Sunday, 19 February 2012

Leaky pipes can ruin your plans

I spent most of today in central London playing a wargame. For some time I have been a rather inactive member of the ‘Jockey's Fields Irregulars’ (an informal group of wargamers who try to meet once a month in London), but today I had my chance to actually attend and take part in a very interesting wargame ... about which I will write in due course. However, upon my return home I was confronted with a domestic crisis that has rather upset my plans for the next day or so.

I was supposed to be meeting David Crook tomorrow for lunch and a long 'chinwag' ... but I have had to cancel our meeting at short notice because of a leak in the outflow pipe from our first floor bathroom. The pipe developed the leak during the recent spell of cold weather, and the upshot has been that some of the waste water from the bath and sink has been running across the roof of the conservatory ... and then dripping inside the conservatory. I had thought that I had cured this dripping problem, but it returned a couple of days ago, and that is when I realised that the outflow pipe was leaking.

I don't have a long enough ladder to get up onto the roof of the conservatory, but my neighbour – who is a builder – does, and I asked if I could borrow it. Instead he suggested that he should look at the leaking pipe (he has seen my attempts at DIY and knows that I am not very adept at repairing things around the house!), and whilst I was out today, he did so. Unfortunately what he found was that we have a somewhat more serious problem than just one leaking pipe.

It appears that over the passage of time the plastic pipes, joints, and seals on the back of our house have become brittle due to the affect of sun and cold ... and the leaking outflow pipe had developed a split. In addition, the other pipes are showing signs of cracking along their length and some of the joints also needed to be replaced. Our neighbour managed to 'lashed up' a temporary fix so the leak has stopped for the time being, but he thought that the current cold weather was likely to cause it to fail sooner rather than later, and that unless the pipes and joints are changed as soon as possible, we could end up being unable to use the bathroom without flooding the conservatory.

So tomorrow, instead of spending time talking to David Crook about wargaming, I will be sat indoors waiting for the plumbers to arrive and do their work.

6 comments:

  1. Bob - this is not a big job. Plastic pipes don't cost much to replace and often don't need to be glued together (modern ones come with a kind of male / female system where you just slot them into each other.

    Of more concern would be the fact that your conservatory is leaking. Whether the water comes from a leaking pipe or simple rainfall, it shouldn't be able to get through the conservatory roof.

    I'd get a couple of quotes to ensure you're not ripped off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Phil Broeders,

    I don't expect that replacing the pipe work will take too long or be too expensive.

    As to the leak in the conservatory roof ... well it is along the outer edge of the roof, and my builder has pointed out that the leak is right where the gutter has filled up with rubbish and it is where the water from the leaky pipe runs into the gutter ... and apparently straight out again.

    I intend to clear the rubbish out of the gutter tomorrow and hope that it will cure the problem. If it doesn't, I will be contacting the company that built the conservatory as it is still under guarantee.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. Since the plastic pipes are often exposed to the sun and cold, I think you should replace them with galvanized steel pipes. This kind of pipe is more durable and highly resistant to the sun’s heat and cold weather. Or, if you still want plastic pipes, be sure to cover it so that it won’t be exposed to the sun, which is one of the major reasons why it turns brittle.

    -Carmella Vancil

    ReplyDelete
  4. Carmella,

    Thanks for the advice.

    Unfortunately we are not allowed to use anything but plastic pipes because of regulations laid down by the local council.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, well, even without that policy, I would still choose plastic pipes since they don’t rust, pit, scale or corrode. However, they are more prone to both the hot and cold weather. For cold weather, electrical heat tape can be useful to keep pipes from freezing and trapping. And, of course, I agree with Carmella’s suggestion. =)

    Regards,
    Gayle Manning

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gayle Manning,

    Thanks for the advice ... even though it is nearly a year late!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete