In this post we look at helpful tips and answer frequently asked questions related to plumbing inspections for homes and businesses, bathroom upgrades and bathroom plumbing and finally a look at the role of a licensed plumber in kitchen upgrades and renovations..

Plumbing Inspections Prior To Property Purchase

We highly recommend considering having a thorough plumbing inspection for an potential property purchase you may be considering. This could be for a home, an apartment or a commercial property. The eastern suburbs of Plumbing News - September 2016Sydney has a very high percentage of buildings that were built well over 50 years ago, in fact many of them are well over 100 years old. It is not uncommon to find non compliant plumbing work has been performed in these older properties and the cost to replace or repair these plumbing jobs and fittings can be very substantial. For a modest fee a properly conducted plumbing inspection will give new property owners confidence that the plumbing and gas fitting in the home or commercial building meet current standards and are sound and will not result in expensive repairs and upgrades.

Our plumbing inspections are far ranging and can include some or all of the following areas of plumbing:

Drain inspection. It is relatively easy to inspect a drainage system and ascertain if the drain pipes are intact and in good condition. Replacing broken or damaged sewer lines can cost many thousands of dollars – in fact it can easily plumbing drain isnpection - c.c.t.v. cameracost over $20,000 to replace some sewer lines, depending on the length of the lines and the access to the lines. It could mean that entire backyards need to be dug up or even driveways. We can inspect sewer lines through CCTV inspection and get an accurate picture of the condition of the sewer lines, gas lines and appliances. It makes sense on both financial and safety grounds to thoroughly inspect gas pipes, fitting and gas hot water systems prior to a property purchase. There are many instances where illegal gas fittings and lines may have been installed many years ago that could potentially pose a significant safety risk. Gas needs to be treated with the utmost respect and we can carefully inspect the existing gas plumbing, look for evidence of gas leaks and check any gas fittings and appliances. Money well spent!
Guttering systems and down pipe inspection. Older properties invariably have guttering that may be rusted through or in some instances iwas originally incorrectly installed. This can create potential for water damage or even guttering - plumbing repairs and inspectionscracking of walls if rainwater is not directed away from a home over many years. Modern guttering is generally corrosion and rust resistant and we can inspect it and advise on the current condition as well as the likely cost of any remedial work that the guttering system may need now or in the near future. Again, this makes a lot of financial sense. It may also give you more ‘bargaining power’ with property vendors if you can identify areas where the property has defects that will require repairs and associated costs.

Remember, once you have purchased a property it is generally too late to have any legal recourse if you then discover major plumbing problems that will be expensive to rectify. In may instances our pre purchase plumbing inspection could save you many thousands of dollars.

Thinking Bathroom Upgrade? Talk To A Licensed Plumber First

It is interesting to us, as licensed plumbers, that people in Sydney’s eastern suburbs often do not call in a plumber when first assessing their forthcoming bathroom upgrade or renovation. The plumbing and waterproofing are, in ourbathroom renovations opinion, the most important aspects of planning for any bathroom makeover. Under no circumstances should you ever consider having a bathroom renovation performed without employing a licensed plumber. We have seen instances where a non licensed person has done plumbing work, such as replacing an old bath tub, or installing a new vanity unit with disastrous results. Image the scenario where you have pipework installed for a new shower and then have the walls tiled, to then discover that the pipes were not correctly installed or welded and that there is a water leak inside the wall. This could mean that the shower and all the associated tiling could need to be ripped out to access and subsequently repair, that poorly, (and illegally) performed new pipework. There could also be insurance issues down the line if, in the future, you need to make an insurance claim for water damage or flooding that can be attributed to substandard plumbing work that was performed by a non licensed person – buyer beware!!

Cost Savings – Bathroom Upgrades.

We have years experience in all areas of bathroom renovation and upgrades. We can advise you on the best way to go about your bathroom renovation that will create a fabulous new space and save you thousands of dollars potentially. We have expertise in all areas of bathrooms including:

Relocation of pipes and drains. This can add significantly to the cost of a bathroom upgrade but we can carefully examine the existing layouts and advise on the best options to recreate your bathroom with the minimum of new plumbing pipework for bathroom renovationpipework. We will not, however, compromise on good plumbing practices and will always install new pipes, tap ware and plumbing fittings where required. This is why is always pays to used an experienced and licensed plumbing contractor.
Waterproofing. As licensed waterproofers we can do this work carefully and ensure the best and most appropriate waterproofing products are used. Waterproofing is absolutely a critical component of any bathroom makeover. Have you ever seen walls that are adjacent to a bathroom that are damp, have mould growing on them or have the paint peeling from them or bubbling? This could be because there was improperly applied waterproofing compounds used previously on the bathroom walls, or, in the case of very old properties, there was NO waterproofing membrane used! Waterproofing membrane products today are very sophisticated and offer excellent prevention of water ‘migration’ through walls but must be applied properly and must meet current Australian standards.

Plumbing Fitting Selection. We would always recommend using quality plumbing components in your bathroom renovation. The cost difference between a ‘brand name’ mixer tap, for example, over a ‘no name’ ‘cheapo’ equivalent could be less than $100 but the actual difference in longevity, reliability, quality and ease of use can be modern shower headimmeasurable. The same applies to new taps, shower heads and fittings and new toilets. We can source quality plumbing items at trade prices and will have confidence in installing them, knowing that they are reliable and will stand the test of time. Price does not always equate to quality in plumbing parts. An example would be the replacement of a bath tub. You have probably seen sleek, modern looking bath tubs on sale through major retail chains for $3000 plus. In some instances we can recommend an equivalent product that meets all standards, offer significant water saving benefits and have a good track record of reliable, long term use, for a fraction of the price. Again, employing an experienced plumber can save you thousands of dollars!! Toilet suites again, need not cost a fortune and a quality suite can be purchased for less than $400 (depending on the style and type of toilet suite you require). Always ensure that any product you buy complies with Australian standards – if it does not – don’t use it in your bathroom!

Plumbing In The Kitchen

A good percentage of our eastern suburbs plumbing services are centred around repairs, maintenance and new kitchen plumbingplumbing work in our clients kitchens. From blocked kitchen sinks, to installing new dishwashers, to fixing dripping mixer taps to connecting up new gas tops we have the experience to do any plumbing work required in your kitchen.

Plumbing For Kitchen Upgrades

Like bathroom renovations discussed above, we can help you create the new kitchen that you desire. A kitchen upgrade is generally much more than installing new kitchen cabinetry and the plumbing is a critical component to any kitchen upgrade. It is often necessary to re work hot and cold water pipe work and drainage if you are relocating the position of your kitchen sink. Likewise, if you are relocating the position of your gas cook top or oven we can do all necessary gas fitting and ensure it is safe and complies with all current standards. Most likely a new kitchen will include an upgrade to the sink or sinks and new mixer taps which need to be plumbed in. Even if the sink is staying in the same location it pays to replace existing sink drains and flexible hoses that cost very little, but will add to the long term plumbing reliability of your kitchen and avoid potential water leaks. Remember, this work needs to be done by a licensed plumber.

Conclusion. Whether you are upgrading your kitchen, bathroom or looking to purchase a new property having a proficient, experienced licensed plumber on ‘your team’ can save you a lot of money and raise your confidence levels in your new purchase. Using unlicensed people to do plumbing work is simply a recipe disaster.