About The Drain Surgeon

Frequently asked questions and plumbing tips

Noisy Pipes Pipe noises range from loud hammering sounds to high-pitched squeaks. The causes may be loose pipes, water logged air chambers, or water pressure that's too high. Anchoring exposed pipes is a simple solution; other remedies such as anchoring pipes concealed inside walls, floors or ceilings, may call for a professional.

Banging Noise
Pipes are usually anchored with pipe straps every 1 to 1.5 meters for horizontal runs, 1 to 1.5 meters for vertical. If your pipes bang when you turn on the water, you may need to add straps, cushion the pipes with a rubber blanket, or both. When you anchor a pipe, especially a plastic one, leave room for expansion. Do not use galvanized straps on copper pipes.

Squeaking Noise
Only hot water pipes squeak. As the pipe expands, it moves in its strap, and friction causes the squeak. Cushion it as you would a banging pipe.

Water Hammer
This noise occurs when you turn off the water at a tap or an appliance quickly, or slowly. The water flowing through the pipes slams to a stop, causing a hammering noise or the jump oscillates up and down when opening the tap slowly.

Shower Heads

» If your shower head leaks where it meets the arm, you probably need to replace the washer. To reach it, loosen the collar, using tape-wrapped rib-joint pliers. Unscrew the head from the adjusting ring.
» Erratic or weak pressure usually indicates mineral build-up. To restore proper flow, clean outlet holes with a pin or unscrew a perforated face plate and soak it overnight in vinegar, then scrub it clean.
» If the shower head pivots stiffly, check he washer for wear and coat the swivel ball with petroleum jelly before reassembling

Clogged Drains
Before trying any drain-clearing methods on a blocked drain, check that the bath's plug is opening fully and is free of hair and debris. If the stopper isn't the problem, then the drainpipe is probably clogged. First, try a plunger or chemical drain cleaner. Be careful not to allow chemicals to come into contact with the bath, basin, toilet etc. If this does not work, call a professional.

A Leaking or Broken Pipe

» Turn off the main shutoff valve to prevent water damage.
» Make temporary repairs to stop the leak.
» The pipe will have to be replaced as soon as it's convenient to do so.

A Blocked Sink

» Shut off any faucet or tap (such as dishwasher) that's draining into the sink.
» Unblock the sink using a plunger or snake.

A Tap That Won't Shut Off

» Immediately turn off the water at the fixture shutoff valve underneath the sink.
» If there's no valve there, turn off the main shutoff valve.
» Repair the tap or, if necessary, replace it.

A Steaming Hot Water Tap

» Open all the hot water taps to relieve the overheated geyser.
» Turn off the gas or electric supply to the heater.
» Let the taps run until cold water flows from them (this indicates the water in the geyser is no longer overheated).
» Close them.
» Call in a professional to make any necessary repairs to the geyser's thermostat and pressure safety valve.

Main Shut Off Valve:
Always familiarise yourself as to where the main shutoff valve is, and if it is accessible in an emergency.

Can you tell me exactly how much the plumbing job will cost me?

Once we have assessed the problem we are able to give you an exact amount. Alternatively our telephone consultants will be able to provide you with an estimate according to the information you have supplied.

How much does a plumbing inspection cost?

Drain Surgeon will inspect your business, school or hospital free of charge if you have recurring drain clogs or problem problems. This includes a walk-through inspection of your kitchen, bar and restroom. A preventative maintenance plan will ensure that plumbing and drainage systems continue working properly.

What is the difference between hard and soft water?

Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium than soft water. The problem can be addressed by adding sodium which acts as a water softener. The water softener process has to be regenerated and recharged from time to time.