How to Stop Drains from Constantly Blocking?

How to Stop Drains from Constantly Blocking?

The drain and sewer system is an essential part of every home and business. We rely on receiving fresh water to our properties and having the old stuff taken away. It’s only when this stops happening, do we realise how lucky we are to have modern plumbing systems!

Drain and sewer maintenance is not thought about, until a blockage occurs. Your home or business can be thrown into chaos if sinks overflow and bacteria filled water refuses to drain away. Not only is this an inconvenience, but health and safety is put at risk. Luckily, there are many preventative measures you can put in place, to stop this happening frequently. Let’s take a look.

Don’t Pour Oil and Grease Down the Sink

Oil and Grease is liquid when entering the sink plughole, but after it cools, it becomes a sticky, solid mass. This builds up over time, eventually blocking pipes and the drain. Try keeping and reusing oil where possible or pour what’s left into a lined, disposable container, to trash when it’s cooled down.

Use Metal, Mesh or Silicone Sink Strainers

The best way to prevent drain and sewer blockages is to trap particles before they get into the drain. Sink strainers are ideal for kitchen and bathroom sinks, stopping hair and food flowing into the pipes. Purchase a metal, mesh or silicone strainer from any home improvement store.

Sink With Running Tap

Don’t Flush Anything but Loo Roll Down the Toilet

It’s amazing what gets thrown down toilets and ends up in the sewer systems. Nappies, sanitary items, cotton buds, food, bottle lids and more end up in drains and eventually getting trapped causing a blockage. Ensure your kids know the importance of not throwing anything into the toilet!

Use a Food Waste Bin for Left Over Food Particles

Coffee grounds and small crumbs left on your plate may seem harmless. But if they’re getting flushed down the sink daily, these can build up, eventually blocking drains. Get yourself a food waste bin to throw leftover food into. Some can even be used for garden compost like egg shells, coffee grounds and fruit and veggie scraps.

Pull Hair Out of the Plughole Regularly

Even if you’re using a plughole strainer, some hair may slip underneath into the plughole. Make a habit of checking after every shower and pulling up any escaped hair. Your drains will thank you for it.

Regularly DIY Clean Your Pipes and Drains

Alongside pulling hair from the plughole and educating your family about not throwing items into the toilet, it’s recommended to regularly deep clean your pipes. You can use simple products you have in the kitchen cupboard. Just pour a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow with a kettle of warm water. This should loosen any current fat build up.

Talk to Your Local Plumbers for Drain Maintenance Services

If you’re extremely careful with your drains and still experience blockages on a regular basis, call in your expert local plumbers to do an inspection. This could point to something larger in the system like tree roots, or that your pipes are past their best. AJP Plumbing are always on call and always happy to help!

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5 Ways to Clear a Blocked Drain Fast

5 Ways to Clear a Blocked Drain Fast

Blocked drains are a huge inconvenience in the home or business. Not only that, but they’re nasty, potentially causing bacteria filled water to overflow or sit in the sink refusing to budge. Grease, hair, food particles and other foreign objects are usually the cause of a blocked drain.

Once enough gunk has flowed down into the pipes, this builds up over time causing a blockage. Tree roots may also cause a drain to block. Occasionally they get into the drainage system, stopping water from flowing away. If this is the reason for your blocked drain, you’ll need an expert Logan plumber to remove the problem. For common blockages, take a look at these five ways to clear a blocked drain fast.

Boiling Water

One of the simplest ways to clear a blocked drain is by using boiling water. Take your kettle of boiling water and pour it down the blocked drain in stages. Wait 10 – 15 seconds between each pour. The boiling water will travel down the pipes and dissolve obstructions in its path. If the obstruction refuses to budge, you may need to use a method detailed below.

Salt and Baking Soda

Mix half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of salt and pour it into the blocked drain. Leave for 10 – 20 minutes and follow with boiling water. Salt, baking soda and boiling water produce a chemical reaction which should break through the majority of nasty drain blockages.
Sink

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A top natural home remedy for clearing drains is baking soda and vinegar. Both can usually be found in home cupboards and when mixed, are a powerful way to dislodge blockages. Mix 1/3 of a cup of vinegar with 1/3 of a cup of baking soda. They will start to fizz immediately and should be poured straight into your blocked sink or drain. Leave overnight or at least an hour and flush with hot water.

Using a Plunger

Plungers are one of the oldest and simplest ways to unblock a drain. But, they do require persistence and strength to be effective. Fill your sink half with water, place the plunger over the sinkhole creating an airtight seal and plunge up and down for 60 seconds. Remove and see if the water drains. If not, repeat.

Chemical Cleaner

If all the above methods don’t work, try a strong chemical drain cleaner which can be purchased from most supermarkets. Each will have individual instructions, but the usual method is to pour the cleaner down the drain. Let it sit and run hot water to finish clearing the blockage.

If You Still Have a Blockage – Call AJP Plumbing

Has the blockage refused to budge? Is water threatening to overflow your sink, toilet or drain? Sometimes it is necessary to call in professional plumbers to sort the problem for you. Contact AJP Plumbing on 07 3290 1977 or fill out the online form.

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How Do You Unblock a Badly Clogged Toilet?

How Do You Unblock a Badly Clogged Toilet?

Easy Ways to Unclog a Toilet That Won’t Drain

Has your toilet got seriously clogged up? There’s never a convenient time for this to happen, but knowing what to do when it happens will save you a headache and some money. Clearing a blocked loo is not the most glamorous of jobs and it can be a bit messy.
 
Make sure you have some good old fashioned rubber gloves and wear old clothes just in case. Unclogging a backed up toilet can usually be done with a plunger or general items you find around your home. Here’s a few easy ways to unclog a toilet that won’t drain.
Flushing Toilet

Unclog Your Toilet with a Plunger

The majority of blocked toilets can be unclogged with a basic plunger and elbow grease. If you can, buy a toilet plunger with an extension flange which fits the toilet hole a little better. The flange can be wrapped backwards if you need to use it on a sink. How to use the plunger on your toilet;
 
  • Place your plunger in the blocked toilet with the flange out as a seal
  • Push gently to begin with. If you push too hard when the bell is full of air, the force could blow toilet water all over you!
  • Once the air is gone, start to pump more vigorously
  • The pumping action will force air in either direction which should move any clog along
  • Make sure there is enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger
  • Keep pumping alternating between strong and gentle motions

Unclog Your Toilet with a Coat Hanger

If the plunger did not remove your toilet clog, an unraveled coat hanger may do the job. Cut the coat hanger and straighten it out. Push the coat hanger down the blocked toilet and try to push the blockage through with a twisting motion. If you can’t feel the blockage, it may be out of reach and need professional attention.

Unclog Your Toilet with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another way to unclog your toilet is by using baking soda and vinegar to hopefully dissolve a blockage. First remove half the water from the toilet bowl. Next, pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar down the toilet. It will bubble quite frantically, but do not panic, this is normal. Leave it to sit for around 20 minutes before trying a flush.

If all Fails, Call Your Plumber to Unclog Your Toilet

If your toilet refuses to unblock, you’ll need to call your local Logan plumber. It may be that your toilet has a broken part or that the blockage is way down in the piping system. AJP Plumbing are experts at drain unblocking, residential and commercial plumbing issues and emergency plumbing. Call anytime to get your toilet unblocked fast.

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5 Key Things to Look for When Hiring a Residential Plumber

5 Key Things to Look for When Hiring a Residential Plumber

Plumbing is the life blood of your home. When things go wrong it can be a super stressful time. What is even more stressful is finding an experienced plumber you can trust to get the job done. Problems can occur at the most convenient times and general wear and tear happens as your property ages.

Plumbing needs to be fixed quickly to make sure the problem doesn’t become larger and costlier. While you’ll probably jump straight onto Google to find the nearest, most affordable plumber. You need to know what to look for and what questions to ask. Here are five key things to look for when hiring a residential plumber.

Check Credentials and Insurance

The first thing you need to find out is if the plumber is licensed and insured. This should be clearly available on their website and you can verify this by running the company name through http://www.licensedtrades.com.au/.
 
All plumbing contractors are licensed by the Plumbing Industry Council which is supervised by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
Ajp Van

Reviews and Recommendations

Ask your friends and relatives for plumber recommendations. There’s nothing better than getting a first-hand review from someone you trust. Next, check reviews and recommendations online on the company website, on Google and on social media where they have a presence. These can be very eye-opening and give you a great insight to a plumber’s reputation.

Experience History

How long has the plumber been trading for? It’s a good idea to check the plumber is experienced enough to do the work you need. If they’ve been trading around your area for many years, it’s likely they have a great reputation for good work. New plumbers shouldn’t be written off though; everyone has to start somewhere. But just make sure they have the skillset to work on your problem.

Compare Rates with Other Plumbers

While it’s tempting to always go for the cheapest rate, try not to make a rash decision. Ask around and get estimates from three local plumbers. Don’t be afraid to ask for a breakdown of pricing e.g. labour costs, materials, travel time etc. While material costs should be the same with all Queensland plumbers, labour cost may vary due to experience.

Get a Written Contract or Agreement

Once you’ve chosen the best plumber for the job, ask for a written contract or agreement. This should include a summary of the job, materials required and costs to finish the job. It’s also a good idea to agree on a date to have the work finished by. Having everything written down, protects you and the plumber and makes everyone aware what is expected.

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How Do I Install a New Toilet Seat?

How Do I Install a New Toilet Seat?

If your toilet seat is old, damaged or completely broken you’ll need to install a new one. While you can call in your local plumber, it’s actually a straightforward job that only requires basic tools. There are many different toilet shapes and sizes on the market today. This means you’ll need to measure up your toilet to get a new loo seat that fits snugly.

The most common toilet shapes seen are; D-shaped toilet seat, round nose toilet seat and the traditional pointed nose toilet seat. Safety is paramount when dealing with unsanitary areas like the toilet. It’s advised to use an anti-bacterial spray to clean first and you should wear protective gloves.

Guide to measuring Your Toilet Seat

You need to measure your toilet seat so you can buy a new one in the correct dimensions. While most toilet seats are adjustable to fit various toilet bowls, it’s best to get one that is the most compatible. Here are some key measurements you need to take;

  • The distance between the fixing holes. Often this measurement is 155mm but check to be safe
  • The width of the bowl at its widest points
  • Measure from the very front to the mid-point of the fixing holes
Toilet

What Tools Are Needed to Replace a Toilet Seat?

Pliers and an adjustable wrench are needed to remove the nuts and release the screws. If plastic caps are on the nuts, you may also need a screw driver.

Some new toilet seats you buy will come with an attachment kit. Many modern toilet seats use a slot-in assembly. Check this before you buy at the hardware store so you know what tools are needed.

How to Replace a Toilet Seat Step by Step?

Use your screwdriver to remove any plastic caps you find. Underneath, you should find metal or plastic wingnuts. Take your pliers and carefully loosen them and you can finish the job unscrewing with your hands.

Now you’ve removed your old loo seat, you can now fit your new one. Here’s the simple steps;

  • Line your new toilet seat up with the fixing holes. Check it sits evenly all around the perimeter of the bowl
  • Slot the bolts through the fixing holes. Secure the wingnuts with your pliers
  • If plastic caps came with the purchase of your new toilet seat, push them down onto the bolts and snap into place
  • Check the toilet is in the correct position and give one last tighten of the wingnuts if necessary

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Why You Should Never Pour Grease Down a Drain?

Why You Should Never Pour Grease Down a Drain?

Just like grease and fat clogs up human arteries, it clogs up drainpipes. Even if you pour grease with hot water or soapy water, this is still not a great idea for the health of your pipes.

To be safe, you should never pour grease down your sink or into a drain. Even small amounts build up over time and can cause big, costly problems. Oil and fats are in liquid form while hot, but once they cool they solidify, which is what causes blockages.

What Happens When Oil and Grease Are Poured into Drains?

Hot oil and grease may slide easily down the plughole after cooking a meal. And you may not notice any problems for a long while. But what you can’t see is this hot oil coming to a rest in the pipes, cooling down and solidifying. Over time, the build up becomes a full blockage for your pipes, which is hard to reach.

Some oil will make it past you pipes and settle in the sewers. This is where oil congregates and solidifies from many other houses and restaurants which eventually becomes a fatberg. These are soap like compounds made up from fatty acids binding with calcium, that grow in size and eventually block the whole sewer system. Disgusting right!

Sink drain

How to Dispose of Grease Safely?

Butter, shortening or any type of cooking oil shouldn’t be poured down the drain. Pour it into a storage vessel like a plastic bottle, a large Ziploc bag or a bowl and leave it to cool. Once it’s full, you can throw it into the trash or take it to a local recycling center that accepts cooking oils.

For small amounts of oil and grease in a pan, wait for the oil to cool. Next, use a spatula to scrape the hardened grease into the trash bin. Any remaining oil can be soaked up with a paper towel and thrown away.

What to Do If You’ve Already Poured Grease Down Your Drain?

If you’ve poured some oil down your drains, it’s likely you can remedy the situation before it gets blocked. Here’s what to do;

  • Pour boiling water down the sink to turn the solidified grease back to a liquid
  • Add some dish soap to help with the process
  • Run the hot tap to start moving the liquefied grease through the pipes

Contact AJP Plumbing for Maintenance and Drain Unblocking

Grease and oil poured into a sink will trap food waste and particles over time. This eventually causes a blockage which prevents water from draining away. When this happens, you’ll need to call in your local  plumber for drain unblocking assistance. AJP Plumbing are on call 7 days a week, 365 days a year for emergency plumbing services. Call us anytime on 0421 568 884.

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The Essential Guide to a Perfect Bathroom Renovation

The Essential Guide to a Perfect Bathroom Renovation

Are you thinking of renovating your bathroom but not quite sure where to start? This essential guide will show you the exact steps to re-designing your bathroom like a pro. If your bathroom has started to show wear and tear, it’s definitely time for a makeover.

A modern functional bathroom, not only looks great but it adds value to your property. New fixtures and fittings save you money by eliminating water wastage and fixing struggling systems that may be eating up power. Here are some top tips for a perfect bathroom renovation.

Modern Bathroom

Take Time to Research

Firstly, have a think of your main objectives for renovating. Do you need more space? Are fixtures and fittings starting to fail? Is the plumbing constantly breaking down? Is the design of your bathroom old and you want a modern upgrade? There are many reasons to renovate a bathroom and having an idea of your exact needs will help you plan the way forward.

Have a look around at latest bathroom trends. There is much inspiration online for bathroom renovations of varying style and cost.

Plan Your Budget

Unless you have an unlimited budget, it’s likely you’ll need to keep a close eye on the purse strings. Depending on the size and quality of materials you want for your new bathroom, cost can vary from $5,000 up to $20,000 plus. Allow 20% on top of your bathroom budget, to allow for any problems that may arise like damp or termites for example.

Design and Storage Needs

Do you have a new baby in the family and need more bathroom space? Or is your bathroom small and cramped and you want extra storage? Either way, you need to plan your design and storage needs. Have a think about lights, tiling, windows, fixtures and fittings and how you want them to look. Classic and contemporary styles are a good bet that will stand the test of time.

Measure Available Space

Before you talk with a renovation team, it’s a good idea to know what available space you have yourself. Measure walls, floor space and windows so you can accurately plan what new fittings you’d like. Remember, changing the positioning of plumbing fittings will increase your costs significantly.

Talk to Renovation Plumbers

Once you’ve outlined your bathroom renovation plan, you’ll need to talk to a professional team like renovation plumbers, a tiler and decorater and an electrician. Always check that each tradesperson is highly qualified and licensed with the relevant government authorities.

AJP Plumbing are expert renovation plumbers with 20 years’ hands-on experience. All work is quality guaranteed so you can be sure you are protected. Contact us anytime for a free, no-obligation quote.

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5 Common Causes and Solutions for Noisy Pipes

5 Common Causes and Solutions for Noisy Pipes

If your pipes have started to go bump in the night, or at any time, it can be a little worrying. It is actually quite a common occurrence, especially in older homes. While you might be feeling very worried imagining an expensive plumbing bill or a burst pipe occurring, often noisy pipes are not a cause for concern.

After a little investigation of your piping system, you may find you can deal with the situation yourself. Or worst case, you’ll have to call out your local Queensland plumber for an inspection. Let’s take a look at common causes and solutions for those annoying clunky pipes.

Plumber Sets Valve Towel Warmer

Copper Pipework

Many homes contain pipework that is made from copper. While it’s a durable metal, it is known to expand and contract with extremes of temperature. If your pipes start to get noisy after you use hot water, this may point to copper pipework being the problem. While the noises may be alarming, copper pipework expanding and rubbing against other structures, isn’t a cause for concern as they are designed to handle this.

Loose Fittings

As water flows through the pipes of your home, the pressure could have caused brackets to come loose, which could be making the noise. Or maybe your pipework was never fitted correctly in the beginning. Either way, loose pipework needs to be fixed before it potentially bursts. If you find loose connections or worn out fixtures, replace them if you feel comfortable. When the loose fitting is out of reach or you are not great at DIY, call in your local expert plumbers for help.

Water Hammering

If you’re hearing thuds and bangs from your pipework, this could point to water hammering. Water taps have protection systems in the form air chambers. These are placed near the taps and work as a cushioning system, preventing water crashing into the pipes. When the air in the cushioning system is lost, this can cause the loud thuds and bangs (water hammers). Fix your water hammering problem by;

Debris Build Up

Over time, debris can build up in your piping system and start to flow through the pipes. This can wear down pipes and start to cause noisy sounds like rattling, clinking or scraping. Call out your local Queensland plumber to assist you with this issue.

High Water Pressure

If your water pressure is set too high, this could be a cause of noisy pipes when water crashes forcefully. This is a problem that needs to be dealt with, otherwise pipes can be overworked and eventually damaged. Check your water pressure at the boiler, which should sit between 1 to 1.5 bar. If you don’t have a meter to check or cannot find it, ask your plumber for help.

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7 Essential Tips for Preventing Burst Water Pipes

7 Essential Tips for Preventing Burst Water Pipes

When a pipe bursts in your home, it is an emergency situation and you need to act fast. Water damage is expensive to fix and the longer a burst pipe is left; the more damage costs will rise. Pipes burst for various reasons including; being frozen, excessive water pressure, corrosion or a pipe being damaged due to construction for example. It’s always best to put preventative measures in place, to minimise the chance of a burst pipe in your home.

Leaking Of Water From Stainless Steel Sink Pipe Isolated On Blac

How to Prevent Burst Water Pipes in Your Home?

Prevention is better than cure, as with most systems. Pipes and plumbing in your home need regular care and attention. Contact your local plumber for plumbing maintenance services on a regular basis.

  • Insulate outside plumbing and taps
  • Leave your heating on at least 12 degrees during cold spells
  • Have your central heating system serviced regularly by professional plumbers
  • Exposed pipes in lofts, garages or basements need to be protected with good quality pipe lagging
  • Fix any leaks or dripping taps before cold weather
  • Know where your main stop valve is
  • Turn the stop valve off completely if you leave your home for long periods of time

If you cannot do any of the above measures, don’t hesitate to call in your local plumber for help. Preventative plumbing costs are way less than burst pipe and water damage costs, therefore are recommended.

What to Do If a Pipe Has Burst

Occasionally, even after taking all the preventative measures, you may still get a burst pipe. What you do next and how fast you act will determine the amount of damage is done. Here’s what to do if you have a burst pipe or suspect you may have one.

  • Not every burst pipe is a massive spurt of water. Some may just cause damp patches on the walls, floors or ceilings. A change in water pressure or unusual noises from your pipes can also indicate a burst pipe
  • Cut off the water supply to the house by turning off the stop valve
  • Call your local emergency plumber immediately
  • Do not use any electrical devices
  • Move any furniture and belongings away from the affected area
  • Take a note of any damaged items for your insurance

Day or night, AJP Plumbing provide emergency plumbing services for their valued clients. Call anytime for burst pipe assistance and we’ll be there fast. We will isolate and fix your burst pipe problem, no matter where it is.

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Has Your Water Bill Suddenly Increased? This Could Be why…

Has Your Water Bill Suddenly Increased? This Could Be why…

A suddenly high water bill is a concern for a few reasons. It’s a waste of the precious resource water, it means you’re losing money and it could point to a problem in your plumbing system. Experts reveal that household leaks account for 10,000 gallons of water wasted a year and some 10% of homes leak over 90 gallons a day!

If your water bill has suddenly increased, it’s important to pinpoint the problem as soon as possible. Always contact your local Queensland plumber for expert advice about your plumbing. Let’s take a look at the common reasons for a high water bill and what to do about it.

5 Common Reasons for a High Water Bill

1. Leaky Taps or Pipes

Leaky faucets and pipes are a very common cause of water wastage. It’s so easy to ignore a dripping tap as it seems minor. But, even a tap leaking 1 drip per second adds up to around 17 gallons of wasted water a day! One cause of a leaky tap is the rubber washer being damaged in the faucet handle. Shut off the water supply to the tap and change the washer or call in your local plumber to help.

2. Running or Leaking Toilet

A constantly running and leaking toilet can add hundreds of dollars to a water bill with water wastage of up to 6,000 gallons monthly! If you hear the toilet water constantly running, an odd hiss noise or more obvious water on the floor, your toilet could be wasting water. The most common cause is a faulty flapper. Get a new one from your local hardware store or talk to AJP Plumbing.

3. Underground Pipe Leak

Occasionally, a high water bill can be caused by a leaking lateral pipe that feeds water from your metered connection to the house. This pipe could have cracked, or the joints may have become loose or worn. Other causes are tree root invasions, pests and general ageing of pipes. If you suspect a lateral line leak, it’s best to consult a professional.

4. Irrigation System Leak

If you use an irrigation system in the garden, a cracked or broken pipe here could be causing the spike in water consumption. Even when the irrigation is turned off, water could be leaking out. Check for unusual wet patches or areas of the garden that are more lush than others. To be sure, it’s best to consult a professional plumber if you suspect this type of leak.

5. Old, Outdated pipes and Fixtures

Many homes have been around for a long time and the plumbing will probably be pretty ancient also! As more time passes, the plumbing will continue to deteriorate in the form of rust, cracks and stress. This can lead to leaks and less efficiency, causing your water bills to spike. Talk to your local Queensland plumber about water efficiency upgrades such as; low flow water saving toilets, aerators for faucets, water saving shower heads and new piping.

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