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Beware leaks

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Water can swell, rust, peel, blister and destroy things, warns Don MacAlister.

I need to kick off this week by thanking the multitude of readers who are making this column interactive. So many of you are sending in advice for other readers, using your own experiences and giving helpful tips.

I received this email from an old plumbing friend of mine laying bare the state of his industry. “As a professional plumbing company of 30 years standing we are inundated with calls from homeowners asking us to fix, retrofit, adapt, undo or certify work undertaken by unregistered, unqualified people masquerading as plumbers.

“We cannot entertain these requests as we are far too busy to get involved with these toxic situations. It is quite incredible that some homeowners would unleash hell on their most valuable asset by appointing people to destroy the integrity of their building.

“We’re talking water here – water that unless contained will swell, rust, peel, blister and destroy anything in its path. The dangers of leaking sewage need not be expanded upon.

“A plumber is no longer just a man with a tool box. Everything in plumbing has become technical and unless goods are installed by qualified plumbers they carry no guarantee “Insurance will no longer pay for resultant damage by uncertified plumbers and non-compliant plumbing.

Why would anybody risk all by allowing uninsured personnel to work on their property? “The professionals are no longer picking up the pieces and the problems appear to be getting worse. With all the access to information these days, there is no excuse.

“My advice is, if in doubt, use a member of the Institute of Plumbing SA to ensure recourse should there be any problems. This also provides homeowners with peace of mind and a functional professional, trouble-free plumbing installation.”
Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:
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