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Plumbing Tips

Know where your water meter/isolating tap is…..

If there is a plumbing emergency or you want to do some minor repairs you will need to know where to turn the main water supply off.
 
If you live in a house, most water meters are located at the front of the property.
It is a good idea for you to find your water meter and test it turns off properly. If it does not turn off completely or it is stiff contact Sydney Water and they will change the main tap free of charge.
 
If you live in a unit main taps are located in many different places and it may be the case that there are several taps that need to be turned off to shut off the water supply. They should be located prior to an emergency occurring and you should test that it turns off and they are not stiff.
 
Hot Water Heaters….
Firstly, you should know how to turn off the water to your hot water system. The hot water tank shut off valve is located on the pipe work at the bottom of the tank, marked inlet. This should be tested to ensure it stops the flow of water into the tank. This can be invaluable in an emergency.
 
Want to double the life of your hot water storage cylinder? Simply replace the sacrificial anode. A sacrificial anode is a long thin rod made of magnesium that sits inside your hot water cylinder. Being a soft metal it’s designed to corrode while protecting the hot water cylinder. The sacrificial anode only lasts about four years. When the anode can no longer protect the tank, the tank rusts rapidly. Enquire about having a new sacrificial anode installed and replacing your temperature pressure relief safety valve to extend the life span of your hot water system.
 
How to service a tap like a professional?
Most people think, dripping tap…. just change the washer. Yes, you do need new washers but there are also other steps that need to be taken to carry out the tap service like a professional.
 
Step 1 - Shut the water off at the main tap, then drain the line and remove the taps and spindles carefully, use a reseating tool to grind the tap seat until it is perfectly clean, shiny and free of any cracks.
 
Step 2 - Turn the water main back on half a turn for about ten seconds with spindles inserted back in without any washers and remove aerators from spouts. If aerators or shower heads cannot be removed leave spindles out and flush out all of the brass filings that were created while grinding. This step is very important; if filings are left in they will stick to new tap washers and cause them to leak again.
 
Step 3 – Service the spindles: the spindle is in two parts; it must be separated manually by twisting the central section out, once it is out the black rubber ‘O’ ring must be removed. Clean the threaded spindles with a wire brush then put a new ‘O’ ring on. Apply tap grease to the threaded spindles and ‘O’ ring, this will lubricate the spindles and allow tap to turn with ease.
 
Step 4 – Insert the spindles back in using new tap washers; replace the fibre washer which seals the spindles to the body. Ensure the spindles are open fully while tightening into the body. Turn the spindles off and open the water supply, check for leaks, put taps and flanges back on ensuring the hot and cold buttons are fitted correctly.
 
Good luck with this! If you encounter difficulties please do not hesitate to contact the team at Plumbing For Life.