Ben Kay is a qualified plumber who works for Knight's Plumbing in Orange. Most of his work is carried out for domestic customers. Much of it is unblocking drains and repairing cracked or broken pipes.
"They always say the water from rainwater tanks isn't good for you but everyone wants to taste rainwater … nothing beats a few bird droppings in the water!"
I've worked for Knight's Plumbing for nine years. Ninety per cent of our work is domestic. They are mainly just maintenance, pipe repairs and replacements, tap washers, blocked drains and broken sewer lines and a lot of cold water replacements.
Ninety per cent of blocked drains are caused by tree roots and we have to put the 'electric eel' through. The eel is a steel coiled up rod with a cutting piece on the end which spins and cuts off and pushes through whatever is blocking the drains.
All sorts of things get put in drains – I even pulled a blanket out of a drain once. You'd wonder how they get there.
Old pipes break because the movement of the ground cracks them, especially during the drought in the last couple of years.
There’s been some shocking jobs, but it’s all part of the job. Probably the worst run was a couple of years ago because of the frost. We had to knock back about 36 jobs because there were so many burst pipes. It was just an exceptionally bad frost. A mate in Mudgee had 114 phone calls in one day because of burst pipes. You feel sorry for the people it happened to.
They always say the water from rainwater tanks isn’t good for you but everyone wants to taste rainwater … nothing beats a few bird droppings in the water!