When Australia became a nation in 1901, most homes didn’t have indoor plumbing. Having a toilet inside the home was considered unsanitary to say the least. Today, 21st Century Australia enjoys hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and a standard of hygiene that adds considerably to our quality of life. As vital as modern plumbing is, we still seem to resent having to call the plumber and pay the fees they charge. Often $80 for a call out and the first 15 minutes is about what most are charging, on average. In upscale suburbs it can be over the $100 mark just to have him park his white van in your driveway.

Yes, we are somewhat at their mercy because we need our plumbing to work and we take it so much for granted until it stops working. The other day we discovered out hot water tank’s relief valve drain pipe was no longer dripping water as it had for, admittedly, some months. Now it was flowing out. Time to take action! The replacement part cost $189.50 including GST and delivery and it was a fit it yourself affair. Or, we could have a plumber come and replace it for $225. We rang around and got a better quote of $190, fitted. Proof again were any needed of the value of not taking the first quote offered.

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