9 Qualities of a good emergency plumber

Helpful

13250114644_7ee9dc7192_b1. 24/7 Service
The most important thing for emergency plumbing, obviously: emergencies don’t have business hours. The plumber must be willing and able to serve you irrespective of the time the call comes in.

2. Wide Range of Services
The plumber that offers numerous services is always a good choice. Whatever kind of problem you’re facing, they should have the tools and knowledge necessary to solve the problem!

3. Helpful Professionalism
A good plumber is one who has gone through the necessary training and earned the appropriate qualifications. A “true professional” will take pride in their appearance and presentation, help you understand what the problem is, answer any questions you have, and offer advice that will assist in future maintenance and prevention.

4. Experience & Skill
These are crucial qualities to look for in any plumber. An emergency plumber needs to have a wealth of experience to deal with frozentempseraturespipes1the innumerable things that could be encountered in an emergency, as well as the skills and team to resolve it.

5. Always On Time
During an emergency, it’s maddening to have to wait for help. On top of that, your property could also be damaged the more things progress. A good plumber will be available with little delay, and always be punctual.

6. Well-Prepared
An emergency plumber should be well-prepared with the proper equipment, tools, and team. If your emergency occurs in the middle of the night, there won’t be any stores or supply houses for them to rely on. Likewise, the time it takes to fetch that extra piece of equipment from their warehouse could be the difference between an inconvenience and serious water damage.

7. Respectful of Your Property
The plumber that respects your property will park in a proper area, use walkways and follow any requests you might have (“only come in through this door”, etc.). To avoid tracking dirt or anything else into your home, most top-quality plumbers will wear shoe covers. Once they’re done, the work area should be cleaner than when they arrived.

1280px-Plumbers_snake_246958. Safety-Minded
Just because it’s an emergency doesn’t mean corners can be cut. In fact, there’s no worse time to forego thoroughness and safety! A good plumber will protect themselves with gloves, goggles, and masks/respirators as necessary – this keeps them safe, focused, and  able to complete the job quickly.

9. Reliable
You want a plumber that will make the correct, lasting fix the first time around. Unfortunately, there are plenty of dishonest people out there looking to make a quick buck without regard for your home or well-being.

13 Plumbing Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

13 Plumbing Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Helpful
  1. The average person spends three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet.
  2. King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.
  3. Over $100,000 were spent on a study to determine whether most people put their paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind. Three out of four people have the flap in the front.
  4. Albert Einstein was made an honorary member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union after he had announcement that he would be a plumber if he had to live his life all over again.
  5. The most famous plumbers ever are Mario and Luigi from the gaming side
  6. The toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime than at any time during the year.
  7. The word “plumber” comes from the latin word “plumbum”, which means “lead”.
  8. Manhole covers are circular because if they’re turned sideways, they can’t fall through their own opening, like square one’s would
  9. Standardised plumbing can be traced back to around 3,000 BC.
  10. If you have a leaking mixer that drips twice per minute, you’ll waste about 3,8 litres of water in a week.
  11. Have you ever heard the myth about water flowing in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere? It’s not true. It’s possible for water to flow either direction in either Hemisphere.
  12. In 1939, Al Moen invented the single handle mixer that can control hot and cold water in just one turn.
  13. The average person visits the toilet six to eight times per day.

The Universal Plumbing Question – “Where is the toilet – bathroom?”

Helpful

Afrikaans – Waar is die badkamer? Waar is die toilet?

Albanian – Ku është banjo?

Arabic – أين الحمام؟?

Armenian – Vortegh e bathrrom.

Asturian – U”l ban~u?

Azerbaijani – Bathrrom haradadır?

Basque – Non dago bathrrom du?

Bengali – Bātharuma kōthāẏa?

Bosnian – Gdje je TWC?

Breton – Pelec’h eman~ ar priveziou`?

Bulgarian – Kade e toaletnata?

Catalan – On e’s la cambra de bany?

Creole – Ki laplas twale`t-la?

Croatian – Gdje je zahod?

Czech – Kde je za’chod?

Danish – Hvor er toilettet?

Dutch – Waar is het toilet (W.C.)?

Esperanto – Kie estas la necesejo?

Estonian – kus on vannituba?

Faroese – Hvar er vesi?

Finnish – missä onkylpyhuone?

French – Où se trouvent les toilettes?

Frisian – Wêr is it húske?

Galician – Onde é o quarto de banho? Onde é o retrete?

German – Wo ist die Toilette?

Greek – pu íne i tualéta?

Gujarati – baathroom kyaaN chhe?

Hawaiian – Ai hea lua?

Hebrew – eifo ha’sherutim?

Hindi – aapkaa snanghar (sauchalya) kahan hai?

Hungarian – Hol a mosdo’

Icelandic – Hvar er snyrtingin

Ido – Ube esas la neceseyo?

Indonesian – Kamar kecil di mana?

Interlingua – Ubi es le w.c. (lavatorio)?

Irish – Ca’ bfhuil seomra na mban (f) / bfhear (m)?

Italian – Dove e’ il bagno?

Japanese – Bathrrom wa doko ni arimasu ka?

Korean – Hwa-jang-sil-i O-die Isum-ni-ka?

Latin – Ubi sunt loca secreta? Ubi est conclave necessarium?

Latvian – Kur atrodas vannas istaba?

Lithuanian – Kur yra tualetas?

Malaysian – Di manakah terletaknya tandas? Tandas di mana?

Mandarin – Duì bù qǐ, cèsuǒ zài nǎr?

Marshallese – Ewi em jirikrik in?

Norwegian – Hvor er toalettet?

Occitan – Ont son los comuns?

Polish – Gdzie jest toaleta?

Portuguese – Onde e’ o quarto de banho? Onde e’ o casa de banho?

Romanian – Unde este toaleta?

Russian – Gde zdes tualet?

Serbian – Gde je toalet?

Sesotho – Batekamore e kae?

Slovak – Kde je W.C.?

Slovenian – Kje je kopalnica? Kje je stranisxcxe?

Spanish – Donde esta el bano?

Swahili – Choo kiko wapi?

Swedish – Var är bathrrom

Tagalog – Nasaan ang kasilyas?

Thai – hong-nam-you-tee-nai?

Turkish – tuvalet nerede?

Ukrainian – de tut tualyet? (laznychka, uborna)

Welsh – Ble mae’r toiled?

Vietnamese – Trường hợp là bathrrom ?

Xhosa – Iphi indlu yangasese?

Yiddish – vu iz der bodtsimer?

Zulu – likuphi itholethe?

Drop a Brick in Your Toilet

News

Beer Maker Advocates Dropping a Brick in the Toilet to Conserve Water

Shock Top Brewing is encouraging Californians to “drop a brick” in their toilets to help facilitate water conservation during the drought. The “bricks” are actually flexible rubber look-alikes, not clay bricks, which is better for sewer systems as clay can disintegrate over time and cause clogs, and cost from R75 – R225 depending on how and where you purchase them.

However, since 1992 all new toilets across the country have been required to flush with 6 litres or less – since around 2009 in California, the state has been phasing in mandatory 5 litre flush toilets. As we’ve mentioned in other articles, some of these early 6 litre flush toilets were poorly manufactured and didn’t flush well. As toilet makers became more knowledgeable about how these toilets flushed, they devised new methods and today’s 6 litre toilets and many 5 litre toilets flush just as well as their antique 12 litre counterparts.

While adding a brick or any other similar item to displace water in older toilet tanks will cause the toilet to use less water during each flush, it is important to keep in mind that toilets were designed to flush with the amount of water designated. Ergo, a 12 litre toilet will remove waste with less water, but it will do so less efficiently – and chances are you’re going to end up with a clog somewhere because while the waste may be removed from your toilet with less water, that amount probably won’t be sufficient to move it any further down the line. And for those of you who have never dealt with this situation, removing clogs of this type generally takes quite a bit of water. Thus, you’re not really saving anything.

We know there are a lot of people out there saying you can do this, but it is always best to consult with a plumbing engineer as to the best methods for saving water in your home. If you’re concerned about water conservation and have an older 12 litre toilet, we strongly recommend simply replacing the toilet. In the long run, it will cost far less in time, money, and water than the old “brick” method.

Additionally, we don’t wish to disparage anyone’s desire to raise awareness of water conservation methods, but we do want people to consider the entire water system to make sure we’re saving water in an effective and sanitary way. While the brewing company’s intentions are no doubt in the right place and we applaud their desire to assist Californians with saving water, we think they should stick to brewing tasty beer and leave toilets to the plumbers.

Hug A Plumber Day

Hug A Plumber Day

Inspiration Uncategorised
Hug A Plumber Day is an opportunity to express the gratitude and appreciation plumbers deserve every day.

From ancient aqueducts to modern designer kitchens, moving water to where we need it has always been a huge deal – a steady supply of clean water being necessary if we’re to do anything at all. Likewise, keeping waste out of those supplies and removing it from living areas is our first (and best) chance to prevent disease outbreaks. These are the fundamental duties of the plumber.

The first plumbing systems were things of pure necessity, with little view towards anything but immediate function. Centuries of trial and error have produced the sophisticated and efficient systems many of us enjoy daily, without a thought. We’ve discovered how water is contaminated, and virtually eliminated waterborne disease in many parts of the world. A once unthinkable standard of living is the norm, and countless lives have been saved. It’s pretty impressive.

But plumbing systems need experts – people who know how to design them, build and install them, and keep them working. It’s not just about connecting pipes and clearing blockages! Licensed plumbers have been thoroughly trained in the theory and practice of plumbing; from how water behaves in a system, to materials composition, to construction practices. All this so you can enjoy a flushing toilet and a hot shower!

So, if you didn’t have to walk several miles to collect water in a bucket today, didn’t have to defecate in the open, and haven’t lost a loved one to a waterborne illness… why not show your thanks to those that make it possible, day in and day out? Though modern western culture has for some strange reason devalued plumbers, the truth of the matter is clear: a society functions at its best only if it has an adequate plumbing infrastructure, and good plumbers to construct and manage it. Hug a Plumber Day is a silly “holiday”, but the sentiment behind it is anything but. Be it a tip of the hat, a handshake, a beer, or a full-on bear hug, it makes sense to show some gratitude and respect to the workers that help keep us healthy and productive. A big THANK YOU to all plumbers!

Who is Thomas Crapper

Interesting

 

Courtesy of Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine, June 1993

The debate over who Thomas Crapper was – or even if there was a Thomas Crapper at all – continues. His contributions to the plumbing industry are even more suspect. But with this article we intend to replace myth with fact, for we have found a cadre of Thomas Crapper scholars who have made it their life’s work to prove that Crapper is more than just a slang term brought home by the World War I doughboys.

For this article we interviewed Dr. Andy Gibbons, historian of the International Thomas Crapper Society, and Ken Grabowski, a researcher and author who is writing a book on Crapper’s life.

crapperMyth: Thomas Crapper as a person never existed.

Fact: Though we do not know his actual date of birth, we can now say the man Thomas Crapper probably was born in September 1836, since he was baptized the 28th of that month. Crapper did have a successful career in the plumbing industry in England from 1861 to 1904.

The date of Crapper’s death has also been a source of confusion for many years. For example, Chase’s Annual Events, the authoritative book for listing special days and dates, has listed January 17 as Thomas Crapper Day and January 17, 1910 as the date of his death.

After all his research, Gibbons was certain that Chase’s was 10 days off. The actual date of Thomas Crapper’s death was January 27, 1910. The error probably resulted from an honest typo in “Flushed With Pride,” by Wallace Reyburn, says Gibbons, “but I waged a 10-year battle with Chase’s to get them to change the date.” He finally won his battle this year after supplying them with a photo of Thomas Crapper’s tombstone, notes from a living descendent, and a copy of the man’s official death certificate.

Myth: Thomas Crapper invented the toilet.

Fact: No one in the know about Thomas Crapper would ever make this statement. In his research, Grabowski has created a detailed history of Crapper’s business life. The man holds nine patents, four for improvements to drains, three for water closets, one for manhole covers and the last for pipe joints. Every patent application for plumbing related products filed by Crapper made it through the process, and actual patents were granted.

The most famous product attributed to Thomas Crapper wasn’t invented by him at all. The “Silent Valveless Water Waste Preventer” (No. 814) was a symphonic discharge system that allowed a toilet to flush effectively when the cistern was only half full. British Patent 4990 for 1898 was issued to a Mr. Albert Giblin for this product.

There are a couple of theories on how Thomas Crapper came to be associated with this device. First, is that Giblin worked for Crapper as an employee and authorized his use of the product. The second, and more likely scenario, says Grabowski, is that Crapper bought the patent rights from Giblin and marketed the device himself.

crapper2Myth: Thomas Crapper never was a plumber.

Fact: Oh yes he was. He operated two of the three Crapper plumbing shops in his lifetime, but left the business three years before the final and most famous facility on Kings Road in London. When Crapper retired from active business in 1904, he sold his shop to two partners who, with help from others, operated the company under the Crapper name until its closing in 1966.

Several of London’s current plumbing companies trace their trade roots to Thomas Crapper. One, Mr. Geoffrey Pidgeon of Original Bathrooms (Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, Great Britain), continues the trade of his great uncle and grandfather, both of whom apprenticed under Thomas Crapper.

Thomas Crapper did serve as the royal sanitary engineer for many members England’s royalty, but contrary to popular myth, he was never knighted, and thus isn’t entitled to use the term “Sir” before his name.

Myth: The word “crap” is derived from Thomas Crapper’s name.

Fact: The origin of crap is still being debated. Possible sources include the Dutch Krappe; Low German krape meaning a vile and inedible fish; Middle English crappy, and Thomas Crapper. Where crap is derived from Crapper, it is by a process know as, pardon the pun, a back formation.

The World War I doughboys passing through England brought together Crapper’s name and the toilet. They saw the words T. Crapper-Chelsea printed on the tanks and coined the slang “crapper” meaning toilet.

The legend of Thomas Crapper takes its flavor from the real man’s life. While Crapper may not be the inventor of the product he is most often associated with, his contribution to England’s plumbing history is significant. And the man’s legend, well, it lives on despite all proof to contrary.

Water Saving Tips

Water Saving Tips

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We all really do need to start thinking about how we can contribute to preserve the little water we have left on earth. Try all of these tips, and even more importantly, teach your kids from an early age how important water is for the future of us all…

WATER SAVING TIPS:

Ways to Save Water Indoors
  1. Check all taps, pipes and toilets for leaks
  2. Install water saving showerheads and dual flush toilets.
  3. Take shorter showers.
  4. Never use your toilet as a wastebasket.
  5. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  6. Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator the night before, rather than filling a sink full of hot water.
  7. Rinse vegetables in a half a sink or pan of water, rather than running water continuously.
  8. Fully load your dishwasher.
  9. Rinse dishes in a full sink or pan of water.
  10. Wash full loads of clothes.
Ways to Save Water Outdoors
  1. Don’t over-water gardens.
  2. Water your lawn or garden early in the morning or late in evening.
  3. Adjust sprinklers so that they don’t water the pavement or street.
  4. Don’t water on cool, rainy or windy days.
  5. Equip all hoses with shut-off nozzles.
  6. Use drip irrigation systems.
  7. Plant drought-tolerant or low water-use plants and grasses.
  8. Use shrubs and ground cover to reduce the amount of grass.
  9. Place mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and discourage weeds.
  10. Set your mower blades one notch higher, since longer grass means less evaporation.
  11. Use a pool cover to cut down on water evaporation.
  12. Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car.
  13. Use a broom rather than a hose to clean pavements, driveways and parking lots.
TPC – Our Experetise

TPC – Our Experetise

From the Author

There are so many factors when it comes down to choosing the right plumber for your job, which can become a really difficult task. The most important consideration is to make sure they are an expert in their field. There is years of training and experience that is needed to become a skilled plumber. Plumbing work is never cheap, and when you need a plumber, you often find yourself in a negative mood. But still, when the pipes are clogged, the toilet overflows, and the shower just doesn’t work, you need someone to turn to. Generally, a homeowner would have a go at their problem first, which is great, at least even if it is to just make the situation safe. In fact, it is all that is required in the beginning, but take your time and don’t let emotion influence your choice. If you examine your decision thoughtfully, you can get the best value possible and not feel like you were completely taken advantage of. Here are a few things to consider, when choosing the right plumber…

Price: Of course, price is one of the most important considerations for any major project. For some people, this is the only thought that comes to mind, but this can lead to more trouble down the road. The old adage that “you get what you pay for” often rings true in the plumbing world. Just choosing someone based on having the lowest price will more than often result in more plumbing bills down the road.

Quality: Where price ends, quality begins. Having a low price is great, and when you are sure quality is equal, then you definitely want to go with the price. On the other hand, quality needs to be your number one concern when dealing with a plumber. The reason for this is that low-price, low-quality plumbers are just going to cost more in the long run. You are better off paying a plumber once to do the job right than using a cheap plumber ten times to get the job done.

Punctuality: Sometimes not considered, but having a punctual plumber can be a very important deciding factor. A really exceptional plumber will tell you what time he’ll be there and get there 10 minutes early.

Reviews: Knowing you’ve found someone you can trust can be tough, but the best place to start is to look at reviews, or even better ask a friend for a recommendation.

Certifications: Make sure that the plumber you use, is affiliated with all the relevant plumbing bodies, this gives you some ammunition to lodge a complaint with the plumbing institute. Also, make sure that whoever you are looking at can give you a guarantee. If someone is not willing to back his work, that person is not someone worth working with.

Overall Value: Once you have assessed all of these variables, you can really put together an idea of what the overall value of this plumber is. Remember not to leave out any variables, and to really assess the skills and costs of a plumber before choosing them. Upon successfully determining a company’s overall value, you can begin to compare and make the best informed decision.

Compare: The last step to assessing a plumber and deciding whether he is the right one for you is to compare him to other plumbers, then pick out a plumber that you can use for the rest of your time in that home. Plumbing is a service industry, so make sure that is what you are paying for. With the cost of plumbing repairs, it pays to know you can consistently have someone to trust with your plumbing needs. Once you have evaluated all options, make the choice and stick to it. Long term relationships with service professionals can have unspoken perks.

Water

Water

Uncategorised

With water shortages threatening parts of South Africa and all over the world for that matter, we all need to really start doing our bit about conserving this precious resource.
From our offices to our homes, if we’re renovating or building a new home or work place, we should have thoughts on how to reduce our water footprint at the forefront of our minds.
Here are a few tips to consider to get you started.

Quick Tip: In the case of a renovation, check for leaks in the bathroom plumbing and fixtures before starting anything. Beyond getting a heads-up on any additional work your plumber will need to do, this can also help you figure out which fixtures you can repair, and which need to be replaced.

Toilets

Any discussion about water efficiency in the bathroom has to start with the toilet: flushing accounts for over a quarter of total indoor water use! Older houses that haven’t replaced their toilets for many years are using 12 litres or more per flush – an entirely unnecessary amount. New toilets use 6 litres or less, generating significant water savings. Some models go even further, providing two separate flush options, called dual flushing for liquid and solid waste: usually 3-4 litres and 6 litres, respectively.

If you already have a 6 litre or lower model that you don’t want to change to a dual flush, make sure it’s working at maximum efficiency by doing a quick toilet check-up or get your plumber to replace any parts that could be leaking.

Baths

Baths get a bad rap when it comes to water savings. This is understandable when you consider that the average bath holds anywhere from 110-185 litres of water – if you fill it up. If you fill it only halfway, you’re using considerably less water. Before you ditch your bath, keep in mind that the time spent in your bath doesn’t mean more water is used (unless you’re letting some out and re-heating!), whereas the longer you shower, the more water you’re using. Additionally, most people don’t take a bath every single day, they primarily shower and mix a bath in occasionally.

There are plenty of reasons to keep your bath. Baths make bathing young children easier, it can be expensive to replace a bath with a shower only, and there’s a certain relaxing quality you can get from a good soak, that a shower just can’t mimic. However, if you are truly concerned about the water savings, you’re trying to make your home more accessible, or you’re just not a bather, a well-designed shower with a low-flow shower head, can still offer plenty of relaxation and significant water conservation.

Shower Heads

The other major water-guzzler in the bathroom is the shower. The old shower heads can use up to 30 litres per minute, while new shower heads are from 6-9 litres per minute. The earliest low-flow shower heads were often disappointing, and are still treated with suspicion. But fortunately, manufacturers have come up with all kinds of designs to ensure a powerful, effective shower using very little water. And because less water is used, less energy is required to heat it. I’m going to stick my head out here, but the Hansgrohe low-flow models of today are fantastic, they’re quiet and efficient.

Quick Tip: Not sure how much water your shower head is using? Grab a bucket and direct the full flow of shower water into it for 15 seconds. Using a measuring jug, pour the contents from the bucket into the jug a few times to work out how many litres is in the bucket. This measurement in litres is for 15 seconds, now multiply this amount by 4 to get the total value for a minute. Remember, don’t waste this water, pour it over your flowers, or fill the dogs bowl.

Mixers & Taps

Mixers & taps are one of the easiest and cheapest things to make water-efficient with the addition of a simple aerator. By adding air to the taps water stream, a steady and stable flow is produced that feels like more water than it actually is. Some of these handy little devices can go lower than 3 litres a minute, saving a lot of water in the long run. And don’t forget that a slow drip can still waste hundreds of litres per year, so make sure to attend to needed repairs quickly.

If you’re wanting a new mixer or tap, choose one that already has a lower flow rate. Manufacturers have risen to the challenge of providing fixtures that work well, look great, AND save water, so you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to this. More recently, for the forgetful (and germophobic) among us, sensor mixers are fantastic.

Water Heating

The bathroom’s biggest energy user isn’t even in the same room, it’s the silent killer in the ceiling that’s just on all day! Water heating accounts for about 30% of a home’s total energy use, and with a standard geyser, anywhere from 10-20% of that energy is just wasted as water sits and loses its heat to the environment (prompting endless heating cycles). You can reduce the water temperature to save some energy, but keep in mind that below 50 degrees, bacteria like legionella can still reproduce.

With a correctly sized solar geyser or heat pump, you can save from 70-80% of your total heating bill. So for a solar geyser in your home, you need to look at around 80 litres of hot water storage per person. So for a family of 4, nothing less than a 300L solar geyser will suffice!!

Quick Tip: In new construction, whatever type of water heater you choose, installing it in a central location or close to the kitchen and/or bath can reduce the waiting time for hot water at fixtures, and minimize heat loss.

Other Tips

Sometimes, “efficient” or “green” translates to “expensive”, but that is not always the case! Insulating hot water pipes is a small but easy step you can take to save a bit of energy. Heat from water is rapidly lost as it sits in pipes, waiting to be used. Wrapping the pipe with foam insulation will help the water retain that heat just a bit longer. The same goes for geyser blankets! A properly wrapped geyser, can stay warmer for longer, just like you would, if you kept a jacket on.

Another excellent way to save water is to recycle greywater – the used but relatively uncontaminated “waste” water that goes down showers, baths and basins. This is easiest to do during renovations or when building from new. Greywater can be used to water lawns and landscape plants, but in my opinion this water needs to be treated and the soap filtered out first, otherwise it will affect some plants and even be detrimental to the soil. The best use is for flushing toilets, at 6-9 litres per flush, this re-cycled water is a huge saving. Pop a coloured, deodorant bomb in your cistern and get that grey water flushing with no smells at all.

It’s been estimated that if every household was using water-efficient fixtures and appliances, more than 11 trillion litres of water would be saved every year. And it’s not just water – the energy used to move it, treat it, and heat it would also be saved, resulting in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. All that, just from replacing some stuff in your house. What a better place to start than the bathroom?