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.

How to Save Water at Home – 11 Simple Tips

How to Save Water at Home – 11 Simple Tips

The plumbing at your place is all about hot showers and healthy pipes – right? Not quite. How about your bank account? What about the health and future of your community and planet? And how on earth do you deal with those council water restrictions? Saving water is the key not only to doing the right thing but also to keeping your water bills nice and small. Here’s how to save water at home:

1. Catch it in a bucket

Does it take your shower 30 seconds to heat up? Have you thought about leaving a clean bucket in the bathroom to catch the cold shower water that is otherwise going straight down the drain? Your plants will appreciate this easy way to save water.

2. Change the shower head

The shower is where over 20% of your household’s water is going down the drain. But simply by switching to a water saving head can save 20,000 litres of water every year.

3. Use a timer

Did you know that your favourite song is almost certainly between 3 and 5 minutes long? Why not put it on when you have a shower – it’s plenty of time to wash thoroughly and great for conserving water while singing! It’s a great example of how to save water.

4. Check for leaks

Even after it’s finished flushing, do you still hear a trickle in the toilet? That leak is costing you water (and money) and it’s probably a very easy fix. Make sure you fix those leaky taps while you’re at it, too – you could even do it as a DIY job!

5. Install a rainwater tank

Thought about adding a rainwater tank to your place? It’s a great way to conserve water (and rainwater tastes delicious to drink, too). Ask your plumber about having it plumbed into the washing machine and toilet.

6. Turn off the tap!

Are you one of those people who clean their teeth with the tap running? Why!? It’s achieving nothing except wasting water and adding dollars to your bill.

7. Add a half-flush

Big water bill? Got an old toilet cistern? It could be the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a dual-flush toilet – using that half-flush can save an amazing 80 litres of water every single day.

8. Use energy efficient appliances

And while you’re upgrading that toilet, think about getting new, water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines, too. Look for stickers on them with lots of stars!

9. Design a water-wise garden

If you’re designing your garden from scratch, check out ways in which the layout and features will save you time, money and water without compromising your desired lifestyle.

10. Buy a pool cover

Believe it or not, you can lose the entire volume of your pool’s water over a year simply through evaporation. This amount is vastly reduced with a pool cover.

11. Use a broom

When it’s time to make those paved areas look spick and span at your place, do you still use a hose? Do the right thing and make the switch to a broom or blower instead.

So as our water bills continue to rise and council water restrictions remain in force, do your bit for your community and your wallet by applying some or all of these ways to save water. Think a leaky tap or inefficient hot water system might be adding to the problem? Considering a water tank? Just want to chat with an expert? Give the guys at Gold Coast Plumbing Company a call today on 1300 390 361.

Have another way on how to save water at home? Put it in the comments below to help others trying to save water.

4 Reasons For Low Hot Water Pressure In Your Home

4 Reasons For Low Hot Water Pressure In Your Home

After a long day at work or an intense workout in the gym, there’s almost nothing better than a long, hot blast under the shower. And if it’s a mere hot trickle, there’s almost nothing worse. So if you’ve got low hot water pressure at your place, it’s time to get to the bottom of it fast.

Especially if you’re cold, tired and irritable, having no hot water pressure really is a pain in the backside. But it could be even worse than that. The causes of low hot water pressure can be serious, leaving you not just chilly and unsatisfied, but out of pocket for serious repairs and damage.

Why is my hot water pressure low?

1. Clogged pipes or fixtures

More often than not, low hot water pressure in shower, bathrooms and other parts of the house are caused by your pipes.

Hopefully, they’re not broken or leaking, because they could be causing an awful mess if you haven’t discovered those damp carpets or walls yet.

More likely is that rust, calcium, debris, and sediment is just disturbing the flow of water. The problem could be simply in the shower head or tap itself, especially if you’ve noticed that one outlet has good pressure while another is low.

2. Hot water system sediment

It could be that the sediment is building up in the actual hot water system, in which case the hot water pressure will be affected throughout the entire house.

Luckily, a good plumber can drain, clean and flush your hot water system, and hopefully restore that lost hot water pressure.

3. Hot water system problems

If you know your area well and know for sure that water pressure isn’t a factor, it could be that your hot water system needs repair or replacement. A clear way to know the hot water system is the issue is to compare the flow with the cold water supply. If the hot water pressure is a lot lower than the cold, and you have low hot water pressure in whole house, you could have a system problem.

4. Hot water system filter

Some hot water systems have handy filters that are located on both the input and outputs. If they do their filtering job brilliantly, they will eventually need to be cleaned – and they could become so dirty that they are clogged. It could also be a valve that has given up the ghost, so give your plumber a call for assistance.

What to do about low hot water pressure:

1. Isolate

Hot water pressure low in the shower but nowhere else? Is the problem in one room, one fixture, or the whole house? Successfully isolating the problem is the first step.

2. Check leaks

Are there any signs of damp, including in the walls or carpet? Have you had a cursory look in the ceiling space? If you think you’ve found a leak or suspect one, call a plumber immediately to prevent further damage.

3. Check calcification

If you’ve narrowed down the leak to a particular fixture or room, check for calcification inside the fixture or pipe.

4. Check the hot water system

If the problem is throughout the whole house, it could be the hot water system that is on the blink. Check it over to see if there are leaks or damage, and test the valves.

5. Call the pros

If all else fails, don’t forget that you can always call your local plumber – especially as most hot water plumbing can actually be illegal or dangerous to DIY.

The Gold Coast Plumbing Company is just as committed to fixing your annoying low hot water pressure problem as you are, and services all areas from Surfers to Nerang, Upper Coomera to Robina and everywhere in between. Low hot water pressure in shower, bathroom or the whole house? Don’t put up with it, give us a call today!