When you hear the term ‘outdoor plumbing’ you may automatically think of an outdoor toilet or laundry, faucet or the numerous drainage systems around your property. These will all require the services of a plumber if they break or require maintenance, or if you need someone to come and install them. However there are other outdoor jobs around the property that you might need to call a plumber in for.
Especially in a fairly complex renovation, plumbing may need to be moved from one location to another to allow for the new design. Some of the plumbing work may need to be moved around outdoors to connect up to existing storm and waste water drains. Generally renovations that have been planned around existing plumbing can work out to be cheaper than those that need extensive changes made to pipework and drainage systems. The trend for updating properties and creating beautiful, all year round outdoor spaces means that inclusions such as outdoor showers and kitchens are becoming more and more common. Outdoor kitchens in particular can add thousands of dollars’ worth of value onto your property, and can be quite elaborate, requiring extensive waste plumbing and gas fittings. If you are planning such a renovation, it’s a good idea to talk to your plumber at the early stages to get their input.
Having above ground or sub surface irrigation laid when you’re planning a new garden or landscaping feature will make all the difference to the longevity of the plants and their appearance, as well as the ongoing water costs. A plumber will be the best person to be able to advise you on ways to maximise your water coverage in your garden, while minimising installation and ongoing running costs. No one wants to create a beautiful outdoor garden, only to find that it’s hard or time consuming to keep watered or if the amount of water that the plants are receiving is wrong. This could cause major plant die off, leading to extra cost when you have to replace them. If you’re getting a landscape expert to help you with your above or below ground irrigation, it might be a good idea to get them to liaise with your plumber before they begin.
Water features have become the must-have outdoor feature for properties today, especially if paired with other luxuries such as outdoor living rooms, built in fireplaces and tvs. Ponds and water fountains are also popular, and while some are simple designs that require little pipework, however some can be more elaborate and you may need the services of a professional to ensure they are plumbed correctly. Experts suggest that you don’t try to connect up any kind of outdoor water feature without having a plumber look at it first.
One of the big problems with connecting outdoor features to your existing mains water supply without having a qualified plumber being involved is the risk of backflow. Backflow occurs when water or other fluids are unintentionally sucked backwards into a pipe and potentially causing contamination of the drinking water. This can cause major health issues and even death in extreme cases, and there are numerous regulations that govern the use of backflow prevention technology in your home. All properties must have a backflow prevention device fitted, and it must be serviced and maintained on a regular basis by a qualified plumber. One of the most common causes of backflow in a home is if there is a connection or cross connection to a source of contaminants (such as pond or pool water), and there is a unexpected change in water pressure. This can send the contaminants down the pipes the wrong way, having a disastrous effect on the clean and potable water. So if you are considering having a water feature, irrigation or other outdoor plumbing installed, always consult with a plumber first.
Steve Neale owner and director of Superior Plumbing Drainage and Gas. Since 2006 Superior Plumbing provides professional plumbing services throughout Perth and Fremantle.
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