Whincup Plumbing

Tips and Tricks

Hot water not hot? Too hot? Running out?

Getting your home hot water system to be running just right can be hard sometimes. In a perfect world, as soon as you turn on the tap, hot water rushes out at the perfect temperature.

However sometimes you may run into problems such as the water is only warm, the hot water takes a long time to heat up, or the hot water doesn’t last very long and runs out before going cold.

Hot water that is inconsistent can be really annoying. Getting in the shower after a long day at work, only to have the shower head dribbling out lukewarm water can put anyone in a bad mood. Whilst these issues are annoying, they don’t have to be permanent, and most issues can be fixed quite quickly and easily but a professional Perth plumber.

When the water is too hot

Storage-type hot water systems are required to maintain water temperature above 60 degrees Celsius to prevent the growth of bacteria such as Legionella, which can be dangerous to your health.  However, if this super hot water makes it to your taps at this temperature, you are faced with a further risk of burns, especially to children, elderly people, or simply people who are unaware of the issue.

So how do you fix such a problem? A plumber can install a device between the hot water storage and your taps, called a tempering valve. This valve mixes a portion of cold water int the hot water before being delivered to your house taps so that water is, and maintained to approximately 50 degrees Celsius.

When the hot water is not hot

Getting lukewarm or cold water from your “Hot” tap can be really frustrating! Changes in hot water temperature can be caused by a variety of things – thermostat issues, heating element issues, or gas supply or burner faults. Your Perth plumber will be required to inspect your system and identify which fault is causing your hot water going cold. In most cases the problem is resolved quickly and easily and lukewarm showers will be a thing of the past!

Hot water runs out too fast

If you’re the last person to have a shower in your household, this can be especially frustrating. In this case, something to first consider is of any recent changes to your hot water usage. A lot of small changes to your hot water use during the day can have a big impact on how much is left in the hot water storage later when you want it. For example, changes to your dishwasher’s hot water cycle, or using a hot water wash too many times on your washing machine can mean the hot water running out later. Perhaps your household has outgrown the size of your hot water system? Teenagers and young adults tend to use the bathroom and showers longer than younger children. Upgrading your hot water system size may be necessary to overcome your hot water storage issues.

If not any of the things above, you may find the culprit to be one of the following:

  • Build up of sediment in the hot water storage tank, which will effect how well the water is heated
  • Faulty parts of the hot water system, i.e. damage to the heating element, or blockages
  • Solar system backup system not working effectively during winter due to faults

If you’re sick of not having enough hot water, or any at all, in your Perth household, don’t hesitate to call Whincup Plumbing to check your system for faults and fix the issues at a reasonable price.

Choosing Tap Fittings

Choosing a tap fitting for your new or existing Perth house or business is harder than it sounds – especially considering prices of tap fittings range from cheaper $20 ones all the way into the thousands!

The tap itself is simply a way to get water from under the sink to above it, but it’s also an important object in your kitchen or bathroom, as it’s not only the most used appliance in the house, but it’s also constantly on display. It’s often the center piece of the kitchen, and it’s look dictates your personal style of your house. However functionality is still the most important aspect of a tap fitting.

Whether it’s the center-piece for your kitchen, installed outside near the BBQ, to be able to expand out and be able to clean a large double sink, or simply just work as a simple straight forward tap – this article will assist you to make the right choice without breaking the bank.

There is a huge range of different types of tap fittings that you can choose from. First, we’ll go through our recommended steps for narrowing down your choices, so you are well informed enough to make a choice without buying something that you do not need.

Step 1 – What type of tap mixer would I need?
Step 2 – Which design do I like?
Step 3 – What finish do I like?
Step 4 – What other things should I consider?

Step 1 – What type of mixer do I want?

The diagram below is helpful to choose the correct mixer. When you realize how many kinds of mixers there are available, you’ll realise how helpful such decision tree diagrams like the one below will help you decide. In the example diagram below, below the customer has decided they’d like a modern single-lever style fitting,  plus the benefit of a flexible hose to enable them to wash their large sink (flexi-hose), and also that the hose be able to be retracted and pulled out of the basin, and finally so they can switch between a stream of water and a spray of water (dual flow).

Kitchen tap fittings can be minimalist simple style, or a designer show piece, however most importantly it has to do what you want it to do. Once you have figured out what kind of functionality it needs to have, you can then choose it’s design.

Step 2 – What design do I like?

After you have found what kind of tap fitting functionality you’d like, choose the design of the tap fitting design is also important. Do you want a tap fittings that stands out as an art piece, or a minimalist simple piece that blends in with your kitchen or bathroom? Or perhaps if you have a industrial looking area you could go for a steel spring mixer? Here are some categories of tap fittings:

Designer Taps – attractive modern designs that will impress your visitors. These kind of fittings can transform the look of your area.

Industrial style taps – a popular choice for modern houses with an industrial look, these taps tend of have spring necks and commercial grade brushed steel finishing.

Low profile style taps – when you have cupboards overhead or you don’t wish for your taps to protrude above a window or similar, these tap fittings have a very low height design.

Period/Traditional – Sometimes traditional style taps match the age of the house they are installed in. Perfect for period homes or country style areas.

Minimalist – When simplicity is key, and you do not wish for the taps to attract too much attention and functionality is the most important aspect. A simple goose-neck tap or simple shape is all that’s needed.

Step 3 – What finish do I like?

Tap fittings comes in a large variety of finishing. It’s best to choose a finish that will compliment your room’s decor.

Stainless Steel – perfect for outdoor taps that will hold up in any weather.

Chrome or polished steel – A timeless and traditional finish that has a mirror finish and compliments most decors.

Brushed – A common choice when you’d like to match nearby appliances, usually finished in brushed stainless steel or brushed nickel.

Coloured – Matte black tap fittings ave become quite popular recently, however white and bronzed coloured metals are also making waves in styled kitchens and bathrooms.

Step 4 – What else should I consider?

There are a few considerations when choosing tap ware, Whincup Plumbing often get asked what are some of the top price determining factors for fittings.

Compliance – Make sure your tap fittings has Watermark compliance logo and licence number engraved into the body of the fitting, and also a Wels flow rating on the product itself or its packaging. If the product does not have these, a plumber is not legally allowed to install it! Australia is one of the most expensive countries to get tap ware tested and approved. Australia and New Zealand are also the only countries that require DR Brass instead of regular brass.

Critical parts – There are certain parts of tap fittings that are essential for operation, and you should check with suppliers to ensure these parts are durable and readily available if replacement is required. In single lever mixers the most important part of the fitting is the internal mixer cartridge. In dual handle taps, the valve mechanisms are critical. You should also check  thatother spare parts such as o-rings and hoses are easily available.

Durability – Poor quality fittings are usually very light weight. The faucet body itself will feel thin and not solid. On these kinds of examples, the connecting parts can break off or leak easily and getting these parts replaced can sometimes be hard. Furthermore, some parts such as nozzles or handles might even be made from cheaper materials like plastic. It’s worth mentioning that some taps are cheap and reliable due to high production numbers, but on the flip side many are cheap and unreliable, so it’s important to be careful.

In summary

When choosing tap ware for a new house, bathroom or kitchen renovations it is important to consider the quality of the product you are purchasing. Cheap tap ware may save you money now but in the long run you may face a multitude of problems, from leaks to complete breakages. Contact Whincup Plumbing and we can help you make the right choice when it comes to purchasing quality tap ware that will save you money in the long run. We can service customers from Mandurah to Perth.