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Bend Pipework

Sometimes pipework in your system needs to be bent in order to fit certain uses. A straightforward way to make bends in copper tubing is to use a specialist tool, called a pipe bender. These bending tools are made for different sizes of pipework:Small – 8/10 and 12mm pipes.Large ? 15 and 22mm pipes.There are pipes that are larger and would be very difficult to bend using a regular bending tool, so there would be a requirement to either, buy or hire a bigger powered bending tool, or dont bother and for copper pipework larger than 22mm diameter use fittings. Eltham Plumbers use pipe-bending tools.Bending Microbore: Smaller bending tools can be used to make bends in the very small microbore copper tubing. Microbore: This tubing is supplied in roles and is easy to hand bend. It is a pipe, normally 8-10mm in diameter and is used regularly in central heating systems having the main advantage of very low heat loss. It is also really flexible to run. But with this type of tube, to achieve a sharper, cleaner bend it is best to use a bending tool. An Eltham Plumber is experienced in pie bending techniques.To Bend:A). Open up the bender fully so its arms are 180 to each other. Place the copper tube between the arms and make sure it goes under the retaining arm and into the correct channel size. Bend the top parallel with the pipe in the grooves that are now enclosed. B). Pull the top arm down to begin the bend. Pull the arms together in one continuous movement until the correct angle is achieved. Open up the arms to release the bent tube and now remove from the tool.Note: A bender for copper pipe i.e. 15-22mm is available.

Airlock (Bleeding)

There may come a time when your radiators have become air-locked. If so, the guide below explains how you can remove the air and increase the efficiency of your radiators by bleeding. NOTE:Every domestic radiator has a bleed valve fitted. They are normally sited on the top corner of the radiator, either left or right side. This is a recess with a square metal block sat in the centre. This is made so that a bleed key can fit over it and then can be opened or closed. This key is small and has the correct sized and shaped recess to accommodate the square block. Eltham Plumbers carry all types of bleed keys.If you do not hold a bleed key, they can be bought from most plumbing retailers.Method: 1). Isolate the boiler and check the circulating pump is also turned off. These pumps often have direct live feeds.2). Place the bleed key on the block and turn very slowly anticlockwise for only a quarter of one turn. This should be enough to begin allowing the air to vent. You should hear the air begin to hiss as it leaves the radiator.3). Ensure the radiator bleed key stays on the block so as the air stops there should a slight dribble at which point you turn the valve (or block) off. An Eltham Plumber will carry out this job if you are not confident and will also guarantee the work. Check: If no water appears as you bleed the radiator, make sure that the feed and expansion tank in the loft is not still full. If so, the valve probably has a blockage. 1). Close the radiators inlet and outlet valves fitted on both bottom corners, and take out the screw from the centre of the bleed valve. 2). Using some small gauge wire, clear the blockage, and then open up one of the radiator valves slightly to produce some water from the valve.3). Close the radiator valve and refit the bleed valve screw. Open both radiator valves and re-test Also check for any leaks.

Emergency task

You suspect a leak. A copper pipe in the loft has sprung a pinhole leak on the down side of the stopcock. Eltham Plumbers can fix leaks.Tools and materials:Copper slip coupling-15 mmAdjustable spannersPipe cutterOld clothsTorch.Method:1). Going to the kitchen, pull the plug out of the kitchen sink and turn the cold water tap on.2). Turn off the stopcock in the cupboard under the sink.3). Wait a few minutes for the cold water tap to stop running, and then go up into the loft and press down on the floating ball valve in the cold water storage tank. If it stays silent, with no water running out, you can be certain that the leaking pipe has been drained.4). Centre to the slip coupling on the pinhole leak and use a couple of tabs of sticky tape to mark the pipe so that you know whereabouts the coupling needs to be fitted.5). If the pipe is hardly dented at the leak, take your pipe cutter and cut through the plight, right through the pinhole. If, on the other hand, the pipe is badly dented at the pinhole, use a cutter to take out a ring sized piece of pipe that includes the pinhole.6). Use a cloth to dry and clean the two ends of the pipe.7). Ease the two pipe ends apart. Disassemble the slip coupling and slide a cap nut, followed by an olive, on each pipe end. An Eltham Plumber can do this.8). Slide the body of the slip coupling on one pipe end, then ease the pipes back together and slide the coupling back so that both ends are contained and the body of the coupling is centred on the leak.9). With your fingers, screw the cap nuts as tight as possible, and then use the adjustable spanner to clench up the joints. Do not over tighten, no more than about 1 1/4 turns. Wipe the coupling with tissue.10). Go down into the kitchen at the stopcock on. When the cold water tap starts to run, turn it off. Go back to the loft and inspect the repaired joint. Allowing for a small amount of condensation on the pipe, if the area stays dry, you have fixed the leak.

Protective Equipotential Earth Bond

Look at your gas meter or incoming water supply and you may see a green and yellow wire connected to the pipe. This is called a protective equipotential bond connection, This bonding consists of earth cables connected to water service pipework on entry to a home and also on pipework in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms. Eltham Plumbers can advise on this. Where a water, gas or oil pipeline comes into and also passes out from the building there is a potential for stray electrical currents, resulting from faulty electrical equipment, to pass through as they flow down to earth. This can be dangerous for anyone touching the metal pipe work itself. To ensure that these stray currents comfortable safely to Earth through a specifically designed electrical route, an equipotential bonding wire of 10 mm2 minimum size is attached to the pipe at the point of entry/exit of the building and this in turn is connected to the main Earth terminal in the consumer unit. In addition to the bonding wires making a connection to the incoming services, there should be additional supplementary wires linking together all the metalwork within wet areas, such as the bathroom and kitchen etc. This will ensure that everything within the zone is at the same electrical potential, which is designed to prevent users of any appliances or equipment receiving an electric shock. An Eltham Plumber is trained to deal electric shock.Key point:A major point of safety is that you should never disconnect any of these earth bonding wires without making sure it is safe to do so. If you are not confident and are unsure, then it is wise to seek the advice and skills of a professional tradesmen with the necessary tools and experience.

Renew a Disc Cartridge (ceramic)

These are fitted on more modern types of taps. They are made to require no maintenance. This does not mean that they will not be subject to damage of some kind in their lifetime. This might result in the need to replace the disc cartridge. They consist of two ceramic discs that contain two holes in each. When a tap is operated one moves with the handle and the other remains stationary. The holes in the two pieces line up and water will then flow. To stop the skills to replace these cartridges. If this style of tap develops a leak it can the water the holes are out of their alignment. Eltham Plumbers have mean that the Ceramic discs have suffered some damage. The discs are not replaceable so this means a complete cartridge replacement is required. If you feel less confident, then call someone like an Eltham Plumber who is qualified to carry out the work. These items are right and left handed respectively so the right orientation must be observed.Cleaning and replacing the cartridge.Isolate both water supplies and turn on taps to drain. Make sure you keep any parts such as screws safe. Remove heads on the taps. These may be one of two types, either a push on fitting or one that uses a screw to secure it. Once this is done, hold onto the tap body so as not to spin it when you undo. Take the cartridge out, remembering the orientation mentioned earlier. Once this is out, give a close visual inspection as it may just be debris that can be cleared. If not, replace the cartridge. A good idea is to check the seal for damage while you are in there. Replace if required. Re-tighten and reinstate the water supply and check for leaks etc.

Replace a Tap Washer

Replacing a tap washer is not a difficult process. Although if you are not confident with your DIY skills then it will pay to let a professional carry out the work for you. Eltham Plumbers are a professional service and deal with plumbing issues.The first thing to do is to isolate the water supply to the tap. Once you have done this you should leave the tap fully open to drain. Some taps have a non-rising spindle with easy clean an shrouded cover which needs to be removed. This is held on by a fixing screw under the coloured cap (for either hot or cold). Remove the cap by flipping the cover off with a small screwdriver. Underneath this cap is a screw that holds the cover to the tap, remove this screw and the cover ,exposing the tap body. Using a spanner remove the head of the tap from its body. Once the head is off, you should see the washer at the base. Visually check the seat and body for debris or anything that may impede its operation as you do not want to go through this process again if anything is present. Simply remove the old and fit the new washer, which may or may not be secured with a small nut, if it is, then care must be taken not to shear this nut if it is hard to undo (use penetrating oil and measured effort) as you will have to replace the whole tap if it is damaged. With the new washer in place, reassemble the tap in reverse order. Once you are happy that the tap is restored, the water supply needs to be restored. The tap should then be operated through its fully open and closed positions to ensure that there is no leaking. Job done. An Eltham Plumber can change washers.

The Macerator

A macerator is a an appliance that can be fitted in the home and operates in quite a specialized way for a piece of domestic equipment whose job it is to deal with the disposal of waste water. It is named a Macerator. Now this bit of kit is quite efficient in its disposal of all things dirty. It is made up of a unit coupled to a shredder and is powered by a very strong yet small high torque mains powered electrical motor that drives the shredding part of the appliance (the part that does the damage) Eltham Plumbers have experience of fitting these types of units.Its job is to be an integral part of the toilet system, disposing of the wasta by literally shredding it to pulp in order to reduce its volume so that it will pass through a smaller bore of plastic pipework (usually between 22mm and 32mm in diameter), it then moves it away to a point where it is discharged away into the waste system and out of the house. The distance and the positioning of pan and its associated pipework is very important for the unit to work well. If the pan is in a horizontal plane , then it can be up to 50 mtrs away and operate well. If the pan is in a vertical plane to the unit, the incline would affect the output pressure and could stop a proper discharge. The fitting of this equipment is governed quite strictly by the local authorities and permission needs to be obtained before one is fitted. An electrical supply is also required which should be carried pout by a qualified professional. An Eltham Plumber can arrange this. Macerators vary, some can be used for the above only and others for domestic equipment such as showers (with a high pressure unit for power showers), dishwashers and sinks. It is really quite a flexible piece of equipment. They are quite big in size, however there are units for sale that are smaller and can fit spaces that are confined.

Blocked Gutters and Rainwater Pipes

Over time there is a possibility that your gutters will collect unwanted dust and debris including moss. This inevitably silt up the gutter making a great place for seeds to grow! Eventually the gutter start to overflow as the build up increases and stops the rain water from passing down the pipe into the drain. It is quite easy to clear this debris with a long pole having a semi circular piece on the end. You can use this to pull the mess towards you and then place in a bucket and ditch. Be careful as this will involve some ladder work. Eltham Plumbers deal with all kinds plumbing problems large or small. Make sure the ladder is footed, in other words supported by someone else. Do not over reach when up a ladder or lean the ladder on the pipework as it will damage the pipe or slip away. Should the rainwater pipe itself become blocked with the same debris as described it will pose a more difficult problem. You can try pushing a drainage spring up and down the pipework. An Eltham Plumber uses these types of equipment. However sometimes if the pipe is made of plastic it is easier and quicker to disconnect al the sections of pipework and carry out the process at ground level. This is a good way of inspecting and clearing the whole section. It will usually be a blockage at the bottom end of this pipework, causing the water to back up and spill out of the joints. These joints were not intended or indeed manufactured to be watertight. The blockage that was mentioned earlier in the bottom section is nearly always caused by a blockage located in the gully section and can be simply cleared out by hand.