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Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When a Tap Does Not Turn Off: Getting to Know the Isolation Valve

When a plumbing problem becomes evident, you’re going to want to have it repaired as soon as possible. If you notice the problem during regular business hours, then this is fine. You can call a plumber and they will be able to deal with it relatively quickly. But what if you happen to notice a plumbing problem late at night or on a Sunday or public holiday? You would still want to have the situation remedied as soon as possible, but calling an after-hours emergency plumber can be an unnecessary expense.

A fairly common problem is when a tap will not turn off. In some instances it can be an emergency, but you can temporarily remedy the situation yourself and then call a plumber, such as those at A and C Plumbing, for a permanent solution. This can usually be dealt with on the next business day, saving yourself rather a lot of money.

Taking Action Now

A tap that does not turn off can quickly become an emergency if the sink in question has drainage issues and there’s a very real threat of the sink overflowing. A plumber will be able to permanently fix the problem, and yet you need to take action now. You might not realise that each tap has an isolation valve, and you can cut the water supply to the tap by simply turning this valve.

The Isolation Valve

Check under the sink; in many cases the isolation valve can be turned like a tap (and it looks just like one). With smaller sinks, you might need to turn the isolation valve using a flat-head screwdriver (as there was not enough space to install a tap sized isolation valve). The tap will then be out of action until repaired, but this is a mild inconvenience when compared to the cost of an after-hours emergency plumber.

When the Isolation Valve Does Not Work

In older homes, it’s possible that the isolation valve has not been touched for years, and so it might not be possible to activate it. Don’t be tempted to try and force it using a pair of pliers, as this can damage the fixture and even rip it clear off the wall. If you cannot easily activate the isolation valve, then it’s necessary to call an after-hours plumber. There is the possibility that the continuous flow of water can overwhelm the sink, and a huge amount of water will be wasted if left for too long. If the plumber is not able to reach you within a short time, you might want to turn off your main water supply to prevent water damage.

It’s a good idea to find each tap’s isolation valve before you need to use it. If the tap should ever not turn off, you’ll know where to look and what to do. A plumber can then fix the tap at a more convenient (and less expensive) time.

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Applications of Horizontal Directional Drilling

Suppose you drilled a borehole and you now want to deliver water to people around the borehole. This requires an underground piping system, which was conventionally installed through the very disruptive open-cut method – digging long trenches to pay the pipes.

Today however, you can easily do the same thing using horizontal directional drilling, which is a trenchless drilling method that can be used to install underground cabling systems or piping through a preset pathway using highly specialized equipment.

This approach is a great alternative where open cut piping methods are impractical, prohibited or economically and environmentally nonviable. Horizontal directional drilling reduces environmental impact of drilling activity, saves costs and reduces exposure of the general public to potential hazards.

Common applications of horizontal directional drilling

1. To reach targets that are inaccessible by vertical drilling

For instance, if you have a resource reservoir under a city or public park, you may not be able to access it vertically. However, horizontal drilling enables you to be able to reach the reservoir by simply positioning your drilling pad at the edge of that city or pack then drilling at an angle so as to interest with the reservoir.

2. Draining board areas from just one drilling pad

This method is especially useful when you want to reduce the impact of drilling operations on the surface. Using a single drilling pad strategically located, you can drill more directional wells to tap into a natural resource reservoir and still take advantage of the resource, rather than drill vertical wells in multiple locations.

3. To increase “pay zone” length

If you have a rock unit seventy feet thick, vertical drilling earns you a ‘pay zone’ of only that length. With horizontal directional drilling however, you can turn the well and drill through the rock unit horizontally, giving you’re a pay zone that is as long as the length of the unit, which can extend thousands of feet across. In this way, you enjoy a huge increase in productivity with minimal surface impact from a single drilling endeavor.

4. Improve well productivity in fractured reservoirs

To do this, the angle of drilling is set such that the drilling pathway intersects with the highest number of fractured reservoirs. Usually, the drilling direction is set perpendicular to the direction of the dominant fracture. A common application is in geothermal fields within granite bedrock, which normally draw most of their water exchange from fractured reservoirs.

5. To relieve pressure or seal uncontrollable wells

If you have an out-of-control well, you can use horizontal directional drilling to create a ‘relief well’ intersecting with it. This intersecting well can then be used to relieve pressure or completely seal the uncontrollable well

6. To lay underground utility piping where excavation is impossible

This is the most common application to our daily lives, where horizontal drilling is used for the installation of gas and water piping or electric and other cabling in major settlement areas. However, the same can be applied if you need pipes and cables to cross roads or rivers.

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Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Up The Ladder You Go: Two Roof Parts To Inspect Before The Upcoming Summer Storms

The one thing you can guarantee about summer weather in Queensland is that there will be violent summer storms. Now that winter has passed and the days are drier, this is the best time to get your ladder out to take a closer look at your roof. By repairing any small issues now, you can avoid major damage occurring when the weather gets ugly. Here are the main things you are looking for.

Flashing

There are two parts of the top layer of your roof that prevent water from getting into your home. These are the roofing sheets, and the flashing pieces. Flashing surrounds all points on your roof that have been cut away to allow a ventilation spot. For example, the chimney that is sticking out of your roof has flashing around to stop water getting between the roofing sheet and the side of the chimney vent.

To check the flashing, you will need to get onto the roof. Once there, the first thing you are looking for is flashing that has rusted to the point where there are now holes that could let water through to your ceiling below. Additionally, check every edge where the flashing meets the roof or projection objects. The flashing should be tightly secured and will need to be reattached if it is loose. You can use screws to re-anchor the flashing to the roof, and this will prevent rain water penetrating the flashing during summer storms.

Roofing Sheets

Another part of your roof that needs checking right now is the roofing sheets themselves, and since you have already gone up the ladder there is no time like the present.

Have a look where each roofing sheet has been attached to your home, and in particular you are looking for missing nails or heavy corrosion around nails that are still there. If the wind from a summer storm gets beneath a loose roofing sheet, the force could lift the roofing sheet away from your roof and make it a very dangerous flying projectile to anyone outside the home.

Roofing nails can be purchased from your local hardware store, and it is simply a matter of replacing those that are missing. Corroded nails should be removed and replaced with new ones. Any small holes in the roofing sheets around the corroded nails can be repaired with roofing cement or other colorbond roofing materials, which can also be purchased at your hardware store.

If you are not physically able to get onto your roof before summer rolls in, contact a roofing professional and arrange for them to inspect your roof for you. Then, when the summer storms are rolling through this year, losing the roof of your home is one less thing you’ll need to worry about.

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