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What Are a Plumbers Duties

Posted by on February 2, 2014

Hot Water System Options

  • Natural gas – can be used in both water heaters and continuous flow heaters.  Natural gas systems are rated according to their energy efficiency and come in both internal and external models.  Gas storage heaters have a smaller capacity than electric ones as they are able to heat the water up at any time of the day or night as opposed to within a certain time period only.
  • Off peak electricity – has similar operating costs to a natural gas system but is only available where the hot water system has a storage capacity one hundred and sixty litres or more.  The hot water is generally heated overnight for use throughout the day.  It cannot be used by continuous flow systems and is available for both internal & external use.
  • Solar energy – can provide up to seventy percent of your hot water free of charge, making it a very environmentally friendly option.  They are the cheapest systems to operate but do have a high initial purchase price.  All solar hot water systems come with a “booster” source of power  to provide hot water during times when there is little sun.  Mains pressure and constant pressure is available.
  • Peak electricity – is used for electric continuous flow units and storage water heaters that are smaller than one hundred and sixty litres in capacity.  They can be expensive to run but are very popular in areas where space is limited such as in units and apartments.
  • LPG – is used in areas where natural gas is not available.  It is suitable for both continuous flow and storage hot water systems.
  • Solid fuels – this includes wood, coal, briquettes and so forth, so the cost of the fuels can vary widely.  Solid fuels can be used on their own or in conjunction with off peak electricity or solar in constant pressure hot water systems.  They cannot be used with mains pressure systems unless a heat exchanger is used and can not be used in continuous flow systems.
  • Heat pumps – is high efficiency and uses around seventy percent less electricity than other electric hot water systems.  They work by extracting heat from the atmosphere using a refrigerant gas and a compressor and using that heat to heat water stored in a tank at ground level.

Services/Hiring a Hot Water Systems Specialist

Hot water system suppliers can assist with:

  • Advising on a suitable hot water system
  • Installation
  • Service and hot water system repairs (hot water system service and repairs)
  • Supply of the hot water unit
  • Minor plumbing

Ensure that they are able to help you to choose the correct system for the number of people in your household.  They should also allow for possible changes in the use of the hot water system in the future brought about by such things as an expanding family, the introduction of new appliances such as dishwashers and so on. A reputable plumber can install or replace al types of hot water systems, including electric, gas and sola hot water systems

Ensure that the system comes with a warranty, and that the supplier is willing to provide installation in a reasonable time-frame.  It is also useful if your supplier can provide emergency repairs or be able to direct you to someone that does.


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Changing A Tap Washer

Posted by on November 14, 2013

Tools and materials
The tools and materials you need to change a washer are available from your local hardware or plumbing store. You will need: an adjustable spanner to fit the tap nut valve, an O-ring Silicon lubricant or Vaseline Needle nose pliers

1. Turn off the mains: this will stop all water flowing into your house or office. The tap & water meter for homes will be out on the street or in your front yard next to the street. If you live in a flat or apartment the mains tap will probably be inside, for example in the bathroom or a cupboard. Turn on a tap in or around the house to make sure that the water has stopped running. (If the water has not stopped running, it will be wise to call a professional plumber). If the mains tap has not been used for many years, you may need a pair of pliers to help turn it off. Ensure you know where the mains tap is to be able to turn the water off in an emergency. If you are not sure where it is, even if you don’t need to change a washer, find out now!

2. Undo the head nut: once the mains has been turned off, undo the head nut on the leaking tap.

3. Replace the washers: you could just replace the tap washer, but it is a good idea to replace all three washer. These are: The large washer around the top of the nut, which is called the body washer (usually orange or green in colour). It should lift off easily. The O-ring on the spindle. To change the O-ring, you need to fully close the tap until the O-ring appears. Then, with a pair of pliers cut it off. The new O-ring should easily stretch and roll on to the spindle.
Lastly, replace the tap washer. It may simply slide out of the spindle or stay sitting in the centre of the tap, in which case you will need a pair of small pliers to remove the washer.

4. Reassemble: first ensure the spindle and the threaded areas are lubricated with a silicon lubricant or Vaseline.

5. Turn the mains back on: once the tap is reassembled, open it three quarter way and then turn on the water mains. When turning the tap off after the washer has been replaced, use gentle hsnd pressure. Over-tightening will cause a lot of damage to the tap seat. A tap should only be tightened until the water flow has stopped, no further. Note: If the tap is still leaking after you have replaced the washer, it means the seat is “pitted” and you will need a professional plumber to regrind the seat for you.

Further information
Most of inside taps use12mm (1/2″) washers; while outside taps (garden taps) take 3/4″ (18mm). Washers cost around $2.50 to $3.00 each. The most popular washer (used by most plumbers) is a heavy-duty washer suitable for taps, with a copper base and a yellow top (Delaware valve) – approximately $3.50 each. This same type of washer is good for outside garden taps – 18mm costs approximately $3.00 each.
If your taps are very old, take the worn-out washer to the hardware or your local supply store so that you get the right washer for your tap.

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