plumbing Sydney

Can You Replace Your Toilet Yourself?

There are lots of reasons why you might need a new toilet. Maybe your current one is cracked or faulty beyond repair. It might be an older model that takes too long to refill, or has accumulated water stains that resist your harshest attacks of bleach and steel wool. Or maybe you want to go hi-tech and put in one of those fancy heated, self-flushing units from Japan. Even if your ambitions are a bit simpler, you might just want a coloured bowl, or a shape that’s more contemporary to match your bathroom renovation.

Whatever your reasons are, putting in a new toilet seems like a lot of work. Or at least it can until you call the plumber and find out how much it will cost. Armed with that information, you might feel the sudden urge to put on some gloves and borrow your neighbour’s adjustable spanner – plumbers can be expensive! Luckily, you can find lots of articles and video tutorials online to help your little project.


You probably don’t realise how many toilet options actually exist, or that they have different sizes. Well, the second you reach the hardware store, you’ll be paralysed by TMI, so walk in prepared. Go to your current toilet with a tape measure and see how far the wall is from the bolts / screws that hold toilet down. The tape should touch the wall, not the skirting board. It’s usually 30cm, but double check. You should also measure how high the toilet seat is from the floor, and note the thickness of the seat itself.

When you pick out your new toilet, don’t assume it’s one size fits all. Check that the s-curve fits your bolt-to-wall dimensions and test the toilet height to see if you’re comfortable with it, pitting it against your current loo’s height. Remember that studies suggest the deeper you squat, the easier it is on your toileting process. In fact, the ideal posture is a full squat with no seat at all, which is why toilet stools like Squatty Potty are becoming popular.

Still, the floor-level toilet takes a lot of getting used to, and while it’s common in some cultures, it’s not as big a hit here. Consider a lower seat instead, and if the shop will let you, test it (with your pants on) to see how low you can go. Before you leave the store, make sure your toilet is complete. It should have a cistern, bowl, ball valve, seat, washers, and wax ring.


Out with the old …

Start by removing the current toilet. To do this, you have to shut off the water mains to avoid flooding the whole bathroom. Check the wall behind your toilet and you’ll see a faucet. It connects your toilet to the house mains. Close that tap, then flush the toilet to get rid of the water in the cistern. Because the tapis shut, the cistern won’t refill. Lift the toilet lid and scoop out the water in the bowl. Get as much of it out as you can, because the rest will spill onto the floor when you remove the toilet.

You can use a sponge to squeeze out the last few handfuls in the cistern and the toilet bowl. Check the pipe that leads from the wall to the cistern and disconnect it. Now got to the back of the toilet and detach it from the floor. If it’s held down with screws, use a screwdriver. If it’s bolted down, use an adjustable spanner. You could also use a power drill with screwdriver or bolt-fitting bits.

If the cistern is linked to the toilet, then you only need to unscrew the toilet. If they’re separate, you’ll have to unscrew the cistern from the wall and replace both. Remove the screws or bolts and lift the toilet off the floor. This exposes the flange and the wax ring. The flange is a small circular plastic that sits above the toilet hole. The wax ring sits on top of that, linking the porcelain to the floor or wall and preventing leaks.

Wax on wax off

It’s sure to be murky and you’ll need to clean it before attaching a new toilet. Remove the used wax ring and thoroughly clean the flange, removing any old wax. If the flange is damaged, you can fix it using a home repair kit. Put it back in place – or if you prefer, buy a new one and replace it. Reposition your bolts. If your toilet uses screws, you’ll position them after lowering the toilet. Place your new wax ring with the bolts already in place, to make sure it’s in the right location.

Now lower your new toilet, slipping the anchoring holes over the bolts, and aligning the washers with the wax ring. After it’s secure, don’t wiggle it. Movement might damage the wax ring and cause toilet leaks. For screws, slip them in at this point, once the toilet’s position is locked. Screw them in, or fasten the nuts around the bolts to attach the toilet to the floor. For toilets linked to cisterns, your toilet is now ready for use. However, if the cistern is a separate unit, you’ll have to screw it onto the wall and set up the ball valve and flushing mechanism. Now reconnect the piping, open the mains, refill the cistern, and flush. It’s easy!


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New Features to Consider for Your Online Catalogue

Your online catalogue design should represent your brand and Catalogue design provide an immersive, engaging experience for the customer while maintaining a simple and informative look. After all, your catalogue is a sales tool and the more user-friendly and stylish it is the more likely customers will have a positive experience which will convert into sales.

The more positive shopping experience your customer has while shopping using your online catalogue, the more likely they will be to recommend your business to a friend, thus creating a snowball effect that will drive sales and give your business the much-needed exposure it deserves. Gone are the days of letterbox dropping paper catalogues. Online catalogues have come along leaps and bounds. They have a myriad of features such as interactivity and social media options that will help your business thrive while putting your best foot forward and clearly represent your brand.

Interactive Pages

A new feature for you to consider when designing your online catalogue design is interactive pages. Interactive pages engage the customer and it gives them the opportunity to zoom in or receive more information on the product by hovering over or clicking items. You can also create a page turning effect that gives the aesthetic of paper catalogues, further engaging the customer.

Backgrounds, Buttons, and Banners

Use backgrounds, buttons, and banners to stylize your online catalogue to keep your customers engrossed and engaged in your catalogue. Pop up banners within the catalogue will alert your customers to sales and featured products.


Online catalogues now support the use of multimedia such as animations and videos. As they say, a picture says 1000 words – well a video or infographic says a lot more. Add videos to your online catalogue to inform your customer of the best attributes of your product and make their shopping experience as streamlined as possible. Text is great to inform people, but a video is better as it makes the whole experience easier for the customers.


Your catalogue should provide a direct gateway for users to easily purchase products. Online catalogues can be connected to your website so that customer can easily view and purchase at the click of a mouse button.

Real Time Pricing

Create real-time pricing so you can keep your customer informed of any discounts and sales available. This cuts down on the time you have to spend updating your catalogue.

Catalogue design Sydney

Customized Branded User Interface

As I said earlier, your catalogue directly represents your brand. It’s natural that you would want the design to feature your company colours and logo. Customized branded user interfaces ensure that your online catalogue will stand out from the competitors. It’s now possible to completely customize catalogue interfaces from buttons all the way to navigation menus.

Page Notes and Bookmarks

This feature allows your customer to make notes and bookmarks, so they can find the product easily in the future, perfect for if they get interrupted having a read. This is great a tool for the consumer and will make them feel engaged and in control of their decision-making process from start to finish. They are more likely to purchase the product if the online catalogue browsing experience is a pleasant one.


Customers can create a wish list of products that they intend on buying. This makes the shopping process more user-friendly as the customers have a virtual shopping list. The shopping list can then be converted into a buyer order, linking you directly to the customer.

Product or Keyword Searches

Some customers will know exactly what they want before they even open your online catalogue. Providing them with search capabilities will save them flipping through your catalogue trying to find the product they are looking for. The more time you save your customer the more pleasant their shopping experience will be.

Call to Action Buttons

Call to action buttons are a great way of gaining subscribers and converting potential customers into actual customers. Once your customers are on your subscriber list you can alert them of sales and special offers. Keeping your customers informed and letting them know you’re still around will convert into more sales in the long run.

Mobile Version

Everyone has a mobile phone these days. Having a mobile version of your catalogue is paramount as more than likely a majority of your customers will be viewing your catalogue from a handheld device.

The catalogue game has changed dramatically due to the online nature of today’s market. There are many tools out there to help you convert people browsing into sales and give your business the online edge needed to survive in today’s climate. So, when it comes to designing your online brochure, have an in-depth discussion with your designer about the features you need for your catalogue.

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Chocolate Gift Baskets

My Favourite Wine And Chocolate Hampers

Wine and chocolate: two of the necessities of life that every man and woman should have access to. These gifts from Mother Earth have been enriching people lives since life began. Or something. Anyway wine and chocolate. Those two words send tingles up my spine and make my eyes light up in anticipation. They go together like peas and carrots, cocktails on the beach and Forrest and Jenny.

There is nothing like cracking a bottle of your favourite wine and indulging in some finely crafted artisanal chocolate hampers. Hmmm. Excuse me, I have just have to go the kitchen to grab something.

Ok, I’m back *cork pops, package opens*. Now let’s get down to business.

Wine and chocolate hampers are one of the best things on this planet. To give. And to receive. This post is dedicated to highlighting, in my opinion, some of the classic gift baskets filled with my two beloveds. Wine and chocolate.

The Luxury Chocolate Hamper

Oh my god, can somebody get me this for next birthday? This hamper is jam-packed with gourmet goodness, chocolate heaven, brown gold. But seriously, this hamper is in my dreams. Its packed with Zokoko Goddess chocolate’s heavenly flavours, as well as some of Byron Bay Cookie Company’s finest cookies. There are also many other goodies to get your mouth moist and drool all over the keyboard while ordering it online. It’s a complete package of bountiful delights and will fill the recipient with absolute joy.

Chocolates and Red

As the name suggests, this basket has a bottle of red wine and chocolate. Not just any chocolate and not just any wine. The gift basket features a bottle of premium DArenberg Shiraz. One of McLaren Vale’s finest Shiraz paired with an array of the finest chocolates and caramels to tantalize your taste buds and send a warm fuzzy feeling over your brain, down your spine and all the way to the very tips of your toes. Whoa.

Chocolate Bliss

Sweet, sweet chocolate bliss. That’s where this gift basket will send the receiver. This basket contains everything chocolate. Where do I start? Ok. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate rocky road, chocolate fudge biscuits, chocolate fudge, and chocolate salted caramel melting moments. Whoa, that was a mouthful and so will the chocolates be, when I stuff my face with as many as I can fit in, all at once. Excuse me while I fetch a napkin and wipe the keyboard.

Gift Hampers

The Sparkling Surprise Gift Basket

This gifts basket is bit lighter and more bubbly. It features some sparkling brut wine and a mix of white and dark chocolates. To mix it up, the Sparkling Surprise Gift Basket also contains some chocolate coated peanuts. This is a great basket that will be a welcome surprise for the lucky person that receives it.

The Wine Lover

For the wine lover, obviously. This basket contains two bottles of liquid gold. DArenberg shiraz and a beautiful prosecco that would be perfect paired with some of your favourite cheeses. It also comes with a wine dictionary so you can talk the talk as well as you can drink the wine. Next time you have friends over for some wine you will be able to impress them with your new found vocabulary as you describe the fruity tones of tannins with poise and composure.

Death by Chocolate

And what a way to die. I could think of plenty of other worse ways to die than overdosing on chocolate. In the Death by Chocolate hamper, there is a mountain of chocolate to eat from all different chocolatiers from around the world. So start at the base and eat your way to the peak. You probably won’t die from consumption. I think death, in this case, is referring to you being sent to heaven by this delicious hamper.

You can’t really go wrong when gifting someone with wine or chocolate. There are not too many people on the face of the earth that would turn their nose at these two gifts from God. Well not even a gift from God. It will be a gift from you. So next time you need to shop for that lucky someone, jump online and check the extensive range of gift baskets and hampers online and take the guess work out of buying gifts. Chocolate and wine is a winning combination and will always be.


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gourmet baskets melbourne

Gift Baskets for Dad This Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably already planning what to get your old man or husband to treat them on their special day.

Sometimes it can be difficult finding the perfect gift and running up and down in your local mall just doesn’t seem like such a great idea when everyone else has the same idea in mind.

There is one gift that always keeps on giving and that’s a gift basket or hamper. Nowadays they are so fancy and filled with quality and incredibly yummy and beautiful things to enjoy.

The Father’s Day gift basket is no exception and we’ve taken the hard work out of it for you.

Here are a few of the best gift baskets available online. All you have to do is choose the perfect one for you dad and they deliver it for you. You can even do it while sitting outside with a nice cup of coffee, no crowds in sight.

Pamper Him

This gift basket delivers exactly what it promises, absolute pampering goodness. No dad will be able to resist all the goodies that this gift provides.

This gift basket includes:

  • One Size Fits All Super Soft Quality Men’s Bathrobe
  • Tempus Two Pewter 2014 Shiraz Wine
  • 100g Salted Cashews
  • 40g Deliciously Indulgent Chocolates
  • Face Towel
  • 400ml Gentlemen’s Hardware Sandalwood Hair and Body Wash
  • 100ml Gentlemen’s Hardware Sandalwood Post Shave Lotion
  • Gentlemen’s Hardware Shaving Brush with Stand
  • 125g Gentlemen’s Hardware Sandalwood Shaving Soap & Enamel Shaving Bowl
  • Designer Gift Box

hampers sydney

Ultimate Foodies Hamper

This one is for the foodie dads out there who love trying new things that tickle the palate. It’s filled with delicious gourmet treats that he will hate to share with everyone who will be asking:”How does it taste, dad?”

This gift basket includes:

  • Baylies Gourmet Crackers with Sesame Seeds 130g
  • Brewer’s Nut Company Premium Nut Mix 120g
  • Kangaroo Island OlivesKalamataOlives 185g
  • Gourmet Regional Produce Roasted Eggplant Tapenade 60g
  • Gourmet Regional Produce Chargrilled Capsicum & Fetta Tapenade 60g
  • Luke Mangan Tasmanian Quince Paste 60g
  • Morgan’s Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans 175g
  • Byron Bay Cookie Triple Choc Fudge 150g
  • Morgan’s Popcorn Toffee Peanut Crunch 135g
  • Trentham Tucker Cranberry & Pistachio Crispbread 150g
  • Willie’s Cacao Milk Of The Gods ‘Rio Caribe 44’ Milk Chocolate 50g
  • Willie’s Sierra Leone 70% Dark Chocolate Ginger & Lime 50g
  • Butlers Chocolate Truffles 100g
  • Calvi ‘Mosto Oro’ Extra Virgin Olive Oil 250ml
  • Salted Caramel Sauce by Black St. Gourmet 200ml
  • Tasmanian Black Truffle Paste by Black St. Gourmet 100g

Moët Nectar Imperial Hamper

Champagne and chocolate for the dad who loves the sweeter and finer things in life.

This hamper includes:

  • Morgan’s Honey Roasted Peanuts 175g
  • Morgan’s French Vanilla Almonds 175g
  • Morgan’s Milk Chocolate Pretzels 135g
  • The Woods Farm Macadamia Pure Butter Shortbread 175g
  • The Woods Farm Pure Butter Shortbread 175g
  • The Woods Caramalised Toffee Brittle
  • Moët &Chandon Nectar Impérial
  • Willie’s Venezuelan Pure White Chocolate 50g
  • Ernest Hiller Milk Chocolate Macadamias 240g
  • Ernest Hillier Milk Chocolate Scorched Almonds 240g
  • Ernest Hillier Chocolate Coated Fruit & Nut Selection 24
  • Ernest Hillier Berry Chocs Selection 240g
  • Butlers Gold Box Chocolate Assortment 100g
  • Gourmet Regional Produce Apricot & Armagnac Conserve 85g

Beer Wine and Snacks

This gift basket is the dad personified, hands down our favourite on the list because it is simple and has all the perfect goodies for a Saturday afternoon watching sport and enjoying some proper dad time.

This gift basket includes:

  • Two Churches Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 750ml, Barossa Valley
  • 4 Crown Lager 375ml
  • Peckish Rice Crackers 100g
  • Snax with Attitude Jamaican Cocktail Nibbles 100g

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spider control sydney

Do Spiders Nest?

When you hear the word nest, you probably think of wasps, birds, or maybe expectant cats during kitten season. The nest is the place mother animals (and insects) prepare for their babies. In this sense, it doesn’t seem like spiders nest. After all, they have webs, right? Well, it turns out spiders do nest after all, and their nest isn’t necessarily in their web.

A spider’s nest is the casing that protects her eggs. Sometimes, she leaves it in her web, wrapped in an extra layer of web silk. Other times, she carries it around with her, so she can keep it safe at all times. A nest can hold hundreds of spider eggs at any one time, and if you break it open, you might just spray the eggs everywhere.

That’s why it’s a good idea to leave nest-hunting to the professionals. You can identify the areas where the nest might be, but in terms if disposal, call an exterminator. Whether a spider has her nest on her body or she left it at home, spotting the web is the best strategy. If the spider isn’t in it at the time, you can watch and wait for her to come back.

Town spider vs country spider

Statistics suggest the average person is more afraid of spiders than they are of death. Oddly, the average spider is more afraid of us than we are of them. That’s why they spin their webs in quiet, dark, idle spaces where they’re less likely to interact with us. They will locate webs in the corners of the ceiling where we rarely look, giving them a clear view of any potential threats – including us.

Residential pest control

They also enjoy cluttered, dimly lit spaces. The clutter proves these places are rarely visited so traffic is low. It also provides lots of surfaces they can use to frame their webs. A spider can make a web in less than an hour, so even if you brush it off, she can soon replace it. That said, she won’t keep coming back to a spot you regularly sweep, because she prefers to remain isolated and undisturbed.

Sometimes, spiders make their webs on door frames, behind hinges, or next to windows. This may seem counter-intuitive because these areas do get traffic. In this case, the spider’s need for sustenance outweighs its need for privacy. How so? Well, these are often the entryways for other pests, so by positioning its web there, the spider increases its chances of trapping food on its way into the house.

Spiders in the wild

Meanwhile bush spiders tend to build webs in areas with high insect populations. They’ll still prefer a dark area, safe from predators and high off the ground. They frequently frame their webs between tree branches. That’s why you often feel unseen spider silk on your face when you’re walking beneath an overhanging tree.

Nesting habits vary by location and species. Some spiders wrap the egg sac in silk then hang it in a secluded portion of the web. When the eggs hatch, they’re free to make their own way. Other spiders build designer webs, customised for hatchlings. These baby webs have spaces the baby spiders can play in, but the small spiders can’t get out of the web without their mother’s help. This way, they are sealed off from predators.

Because bursting a spider’s egg casing can break it open and disperse them, you need to be careful when brushing cobwebs. Check them first, to see if there are any nests in them. Remove the egg sacs individually, then brush the web. You can also remove webs using a high pressure hose, or vacuum cleaner.

Don’t rush to squish

Remember that swatting individual spiders leaves their nests intact, so they can still hatch and spread. Follow the spider home and find its hatchlings, then dispose of the whole family in one go. However, keep in mind that many spiders are harmless, and that they can even be helpful, eating other household insects and keeping your home pest-free.

At the same time, getting rid of these other pests reduces your spider food supply, so that’s another way to resolve your spider problem. Routinely clean the low-traffic areas of your home to prevent spiders from moving in. You should also clear bushes around the house, and keep any stacked wood about ten metres from the house. This prevents spiders and other bushland pests residing outdoors from accessing the house.


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What is Erectile Tissue?

Erectile tissue in the human body is tissue that becomes hard when filled with blood. Erectile tissue in males can be found in the penis amongst other places such as the ears and nose, but the one area this article will focus on is the penis.

The penis consists of three segments that contain erectile tissue. The first two segments in the penis with erectile tissue are called the Corpus Cavernosa and third is called Spongiosum.  The Corpus Cavernosa is aptly named for its for its cave like appearance. They provide the lining for the penis shaft and join at the head. The Corpus Spongiosum is named as it feels like a sponge.

The tissue in the penis works together to ensure that penis responds to arousal and is erect enough to engage in sexual activity, if this is so desired – sometimes it fills with blood and is aroused even when it’s not desired!

The chamber in the Corpus Cavernosa tissue fills with blood as the penis becomes erect which allows it to be physically inserted in the vagina. The Corpus Spongiosum remains malleable and sponge-like which allows the penis to ejaculate semen after reaching climax.  When a man no longer can get or maintain an erection this ailment is called erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction can warrant cause for concern, not only in difficulties getting or maintaining an erection,but because the ailment may be an indicator of an underlying health issues that needs to be addressed.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Causes of erectile tissue dysfunction

Male stimulation and sexual arousal is a process that involves many different systems of the human body. It involves hormones, the brain, the circulatory system, muscles and blood vessels and erectile dysfunction may result because anyone or multiple aspects of this system are not functioning healthily. The mental impact of erectile dysfunction can exacerbate the problem, due to the negative physiological effects causing stress and depression.

There are many physical causes of erectile dysfunction that should be considered by your doctor when undergoing diagnosis. Lack of sleep can be a contributing factor and if you have ever been sleep deprived due to a busy schedule you’ll notice that you also lose your sex drive. This will have an affect your ability to get and maintain an erection.

Heart disease and other circulatory system-related illnesses will also affect your erection due to that lack of blood flow to the penis. Obesity is another contributing factor to erectile dysfunction. A recent study found that obese men had lower testosterone levels, which lowers your sex drive and ability to maintain an erection. The study also found that high blood pressure, a condition that correlates with obesity, is also linked with erectile dysfunction. Prescription medications such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotics which effect the brain’s serotonin inhibitors and cause erectile dysfunction.

There are many more diseases that may be affecting your performance in bed. The best thing to do is consult your doctor and explain your circumstances and your lifestyle so they can make an accurate diagnosis.

Erectile dysfunction can be an embarrassing disease and have negative effects on your physical and mental health.  Erectile dysfunction can also suggest that you have an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. If you think you have a problem maintaining an erection, you should consult your local physician to see what steps you can take to resolve the issue. It may be as simple as losing some weight, eating healthy, and exercising. Erectile dysfunction can be debilitating but doesn’t have to be as long as you’re willing to recognise you have the condition and seek help from your doctor who will get you back to your peak sexual performance.

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Wood Heaters

Make a Statement With These Stylish Fireplaces

Your furnace is one part of your home décor that can be as functional as it is beautiful. In addition to keeping you warm and elevating your social status in the eyes if your house guests, it can also be a loud testament to your sense of style. In the old days, wood-burners were rustic and gas heaters were modern. The deline-ation isn’t as clear nowadays.

Your wood furnace could have greenstart technology that gives your logs one-touch lighting, or a heat bank that eliminates every last trace of smoke. It might even use wood pellets over conventional logs, produce fewer sparks, hardly release any emissions. At the other end, if you’re not a fan of inbuilt wood fireplaces, Sydney offers gas burners with flaming logs that never quite turn to ash.

Similarly, your electric fireplace could have designer features that make it look and sound just like a live fire, down to the dancing flames and crackling sparks. They can be operated by remote, and if all you want is a pretty view, you can shut down the heat and just enjoy the magical firelights. Some furnaces even have coloured flames in red, blue, green, and purple.

Coonara Settler Ranch Freestanding Fireplace

For an interesting mix of convenience and modernity, try the Coonara freestanding unit. Beneath the burner, there’s a cute little slot where you can stack your logs, just like in the countryside. However, these logs in no way detract from the up-to-date ambience of your living room because the heater is loaded with right angles, clean lines, cubic shapes, and a metallic finish that embodies 21st century style.

This unit is designed and built in Australia and features a large glass viewing panel that’s a little over 40cm by 30cm, and an easy to open insulated handle. Although it’s a wood-burner, it has its own electrical three-speed fan for even heat distribution. Its heating range is a bit over 20m2, and it burns with an efficiency of 73% and emission rate of just 1.3g/kg. If you’d like the chimney flue included in your package, it can be designed to rise one storey.

Wood Heaters Sydney

Dimplex Mocca Opti-Myst Electric Fire

You don’t need any optimism to believe in this fireplace. It’s a fully portable unit, so you can take it wherever you want – from room to room, or even to a campsite (if it has electrical outlets). It comes with a 2 year warranty, so you know it’s a quality piece, and you can order it in black or white. Opti-myst technology gives you the look of fire without the fuss.

The furnace has a water chamber that is heated up to release ultra-fine mist. The furnace also has artificial logs and stones, which serve as a bed for the ‘fire’ and ‘smoke’. Light from these technological elements reflects against the foggy particles to create mesmerising wisps of smoke and the hazy illusion of live flames. It’s an immensely realistic wonder in 3D.

As for the fireplace itself, its attractively curvy pillar shape is gorgeous to see and touch. Beneath the viewing panel is a storage slot for decorative logs, adding to the realism. When the water tank is full, the furnace can burn continuously for up to 8 hours. The whole system is swift and silent, so there’s no bubbling or crackling in this ultrasonic technology. The unit also includes a thermostat, and can be operated by remote.

Lopi ProBuilder 72 Linear Gas Fireplace

You can make a statement with a massive, flatscreen TV and endure the cracks about what you may be compensating for. Buuuut you can make an even bigger statement with a horizontal fireplace, which – for some unknown reason – is rarely associated with phallic imagery. Might be something to do with the heat.

The 72 inch Lopi is the king of Lopi gas fireplaces in Sydney. It sits snugly in its chosen location, flush against the wall. It has the dual effect of widening your square footage, because it doesn’t occupy floor space and it elongates the room, opening it up and making it seem more airy. Plus, because it’s a gas burner, it won’t smoke up the room or make it stuffy.

It has a standard wall switch, an opt-in remote control, and will continue to burn even when the power is off. Inside the viewing panel, you can select burning media of crushed coloured glass, stone, or artificial logs that will never burn through or produce a single ashy speck. Its fans are unobtrusively silent, and it can spread heat for up to 200 square metres.

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plumbers Sydney

Create Your Own Plumber’s Emergency Kit

Plumber’s rates are quite high. Their work is complex, highly skilled, and in demand, but they also resolve a lot of messes that we’d probably rather not have to deal with ourselves. That said, it might help if you can buck up and handle at least some of your own plumbing. It will save you a lot of money, and you’ll be quite proud of your achievements because there’s a certain immeasurable pleasure from working with your hands.

Start by putting together your own plumber’s emergency kit. Think of it as a first aid kit for your kitchen sink, toilet, or bathroom. There are some minor plumbing difficulties that you can fix on your own, and you can always find a tutorial on YouTube. Your emergency kit will also contain basic tips on handling some of these minor plumbing problems. However, there are other situations where you’ll need to call in a pro, like a malfunctioning heater or an inaccessible burst pipe.

Basic Equipment

You should always have two plungers in your home – a sink plunger and a toilet plunger, sometimes called a cup plunger. The difference is the toilet plunger has a flange extension at the end. The flange holds the curve in the toilet bowl more securely, blocking off air and giving you more suction. Even if you have a tool box, when you’re dealing with a plumbing issue, use a 20 litre bucket as a temporary hold-all for your tools.

The bucket will give you easier access than the tool box, and it can also hold any overflow from your leak. If you want, you can use a tool organiser, which the Americans call a tool caddy. It’s a bit like a tool box, but it has an open top, so you can get to the tools more easily. You can buy one at any hardware store, or make one at home. Plumbing tools should be waterproof and rustproof, so make sure you buy the right quality to avoid corrosion.

emergency plumbing

Multipurpose Tools

In addition to plungers, you need an adjustable spanner and adjustable pliers. You may see them described using their American names, wrench and slip-joint pliers respectively. Two more multipurpose essentials are hex keys and multipurpose screwdrivers. Hex keys are more commonly known by their most popular brand, Allen. So you might find Allen keys labelled as Allen wrenches, or multipurpose screwdrivers described as multibit screwdrivers.

It helps to know the American names of these tools, in case you’re shopping online and end up lost in translation. Finally, you want some duct tape and insulation tape, or as they call it, leak sealing tape. You could also get a spool of plumber’s tape / Teflon tape, and blind caps in assorted sizes. Both the tape and the caps are essential for working with leaks. Don’t forget to have a stockpile of paper towels and absorbent disposable media.

Emergency Tips

It’s important to have ‘plumbing road map’ to your house. Know where the water mains connections are, and the shut-off valves for individual sinks and toilets. Once in a while, turn the shut-offs(isolation valves) to ensure they still work. If they stay unused for too long, the taps could get stuck in place and you’d need pliers or a spanner to dislodge them, so turn the valve off and on again … or on and off again, depending on its usual position.

When you’re resolving a plumbing issue and the water is at high pressure, use two spanners, pushing them in different directions. This allows the spanners to act as shock absorbers, relieving the pressure off the piping. The technique is called ‘backing off’. When you begin any plumbing task, your initial tool should be pliers, not spanners. Use the pliers to loosen the nuts first, then get the adjustable spanner to finish off.

Cracks and clogs

First aid for a leak is to use a blind cap. It keeps the water in place until you can figure out the source of the dripping and repair it. The leak may be caused by worn out threads, or by a scratch or dent in a supply pipe. Plumber’s tape is a good temporary fix. Cracked pipes can be held together with insulation tape for a little while.

For clogged sinks, drains, or toilets, start with a plunger then progress to a toilet snake. If your blocked sink has two drains, use two plungers. The second plunger should cover the drain that you’re not plunging, so that the force pushes the blockage down instead of pushing it up the other drain.

If the clog is in a bathtub, remove the drain cap so you have a clearer view of the blockage, You can then pull out whatever is blocking it (probably hair), or use the plunge to push it further down into the sewers. On the other hand if you’re repairing a garbage disposal or a tap, Allen keys are more helpful than screwdrivers or spanners.


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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas For Your Boss

What kind of boss do you have? Is she the laid back easy type that pals around with you and listens to your opinion, or is she more about the chain of command and keeps a formal distance? Either way, getting her a gift for her birthday is a good way to foster positive feelings. And if you don’t know her birthday (or even if you do), then Mother’s Day is just as good an excuse to buy a gift hampers for Her. You could go solo or chip in with your colleagues to raise the budget.

Be sure to talk to her secretary, who probably knows her better than her spouse does, making the PA a great Mother’s Day equivalent of ‘secret Santa’s helper’. Once you have a clearer concept of what your boss generally likes – or maybe she even painted a sharper picture of her gift preference – you can start shopping.

Premium chocolate and a robe

Everybody loves a plush bathrobe, that’s why we keep stealing them from hotel rooms. Offer your boss a snuggle-worthy gift box that contains a warm, fluffy robe made with a super soft pile. The hamper also has a luxury selection of chocolate from Koko Black plus a complimentary gift card. If you’d like to add a celebratory touch, you can have a specialty bottle of vino added to the hamper for an additional fee.

Alternatively, you could buy her a Recipe for Relaxation hamper. It doesn’t come with a bathrobe (though you can add one) but it does have a pink micro plush throw blanket in a blushing shade of pink. To sate her sweet tooth, the gift box has melting moments and chocolate bark, and to soother her spirits, there’s a scented candle and a hug-me mug.

Girly gin and tonic

If your boss loves her spirits, give her the chance to be wild for a night and be a funky mummy. This luxury gift basket contains such delights as rhubarb & ginger in, and yes, it’s pink. The basket also has two bottles of Fever Tree tonic. The hamper also has caramel popcorn and natural green olives complete with a pit.

The hamper is delicately packaged in a white willow basket perfect for picnics, mummies’ movie nights, or book club meetings. You can have a personalised message added to the hamper, and if you use their delivery service, you’ll receive an email alert once the hamper is safely in the hands of your boss.

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Foodie’s delight

Is your boss a gourmet food lover with possible roots in the UK? Give her a little hankering for a home with this batch of made-in-UK goodies. It’s a delicious mix of savory and sweet that will tingle her tongue in pleasure, and there’s lots of comfort food in here too. Some of the gift basket items are Olive’s olives, crunchy cookies and chocolate flapjacks from Grandma Wild, and Monty Bojangles Flutter Scotch.

There’s also Prices ham, lemon and blackcurrant preserve, Elizabeth Shaw flutes, orange marmalade, orange segments, Nibnib’s rosemary breadsticks, and Baxter’s canned soups. To top it off, there’s fudge, redcurrant jelly, and new berry fruit, not forgetting pickles and English tea. For the next few weeks, every tea-time will offer your boss a taste of England.

Chocolate bouquets

Some mothers like to keep it simple. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated. If your boss is that kind of a mum, you don’t have to be too adventurous in your gift selection. Just buy her a massive bouquet. Not flowers though. Those are trite, and everyone else will buy roses and lilies. Plus, since they’ll all be bought on the same day, they’ll go bad at the same rate.

So one morning, her office will be full of sweet-smelling blooms, and three days later, everything will be dull and wilted. Who wants to be responsible for that? Instead, snoop around and find out her favorite brand of chocolate. Then, get her a bouquet of them. They’re packaged just like flowers, complete with a ribbon, and are available in single brands, pairs, or mixes.

Try Lindor and Ferrero Rocher, or Maltesers and Galaxy. Alternatively, get a mix of classics, or a Cadburys pre-selected variety pack. You might even go all out and buy a mixed bouquet with chocolate gift hamper, silk roses, and scented candles, all in a pretty bunch. And these roses are made of fabric, so they’ll last forever. Hand-wash only.

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