New heating system - plumber woes

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a twig
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by a twig » Tue 3rd Nov, 2020 9:09 pm

I don't understand why people plaster in water pipes, previous owner did it in our place and the temperature changes crack and re-crack the plaster every few months

Surface mount copper pipes and either polish them or paint them. Saves so many problems later

Feltwell
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Tue 3rd Nov, 2020 9:43 pm

Hmm - I can see why folks want to do it, I don't particularly like them being on display. I've managed here to move most of the really obvious floor to ceiling pipes to the inside of built-in cupboards, just would have been nice of the original plumber to think of doing this. Probably related to the electrician who fitted surface pattresses everywhere instead of recessed back boxes :roll: In fairness that was probably the owner not willing to pay!

RBailey
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by RBailey » Wed 4th Nov, 2020 7:55 am

a twig wrote:
Tue 3rd Nov, 2020 9:09 pm
Surface mount copper pipes and either polish them
We have done this in a few locations and added brass pipe clips, adds a touch of "period" quirk in some places.

ElectronicFur
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by ElectronicFur » Mon 9th Nov, 2020 12:22 am

I looked into these unvented cylinders, but the cons I found was that they require annual service due to being pressurised, and they don't really solve the pressure problem if your mains pressure isn't great in the first place.

Our place came with a 38kW combi boiler with a 100 litre bladder expansion tank before it. But even with that expansion tank, if the toilet is flushed or the washing machine pumping the shower pressure drops right down.

But haven't decided what to do about it yet.

Feltwell
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Mon 9th Nov, 2020 9:18 am

Yes, they do need a service, but it's not much I'm told. If someone is coming out to do the gas boiler anyway it shouldn't make much difference to the cost.

Mains pressure - absolutely! Ours is OK, a little low in the house but the pipework drops to 15mm as soon as the underground service pipe enters - an outside tap directly off a 25mm branch to the service pipe has plenty of pressure, so change that internal pipework to 22mm and I think we'll be OK.

If you've got low pressure coming in I guess the only option is to install pumps.

My problem at the moment is getting people to quote! The plumber I liked on his visit is now not being very forthcoming with a quote. I have one from another firm who seem ot have a good reputation, but it's for a brand of boiler that I don't ideally want.

I can't see why it wouldn't be an attractive job - quite straightforward and a few £k. It is the busiest time of year for plumbers, maybe I'm better off leaving it until the spring, though I'd like to get it sorted before I start taking bathrooms to pieces. However that also has a delay - a long awaited operation on my leg has surprisingly just been rebooked for December, that was done just before lockdown though so I'm 50/50 if it will actually happen!

Feltwell
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Wed 11th Nov, 2020 7:30 pm

One option for ElectronicFur - a cold water accumulator.

https://pumpexpress.co.uk/explaining-co ... umulators/

ElectronicFur
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by ElectronicFur » Thu 12th Nov, 2020 8:40 pm

Yeah, I think that is the same thing as the bladder expansion tank that we've already got, but it doesn't help. Maybe 100l is not enough.

Cubist
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Cubist » Fri 27th Nov, 2020 5:52 pm

A few years back I replaced the old Belfast sink in our kitchen, damn thing was so deep it made my back ache to wash the dishes. Bottom line is that I found that all the plumbing underneath had been done with push fittings by someone that was either raving mad or stoned out their brains judging by how they had routed the pipe-work.

When I disconnected the services from the mixer tap the whole lot collapsed on the floor like a pile of spaghetti. Never to be untangled, needless to say, and replaced with good old copper and blow-torch.

Feltwell
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Tue 1st Dec, 2020 7:13 pm

Finally found a plumber for the brand of boiler I want who actually comes out and quotes! He gets good reviews online and seems to know his stuff, so fingers crossed.....

Next tradesman required - a Sparky, move the Consumer Unit from it's current oh-so-handy position (on full view in the hallway, about 12' in the air :roll: ) to an understairs cupboard that's nearby - not near enough though, the cables will need jointing & extending.

88v8
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by 88v8 » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 10:22 am

Last year I had our CU moved about three feet upwards, which was funny when they sent a midget meter-reader this week.

Anyway, If the incomer needs lengthening, the Supply Co may insist on replacing it back to the street. They weren't prepared to add anything to ours. Luckily the meter tails were just long enough.

Ivor

Feltwell
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 10:43 am

Luckily. no such issues. The incomer comes into the cellar, where the meter and various other gubbins are also located. There's a big switch(*) attached from which a 16mm cable leads off to my consumer unit on the floor above. So the cables are all mine to extend. Sparky has been out and is quite happy about doing it, extending cables using maintenance free connection units under the floor. He's also suggested having a CU with RCBO's in - so instead of the current setup where an earth fault causes the whole house to trip out, any fault or short will just cause the circuit it is on to trip - which sounds look a sensible move.

(*) Is it just me that with any large electrical switch has an overwhelming urge to say "MORE POWER IGOR" in an overly theatrical, Hammer-house-of-horror style whilst throwing the switch? Oh it is just me? Oh well :wink:

Flyfisher
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Flyfisher » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 12:15 pm

I’m having a CU moved soon. The meter is in an outbuilding and feeds in to a “more power Igor” ( :wink: ) 100A switch before a large SWA cable (nearly 50mm diameter) routes power to the house CU being moved, so nothing affecting the incoming supply. Fortunately, the new location is such that the SWA supply cable can be shortened so no jointing will be required in our case.

Although the CU is only about 10 years old it’s not metal so won’t meet latest regs and I suspect it will need to be changed (forgot to ask our electrician about that). RCBOs are a good idea to help prevent a fault tripping out the entire house, although ‘split’ CUs with dual RCDs have been a thing for many years so a single fault shouldn’t trip out all power to the entire house and at least one lighting circuit should remain live. I’m not sure about what the latest regs say about this or which edition introduced what, but since moving the CU is a job for our electrician I’ll let him worry about that.

Craig89
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Craig89 » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 1:25 pm

I moved our CU from in the hallway too, mine was moved to the other side of the house in the utility at the back. The incoming fuse and meter remains in the hallway but they can just be housed in a cupboard and forgot about.

Thankfully mine were all new circuits so no extending of cables required. If I were in a position where I would need to extend cables though I think I would want to use through crimps, these are a permanent joint. You say your sparky mentioned maintenance free connections, I may be wrong but I suspect he is referring to "WAGO" connections, yes these are good and technically are "maintenance free" (because they don't have screws) but they are not a permanent connection. Of course, if they are accessible (in your cellar for instance then this is less important)

Regarding RCBOs, they are certainly the way to go if you can stomach the initial cost, my Wylex board with RCBOs come in at around £400 - £500 as opposed to £100 - £200 for a dual split RCD (which are still perfectly acceptable from a regs point of view). As mentioned the RCBO only trips the faulty circuit this not only is less of a nuisance than tripping half the house but it also identifies straight away what circuit the fault is on so you get a head start fault finding.

Feltwell
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 2:11 pm

Flyfisher wrote:
Sun 6th Dec, 2020 12:15 pm
Although the CU is only about 10 years old it’s not metal so won’t meet latest regs and I suspect it will need to be changed (forgot to ask our electrician about that).
I don't think so - sparky asked me if I wanted to move the current plastic, 1990-ish one - mind you if I'd said "Yes" then that could have started a "You're not supposed to do that" conversation!
Craig89 wrote:
Sun 6th Dec, 2020 1:25 pm
You say your sparky mentioned maintenance free connections, I may be wrong but I suspect he is referring to "WAGO" connections, yes these are good and technically are "maintenance free" (because they don't have screws) but they are not a permanent connection. Of course, if they are accessible (in your cellar for instance then this is less important)

Regarding RCBOs, they are certainly the way to go if you can stomach the initial cost, my Wylex board with RCBOs come in at around £400 - £500 as opposed to £100 - £200 for a dual split RCD (which are still perfectly acceptable from a regs point of view). As mentioned the RCBO only trips the faulty circuit this not only is less of a nuisance than tripping half the house but it also identifies straight away what circuit the fault is on so you get a head start fault finding.
Apparently the maintenance free junction boxes are similar to WAGOs, in that you insert the bare cable and they grip them - the maintenance free bit coming from not needing to check periodically that screws are tight as in the older type screw terminal junction boxes. I don't see how they could come loose, but I have found one here where they were - if that was down to the original installer or not I've no idea. These junctions will be going under floorboards, he assures me they're the best ones to use and he is a sole trader with a very good reputation so I do trust him.

Currently I have a CU where there is an RCD on all the circuits for sockets, but just MCBs on the lighting circuits, so if the single RCD trips the lights don't go out. RCBOs do sound better but I didn't realise there was such a price difference - ahh well, I await the quote! :?

It's not an *essential* job, but at the moment the CU is on full display in our hallway plus it's about 11' in the air - so if it trips you have to fetch a ladder. It'll be going in our airing cupboard, which is under the stairs to the attic, you'll just need to crouch down to get at it - so it's both out of sight and easily accessible. I'm getting it done now because shortly there will be a much bigger cylinder and lots of extra plumbing bits going in there for a new heating system, and they will make the CU move more awkward.

a twig
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Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by a twig » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 7:35 pm

We just did our CU in the new place about 3 weeks ago, 10 circuits, was only £150 extra on the total to go full RCBO so was a complete no brainer. Very pleased with the results.

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