Everything you need to know about your home’s hot water system

In any home, a hot water heater is essential. Being stuck without hot water is a real inconvenience. But, because they are so important for households, there are so many options to choose from. The best way to determine this is to look at what kind of household you have:

  • The size – a larger household with more bathrooms, a bigger kitchen and entertaining/dining area means more hot water usage, the bigger your home the more hot water usage
  • The number of occupants – more people in a household means more showers, baths and cooking,
  • Energy tariffs – water heating is often one of the second largest expenses on your utility bill so choosing the most economical water heating system for your home is essential

Electric vs Gas Water Systems

The two main systems to choose from when it comes to hot water are electric or gas, so how do you know what’s best for your home?

The clear difference between the two is their power source, whilst gas water heaters depend on natural gas lines to heat your home’s water, electric water heaters use electricity as their power source. Some may say that gas then comes with an advantage, because if your home loses power gas water heaters are still fully functioning. On the other hand, electric water heaters can be more efficient.


PRO: Produce significantly less greenhouse gas emissions are better for the environment

CON: Gas water heaters tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan, meaning, in the long run, they can sometimes be more expensive


PRO: Electric water heaters tend to be more efficient

CON: Electric water heaters, although more efficient, can have a larger upfront cost, and in some cases can struggle to recover water as quickly as a gas water heater

Some things to note

  • Always consult your plumber about the best choice of water heating system for your home
  • Water heaters only have a lifespan of 8-11 years, so regular maintenance is essential to ensuring your water heater keeps on running as it should
  • When purchasing either hot water system always check the energy star rating, the higher the rating the more efficient – saving you more money in the long run

Whether you need installation, advice or repairs we have a team of expert plumbers and hot water technicians who are more than capable of completing the job. To book your job today or to have a chat about water heating systems give us a call on 0413 327 408 or send us an email at info@paulrichardsplumbing.com.au

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

Of all the issues we get called out to for plumbing jobs, blocked drains would have to be up there with the most common. Blocked drains are a major hassle for any household; bad smelling and a build-up of bacteria, are just two of the inconveniences. Generally, everyone will experience a blocked drain at least once in their life, but what’s important is to understand how it happens.

There can be many causes of a blocked drain, but when we know the reason we can assure it is prevented in the future.  Here are the 5 causes of household blocked drains:

  1. Grease and food scraps

How often do you put food and oil down the kitchen without thinking anything of it? Well, I can assure you, you’re not alone! It is a major cause of blocked drains in households but can be very easily prevented. Grease and food scraps build up in the sink, and over time start to make a barrier that prevents any liquid from going down the drain. Instead of putting food scraps down the sink, why not start a compost? And, instead of putting grease and oil down the sink, put them in a container once finished with and then dispose of with the rest of the garbage.

  1. Hair

We all know about the build-up of hair in the drain, and as unpleasant as it can be to touch, it’s much easier fixing it as soon as you notice it. If left unattended a build-up of hair in the drain can also cause a blocked drain. Our best tip is as soon as you see the hair, do something about it.

  1. Poor installation

Whilst doing a DIY installation of pipes, or calling an unusually cheap plumbing can be a quick and cost-effective fix, it can often cause more damage in the long term. Poor installation can cause issues with water flow, and cause drain blockage down the track. It’s always best to call in a trusted professional and licensed plumber, as they are the experts when it comes to laying pipes.

  1. Roots, leaves and debris

Debris from leaves and trees are another cause of drain blockages for many households. Maintaining your garden, is as good for it to look great as it is for your water pipes, so ensuring drains are clear of fallen leaves or shrubbery is essential to preventing blocked drains. As well as this tree roots can also cause similar issues. When tree roots are thirsty, they always seek out the closest water source underground, which, in most households is the pipes.  So ensuring your garden is watered or has access to water that doesn’t come from your underground pipes, is essential.

  1. Foreign objects

Foreign objects are anything that gets put down the drain, that really shouldn’t be there. You’d be surprised how many kids toys we’ve found are the culprits of causing a blocked drain. Is important to be cautious of what’s going down your pipes, whether that’s your son’s toy train or baby wipes, inform yourself on what can and can’t be flushed.

The most important thing to remember is to be aware, and know how to prevent these common causes of blocked drains.

If you need a blocked drain fixed, give us a call on 0413 327 408 or send us an email at: info@paulrichardsplumbing.com.au

De-plugging common plumbing myths

It is often the case that customers don’t get their plumbing issues solved because of plumbing myths, however when it comes to myths we have the facts to help you out.


MYTH: My plumbing doesn’t need regular maintenance

FACT: Plumbing fixtures definitely need regular maintenance, pipes and drainage make up a large proportion of homes, so making sure toilets, sinks, showers and other plumber fixtures are working well is key to limiting clogs, and locating leaks. Checking these fixtures regularly will save you on expensive repairs in the long run.


MYTH: My running toilet can wait

FACT: This is one of our most commonly heard myths, as many people don’t see the urgency of attending to a running toilet. However, leaving a running toilet can result in thousands of litres in water wasted, and a much higher water bill for your home or business. It’s important to repair a running toilet as soon as its noticed, in some cases it can be a sign of a plumbing issue elsewhere, so it’s always best to get it checked.


MYTH: My pipes aren’t clogged if there is still water going down the drain

FACT: A clogged pipe is dependent on the speed the water goes down the drain, if your drain is slow to clear, it may be clogged, or on its way to becoming completely blocked. Fixing it at this stage will save you time and money, as opposed to leaving it until its completely clogged where the damage is significant.


MYTH: Any soap can be used to clean my plumbing fixtures

FACT: This is a common mistake in households, but its best to avoid dish soap when it comes to cleaning plumbing fixtures like sinks, it is essential to ensure you have the write products. Using dish soap or alternative cleaners not suited to the plumbing fixture can cause corrosion and damage. If you’re unsure its best to ask the professionals which product is best to use.


MYTH: Most plumbing jobs can be done yourself

FACT: Whilst some plumbing jobs can be easily solved yourself, it’s always best if you’re unsure to give the professional a call. In some cases, more damage can be caused by attempting a DIY instead of calling a plumber from the get go. Plumbing is more complex than some people think, especially when it comes to bigger jobs like hot water installation, and gas fitting.


When it comes to plumbing, if you’re unsure it’s always best to give us a call on 0413 327 408, you’ll speak to a qualified plumber straight away to ensure a resolution to your plumbing problem.

The 5 Most Common Plumbing Issues

Having over 15 years’ experience with plumbing and gas fitting our team has come across a wide variety of jobs from big to small and from wet to very wet! But there are always those common plumbing problems we’re called out to frequently. Plumbing issues can vary from home to home and business to business. But most homes and businesses have experienced at least one or more of these plumbing problems.

  • Low water pressure

There can be nothing more frustrating that a shower with low water pressure or a tap that only trickles out water whilst you’re trying to wash up. Reduced water pressure could be the result of a few different things; a build-up of sediment or debris in your faucet aerator, corrosion inside your pipes, your tap may need to be updated or there could be a leak somewhere in your home.

  • Running toilet

Everyone knows the sound of a running toilet, and many people will let years go by before booking a plumber to fix it. However, leaving a running toilet without getting it fixed could result in a very high water bill and thousands of litres in water wasted.

  • Leaking tap

Not only is a dripping tap annoying, but like a running toilet it can result in extremely high water bills. A dripping tap can send down thousands of litres of water down the drain, one drop at a time.

  • Clogged drains

A clogged drain can be the result of hard water or debris build up, and whilst a plunger can be the solution to unclogging your drain, in some cases they can be ineffective in doing the job. In those cases, it’s time to call in the professionals.

  • Leaking pipes

When attending to a leaky pipe it is essential to act quickly, as water damage to a commercial or residential property can be extremely costly. Leaks usually start at the joint of a pipe, but low water pressure or wet patches on your floor or ceiling can be indicative of a leaky pipe.


In some instances, these common plumbing problems can be solved with an at home fix, however sometimes you need to call in the professionals. Give us a call today on 0413 327 408 or send us an email to see how we can help!

How to Reduce Water Consumption: tips that could save you thousands

With the price of living increasing it’s always good to save an extra dollar here and there, and although water restrictions have reduced across Australia, limiting water usage could save your home or business thousands in litres of water wasted, and reduce your water bill. Before you act on these tips, why not take the test to see how water efficient your home or business is? Sydney Water has an efficiency test for homes, and a benchmark for businesses to see how they stack up against similar businesses when it comes to water usage.

Here are our tips on reducing water consumption:

Change your water using habits

The little things add up; by simply brushing your teeth without the tap running, taking shorter showers or washing up dishes in a plugged sink you could be saving thousands of litres of water each year, reducing your water bill and doing your bit for the environment. In a business sometimes changing the water usage habits of your staff can be a bit of a challenge, so why not provide incentives to those that do. Include water saving procedure during an employee’s training or induction, and communicate regularly with employees through emails or signage about your company’s water usage policies.    

Fix your leaks

It’s an easy thing to say but the number of people who leave leaks in their home unattended is very high, but they are wasting thousands of litres of water each year in doing so. Sydney Water research shows that one leaking tap can waste up to 2000L of water each month. As well as leaking taps, looking for any leaking pipes around or in your home, they tend to pop up near the washing machine, dishwasher, under flooring or near the hot water heater. Fixing pipes as soon as possible will save thousands of litres in wasted water, and prevent any damage to your home or business.

Update to water efficient appliances

With plumbing technology improving every year, new models of shower heads, toilets and taps are being developed with water saving and energy efficient features built in. In some cases, these appliances are more expensive to begin with, but they will save you money and limit water wastage in the long run. Instead of installing a whole new tap, you can add a flow regulating aerator to your current tap to improve it’s water efficiency.

Water tanks

Having a water tank isn’t plausible for every home or business, but they can save you thousands of litres in water every year, that can be used elsewhere in your home, garden or business. Sydney Water research states that “a properly installed rainwater tank can save up to 40% of your water drinking supply” adding up to about 96,000L every year.

We hope that these tips have been helpful in limiting your home or business’ water consumption, saving you thousands of litres in water, every year. Just be sure to get to those leaks before they cause any damage, call 0413 327 408 or send us an email to see how we can help!