What Temperature Should A Hot Water Heater Be Set At

Whether it’s a traditional storage tank or an instantaneous system, a hot water heater delivers hot water to the faucets and showerheads in your home or office.

An experienced hot water plumber will ensure that your hot water heater is set to the right temperature, and they’ll also help you to better understand hot water safety in the home or workplace.

Hot water safety

Hot tap water can cause real harm in everyday households – especially to small children and elderly people – if not managed carefully.

Something as simple as washing your hands or unexpectedly stepping into a scalding hot shower can cause painful burns and lasting damage to your skin if the water temperature is too hot.

Legally, the temperature of hot water coming out of any tap or showerhead in Victoria (unless specifically required) can’t be more than 50°C. This temperature is considered warm enough to heat up your baths and showers, but not so hot as to cause severe burns.

There are some exemptions to the 50°C rule, including childcare centres, schools and nursing homes, where – for safety reasons – the hot water coming out of any faucet must be capped at a maximum temperature of 45°C.

Maintaining a safe water temperature

To prevent harmful bacteria from growing, the water in hot water heaters needs to be stored at a temperature higher than 60°C.

However, if the storage temp (60°C) is higher than the legal outlet temp (50°C), then how does the temperature cool down that additional 10°C before reaching the tap?

As your handy hot water plumber will tell you, a tempering valve (for traditional hot water tanks) or remote temperature control (for instantaneous systems) will reduce the temperature of hot water before it comes out of the faucet.

So long as your hot water system has a remote temperature control or tempering valve installed and activated, you won’t have to worry about scalding hot water coming out of taps or showerheads in your home.

Set your hot water heater at a safe temperature

With the help of your local hot water plumber, preventing hot water burns is easy. Talk to one of our experienced plumbers today to ensure that your hot water heater is set at a safe temperature for your home or workplace.

Benefits of Instantaneous Hot Water Systems

If you’re building a new home or office, or are ready to upgrade your current hot water system, we recommend installing an instantaneous system with the help of an experienced hot water plumber.

What is an instantaneous hot water system?

A traditional hot water tank stores a set amount – this could be anywhere from 90 to 300 litres, depending on the size – of hot water within it. As it is used up, cold water fills the tank to replenish it.

When the hot water is used up in a traditional tank, expect your shower or tap water to go unexpectedly cold, and to stay that way for some time while the water in the tank reheats.

Unlike a traditional hot water tank, an instantaneous hot water system won’t have you stuck in a cold shower. This modern system is designed to heat water when you need it, and to shut off when you’re not using it.

Instantaneous hot water systems are activated when you turn the water on. This action subsequently turns on the gas or electricity needed to heat the elements contained within the pipe that heat the water as it travels through.

Preset heat for safety

With a remote temperature control, you can preset the heat of the water so that it never goes above your chosen temperature. This is especially important for a home with children as it ensures that your hot water won’t burn them.

Long-lasting

Instantaneous hot water systems are durable and long-lasting. Though they cost more than a traditional hot water tank, their lifespan is up to 10 years longer. Where a hot water tank lasts up to 10 years, an instantaneous system can last up to 20 years.

Compact

Hot water tanks need room for storage. Their bulkiness takes up a lot of space if installed inside the home, and they jut out unattractively if added to the exterior. Instantaneous systems, on the other hand, have a simple, aesthetic design that doesn’t take up much space at all.

Neverending hot water supply

The number one benefit of an instantaneous system is that you will never run out of hot water. No matter how many showers you have or hot water wash cycles you run, you’ll always have enough hot water to go around.

Is an instantaneous hot water system for you?

With all of the benefits that come with installing an instantaneous system, we think it’s definitely one to consider for your new build or upgrade.

Instantaneous systems can run on gas or electricity, and an experienced hot water plumber can advise you on the installation process that will work best for your home.

Talk to a hot water plumber about installing an instantaneous system today

10% Seniors Discount

The team at Plan B Plumbing are committed to helping our community, which is why we offer a 10% Seniors Discount on all general plumbing works.

To receive this discount, all you need to do is show us your Seniors, Veterans or Pensioner Concession Card, and we’ll get the rest sorted out for you.

How Plan B Plumbing can help pensioners

Pensioners need plumbing just as much as the rest of us, but it can be a costly expense for those in retirement who no longer have a steady source of income.

By offering a discount and getting the job done quickly and with care, we aim to make things as affordable and stress-free for our seniors as possible. The following are a list of plumbing services that we can help with.

Gutters

When your home’s gutters are blocked due to debris like leaves, rubbish or broken tiles, they need to be properly cleaned out to stop overflows, especially during winter.

As a pensioner, you need to consider that a blockage in the gutters won’t just cause overflows – it can also lead to a leaky roof and more serious water damage to the internal and external walls of your home.

Blocked toilets

Blocked toilets aren’t fun for anyone. You’ll know your toilet or sewer drain is blocked if you see wastewater coming back up in the sink, smell a nasty odour drifting from the drains or see the toilet water rise up the bowel before slowly receding again after you flush.

If left unattended, a blocked toilet or sewer drain could cause serious damage to your home and your health. As a senior citizen, it is important that you put your health first and call in one of our friendly plumbers to unblock the drain and get things running smoothly again.

Dripping taps

A dripping tap can cost you more money than you might think. Whether it’s the faucets, toilet cistern, outdoor taps or underground/interior pipes, leaking water can lead to a hefty water bill as well as serious damage inside and outside the home.

To save on costs and prevent water damage from leading to an even larger bill, have a professional from the Plan B Plumbing team stop by to check for and fix any leaks in your home.

We’re here to help

There are many different plumbing issues that seniors may have to deal with in their home, and we want to be there to help make identifying and resolving the problem a seamless and hassle-free experience.

If you are a pensioner in need of a licensed, friendly plumbing service, get in touch with us. If the plumbing service you require isn’t listed above, give us a call on 1300 075 262 and we’ll see how our team can help you.

Our COVID-19 Best Practices

Our COVID-19 Response

Avoiding contact with the general public is not completely possible in our line of work. As we are unable to control or ascertain the containment measures of the general public, we have put our own in place to limit the chances of COVID-19 from spreading.

Our protective measures

After extensive consideration, the following level of protection has been deemed appropriate for all of the plumbers at Plan B Plumbing.

Gloves:

We wear disposable gloves (i.e. nitrile gloves) which are put on prior to any contact with the insured or their property.

Respirator:

We wear a half-face respirator, with a P2 canister or P2 paper mask. We put these on upon our arrival on-site and prior to contact with the insured or their property.

Eye protection:

We wear clear safety glasses that offer an adequate level of protection in addition to our half-face respirators.

No handshaking

As much as we would love to, we ensure proper social distancing measures at all times, which involves refraining from handshakes.

Maintain physical distancing of 1.5m

This includes maintaining a safe physical distance of 1.5m from each other as well as others on our site.

 

COVID-19 safety training

In addition to this, we have also completed specific Infection Control Training on COVID-19.

Don’t risk using a plumber that isn’t taking the above precautions.

Call us today for all your plumbing needs: 1300 075 262, or get in contact now.

Why Ventilation Matters

A home built without proper ventilation can lead to all sorts of problems, including excessive condensation, lack of air circulation, air pollutants and allergens. Calling in a leak detection specialist will help you to identify potential problems before they cause any serious damage.

Problems caused by unventilated spaces

Condensation

Condensation occurs when cold surfaces come into contact with warm air, or when humidity is prevalent in the home. While condensation is common in colder climates, the humidity of warmer climates can also play a huge part in causing condensation damage.

Without any ventilation in your home, trapped moisture will cause condensation. Ultimately, this can lead to mould, rot and deterioration of the ceiling and walls in places where the condensation is most prominent.

Mould

When condensation begins to build up, it causes mould. Because mould thrives in damp areas, a home with little ventilation and lots of condensation makes the perfect place for it to grow.

The following are signs that you could have mould in the house:

  • Visible mould spores
  • Dark or coloured spots on the walls or ceilings
  • Musty or damp odour
  • Dark or pink colouring on the shower floor or in the grout
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • You experience lingering cold symptoms that won’t go away
  • Your asthma or seasonal allergies worsen

Mould can be toxic to humans and when left untreated, it can have seriously adverse effects on your eyes, lungs and skin. If you’re experiencing mould due to excessive condensation in your home, it’s important to check for any water leaks that could be contributing to the problem.

Lack of air circulation

Lack of ventilation in your home can cause the air to become still and stagnant. In turn, this traps harmful pathogens like spores, bad bacteria and viruses inside with no other way of getting out into the open air.

Everyday household items like hairspray, nail polish and general cleaning products often contain chemicals that stay in the air long after the smell is gone. Without proper ventilation, these toxins will hang around for anyone in your home to inhale.

Air pollutants and allergens

As air pollutants like carbon monoxide and cigarette smoke can get trapped inside without proper ventilation, so too can allergens like dust, pet dander and pollen. This can lead to some nasty smells and serious health problems down the line if left unchecked.

Opening up the doors and windows of your home will help to rid the air of pollutants and allergens, while fresh, clean air circulates back inside. An exhaust fan or ventilation system will also help to clear the air – without you having to worry about letting any cold or hot air in.

Make sure your home is properly ventilated

Whether you live in the tropics or a city like Melbourne with colder temperatures in winter, proper ventilation throughout your home will help to prevent any of the above issues from afflicting your abode.

Talk to our team about detecting condensation leaks in your home

Carbon Monoxide Testing

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odourless and invisible gas that is poisonous to humans. There is a natural concentration of carbon monoxide in the air that doesn’t harm us, but when that level rises, it can begin to cause serious damage.

Found naturally in bushfires and volcanoes, carbon monoxide also comes from unnatural sources including tobacco smoke and car exhausts as well as gas heaters and appliances.

Carbon monoxide in Australia

Carbon monoxide levels throughout Australia’s smaller towns and cities are low enough that they won’t cause harm to our health. In some of our larger cities, carbon monoxide levels may be slightly higher and could potentially cause harm.

Why carbon monoxide testing is important

Because of the potential harm that carbon monoxide can cause – and because we are unable to detect the poisonous gas ourselves – it is important for us to bring in tools and professionals who can detect it for us.

By testing for dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home or workplace, you can prevent the poison from causing harm to yourself or others and take action to eliminate high levels if they should arise.

Signs carbon monoxide could be making you sick

If carbon monoxide levels build up within your home or workplace, you and those sharing your space are likely to get sick. If not detected soon enough, the toxic gas can negatively impact your health long-term or even cause death.

Recognising the symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning could help you to save yourself and your family before the gas has a chance to cause irreversible harm. Keep an eye out for any of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of consciousness

Testing for carbon monoxide in your home or workplace

The efficient team at Plan B Plumbing will test any and all of the appliances in your home that could be a potential source of carbon monoxide. These may include:

  • Gas or kerosene heaters
  • Gas-fueled appliances or space heaters
  • Gas ranges and stoves
  • Gas or wood-burning fireplaces
  • Any fireplaces lacking ventilation

When inhaled in large amounts, carbon monoxide can be fatal. In order to prevent any harm from coming to yourself or anyone else sharing your space, it is vital that you bring in a professional to test the carbon monoxide levels in your home or office.

Keep your family safe and the air clear in your home or workplace with Plan B Plumbing

Why You Should Get A Professional Roof Inspection

Professional roof inspections are important

The condition of your roof isn’t always easy to gauge just by looking at it. In order to determine what could potentially be a more serious problem, arranging a professional roof inspection is a must.

By identifying common roof problems before they start, you can save yourself a lot of trouble – and some hefty roof repair costs – down the line.

7 common problems that could turn costly

1. Missing, dislodged or slipped tiles

Even if the opening is small, a missing or dislodged roof tile (or two, or ten!) could lead to some pretty serious water damage in your home if not replaced before the next rainfall.

Roof tiles can slip or become dislodged for a number of reasons. Common causes include strong winds, heavy rains, poor workmanship or general foot traffic from tradesmen who may have been up there to install aircon units or do other maintenance work.

2. Drooping or sagging

When your roof is weakened, whether by water damage, structural damage, poor ventilation or the use of heavy tiles, it can start to droop and sag.

If nothing is done to fix this problem, your roof’s sagging could become a dangerous hazard and result in an unexpected collapse.

3. Blocked gutters

Blocked gutters can come about for all sorts of reasons, but they can usually be chalked up to one thing: debris.

Whether it’s leaves, dirt, rubbish or broken tiles, blocked gutters can be disastrous for your roof. To allow for proper drainage, clearing out the gutters is key.

4. Leaks

Roof tiles are cleverly designed to keep rain from coming inside, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be free from leaks in your home.

Leaks can be caused by many things, including rotting wood, mould or an exposed opening. A professional who specialises in leak detection will be able to identify the cause for you.

5. Moss or plant growth

While moss and plant growth can look pretty, neither are any good for the structural integrity of your roof.

Moss buildup can cause your roof’s tiles to weaken, deteriorating them over time and leading to constricted water flow and broken tiles.

6. Weathering or natural aging

All things age in time, and your roof is no different. Being exposed to the elements 24/7 can leave it looking a little worse for wear.

Porous tiles caused by weathering and natural aging could potentially allow water to leak through in places where it shouldn’t.

7. Storm damage

After a big storm, there could be damage to your roof that you don’t even know about.

Calling in a professional to take a look will ensure that any damage, including clogged gutters and broken or missing tiles, can be fixed as quickly as possible.

Make a regular professional roof inspection your priority

With a regular professional roof inspection, you can sleep (or work!) easy knowing that the roof above your head is structurally sound.

A professional roof inspector will be able to identify any potential problems and help you to stop any roofing complications before they start.

By maintaining the integrity of your roof, you can prevent any unexpected damage and spare yourself having to pay for any costly repairs.

Time for a professional roof inspection? Talk to our team

6 Hidden Indoor Plumbing Problems

Identifying indoor plumbing problems can be a tricky task

Indoor plumbing problems can be hard to find, especially if you don’t know where to look. We’ve made things easier for you by putting together a list of 6 common indoor plumbing problems – and how to spot them.

Slow drainage

You’ve finished washing the dishes, taken out the plug, cleared away any food debris and noticed that the water is taking a while to drain out of the sink. When you come across this problem, you’ll find that it’s usually due to a clog in the pipes.

The clog could either be in the attached pipes or in the main sewer line. A professional plumber will be able to identify the source and get your drains running smoothly once again.

Bad smell

A bad smell in the kitchen or bathroom can be caused by a variety of factors, like bacteria buildup, a bucket of food scraps or a stray dirty sock. But when the bad smell is coming from the drain, the solution might not be as easy as simply doing the washing.

Bad smells emanating from drains can often be chalked up to a clog in the pipes. If not a clog, it could be a result of sewer gas rising up through the drain. Either way, taking action is a must if you want to get rid of the smell.

Mould

Having mould in the house is a pretty clear indication that somehow, water is getting in – and it isn’t drying up. Leaking pipes are one of the key reasons for having mould around, as is a damaged roof or damp basement.

While the cause might not always be linked to plumbing, it is still important to understand why there is mould showing up in your home and how you can get rid of it.

Low water pressure

Low water pressure in the house could be due to a water leak, blocked pipe or faucet, or having the shut-off valve in the wrong position.

While it’s possible for you to resolve the minor issues on your own, we recommend calling in a plumber to help with the more serious ones (like water leaks).

Brown spots, bubbling paint or peeling wallpaper

Brown spots on the ceilings or walls can only mean one thing: somehow, somewhere, there is a water leak.

Bubbling paint can also point you in the direction of a leak, as can peeling wallpaper – although it’s best to check whether peeling wallpaper is because of water damage, or because of general wear and tear.

Discoloured water

When the water coming out of your tap is brown, murky or riddled with debris, it could be unsafe to drink.

Discoloured water usually means corrosion or rust in the pipes. If you find yourself faced with this problem, we highly recommend bringing in a professional to help get your water back to normal.

Keep an eye out for indoor plumbing problems

Indoor plumbing problems might start off small, but they can escalate quickly. In order to keep your house in good condition – and your plumbing functioning as it should – be sure to call in a plumber if you notice any of these issues in your home.

Talk to our team about indoor plumbing problems today

Checking For Water Leaks

It’s a leaky business

The thing about water leaks is that often, you don’t even know they’re happening. A dripping tap is obvious because you can see and hear it. But a concealed, undetectable leak? Those are much harder to spot.

Identifying whether you have a leak means checking for the following:

  • Can you hear running water even though no taps, appliances or evaporative coolers are turned on?
  • Has your water bill been climbing over the past few months?
  • Are there any unidentified, foul-smelling odours around the house?
  • Do your walls or floors have unexplainable wet areas?
  • Is your water metre changing even when you aren’t using water?

Leak detection

Inside

Faucets: Using a torch, look for moisture under the sink. If you find any, clear out the cupboard and search for water stains, mould or peeling/swollen material.

Toilets: Remove the cistern lid and listen for a hissing sound. Alternatively, try putting some food colouring in the cistern and seeing whether it leaks into the toilet bowl.

Showers and bathtubs: Inspect the floor around the shower and the bathtub. If there is a crawl space under the tub, check there as well. Look for loose tiles, peeling paint, mould or swollen floorboards or vinyl.

Hot water tanks: Check the hot water valve or listen for a hissing sound. Remember that these tanks contain hot water – keep a safe distance and avoid getting burnt.

Outside

Outdoor taps: Easy to identify, a leaking outdoor tap is also easy to fix. The issue is when the leak is coming from somewhere else, like underground pipes.

Underground pipes: Search for irregular damp spots on the ground that are far from any outdoor water sources. Can you see a puddle even though it hasn’t been raining?

Swimming pools and spas: As with underground pipes, look for damp, sunken or eroded spots around the pool area. Check around the filter, heater and pipe valves.

Sewerage: Sewerage leaks are often the hardest to detect because the pipes run underground. Causes could include tree roots that pierce or move the pipes, or leaking joints. A plumber can identify the problem by inserting a camera into the drain.

Call a plumber

Finding the source of a leak brings you one step closer to fixing the problem. If you can identify the cause or the location, you’ve done well!

Knowing when to bring a professional into the mix means admitting when you might need help. If you have found the leak but don’t have any knowledge around how to fix it, we’d recommend calling in the experts.

Hiring a skilled plumber to detect and fix a water leak in your home is the best option for many reasons. Not only will it save you time, but also money spent on exorbitant water bills and any further deterioration to the area.

Call Plan B Plumbing for help with leak detection in Melbourne

Blocked Sewer Drains – All You Need to Know

A blocked sewer drain is not just an inconvenience, it can also cause very serious problems for your toilets, bathtub, washing machine, showers and sinks if left too long without being fixed. It can also be a health and hygiene issue.

How do I know if my sewer drain is blocked?

Luckily, it is usually easy to identify when you have a blocked sewer drain, which means you can have a plumber attend to it as quickly as possible. Some signs that your sewer drain may be blocked include:

  • Wastewater reappearing in your sinks, shower or bathtub;
  • A bubbling or blocked toilet (especially when you are using another sink or shower); and/or
  • Foul odour coming from your drains.

These issues occur because when a sewer line is blocked up, the water cannot flow freely through it the way it was intended. Instead, the wastewater flows back up through the pipe and exits at the lowest most point, which is usually the drain in the shower.

What causes a blocked sewer drain?

  • Tree roots are the primary cause of blocked sewer drains. Tree roots are attracted to the moisture contained in the drains and thrive due to the constant supply of water. Clogs caused by tree roots are more commonly found in older homes but take place in newer homes as well. Tree root growth can also occur outside of the pipe and over time the sheer pressure of their weight can cause the pipe to collapse in on itself.
  • Un-flushable items such as wet wipes, sanitary products and paper towels are becoming increasingly more common as the cause of blocked sewer drains. Most of these products will feature a warning on their packaging that they are not safe to flush – and there is a good reason for that!

If your sewer is blocked, it is important that you act quickly. A blocked sewer drain means that the sewerage has no way of departing your plumbing system and this can result in raw sewage flowing back up through your drains and into your home.

A blocked sewer drain is not to be taken lightly and could cause significant damage to your home and your health if not acted upon quickly.

If you suspect there is a clogged sewer drain in your home:

  1. Turn off the water main, which will normally be located outside your house.
  2. Call Plan B Plumbing – a licensed, experienced plumber – right away.

Plan B Plumbing Solutions

When it comes to plumbers, finding one you can really trust can be a stressful task. Based in South Oakleigh servicing Chadstone and surrounding suburbs, Plan B Plumbing Solutions are well known and trusted, already having made a name for themselves as an industry leader in the plumbing sector.

Offering a range of services, and a zero-dollar call out fee and free quotes, Plan B Plumbing Solutions are committed to getting the job done right. That’s why Plan B Plumbing Solutions should be your plan A when it comes to your plumbing needs.