Monday, 19 August 2013

New Build Site

We are currently carrying out the plumbing, heating and gas installation in nine new build bungalows.
 Here is Joe one of our engineers installing first fix pipework prior to plasterers coming in. All the plumbing and heating pipes are in plastic due to cost and to deter theft as it has no scrap value. This seems to be the case now in all new build schemes.

This is a pipe drop which will be serving a radiator. It is enclosed in capping and will be covered over by plasterboard. A metallic tape is stuck onto the face of the capping so the presence of the pipes can be detected later with a cable / metal detecting device. There are blanks on the end of the pipes so we can pressure test them.
 10mm branches off the main heating circuit are routed to radiator positions in one continuous run without the need for joints.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A Bit of Plumbers History

When I was an apprentice {1980 - 1984} with I.C.I .we did a lot of work with lead pipes. Indeed it was still a large part of the Plumbing City & Guilds syllabus back then. I.C.I. owned an estate of houses adjacent to their factory all of which were plumbed out entirely in lead pipe. Interestingly these streets, two straight roads and a crescent, if viewed from above spelt I.C.I.
We spent a lot of time repairing lead pipes and doing wiped joints just like this one in my picture in those houses. Some of the Plumbers who I was apprenticed to actually lived on 'The Estate' as it was known. The square thing in the picture is one of my old wiping cloths with which we moulded the molten solder into shape. You had to be fairly quick or the lead and tin which made up wiping solder would start to separate making it hard to work with. We are currently re-plumbing a big old six bedroom house on the Wirral and have pulled a lot of old lead pipe out. I saved this bit as it brought back many memories. I was aching all over after lugging all the lead out as well as a cast iron bath. The Plumbers in those days must have been very strong men.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Shower Bath

This is a square offset shower as opposed to the more common curved offset versions. We fitted it on a full house re-plumb we've just finished. It has its own unique side panel and screen.
 Here it is from the front elevation.
 The shower we fitted is a Mira 'Adept' built in thermostatic mixer with a large pan style fixed head.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Bad, The Ugly and The Good!

THE BAD. Thankfully this boiler and its shocking pipework were stripped out by us yesterday. Sadly I've actually seen worse than this but just haven't had my camera with me. The boiler itself is a bottom end, low cost type model. Such poor quality cheap boilers actually have greater lifetime costs over their short lives than the better quality boilers. They are unreliable and the spare parts for them are vastly over priced. The installers who fit such boilers are invariably from the lower end of our trade and this type of pipework is their hallmark.

THE UGLY. Note the poorly soldered joints and the green corrosive flux residues. The joker who did this work has used self cleaning flux and not bothered to wipe down his joints.

THE GOOD. I love the old quote about how you should never argue with an idiot in the street, as anyone walking past wouldn't be able to tell the difference! Likewise a good tradesman should never try to join on to such poor pipework. It is impossible to make it look neat and you are simply pulling yourself down to the original installers level. We stripped this mess all out and started again. The new boiler is the Worcester 28CDi 'Compact' complete with seven year warranty. The pipes are much neater now thanks to the spirit level on the left of the picture. We only use Fry's traditional 'Fluxite' on our soldered joints. You have to clean your pipes and fittings with wire wool but it is is much cleaner and gives better results. Luckily the customer has some spare matching tiles which we will slot in later leaving the job in much better shape than when we found it.

Here's a little shot of inside the aptly named 'Compact' boiler. I predict we'll be fitting quite a lot of these.

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Worcester 36CDi Compact

Here's one of Worcester's 'Compact' range of high efficiency combination boilers, with the cover off. It comes with a full seven year warranty. We fitted this one yesterday in readiness for our customer getting his new kitchen installed. He wants the boiler to be completely hidden and this model solved his problem.
We have moved it slightly and tidied up the pipes so it will all now fit within a 600mm wide wall unit. The filter on the left of the boiler is a Sentinel 'Eliminator' which will pick up any magnetic and non magnetic system debris and contaminants providing life long protection. This will also be accommodated within the same wall unit as the boiler.
If you would like to discuss hiding boilers from view and how best to to do it them please do contact us.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Simply Solution To Frozen Boiler Condensate Drains

Have you had trouble with frozen condensate pipes over the last couple of winters? All the best solutions to problems tend to be simply. Here is a device from Worcester for you, which will prevent this happening. It clicks onto the flow pipe beneath the boiler. The condensate from the boiler fills into it and is warmed up by heat transfer from the flow pipe. When a certain level is reached the now warm condensate is discharged by a syphonic action. Due to it being warm coupled with the velocity of discharge it doesn't freeze. There are no electrics or running costs to it. It can be retro fitted in most cases for under £70 all in. The one in the picture was given to us by a supplier to field trial. We were upgrading a customers boiler to a top of the range Worcester CDi, so we threw this in free of charge as she had been troubled by frozen condensate pipework. There's a link here to a short video from Worcester which explains it much better than me. If you need any more information about this product or have been troubled by frozen condensate pipes please do give me a call. It's far better to get these matters in hand over the spring and summer.