Handy hints

Not all water issues require a plumber, follow our handy hints for a list of common household water questions we’re regularly asked:

How do I fix a leaky tap?

The plumber says: “Leaky taps are usually caused by washers deteriorating and tap seatings becoming cracked or gouged. Once a tap begins to drip, overtightening will eventually lead to further deterioration of the seating.

It’s best to attend to a leaky tap as soon as it starts rather than waiting for it to get worse which can cost more and cause more inconvenience to repair in the long run.

Always get a professional plumber to attend to this type of leak rather than risk an emergency.

Flick mixer taps often leak from their internal cartridges. Our plumbers carry generic cartridges that fit many different brands of taps and also good quality replacement mixer taps for those that require a full replacement.”

What do I do if my toilet blocks?

The plumber says: “A plunge can often resolve minor blockages so keep a plunger handy. If your blockage doesn’t clear or returns soon after plunging, it’s best to call in an expert to avoid the risk of flooding.

If there’s a significant delay clearing a blockage, we may have to remove the whole toilet to repair, so call us immediately.

Tips to avoid a blocked toilet:

  • Never use over-the-toilet pan rim air fresheners as these are a common cause of blockages as they can become unhooked and get stuck in the bend of the toilet.
  • Only flush toilet paper down the toilet, never sanitary products, nappies, make up wipes or any other non-soluble item as this is likely to cause a blockage.”

What do I do if I have hot water issues?

The plumber says: “If your hot water has suddenly gone cold, firstly check that your electricity supply is still on. If it is then your thermostat or element may need to be replaced. This is a job for your electrician rather than a plumber.

If your hot water temperature fluctuates when in use, this is a common sign that the tempering valve to your hot water unit is faulty and needs to be replaced. This is a job that should be left to a qualified plumber to complete.

If you have a leaking hot water unit, turn the hot water unit off by turning the isolation valve clockwise. If your hot water unit is over nine years old, it might be time to replace your hot water system. DCM Plumbing can advise on the latest standards and reliable brands to help you make an informed choice about your next purchase.”

How do I fix a water leak?

The plumber says: “If you believe you have an underground water leak at your home, the easiest way to check is to refrain from using any water inside or outside your house, including washing machines, dishwashers, toilets and taps. Then locate your water meter, which is usually at the front left or right of your property within a few meters of the boundary in a green or black lidded box. Lift the lid and note down the digits on the meter including any red digits or dials.

Do not use any water over the next hour and then go back and reread the meter. If the digits have moved, it’s likely that a leak is present.

If you believe you have a leak, DCM Plumbing will locate it, repair it and help you complete paperwork to submit to your local council to request a rebate on any excess water consumption charges you may incur due to this leak.

Internal water leaks often come from burst flexible connectors underneath sinks and basins. It’s worth regularly checking these pipes as rust spots can appear indicating that a burst pipe might not be far away.”

What do I do in a burst pipe emergency?

The plumber says: “If a pipe has visibly burst at your property, turn the water off as soon as possible. Locate the water mains isolation valve which is usually at the front of the property in the green or black lidded water meter box. Open the lid and turn the isolation tap clockwise until it doesn’t turn any further (usually only a quarter turn).

If you live in a unit, the isolation valve may be under a sink or vanity or next to a toilet. If it’s your hot water that’s leaking, you can isolate just your hot supply by turning off the isolation tap next to your hot water unit. Once the water has been turned off, call in the expert plumber to carry out the emergency plumbing repairs.

DCM Plumbing provides an emergency plumbing service and will repair or replace a burst pipe any time of night or day, seven days a week.”

How do I get rid of smelly drains?

The plumber says: “If your bathroom seems to suffer from sewer smells every once in a while, but doesn’t show signs of any blockages, you may benefit from fitting a device in your floor waste that prevents sewer smells from travelling back up into the room. We use and recommend Gratemates for this job – click here to download the GrateMate information Sheet.

If you have a consistently unpleasant odour coming from your drains, call a plumber to make sure you don’t have a blockage just waiting to turn into a bigger problem.”

For complete peace of mind and fast, courteous plumbing service, call DCM Plumbing on 07 5576 5305.

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