Welcome to the plumbing installation page of the DIY Section. Here You can find a lot of useful information about plumbing installations including general considerations, info about the plumbing systems, pipework and other topics.
DIY Plumbing description Finding reliable local plumber or heating engineer is the most important decision the householder has to make. Finding a good qualified tradesmen who is also has a reasonable rates is a difficult task. That is why we carefully select and vet installers who are a members of Local Reliable tradesmen. We are our best to find a best matchinghonest local tradesmen for householders and we closely monitor their performance when the job is finished to make sure the job is completed to the highest possible standard and the customer was not overcharged and was treated courteously. General info
Plumbing systems consist of two parts- water supply and water disposal. The water supply may run direct to each point o use, or the system may have storage facilities to rcold and/or hot water. The waste disposal system carries used water from each appliance via waste and soil pipes to the drains.
Water supply systems
The cold water supply systems in your property will be one of two types: a direct system, with all points of use supplied by mains-pressure water, or an indirect system, which relies chiefly on supplies from a cold-water system tank. It is important to find out which type you have, as this affects how the system works and what you have to do to carry out any maintenance or repair. All houses have a cold-water supply pipe running to each bath, washbasin, shower, bidet, toilet cistern and sink to appliances such as a washing machine or dishwasher and to a hot-water storage cylinder if there is one.
Direct supply system
Most of new properties have a direct supply system. From the builders point of view, this is cheaper and quicker to install than an indirect system. For the householder, there are two main benefits and one slight drawback. The benefits are having drinking-quality water at every cold tap, and not having tanks and pipework in a loft that could freeze up or leak. The drawback is that the system may rely on a combination boiler for its hot water supply and this may not be able to provide a generous supply of hot water to more than one water tap at once. With a direct system, the incoming supply pipe runs first to an outside of the boundary suppliers stopcock then to the householders stopcock inside the property. From there a branching network of pipes takes cold water directly to each tap, WC cistern, shower, and also to either a combination boiler or a multipoint water heater, either of which will supply the system's hot water needs. Taps, shower valves and float valves in toilet cisterns are all high-pressure types-a point to remember when you need to repair or replace them.
Most older homes have an indirect supply system. Its main advantage is that if the mains water supply is interrupted
for any reason, a supply of stored water is still available, however stored water used for drinking or cooking should be boiled for
complete safety. They are also quieter in use, because most of the take-off points operate at low pressure. Their main drawback is
their relative complexity. They have more components, pipes and connections, so there are potentially more things that can go wrong.
As with a direct system, the incoming supply runs to an indoor stopcock. It then runs vertically-this section of the system is called
the rising main -to the main cold water storage cistern, which is usually sited on a platform in the
loft to give a reasonable water pressure for upstairs taps and showers. First branch off the rising main supplies
drinking-quality water to the kitchen cold tap. Other branches may also be fitted to supply a washing machine and dishwasher in the
kitchen and also an outside tap. Outlet pipes from the cold water storage cistern supply water to toilet cisterns and all other cold
taps in the house. Another pipe supplies the hot-water storage cylinder Each of this pipes should be fitted with a
gate valve, which allows that section of the system to be shut off for maintenance or reinstall. Each pipe running to a tap, toilet
cistern, or shower mixer should also have a servicing valve fitted close to the point of usage. These valves allow the supply to be
shut off for local maintenance work without the need for the system to be drained.
Plumbing systems in the premises may incorporate metal and plastic pipes. Traditionally all hot and cold water pipes were metal, but various types of plastic pipe are now commonly used in domestic installations. Copper pipe is the most commonly used type. It resists corrosion well and is relatively easy to work with. In older homes, lead and iron pipes still exist. Brass and stainless steel pipes are generally used for aesthetic considerations.
Types of metal pipe include:
Half-hard copper pipe is the most commonly used copper tubing for domestic systems. It can be used for both heating and hot and cold water supply. Copper pipes used for domestic premises are generally 15, 22, or rarely, 32mm.
Chrome-plated copper pipe
Copper tube that has a chrome coating for aesthetic reasons or for use in medical conditions for the reason of easiness of cleaning. Micro-bore copper pipe
This type of pipe is small-bore copper tube that can be bent by hand. Common diameters are 8mm and 10mm. Galvanized-iron pipe
Once used for domestic water pipes, iron is more susceptible to corrosion than copper. It is also much more difficult to work with than copper, and is therefore not recommended for any new installation.
This was once used for both supply and drainage pipes in many domestic premises. However, the health risks assosiated with lead mean that it is now no longer used in new installations.
When first introduced, plastic pipe was used mainly for drainage. However, in recent years it has become much more common for supply an heating pipes. It is much easier to work with than metal equivalents as no soldering tools or special materials are required. It also doesn't corrode and has the further advantage of not building up with scale in hard-water areas. Plastic pipes cannot be used for gas or oil supplies. A plastic hot and cold water pipe run also needs more sturdy support than rigid copper to prevent pipes sagging. Plastic pipe may also have limitations in the amount of heat they can withstand, so the specifications must be checked before use. Most plastic pipes should not be used within 1m of a boiler. The first metre of pipe from the boiler must be metal to avoid plastic pipe melting.
Plastic waste and drain pipes:
Commonly 32mm or 40mm in diameter, drainage pipes are larger than those used for general plumbing. Drainage pipes take waste water from sanitary fittings to the mains drainage pipes. Soil and vent pipes are even larger-most commonly 110mm in diameter. In older properties, it is still possible to find clay or cast-iron pipes used for drainage systems. Both these materials are now rarely used on new installations.
Types of plastic pipe include:
Acyconitrile butadiene styrene was one of the first rigid plastic pipes used commonly in soil and vent pipes.
Polyvinyl chloride is a more modern version of ABS pipe and with UPVC, is used thr the same properties.
Polypropilene is flexible version of ABS and PVC used often in waste systems. Needs push-fit fittings, cannot be solvent-welded.
Unplastified polyvinilhloride is used for soil pipes in underground drainage. Available in 110mm diameter.
The most popular home-heating system-wet central heating warms the whole home, provides hot water and it is fully adjustable to the customer needs. However, there are other options for heating your home and you might want extra heating in some areas, or a different system in a new extension.
Choosing a central heating systems
If you are having a central heating installed, your choice will be influenced mainly by the fuel you intend to use, and by ease of installation. When upgrading all or part of an old system, it will often be easiest to replace like with like. Your reliable installer will be able to advise you on all the options of replacing major components such as boilers, hot cylinders and radiators with modern, energy efficient versions. Most homes in the UK have a wet central heating systems. Water is heated by a boiler and is pumped around heating system cosnsisting of radiators to heat individual rooms. The boiler also provides a stored or direct hot water supply. There are two main type of system in open-vented and sealed:
In this type of system the boiler feeds heated water into two circuits-one to the hot-water storage cylinder, where it heats the houses's hot water supply and one to a series of radiators. The radiators are supplied by a two-pipe circuit, with each radiator inlet connected to the return pipe. A valve on each pipe controls the flow of water into and out of each radiator. A small water tank in the loft, called the feed and expansion tank, automatically tops up any losses from the system, and also accommodates the expansion in its water content as it heats up. An open vent pipe from the boiler terminates over the tank, providing a safe discharge points for boiling water if the system overheats. In older systems, water in the circuit to the hot water cylinder circulates by gravity, while the flow of water round the heating circuits is driven by a pump. In more modern systems, the circulation in both circuits is pumped, and a motorized valve switches the flow from one circuit to the other, according to the systems demands, These are detected by room and cylinder thermostats.
This type of system is an alternative to the usual open-vented type. The circuits are basically the same, but there is no feed and expansion(header) tank. Instead,the boiler circuit is filler to the required pressure(and topped up if necessary) from the mains water supply via a filling loop with a non-return valve, and a pressure vessel on the circuit takes up the expansion that occurs when the system heats up. A safety valve operates if the system overheats, and an air-release valve automatically vents any air in the system. Since the heating system is sealed, there is less risk of corrosion. It runs hotter than an open-vented system,so radiators can be smaller for the same heat output, and can be sited at any level in the house, However, high-quality components are essensial to ensure that the system is completely watertight and also to prevent pressure loss. Instead of conventional vented hot water cylinder, the cylinder may be unvented and supplied wth mains-pressure outlet, thus doing away with the need for a cold-water storage tank and vent pipe. Both hot and cold taps run at mains pressure. In that case, there is an additional pressure vessel and safety valve on hte hot water side of the system as well. Alternatively, if a combination boiler is used, there is no need fora a storage cylinder either; Instead, the hot taps are supplied directly from the boiler.
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