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Down the Drain: What can and cannot be poured down the kitchen sink?

Down the Drain: What can and cannot be poured down the kitchen sink?

We sometimes take for granted the small things that we do that it becomes a routine. Take, for example, cleaning up the dishes. Do you scrape everything off the plate first before running it with water or putting it in the dishwasher? Or do you just allow the running water to remove the scraps? How about the small flecks like the coffee grounds that had settled at the bottom of your glass? If you are used to washing these small flecks to wash down your sink, stop and think twice before you proceed. These small flecks of solid waste can accumulate and cause blocked drains and pipes.

Here are some frequently asked questions about what is safe and harmful to pour down the sink: 

Can I pour coffee grounds or tea leaves down the sink?

Never pour coffee grounds or tea leaves down the sink even though the beans and the leaves are finely ground, since this can still accumulate and stick to your pipes. If you ask any plumber, along with grease, coffee grounds and tea leaves are one of the most common reasons for blocked kitchen pipes especially since a lot of people brew their own coffee or tea at home every day. The best way to dispose of ground coffee or tea leaves is to decompose them. You can bury them on your backyard or sprinkle them on your garden to get rid of unwanted pests. Otherwise, seal them on a bag and properly dispose of it on a rubbish bin.

Can you put flour down the drain?

Never put wet flour down the drain even if it can even pass through the drain since this can harden and block your pipes. When flour is mixed with water, it creates a sticky substance that can act as a glue. Not only will this attract other solid wastes passing through to clump up, but the starch in the mixture can also expand causing the waste to enlarge and cause a blockage. The best way to dispose of flour is to decompose it. For flour stuck on plates or utensils, remember to scrape them off and seal it in a bag before properly disposing of it in a rubbish bin and if you cannot decompose.

Can you pour yogurt down the sink?

Yogurt and other dairy products should not be poured or washed down the sink because the substance cannot be easily broken down. When mixed in our waterways, this can affect the oxygen level of any aquatic life present since the process of breaking down the substance by bacteria requires a lot of oxygen. When dairy products are continuously disposed of in kitchen sinks even in small quantities, these can still affect our waterway especially if a lot of people are doing it. The best way to dispose of dairy products is to decompose it by spreading it over pasture or cultivated ground.

Is it OK to pour grease down the sink?

Never, ever pour grease down the sink even though they seem to be in a liquid state. Grease, fat or oil acts as an agent that binds and sticks solid things to your pipes. The best way to dispose of grease and other fats is to put them in a jar and letting them freeze before properly disposing of them in a rubbish bin. 

Can I pour vinegar down the sink?

It is okay to pour vinegar down the sink since the acid can act as an alternative cleaning agent that can soften or dissolve trapped substances that are stuck in your drains and pipes. This is okay if you do not pour vinegar down the sink every day, for instead of working as a cleaning agent, it can corrode your drains and pipes, causing an even bigger plumbing problem.

Is it OK to pour boiling water down the drain?

It is OK to pour hot water or boiling water down the drain for this can soften the hardened substances that are starting to stick to your drains and pipes. This is okay, provided that the water is not overwhelmingly hot for this can expand your sink or melt PVC pipes.

Other things that shouldn’t be poured down the sink or washed down the drain are eggshells, raw meat trimmings, produce stickers, vegetable and fruit peels and seeds. These are usually broken down into small pieces that is why they are usually washed down the sink. But remember that these are still solid substances that can stick together and block your drains and pipes.

If you have been pouring undesirable things down your sink and it’s been a long time since you had your pipes checked, it might be time to do so now to see if there’s already a buildup preventing a healthy flow of your plumbing system. Do not make pouring or washing anything down the kitchen sink a habit. Make sure to have your plumbing checked and maintained at least once a year to see if everything is good working condition.

At The Plumbing and Gas Guys, we service blocked drains and pipes not limited to kitchen sinks, bathroom showers and toilets. Our process starts with an external inspection to see the condition of your blocked drain or pipe to see if it can be unclogged using our advanced drain machine. However, if the drain or the pipe is still blocked, we shall then proceed with using a water jitter to cut pressure and flush the blockage.

Call a professional and licensed plumber on 1800 087 244 and get your blocked drains fixed!

Plumbing Noises: What do they mean?

Plumbing Noises: What do they mean?

Plumbing Noises: What do they mean?

Pain is a good indicator that there must be something wrong with our body. For a domestic or a commercial establishment. hearing unusual noises might be a sign that there’s something wrong with the plumbing. Whether it’s a dripping sound or pipes banging, they aren’t just loud, they are also irritating, and you realise that it needs to be looked at.

It’s better to familiarise yourself with these plumbing noises so that the next time you hear them, you won’t just ignore these sounds. You can take the necessary steps to prevent further damage to your plumbing, for, when left unattended, can cause incidents such as a flooded basement or a leaking roof. 

Banging - can be heard when something that shouldn’t be on your pipe is stuck and is hitting the metal and even plastic pipes causing it to vibrate and produce the banging sound. When small debris accumulates, they will first float around and hit the pipes until they become large enough to cause a blockage. Too much water pressure and air entering the pipes can also create the banging sound.  

Clanking - happens when valves and knobs are loose allowing too much water pressure to be exerted on the pipes or the water heater tanks. 

Clicking - is often heard when a pump is waterlogged and is short cycling on and off. Thermal expansions of pipes can also create clicking noises when the heat rises from hot water heating baseboards. 

Dripping - means that there is a leakage in your plumbing. This is often heard from leaking water splashing the sink or when the drip is too fast and it creates a rhythm whether it exits from the faucet, the pipe, or the toilet. 

Glugging or Gurgling - can be heard from multiple plumbing points like the pipes, the vents and even the sewer line. This can mean that the pipes are either blocked with sediments like food wastes or small minerals, or air has somehow entered the system. For the sewer line, this can mean that tree roots penetrated the pipes and are blocking the flow of the water. 

Hissing - from a water heater tank means that there might be too much air disrupting the system. Hissing from the pipes means that there might be leakage and air is let through together with the water. 

Humming - is created when water pressure is too high, making the pipes vibrate when water is running. On the other hand, low humming from a running well pump or a circulating water heater pump is just normal - indicating that the system is activated and working well. 

Knocking or Popping - from a tank water heater is a sign of sediment buildup along the sides of the tank and the burner, reducing its efficiency and making it longer to heat the water, increasing your energy consumption. 

Rattling - happens when constant vibration of the pipes eventually displaces them from being mounted and fastened on ceilings and walls. When water is running through these displaced pipes, you’ll hear this loud rattling sound that’s a good indication that it needs to be mounted up, otherwise too much water pressure could make the pipe burst.

Squealing - can be heard mainly from loosened valves in faucets. It can also be heard from worn down plumbing furniture like washing machines and dishwashers. There might be some loose knobs and valves inside the machines that need tightening up.

Whistling - from your showerhead can be heard when some of the exit points are blocked with debris causing water pressure to build up and make the whistling sound as it looks for ways to release the water. 

If you hear these noises and are not sure of what to do, it is important that you immediately call a licensed plumber to check out the problem. While waiting for the plumbers and you know where the master switch is, turn off your water or gas line to avoid furthering the damage to the plumbing system. 

At The Plumbing and Gas Guys, our plumbing services cover domestic and commercial inhouse and outer plumbing. From kitchen and bathroom gas & plumbing installation, repair and maintenance, to pipes & drain water jetting and tree root cutting as well as septic tank cleaning and sewer line connections, no job is too extensive nor too small. 

Common Plumbing Misuse

Common Plumbing Misuse

We use our sinks, showers and toilets a couple of times every day but have you thought about whether these activities you've been used to are correct? Here are some of the most common misuse of plumbing utilities that though seemingly harmless, can lead to big plumbing issues that would require professional and prompt work.

Flushing food waste down the sink

Flushing food down the drain is one of the most common misuses of plumbing in the whole world. This is also the number one reason for blocked pipes and drains. If you still prefer to clean your plate of food waste down the drain, opt for sinks with waste disposal units which can catch the food waste and then eventually empty the bin through proper waste disposal means. Other garbage disposal units also have a grinding chamber where solid food waste is broken down to tiny particles which can then be washed away by the water and down into your drain. In addition to flushing food scraps down the drain, most people also choose to expel grease waste down the sink. Since grease might accumulate and eventually form a solid block that can clog your pipes, ask your plumber to install a grease trap under your sink which they can eventually empty out and properly dispose of in a couple of months or yearly. Have your drains and pipes occasionally serviced as well by professional and licensed plumbers to prevent major plumbing issues such as clogged sinks and burst pipes.

Flushing your dead fish down the toilet 

Flushing dead fishes and other small animals down the toilet is strictly discouraged and even illegal in some states! Some people believe that the best way to honour their dead fishes is to flush them down the toilet to bring them to the sea. This is a misconception because there is no guarantee that the fish will end up in the sea. For one, various plumbing systems work to separate the liquid from solid waste and thus your dead fish will just end up in a waste management facility provided that it survived the plumbing system and stayed intact. Flushing your dead fish and other small animals down the toilet can also cause bigger problems such as a blocked toilet or a burst pipe. For these cases, it’s best to bury your dead animal friends in your backyard where they can properly decompose and go back to the earth, or on a pet cemetery where they can properly rest in peace.

Placing tapes on cracks and leaks in pipes 

Since most people do not have a Plumber’s tape or a Teflon tape at hand, they use electrical tape to seal small cracks and leaks. Others also use materials such as packaging tape, duct tape and masking tape which are all temporary solutions to a problem that can burst when not properly addressed. For small cracks, use a Plumber’s tape or a Teflon tape to seal the gap. You can also use a PVC adhesive to fill the small gaps caused by the cracks. Remember to check up on the remedies that you have done for if there are still leaks from these gaps, it’s a sign that you now need to call a professional plumber to do plumbing maintenance and repair.

Keeping the water running during plumbing emergencies 

Some people do not shut off their plumbing during emergencies for fear of aggravating the issue. Plumbing emergencies can range from leaky faucets and continuously flushing toilets to burst pipes and broken water lines - which all consume copious amounts of water. If you are attempting to apply first-aid to a minor plumbing problem, you still need to shut off your plumbing especially if you do not know which caps or knobs release high water pressure. Never keep your water running during a plumbing emergency for you will not only flood your house but you shall also increase your water bill especially if it’ll take a long time for the plumbers to arrive.

Not calling licensed plumbers during emergencies 

When a toilet clogs, or when a pipe bursts, our first instinct is to apply some sort of first-aid. This can mean plunging a toilet or shutting off your plumbing and then sealing the bust pipe with PVC adhesive. When everything seems okay, most people tend to forget that what they’ve done is just a temporary fix and then they leave it at that before another bigger problem arises. DIY Plumbing is okay so long as it is only for minor plumbing problems like a slow draining sink or a clogged garbage disposal unit. But when it comes to crucial plumbing issues like broken hot water systems, clogged toilets and burst pipes, it’s necessary to call on professional plumbers since they have the knowledge and the tools required to fix these issues.

If you do not know the extent of the root of the problem, best let the professionals and the experienced plumbers fix your plumbing to avoid safety hazards and further the plumbing problem. If you call The Plumbing and Gas Guys on 1800 087 244, we can send a single or a team of our master plumbers depending on your requirement. From the simple leaking taps, to installation of hot water systems, to emergency plumbing jobs we cover all cities in Perth Metropolitan Area.

Autumn Plumbing & Gas Maintenance Ideas for Perth Homes

Autumn Plumbing & Gas Maintenance Ideas for Perth Homes

People often tend to do renovations and property maintenance before the holiday season starts during December and January. As we approach autumn, it’s an ideal time to address outdoor plumbing and roof cleaning & repairs. The end of summer is the perfect time to plan your home improvement project so that you can start around autumn, and finish before winter arrives.

Here at The Plumbing and Gas Guys, we offer 24/7 year-round plumbing, gas fitting and renovation services to all suburbs in Perth, Western Australia. Aside from emergency plumbing and gas fitting services that can pop-up any day and time of the year, we recommend to customers autumn as an ideal time to do home maintenance and renovations for their Perth homes

tree root cutting

Go for tree root cutting services to fix blocked sewer pipes and drains.

Tree roots as small as thin hair fibres can enter pipes and cause blockage when they accumulate. Solid things that pass through your drain can also be trapped further causing blockage to your pipers. Call a licensed, professional plumber to assess your sewer lines, especially if you feel that your waste pipes start to drain slowly or give off an unpleasant odour.

Clean blocked roof gutters. 

It’s essential to clean your gutters every so often to remove falling debris such as leaves, tree roots, sand that accumulate and block your roof pipes and drainage. Roof plumbing, cleaning and repair are best done during spring and autumn.

Autumn Plumbing & Gas Maintenance Ideas for Perth Homes
Energy-Efficient Hot Water Systems

Install new hot water systems. 

Hot water system installations, especially placing a big tank outside or adding solar panels (for solar hot water systems) on the roof is best done after cleaning, and repairs to the roof are done to make sure that there’s good support for the system to be installed on.  

 

Make sure that your hot water system is running well.  

To prepare for the colder weather ahead, it’s best to have your hot water system checked and repaired during the autumn months. 

hot water shower
kitchen tiling

Engage in Kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovation. 

Do you see mould forming? You must take action sooner than later. To avoid plumbing emergencies caused by blocked sinks and toilets, better to have them checked out and cleaned now if you suspect there’s a problem. Do you feel it’s time to renovate? Talk to The Plumbing and Gas Guys for ideas and choose the fixtures and fittings that will suit your style of home.

 

Contact The Plumbing and Gas Guys on 1800 087 244 and speak to our 24/7 Customer Service personnel to schedule general plumbing and gas health check and maintenance. We can send out a team that's trained to the highest standard in every aspect of their trade, from appliance installation; dealing with tap leaks to the installation of major gas and hot water replacements. Our licensed Perth plumbers and gas fitters use the latest and most sophisticated technology to clean blocked pipes and drains as well as repair damaged lines and systems. Our hot water supply, installation and repair services are also available for all suburbs in Perth, Western Australia.

Signs of Blocked Drains & Pipes

Signs of Blocked Drains & Pipes

Food particles and oil build-up are the common causes of blocked drains and pipes. When not properly disposed of, these elements clump together and cause build-up, trapping the flow of water in your drains and pipes. When not properly maintained, a blocked pipe might burst to cause more damage not only to your water line but also to your waste tank. To prevent accidents and everyday inconvenience, here are some signs that you need to be aware of to see if you have a blocked drain or pipe that needs good plumbing.

Slow Draining Sink

A visible sign that you have a blocked drain is when it takes too much time for water to seep through the drainage especially when there are no solid food wastes or when no oil is mixed with the water. A slow draining sink takes too much time and prevents you from completing the dishes as soon as possible.

Clogged Toilet

A toilet that does no flush no matter how many times you try to do so is also another obvious sign that you have a blocked drain. Since no one wants to handle a clogged toilet, it’s best to leave it to professionals plumbers to avoid cases such as overflowing water coming out of clogged toilets.

Foul Odour

When something smells foul or when you smell something unusual when you open your faucet or flush your toilet, it means that something rotting must be stuck on your pipes. These can range from rotting food that clumped together or from tiny animals that got stuck and washed out on your pipeline.

Water Discolouration

Water discolouration not only comes from corroded pipes but it can also be caused by blocked drains specifically when the thing that blocks the pipes or the drainage contains a chemical compound that corrodes and mixes with the water every time water flows through the pipes.

How we fix blocked drains and clean waste pipes

For a quick fix with a long-term solution, get a professional and licensed plumber to do the job. At The Plumbing and Gas Guys, we service blocked drains and pipes not limited to kitchen sinks, bathroom showers and toilets. Our process starts with an external inspection to see the condition of your blocked drain or pipe to see if it can be unclogged using our advanced drain machine. However, if the drain or the pipe is still blocked, we shall then proceed with using a water jitter to cut pressure and flush the blockage. In addition, we can also take care of your commercial waste product by emptying your septic tank and removing the foul odour.

Servicing blocked pipes and drains is part of good property upkeep and will not only reduce inconvenience but can also prevent the ageing of your property. Call a professional and licensed plumber on 1800 087 244 and get your blocked drainage fixed! We have 24/7 customer service personnel that can help set up appointments and send our available trusted plumber as soon as possible.