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Saturday, 10 June 2006

This post is for careful householders, especially those in New South Wales.

Sydney is on a consumption reduction drive. 'WaterFix' is a good deal for householders. Spend $22.00 and they install a new shower head (and arm), check for leaks, replace all washers in your home, and install water-efficient aerators on your taps.

Keith is a contractor with Sydney Water and has been a plumber since the age of 15. He services 10 homes every day. There's plenty of work for contractors, and since leaving full-time employment with Sydney Water a decade ago, he's been fully employed. He arrived on time — just as I got home yesterday — and worked quickly to finish the job within half an hour.

My new shower head — haven't even used it yet — is called a 'Bermuda Flexispray'. When you twist the bottom of the head to the left the flow diverts and out shoots a thumping stream of water. Twist it back and the flow reverts to a gentle shower.

The company is making it easy for home owners to upgrade their water delivery systems. They make appointments after hours and on weekends. Keith says that if he wanted to work all weekend, there's plenty of work. He covers a different area every day. Yesterday he was in the Sutherland area and tomorrow it'll be somewhere else. Each home he services looks to save 21,000 litres of water annually.

After he left, John Moses the electrician popped over. John is also excellent value. He lives just up the street here in Campsie and will come out for emergencies any time, weekends included. This time it was to install a smoke alarm. These devices are now legally required in all homes in New South Wales. Legislation that was enacted recently came into force on 1 May and by 1 November you must have one installed or face a $500.00 fine. John isn't sure who will be policing the requirements, but he thinks it will be the municipal council.

The new alarm is a Clipsal Firetek and it runs on mains power with a 9-volt battery backup. Installation and alarm unit conform to AS 3786 standards. John says to change the battery every two years. He charged me $88.00 for installing the alarm plus $5.00 to repair a sagging light fixture in the hall outside my bathroom.

Thanks John! Thanks Keith!

P.S. Used the shower before going out this morning. It feels much lighter than previously, with the old shower head. But it's quite adequate for my needs.

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