get the lowdown on the plumbing trade
& home maintenance here.. need answers?
just ask ken

Friday, March 8, 2013

We have had issues with black and green flakes, possibly scale in our hot water pipes. We were advised that it was the burnt heat exchanger in our 15 year old hot water surface, and replacing the unit with a brand new one the scale would eventually flush through. After updating the hot water unit we unfortunately still have the scale issue with flakes still being in our hot water. Unsure where to go from here without having to replace the copper piping. Can you shed any light on what is happening? Grant - Waradale

Hi Grant,

Thank you for your question.

The scale indicates a breakdown of your copper water service. Breakdown is more common in galvanised pipework than copper pipework.

Being copper it would be unusual to see to much coming through. I would need more information on how much is coming through to make a better judgement.

One test I would do is to check whether it is coming through your front garden tap. This will help narrow down where it is coming from. Once you have narrowed down the source we could consider options for rectification which would likely include replacement of the problem section of piping.

It would be worth a site inspection to help resolve an issue such as this.

- Ken

Hello, I'm 16 and looking to finish school and start an apprenticeship. Can you offer any advice? Christian - Henley Beach

Hi Christian,

Thank you for your enquiry.

A plumbing apprenticeship is the gateway to what can be a fantastic career.

Firstly you need to evaluate the merits of whether or not you complete your schooling. Whilst completion of year 12 is not essential to gain an apprenticeship it can still be beneficial. Especially with the business/estimating side of plumbing if that interests you.

To gain an apprenticeship there are a few avenues. There are the group training organisations such as TAPS, PEER and the PIA. Or you can seek an apprenticeship direct with an employer. Often the best avenue is to seek out some work experience and ask those around you. You can also make a fantastic impression on your host in the hope they might take you on.

Ken Hall Plumbers offers work experience positions to help kick-start your career in plumbing.

Best of luck.

- Ken