Piping Guide: Understanding Pipe Materials for Your Plumbing Project

When it comes to your homes plumbing installation, their is nothing more important then considering what type of pipes get installed and understanding why. Here at AquaMaintain we live and breath pipes! There are numerous types of piping materials available in the market today, and they come in different sizes and specifications, choosing the right pipes for your plumbing projects may be overwhelming or may even be confusing.

This quick guide will let you understand some of the basics when it comes to plumbing pipes:

Pipe Materials for Water Supply

1. CPVCChlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride is a material well known as a choice material for domestic sprinkler systems in homes. It is also ideal for distributing water supply in the household as it is lightweight and flexible. It can be used for hot and cold water supply system. CPVC pipes are often used as an alternative for copper pipes in interior applications.

2. PEXCross-linked polyethylene or PEX is a strong pipe materials that can be used both for hot and cold water. Due to its flexibility, it can be installed fast and easy with fewer connections – which in turn provide better water flow. Also, this material doesn’t corrode and less likely to burst from freezing, thus making the life of your water piping system longer.

3. PVCPolyvinyl chloride is the third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer and it is widely used as a piping material by plumbers. However, its use is only limited to cold water applications, specifically for irrigations and other outdoor water supply systems.

4. Copper – Same as CPVC and PEX, copper pipes may be used for hot and cold water. They are ideal for almost all water supply application in commercial, domestic and industrial premises. Copper is very flexible making it perfect for manoeuvring your piping system through small and tight spaces. Take note that copper pipes are a bit costly compared to other materials, though they are of top quality.

Pipe Materials for Waste Drainage and Vents

1. PVC – PVC pipes are also mainly used nowadays for waste-water and drainage systems. They are commonly buried underground and are interconnected using primer and solvent cement or mechanical couplings. These pipes can easily be cut and are available in many sizes making them ideal for different scenarios. They can also be easily replaced or repaired when damaged.

2. ABSAcrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is another ideal material for waste-water systems. It is a tough, heat resistant engineering plastic suitable for residential, commercial or industrial piping systems.

3. Cast Iron – This material, although seldom used nowadays, is strong and durable offering longevity. It can easily be incorporated to other types of materials with the use of transition fittings. Cast iron is becoming obsolete in modern plumbing due to the availability of many non-corrosive and lightweight alternatives.

Pipe Materials for Gas

1. Copper – This material is used for both external gas piping system and for indoor gas distribution. Same as with the use in water systems, copper pipes are very flexible and ideal for tight spaces.

2. PVC – Take note that PVC pipes are only used for underground gas piping. They can be used to transport natural gas or propane from an outdoor source into the house for distribution. However, they should not be used for the distribution itself.

3. Polyethylene – This is a durable material that provides long-term resistance against natural elements. Polyethylene pipes are available in coils and can be used as a better alternative to PVC pipes. They can be connected through heat fusion or with the use of mechanical fittings.

Important Note: Gas pipe fixes are better handled by professionals for safety reasons. Thus, avoid doing pipe repairs or replacement on your own. Whether you are from Altona, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook or the surrounding Melbourne suburbs, our professional plumbers will be able to help you any time of the day, any day of the week.

Knowing these different types of materials for pipes is important for your plumbing project. However, this knowledge doesn’t qualify you to do plumbing installations or repairs on your own. It would still be advisable to hire us experts. If you have plumbing maintenance or projects that you want us to handle, drop us a line today!

Aqua Maintain Plumbers in Action: A Week of Blocked Drains

Last week was hectic for the Aqua Maintain Plumbers. We received a heap of emergency calls from our customers, both new ones and previous clients. We are astonished that majority of them are facing problems of blocked drains and pipes. Lucky for them, they called the right local plumbers. We are equipped with high tech camera equipment that helps us easily find the cause of the problems.

Here are some of the emergency jobs that we have performed for four different clients located at four of the various locations that we service:

Blocked Toilet in Werribee

The very first client of the week was a lady calling about a clogged toilet. She told us that her son might have flushed something down, which could have caused the problem. Aqua Maintain responded urgently, and we were able to get our plumbing maintenance van out to her address within the hour.

As soon as we arrived at her home, we were able to quickly assess the situation. We found out that it was indeed a plastic action figure toy that caused the partial clogging. Fortunately, it won’t require a major plumbing surgery and a plumbing snake is enough to get the culprit out. We provided a fast solution that yielded another satisfied customer.

Blocked Gutter Drain in Hoppers Crossing

Another client was having a problem with their gutter and called us right away. When we arrived we could clearly identify that it was a clogged drain, and the cause: tons of debris in the guttering stopping the flow of water down the drain pipes.

The Aqua Maintain plumbers were able to clear the debris and release the flow of water. After that, we install a protective mesh on the inlets of the gutter pipes to prevent the debris from getting into them. We also noticed some severe rusting on the gutter and reported it to the client. They requested us to replace it with new sheets and we completed it on the same day.

Broken Underground Pipe in Altona

We received another call from a client about a blocked drainage pipe from their kitchen. We brought with us our camera equipment to look into the PVC pipes. We discovered that there was a build up of debris. We traced it and we found out that tree roots may have been the cause of the problem.

Luckily for us, the underground pipes aren’t placed deep, so we had no difficulty in digging and unearthing the section of the pipe squeezed by two large tree roots. We then rerouted the pipeline away from the tree to avoid another root problem in the future.

DIY Mayhem in Point Cook

DIY is not always the right way to go when it comes to plumbing – especially if you are facing a big problem or you are not skilful enough for the job. This was the case on a house in Point Cook. The owner fixed a burst drainage pipe in the kitchen sink on his own. While the temporary fix lasted for a couple of days, the water flow increasingly got slower and slower.

Aqua Maintain came to the rescue and we were able to find out that it was a perfect mixture of improper pipe installation and small food bits. The client ended up spending twice on the job, the fact that he bought all the plumbing supplies for his DIY and he hired us. Well, we recon he won’t be doing DIY anymore.

Blocked drainage systems are indeed one of the most common problems that households face. It is important that you’ll know who to call for the right solutions. So, whether you are from Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Altona or Point Cook, and you need an emergency plumber, call Aqua Maintain on (03) 9369 3707.

8 Common Toilet Problems We Encounter in Melbourne’s Western Suburbs

With more than a decade of experience in providing practical plumbing solutions to our happy clients, we have already come across tons of various plumbing problems. From simple burst pipe replacement to complicated water heater system fix, we would like to think that we have covered all there is in plumbing.

For today, we want to share some of the common toilet problems that we have encountered in Point Cook, Werribee, Hopper’s Crossing, Altona and the rest of Melbourne’s western suburbs. We also included some quick plumbing fixes to help you save time and money.

1. The Double Flush
Is your toilet flashing twice in a single flip of the switch? Well, this is because your tank is set in a high water level. Though this may not present any problem, think about the amount of water wasted on the second flush. To correct this, simply reset the water level lower. Do a series of trial and error tests to find the water level that best suit your needs.

2. Sluggish Tank Fill
If your toilet water tank takes longer to get filled, it may be caused by a partially closed shut off valve found under the tank. Water flow may have been restricted for some reason and it can easily be fixed by fully opening it. However, if this is not the case, it may be caused by a clogged water line or faulty tank fixtures. If you are unsure, you should call a professional plumber to have it checked.

3. Noisy Tank Fill
This problem is caused by an old ball float shut valve installed on your water tank. This outdated system works mainly by slowly closing the water fill valve as the ball float rises. This causes the whole system to vibrate, creating a noisy whistling sound. If you want this gone, you can call us up so we can install a newer and quieter shut valve system.

4. Weak Flush
Weak flushing may be caused by a partial clog or a serious blockage. It can be on the toilet colon itself or it could be way downstream. This can be tested by pouring a large amount of water quickly into the toilet bowl. If water flows instantly, then the sluggish flush is caused by a partial clog. However, if water backs up and slowly drains, it can be a serious clog – thus, you may need the assistance of an emergency plumber.

5. Strong but Incomplete Flush
If you noticed that your toilet flushes strongly but stops halfway before completing the flush, this is caused by a faulty flapper valve. You can double check this by opening the tank and observing the flapper valve when flushing. It shouldn’t go down until almost all of the water from the tank is released. If it is indeed the problem, you should replace the faulty flapper.

6. Ghost Flush
This happens when the toilet is filled with water from the tank as if it was flushed – but really wasn’t. But don’t worry, it’s not a ghost. This happens for the simple reason that the tank has a leak. To test this, add a die or any colouring to the water tank and observe if the water on the bowl becomes coloured too. If this happens, a leak is present. This should be checked by a plumber for the right solution.

7. Bowl Water Level Drops
This problem can be simple or serious. It can be caused by a plain partial clog of toilet paper or a piece of cloth which causes the water to be siphoned from the bowl to the toilet drainage. Removing the clog can solve this issue. However, the drop of bowl water level can also be caused by a serious toilet crack – which means, you’ll have to completely replace the toilet.

8. Suction Sounds in the Tub and Sink
Are you noticing a gurgling sound on your tub or bath sink when you are flushing your toilet? Well, this is caused by a clogged toilet vent pipe – a dead bird or some tree twigs may be the culprit. This problem will require you to call us professionals.

Still experiencing these common toilet problems even though you have followed some of our tips? Or perhaps a plumbing problem not mentioned here arises? Well, call us right away! Our emergency plumbers cover Point Cook, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing and Altona including all of Melbourne CBD. We have our technicians on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to answer to your call.

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