As housing becomes more expensive in NSW and the ACT, many people are deciding to stay in their current homes and renovate to meet their lifestyle needs rather than move. To save money, some homeowners decide to DIY or get a tradesperson that promises the cheapest deal.

Unfortunately, what results is some serious plumbing issues that can be costly if not resolved quickly. Level Plumbing Canberra Central will explore where plumbing can go seriously wrong when renovating.

5 Things You Should Watch Out
Errors With the Drainage System

There are many home renovations that are likely to require changes to a home's drainage system. The most obvious being a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry remodel.

Hidden from view, it is tempting for builders to take shortcuts with a home's drainage system as it can save money in the short term. Unfortunately, mistakes with a home's drainage system only become apparent after renovations are completed. These are costly and can manifest as early as weeks from occupiers moving into the property.

Substandard performance of a drainage system can result in pipe blockages, surcharging, pipe cracking and sewer floods. To avoid being a casualty, it is highly recommended that homeowners engage a qualified plumber to conduct a CCTV post-works drainage inspection so you can have a detailed report of any faults with the drainage system.

It can be very expensive for remedial works to correct drainage problems. That is why you need to have visibility over the builder's choice of plumber to ensure they are qualified and experienced in setting up a home's drainage system.

Plumbing Connections Gone Wrong

Many may not have heard of the flexible water hose or the 'flexi hose' frequently used by Australian renovators to replace standard copper pipe installations in older homes. However, this $10 appliance is coming more into the spotlight as a major risk to homeowners since it can cause serious water damage if ruptured.

A stainless-steel fabricated hose is used to hook water from taps, sinks and tubs. Flexi hoses can also be used to connect the stop tap to the cistern in toilets. To prevent a rupture, always ensure that a qualified plumber installs the flexible hoses, chooses the right size and makes sure there is no over or under-tightening.

For added control, a qualified plumber should install a flood-stopping valve so that in case the flexi hose bursts, the flow of water is blocked, minimizing any flooding.

Adopting Inefficient Water Solutions

As many homeowners face a surge in energy costs, now more than ever, it is important to make changes when renovating that reduce your energy bills. Rather than looking at what you have always done, consider innovative fixtures that conserve energy and best meet your household's needs.

One such area is the selection of a hot water system. Be wary of a plumber who suggests a like-for-like replacement to reduce their workload rather than understanding your household's current and future water consumption requirements. Selecting a hot water system that is larger than your needs will mean that you will be spending more than is essential on the initial installation cost and ongoing running costs.

A professional plumbing company will be able to advise you on the best hot water system that will save you money and water in the long run. They can identify plumbing fixtures like efficient showerheads and taps so your remodelled bathroom is better for the environment and your pocket.

Faulty Installation of Plumbing Fixtures

It is easy to get carried away with choosing appealing plumbing fixtures that suit your aesthetic preferences when remodelling your home. However, if they are improperly installed, the functionality of your new kitchen or bathroom can be severely jeopardized.

Are there signs of dampness around the base of the toilet? If it is recently renovated, the culprit is likely a poorly installed toilet. A leaking toilet can cause significant water damage in a relatively short period of time if water is coming out on the floor rather than down the drain. And it can cause higher-than-expected water bills!

When it comes to a kitchen remodel, one area where renovators often miss the mark is a faulty installation of the sink. You may notice the sink is slightly off-kilter compared with the countertops, and water pools start to form in one corner of the sink.

Since it is easy to go wrong with installing water-using fixtures, you should never bypass the services of a qualified plumber to ensure that little plumbing jobs do not become big nightmares down the track.

Not Planning Well for Air Circulation

Poor heating and air circulation can not only make home life very uncomfortable. It can also endanger your health and significantly increase your energy consumption.

Any changes to the floor layout of your home will have an impact on air circulation, which, if not considered, will make it more difficult to regulate indoor temperatures, increase exposure to impurities and mould and potentially create an unsafe breathing environment.

When you are remodelling any space in your home, you should always be getting an expert technician who can advise on the best heating and cooling solutions for the particular climate you live in. Canberra's very dry climate can be extremely uncomfortable in the summer and winter months.

Thus, be sure to make sure that your heating and cooling match the new requirements of your remodelled space so that electricity costs are controlled, and the well-being of occupants is prioritised.

Always Ask for a Certification of Compliance

You may be asking yourself at this stage, "How can I protect myself when renovating from a rogue plumber that will cause unnecessary rework?"

The good news is that there are already consumer protections to guard against faulty plumbing work. However, you need to know about them first and find a plumber who knows about them, too!

In NSW, the State Government requires all plumbers to follow a regulated process, including submitting a notice of work before any major plumbing alterations are made and providing a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to both the homeowner and the Fair Trading Inspector after a final inspection is performed. Consumers are further protected from faulty plumbing work by routine checks carried out by the local council at various stages of the plumbing project.

Similarly, in the ACT, all plumbers are to provide a Plumbing and Drainage Start of Work Notice to Access Canberra for all major plumbing alterations where a plumber's work is to be inspected by an ACT Planning & Land Authority inspector. Before a final inspection is made, a Notification of Completion of Work is lodged along with registering certified final drainage and plumbing plans with Access Canberra.

Unfortunately, several times a month, Level Plumbing Canberra is called in to fix plumbing that was installed as part of renovations where the original plumber did not follow the required approval process, perform a final inspection or issue a CoC. As a large plumbing company, Level Plumbing Canberra prides itself in ensuring that all quality controls are in place when undertaking renovation plumbing work, including issuing a Certificate of Compliance for relative plumbing work.

For an added level of assurance, we also guarantee all plumbing work so you can have peace of mind that your renovation plumbing is in the right hands.

Are you worried you may be taking shortcuts on your home renovation? Contact Level Plumbing Canberra at (02) 6188 6088 now, and let us help you discuss the best approach to remodelling your house so that your plumbing is effective for years to come.