Here at Whywait Plumbing we are often left wondering at the stupid things people do to their plumbing which ensures plumbers are never short of or will run out of work.
Essentially at Whywait Plumbing we are maintenance plumbing specialists and our primary work is to make house calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The basic reason plumbers never run out of work is based on two truths:
1) our clients will always need plumbing—or more specifically, plumbing that works—and,
2) some of our clients will always do stupid things that stop their plumbing from working.
Keeping in mind that the maintenance side of plumbing often requires a strong stomach and the need to suppress amusement with other peoples’ self-imposed misfortune. But rest assured that the two truths mentioned above will always ensure the plumbers at Whywait Plumbing will keep your plumbing working to keep your business. Listed below are samples of stupid things that some of our clients do to their plumbing that require Whywait staff to suppress their amusement or often bemusement.
- Leaving hoses connected and turned on at the tap and then going away on holiday. This is a classic plumbing error that one must assume is caused most often by extreme laziness with the only beneficiary being Gold Coast Water with all of the extra water this client ultimately had to pay for when the hose burst.
- Using the drain vent pipe for anything other than venting because there is plenty of room inside the pipe. This client was running TV aerial cables, pay TV cables and computer cables down the drainage vent pipe that come up through the roof. For this client it was the solution for getting all of the cabling into the house through a single 50mm pipe. But as he learnt vent pipes are not just there for their bad looks. Vent pipes not only provide air to drains inside the house and to prevent a suction effect that inhibits drainage but they also get rid of sewer gases that come up from the Gold Coast Water’s sewer main. If you cut a hole in your vent inside the house to run a cable through, you’re tapping into an endless supply of your neighborhood’s sewer gases. He had a nice picture on the TV in his lounge room with full access to the Internet but made the house almost uninhabitable with the fluctuating sewer gases entering the house.
- Using too much drain cleaner. When used judiciously and as directed on the right kind of blockage, drain cleaners can be effective and relatively safe for drains. When used with abandon, they can corrode some drain pipes such as copper which this client managed to achieve while making Bunnings very happy with all of his purchases. Plus so much was poured down the pipe it made the blockage worse.
- Pouring chemicals into a septic system. If you’re used to living with a septic system, you probably know how to take care of it. But this client was renting a house on acreage and did not think twice about using chemicals like drain cleaner, chlorine bleach, paint and even anti-bacterial soaps. These chemicals killed the essential bacteria in the septic tank, and caused it to stop working but of course waited until Christmas Day to finally block when he had a house full of family visiting.
- Screwing, nailing or cutting into a wall without checking for hidden plumbing pipes. The advent of multiple types of plastic water pipes have turned this into a nightmare for plumbers as they cannot be welded up like a copper pipe plus none of the systems are compatible. Doing this with a screw and you might hear a fine spray of water hitting the back of the wall. But this client did it with a chainsaw and got the ultimate gusher hitting not only the hot and cold pipes but also the hot water storage tank.
- Pouring cooking oil and fats down the kitchen drain. If you’re in the habit of pouring cooking oil and fats down the kitchen sink drain you are guaranteeing a drain blockage sooner rather than later. Cooking oil and fat is one of the best things for blocking drains as a recent client discovered managing to block up his entire unit and that of her neighbour in a duplex block on Australia Day when the neighbour was entertaining friends for a traditional barbecue.
- Putting everything down the kitchen waste disposal unit. Unfortunately this client was one of those people who thought a waste disposal unit was the equivalent of a space-fantasy laser gun. Unfortunately she found out it was not in the middle of a dinner party for important clients of her husbands business. A waste disposal unit is essentially a motor with a spinning wheel that has two metal blades, and it does very little to stop the following from blocking your drain even if you do run copious amounts of water into the kitchen sink: bulk flour, bulk rice, flower stems, prawn shells, oyster shells, filleted fish scales and skin and a couple of spoons. The smell was not great either.
- Using the toilet as a rubbish bin. We all know it is stupid to put a lot of solids or newspaper down the toilet but many people do it anyway. This client like many others we rescue believed that if she could just get it to flush away it would be magically out of her life forever. Like many people she had the mistaken belief that at the other end of the toilet there is nothing but a black hole which is a portal to a subterranean outer space that swallows up everything she could discard and it is then whisked off into oblivion. Unfortunately, that oblivion is a 100mm pipe that leads into another 100mm pipe, which was the drainage pipe to her entire house. In other words constantly flushing incorrect items down the toilet over an extended period ultimately caused the entire house to block up and the drain had to be dug up to remove all the solidified debris that had mounted up. The bottom line is if it is not toilet paper or faeces or urine it does not belong in the toilet pan.
And those are just a few of the stupid things we have rectified this year to date at Whywait Plumbing Services.