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Fixing Your Hot Water System

Posted by on November 17, 2013

Have you run your bath water only to realise its ice cold? Have you jumped in the shower and been sprayed by cold water? If so, chances are you have a problem with your homes hot water system. Don’t stress, there are a few basic things you can try yourself prior to calling a plumber.  If you have a natural or propane gas water system, chances are the pilot has gone out. The pilot is a small flame that ignites the gas burner on your system. When it goes out, first try relighting it, following the directions on the label, which is often on the front of the system. If the pilot doesn’t relight, or if it goes out right after lighting, by far the most common cause is a broken thermocouple. The good news: you can usually replace a thermocouple for minimal cost and in less than an hour from a local hardware. You’ll get your hot water going without waiting for a pro to show up and save a few dollars!

To replace the thermocouple, be sure to turn off the shutoff valve in the gas line; that is, one quarter turn so that the handle is at a right angle to the pipe. Since working room is tight around the burner, we recommend that you simply unscrew the three nuts at the control valve and pull out the entire burner assembly unit. You’ll see either a slot or clips that hold it in its place. Then either unscrew the thermocouple end or pull it out (depending on the water heater) and take it with you to hardware store to find a match. Position it exactly the same way as the old one. The pilot flame should wrap around the thermocouple bulb.

To reattach the three lines to the gas valve, thread the nuts into place with your fingers and hand-tighten them properly. Then snug them up with a quarter to half revolution with a wrench. The metals are soft, so don’t over tighten as they will break.

Be sure to test for gas leaks. You must have the pilot lit and the burner on for this test so that gas is flowing through the large tube on the system. Reopen the shutoff valve, relight the pilot, then turn the control valve to the “on” position. When the gas burner is on, use a 50/50 dish soap/water mix to test the screw joints for air bubbles that indicate leaks.


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Water Damage

Posted by on November 11, 2013

Water damage can vary from a small amount of wood warping or expanding cabinets to more serious damage like buckling of floorboards and damaged internal structures.

Large drips of water can cause slow damage in a specific spot. It is essential that you locate the leak early enough so the damage can be limited to the smallest amount.  A Manly plumber will be able to assist you locating the leak. Unfortunately small leaks usually only happen while water is being used and stop when its tuned off. Taps usually only leak when water is running through them. This makes the leaks can very hard to detect at an earlier stage.  You might notice a water spot but it will eventually dry out. You might even open and close a laundry or kitchen cupboard door many times before noticing any damp or wet water patches.

Water leaks that occur from drainage pipes supplying your home with water have water flowing into them constantly so the leaking will be constant at all times.  This is great as it makes it easier for a Melbourne plumber to locate the leak.  Importantly, with any leaking pipes the sooner they are repaired the less damage they are likely to cause, therefore saving you money.

Below are a few prevention tips to avoid water leak damage to your home or office:

Check the water supply lines and pipes to major appliances for wetness, expanding hoses or other signs of wear and tear. For example, your tumble dryer or your washing machine.

Unclog the drain if pipes are draining slowly and check pipes under the sink for signs of water leaks. You might need a Melbourne plumber to help you unblock the drain.

To reduce leaks and avoid costly repairs, replace your hot water system every 8 – 15 years. A Manly plumber will be required to help you install a new hot water system.

Have your home’s air conditioning system serviced regualrly to avoid leaks and major costly repairs. This will save you money in the long run.

Regularly check for wet patches on walls or in gardens after dry weather months.

Place food dye in the toilet system to check for leaks in the toilet. This works well to locate leaks.

Make sure all your appliances are turned off such as taps, toilets are not dripping; washing machine or dishwashers and other appliances are not running constantly.  After you have turned everything off, check if your water meter is ticking over.  If the water meter continues to tick over, it means there is a leak somewhere in your house.

If you suspect a water leak in your home, it is highly recommended that you call a Manly plumber immediately.

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