Plumbers Protect The Health of Our Nation

“Plumbers are the silent heroes of our society” says Mike Frost, the owner of TAP KING Plumbers. “Most people don’t realise plumbers ensure the health and safety of our families. What they do is very important”.

World Plumbing Day is an international event held on 11 March and is recognised by the World Health Organisation. It has been created to acknowledge the role the plumbing industry plays in delivering clean water to houses and ensuring waste water does not contaminate our precious water resources.

“It is estimated that 2 million tonnes of human waste is discharged into our water resources every day”, World Water Assessment Program.

Without plumbers and the implementation of high plumbing standards like we have in Australia we would be faced with many diseases that are currently preventable, such as diarrhoeal diseases like cholera and typhoid. These diseases are killing 3.1 million people each year in countries that lack these basic privileges we take for granted.

As a plumber that is passionate about upholding high plumbing standards and specialises in problem waste pipes, Mike often sees firsthand the impacts broken sewer pipes in back yards have on the condition of our water ways.

“I regularly see broken pipes that leak effluent into the ground” Mike said. “People don’t realise that sewerage from ineffective septic tanks and broken sewer pipes quickly makes its way into ground water, eventually making its way to our drinking water”.

At the moment Coal Seam Gas Fracking is a huge threat to our precious water sources. But Mike is also concerned that householders need to be aware they could also be contributing to the contamination of our water within their own back yard.

If you want to contribute to keeping our water ways contamination free you can follow these steps to prevent excess sewer and storm water entering the council sewer mains, which overloads the system and eventually overflows into our waterways:

  1. Ensure cracked and broken sewer pipes are repaired promptly to prevent ground and stormwater entering the sewer.
  2. Underground pipes around a house usually have an opening with a grate on top (often found under hose taps). These should be above ground level to stop ponding water during heavy rainfall entering the sewerage system.
  3. Do not use items such as wet wipes or flushable wipes as they cause blockage in both private and council pipelines.
  4. If you have a slow draining toilet, sink or bath, have them checked by a qualified plumber to ensure your pipes aren’t damaged and leaking sewer into the ground.
  5. Have your downpipes checked to make sure they are not connected to your sewerage pipes. If they have been connected incorrectly all your clean roof water will be going into the council sewer main and overloading the system.
  6. If you have a septic system make sure it is not blocked and operates correctly so that sewer does not overflow into surrounding water ways.

World Plumbing Day Video
World Plumbing Council Website

By | 2018-11-21T05:10:00+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments

How a Toilet Can Add 20-30 Years to Your Life!

A recent trip to the Powerhouse Museum uncovered some interesting facts about the flushing toilet and how its introduction increased a person’s average live span of 20 to 30 years!


Before sanitation improved public health in the late 1800s, working people didn’t expect to live much beyond the age of 30. Crowded towns were considered death traps because human waste was dumped into pits where it could pollute water supplies. Diseases like cholera flourished, killing thousands at a time.

Flushing toilets had a profound effect on the average person’s outlook because we could plan for an extra 20 or 30 years of life. This toilet was made by Johnson Bros in England between 1880 and 1910.

By | 2018-11-21T05:08:57+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments

Know How To Unblock Your Drains Without Damaging Them

An Electric Eel is a machine that many plumbers use to try and unblock pipes. It has a long coil that spins and thrashes inside the pipe in an attempt to smash and cut out what is causing blockage.

The machine was first invented in the 1920’s when sturdy clay pipes were the norm. However, most of our pipes today are made from PVC plastic that can not withstand the repeated friction and smashing of an Electric Eel. Unfortunately while Electric Eels cut and punch a hole through the blockage they can also punch a hole through the pipe, requiring you to then dig up and fix the pipe.

Check to make sure your plumber is using a ‘Pipe Jetter’ (high pressure water) to clean your drains. It is a lot quicker, less harmful to your pipes and doesn’t leave any debris behind.

By | 2018-11-21T04:52:35+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments

Beware of Electric Eel Damage to Toilet Pipe Found on Gold Coast

We first received a call from a customer who was on a rural property on the Gold Coast. Their toilet kept filling up and then draining slowly, and sometimes the sink would gurgle too.

We explained over the phone that we do not use electric eels to fix blocked drains as they can cause further damage inside the pipe. However, the customer wasn’t too sure about paying a little bit extra for us to use the drain jetter and camera to identity and solve the problem quickly. They felt they could get a different plumber who was a bit cheaper, but he did use an electric eel to unblock drain pipes.

Four weeks later we received another call from the customer to say that they had used the other plumber with the electric eel. He had cleared the blockage at first but it was blocking up even worse now and the water in the toilet wasn’t going down at all. They asked if we could come and use our drain camera and jetter to see what was going on.

Unfortunately for the customer the camera showed that an internal section of the pipe had been smashed with the electric eel that the first plumber had used and now the complete section of the pipe had to be replaced.

We were able to fix the pipe by using our ‘No Dig’ internal pipe liner which meant the customer was very happy as they did not have to dig up and destroy their beautiful garden to fix the pipe.

By | 2018-11-21T04:50:04+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments

Tweed Heads Plumber – Tree Roots In Pipe Blocks Up Toilet

When the weather starts to get dry, trees start getting thirsty. A tree’s extended underground root system knows how to find water and will go looking for it. If you have a small crack in your pipe or even a pipe fitting that has not been glued properly it is a perfect entry point for tree roots to get into your pipes and cause a blockage in no time.

A tree root can first enter a sewer or storm water pipe as a tiny feeler root. Once it enters the pipe and has a regular supply of water and nutrients from the sewer or storm water pipe it lives happily growing larger and larger till all of a sudden you start having problems flushing your toilet. The water may back up in your toilet and drain slowly.

With all the dry weather we are having at the moment we are getting lots of blocked drains caused by tree roots.

Plumbers Tweed Coast

By | 2018-11-21T04:47:34+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments

The Dangers of Sewer and Storm Water Problems

A sinkhole in the centre of Guatemala City that swallowed a three-storey building in May 2010. Photograph: Luis Echeverria/AP

It was reported in the news recently that a sink hole 10 meters wide and 20 feet deep opened up under the bedroom of a house, taking the man with it, who was in the bedroom, preparing for bed at the time. (view article here)

Sink holes can be caused by several different events, either by nature or as a result of man made error. Sink holes created by natural means happen when acidic rain water filters into the ground that then dissolves rock and in turn leads to underground caverns, then when the top layer collapses into the cavern a sink hole is born.

The other way a sink hole can occur is when a broken sewer or storm water pipe under the ground begins leaking water, eroding the soil around it and causing an underground cavern. A sudden heavy down fall of rain can then add increased weight to the surface layer of soil, making it too heavy for the cave beneath which then collapses.

Residents in Ocean Shores, NSW, just south of the Gold Coast awoke one morning this week to find a gaping hole that had opened in the middle of their street. The hole measures 90cm long, 40cm wide and at least two meters deep. (view article here)

The best way to avoid possible sink holes is to make sure you have good drainage, and that it is free from leaks or cracks. Make sure you have your sewer and storm water pipes checked to make sure they are not leaking or broken. Also ensure that your down pipes don’t just discharge onto the ground, but are properly connected to your storm water system.

Keep your eyes out for any tell-tale signs that may indicate you could be in danger of a sink hole in your back yard. Some things to watch out for are sagging trees or fence posts, doors and windows that no longer close properly and rain water collecting in unlikely places.

By | 2018-11-21T04:45:10+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments

Blocked Drain? What’s Better An Electric Eel or a Water Jetter?

We don’t use any guess work when it comes to your blocked drain, because we can see what’s going on inside your pipes by using our drain camera to locate the problem and clear your pipes with our high pressure water jetter…. This can be done all in one visit.

Need to clear a blocked drain? At Tap King Plumbers unblocking and fixing drain blockages is what we do best!

To diagnose the cause of a blocked drain we use a specialised video camera that is inserted down your pipes. The camera is then pushed down the drain line and provides us with a live video feed of what’s going on that can be recorded on a DVD.

So what exactly is a High Pressure Water Jetter?

A Water Jetter is a drain clearing machine that delivers water at very high pressure and volume inside your blocked pipes that cuts away what ever is in its way. Our jetter runs at 5000psi which is perfect for clearing blockages during our day to day drain clearing.

What is better – A Water Jetter or an Electric Eel?

The Electric Eel (also known as a plumbers snake or a drain snake) is very frictious and abrasive. It has a cable that spins around inside the drain pipe which rubs against the pipe. If it rubs in the same place for long enough it can cut or crack the pipe and even punch a hole through the pipe.

There are a lot of plumbers that still use the older Electric Eel method today and only a few that use a High Pressure Water Jetter. A common question is “which is the better choice to clear a blocked drain. An Electric Eel or a High Pressure Water Jetter?”

The advantages of using a Water Jetter are:

Saves Time:

Water Jetter – The Water Jetter is much faster at clearing a blockage. The average time to clear a blockage is 45-60 minutes.

Electric Eel – The time it takes can vary depending on the depth of the blockage and how bad the blockage is. Some badly blocked drains have taken up to 8 hours to clear with an Electric Eel.


Water Jetter – The Water Jetter clears pipes very effectively. It scrubs the inside of your pipes only using water, clearing tree roots so well that you can no longer see them with a drain camera. It also cleans the walls of the pipe washing away old waste, debris, fats, oils and anything that has built up on the pipe walls. The Water Jetter can travel up to 140 metres and maintains its effectiveness right to the end which is long enough to clear the majority of buildings.

Electric Eel – When an Electric Eel clears a blocked drain or clogged drain it often leaves behind tree roots and debris. This can lead to future waste and debris getting stuck on the uncleared roots and debris easily creating another blockage. The Electric Eel has a cable and cutting head that spins and thrashes around in the pipe, banging and hitting the pipe walls. This can chip, cut and crack the pipes leading to further damage and even collape of the pipes. An Electric Eel will lose its effectiveness the further it travels into a pipe, usually no longer being effective after 25 metres.


Water Jetter – The cost involved to get a pipe cleared with a Water Jetter will always be cheaper than an Electric Eel because of the time involved. The exact location of the blockage can be pin pointed with the drain camera and then cleared with the Water Jetter. This allows the blockage to be cleared much quicker so you won’t be paying for hours and hours of labour.

Electric Eel – The costs involved to get a pipe cleared with an Electric Eel are usually higher because Electric Eels can be very labour intensive depending on the depth and location of the blockage and how bad the blockage is. The Electric Eel can not be used together with the drain camera and it does not flush the debris out while in operation, unlike the Water Jetter. The clearing has to be done first, and then the pipe work needs to be flushed before the drain camera can be inserted to assess the cause and extent of the blockage. This means a lot of time wasted … more time equals more money.

Do you need an experienced plumber to operate a Water Jetter?

By using the correct cutting tips for the job together with a well trained plumber, Water Jetters are unrivalled at clearing drains. The use of these machines is something that takes years of practice and a poor operator can still do a poor job at clearing a drain with a jetter…. We see this from time to time.

By | 2018-11-21T04:42:38+00:00 November 15th, 2018|Plumbing|0 Comments