How To Flush A Hot Water System In 4 Simple Steps

How To Flush A Hot Water System In 4 Simple Steps

Whether you already know how to flush a water heater or not, ask yourself this: Do you take your hot water system for granted? Sure, every time you turn on the hot tap, you are justified in expecting your investment in a quality hot water system to result in a flow of reliably steaming hot water. But the reality of the situation is twofold:

  • Your hot water system is a machine
  • The quality of your water supply is not perfect.

Put those two factors together, and all those little and inevitable imperfections, contaminants and minerals in the water will eventually accumulate to such a degree that your stream of reliable hot water will turn into a pathetic, tepid trickle … or worse.

Do you need a water heater flush?

If the need to flush water heater technology has passed you by, your system may eventually ask you for some intervention. That request will come in the form of:

  • Cold water: If enough sediment builds up, the burner could eventually fail completely.
  • Foul smells: Something out of that hot tap starting to stink? It could be bacteria.
  • Weird sounds: A common sign of sediment build-up is odd sounds from your system.
  • Rusty water: When the sediment build-up is bad enough, your hot water could become discoloured.

However, the right time to do a hot water system flush is when it’s running smoothly – because prevention is always easier than implementing a fix. How often should you drain your water heater for a flush? The answer is simply: at least once a year.

A water heater flush in 4 simple steps

As for precisely how to go about flushing water heaters? The good news is that while your skilled and experienced plumber’s professional methods, tools and products will always do the most thorough job, a water heater flush is something you can do at home. The even better news is that it’s not difficult at all – especially if you follow these simple steps!:

1. Turn it off

Whether your hot water system is powered by gas or electricity, power it down – because you don’t want those burners to fire up while you’re servicing it. Also, make sure the cold water inlet is closed.

2. Attach a hose

Find the drain valve, which will be located near the bottom of the tank. Before proceeding, understand that the water you’re about to drain out is likely very hot. Now, simply attach a normal garden hose to the valve, open the pressure relief valve at the top of the tank, open the drain valve and watch the water begin to drain out in a controlled manner.

3. Clear any clogs

If there’s plenty of sediment in your tank, it’s possible some chunks are going to clog up that drainage valve. In that case, detach the hose and use a tool like a long screwdriver to try to dislodge and break up the clogs.

4. Complete the process

Once the water coming out of your hose stops, check that the entire tank is now empty. And that’s it! The flush is complete! Remove the hose, return all the valves to their original positions, and turn the cold water inlet back. Now, head into the house and turn on a hot water tap, allowing any air bubbles in the pipes to clear.

Turn the hot water system back on. You’re done!

Don’t forget: regular, simple hot water system maintenance is a vital part of owning and operating a hot water system. For you, that means regularly checking and operating the pressure relief valve, doing an occasional sediment flush, and turning to the professionals for your thorough annual servicing and maintenance schedule.

Call the masters in hot water maintenance

At Ryan Old Plumbing, we care about the health of your hot water system just as much as you do – and we’d love to help! Our polite and well-presented hot water system plumbers are known for turning up on time, offering fair and fixed pricing, and responding swiftly to any and all problems – even if it’s an out-of-hours emergency! We are committed to providing high-quality services in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan and Redlands. Give Ryan Old Plumbing a call today.

How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies In One Week

How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies In One Week

Spotted a few small flies in the bathroom? Think they might be sewer flies? Believe us: if they’re tiny, grey, their wings are round and they seem to just love your damp drains, you’ve already got a drain fly infestation on your hands. The good news is that learning how to get rid of drain flies is easy.

Small flies in the drains? You’ve got a drain fly problem!

Time, however, is of the essence – because as every day passes, another batch of eggs is likely to have hatched. And although drain flies won’t bite you, they will spread unhealthy drain and sewer muck – including harmful bacteria – all over the place. If you have asthma or allergies, drain or bathroom flies are likely to make your symptoms worse, while people have been known to contract diseases including myiasis and microfilaria from this annoying critter.

Furthermore, ignoring them could lead to nasty problems in your plumbing. Why? Remember what they eat? You could have a build-up of gunk about to choke your drain pipes which may mean you’ll need to call on a professional blocked drain cleaning service.

In other words, knowing how to get rid of drain flies Australia wide is rather important – so let’s dive straight into it with 5 easily actionable tips that could make a serious difference within just one week:

1. Clean the sink

When was the last time? If it’s been a while, just give your bathroom its normal thorough cleaning routine – but maybe pull out a pipe brush to give the inside of the drain a bit of a scrub. After a week, follow up with another thorough clean.

2. Use boiling water

Name two things that don’t mix: drain flies, and boiling hot water. Not only will they sizzle their way to drain fly heaven, but boiling water is also simply a great way to get rid of some of the drain muck that attracted them in the first place.

Pour the entire kettle down there, and then repeat it every day for a week.

3. Try baking soda

Baking soda is another key ingredient for unblocking a sink drain and regular drain maintenance – including saying Sayonara to drain flies. Mix up half a cup with another half a cup of salt, add a cup of white vinegar to the brew, and pour it all down. Let the concoction sizzle for a while before washing it all down with hot water.

Repeat the process after 3 or 4 days.

4. Should You try a commercial cleaner?

While the natural remedy above works a treat, there’s a number of drain chemicals on the supermarket shelf. They can work on organic material down there, plus your drain flies. However you need to use caution – not just because of what the chemicals can do to you but they can also damage pipes if not used properly.

5. Catch the stragglers

With all of that implemented regularly, you can check to see if there are any tough little Aussie drain flies left over by setting a trap for them. As they just love apple cider vinegar, add a little to a vessel that can then be sealed at the top with cling wrap. Poke some small holes in the top to let the critters in – and rest assured, they won’t be finding their way out.

Leave the trap out for a full week, replenishing the bait if necessary.

Ryan Old Plumbing can help with any drain issue

At the end of the day, the reason you’re looking into how to get rid of drain flies is because the state of your drains attracted them. We’re talking about moist, stagnant, organic matter and debris that is simply delicious to drain flies – and like a hand-written invitation for them to call your drains their favourite breeding ground.

If you think your drain fly-prone drains and pipes need some professional attention, call the friendly local plumbers near you in Brisbane and the Gold Coast at Ryan Old Plumbing. We have all the equipment, products, knowledge and hands-on experience to tackle any plumbing problem whatsoever. Get in touch today to make a booking, guaranteeing quality workmanship, upfront pricing, and even a free plumbing inspection.

The 7 Most Common Low Hot Water Pressure Issues

The 7 Most Common Low Hot Water Pressure Issues

At the end of a long, hard day or workout, what you crave the most can be a long, relaxing shower under a steady stream of hot water. But what if it’s down to little more than a hot trickle? A feeble stream? A disappointing soak under the weakest dribble of hot water that you simply don’t deserve? We know exactly how frustrating and worrying low hot water pressure can be – and we also know ‘why’ and ‘what to do about it?’

Whether the hot water problem has been brewing and worsening for a while, or it’s suddenly ruined your shower or turned filling up the kitchen sink into a marathon, disappointingly low hot water pressure is a sure sign that something’s gone wrong.

But do you need to call a trusted plumber for hot water repairs right now, or is there something you can do about it? Read on:

Hot water, low pressure – What’s the cause?

First things first: If you’re not drowning under a torrent of hot water gushing from a pipe, it’s unlikely you’re dealing with a true plumbing emergency. But there’s definitely something wrong, especially if you have low hot water pressure in the whole house. It’s a mistake to automatically assume that your hot water system is deep into the process of giving up the ghost, so what else could it be?

1. The water supply?

If the pressure problem is consistent throughout the house, the problem could actually be with the water supply itself. So has the water meter valve simply been closed by a troublemaker?

2. Your filtration system?

If your hot water feeds through a water filtration system, that could be the culprit. If you haven’t had yours checked for a while, the filter may be restricting the flow.

3. Another tap on?

In some households, the simple act of turning on a second hot water outlet can cause the hot water pressure to drop significantly – and this is particularly noticeable in the shower. Very often, it’s a simple matter of having an instantaneous hot water system with a capacity that was not designed for multiple outlets.

4. The shower head?

One of the most common causes of low or no hot water pressure is simply a bad shower head or tap. All too often, the inside of an old outlet will gradually build up limescale to such a degree that it will clog it up. Luckily, a decent soaking with vinegar can be a simple fix.

5. The water mains?

If you have low hot water pressure in the whole house, go and knock on your neighbours’ doors to see if they’re having similar issues. If it’s a common problem, your next call should be to your water supplier, not the plumber.

6. Pressure regulator?

In some areas, particularly high mains water pressure may have necessitated the installation of a pressure regulator, which will bring that pressure down to something acceptable and safe. But when it goes wrong, the result may not be high pressure but actually low hot water pressure.

7. Your pipes?

Just as your tap may be all bunged up, the same may be true deeper into that supply line. Plenty of things could have caused that blockage, but to easily identify it and put it right, your plumber is always the best option – especially as they may discover it’s a bigger problem than just a clog.

No hot water pressure? Give us a call

Truth be told, hot water pressure can be affected by a true laundry list of issues with your property’s vast, complex and largely hidden plumbing system. Whether it’s a blockage, a breakage, a misbehaving hot water system or something else entirely, you can call on the hardest-working local plumbing team for a plumber in Brisbane, a Gold Coast plumber and anywhere in between. Get in touch with Ryan Old Plumbing today and we’ll get stuck into your problem in a flash.

Gas Or Electric Hot Water? The 6 Main Factors

Gas Or Electric Hot Water? The 6 Main Factors

You may know where to put it and have already chosen a hot water brand, and yet still be scratching your head when it comes to that most tricky of conundrums – gas or electric hot water? If both energy sources are available at your place, it wouldn’t feel right just to toss a coin or look only at the ticket price. So when it comes to gas vs electric hot water, what’s the winner?

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of factors to consider. And fortunately, we’re just about to run through all of them right here!

Gas hot water or electric – How to choose?

1. Useability

Hot water systems are definitely not difficult to operate, no matter what energy source their technology is based upon. If we’re really splitting hairs, you definitely don’t have to worry about gas control knobs and pilot lights with an electric hot water system, which will only need you to operate the relief valve every now and then. Both tank-based systems, though, may require tank flushes and replacement anodes.

2. Efficiency

Once upon a time, gas was clearly the most efficient energy source for hot water. But the latest generations of electric units are much more efficient – especially new high-tech technology like heat pumps. Your gas hot water unit will cost less than an electrical counterpart in terms of those energy bills, but it may be a few dollars more on that ticket price. These days, energy ratings are easy to see on the individual product itself.

3. Cost

As outlined above, gas units are normally a tad more expensive at the checkout and a tad less expensive in monthly operating costs. Depending on the size, brand, technology category and model, though, the upfront prices can differ substantially – making it necessary to dive deeper.

4. Maintenance

Much of the maintenance is outlined at #1, but it’s worth mentioning the necessity to get those gas lines and connections checked periodically – because we all know the dangers of the otherwise super-safe gas option.

5. Installation

As you need a licensed professional to put it in for you anyway, you don’t need to worry too much about installation. There’s not much difference between gas and electric in this area anyway – but if your local plumber is putting it in for you, they’ll need to be fully licensed for gasfitting. Switching from electric power to gas can also be need more time and materials if gas lines are going in, which could increase the cost somewhat.

6. Environmental

As hot water systems get more and more advanced, the impact on the environment is less and less. Generally, though, gas emissions are less of a big deal, even though the level of energy wastage is actually a little higher than with electricity. But more and more effort is being put into renewable sources of electric energy, so the impact can actually be lower.

Is gas hot water cheaper than electric?

At the end of the day, it’s actually not possible to line up an electric water heater vs gas without knowing more about your specific circumstances. What’s your home like? Family size? Hot water habits? Number of outlets? Natural gas or LPG? Here at Ryan Old Plumbing, we’ve been giving advice about hot water options to people just like you all throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast, and everywhere in between and beyond, for years. Our Brisbane and Gold Coast hot water system replacement experts would love to talk you through your options. So give Ryan Old Plumbing today and we’ll settle that gas or electric hot water conundrum for you!

Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

If your toilet sounds like a waterfall at night and keeps running at all times, it is definitely an issue that you want to address sooner rather than later (think of your water bill!). But what is causing your toilet to keep running all the time can be a few things, so keep reading to find out more or call Ryan Old Plumbing on 1300 055 940.

Why does my toilet keep running?

There are a few reasons as to why your toilet may be continually running:

  • Flapper Valve: the little rubber valve that allows your toilet to complete the flush action. This can wear out over time, which can cause a toilet that keeps running, or it can get a little sticky.
  • Float Ball: if the float ball is floating too high, it can push water into the overflow pipe (which causes continual running).
  • Ballcock: if the ballcock doesn’t close completely, this can cause a leaking toilet.
  • Chain: the chain connects the flapper valve to the arm lever and if it is too short, the flapper valve is left slightly open. This lets water in, which causes the continual water flow – most Australian homes don’t have a chain system (they have a dual flush), so this is an unlikely cause.

Can I just ignore my constantly running toilet?

No. A constantly running toilet not only wastes water, but it can be incredibly noisy. You definitely need to contact a toilet plumber and have your toilet fixed sooner rather than later!

How can I stop my toilet from constantly running?

There are a few DIY tricks you can try to get your toilet back to working as it should, however, if you are unsure or would like some further help, give Ryan Old Plumbing a call on 1300 055 940.

Flapper Valve

When it comes to the flapper valve, it could require cleaning or replacing. If you run your finger along with the valve and siphon and you feel a few bumps, this could be limescale or dirt. If you feel large bumps, bulges or distorted areas, this likely means you will need a replacement.

Float Ball

If your toilet is constantly running, you need to lower the float ball. This can be done in 2 ways:

  1. If you have a float arm, loosen or tighten the screw until the float arm lowers.
  2. If you have a column float, loosen the screw or clip and push down the float, then tighten everything again.

Ballcock

If your ballcock isn’t closing properly, you will likely need to replace it. Check your local hardware store for a replacement option or chat with your local plumber.

Chain

If your chain is too short, the simple fix is to replace it with a longer chain. Again, this isn’t a common occurrence as most Australian homes have dual flush toilets.

How To Fix A Leaking Tap

How To Fix A Leaking Tap

Leaving a leaking tap unfixed is super easy to do – you hear it, you complain about it and it wakes you up at 3 am. You then say a few select words and then likely go back to sleep again until it wakes you up the next night.

That is why now is the best time to fix your leaking tap! Whether you choose to complete the job yourself or call in a local plumbing expert, you will be more than glad when that pesky tap isn’t leaking anymore. Although fixing a tap yourself can be a simple task if you know what you are doing, it can become messy, difficult and expensive if it isn’t done right. This is definitely something to consider when you are looking on how to fix a leaking tap.

Why does a tap leak?

There are a few common reasons why your tap is likely leaking:

  • The washer on your tap is not the right size.
  • The washer on your tap has worn out.
  • The washer on your tap has broken.
  • The washer on your tap was not installed correctly.
  • The jumper valve has worn out.
  • Corrosion has occurred on the valve seating.
  • The valve seating has been damaged.
  • A worn-out O-ring.
  • The O-ring has come loose.

Taps are generally either installed with rubber or ceramic components that act as a sealant. These parts stop water from continuing to run once the tap is turned off. For reference, if you tap turns a ½ or a ¼ when turned, it likely has a ceramic disc acting as a sealant. If it turns more than a ½, it likely has a rubber washer as a sealant.

What are the different kinds of leaking taps?

Yes, read that right. There are different types of leaking taps, such as:

  • If water is flowing from the body and spindle when your tap is on, the O-ring is likely the issue.
  • If water is leaking out from the cover plate when your tap is on, the O-ring is likely the issue.
  • If your tap is dripping when it is turned off, the washer is likely the cause of concern (and will probably need replacing).

A large majority of leaking taps require a broken washer to be replaced, and we will set out the steps below to fix this. If you are unsure or uncomfortable in any way, however, please call in a plumber for dripping taps. Ryan Old Plumbing is more than happy to assist, so give us a call on 1300 055 940 and we can promptly fix your tap.

Steps to fix a leaking tap

Supplies

You will require the following supplies to fix a leaking tap

Washers that are the correct size for your tap Jumper valves
O-ring Shifting wrench or a set of spanners
Pliers Screwdriver
Gaffer tape Tweezers
Resealing kit or silicone (if required) Cloth

Preparation

Before you begin, make sure you turn your water supply off at the main. This will make sure you don’t have an unnecessary mess to clean up before you even begin. If you do not know where your water main is, it is generally:

  • If you live in a house: You will usually find your main in your front yard, in your garden or on the street. As a general rule, if you can locate your water meter your main won’t be too far away.
  • If you live in an apartment: You will usually find your main in your laundry or bathroom. If you still can not locate it, speak to your landlord (if you are renting), your building manager or a neighbour to see if they can assist

Once you have located the main and turned off the water, turn on your leaking tap and allow all the water that is in the pipes to drain. To ensure you have drained all the water, turn on a tap at a lower level of your home (e.g. in your garden) to allow all excess water to drain.

Steps

Step 1

Put a plug in the sink so no parts get lost down the drain.

Step 2

If your tap has a button – the part that usually says ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ – remove it from the top of your tap. It may be a little tricky, so you might require a screwdriver to complete it.

Step 3

Next, you have to remove the handle of your tap. This will expose the inside, which is exactly what you need. Most taps will generally require you to unscrew the handle – you may need a spanner or shifting wrench to help you out.

Step 4

If your tap is the kind that has a skirt or a shroud, you will need to remove this too. It will usually be made of metal. Many skirts and shrouds are connected via silicone, so you may need some pliers or a wrench to help out. Also, if you want to avoid scratching the metal and give yourself extra grip, wrap some gaffer tape around the skirt and a cloth around the tap!

Step 5

The next step is to remove the tap body, as you want to get to the washer and jumper valve. More than likely, you will need a spanner to unscrew the body and once off, make sure you put it in a safe place.

Step 6

Once the tap body is removed, you should be able to see the washer and the jumper valve. If you can not see the jumper valve, do not worry – this can come off with the tab bonnet sometimes. Just make sure you know where it is!

If you are finding it difficult to gain access to the washer and jumper valve, use a pair of tweezers or pliers to help get them out.

Step 7

Now it is time to take the washer and jumper valve to your local hardware store to get some replacements. Tap washers are usually 12mm in size for homes, however, they can get as big as 15mm in some instances. Additionally, if you want to avoid accumulation, later on, grab some skirt resealant too.

Step 8

Place the new washer and jumper valve back into the tap.

Step 9

Now that the new washer and jumper valve is in, you will need to replace the tap bonnet and use your wrench or spanner to tighten it up. Do not place any silicone on yet – wait to test it first.

Step 10

Now, turn your tap off and turn your water main back on. Make sure you don’t turn the tap off too tightly though.

Step 11

It’s testing time! Test your tap to see if the leak is still happening and, if not, remove the handle and the skirt and place some silicone on to reseal. Silicone can be messy though, so be careful.

Always remember to call a professional if you need a little extra hand along the way, or fixing your leaking tap just isn’t for you. Ryan Old Plumbing can help on 1300 055 940 today.

The 9 Most Common Hot Water System Problems

The 9 Most Common Hot Water System Problems

First of all, breathe a sigh of relief – because modern hot water systems are extremely reliable and protected by some of the best warranties in the industrial world. But while that is definitely true, it’s important to remember that even when technology is useful and amazing – take modern passenger planes, for example – it’s still a fact that they sometimes crash. Luckily, when your hot water system ‘crashes’, the solution can be as simple as a quick call to your trusty, local and affordable plumber.

Is your hot water system not working properly? If you have a hunch that something’s not right, read through our list of the most common hot water system problems to find out just how worried you should be – and what to do next:

1. No hot water

Clients tell us all the time: ‘My hot water is not working’. Normally, that means they’re not getting any hot water at all out of it.

A range of things could have gone wrong:

  • Does it have power?
  • Has a circuit breaker tripped?
  • Has a temperature cut-off activated?
  • Has the element gone kaput?
  • Has the pilot gone out?

2. Not enough hot water

The second most annoying of all hot water system problems is hot water … sometimes. Again, there are plenty of reasons why that might be the case:

  • Is your tank simply not big enough?
  • Is the heating element on the way out?
  • Is the thermostat turned up high enough?
  • Is your tankless system not coping with multiple hot water outlets?
  • Is your tankless system not powerful enough to cope with very cold weather?

3. The water is too hot

In most cases, this is actually an easy fix – simply turn the temperature setting down. But it could also be a faulty hot water tempering valve, which is designed to keep your water at the correct and safe temperature.

4. The water takes a long time to heat up

While this could be a faulty element, it could also be due to a build-up of sediment, a misbehaving thermostat, or a bad gas burner. And also bear in mind that new instantaneous system users need to get used to slightly longer heat-up times in comparison to tank systems holding pre-heated water.

5. Not enough water

Bad or low hot water pressure is definitely one of the common hot water problems, but it may not actually be your hot water system to blame. In many cases, it could be a mismatch in plumbing pipe sizes, especially in older homes, or simply that your hot water system size isn’t coping with usage.

6. Hot water leaks

Again, there are a few reasons why your hot water unit may be leaking water:

  • Loose connections
  • Faulty valves
  • Corroded tank.

In the latter case, you’ll definitely need to ask about hot water system replacement.

7. Dirty hot water

If your hot water has changed colour, you’re probably looking at some fairly advanced signs of tank corrosion. In the best cases, it could be a failing sacrificial anode rod, which can be replaced. A system flush might also do the trick.

8. Smelly hot water

Dirty water is probably corrosion, but stinky water is probably bacteria. Ask your hot water plumber about a flush.

9. Noisy hot water system

If your hot water production is accompanied by rumbling, banging and popping, that’s almost certain a scaly build-up on the heating elements. It might be fixed with a flush and de-scaling routine, but in many cases your hot water system is beyond help.

Bonus read: Instant gas hot water troubleshooting

Ryan Old Plumbing will fix your hot water problems!

A broken hot water system is not only a pain in the backside, they aren’t exactly cheap as chips, either. The key to a hot water system not working properly is to catch that problem early, so keep an eye and ear out for normal function and consider getting it professionally checked by an expert who will let you know if it can be repaired or if you need a hot water system replacement. For more information visit the links below:

Who can do that for you? How about the friendly guys right here at Ryan Old Plumbing? We won’t just do your maintenance, we do fast and affordable repairs, system replacements of all the best and latest brands and models, and we’ll get it fully installed and up and running in a single visit.

Sick of hot water problems? Give the local plumbers at Ryan Old Plumbing a call today.

Which Hot Water System Is Best?

Which Hot Water System Is Best?

What to know about hot water systems for your home

A working hot water system is an essential part of a comfortable living environment, especially for during winter. However, knowing the right hot water system for your home can be quite challenging because there is so much to consider. Do you know if you want a gas, electric, solar or heat pump system? Will your water supply be from a storage tank or continuous water flow? How big will your tank be? How much do hot water systems cost? This article will provide you with all of the information you will need to know about the best hot water systems to suit your home.

What type of hot water system should you use?

There are a number of different types of hot water systems to choose from, such as:

  • Electric.
  • Gas.
  • Instant.
  • Heat pumps.
  • Solar.

Here is some of the main information on each of these systems that will help you understand what hot water system is the best for your home.

Electric water heating

Electric hot water systems are a popular choice among many Australians. They can be installed quickly if an existing system is getting replaced, for a low cost both indoors or outdoors. They are also inexpensive to purchase however, they can be more expensive to run, especially at the full day rate. You can purchase a storage or instant electric water heating system.

Gas hot water systems

Gas hot water systems have been around for some time now and are a common part of many households. There are a number of different storage and instant gas hot water systems you can purchase. These systems are generally cheaper to run than electric water heaters but have a worse carbon footprint.

Newer models have become more eco-friendly in recent years with natural gas and LPG models. LPG models are one of the most cost-effective options due to their heating value. Gas systems can be installed in a short amount of time if an old system is to be replaced, for a low cost and have a quick reheat time.

Instant water heaters

These systems are also commonly referred to as continuous or tankless water heaters because they do not require a storage tank for a water supply. Instant electric hot water systems only heat up the water you require, which ultimately lowers the cost of running the system as the amount of electricity or gas used to heat the water is reduced.

This also prevents any energy wasted heating the water when it isn’t being used. Due to their compact design, these systems are great for smaller areas, like apartments or offices but are still installed in a number of homes also.

Heat pump hot water

This system works by drawing out heat from the air to heat up stored water. Heat pump compressors can be installed indoors, but work best in well-ventilated areas so they are often installed outdoors. These heaters have high energy efficiency, low environmental impact and are a practical renewable energy option for water heating. Heat pump hot water systems are suited to warmer climates but can be installed with a booster for colder areas.

Heat pump heaters often have a high initial cost but most systems are eligible for a Small Scale Technology Certificate (STCs), which is a government initiative that helps lower the purchase cost of heat pumps. You can have an integrated, split or retrofitted heat pump hot water system installed into your home.

Solar hot water system

Solar-powered hot water units have a great eco-footprint and have a significantly low running cost. The installation process can be more time consuming as the builder will need to see the house plans to find the best location for the panels. The upfront cost is quite expensive but can be lowered from government incentives and rebates.

What water tank should you have for your water heater?

If you want to have a water storage facility for your water heating system there are a number of things you should consider, including:

  • Tank size – knowing what size hot water system do you need varies from the number of people using the facility, number of areas that require hot water.
  • Area of installation – best installed in a sunny or well-insulated spot to maintain quality of heating.
  • Tank type – stainless steel tanks are more expensive but have a longer lifetime.
  • Maintenance – to ensure your tank works for as long as possible, get a professional hot water system service.

Your hot water system specialists

If you are looking for a professional hot water system service across Brisbane, Logan, Redlands and the Gold Coast get in touch with Ryan Old Plumbing. We have a team of fully trained and licensed plumbing experts who have years of experience installing, repairing and replacing a wide range of water heater types, brands and models. You can rely on our efficient and cost-effective service to provide you with a solution that will meet your hot water system requirements. Contact us today!

Why Won’t My Toilet Flush?

Why Won’t My Toilet Flush?

Toilets are an everyday part of your life, and they are located everywhere – your home, your workplace, the shopping centre and everywhere in between. When you think about it, we kind of take them for granted, and just assume they will work as we need them to.

But, what happens when they don’t work as they should? We have collected a few reasons why your toilet may not be flushing, and how they can be fixed. Give Ryan Old Plumbing a call on 1300 055 940 if you need a toilet plumbing expert.

Toilet won’t flush? here are possible reasons

There are a few common reasons as to why your toilet likely won’t flush:

The button

Is there an issue with the flushing mechanism on your toilet? Whether it is a button, a pull chain or a level, does it feel normal when you use it?

It may be that the flushing mechanism is actually the issue, and not another section of your toilet, due to a broken linkage mechanism.

Worn flapper

If the chain on your toilet is working fine (and isn’t too loose), the flapper may have worn out. This will require replacing – they can be found at your local hardware store – and can be replaced yourself if you feel comfortable.

Inside the toilet

If the flushing mechanism seems to be working as it should, it may be the insides of your toilet that are causing the problem. Lift the lid of the cistern and take a look – does anything in there look visibly broken, worn or misplaced?

Don’t keep flushing! If your toilet isn’t flushing properly, do not consistently flush it over and over.

Water levels

Is there water inside the cistern? This water is what makes its way to your toilet bowl when you flush so if it is empty, no flushing can occur. This can generally indicate one of two problems – a water supply issue (check your other outlets) or a blocked cistern inlet valve.

If the water level is low, you may need a fill valve. These can be purchased from your local hardware store and can be installed yourself.

Blocked toilet

If your toilet is overflowing when you flush, this can indicate there is a blockage somewhere – you can try and remove it yourself (make sure you wear some gloves) or call in the blocked drain plumbing professionals who help you with this one.

Use a plunger

If you can not locate the blockage, it may be time to get out the plunger. Give it a go a few times – don’t just give up after one go – and you will hopefully find the clogged drain will give out.

What should I do if my toilet won’t flush?

Call in the professionals! Although there are plenty of DIY options available, and we have listed out a few options above, it is always best to call in a local plumber such as Ryan Old to help out. That way you know the proper tools and equipment are being utilised, and the job will be completed right the first time.

How can I prevent it from happening again?

There are a few ways that you can help prevent your toilet from having flushing issues:

  • Only place human waste and toilet paper down the toilet – and make sure you don’t put too much toilet paper down there either!
  • Regularly clean your toilet.
  • Consider a water-efficient toilet.

Give Ryan Old Plumbing a call on 1300 055 940 if you need some help.

Low Water Pressure: Causes and What You Can Do

Low Water Pressure: Causes and What You Can Do

Why you may be experiencing low water pressure?

Low water pressure can disrupt your routine and maybe bad enough to call in your local plumber. In this article, we will discuss the 7 possible reasons for low water pressure in your house and how to address the issue. Keep reading to learn more.

Occasional low water pressure problems

  • Do you have multiple appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine running at the same time? Or you may be using multiple plumbing fixtures at the same time(running a bath, watering the garden or washing the car) creating a high load on the system. If this problem occurs occasionally, stopping a few of them may be enough to resolve the issue.
  • If the above doesn’t fix the issue – Test all the appliances and plumbing fixtures. Identify if all or only a few are affected by low water pressure.
  • Check if the cold water supply is affected or hot water, or both? If the only hot water supply is affected, it could be due to your hot water system (low hot water pressure).
  • Contact your local plumbers who can quickly resolve the issue.

Common reasons for low water pressure

The pressure and flow rates in your home can be affected by a number of factors:

Water supplier maintenance

Your local water supplier may be conducting maintenance work that can temporarily reduce the water pressure in your area. Ask your neighbours if they are facing the same issue or contact your water supplier to find out if they are working on an issue. You may have to sit tight and wait for them to resolve the works before your pressure returns to normal.

If there is no ongoing maintenance in your area, there may be a problem with your plumbing system causing the issue.

Fault in the pressure regulator

The pressure regulator is a valve controlling the water pressure so it is safe for your plumbing system. When the pressure regulator develops a fault, it may cause the water pressure to increase or decrease.

Shutoff valve or PRV valve isn’t open

There are two shut-off valves controlling your home’s water supply – one at the water meter and the other at your home. If the valves are only partially open, they may affect the supply. Inspect the valves and make sure they are both fully open. If the valve is broken, contact a qualified plumber to get the valve replaced.

Clogged pipes, tap fittings, showerheads

Over time water pipes can become blocked with mineral deposits, rust, or other materials. One simple way to diagnose if the problem is caused by blocked pipes is – the water flows normally when you open the tap but then the flow drops significantly. Contact your blocked drain plumbers immediately to remedy this issue.

Corroded pipes

The water pipes in your home are often made of galvanised steel or copper, over time due to sediment deposits they can begin to corrode. Galvanised steel pipes will last for around 20 years whereas copper pipes generally last for up to 50 years.

If you have an old house, the pipes may be severely rusted from the inside making the issue hard to identify. If the pipes are corroded you may not be able to see the blockage and you will have to contact your local plumbers who can replace the pipes in your home with durable materials.

Leaking taps & pipes

A leak in your pipes or tap can also reduce the flow of water. If you notice puddles of water outside your home (particularly between the metre and the building) or your kitchen/bathroom is experiencing unexplained mould growth, these are sure signs of a leaking tap or pipes. Turn off the water supply from the mains and contact your plumber for expert leak detection and repairs.

At Ryan Old Plumbing, we can detect leaks, fix dripping taps, repair toilets and more. Call us today for prompt and professional service.

Broken or faulty fixtures

If the low water pressure problem occurs with only one or two taps, they may be clogged with dirt or damaged by rust. After continuous use, the washer and o-rings will no longer function well, potentially blocking the water flow resulting in low pressure. You can try to fix your tap by replacing the washer yourself or contact your local plumber to test and replace the faulty tap fitting.

Other factors that can affect low water pressure

  • The height of the property above the water main and its height in relation to the local storage reservoir (the higher the elevation of the property the less pressure you are likely to receive)
  • The condition of the service pipe (the smaller the pipe and the older it is, particularly if made of lead or galvanised iron, the greater the loss of pressure as water is drawn through the pipe)
  • Whether the property shares a supply pipe with other properties (usually within flats). The higher the flow, the greater the loss of pressure by the time it reaches the kitchen tap
  • Peak demand conditions (the time of day most people are drawing water from our network, typically breakfast time and tea time. Higher demand equals lower pressure)
  • Your internal plumbing (if you have long pipe runs within your property the water has to travel longer distances through the pipes and the potential for pressure loss is therefore increased).

What you can do:

If you are experiencing low water pressure continuously, check that your internal stop tap is fully open. If you are able and it is safe to do so you can also try turning your external stop tap.

In most cases, your stop tap will be installed at the boundary of your property. If you are on a water meter, you may have a stop tap that is installed inside the metering chamber. The stop tap will either be a plastic head that needs to be turned 90 degrees to its open position or if it’s a brass tap this needs to be unscrewed until it reaches a natural stop. At the same time, you can also check that you do not have a leak on your supply which may be causing the low pressure.

Your local plumbers for low water pressure

Contact your trusted local plumber at Ryan Old for all your low water pressure issues throughout Brisbane at 1300 055 940. Alternatively, complete our online plumber booking form and we will get back to you.

Our 24-hour emergency plumbers can attend to all your plumbing needs ASAP. So get in touch with us now.

Common Instant Gas Hot Water System Problems

Common Instant Gas Hot Water System Problems

When it comes to hot water in your home or workplace, you likely don’t think too much about how it works or what it does – you just turn on the tap and hot water comes out. And we don’t blame you

Having hot water is great in more ways than one – a long hot shower after a big day at work, using the dishwasher or just turning on the hot tap in the kitchen to wash your coffee mug – but what do you do when it isn’t working as it should?

Hot water issues can be disruptive in a variety of ways, not just when you want to run a nice warm bath after a long day. So, if you have an instant gas hot water heater and it is causing problems, keep reading to learn more. If you require further assistance, call Ryan Old Plumbing on 1300 055 940.

How does an instant gas water heater work?

An instant gas hot water heater, also known as a tankless, instantaneous or continuous flow system, only heats water as and when you need it. They have either a pilot flame or electronic ignition and water is heated by a gas burner as it flows through a coiled pipe, otherwise known as a heat exchanger. When you turn on a hot water tap, the gas burner starts up and heats only the water that is needed at that time.

how instant gas hot water work

  • Learn more about gas hot water systems here.
  • Learn more about instant hot water systems here.

What benefits does an instant gas water heater offer?

Instant gas hot water systems offer a huge variety of benefits, including:

  • Reduced amounts of wasted water.
  • Highly efficient systems.
  • Save energy and are more eco-friendly than many other choices.
  • Generally compact, so can fit in a variety of spaces (including small apartments or workspaces).
  • Both flued and unflued options are available.
  • Can be installed both indoors and outdoors.
  • Less lag time for water heating.
  • What are common instant gas hot water system problems?

What are common instant gas hot water system problems?

Although instantaneous gas hot water systems have a range of benefits, they do have some common issues too. The following common instant gas hot water problems are:

No hot water

If you don’t have any hot water at all, check the following 3 things. If you still don’t have hot water, call a hot water plumber.

  • Check that the system is plugged into the electrical outlet and switched on.
  • If your instant hot water system has a controller, double-check that it is on and the temperature is correct.
  • Check any gas appliances in your home to see if the gas is flowing – if they work, the gas supply isn’t the issue. If they are not working, you have hopefully found your issue – check your gas valve meter and call your local gas provider for further assistance.

The pilot light will not ignite

If your pilot light will not ignite, remember that a feature of instant gas hot water systems is that they require moderate to high water flow to ignite a pilot light. Therefore, run your hot water tap for a few minutes to see if this starts it.

Water is lukewarm

A faulty thermostat or a faulty diaphragm can cause lukewarm water to replace hot water.

Water is sporadically hot and cold

If you are finding that your water is sporadically hot and then cold, this is a problem many instant gas hot water systems experiences. There are a few things that can cause this including:

  • An undersized gas bottle can result in not enough gas getting to your system.
  • A faulty showerhead or a restrictor may be affecting the ability of a tap to register as a ‘hot water tap’.
  • The gas meter diaphragm may be faulty.

Producing less water and/or lower water pressure

If your instant gas hot water system is not producing as much water as it should, or the water pressure is lower than it should be, there are two main issues that it could be:

  • A broken or faulty thermostat.
  • The strainer valve may be blocked on the cold inl>

If your water is lower in pressure, this can be related to the pilot light. Remember however that instant hot water systems, in general, supply water at a lower hot water pressure than storage alternatives.

What to do with instant gas hot water system problems?

If your instant gas hot water system is experiencing any issues, call a professional such as Ryan Old Plumbing and they can assist. Remember, choosing to do the works yourself can void your insurance and any warranties you may have, and won’t guarantee the job is completed correctly. Always speak to the local plumbing experts!

Resources

 

Who Is Responsible For A Blocked Drain?

Who Is Responsible For A Blocked Drain?

Blocked drains are a pain – they are disruptive, messy and potentially very expensive. So, trying to figure out who is responsible for a blocked drain is likely one of the last things you would like to think about while figuring out how to unclog your plumbing.

That is why our local plumbing team have put together a little guide as to who is responsible for different blocked drains and who to call – if you require some further assistance or information, contact Ryan Old Plumbing today on 1300 055 940.

What are the most common causes of blocked drains?

The most common causes of blocked drains are:

  • Grease, oils and fats.
  • Tree roots, plants and/or dirt that damages plumbing.
  • Storm damage.
  • Foreign objects, such as toys.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Hygiene products and sanitary items.
  • Human hair.

There are so many more things that can cause a drain blockage, but these are the ones that blocked drain plumbers see most often.

Who is responsible for a blocked drain?

When the property is owner-occupied

Property owner

  • Any and all plumbing issues and blockages that are located on your property are your responsibility. This includes in, under and around your home and any other buildings on your property.

Council/Wastewater Authority

  • Your local council or wastewater authority is responsible for all the pipes, drains and water metres that lead away from your property. They respond to blockages or issues in the main sewer line, as well as in the stormwater network from your property boundary.

When the property is rented

According to the Retail Tenancies Authority in Queensland, the following applies.

Landlord

The Landlord is responsible for a blocked drain if:

  • The Landlord is the one who caused the blocked drain or caused damage that resulted in a blocked drain.
  • The blocked drain is due to fair wear and tear, such as age, storm damage and/or tree roots.
  • If the blocked drain is no one’s fault, the Landlord is responsible as property owner.

Tenant

The Tenant is responsible for a blocked drain if:

  • The Tenant is the one who caused the blocked drain, even if it was accidentally. This can include situations such as foreign objects falling down the drain unintentionally or human hair causing a blockage.
  • The Tenant caused damage to the property, which resulted in a blocked drain.

If a situation arises where the blocked drain is an emergency it may be that the tenant arranges the appropriate fix to occur and who is responsible is arranged at a later date.

Who should you call if there is a blocked mains sewer drain?

Who you should call when it comes to a blocked mains sewer drain depends on where you are located. Also remember, calling someone for assistance when it comes to blocked mains sewer drains refers to pipes, drains and/or inspection points that are not located on your property or another private property.

Brisbane

Brisbane residents can call Queensland Urban Utilities 24 hours a day on 13 23 64. More information can be found at urbanutilities.com.au.

Gold Coast

Gold Coast residents can call the City of Gold Coast on (07) 5667 5801 or 1300 000 928.

More information can be found at goldcoast.qld.gov.au.

Redland

Redland residents can call the Redland City Council on (07) 3829 8999. More information can be found at redland.qld.gov.au.

Logan

Logan residents can call the Logan City Council on (07) 3412 3412 or 1300 156 426 (if you have a Logan City Landline). More information can be found at logan.qld.gov.au.

Need urgent help with your drains in Brisbane and Gold Coast? Our local plumbers can help. Contact us today on 1300 055 940 or complete our online plumber booking form.