Saturday, 20 June 2015


We spent a rather long time on Saturday morning working out how we were going to finally fix the pipe that's been dripping from the ceiling of the dining room. It's been doing so for five months, and all my attempts to fix it have been thwarted by poor access and adjacent pipes. That's made re-making the pipe, re-brazing it, or properly applying external sealant, impossible. We applied brain power to the problem, and, with a bit of investigation of the pipes hidden in the floor beneath the old house bathroom (now the sewing room, above the back half of the kitchen), we think we've worked out a plan.

At present, the cold water main goes from the kitchen, along the front of the house between the floors, then cuts across, goes into the loft of the porch, and gets to the boiler room. Here, it feeds a garden tap, as well as the top-up loop for the central heating, the emergency quench for the boiler, and the cold supply for the domestic hot water heat exchange built into the accumulator tank. The hot water so generated runs down the pipe that used to be the hot water circuit feeding the hot water cylinder, meaning that it runs the same route back to the other end of the house, where it was plumbed into the hot water circuit...running all the way along the house to feed the taps.

Thus, hot water coming out of the taps in the downstairs toilet had gone along the full length of the house three times, twice while hot: this was noisy, and thermally inefficient, as I suspect you would never get piping hot water out of that tap.

What we've figured out, with the benefit of opening the floor in the back guest room to pass cables along on Wednesday, is that we should be able to bypass some of this. The hot water coming from the boiler can be fed into the hot water circuit from the opposite end, near the downstairs loo, in the loft above. This will feed—in order—that loo, the guest en suite, the master en suite, the kitchen and utility room...and then be capped off.

The leaking pipe is the pipe that would have run from where we're now going to connect to this lot, all that way to the other end. Although it'll be redundant, I won't try to remove it—it's not worth the effort.

In further plumbing exploits, we installed a pair of outside taps outside the utility room, taking a valved spur off the cold water tap. That's in order to hook up an irrigation system to water the kitchen patio; the dining room patio; the front garden; the herb garden; and the colour wheel, as well as leave an accessible tap for filling watering cans, and so on. We also planted out the last of the dahlias (Bishop of Llandaff and Twynings After Eight) and cosmos (white Purity), in the colour wheel beds, and near the beech bench.

We've also acquired a new sofa bed from the latest neighbours to move out: it's gone into the converted garage, which can now function as a guest room.

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