Complete Plumbing and Central Heating Guide

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Complete Plumbing and Central Heating Guide


  • ix it yourse and save money - rom changing a washer to insta ing a shower

  • Plumbing systems Water regulations Direct and indirect Draining

    Repairs Emergency Taps Seats and glands Cisterns and tanks Float valves

    Drainage Systems Maintenance

    Pipework Metal Plastic

    Water closets Replacing Installing

    Washbasins Selecting Taps Installing

    Baths Selecting Installing

    Showers Selecting Mixers Pump-assisted Cubicles Installing

    Bidets Installing

    Sinks Selecting Installing

    Appliances Installing

    Storage tanks Installing

    Hot-water cylinders Selecting

    Solar heating Hot water

    Central heating Systems Boilers Radiators Controls Diagnosis Draining and filling Maintenance Underfloor

    Electricity Switch equipment

    Safety Bathrooms

    Wiring Heaters Connection units Immersion heaters

    Tools and skills Plumbing

    Reference Artificial ventilation Glossary Index

    Cross-references Since there are few DIY projects that do not require a combination of skills, a you might have to refer to more than one section of the book. The list of cross-references at the bottom of 1 each page wil l help you locate relevant sections or specific information related 4 to the job in hand.

  • m Plumbing systems The unprecedented supply of tools and easy-to-use hardware has encouraged DIY enthusiasts to tackle their own plumbing repairs and improvements. Almost every aspect is now catered for - with a wide range of metal and plastic pipework and attractive fittings and appliances, both for new installations and for refurbishments

    The advantages of DIY plumbing ............................................................................

    Having the wherewithal to tackle your own plumbing installations and repairs can save you the cost of hiring professionals - and that can amount to a substantial sum of money It also avoids the distress and inconvenience of ruined decorations, and the expense of replacing rotted household timbers where a slow leak has gone undetected. Then there's the saving in water. A dripping tap wastes gallons of water a day - and if it's hot water, there's the additional expense of heating it. A little of your time and a few pence spent on a washer can save you pounds.

    Water systems .....................................

    Generally, domestic plumbing incorpo- rates two systems. One is the supply of fresh water from the 'mains', and the other is the waste or drainage system that disposes of dirty water. Both of the systems can be installed in different ways (see opposite).

    Stored-water svstem (Indirect) The maioritv df homks are dumbed , ,

    Owlring Regu1at1ons w ~ t h a stored-water supply system. When maklng repalrs or improvements to The storage tank In the loft and the your plumbing, make cold-water tap In the k~tchen are fed sure vou don't contra- directlv from the mains: so ~ossiblv


    vene the are washing machine, electric' Wiring Regulations. All metal plumbing has to shower(s) and outside tap. But water be bonded to earth If for baths, washbasins, flushing WCs you replace a section and some types of shower is drawn

    , A

    plumbing with from the storage tank, which should be plastic, it is important to reinstate the earth covered with a purpose-made lid to link. (See far right). protect the water from contamination.

    Drinking water should only be taken from the cold-water tap in the kitchen.

    Cold water from the storage tank -

    is fed to a hot-water cylinder, where it is heated by a boiler, indirectly, or by an immersion heater to supply the hot taps. The water pressure at the various taps in the house depends on the height (or 'drop') from the tank to the tap.

    A stored-water system provides several advantages. There is adequate water to flush sanitaryware during

    Drainage .....................................

    Waste water is drained in one of two ways. In houses built before the late 1950s, water is drained from baths, sinks and basins into a waste pipe that feeds into a trapped gully at ground level. Toilet waste feeds separately into a large-diameter vertical soil pipe that runs directly to the underground main drainage network.

    : Water bylaws govern the way you can connect your plumbing system to the

    0 public water supply. These laws are intended to prevent the misuse, waste : and contamination of water. Your

    , local water supplier will provide you t with the relevant information about inspection requirements and possible certification for new work and for major alterations. .

    Before undertaking work . The Building Regulations on drainage

    are designed to protect health and safety. Before undertaking work on your soil and waste pipes or drains : (except for emergency unblocking) you need to contact the building-control department of your local authority

    You are required to give five days .......................................a . notice to your local water supplier

    a temporary mains failure; the major before altering or installing a lavatory part of the supply is under relatively cistern, bidet, shower pump, hosepipe low pressure, so the system is reason- . supply, or any installation, such as a ably quiet; and because there are fewer garden tap or shower, that could cause mains outlets, there is less likelihood of dirty water to be siphoned back into impure water being siphoned back into the supply of drinking water. the mains supply

    Mains-fed system (Direct) Many properties now take all their water directly from the mains - all the taps are under high pressure, and all of them provide water that's suitable for drinking. This development has come about as a result of limited loft space that precludes a storage tank and the introduction of non-return check valves, which prevent drinking water being contaminated. Hot water is supplied by a combination boiler or a multipoint heater; these instantan- eous heaters are unable to maintain a constant flow of hot water if too many taps are running at once. Some systems incorporate an unvented cylinder, which stores hot water but is fed from the mains.

    A mains-fed system is cheaper to install than an indirect one. Another advantage is mains pressure at all taps; and you can drink from any cold tap in the house. With a mains-fed system there's no plumbing in the loft to freeze.

    With a single-stack waste system, which is installed in later buildings, all waste water drains into a single soil pipe - the one possible exception being the kitchen sink, which may drain into a gully

    Rainwater usually feeds into a sepa- rate drain, so that the house's drainage system will not be flooded in the event of a storm.

    Reinstate the l ink If you replace a section of metal plumbing with plastic, you may breakthe path to earth- so make sure you reinstate the link. Bridge a plastic joint in a metal pipe with an earth wire and two clamps. If you are in any doubt, consult a qualified electrician.

    MAINS-FED SYSTEM (opposite) @water-supplier's stopcock

    May include water meter.

    @Service pipe

    Q ~ a i n stopcock

    isin in^ main Supplies water directly to cold-water taps and WCs etc.

    Nater heater or combination boiler

    Jnvented storage cylinder Not required for instantaneous heaters) Single-stack soil pipe \NC, handbasln, bath and shower drain into the stack. The stackmay be fitted with an air-admittance valve terminating inside the house.

    Sink waste Uater from the sink drains into a trapped gully.

    rrapped gully

    ralntng ralnwarer I, sarnen rap 50, tarrnlng ou-IU, aupptemeniary uu~tatt~y oa-ru, o I

  • Stored-water system Central heating omitted for clarity.

    STORED-WATER SYSTEM @Water company stopcock

    The water company uses this stopcock to turn off the supplyto the house. Make sure i t can be located quickly in an emergency.

    Service pipe From the water company stopcock onwards, the plumbing becomes the responsibility of the householder.

    0 Household stopcock The water supply to the house itself is shut off at this point.

    @ Draincock A draincock here allows you to drain water from the rising main.

    @Rising main Mains-pressure water passes to the cold-water storage tankvia the rising main.

    Drinking water Drinking water is drawn off the rising main to the kitchen sink.

    Garden tap Water meters The water company allows a garden tap to be Instead of paying a supplied with mains pressure, provided i t is flat-rate water charge fitted wi th a check valve. based upon the size of

    vour home, vou can 0 Float valve bp t to have ;our water This valve shuts off the supply from the rising consumption metered

    Cold-feed pipes Water is drawn off t o the bathroom and to the hot-water cylinder from the storage tank.

    Cold-feed valves Valves atthese points allow you to drain the cold water in the feed pipe without having to drain the whole tank as well.

    main when the cistern is full.

    Cold-water storage tank Stores from 230 to 360 litres (50 to 80 gallons) of water. Positioned in the roof, the tank provides sufficient 'head', or pressure, to feed the whole house.

    @ 0verflow.pipe Also known as a warning pipe, it prevents an overflow by draining water to the outside.

    so you pay for what you use. For two people living in a large house, the savings can be considerable. Water meters are fitted to the incoming mains, usually outside at the supplier's stopcock, where they can be read more easily.

    Hot-water cylinder

    Waste pipe Surmounted by a hopper head, it collects water from basin and bath.

    @ Soil pipe Separate pipe takes toilet waste to main drains.

    @Kitchen waste pi


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