• A DIY Home Project That Didn't Go To Plan

    man with a hot water sytem leak

    We were recently contacted by a new client of ours in Seaford, South Australia. Seaford, Seaford Heights and Seaford Rise are all new land development in the South of Adelaide and has some established homes, but many have recently been built and many are still in the very early stages of planning in Seaford Heights (a growing suburb of Adelaide).

    The South Australian Government has recently electrified the railway network to this location and built a new train depot for these passenger trains to be stored making the commute into the city for these residents far more accessible.

    The Project

     

    We were engaged to attend this 2-year-old house to help work out why the pavers around the home were dropping and why there was some cracking in the bricks and internal control joints of the gyprock lining for the hallway ceiling.

    Using The Right Equipment For The Job

     

    At Mayfair Plumbing we believe that having the right tool for the job will also get you the best result and that is why we only use Ridgid CCTV Cameras, locators and monitors. The Ridgid See Snake has the ability to locate drains accurately up to 10 metres in depth to 2mm accuracy.

    These cameras have come in handy when using them to locate drains for various customers of ours such as Office Works, Woolworths, BUPA Dental, Duxton Offices and the Salvation Army.

    What Pipes To Investigate And Why?

     

    Given that the sewer system is always in use and gets used the most we decided to check the integrity of this first. Fortunately, when the plumbers installed the sewer drain pipes for this corner block in Seaford they used plenty of inspection openings on every branch drain and for each major change of direction which allowed this drain camera inspection to go smoothly.

    In this occasion we started at the head of the drain (the top, the shallow end) the reason for this is firstly it is closest to the problem area and secondly it makes sense that the shallow area will show moisture faster than the deeper parts of the drain pipes.

    The larger drain camera we use it has a self-levelling lenses which gives a clear picture of just what is going on inside the drain. The crystal lenses allows for scratch free viewing. We always like to have a small amount of water travelling in the drain encase some debris gets on the camera and we can use the water to clear the vision while in the drain pipes.

    Results From The Sewer Drain Inspections

     

    After carefully inspecting the sewer drain and all branches into the home the conclusion was that the drain pipes where all in good condition. All the drain lines where clear and the glued connections all looked to have been installed using priming fluid and glue which is a sign of a professional plumbing installation. So, it was now onto the storm water drains.

    Storm Water Drain Inspections

     

    Unfortunately, storm water is very un-regulated in Adelaide and many homeowners do these installations themselves. At this Seaford home the owners had undertaken the entire storm water drainage system which included a wet system to the storage rainwater tanks which feed water into homes toilets via a Davey Rain Bank pump system. There is also a storm water sump in the driveway which collects surface water and then pumps it out to the street via a Grundfos submersible pump.

    Performing The Storm Water Drain Inspection

     

    As previously mentioned, storm water is un-regulated in Adelaide and it can make our job very hard when trying to hydro jet a blocked drain and camera inspect a storm water drain pipe. After a few attempts we managed to get the camera into the wet system which feeds the rain water tanks, it was dry? It is concerning to see a wet system dry; this means there is a problem, most likely a leak.

    What Was Causing The Storm Water Leak?

     

    Considering we had only recently seen rain in Seaford, Noarlunga and McLaren Vale this was a major concern. The camera made its way through the 90mm storm water pipes easily and soon found the issues. Multiple connections had failed. It was clear that minimal glue was used, no priming fluid and poorly cut pipe all contributing to water escaping this storm water drainage system.

    The Davey Rain Bank Pump is designed to automatically switch over to mains potable water when rain water is not available, so most likely the toilets have been using street mains for a while as the rain water tanks were receiving a very small portion of rain water if any?

    How To Resolve The Broken Drains?

     

    On a positive note, majority of the storm water drains are installed under grass and pavers, so access is not too hard. These 90mm storm water drains now need to be dug up and replaced by a licensed plumber using 100mm DWV PVC (typically used in sewer drain systems).

    This pipe is stronger and allows for a much better job. The footings of the house will need clean fill bought in and compacted to stop any further ground movement and the inside of the house patched and painted.

    How A Short Cut Cost Big Money

     

    In this instance the initial saving of a few thousand dollars has cost a lot more to have investigated and now repaired. Insurance companies do not cover work performed by unlicensed trades people so this entire bill will have to be paid by the client.

    It just shows that DIY plumbing, hot water, gas and tap repairs does not pay off and often ends up costing far more in the long run especially when something such as this goes terribly wrong!

    If you are looking for fast and reliable plumbing services in and around Seaford call Mayfair Plumbing and Gas fitting 0429 361 819 we also offer emergency plumbers 24/7.

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