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Water Leak Nets Condominium Management $2000 Fine

One of Singapore’s premier condominium units, Nicon Gardens, had just been issued a $2000 fine for not complying with the request of the PUB to do repairs on their water pipes which had reportedly been leaking water from June 29 to July 2, 2018. PUB estimates the water lost was four times larger than the water volume requirement of the entire condominium complex in a month.

Reports from residents of and near the condominium had been sent to the PUB prompting them to dispatch their officers to the site of the problem. During their investigation, the team found a service pipe leak in the Nicon Gardens compound.

The pipe was located underground, which the officers had informed the Nicon Gardens management after their investigation was done. This was reportedly for immediate action by the management team complete with additional information on recommended licensed plumbers by the agency.

Regular visits were conducted by the PUB team to the site to inspect and remind the management to do the repairs. In addition, the residents of the building had also made follow-up inquiries to the management office regarding the issue. However, Nicon’s management still took no action.

According to the PUB team, three notices were forwarded to the Nicon Gardens management from June 29 to July 2, 2018. After the third notice was served on July 2, service pipe repairs were carried out by the plumber hired by the company to fix the problem.

Nicon Gardens non-compliance to the PUB notices were charged as an offence. Hence, the fine of $2,000 as a composition fine. According to the PUB, owners are responsible for maintaining their premises including the water service installations.

According to the Director of the Water Supply Department of the PUB, Ridzuan Ismail, “The supply of good, clean water in Singapore must never be taken for granted. Nicon Gardens’ failure to act quickly in this instance has led to a large amount of water wastage.” he said.

Singapore tries to keep water waste to a minimum because it is a scarce resource in the country. Mr. Ismail also added, “Water is a precious resource in Singapore, and everybody must do his part to conserve it.”. According to the PUB, the four-day delay in the repairs resulted in a water loss equivalent to four months of water use of the establishment.

Leaks should undergo repair service immediately to avoid water waste and water supply disruption. PUB will act on parties responsible for not complying with their requirements regarding water leaks and damage in private properties.

The act supporting this action is under the Public Utilities Regulations in section 15, which treats inaction on a PUB notice for repair as an offence. Since it was the first offence of Nicon Gardens, a fine of $2,000 was slapped on the responsible party.

Under the law, a maximum penalty of $10,000 can be a charge to repeat offenders or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year. The PUB hotline: 1800-CALL-PUB (1800-2255-782) is open to the public to report any water leaks.

Singapore Adopts Smart Water Meters, A Move For Environmental Responsibility

In recent years, the Singapore government has been doing significant strides towards promoting more environmentally friendly practices, particularly those that concern water and energy. With household usage like showering and flushing taking a huge bulk of the nation’s water consumption, PUB is consistently coming up with regulations and innovations to make consumers more aware and responsible for their water usage.

Among the latest is the initial rollout of Smart Water Programme, which aims to provide both residential and commercial waters a more convenient and easy way to track their day to day water consumption. By giving them a meter installed by local plumber can be read by any layman, the National Water Agency is looking forward to better management of water among the country’s citizens.

According to the data from the agency, there are currently more than a million water meters installed across Singapore, which are manually read every two months. The new smart water meter, however, will read water usage every day, which means a more accurate reading. The programme aims to install 300,000 of this smart water meters before the end of 2023.

Other Features of Smart Water Meter

On PUB’s end, the reading of water usage several times a day provides them in a great resource to monitor the water supply and even detect leakage within the network. The smart water system also makes leak prevention easier for the water agency, and thus reducing supply loss.

On the consumers’ end, on the other hand, an online and mobile portal will be created as their platform to monitor their water usage data. This portal is also expected to alert the user if there is a leak in their system, and will thus allow them to seek plumbing assistance right away. Several cases of high water bills, especially in residences, is when leaks go unnoticed. Moreover, bringing closer this technology to the users themselves empowers them to be more aware and responsible for how they consume water.

PUB intends to make the shift to smart water meters large-scale to more efficiently manage the demand and supply aspect of water distribution in Singapore. Water conservation among the users is simply eyed as a positive yet more indirect impact of this initiative. This behaviour change was already proven way back in 2018 when the agency conducted installation trials. Those with installed digital meters immediately showed at least 5 per cent reduction in their usual water usage. This has established a significant impact of understanding water meters on their water consumption practices.

The first few batches of smart water meters are expected to be installed in the first few months of 2021. Following this, the water agency will then assess the impact of the initial rollout, and build on what can still be improved in the succeeding implementation phases.

Apart from this effort, the water agency has also previously promoted the usage of water-efficient household appliances, even passing a regulation for suppliers to indicate the actual water efficiency level of their products.

A Positive Trend Towards Water Efficiency In Singapore

Have you ever felt guilty about regularly flushing your toilets thinking that it’s consuming more water than necessary? A lot of articles have been written about the environmental impacts of our flushing habit. However, a recent study in Singapore revealed that showering is actually the top water-consuming activity for residential places, while flushing comes second. Among other high-water demand activities include doing the laundry and washing the dishes. This is revealed by a study released by PUB in early 2018, which they also continue to update year after year.

Fortunately, though, another significant finding from the same study is that most households are now shifting to more water-efficient household products. This was particularly observed among showerheads installed in residences, which are now configured to the most efficient flow-rate. The same positive trend is likewise observed for other appliances and plumbing systems including faucets, water fittings, dishwashers, and washing machines.

As early as 2009, the water agency of Singapore has required all suppliers in Singapore to indicate water efficiency ratings of their products under the Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme or MWELS. This is aimed to raise awareness for consumers to be more conscious with the water-efficiency of the household products that they are buying. Singapore has likewise witnessed influx of water-efficient fittings, as well as an appliance in recent years, which officials also attribute to the increasing public awareness regarding this concern.

Way Forward

While there has been significant progress in terms of public awareness, PUB is now more concerned about behaviour change among consumers. The agency recognises that no matter how many water-efficient products enter the market, the decision to be more responsible with water usage remains as an individual choice – and it is these different choices that PUB as an agency encounters challenges. This, especially given the accompanying study of high shower usage of Singapore households. Basically, no matter the adjustment in the flow-rate of the showerhead, without a conscious effort to make shower time faster and more efficient, it will still not have a significant impact on the water conserved.

Among the efforts currently being undertaken by the agency are a series of awareness campaigns. A program called Water Closet Replacement Project was also launched by the agency, replacing old water closets for houses with more efficient ones for free. As monitored, a household shifting to this water closet can reduce their usual water consumption up to ten per cent.

Finally, there is also an effort to ensure that new developments, and even those pre-existing ones but are undergoing renovations to have 2-tick water fittings installed. If you belong to this group, make sure to talk with your resident plumber ahead before the old inefficient water fittings get phased out.

These are just some of the concrete efforts that the agency and the rest of the government have been advocating to make conservation a mainstream effort among all households. Most plumbers in Singapore are also well-oriented about these water-efficiency regulations of PUB.

Singapore’s Water Use to reduce by 70% with Industrial Water Recycling

The rising demand for water by various industries in Singapore has become a catalyst for new conservation techniques such as water recycling. The Singapore government has incentivised companies that are willing to adopt the technology by opening up funding that these companies can access for their upgrading.

Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB, has opened three schemes (WEF, IWSDF, and Living Lab) which will be the basis for project funding and implementation. The priority of these schemes is big-ticket projects that are projected to deliver water savings of 3 million gallons a day.

As of this writing, the existing 22 projects under the program have resulted in 5 million gallons of water savings. Another 13 million gallons of savings is projected to be delivered in the next five years with the completion of on-going projects and the implementation of those in the pipeline.

The Singapore International Water Week will thrust into the spotlight the industrial water recycling programs including that of the PUB. More than 180 leaders from various industries will convene to discuss the best practices and significant issues for water use reduction and reclaiming efforts.

Recycled industrial water is suitable for use in industrial activities such as heating and cooling, general cleaning that will only require non-potable water. In order to increase the rate of recycled water use, partnerships between the PUB and the large water users have been fostered through water management, technical support for recycled water solutions, and other stewardship projects.

Companies such as the Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) and Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS) have a water recycling system in place in their operations. They use NEWater technology which proactively optimised water consumption in their operations. SSMC had achieved 70 per cent recycled water by reusing their discharge; recycling used water and other processes.

A demo plant had recently been commissioned by PCS to extract treated water from their CAS (Conventional Activated Sludge) collection. Experts predict that their recycling rate will go up to 25 per cent.

A patented system developed by Wyeth Nutritionals in Singapore called the High-Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (HEROTM) System had also been funded by the PUB which allowed them to build their water recycling plant. The treated water produced from their plant is used in their cooling towers.

PUBs mantra “Reduce, Replace, and Reclaim” has resulted in the development of Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP) for industrial water users. Each company has its own water meter for monitoring and based on the data collected will create a WEMP which they will propose to the PUB.

Using data from the WEMP per company, the PUB will consolidate and come up with their guide for best practices in water recycling per sector. As a professional plumber, we believe this will help predict water usage patterns and develop strategies to use water more efficiently.

The approach was also crucial in developing water efficiency benchmarks for various sectors from private, commercial, to manufacturing. It will be useful for companies and the government in managing water usage throughout the country.

The Most Common Type Of Toilet Repair Services

One of the most important items in the home is the toilet. When people really think about it, they could live without a toilet but it would be uncomfortable. Taking this into account, it is recommended that a person care for their toilet and keep it well-maintained. Toilets don’t often require maintenance, only a cleaning, but there are times when you will need to contact a plumber or take on the task yourself. This article will provide information on the most common types of toilet repair services.

1. Blocked Or Clogged

Arguably the most commonplace of all toilet repair issues is blocks or clogs. Toilets can become blocked for various reasons; for example, your child may have flushed a McDonalds Happy Meal toy down the toilet or placed their new kitten in the bowl for “a bath”. Whatever the reason, toilets can become clogged and this can lead to the toilet overflowing. It is relatively easy to fix the problem by using a plunger and some drain cleaner, but if the clog is severe you may need to contact a professional plumber.

2. Flushing Turns Shower Water Cold

In one of the many romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant, there is a scene where he flushes the toilet to turn his brother’s shower water cold. It is a hilarious clip with the brother shouting from shock, but this is not always the case in modern homes. Older houses, however, do still present with this problem where pipes are not conducive to people taking hot showers and flushing toilets simultaneously. So, what? The fact is this is a problem that can be resolved by reducing how quickly the toilet uses water. If a toilet takes longer to fill, there is less chance of temperature change in the shower water.

3. The Overflowing Toilet

Consider the situation: you have tried to flush the toilet too many times and water is spilling over the bowl. In some cases, this is due to a person flushing too quickly and too many times when it’s too cold outside. It may also be due to a clog which can be resolved using a plunger. However, if the overflow is due to a mechanical problem, it may be best to contact a plumber.

4. Gathering Water

If water is gathering around the toilet on the floor, it is important that the problem is fixed immediately. The immediate nature is to avoid any moisture seeping through to the structure’s subfloor and causing potential mold. One method of avoiding gathering water is by toilet maintenance and checking the tightness of the tank bolts, mounting nut, supply tube, and wax ring. If the seal around the ring is worn or cracked, this could be the cause and should be replaced.

5. The Handle Won’t Move

If the toilet handle will not move, it is recommended that you remove the tank cover and clean the mounting nut – the nut is located inside the tank and behind the handle. The nut operates the handle smoother and over time lime can accumulate around the item. This is why regular maintenance should be done on a toilet to avoid any damage to essential elements. If the nut is not the problem, then you should contact a professional Singapore plumber for further assistance.

How To Fix A Leaking Roof

If you have a leaking roof, there are actually a number of things that could cause this. There are also a number of problems that can be caused by a leak which is not fixed. This is why you need to know what steps you should be taking to fix your leaking roof.

Determine Where The Leak Is

The first step to fixing a leaking roof is to determine where the leak actually is. This will help you determine what is causing the leak and what steps you need to take to remedy this. The best way to determine where the leak is would be to look at the ceiling of your home.

Tracing the water damage on the ceiling is a good way to start your search for the source of the leak. Once you know where the water is dripping onto the ceiling, you should head to the attic. The leak will generally not be at the same spot as the water damage, but you can use this location to track the leak. Water will generally run from the point of entry to a lower spot in the roof before dripping onto the ceiling.

Using this logic, you will need to trace the water from the point where it hits the ceiling. As water will always run downward, you will need to look at the roofing further up. Using a flashlight, you should be able to see where the water is entering the roof.

Inspect Your Shingles

Once you have an idea of where the leak is, you will be able to take some steps to fix the leak. If you have a shingle roof, you will need to look for any signs of wear and tear around the leak site. You should be looking for missing, cracked or curling shingles. These shingles will create gaps in your roof which allows water to enter your home.

After locating the problem, you will need to remedy it. If there are missing shingles, you will need to replace them with new shingles. Cracked and curling shingles can be repaired and resealed which will stop the water from entering your home.

Sealing Leaking Joints

It is not only the shingles of your roof which could be causing problems. If you have a leak that is close to your chimney or a valley in the roof, you need to look at the joins. Gaps in the sealant, aluminum flashing and caulk will cause leaks and you need to remedy this.

If you find that there are small gaps, you will generally be able to treat this with some roof sealant. However, larger gaps and tears in the flashing will require everything to be replaced. While this is something that you will be able to do yourself, there are many people who recommend hiring a professional waterproofing contractor instead.

There are many reasons why your roof could be leaking. If your roof is more than 20 years old, it could simply be reaching the end of its life. In these situations, it will be better to replace the roof than to repair the leaking areas.

How is Water Proofing Done

It is almost everyone’s dream come true to have their own house built. It’s even a more exciting feeling to see it being built from scratch, one part at a time. However, once the anticipation phase is over, a lot of realities would eventually start to sink in: house chores, maintenance, bills, and mortgage. These are just some of the regular responsibilities that come along with owning a house. But, if there’s one thing that would truly top as one of the most stressful things to deal with in having a property built, it would be water slow, gradually trying seep into your home’s structure. This construction mishap can make or break the overall lifespan of your home.

Fortunately, there are now several technologies and practices that will ensure a waterproof structure, whether it is a simple home or a commercial building. It is important to know the basics of the waterproofing process to help you assess whether your building contractor is actually doing it for you.

Here’s quick overview of how waterproofing is done.

Waterproofing often and should ideally start with the foundation of any building. It is often applied as part of the concrete mix. Contractors these days will often choose from either polymers, sheet membranes, or elastomeric waterproofing material. As to which one of these is the best, it will then only differ in terms of the cost and time allowed for the entire construction.

Aside from directly applying waterproofing materials on the concrete walls and foundation, there are also other methods that can be done without directly affecting your base. A lot of water seepage concerns stem out from poor drainage system, this is why if you want your building or house to be waterproof, there needs to be a proper pipe system first that actually gets the water off from your main structure. This is exactly what is being done when you have your own Foundation Drainage System. This will guide any accumulated water out and away from the main structure where it can be efficiently pumped or dried out.

When it comes to the sink and bathroom, areas of the house that are often soaked in water, there should also be other precautionary methods to be done to prevent the water from leaking to other parts of the house. For instance, bathrooms are usually located adjacent to bedrooms, and once water from it starts to seep inside the bedroom, it can create unnecessary moisture than can be damaging to certain materials and things including furniture, bags, and linen. In this case, waterproofing is done by using water sealants or coating to fill in or tighten the gaps between the walls and pipes. Most of these materials are thick and elastic enough to keep water where it should be.

However, it is crucial to remember that one of the worst damages caused by water happens in your basement or foundation. This can create significant structural damage to the house or building when not properly prevented. To waterproof building foundations, one of the most practical techniques that is being incorporated is the Positive Waterproofing. This is done by digging around the perimeter of the building where layers and layers of the waterproofing solution is applied. This is best done during dry season as a crucial preparation for monsoon.

Waterproofing for major parts of the house is best done by a professional plumber in Singapore. However, minor leakage especially in the bathroom and kitchen can be a DIY process as long as you are already equipped with the right waterproofing material. Remember that water is an unforgiving force of nature, and the only way to deal with it is by being proactive.

Everything You Need To Know About Waterproofing

Water proofing is a thing that most home owners often forget. When improving or renovating a house, things such as plumbing should be considered for the safety and comfort of the household and not just the designs and furniture. One service plumbers would offer is water proofing, which should be done in the renovation method and be properly maintained. Water proofing when all the rooms and the house is already established might be hard, as it takes some effort to apply the proper materials to the foundations and other parts that needs it. So why should you water proof your house? What is the importance of this?

First of all, it keeps the basement dry, although not every house has a basement, for those who does, waterproofing is more than just an additional expense. This can be done through waterproofing the foundations so that the amount of water from the ground that can be seeped inside the home is reduced. With this, you can avoid a moist basement that cannot even be utilized and have a proper room to use.

Next reason is to reduce the risk of flooding in your home, especially when you are in a flood-prone area. This can be done as simple as from having the proper drainage around the house that would redirect the water from heavy rains properly to having the right sealants and materials applied on the concrete while renovating.

As stated in the reason above, waterproofing can reduce the moisture of the house, this helps because during the more hot seasons, the moisture can make the house feel warmer and reduce the comfort that you should have in your own home.

More dangerously, these moistures, when left unattended, would nurture the growth of molds that could be dangerous to the health of the household. It could also cause the destruction of paper products in the home and help on the oxidation of metal materials on your home, making it easier for rust to form.

Overall, you should waterproof your home to protect it and those who live there. Water being leaked inside the house can cause the walls that aren’t concrete to rot, ruin prized possessions, and develop more humidity. But where should these waterproofing precautions be practised?

First is the obvious protection of a house against the water, the roof. The roof of the house should be watertight, properly insulated, and no moss should be growing, as it would just invite bacteria to grow. So it has to be properly and regularly maintained to make sure the roof is doing what it is supposed to do, protect from the water.

Next place is the cellar and basement. As discussed above, water seeping through the basement can be dangerous and damaging. The same goes for the cellar. The cellar is one of the places in the house that can be very prone to condensation and dam that can cause algae and molds to form, given that the same as the basement, it is usually underground.

Lastly, is the exterior walls of the house. The exterior walls should protect the household from any weather there is especially the rain. And having many cracks and moss growing at the side of it is not a very good sign.

Common reasons why a water heater is not working

Water heater has become essential for every household. And when it malfunctions, it can cause a great hassle for everyone. So what causes the water heater not to work? Here are the most common reasons that you should look into.

Built Up Sediments in the Heater

When water heaters are often used and seldom cleaned, sediments can build up inside the tank making it dirty and causing the water heater no not work. It is advised to use water softeners, which removes magnesium and calcium on the water, making it easier for cleaning the water heater every few months.

The issue with the Pilot

The pilot is the one that ignites the burner of the water heater, in a fortunate scenario, all you need to do is switch it on if it was off, but it is already on but still doesn’t heat the water, you might want to look into the cleanliness of the pilot and the burner. If it is dirty, it will become corroded, which causes the burner to stop drawing oxygen to ignite and the water will not heat up.

Gas Control Valve

When the issue is with the gas control valve, it can cut off the supply of gas to the burner, and no heat can be created for the water heater. One way to find out if the issue is with the gas control valve is smelling the water heater; if it gives a foul smell, then the issue might be a leak on the gas line. This is a serious issue that needs professional service immediately as it can put the whole household in danger.

Heating Elements

Typically, there are two heating elements in a water heater. If there is a drop in the temperature on the heater, it probably means that one of the heating elements has burned out, when this happens, we recommend that you immediately call a professional to check on the water heating elements as having the two elements burning out will mean that you will only have cold water available.

Dip Tube

A dip tube is a part of the water heater that converts the cold water to hot water in the bottom of the tank. If a crack is found on this tube, the water would be leaking on other parts of the water heater. This is a very costly issue, and it is advised that you should just purchase a new water heater than to pay for the repair. When choosing for a new water heater, you might want to hire the service of a professional plumber to help you pick the right one for you

Thermostat and other small things

Sometimes, the thermostat, which regulates the intake if gas goes bad. This causes the water heater not to receive any message to heat the water. You might also want to check the valves if there are leaking that can be easily fixed by tightening the said valve.

Repairing a water heater is not cheap, it is much better if you observe proper maintenance and care for the heater. We also advise that at the first sign of malfunction, you should immediately call a professional water heater expert before the problem gets worse.

Three Heater Brands

With so many heater brands coming out of the market these days, it is getting more difficult to choose the best brand that can truly live up to your usage. In Singapore, a lot of new names are being introduced in the heater market and while most of them have promising specs, there are also those that still need to be tested against the already established brands. Certain countries are more popular for being makers of water heaters, and it is highly recommended for these brands.

To make sure you get a reliable water heater for your house or office, it’s best to stick to the brands that have already been tested by time and usage. Here are our top picks of water heater brands from our water heater installation and repair experience that are available here in Singapore:

  • Rheem

When it comes to industry standards for water heating technology, Rheem is definitely the number one name to trust. The brand has been existing since the 1920s, which proves the length of their experience in water heater design. The company was found in California, USA, but eventually expanded some of their operations overseas. To date, Rheem already has a manufacturing company here in Singapore, which further assures you of the quality of their products. Rheem is almost safety and economy, so they are perfect for homes and customer-based businesses or establishments.

  • Ariston

This Italian brand is a popular name worldwide. They have been used in various luxury properties and top-rated hotels. Ever since it was introduced in Singapore, it has also been one of the most recognizable brands for a comfortable shower experience. Ariston water heaters are popularly known for their sleek designs, which are best for almost any kind of space. They are also known for their instant heating technology, while retaining constant and safe temperature.

  • Joven

Here’s another favorite on the list, which is a brand from our neighboring country Malaysia. Despite being a relatively new player in the water heater industry, Joven was able to easily emerge as one of the most trusted names in water heating technology internationally. Their designs are conventional and packed with dependable features including constant temperature and water pressure. This assures users or owners of a good shower experience. Almost all of their models come with a triple safety system consistent with their promise of secured installation and usage.

When people decide on installing heaters for their showers, the specs of the water heater is usually one of the most common questions that we get, and we always constantly emphasize the safety of the make. This is why we ranked these three as the best not just because of their popularity but also because of their reputation in providing a safe and comfortable shower experience.