3 Spring Gardening Tips From a Plumber

Plumbing and Gardening

Whether gardening is your new lockdown hobby or you are a seasoned green-thumb, we have put together three top tips regarding gardening and plumbing.

 

1. Know where your underground services are

"I was digging in the garden and I hit a pipe!" As a plumbing company, this is one of our most common calls.

Every house has a unique plumbing configuration so it can be hard to know for sure exactly where your drains run. If you hit your shovel on a water, gas or even telephone line, you could be looking a repair bill in the thousands.

We always recommend using a service like Dial Before You Dig before even picking up your shovel. It's a free, quick, national service that notifies you of any essential services running through your property.

Knowing where your underground pipes are will also help with your landscaping. It will show you exactly where not to plant that big tree, or move that garden bed. Here at Expert Plumbing & Gas Services, we have a specialised sonar locator that when used with our CCTV drain camera, can locate exactly where and how deep your stormwater and sewer drains are.

You can purchase a copy of your property sewerage plan from your water retailer (such as Yarra Valley Water or South East Water) before planting any new trees. This will help you plan so that your landscaping is not impacting your existing plumbing. If you are creating a new building, take into account where existing trees are (including your neighbour's trees) and don't lay any services near them.

 

 

2. Choose plants/ trees wisely

Did you know that your tree roots and underground drains are fighting a battle in your backyard?

Tree roots will grow wherever they can, regardless of where your pipes are. They are drawn to the condensation on the outside of sewer or stormwater drains, which forms near tiny cracks, spaces between joins or imperfections in your pipe. They are powerful enough to grow through the crack to the source of more water, where they can grow and grow. As more water comes down your pipes, the bigger the tree roots will grow.

The roots form a type of net, and waste that goes down your pipes can’t pass through, causing a blockage in your drain. A blockage can show up in the form of overflowing pipes, slow draining baths or sinks, gurgling noises and bad smells.

To prevent plumbing problems that might be caused by landscaping, avoid planting the following trees;

If you plant a deciduous tree, keep an eye on wear the leaves fall. If they build up in your gutter, this can create a number of problems, such as overflow, leaks and corrosion.

Here at Expert Plumbing, we are qualified roof plumbers, and can clean your gutters or debris, install gutter guards and check for any corrosion. Gutter health checks should be completed at least every six months.

 

 

3. Invest in clever water solutions

Rainwater Tanks

Make the most of that Melbourne rain and connect a rainwater tank to your toilet, garden taps, irrigation and/or washing machine. Read our full blog on rainwater tanks here.

A typical strategy is to use rainwater for the garden and some indoor uses such as toilet flushing and, clothes washing while sourcing drinking water and shower water from a mains water supply. Many local councils provide incentives for installing rainwater tanks as well, so it is worth checking to see you're eligible.

 

Irrigation

Irrigation automates the way you water your garden. You can make sure you are watering your garden the right amount at the right time. Another small scale use of irrigation is using a drip line emitter. It irrigates the garden with the right amount of water and goes directly into the soil, so it will not damage your plant / flowers with strong water flow.

 

Agricultural Drains

Agricultural drains (known as aggi drains) are important for keeping the soil behind retaining walls dry and draining waterlogged ground. They have slotted holes in the pipe that allows water from the soil to drain into the pipe.

 

What we can do for you

The experienced team at Expert Plumbing & Gas Services are always happy to provide professional advice and help you with all your garden plumbing needs, including:

Get in touch via our contact form today!

 

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