Go Green in Plumbing

greener plumbingToday the word green has a whole new meaning. Once a word that just described a color, the word green now defines the environmentally friendly, energy efficient practices relating to recycling, appliances, light bulbs, home improvement and so much more. Environmental consciousness nowadays is being promoted more than ever with the advent of climate change, increasing pollution, global cooling and the like. People are beginning to make their homes more eco-friendly to counter this. Green plumbing is part of this process. There are so many ways to go green in your home, but few present more opportunity than your plumbing. Not only will green plumbing lower utility costs in the long run, but it will certainly make your home and the environment healthier.

Green plumbing, as the name suggests, means installing and running the plumbing system of a home or office in a way that helps save energy, minimize water consumption, decrease chemical effects and reduce utility bills. Its practices have a lot to do with saving water and energy by changing inefficient plumbing fixtures such as faucets, shower heads, toilets, even water tanks to more efficient ones.

The green plumbing concept essentially involves setting up reduced volume fixtures, low-flush toilets, and low-flow or waterless urinals. Moreover, according to the green plumbing concept, since storage, usage and distribution of water consumes energy, conservation of water helps conserving energy as well.

Many companies are now striving to reach a green star rating which is ideal for securing large projects. One Sydney based plumbing contractor has been promoting the use of green fixtures for years. “Not only are we helping the environment with these water saving appliances, our clients are report huge savings in water bills” – Jack Jones, Sydney Plumber Co.

an environmentally friendly plumberGreen plumbing can first be employed in the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are the areas that consume large amounts of water on a daily basis. Install efficient tankless or solar water heaters can save between 30-50 percent in water and energy consumption. Flushing your toilet accounts for the single biggest water draw in the home, to the tune of about 28 gallons of water per person, per day. A typical low-flush toilet uses anywhere from two to five times less water per flush. Replacing systems with greener products such as pipes on the exterior, water circulation pumps and water heaters can help in lowering the energy costs of the home to a huge extent. You can also turn your plumbing greener by adding chlorine filters to the showers. Installing an on-demand hot water circulation pump can also prevent wastage.

More businesses are realizing that the future of the Earth is placed squarely on the shoulders of society. That includes tradesmen who promote being green and educate people about the benefits of being more environmentally friendly. By using sustainable materials and products, water usage can be reduced and recycled effectively. Even though going green sounds likes an expensive venture, in the long-run you actually end up saving. The initial costs may seem higher, but like many home repair jobs, when you think about the long-term benefits, such as lower energy costs or water usage, the price is well worth the initial investment.

Osmosis Water

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Install A Reverse Osmosis System Under Your Sink

A reverse osmosis water filter is the perfect way to help remove arsenics, sodium, copper, lead, nitrates, and other unwanted particulates from your water. Using pressure to push the water through pores, the technology and price behind a device like this is not overly complicated or pricey. In addition, it can be surprisingly simple to install a reverse osmosis water filter under your sink with the right preparation.

The following guide is your DIY resource for installing an under-kitchen water filter in your home. Please be aware that if you’re installing a whole house water system, such as a softening system or reverse osmosis filter, professional installation is recommended.

What You Will Need

First you will need your reverse osmosis (RO) filter system, which should be purchased with its intended use in mind and be capable of fitting under your sink. You get what you pay for with these systems, and considering that they will provide the drinking water for your family for years to come, we recommend choosing a high quality RO system rather than price shopping for a bargain.

Many different companies sell these devices with this particular intended use in mind. In addition to the reverse osmosis filter system, you will also require a low-pressure tire gauge for later in the installation. Along with these components, make sure you have an adjustable wrench/spanner, a utility knife, and a 4-in-1 screwdriver, as they will help in installing components.

Again, this is only a DIY guide however if you have any concerns for your safety we strongly recommend you hire the services of a professional local plumber.


1. You Will Want To Mount The Water Supply Feed

More often then not the filter assembly will hang either from the side or back wall under the sink itself. Turning off the cold and hot water shutoffs, you can then carefully install the saddle or T valve that will come with your reverse osmosis water filter. After that, push the tubes into the inlet valve. Be sure to tighten by hand, and then with an additional half turn using a tool. Make sure that you do not make this connection too tight.
The following video will guide anyone unsure of how to locate the shutoff valves:

2. Your Next Step Is To Attach The Sink Mixer

The next thing you are going to do is to feed the water supply lines to their new destinations. This includes the line supplying water, as well as the two waste lines. Going through the gasket as well as the faucet base, it may take a little bit to ensure that everything is going where intended. In addition, the waste lines have no connection to the supply, but should be run through the base of the faucet to stop backups. As an additional note, be sure to cut off any excess tubing that is not required when attaching to the sink faucet.

3. Carefully Attach Drain Line Connector

You will next want to carefully attach the drain line connecter to the bottom base of the sink.

4. Finish By Mounting Storage Tank

The last few things you will do involve carefully mounting the new reverse osmosis water filter to one of the walls below the sink. In addition, you will want to install the final, main waterline in.

5. Clean Everything

With everything set up, be sure to carefully check connections and make sure nothing is loose. With that taken care of, clean and disinfect the various parts of the setup, including areas that connect. Finally, you can careful turn the water back on and test the system for yourself. If any problems arise, then review the instructions given with the reverse osmosis water filter.

Finally, don’t forget to maintain your RO system just like you would maintain your hot water system to avoid having to deal with replacement costs. One thing you can be sure of is that once you go reverse osmosis, you’ll never go back to regular drinking water!

For more water saving tips and water management advice, visit our homepage or contact us with any questions that you may have!

Winter Water Heater Maintenance

Winter is fast approaching and as usual there are those families who have left their hot water system maintenance until the last minute. During the colder winter months, the need for a functioning hot water system is essential and one should never forget to regularly check on their water-heating unit for signs of age-related damage. Some local plumbing companies offer specials to their customers as winter approaches to ensure there is not a surge in maintenance calls once the colder nights have set in.

a plumber performain maintenance work on a hot water system in the Sutherland ShireMany homeowners do not realise that they should keep an eye on the condition of their water heating systems. Through normal everyday usage your water heater may stop working as well as it once did. One Sydney hot water plumber we spoke to, who works in the Sutherland Shire, told us he often receives emergency call-outs during winter when the water stops heating properly or tanks start leaking water. If you notice hot water seeping from your tank connections or pipes or the water is taking a particularly long time to heat up then you should act fast to make a decision about having your system repaired. Those who stand around for too long will have the decision made them when the system completely breaks and needs replacing.

If your water heater has past the average 10-year lifespan then you will more than likely need to have your whole system replaced. Replacing the whole system is not as bad as it may first seem, the newer models on the market are now more water and energy efficient. These eco-friendly heaters contribute towards saving homeowners money when the utility bills come around. Hot water units that are less than 10 years old may be in good enough condition to have some simple maintenance work done on them and save you from forking out thousands of dollars on a new unit.

a leaking hot water systemThere are some common malfunctions of water heaters that most homeowners would be able to rectify with the proper instruction. Most heaters will have a built in circuit breaker that is set to trip as soon as an overload or short circuit on within the system occurs. Circuit breakers are very sensitive and can activate for no real reason. If you have located the circuit breaker and performed a visual inspection to find no leaking water or broken pipes there you can confidently switch the circuit breaker back to the opposite position. This is the easiest and most common problem that plumbers and homeowners are faced with when repairing and hot water system.

More serious problems should be left to the professionals, as there is a risk of harming oneself if the right precautions are not taken. Plumbers are qualified to deal with these sorts of issues, ranging from leaking or cracked pipes to strange hissing sounds. “Hissing” will most of the time be the result of a leak in the line, if you cannot find the leaking pipework it is most likely beneath the floor or within the walls, such issues should be dealt with straight away as any leaking water within your house may lead to bigger and more serious problems like mould or even rotting. Reliable plumbers are often able to locate and remove the broken pipework and repair the system within an hour of turning up to your property.

Avoid the need for an emergency plumbing company by keeping an eye on your water heating system all year round. This will help you avoid any major problems. If not you will find out the hard way how inconvenient it is to go without; or even worse – how expensive the replacement process is.


10 Tips on Conserving Water

Experiencing a drought is tough for all living things. When a water shortage lasts for quite a long period of time, it isn’t just humans that suffer, but animals too. Luckily, we are created with high level of adaptability that allows us to easily adjust to whatever situation we face. During a drought, we are generally well aware of the scarcity of water so we can take steps to reduce our consumption and make the future easier for ourselves.

Here are some simple tips on saving water for the future:

  1. Remember to turn off all taps and showers after use – By turning them off properly, it will stop wastage through slow dripping. Each small drop adds up to an enormous amount over time. Remember every drop counts.
  2. Check your water pipes for any leakages – Even a small leak can dramatically reduce your water supply. Take the time to check your pipes to ensure that no water is being wasted. If there is a leak, contact a plumber to fix it as soon as possible.
  3. Do use low flow shower heads instead of regular shower heads – This type of shower head controls pressure and minimizes water wastage.
  4. Gather the water from the rain in a container – Rainwater is free, might as well take advantage of it while you can. Before a drought, you can start collecting rain water and you can use it for various household cleaning activities, washing your car and even watering your plants. It’s even better if you have a water tank connected to your roof to collect the water.
  5. Wash your car with a bucket and sponge – Don’t use a running hose, use a bucket filled with enough water (rain water is preferable) then wash your car thoroughly with the use of a sponge. A running hose can waste countless litres of water.
  6. Personally hand water your plants in the garden – Instead of using sprinklers or a hose to watering the plants, it is better to hand water them. Hand water at the base part of the plants, not on the top of the leaves. Through this method, more water will get to the plants and less will be wasted through evaporation and bad aim.
  7. Brush your teeth with a glass of water and don’t leave the tap running – Letting the water run from the tap wastes water. When brushing, it is far better to use a glass of water for rinsing instead of running the tap.
  8. Wash your vegetables and fruits in a bowl, not under a running tap – You can thoroughly wash the vegetables and fruits when you put them in a basin filled with water. Running the tap is unnecessary and wasteful.
  9. Store water in the refrigerator instead of drinking from the tap – Most people tend to drink water by turning on the tap and let the water run. Better to store water in the fridge, a pour out only what you need, when you need it.
  10. When using a bath tub, just fill it with water half way – you can save huge amount of water when the bath tub is not filled to the brim.

Help save water by following these tips. Learn to trim down unnecessary usage so that water can be used to its full extent.

Community Awareness of Water Management Issues

The issue on water management generally has a lot to do with how to allocate this most precious resource equitably. Given our continuously expanding global population, this has not been easy to achieve if recent observations are to be made as the basis.

There are actually a number of reasons effective water management is turning out as an impossible dream. For starters, conservation efforts all around the world focus on many different areas like the dwindling forest systems, the greenhouse issue, massive poverty, and many others. In all of these efforts, attempting to conserve water through efficient use is hardly given ample attention.

Additionally, there appears to be a misplaced sense of priority among the people living all across the planet. A good example of this was a recent study showing that some people were actually willing to spend money so about 200,000 species of birds could be saved from an oil spill disaster at sea but would not be willing to donate to a fund to provide shelter to 2000 birds in need of a home.

In another related aspect, some environmental groups tend to give premium to global issues like over-fishing and illegal farming practices without realizing that these problems are heavily connected to efforts at introducing an efficient water conservation program.

In this regard, Australian Treasury Secretary Ken Henry observed that in his country alone, the issue about the proper use of water resources has long been discussed. He said that the government has conducted extensive research on this subject with a view to finding a long-lasting solution.

Sadly, noted Henry, even as Australians have been made aware of a growing water problem in their midst, many have continued to make incorrect decisions and have relied more on intuition when it comes to saving water. This has made many government-initiated water management projects generally ineffective.

Speaking at a forum during the Weereewa festival held along Lake George, Henry said that people until now have yet to fully recognize just how serious the environmental problem is. This observation is now being linked to continuing researches indicating that from a psychological standpoint, man has not been successful in completely understanding the kind of danger that the entire planet is currently facing.

The researches further note that the mind appears to have difficulty assessing environmental issues when these are presented in terms of large numerical data. In order to appreciate these, the mind substitutes the data with a single representative image. This presents a problem as there is the tendency to see the problem as insignificant and affects only one specific person.

Given this, when it comes to an abstract concept like water management, the danger lies in the possibility that this will be viewed as a tiny component in the face of seemingly more pressing global issues. Given this, it becomes clear that the more urgent concern is how to make people become informed more accurately.

Indeed, more extensive awareness programs should be looked into if any conservation plans like a comprehensive water management project is to succeed. This is not something falling entirely on the shoulders of those in power. Every individual should find time to share his thoughts on how to address the many diverse issues that the world is currently facing.

Saving Water – Think Global, Act Local

We’ve all heard the scare stories. Water is running out and we are the cause of it. It seems strange considering water is one of the most abundant chemical compounds on the planet, however fresh, potable water is in serious decline. While there is an excess of saline, polluted and now even radioactive waters encircling the planet, there is limited fresh water and each day it is reduced.

Amidst growing concerns from the public both governmental organizations and private enterprise have taken on leadership roles in an effort to protect and save the planet before it’s too late. Have we already reached tipping point? Are we destined to a dry, waterless future? Only time will tell but we can, as individuals, do our part to reduce our own consumption and help our future selves and future generations too.

We spoke with the owner of Citi Plumbing who knows a thing or two about water conservation and management. Having worked in the industry with a large team of plumbers and countless contractors over the years, Nathan sees what works and what doesn’t on a daily basis. “As professionals working in the plumbing industry we’re dealing with water all day, every day. Reducing wastage has always been an issue, but never more so than over the last few years. People are really starting to change their bad habits and think about conservation for the future.”

Not only is saving water good for the planet, it’s also saves you money. Who wouldn’t like a reduced water bill each month? After a quick chat with some of the Citi Plumbing plumbers, Nathan came up with a few quick tips to help the general public reduce their water usage and help themselves and the environment. Here is a list of some things you can do yourself to make the future a better place to live.

#1 Install a Rainwater Tank

Rainwater tanks can be a godsend during a drought, but it’s not until we are actually running out of water than people really think about installing them. Over the last half decade prices for rainwater tanks have fallen dramatically, and new tanks can be purchased at a fraction of what they cost ten years ago.

If you are really on a budget you can always find second hand tanks on eBay or Gumtree that you install for minimal cost. The savings on water alone will help pay the tank off within only a few years, if that.

#2 Learn how to Change a Washer on a Tap

If you have leaky or dripping taps, learn how to change a washer yourself and fix them. Leaking taps waste a significant amount of water as they a continually dripping, so as soon as one starts, if you have the know-how, you should replace the washer.

Don’t make excuses like “I can’t afford a plumber”. Get online, watch some videos on how to change a washer (it’s really simple even though plumbers will charge a minimum of $80 to do it) and do it! Once you’ve done it you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t learn sooner.

#3 Get a Water-Saving Shower Head

Showers and Toilets use the most water out of anything inside your home. Install a water-saving shower head to reduce how much water gets washed down your drain each day. If you want to see just how much water you’re using in the shower, put your bath plug in while you shower or block up the drain one day while in there. You’ll soon see just how much wastage there is!

Installing a shower head isn’t an extremely technical job, if you don’t have the plumbing skills to do it yourself, call in a handyman or ask a neighbour or a friend for 10 minutes of their time. Calling a qualified plumber in to do the job will include a call-out fee and probably cost you close to $100 for a very quick job.

If you follow these plumbing tips, you’ll be doing your part in keeping the planet in better order for the future. While you may not think that you can have an impact, if everybody does their little part to conserve water it can have a huge impact on the overall system. Do your bit and spread the word about water conservation and management to friends and family too, and really make a difference!


Simple Ways to Conserve Water

Water is life. It is a very important element for our planet. Without it we would not exist.

Earth is composed of almost 70 percent water and we humans and other life forms are mainly composed of water. It is essential for living; we use it for drinking, cooking, taking a bath, washing our clothes, watering our plants, and even for flushing our toilets. The necessity of this universal solvent is number one in the survival list of every organism here on earth.

Its abundance belies the fact that there exists the contrasting idea of water scarcity. It is true that water is everywhere, but not all of it is potable. Way back in the 90’s, a number of states in the United States of America experienced a “water-stress condition”. This rose from 30 states up to 45 in the year 2009. The trend is being replicated across the globe and it is very evident that as years pass by water problems are escalating.

A potential future water shortage here in Australia calls for water conservation now. It may be impossible to restore the previous abundance of safe and potable water in an instant; however, if each and every one does their part in their own little way to try and conserve water, there is hope. Here are some basic tips in conserving water in simple yet effective ways.

  • Check taps and pipes for any leaks – Regular checkup and maintenance is very important because a small leak can waste up 50 litres every day and bigger drips may waste even more.
  • Use a glass of water when brushing your teeth – Many people let the water run from the faucet when they are cleaning their teeth. This is a huge waste of water. Instead just dip your brush into a glass of water then use that also to rinse your mouth.
  • Do not wash the vegetables or dishes under running water – Instead of washing your daily vegetables or your dishes under a running tap, rinse them in a small basin filled with water.
  • Do not flush cigarette butts or other waste products down the toilet – Throw this garbage in a trash bin; flushing them down the toilet will waste up to 11 litres of water each time.
  • Check your toilet for any signs of leakage – Put an artificial food color or any coloring in your toilet water tank. Observe the bowl without flushing after 30 minutes or so, if the color appears in it water, then there is a leakage. Make sure to repair this as soon as possible because a lot of water can be wasted through leaking cisterns.
  • Use your water meter as a gauge if there are any unknown leaks in your pipes – Check the reading on the water meter, then wait after 2-3 hours without using water at all. Then check the meter again, if there is any progress in the meter, then there is a leak somewhere in your pipes. Track it down or call in the experts to repair it immediately.
  • Store rainwater – Rainwater is free, you may use a barrel or any catch basin to store it, and you can use it in watering your plants or washing your car.

These tips are simple yet undeniably helpful. Big changes in the world start from small ones. Water conservation may be hard however it is essential to our future wellbeing. We must conserve water and use it properly because years from now we will need that water more than ever. Do your part from the future of humanity and ensure you take whatever steps necessary to minimize your consumption and usage.

The Mismanagement of the Aral Sea

Day by day, little by little, the world’s water supply is shrinking. Last year saw what used to be the world’s fourth largest lake – the Aral Sea, dried up for the first time in history. Leaving behind enough salt for all the fish and chips served in Britain for a decade. Although this isn’t the kind of salt you want to be sprinkling on your next piece of beer battered cod. water management failure

The Aral Sea, (or the Sea of Islands translated) is located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. No longer is the name relevant to the now baron eastern basin of the South Aral Sea, which was once a thriving fishing hub. The reason for this can be attributed to the severe mismanagement of resources to irrigate nearby cotton and rice crops.  The Soviet led government of the 1950s and 1960s rerouted the Sea’s two main water sources which led to an explosion of prosperity in the poor region due to large production of cotton but it also immediately led to far reduced levels of water arriving to the sea. This caused a ripple effect (hehe get it!), that made the salinity of the lake rise sharply as water levels continued to decrease, destroying the fishing industry that gainfully employed and fed a significant portion of the population.

There is also the issue of fertilizers and pesticides entering the clean water supply as dust storms blow contaminated dust and sand from the evaporated parts of the basin into nearby drinking water. Reports have estimated that anywhere from 15 to 75 million tonnnes of contaminated sands are being spread further around the region due to high winds. This creates further issues for the region as water shortages become a political issue.

UNESCO has highlighted the region as a notable water conflict zone as tensions rise between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as much of the water is still used to support Uzbekistan’s cotton industry which accounts for $1 billion of exports annually. More than 60 million people live around the Aral Sea basin, all of who now face grave issues when it comes to accessing our most basic human need. The governments are yet to fully adapt any low energy, low cost desalination techniques to improve water quality which means many locals have resorted to plumbing their own solar desalination systems. with rudimentary designs it is possible to desalinate around 1.5 litres of salt water per day. This is hardly enough for a family and requires some plumbing skills that many people in the region do not have.  Commercial tapware producers in the region are trying to make home desalination more efficient and effective for locals but it’s slow progress.

The lake has reached a point where it will never be returned to its former glory. There is hope that with the efforts to restore the biodiversity in the region, with many funds trying to increase vegetation cover to stabilize the soil so that the environmental health can be improved. If the human race is to gain anything from this, it is that water management is an extremely important issue and plans should be made for the future to prevent such a disaster occurring in other agricultural hot spots around the globe.

Water Management and Your Future

Water is one of the world’s most vital resources to sustain life. Every living thing on earth depends on it to survive and to thrive. With the increasing demand on water supply because of the growth of the world’s population and economy, cyclical climate change, environmental degradation and other global concerns; water quality has become at risk of contamination and scarcity. This creates a huge impact on our health, socio-economic welfare, and environment.

Once an abundant natural resource, fresh, clean water has now become more of a valuable commodity. All around the globe, millions of people still don’t have clean and safe water that is readily available, and tens of thousands suffer everyday because of it. This global crisis on water resources generally resulted from the failure to meet the basic needs of the people, ineffective management systems, wasteful water use, and the inability to preserve the balance between human necessities and environmental well-being.

To successfully manage resources of any kind, comprehensive research of the resource should be thoroughly done to gain the most accurate data available. Its uses and benefits, the competing demands, measures and processes must be evaluated to identify the value and significance of competing demands to create the appropriate policy and procedure for these basic resources.

At present, water management efforts are geared towards optimizing water usage and reducing its harmful effects on the environment. One example is making use of rainwater tanks as a conservation measure as well as an alternative and renewable water source. This is commonly practiced in rural and remote areas of Australia, often as a main source of drinking water. Since Australia has a generally hot and dry climate, fresh water resources are very limited especially in some rural, inland areas with lower population densities. The use of rainwater tanks is an ancient practice dating back over 3000 years but has changed significantly over time.

In urban areas in Australia, there was strong debate over the use of rainwater tanks, concerning the safety of the rainwater. Despite this, it is now highly recommended by all levels of government and has evolved into a major strategy to promote the conservation of water, especially in these times when weather extremes seem more common. Aside from being a source of drinking water, rainwater tanks can also provide a number of essential uses in the household including: bathing, toilet flushing, garden watering, replenishing domestic pools or spas, car washing, food preparation, laundry, and hot water supply. Relatively simple systems can be installed for collection and storage of rainwater and following a reasonably low level of maintenance can ensure optimum water quality.

Good water management is the key to creating a sustainable world for generations to come. Water is equally important to both man and nature. Practicing water conservation measures and making use of renewable water source will not only help save money, but also increase awareness for the preservation of water resources starting locally with your own home and family. Better water management means a better future for everyone, and it all starts with you.