When plumbing goes wrong

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TimB100
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When plumbing goes wrong

Post by TimB100 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:30 pm

Just a short story about a leak in my house. A month after a the installation of a new bathroom a brown patch appeared on the ceiling in the room below. It did not line up with any furniture I could work out and was making a patch in one room 2ft away from a patch on the other side of a wall in the hall.

I decided before pulling the wall next to the bathroom apart I would purchase an endoscope attachment for my phone so I could make a small hole to check if there was a leak running down some pipes from the tap piping inside the wall.

I measured the distance approximately to the pipes stepping the distance out. Then gingerly drilled a 8mm hole to punch through the lathe and plaster to get access to the cavity to work out where I was. I drilled through and I'm going deeper than I though I should and still in wood. I must have hit the stud, so moved over 30mm and drilled again, Same thing wood! Then whosh out floods the water. I leg it down stairs to turn of the mains and cursed like mad.

Once I had managed to mop up all I could I decided to rip of the plaster to see what happened. It turned out that there was a horizontal stud. It had 2 holes vertically for the hot and cold pipe. The first hole went into the first pipe but did not all the way through. The second hole hit the second pipe and went through. Talk about being unlucky!

So now I made a bigger mess and still no further forward to finding the cause of the initial leak.

I decided to dry everything out first before continuing and bolted a fan to the ceiling to blow air in to dry it all out as much as I could.

A week later after it dried I was looking under floor boards and in holes in the ceiling to to find the original leak. I could see it was not from any new plumbing. And there were no leaks I could find. I had a pair of heating pipes that were terminated via a 1/4 turn valve and the other side plugged with an insert. The fittings lent up against joist that had what I thought looked like a stain. I though Ok might as well remove the valves while I'm here. Went to the combi boiler to turn it off before draining down. Then I saw it. I had left the mains filling loop on. The heating system was at mains pressure. The last time I was here was after fitting the rad in the bathroom over month before.

I slowly figured out what happened. During the night the mains pressure increases. Enough to get past the valve and plug to leak onto the joist. That was the first patch. The pipes were curved up to the valves so some of the leak dripped done the pipes to the a tee joint. My house is constricted so the downstairs walls do not match the upstairs so the room I was in straddled 2 downstairs. The pipe went over the wall downstairs. So the second patch was formed. The heavy coving prevented it showing up where you would expect.

I left it all live for a couple of weeks to ensure it was no longer leaking and filled the holes and re painted.

What can you say? If you make no mistakes your not learning. Better still though you learn from others mistakes, hence me posting this.
wet patch 1.JPG
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leak in hall.JPG
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Fan.JPG
Fan.JPG (23.44 KiB) Viewed 815 times
Leak.JPG
Leak.JPG (19.94 KiB) Viewed 818 times
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Offending fittings.JPG
Offending fittings.JPG (24.15 KiB) Viewed 818 times
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someone-else
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by someone-else » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:44 pm

I for one appreciate what you posted.

Question, the fan in the picture, is it screwed directly to the ceiling?
Fret not, a forum is a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link to find out more.

Working on anything electrical? have you got a multi meter? why not? Would you hit a nail with a shoe?

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

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Ktuludays
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by Ktuludays » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:55 am

Sods law often means you're gonna hit those pipes.

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dewaltdisney
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by dewaltdisney » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:50 am

I feel your pain, thanks for sharing :thumbright:

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TimB100
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by TimB100 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:58 pm

someone-else wrote:I for one appreciate what you posted.

Question, the fan in the picture, is it screwed directly to the ceiling?
Only just :-)

I managed to get a screw into a couple of lathes. Made sure people were not in the room while running and placed cloths under it for the duration it was up there.
Bill Darr
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by Bill Darr » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:47 am

This is when plumbing goes really wrong...

TimB100
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by TimB100 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:47 pm

Many many years ago, I worked in a Hospital. It was an old hospital. We had a situation where there was no heating on the 4th floor, me and a mate thought it was an airlock. So we decided to remove a plug from the bottom of the line to pull some water through the system.

As you can expect 5 floors of water in a pipe makes high pressure, as soon as I undid the 1.5" bung I regretted it. The water was not so much an issue as it was in a calorifier room and it just drained away but I could not get the frigging plug back in the pressure was to high and could not get the thread started.

I would like to say I took a reducer and a valve, with the valve open and threaded that in then shut the valve. But I did not. I cannot remember what I did apart from its no longer running so I must have got the plug in.

Thankfully I do not have many horror stories.
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Re: When plumbing goes wrong

Post by arco_iris » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:55 pm

TimB100 wrote:Thankfully I do not have many horror stories.
Two stories is too many, you're a walking disaster zone!
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