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Where’s the water going?

By Gerry-Built 13 July 2010 21

A friend, who has lived in the first stage of Macgregor West for about 18 months, recently received an unusual water bill; featuring excess water charges of well over $400.

This is unusual for many reasons, but mostly because it is only her living there, and besides the usual washing and toileting, she uses very little water (and has no garden). ACTEW says that beyond the water meter, all problems are the householders – and at their insistence, she has hired two separate plumbers to investigate the problem.

The first found no problem, but pressure tested the system finding no leaks. The second plumber got her to turn everything off in the house (despite the fact the toilet and outside taps are fed by the 2500ltr water tank out the back) – only to find that over the next 24 hours she used over 500 litres. The second plumber has decided that the Davey Rainbank system, that diverts rainwater to the rainwater tank for washing, irrigation and toilet water supply, topping up supply with town water as required) is the problem, and has temporarily bypassed the system.

Going for a walk and talking to her neighbours, she has discovered this is likely to be a widespread problem, as each of the five householders she spoke to had the same problem (and a well-known media program has filmed footage for a possible segment).

However, The Village Building Company has denied any responsibility, with the Company’s maintainance guy having visited and saying the Rainbank is not faulty.

I am just wondering if any readers out there have had the same problem, or are aware of problems with the MacWest plumbing (or indeed, the Davey Rainbank product or newer suburbs’ plumbing). Also – any advice on how to proceed? Having plumbers out to investigate has cost a small fortune in addition to the original excess water charge.

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Where’s the water going?
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dungfungus 6:18 pm 05 Feb 12

Gerry-Built said :

lobster said :

Maybe the hot water system is leaking?

right on the money lobster. Village sent someone out this morning and found it (and I am assuming fixed it). The Dux solar hot water system can have issues with Canberra climate in winter. My friend is much happier and stress free than she has been for a couple of weeks(but considerably out-of-pocket)…

Dux have apparently extended their warranty in the ACT region. If this is a known fault; something needs to be done to rectify the problem BEFORE it happens in the hundreds of systems fitted (especially if out of the extended warranty period) – not after thousands of litres of water have literally gone down the drain and householders (in *NEW* houses) have been forced to pay thousands of dollars to Actew and independent plumbers. Perhaps the person at Village who printed this post and sent it out with the maintainance guy might like to get on to Dux to help recompense those affected by what amounts to products that are not up to their intended purpose. If you have a Dux solar hot water system – probably a good idea to get that valve looked at if your water bill becomes unexpectedly high during the colder months… Hopefully that Rainbank functions ‘normally’ when it is reinstalled…

I have one of the Dux Aeroheat “Solar” HWS (retrofitted with the sub-zero chip) and it is saving me heaps in electricity. When I had it installed I put a bucket under the overflow tap to collect garden water and it was filling twice a day which was too much as far as I was concerned. The Dux people sent a plumber around and they replaced the mains pressure valve – he said this had been a common problem. I am now lucky to get a bucketful a fortnight from the overflow. I can’t understand why water tanks are required when we have reticulated water which we pay for both the fixed supply cost and the useage. Who made them mandatory and why?

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