and experienced in how to operate drain cleaning equipment safely and effectively. If you are experiencing a drain blockage please call on the Melbourne plumbing professionals at O’Shea Plumbing. Contact us today on (03) 9888 2887 for a fast quote.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 20th Apr 2020
The responsibility for fixing a blocked drain – regardless of who or what caused it – is dependant on what is blocked and where the blockage lies. Below we discuss whose responsibility it is when a sewer drain or stormwater drain becomes blocked. Sewer Drains The property owner is responsible for a blocked sewer drain in Melbourne, except for blockages that are downstream of “The Point”. The Point is the position where the property owner’s drain joins to the Sewer or Water Company’s branch drain (some tenants may be responsible, depending on their lease/rental agreement and what they may have put down the drain. See: Common Causes of a Drain Blockage). If you have a blocked sewer drain, you need to contact a plumber in Melbourne who will establish if the blockage is in your area of responsibility and if so, clear the blockage for you, or if the blockage is in the Sewer/Water Company’s drain, will refer the blockage on to them. A plumber is not permitted to clear blockages located in the Sewer/Water Company’s drains. Stormwater Drains The stormwater drains are a totally different drainage system to the sewer drains. The sewer drains connect all of the toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and laundries to the sewerage system, whereas the stormwater drains connect the roof gutters, downpipes and ground pits to a separate system. It is generally the property owner’s responsibility to engage a plumber to clear and repair all sections of stormwater drain from the house to where the property drain connects to the council barrel drain or the kerb in the street. The barrel drain can be either in the street or in an easement. The local council can be contacted to obtain the position of what is called the legal point of discharge of the stormwater off a property. Many property owners are surprised when they are told by their plumber that they may be responsible for clearing blockages, repairing, and or replacing the section of stormwater drain between the property boundary to the council barrel drain or the kerb in the street. When working in the street, outside of the property boundary, the plumber has to be much more aware of the dangers, hazards and requirements involved with working outside of the property boundary. Firstly a road opening permit from the local council is required before any excavation is carried out (even if the excavation is in the footpath or nature strip). If working on a major road then Vic Roads also needs to be contacted and Traffic Management may be required. Dial Before You Dig needs to be done and relevant authorities contacted for clarification of the location of underground services if required. There can be big penalties for not complying and the dangers of contacting a live electrical cable are very high. If you have a blocked drain, contact O’Shea Plumbing to investigate. We use the most cutting edge equipment to treat your blocked drains in Melbourne. Contact us today on (03) 9888 2887.
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 Case Studies, 2nd Jan 2020
Most people only replace their hot water heater when it bursts or develops a leak. It goes without saying that you should probably get it serviced or replaced before then. It’s also a good idea to consider replacing the unit when it is old and in need of major repairs. In this case, a client should ask themselves if it is a good economic decision to spend a lot of money repairing an old heater or would it be better to replace it with a new heater that has a long manufacturers warranty. You will also need to consider if the current hot water heater meets the demands of the household occupants or a growing family. If it isn’t delivering, then you may be in need of a new system. The team at O’Shea Plumbing recently came across a case where five adults wanted a hot water heater that could supply sufficient hot water for them all to be able to have showers in a short period of time each morning before leaving for work. The hot water heater had to be able to deliver enough hot water for two showers at a time and not run out of hot water. A Rinnai 26 Infinity continuous flow hot water heater was the answer! Another reason to change the existing hot water heater is to upgrade to a high-efficiency continuous flow gas unit or a Solar Apricus unit or an electric heat pump unit. The very old gravity feed hot water heaters in the roof space, are way past their use-by date. If you own one of these it is best to disconnect it, drain them down, and to replace them with an external gas storage or continuous flow high-efficiency unit before they burst and cause a flood. O’Shea Plumbing is committed to providing the highest quality of hot water maintenance and installation Melbourne wide. Contact us today for a fast quote on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Case Studies, 27th Dec 2019
There are many reasons why it is essential for a plumber to install a hot water heater. These reasons relate firstly to the installation being safe, both for the person installing it and for any use thereafter. Secondly, that any potential leakage does not cause damage, and thirdly, that the hot water heater operates correctly and efficiently. With a gas hot water heater, the gas pipes need to be sized correctly, to supply the correct amount of gas so that the appliance operates to meet the manufacturer’s specifications. Many manufacturers tell O’Shea Plumbing that faults with gas appliances often relate to poor gas supply and this is because of the gas pipes not being sized correctly. The water pressure needs to be checked, and a pressure reduction (PRV) limit valve or cold water expansion valve may need to be fitted. O’Shea Plumbing strongly recommend that PRV and cold water expansion valves are fitted when required, as they can greatly increase the life of your plumbing systems. Water temperature may need to be controlled via a tempering valve. The pressure and temperature relief valve drain lines need to discharge to a position where it will not cause nuisance or damage. O’Shea Plumbing recommend it is discharged to over a sewer disconnector gully or a stormwater grate whenever possible. A safe tray with a drain to the outside or a Mildred valve may need to be installed under an internal hot water heater to prevent damage to the building from water leaks. The ventilation into the room or enclosure need to be checked and vents fitted where required when an internal gas hot water heater is installed It is important that the gas flue pipes are installed and terminate correctly and that the clearances from internal/external corners openings into a building, etc. for external water heaters are all correct. It’s important to consider all of the above-mentioned elements of a water heater installation so that your hot water heater operates safely and efficiently, and is soundly installed. To alleviate the stress and complexity of the task it is best to hire an experienced plumbing professional to complete the installation. O’Shea Plumbing offers hot water system maintenance and repairs, as well as assistance when you’re picking and installing new systems. Our customers trust us to provide exceptional repairs and installations for all of their hot water plumbing and service needs. Contact us today on (03) 9888 2887.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 23rd Dec 2019
A pilot light is a small flame that is built into your gas heating appliances, such as a furnace or water heater. The pilot light provides a small flame that ignites the gas needed to operate the appliance. So what happens if the pilot light goes out on one of your heating appliances? Does the gas keep flowing? If the pilot light goes out on a storage or instantaneous hot water heater, space heater or a ducted heater, you will not have a gas leak. This is because all modern gas appliances with pilot lights have a fail-safe device that closes off the gas to the appliance in the case when the pilot may go out. The fail-safe device is comprised of a thermocouple. When the tip of the Thermocouple is heated in the pilot flame, it generates a small electric current. This electric current energises an electromagnet that in turn keeps a gas valve open allowing gas to flow to the main burner. If the pilot light goes out for any reason, the current stops, the valve closes, thus preventing any gas from leaking. High-efficiency gas appliances like Rinnai Infinity hot water units, Rinnai Energysaver space heaters or Brivis Starpro ducted heaters are different. They don’t have thermocouples as they are all electronic. We find that these are all very safe and reliable appliances. At O’Shea Plumbing, we recommend getting a gas heater service regularly, especially before the cold months come around. If you own an older gas appliance it may even be time to think about getting it replaced by a licensed plumber to avoid problems and keep you and your family safe. You can rest assured that O’Shea Plumbing are the trusted professionals in Melbourne when it comes to gas leak detection and gas heater services. Our quick, reliable service means that you can solve your gas leak and heater issues in no time. Contact us today on 03 9888 2887.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 19th Dec 2019
Do you think you might have a gas leak? Read on to find out what to do in the case of a gas leak and how to stay safe. If you smell or suspect that there is a gas leak in your house, the first thing to do is turn the gas off at your gas meter. The lever of the isolation valve is switched on in the vertical position and switched off when the lever is horizontal. At O’Shea Plumbing, we find that a number of our clients do not know where their gas meter is or what it looks like. It’s a good idea to find out where it is and how to turn it off in case an emergency occurs. If you know or suspect that the gas leak is located at the meter, between the meter and the street or in the street, then ring your gas company. In Victoria, this is your gas supply company, not your retailer company. The phone number for your gas supply company can be found on the top of your gas bill. If the gas leak is on the gas pipes from your gas meter leading to your appliances, or on the appliances then turn off the gas and ring an emergency plumber. Under no circumstances should you investigate, or look for a gas leak with a naked flame. Only use soapy water. Do not attempt to fix a gas leak yourself, always call a licensed plumber/gasfitter. A plumber will first use a manometer to test to see if you have a gas leak and the severity of the gas leak. Then he or she will conduct an investigation of the leak and determine what course of action is required to rectify the situation. After all the work is completed, a Certificate of Compliance is given to the client to certify that all of the work done complies with regulation and that it the gas system is safe and sound to use again. Our quick, reliable service means that you can solve your gas leak issues in no time. Contact the professionals at O’Shea Plumbing 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 Plumbing Tips, 18th Oct 2019
Because natural gas is lighter than air, it dissipates quickly into the atmosphere in the event of a leak. However, you should still report all gas leaks in Melbourne, as gas may build up in confined spaces and create a potentially dangerous situation. This is the opposite for LPG gas which is heavier than air. This makes LPG more dangerous than natural gas. What to do if you smell gas If you smell gas in the street or on your property leading up to where the gas meter is located, you should call your gas company (the phone number is usually on the top of your gas bill) immediately to locate and repair the leak. If however, you believe the leak to be after the meter on a section of pipework connecting your appliances, or on the appliance itself, you should contact O’Shea Plumbing to rectify the problem. Remember, any person undertaking work involving gas must be appropriately licensed. Inside your home If you smell gas inside your building or home: Turn off all appliances and pilot lights Turn off your supply at the gas meter Open all doors and windows for ventilation Contact O’Shea Plumbing to locate, repair the leak and relight appliances. Remember: Do not look for a gas leak with a naked flame or other ignition source Do not operate electrical equipment close to a gas leak Don’t turn on or switch off any lights, use a telephone, or use a flashlight, at the risk of causing a spark that could start a gas fire Don’t smoke, light matches, or use a cigarette lighter inside or while on the property. Inhalation of Natural Gas A natural gas leak in an outdoor environment is usually not concentrated enough to cause symptoms. A leak into a small-enclosed space can result in a lack of oxygen in the air and symptoms of hypoxia. These include headache, decreased vision, fatigue, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. At O’Shea Plumbing, we offer emergency plumber Melbourne services. We guarantee quick and reliable service and can help you solve your gas leak issues in no time. All you need to do is contact us on 03 9888 2887.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 18th Oct 2019
The water supplied to the citizens of Melbourne is amongst the best in the world. But what would happen if that water supply started flowing back the wrong way from the citizens? Below we’ll examine backflow and why prevention is so important. What is Backflow? Backflow is a term used in the plumbing world to describe an undesirable flow of water in the reverse direction. The backflow of water can carry contaminants back to the primary water supply system, making the water in it unsafe to drink. Backflow occurs due to pressure changes in the pipe. This can happen, for instance, when a broken water main is being repaired, the water is turned off, the broken section of pipe is removed, water will gush out of the pipes on either side of the broken section, and a vacuum will be created in the water supply system. Under certain conditions, this draws liquid from a potentially contaminated source back into the drinking water supply. Some examples of cross-connections where a backflow incident can occur are: In metal processing or chemical plants where metals in solutions or chemicals used for production can come into contact with the water supply In market gardens, where chemical injectors, irrigation systems and garden hoses are connected to the water supply When a hose is left running in a container with chemicals such as fertilisers Car wash facilities, where there is a connection between the scrubber and rinse cycles Pipework that allows recycled water to enter the drinking water supply. A dangerous chemical (or contaminant) may get into the water mains which leads into a nearby property. If this contaminated water is used, the occupants of the property could be seriously or fatally injured. So, what’s a Backflow Prevention Valve? This is a device that ensures non-potable water doesn’t get back into the main water supply system. Simply put, it’s a device that ensures water flows in one direction. How Does Backflow Prevention Work? There a number of types of backflow systems: everything from Dual Check Valves, Air Gap (AG) to Reduced Pressure Zone Device (RPZD). Dual Check Valves are usually for low hazard situations. Air Gap backflow systems, as the name suggests, have an air gap between the water supply system and the receiving vessel. The air gap prevents non-potable water from flowing back to the clean water supply system. RPZD backflow systems, are for high hazard situations. Make sure you hire a Licensed Back Flow Prevention Plumber like O’Shea Plumbing of Mount Waverley for installation, servicing and repair. We will let you know what backflow valve/s are required to be fitted on your property. Backflow devices have to be installed in strategic places for them to work correctly. Hazard Ratings Of course, having a device is dependent on having your site assessed so that the property’s hazard rating can be determined. The internal pipework arrangements and the processes carried out on the site will dictate; the hazard rating for the property, the type of valve/s required to be fitted, and where they need to be fitted. There are three official hazard ratings: High – any condition, device or practice which in connection with the water supply system has the potential to cause death. Medium – any condition, device or practise which in connection with the water supply could endanger health. Low – any condition, device or practice which in connection with the water supply system would constitute a nuisance but not endanger health or cause injury. Where Backflow valves are to be fitted is divided into 3 areas: Individual – This is usually a certain piece of equipment or machine to be protected, so it does not contaminate the rest of the property. i.e. the lunchroom. Zone – This is a room or area within a property to be protected, so it does not contaminate the rest of the property. i.e. the lunchroom. Containment – This is where a Backflow Prevention Valve is fitted at the water meter at the property boundary, to prevent water from flowing back into the water main. Why Do You Need a Backflow Prevention Device? A qualified licensed plumber can assess the hazard rating of your business process and determine the type of device you need to have. If you have a cross-connection or an installation on your premises with the potential to cause backflow, and subsequent contamination of the water supply occurs, your company may be exposed to: Injury claims Illness or death of occupants Contamination of products and subsequent exposure to product liability claims Litigation and possibly penalties, as the result of actions brought by the health departments under Occupational Health and Safety legislation Liability for damages caused to others at adjoining premises serviced by the same main water supply as your property. If you want to know more about device installation, Backflow testing and repair of Backflow Prevention Valves contact O’Shea Plumbing of Mount Waverley Vic, Wantirna Vic, Bentleigh Vic and Bundoora Vic. For reliable plumbers Melbourne locals can rely on, call the team of plumbing experts at O’Shea Plumbing on (03) 9888 2887
Published in Plumbing Tips, 14th Oct 2019
Before the repercussions of a blocked drain occur, it’s good to know what causes a blockage so that you can avoid the stress of flooding, foul odours, leaking or worse happening in your home. Below we will discuss the common causes of a drain blockage. The most common cause of blockages in sewer and storm water drains are tree roots. The roots enter the drain through small cracks and then grow, causing blockages in the drain which need to be removed by a plumber in Melbourne. A good drain shouldn’t block, sometimes broken drains are the cause. Drains or pipes that are incorrectly installed, with incorrect fittings and or gradient can also be the cause of a blockage. Foreign objects being put into the drain, like children’s toys, rocks or stones can cause blockages. Do NOT put the following in the sewerage system: plastics motor oils, paints or pesticides non-biodegradable products fats, oils or food scraps cotton buds, nappies, condoms, sanitary products and wrappers medicines wet wipes and facial tissues. What NOT to flush Every fortnight, over four tonnes – about the size of an African elephant – of wet wipes are removed from one of Melbourne’s three sewerage networks because they have been wrongly flushed into the system. Wet wipes are a mammoth issue, with over 100 tonnes needing to be removed each year with some causing blockages that can cost up to $1,000 each time they need to be cleared by a blocked drains Melbourne plumber. While some of these products claim to be flushable, they may not be and customers should be mindful of what is flushed down the toilet. The best option is to put the wet wipes into the bin. We also suggest you follow these handy hints: Use a sink strainer to prevent food scraps and other household waste, from going down the drain. Consider using a compost heap to dispose of food scraps. Pour kitchen fats and oils into a container; seal it and throw it in the bin. Alternatively let the grease solidify, wrap it in newspaper and put it in the bin Wipe greasy pots and pans with a paper towel before washing. Dispose of items such as cotton buds, nappies, condoms, sanitary products and their wrappers in the household rubbish. Use less detergent. The average household uses three times more detergent than manufacturers recommend. Choose a washing detergent with a low salt content. Concentrated detergents often contain much less salt than conventional varieties. Ask your local pharmacy or council for advice on how to dispose of medicines and hazardous chemicals. What happens if they do go into the system? These products can cause: damaged pipes blocked pipes which may impact your property, your neighbour’s property and or the sewerage mains, reticulation system. Remember we all pay through our rates for the blockages and damage done to the entire sewer system caused by these products being flushed down the drains harm to the environment. If your drain is blocked give O’Shea Plumbing of Mount Waverley Vic, Wantirna Vic, Bentleigh Vic or Bundoora Vic a call on 03 9888 2887 for a fast reliable response. We’ll come running!
Published in Plumbing Tips, 3rd Oct 2019
When should you get your gas heater checked? Be sure to get all gas appliances in your home serviced regularly. Energysafe Victoria and the Victorian Building Authority advise doing this at least every two years. It’s a good idea to do it at the end of summer to beat the Autumn/Winter rush. If you have an older gas heater O’Shea Plumbing recommend that you consider having it serviced, and a carbon monoxide test carried out every year. Use only an authorised gasfitter to carry out the work. It’s illegal (and dangerous) for anyone else to do it and you could also invalidate your home insurance. The servicing of a gas heater includes – Checking that the heater is installed correctly and carrying out safety checks A general clean of the heater including the burners, fans and filters Checking the flue Burner pressure checks Checking the heat exchange Checking for correct operation of the heater Carbon monoxide tests. Benefits of servicing your gas heater regularly Lowers your gas bill. Makes your gas heater operate at its premium efficiency Helps extend the life of your heater Helps prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Use your gas heater safely Check if your heater is affected by a safety alert If your heater is open flue, you should let some fresh air into the house when the heater is on Don’t use exhaust fans at the same time as your heater – this can draw CO into the room Never leave your heater on overnight Install a carbon monoxide alarm as a back-up measure If your heater is old, or hasn’t been serviced for several years, consider replacing it Never use outdoor gas appliances designed for outdoor use inside your home, caravan, car or tent Know the symptoms of CO poisoning and act quickly if you notice them. Carbon monoxide – what are the risks? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas you can’t see or smell. When it spills from your gas heater, it can make you very sick or even kill you and your family. Any gas heater can spill CO – including old and new heaters, central heating units, space heaters, wall furnaces and decorative log fires. To avoid the risk, ESV and the VBA recommend that all gas heaters are serviced at least every two years by a qualified gasfitter. A qualified gasfitter will inspect your heater and check its installation, including testing for CO leakage.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 23rd Sep 2019
It can be quite the surprise when a blockage occurs in your pipes and suddenly things you’d wish to never see again start overflowing back out of the drain. In this instance, calling a blocked drain plumber Melbourne service is probably the best thing to do. However, not all blockages make themselves as immediately (and urgently) known. Some blockages may only cause a foul smell, strange gurgling noise, or maybe you notice that the water is taking far too long to drain. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your drains, then you might have a blockage on your hands. Below we have put together a short explainer on what to do when your drain is blocked. If the blockage is in the trap (S bend) or the waste pipe between the amenity (i.e. basin, sink, shower, bath, etc.) and the sewerage drain, then you can first try a hand plunger. These can easily be purchased from a hardware store. If you are dealing with a blocked toilet, opt for the higher-quality plungers as they will work better. If plunging isn’t working, you could try drain cleaning crystals. These can be purchased from hardware stores or supermarkets. Drain cleaning crystal products may also work on local grease blockages. If you opt to use these products be aware; It may damage plumbing systems. Some products sit in a pipe until the clog dissolves, continually reacting and generating heat. If the product sits in the pipe for too long, it could result in a number of other plumbing issues. Toilet bowls can crack. PVC pipes can soften and eventually break. Old, corroded pipes can be easily damaged, and can quickly eat away at the glue holding pipes together. Some products can be unpredictable if combined with other chemicals or equipment. When using plumbing tools, like a plunger or an auger, the product could splash up on to your skin, and get into your eyes and lungs. If even a small amount of product remains in the drain, and you use a chemical cleaning product soon after, the two products might react unfavourably to create toxic fumes. You never know what kind of chemical reaction you might get when introducing it to a plumbing system. Some products can burn the skin, irritate eyes, and damage your lungs. Some products are caustic, meaning it has the ability to burn or corrode organic tissue by chemical action. When a plumber gets called in to fix a clogged drain, they typically ask the customer if they’ve tried drain cleaning crystals already, because these products can make their working conditions unsafe. Blockages in the sewerage or storm water drains generally require a plumber experienced in using either a cable machine or a water jet machine. These blockages are mostly caused by tree roots or breaks in the drains. At O’Shea Plumbing, we will give the client options that include: Clearing the root growth from the drain with a cable or water jet machine Clearing the root growth from the drain with a cable or water jet machine and then follow up with RootX to inhibit root growth without damaging the trees and the environment Inspecting the drain with a Ridgid Drain Camera to locate breaks or defects in the drain with a Ridgid Navitrack Giving options to reline the drain Giving options to excavate and replace either sections or all of the drain with new PVC drain If you are experiencing a blocked drain, call an emergency plumber Melbourne service immediately. O’Shea Plumbing are based in Mount Waverley Vic , Wantirna Vic, Bentleigh Vic, and Bundoora Vic. Call us on 03 9888 2887 for a fast quote.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 8th Jun 2018
As the weather is cooling down, more and more Melburnians are starting to rely on indoor and outdoor heaters to keep themselves warm and cosy. Portable gas heaters are are a very popular warming method, as they are relatively inexpensive and energy efficient. But while gas heaters can seem like the perfect solution to combat the winter weather, they actually bring with them a high risk of danger that many homeowners are not aware of. Fixed heaters have a lot of accompanying rules and regulations regarding proper installation, where the heater can be placed, how to properly maintain the appliance, etc. Portable heaters, on the other hand, often have little to no safety instructions at all, and leave all dager prevention practices up to the user’s discretion. The biggest threat when it comes to gas heaters comes from people using outdoor heaters in indoor spaces, which is strongly advised against by professional gasfitters but unfortunately quite common. When gas appliances are trapped in a closed-off area with no way for the gas to escape, users are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If there is any flame present in the area while the heater is on, homes are susceptible to fires or even explosions. Whether the heater is in the bedroom, kitchen, living room or some other part of the house, your roommates and family can be put in a lot of danger if the room doesn not have proper ventilation. Another common problem at the moment comes from homeowners who are using their gas heaters in indoor/outdoor spaces (such as enclosed porches) that still do not have enough airflow to rid the area of accumulated gas. These spaces may seem like an acceptable place to use a portable heater because they are exposed to the outdoors, but if they are not fully open then placing your heater there can still be unsafe. Even the LPG gas bottles alone can be a huge hazard when manually connected to your gas line and kept in closed spaces. It’s important that wherever you put your heater and gas tank has open windows, a chimney or some other spot where the gas can exit out of. Another solution is to nix your gas heater completely and instead opt for another home heating option. Sure, portable gas heaters may be convenient, but they are not worth the risk. If you get in contact with our experienced gas heating experts, they can advise you of the best domestic heating option for your Melbourne residence. If you insist on installing a portable gas heater, they can help you set yours up safely and guide you in the proper way to use it. We can even assess your likelihood of gas leaks and help you minimise your risk. For more information on the risks of gas heaters and what alternative options are available, contact the O’Shea Plumbing team today at 03 9888 2887.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 13th Apr 2018
In Australia, land of the “barbie”, almost every house has a barbecue of its own. These barbecues run on gas, which typically requires an individual liquid propane gas (LPG) tank (easily found at your local petrol station). Although gas tanks are the most easy and efficient way to set up your home barbecue, some locals in Melbourne are now attempting to connect their grills to their home’s natural gas lines. Their main justifications are that they want to avoid the hassle of lugging home and having to refill their gas tanks, and that they are trying to minimise the eyesore of a large gas bottle in their yard. While the decision to swap your barbecue from LPG to your home’s natural gas line may sound like a good idea in theory, it gets a big red flag from us. When you compare the two options, you may actually find that LPG wins every time. Here are the top six reasons to avoid doing so: Conversion Requirements The biggest reason why is because barbecues that require LPG run completely differently than items that use the natural gas in your home gas line. They operate at different pressures and temperatures, and utilise differently sized, injectors / valves. You cannot connect your barbecue to your natural gas line without doing some sort of complicated conversion. New Gas Line Installation Another thing many people don’t realise is that you must install an additional gas line directly to your grill if you want to cater for the extra load to your domestic gas system. Your existing gas pipes may need to upgraded to cope with the extra appliance High Price Even if you are insistent upon making all the necessary conversions and adding additional gas lines so that you can connect your outdoor barbecue, you must note that this process could cost, hundreds or thousands of dollars. Gas fitting is complicated enough on its own, let alone when trying to merge outdoor and indoor fixtures. In many cases, the excessive fees associated with this project is simply not worth it. Lack of Flexibility Another factor to consider is that connecting a barbecue to your natural gas line means that once the barbecue is connected, it cannot be moved. LPG grills, on the other hand, are highly portable and can be relocated as needed. If you have a large outdoor area and would like the flexibility to wheel around your barbecue if you desire a change of location, stick with your strictly LPG version. Indoor or outdoor With many people building Alfresco entertaining areas, its important to realise that there are strict regulations about the installation of these appliances. BBQ’s that are specified for outside, are only to be installed outside, and BBQ’s that are specified for indoor installation are only to be installed indoors. There are regulations as to what is classed as an indoor or outdoor area High Chance of Malfunction There are many things that could go wrong during the LPG to natural gas conversion process– its important to rely on the help of a professional. An improperly installed natural gas barbecue may have very small flames, for instance, and will also have difficulty heating up. You may even find yourself more susceptible to gas leaks once you have attempted to make this swap over. If you are in need of a new gas barbecue for your Melbourne home, we strongly advise that you don’t try to connect it to your domestic gas source. Instead, relish in the freedom and safety that LPG grills allow. The team at O’Shea Plumbing is happy to help you set up and maintain your LPG or natural gas barbecue, if you would like some assistance.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 23rd Mar 2018
There are many reasons why it’s important to call a professional plumber for your Melbourne home. Industry trained and licensed plumbers are highly knowledgeable about water fixtures and pipe repair and maintenance. They are able and willing to do the jobs you simply don’t want to or don’t know how to do. They can fix most issues in way less time and for way less money than you would spend trying to do it yourself. That being said, there are certain scenarios where calling a plumber out to your property is a waste of both your time and theirs because you can easily solve the problem on your own. For the untrained eye, a pipe or tap leak can seem like a huge deal, and may send you running to phone the plumber straight away. If you know what signs to look for, however, and have methods in place of addressing them, you may be surprised at what you can achieve by yourself. Of course, there is no comparison between a DIY plumbing project and the effective work of a qualified professional. What we are trying to say is that some more simple fixes can be done without having to schedule and pay for a professional service. If you have a water leak in your Melbourne property, here are a few factors to check for before giving your plumber a call: Clogged Pipes and Drains: When your kitchen or bathroom pipes and drains get clogged up with hair, oil, or other sorts of grime, water can become backed up, leading to excessive water pressure in the pipes and therefore leaks. Be sure to clean your pipes and drains out regularly as a simple way to avoid larger complications down the road. Faulty Valves: Often times, leaks are just a result offaulty pressure relief valves (PTR) or pressure/temperature relief valves (PTRV). Before calling a plumber, locate your valves and lift the lever a few times to clear any blockages. If the valve is old , or the lever has not been lifted for a year or more, then its best to call O’Shea Plumbing to replace the valve, as it may have a build up of debris in the valve that may cause it to continue to run If the leak stops, your problem is solved. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace your valves. Loose or Broken Washers and O-Rings: Sometimes, a bit of a tightening is all you need to stop a pipe leak. Washers and O-Rings have a tendency to loosen up over time, so it pays to check them and tighten them regularly. (Just make sure to not tighten them too much, as this can also be problematic.) If they are cracked or worn down at all, a replacement would probably be beneficial to help manage your leak problem. Worn Out Seals:Leaks from any sort of water fixture, such as washing machines, refrigerators, sinks or toilets, may be a result of old or worn sealant. Replacing your washing machine and fridge doors or installing new seals around your toilet base and sink handles may be enough to fix your leak problem. High Water Pressure: If you hear a banging sound when you turn on your tap (water hammer), you likely have excessively high water pressure. This can lead to leaks, as too much water is trying to get out of the tap at once and and tries to escape elsewhere. A quick fix for this problem is to utilise an anti-hammer valve, which your plumber can help you install if needed. Reducing high hot and cold water pressure will greatly increase the life of and reduce the risk of damage to all taps, appliances and pipes While most of these sources of water leaks are simple enough to handle on your own, we do recommend that you seek the help of a professional plumber if the problem continues. If you think that you can handle your water leak by yourself but would like a bit of guidance in how to do so, feel free to reach out to the staff at O’Shea Plumbing with questions or concerns.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 5th Mar 2018
Plumbing is a major industry in Melbourne and all around Victoria. Commercial and domestic plumbing is a priority for property owners looking to ensure the health, safety and comfort of their family, employees or guests. Because of the saturation of plumbers in Melbourne, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for the job you need. There are so many to pick from– all with a range of experience and qualifications. Different plumbers can also have quite different price points and fee structures, which can understandably influence your decision-making process. While the necessity of some plumbing company characteristics are negotiable, there is one that is not: All plumbers you hire should always give a Certificate of Compliance for gas work , underground sewer drainage work , and all work over $750.00, so that you can feel secure in their knowledge and ability. Even if it costs you a bit more, this is one necessity that cannot be overlooked. What is a Certificate of Compliance? This refers to a certification for licensed plumbers, distributed by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). It guarantees that they work they do complies with all relevant plumbing standards, rules and regulations within the state. On completion of certain plumbing work, licensed plumbers must send compliance certificates to both the person getting the work done and the VBA. Failure to do so can result in harsh penalties for the plumber as well as potential detriments for you. Why Do Certificates of Compliance Matter? To work as a plumber in Victoria, one must either be licensed or registered through the VBA, or currently be in training under the guidance of a licensed plumber. Certificates of Compliance, are mandatory for plumbers licensed through the VBA (and for good reason). Licensed plumbers exist within the top tier of this hierarchy. It is implied that they hold more knowledge than registered or training plumbers. To uphold this standard, licensed plumbers must be well-trained in any sort of plumbing job they may face before they are able to practice. Certificates of Compliance are to be given for work within the following categories: Drainage Fire Protection Gasfitting Irrigation (Non-agricultural) Mechanical Service Roofing (Stormwater) Sanitary Water Supply Hot Water Although these are the primary areas that are assessed, Certificates of Compliance are also given for work in appliance servicing and conversion, gasfitting work (standard and advanced), refrigerated air conditioning work and backflow prevention. If you need any of these jobs completed, a licensed plumber ready to supply and lodge a Certificate of Compliance should always be the one to take it on. There are many certified plumbers in the Melbourne area, including the entire team at O’Shea Plumbing. Avoid Faulty Workmanship The main benefit for home or business owners of hiring certified plumbers is to reduce the risk of faulty workmanship. This is important regardless of the circumstances, but is especially relevant on any large, time-consuming or expensive project. Certificates of Compliance are mandatory for any plumbing job in Victoria that costs over $750. If you have hired a plumber for a major job and they are hesitant to lodge a Certificate of Compliance, this should be seen as a significant red flag. In any case like this, we recommend that you reconsider the company you are using and look for someone who agrees to maintain proper legislative practices. Hiring a plumber who fails to comply to state regulations can put you and your property at risk. It is not worth it to save a bit of money and hire a dodgy plumber. Instead, invest in a company you can trust, such as O’Shea Plumbing! Our licensed plumbers are fully certified and highly dependable. No matter what sort of plumbing job you need done, we are the optimal team to handle it. Call us today for a quote on your next project.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 23rd Feb 2018
Everybody has experienced issues with their taps at least once in their lifetime and the initial stress and anxiety that accompanies not knowing how to fix the issue at hand. Most people’s first instinct is to call a plumber, but depending on the time of day or your local plumbers schedule, it may take a while before they can visit your property and examine the problem. Before calling a plumber here are a few different steps and measures you can follow to determine whether or not the problem is serious enough that it requires professional help. 1 – Check other taps in your home Sometimes the issue is limited to just one tap as opposed to all of your taps throughout your home. Before calling a plumber it is important to check first exactly how many taps are affected by this water shortage. If it is just one tap that has limited water supply it may just be the case of determining and investigating where the shortage is coming from. For example, your aerators may be blocked on the one tap, which you can check quite easily as they are located at the tip of your water tap. Once you determine how many taps are affected, you can assess the significance of the issue. 2 – Ask Your Neighbours If all of the taps in your home are affected, you should definitely check with your neighbours to see if the issue is just subjected to your individual property or your whole neighbourhood or estate. If it is affecting a larger proportion of your neighbourhood then it is safe to assume that the problem is much larger than initially anticipated. In this instance, you should call the local council to determine what the problem is and when it is expected to be resolved. 3 – Replace Your Tap Washer Cracks and punctures in your waterline can affect your water flow and can be created by branches, debris and other natural products finding their way into your drains. This could potentially be where your restricted or completely cut off water has come from. The actual drain itself may be old and therefore may be damaged through wear and tear which could also have caused this issue. Once again, it is advisable that you call a team of professionals at O’Shea Plumbing to discuss with them how to resolve this issue. 4 – Check the valves in your home Your water supply may have been turned off at your isolation valve. This is located next to your water meter which is usually placed out the front of your home. If you are living in an apartment complex, check with your landlord to see where your standalone system is located. If it is turned off, it may simply be a case of turning it back on so water is restored throughout your home. 5 – Have you paid your water bill? Water companies don’t usually completely shut off your water as a first sign of overdue payments. More than likely, your water pressure would initially be reduced as a sign to indicate that you have not paid your bills. If you have been notified by your water company that you haven’t paid your bills and have experienced restricted water flow recently, then more than likely this is the reason why your water has been cut off this. Sometimes the first reaction when something goes wrong with the taps in our home is to call a plumber. However, more often than not the problem is usually quite miniscule and can be solved by following these simple steps and procedures. For when the problem is more serious than what we’ve listed above, the team at O’Shea Plumbing are more than willing to help you out. Call them today on 03 9888 2887, or fill out the contact form to submit an enquiry, and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Published in Plumbing Tips, 2nd Feb 2018
Allowing someone into your home or professional space doesn’t come without its own set of concerns. You want to ensure that the person hired to do the job will be able to do so without having to worry about ulterior factors at play. Then again, you also want to ensure that you won’t be taken for a ride; whether it comes to fixing problems which don’t really exist or having to pay more for a service than you normally would. Thus, when trying to figure out what makes a good plumber before deciding on a specific professional, be sure to keep the following characteristics of a good plumber in mind: 1. Provides accurate/clear estimates. The last thing you want is a professional plumber who keeps changing a quote. Someone who’s never quite sure what it would cost after all the work has been completed. When searching for a professional plumbing service, you need accurate and clear estimates in order to budget – knowing exactly how much you’re going to have to pay at the end of the day without any sneaky surprises. 2. Not afraid to show credentials. Is the person you’re thinking of hiring qualified to do the job? Any plumber should be licensed, bonded, and insured in order to protect you from possible accidents which may occur on the job. A professional plumber will proudly display these credentials in their own office or be more than happy to show you. 3. Arrives on time. There’s nothing worse than having to push your own appointments aside in order to make time for a plumber, only for the plumber to show up when they feel like it. As unprofessional as it may be, it does happen. 4. Good online track record. With social media taking over these days, online reviews are everywhere. Lucky for you, you’re able to assess the professionalism and quality of work of someone before having to hire them yourself.Check out their Facebook and Google reviews, but keep in mind it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. Check out the way that they handle the negative reviews, as this will give you a more transparent insight to their personality and trustworthiness. 5. Ability to detect possible problems. Professional plumbers with many years of experience will be able to spot potential problems; even if they may seem quite minor at that particular moment. A recent ABC News report revealed a plumber’s mistake when he had to fix a simple leaky pipe, which ended up exposing the tenants to deadly asbestos dust. According to the report, the 26-year-old students, Ella Gleeson and Morgana Russell expected the plumber to fix a leaky pipe in their bathroom wall. “I just assumed he knew what he was doing,” Ms Gleeson said. “When he was finished, the hole he had cut in the tiles above the bathtub was still there. “He was like, ‘that’s for the handyman to fix’. There was just a giant hole in the wall. There was dust everywhere.” Ms Russell added: “I saw a hole in our shower wall. I saw dust all over.” After realising that a handyman is a no-show, they cleaned up the damage caused by the plumber. “The dust just spread around the house,” Ms Gleeson said. Her brother, a carpenter, visited after the third day. “I showed him and his face dropped. That’s asbestos. So then we just panicked,” Ms Gleeson said. Any professional plumber would have realised the dangers and notified the tenants immediately. However, when dealing with someone who’s simply out for the money, doing their job and only that is what you’ll potentially find. Plumbing problems can happen at any moment, any time of the day. Thus, finding a reliable plumber to help you out in a tricky situation will give you peace of mind that everything will be alright. Regardless of the situation at hand, finding a professional plumber with quality characteristics will save you money in the long run and prevent minor problems from becoming massive plumbing issues. Looking for a professional plumber in Melbourne? Get a reliable quote from one of our professional plumbers in Melbourne. Click here. Source: 1, 2, 3
Published in Blog, 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 Plumbing Tips, 20th Mar 2017
Plumbing issues can happen to anyone and at any time. It can often be quite difficult to identify and plumbing issues if you don’t know what to out for. So, in order to make it easier for you to identify a major plumbing issue as well as avoid a costly emergency plumbing fee, here are 5 tell-tail signs that something is seriously wrong with your plumbing. Dripping Faucets Faucets often drip from time to time, especially when it’s not been correctly turned all the way off. However, if you notice that your faucet is leaking even when it has been properly turned off this could be a sign of some major plumbing issues. Not only are dripping faucets terribly annoying to listen to, they could also be contributing to an expensive water bill. So if one of your faucets is currently leaking be sure to call a plumber immediately to identify what the problem is. A Clogged Drain A blocked drain is usually pretty easy to deal with. Either using a plunger or a bottle of drain cleaner, both of which can usually be purchased in most supermarkets, more often than not solves the problem. But if you start to notice that there is a foul smell coming from your drain, or that there is a blockage that you are unable to unblock yourself it may be time to call in the professionals. Low Water Pressure Have you ever been in the shower and the pressure suddenly changes as soon as someone runs a tap or turns on the dishwasher? It can be terribly annoying and frustrating – even more so than a leaky faucet! However, low water pressure can also be a sign that there is a leak. Many plumbers are able to check your water pressure and check for faults or leaks. A Running Toilet A toilet that constantly runs or runs for a substantial amount of time after being flushed could be significantly increasing your water bills. Not only that a running toilet is often a telltale sign that the inner workings are due to be replaced. Smells and Stains Funny smells and stains on the ceiling directly underneath your bathroom, or in fact any of the surrounding walls, could be a sign of serious plumbing issues. If you notice any strange stains it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion from your plumber before attempting to deal with the issue yourself. Stains on the wall could be a sign that there is a leak and leaks, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to the foundations of your home. Hopefully, the above warning signs will make it easier for you to identify any plumbing issues before they get out of hand. For those that need some additional assistance, contact O’Shea Plumbing today!
Published in Plumbing Tips, 20th Oct 2016
The spring is currently in full swing and for many homeowners, it is time to get the trusty, old barbecue back into action. There’s nothing quite like a garden cookout with friends and family, so make the most of the fine weather and show off your grilling skills. At O’Shea Plumbing, we think barbies are a great way to enjoy the sun, as long as they’re used in the right way. This is especially important for butane and propane gas barbecues, which can be very dangerous without the proper level of precaution. They’re pretty easy to use and you don’t have to have any special expertise, but you do need to follow the instructions in the manual and avoid taking any unnecessary risks while lighting and cooking. To help you stay safe at your backyard cookouts, we’ve put together this simple guide to using your gas barbecue safely. Get Outdoor Kitchens Professionally Fitted There are all kinds of different gas barbecue designs. Some are portable and can be moved around on wheels. These are usually powered by disposable gas canisters. Or, there are fully integrated fitted designs that turn the garden into a makeshift ‘outdoor kitchen.’ These are commonly built into a wall or enclosure, where the grill snugly sits. They need to be hooked up to the gas mains by a professional installer. You can check out our gas fitting services for information on how we do this. Cook in a Well Ventilated Area The best place to set up your barbecue is on a deck or patio, but not too close to the house. Make sure that the ground is flat and the barbecue doesn’t rock or tilt. There should sufficient space for air to circulate around the structure so that gas leaks are dispersed and rendered inert as quickly as possible. Click here for advice on what to do if you suspect that your fitted barbecue has a gas leak. Light the Barbecue Safely Lighting propane and butane barbecues isn’t a difficult task, but you should stick to the same key steps every time. The first is to check that all of the burners and rings are turned off. Then, open the lid to get air flowing and eliminate any gas vapours that might have built up inside. Open the gas cylinder valve slowly to start the flow. If you’re using disposable gas bottles, don’t forget to open the service valve before you turn on the controls. Finally, start the ignition source and open up the burner controls closest to it. It is very important that you light each, in sequence, and that you end with the burner furthest away. Keep a Close Eye on the Grill Now, the hard part really begins. You’ve got to satisfy a garden full of hungry mouths and make sure that your steaks and burgers are cooked to perfection. You don’t have much to worry about regards safety at this point, as long as you keep a close eye on the barbecue and ensure that children stay at a distance. You can close the lid once the gas has been burning for a short while and the grill has heated up, but remember not to leave it burning unattended. Why Professional Installation is Necessary Unless you’re a plumber of a gas fitter by trade, it really isn’t safe for you to tamper with the gas mains and try to install a fitted barbecue without professional help. Fortunately, our team of experts aren’t just big barbecue lovers, they are great at installing them too. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us you know what you need to get the summer started in style.
Published in 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!