Hot Water System Leaking? Follow These 4 Steps

Hot Water System Leaking? Follow These 4 Steps

If you’re like most people, you don’t pay much attention to your hot water system. But you really should keep an eye on this vital part of your house, as it is relied upon every single day. You should also do the required hot water system maintenance of your particular system, including checking the very important relief valve every six months. On one of these regular checks, you might notice something alarming: your hot water system leaking.

You may have discovered a leak inspecting your system or investigating a plumbing problem like low hot water pressure. In any case, you need to know what to do next. In this article, we want to layout in 4 simple steps what to do if you do find yourself with a leaking hot water system.

1. Don’t panic!

While it’s true that even a small leak can be a big problem, there is rarely the need to panic. With a bit of luck, a hot water leak is probably covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of up to 10 years.

2. Where’s the leak?

Is your hot water service leaking? Step two is identifying where that water is coming from. It might be the pipes attached to the system, the tank itself, or a different source altogether. If it’s the latter, you have a different problem. If it’s the hot water leaking, move on to step 3.

3. Be proactive

It might be tempting to either get out a spanner or call the plumber at this point. But err on the side of safety and go and turn your water off at the mains. And to be doubly safe, cut the supply of power to your leaking hot water system as well.

4. Call the plumber

If you’re really sure that it’s your hot water cylinder leaking, it’s time to call in the professionals. DIY plumbing can be dangerous, illegal, or against the manufacturer’s warranties and insurance policies. And that’s not to mention that hot water systems are expensive and complex, so it’s not a great idea to fiddle with them.

Leaking hot water system – What’s the problem?

While you’re waiting for your plumber, let’s explore some of the things that might have gone wrong to cause a hot water leak.

1. Tank damage

A hot water system leaking from the tank itself is unfortunately quite common for these hard-working household appliances. In these cases, a brand new system is usually the best or the only remedy.

2. Relief valve

As we mentioned earlier, the pressure valve is a vital part of your hot water system. They are designed to relieve pressure when required, but they also go wrong – and the best sign of that is water that is constantly coming out of the valve. With a bit of luck, the valve can simply be replaced.

3. Pipes

Connecting the hot water system to your household plumbing is a range of fittings and pipes, and over long periods of use and exposure, they wear out or become loose. As with the relief valve, with some luck, your plumber may be able to replace the fittings rather than the entire system.

Hot water service leaking – Repair or replace?

fixing a leaking hot water systemDepending on the age of your hot water system, and the severity of the fault or the replacement cost, it might make more sense to simply replace the entire unit rather than attempt to fix it. The hot water system technology is constantly marching ahead, meaning that if you do replace it, you could claw back that cost over a relatively short space of time in terms of running costs, environmental friendliness, and efficiency.

So while a like-for-like replacement can be popular, looking into your options can be a great way to better match your lifestyle and budget with the growing list of great products on the market. Is it time to make the switch from an electric to gas hot water system? How about going from a tank storage solution an instant hot water system? Or will you take the ‘green’ plunge into heat pump or solar technology?

Our Gold Coast hot water plumbers not only repair, maintain and replace hot water systems, they give the very best advice to those people unsure about how to react to their unexpected hot water leak. Call 1300 390 361 today for fast, friendly, hassle-free service.

The 4 Different Types of Taps for Bathrooms and Kitchens

The 4 Different Types of Taps for Bathrooms and Kitchens

A tap is a tap … right? When you want to fill the sink up or pour a refreshing glass of water, you turn that tap on with your hand and the water comes out. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t several different types of taps that differ quite fundamentally.

First, the definition. What is a tap? To put it succinctly, a tap is a simple mechanical device that allows a user to control the flow of liquid from a pipe. But after that, it gets a bit more complex — because there are at least four different basic types of taps.

Let’s explore the various water tap types.

When you’re browsing the various types of tap for your kitchen or bathroom renovation, you’ll notice that there are absolutely HUNDREDS (and even thousands!) of different tap styles. But in this article, we’re not talking about the many, many different tap styles, materials, finishes and appearances to match your chic decor preferences. We’re talking about the fundamental mechanics of how your tap will actually function.

To break it down, there are four basic tap type configurations: compression washer, ball, disk and cartridge. When you go to change your tap washers to stop a drip or a leak, these tap type differences will be crucial.

The four different types of taps

1. The compression washer tap

Think about the typical garden tap. It’s a simple handle that basically screws out to turn the flow of water off, and screws in to turn it off. It is a very common and traditional tap type that is still found inside many homes, but it can also be the one that causes the most trouble.

How it works: The flow of water is controlled by a nut that is covered by a washer, which is moved either up or down against the seat of the tap. If the sink has hot and cold water, you need a separate compression washer tap for each water source. These types of washers commonly need replacing.

2. The ball tap

If you haven’t heard of a ball tap, you probably know it by its more common name: the mixer tap. It’s called this because a single handle can control the flow from both the hot and the cold water sources.

How it works: Basically, when the user manipulates the handle in different directions, the ‘ball’ rotates and lines up with different holes that control the water flow from the hot or cold sources.

3. The disk tap

However, another of the tap types with a single handle that can be described as a ‘mixer tap’ is in fact a disk tap – and these are more commonly found in the home than ball tap types. You can spot the difference between a ball tap type and a disk tap from the latter’s wider, cylinder-shaped body.

How it works: Water is passed out of the tap when holes inside the tap’s workings align. The holes are located on two disks that are normally made of ceramic so that they last a long time. Another benefit of disk tap types is that a small turn of the tap will have that water flowing at maximum capacity.

4. The cartridge tap

In all honesty, the four different types of taps mentioned above are all quite similar, in that simple on/off mechanisms control the flow of water. The cartridge tap is yet another of the water tap types that are referred to as ‘mixer taps’ all over Australia and beyond.

How it works: These types of taps get their name from the internal cartridge that lies within. When the cartridge is twisted sideways, the temperature of the water is controlled. And up and down movements control the intensity of the flow.

What type of taps should you choose?

Is your tap leaking but you’re not sure what type it is to fix it? On the market for a new set of taps but have no idea which way to go? Gold Coast Plumbing Company can help with that! We are the Gold Coast plumber with 40 years of combined experience in every sort of plumbing issue in and around your home or premises, so call 1300 390 361 for friendly advice and service today.

Gas vs Electric Hot Water Systems: 3 Ways to Help You Decide

Gas vs Electric Hot Water Systems: 3 Ways to Help You Decide

When your old hot water system suddenly stops working, it’s a sinking feeling. You can look forward to a freezing cold shower, complaining kids, and a big water bill if it’s leaking. You might even feel a pang of regret that you forgot to do your hot water system maintenance. But with every setback, a new opportunity awaits – because modern advancements in water heating have sped up big-time in the past few years. And if you need to install a new one in, the big question is: should you go for a gas or electric hot water system?

Gas VS Electric Hot Water – What are your options?

Undoubtedly, a question on homeowners’ minds when they need a new hot water system installed is this: Should I choose a gas or electric unit? And rightly so. For most households, heating water accounts for a quarter or more of the entire energy bill. It means the gas vs electric hot water question is one you need to get right.

Both gas and electric types of hot water systems are available as storage units where heated water is stored in an insulated tank and instantaneous or ‘tankless’ systems where water is heated on demand. So that aside which type of hot water system should you put in? It depends on your property, the way your family uses water, and a number of other factors. Luckily, the hot water specialists at Gold Coast Plumbing Company are standing by and more than willing to give you advice about which way to go. Let’s get the lowdown on gas vs electric with 3 important things to know about each.

3 Important Things About Electric Hot Water Systems

Essentially, electric hot water systems heat your water overnight with an element and store it in a big tank for you to use throughout the day and evening.

1. They’re popular

If you think ‘hot water system’, you’re probably thinking about the electric tank systems you grew up with. However, with climate change now on everyone’s lips, households and governments are trying to spruik more efficient alternatives.

2. They’re inefficient

And why is the tide turning against electric? Because heating water with an electric element is inefficient. However, technology is speeding ahead to make electric hot water options much more efficient, and you can also ask your power retailer about off peak rates that mean heating water overnight is less costly.

3. They’re simple and easy to install

With an up-front price and because they’re easy to install or replace, electric hot water is still an extremely popular choice.

3 Important Things About Gas Hot Water Systems

Fundamentally similar to electric, gas hot water systems simply use a different heat source – LPG or natural gas.

1. They’re cost-effective to run

It’s just a fact: gas is cheaper than electricity. That normally translates across to the cheaper running price of gas hot water systems, and there’s also no need to worry about ‘peak’ or ‘off-peak’ tariffs – because your gas costs the same no matter when you’re using it. One downside is that if you’re not on mains gas, your shower can go cold if your bottle runs dry.

2. Gas units are a little pricier

Actually, the price-tag on gas or electric hot water systems are similar, even if a new gas system will cost a little more. For your extra money, though, you get an extra benefit in the form of a slightly smaller unit and lower running costs.

3. They’re energy efficient

Although visually similar to an electric unit, gas hot water systems are definitely the way to go if energy efficiency is on your mind. The tide of government legislation is, therefore, turning away from electric and towards gas or solar, even though Queensland has been slow to adopt the latest provisions of the Building Code of Australia.

Gas VS Electric Water Heater: Which one gets our vote?

So, the verdict is in – in the gas vs electric hot water race, which is the winner? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Our final piece of advice is to grab a piece of paper and a pen and answer these questions:

  • What energy sources are available at your house?
  • How many people live at your house?
  • Summarise your day-to-day lifestyle
  • How much space do you have for hot water systems?

With your answers, give the friendly experts at Gold Coast Plumbing Company a call on 1300 390 361 and we’ll be delighted to give you advice! We do dozens upon dozens of gas or electric installations and replacements every year in houses near you, so we’re looking forward to your call.

8 Ways to Prevent Water Damage from Storms

8 Ways to Prevent Water Damage from Storms

Occasional visitors to the beautiful Gold Coast and Queensland always say the same thing: “The weather is amazing!” But the locals (and the emergency plumbers!) know a little better. Sometimes, the only thing that is amazing is the incredible intensity of the storm that is sweeping through town. And storms, of course, can be incredibly destructive. We’re talking about lightning, wind, hail, and – of course – storm water damage.

As your trusty emergency plumber, we’re standing by to help. But as a Gold Coast homeowner, the onus is also on you to reduce the impact of water damage from storms before that wild weather hits.

So with bad weather already on the radar, let’s go through some ways you can safeguard your Gold Coast assets, property and family against the impact of storm water damage to homes.

Water damage Gold Coast – here’s what to do:

1. Keep your gutters clean

This is the obvious one. Those gutters are up there so they can do their job when the rain comes down. But if they’re full of leaves and other gunk, you’re just asking for trouble.

2. Fix your leaks

If there’s one thing that becomes very, very noticeable during a huge downpour, it’s that tiny leak in your gutters, downpipes, and roof. At the earliest sign of a water leak, get it repaired quickly. A small leak can become a much bigger problem in a severe storm.

3. Check your downpipes

We just mentioned the leaks that could be in your downpipes, but arguably even more of a problem is a complete or partial blockage to those pipes – or your drains. Once that storm water starts to flow quickly, that blockage can turn into a plumbing nightmare.

To check, test your downpipes’ performance with a hose.

4. Check your rainwater tank

An often-forgotten part of your storm preparations is to take a closer look at your rainwater tank. If these pipes are blocked with debris, the fast-flowing water can become backed up and overwhelm your gutters.

5. Think about water flow

If the storm water has started to flow around your place, it’s too late to do much about it. But, for next time, take note of how your property’s stormwater infrastructure deals with the flow. Are there places where it pools? Are there ‘rivers’ that form?

With this information, consider changing your yard’s drainage, for instance by strategically positioning some rocks, or clearing some areas of debris.

6. Check for overhanging branches

In a really bad storm such as a cyclone, heavy overhanging trees and branches can cause significant damage to your house or fences if they break off. Although they won’t directly cause water damage, they can damage your roof or gutters letting water in.

7. Check your backflow

Especially where storms and floods are commonplace, backflow prevention is a really important issue. Your drinking water can be under threat from water flowing down your pipes in the wrong direction, so consider having a backflow prevention device installed.

And if you already manage your backflow, get it tested.

8. Write up your possessions

When it comes to the sort of water damage Gold Coast locals often have to deal with, there simply is no prevention. We’re talking about storms that are so bad that flooding is inevitable.

In these worst-case scenarios, you’ll be thinking more about your insurance than your damage. So write up a detailed inventory of all your valuable possessions, and take a photo of everything too.

The lesson? Before the weather turns ugly, put a little bit of thought into preventing or minimising the sort of water damage Gold Coast locals tackle year after year. Need some support from those in the know? Gold Coast Plumbing Company has been helping to prevent water damage to homes for decades, so give the experts a call for some excellent advice on 1300 390 361.

6 Steps to Getting Rid of Bathroom Mould

6 Steps to Getting Rid of Bathroom Mould

The bedroom is for snoozing, and the lounge is for lounging. But did you know the bathroom is the favourite room in the house for many of us? It’s where we chill out in a hot bath and wash away the stress and grime of another busy day. So when you see those telltale spots of mould on bathroom ceiling and elsewhere, it’s definitely something you want to get rid of straight away.

Yes, it looks horrible – but bathroom mould in fixtures, ceilings and walls can actually be a downright health hazard, and pose an expensive risk to your valuable bathroom and home. And if you can’t spot any in your spotless bathroom, it’s probably just the case that you aren’t looking hard enough.

Mould just loves your mainly quiet, damp and dark bathroom, so if you can smell it or see it, it’s definitely a problem.

Ok, ok … it’s time to get your head around how to get rid of mould in bathroom spaces. Luckily, one of the most common bathroom headaches is also one of the easiest to fix – as long as you know how.

You’ve come to the right place!

Mould on bathroom ceiling and beyond? Get rid of it today!

1. Find it

As we’ve said, you’ve probably already spotted it … or sniffed it. But if you need to look harder, try under the sinks and around the shower doors and bath fixtures, and don’t forget the exhaust fan as well.

Also important to remember is that while the mould may have started in the bathroom, it may now be spreading to other rooms, particularly if your ventilation and lighting are bad.

2. Prevent it

If you’re lucky enough to not find any bathroom mould, congratulations! Now it’s time to keep it that way.

Mould loves poor ventilation, so when you have a shower or bath, flick on the exhaust fan – and keep it on for an extra half hour after you’re done (don’t worry, it doesn’t use a lot of power). If you use a shower curtain, buy a mould-resistant one, and once it’s old – throw it out and replace it.

If you love keeping your shampoo or rubber ducky in the shower, break that habit as well because it’s just extra hidden places for mould to grow. And don’t forget that the easiest way to prevent mould is to clean regularly.

3. Get rid of it

If you’ve got mould, time to say ‘oh-oh’. But don’t panic! As long as it’s not an absolute mould infestation from hell, a bit of DIY bathroom mould remover elbow-grease will do the trick!

Time to get stuck into your bathroom with mould-hating agents – bleach and vinegar are great, and hydrogen peroxide is the big gun. Just don’t use them all together, as you could concoct a dangerous mix. Our personal fave is vinegar and water, and it works a treat.

While you’re cleaning, open the windows – not just so the fumes ventilate, but so the fresh air dries out the mould as you go.

4. Replace it (the grout)

A favourite place for mould to grow in your bathroom is on the constantly-damp tile grout, especially if that grout is getting old, tired and worn. So if it’s been a year or so since you had it re-done, there’s no time like the present.

And while you’re at it, put some fresh (and mould-free) silicone around your bath and sink, too, as mould is notoriously hard to get rid of here.

5. Paint it (the walls)

If you’ve scrubbed that mould off your bathroom walls, well done! But don’t take a break yet. Why not re-paint the walls, and this time buy some easy-to-clean bathroom paint that contains handy mould inhibitors?

6. Seek advice (from us!)

If your mould is creeping into the walls and even your insulation, you may need to consider calling in your local plumber. It’s possible you have a hidden water leak or some other bathroom, water supply or plumbing problem, and that is speeding up the mould growth.

If you do need to call someone, the family-run Gold Coast Plumbing Company can be trusted for every plumbing problem under the sun. Call today on 1300 390 361 to find out what your local plumber can do for you.

7 Benefits of the Plumbers Compliance Certificate

7 Benefits of the Plumbers Compliance Certificate

For most of us, when we need plumbing work done, it’s a fairly simple matter of finding a great plumber and then getting on with life. But what’s all this you’ve heard about plumbers compliance certificate?

If your drain is blocked, a pipe has gone bang, your hot water’s on the blink, or you’re getting a new kitchen sink installed, you’re going to need a plumber. But in Queensland legislation, plumbing work is actually categorised in four ways.

There’s unregulated work, minor work, notifiable work, and compliance assessable work. And depending on what you’re doing or getting done, you will almost certainly need a licensed tradie, you may need to let the Council know, and you may even need council approval or inspection.

So when you’re getting your plumbing done and you’re looking around for a great Gold Coast plumber, make sure to ask them if they know all about the plumbers compliance certificate.

What is a plumbing certificate of compliance?

Basically, it’s a document that a licensed plumber will give you and the relevant bodies that certify that the work they’ve done complies with all of the plumbing standards, codes and regulations that may be applicable.

Only a licensed plumber can issue a plumbing compliance certificate because it’s an important document that is crucial protection against bad workmanship.

What exactly is a plumbing compliance certificate for?

That plumbing compliance certificate isn’t just a piece of bureaucratic paper that the plumber signs off on. It’s proof that the work they’ve done is not only compliant but has been tested and proven to be safe.

It’s you and your plumber’s legal obligation to ensure plumbing work that is done is compliant, working and safe, and the plumbers compliance certificates are a permanent legal record of that.

What makes plumbers compliance certificates so important?

1. Dodgy tradies

As mentioned above, the main benefit of certified plumbers is to separate the best, fully licensed tradespeople from those prone to faulty workmanship.

2. Great tradies!

As the pay-off to isolating dodgy tradies, the best tradies are left over – which makes picking a great plumber to do your work all the easier and safer.

3. Gas Fitting

A gas compliance certificate confirms your gas fitter is licenced, and that the work carried out meets the required safety standards.

4. Property protection

If you engage a plumber who isn’t going to be able to meet state regulations, you’re putting your valuable property (and even more of your hard-earned money) at risk.

5. Safety

Never forget, all those regulations – including the plumbers compliance certificate – are there to protect you, your family and your community in terms of health, safety and comfort.

6. Penalties

In short, you want to avoid them! It’s not just the plumber that could be liable for breaching the rules about compliance certificates, you could too! And the penalties can be harsh, not to mention having to get the work done again … properly.

7. Insurance

If the plumbing certificate of compliance is missing or not completed correctly, you could run into trouble with your insurance company if you ever need to make a claim.

So in a nutshell, if you raise the issue of the plumbing compliance certificate with the plumber of your choice and they fob you off, that’s the perfect red flag to keep looking! You can be sure the guys at Gold Coast Plumbing Company are not just highly professional, skilled and experienced, they are fully licensed, insured and also well versed in all the ins and outs of the plumbers compliance certificate! For more info, check out our plumbing FAQs, or get in touch today on 1300 390 361.