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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589913 times)
Rev. Austin
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« Reply #3000 on: April 18, 2011, 04:16:44 AM »

Indeed, giving our neighbours an eyeful of our underwear is the British way hahaha  Wink
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marc_chagall
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« Reply #3001 on: April 23, 2011, 11:53:53 AM »

I have a small tank in my attic that provides the water pressure for my elderly shower. The tank has a normal ballcock arrangement, which has been there since before I moved into the house, so is over 22 years old, and welded in or fossilised or something. I have a constant drip from the overflow, which is watering the rose bay willow herb which is growing out of the guttering and spreading its roots under the roof tiles.. Suggestions of how to deal with this without calling out a plumber would be greatly appreciated!
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« Reply #3002 on: April 23, 2011, 03:30:56 PM »

I have a small tank in my attic that provides the water pressure for my elderly shower. The tank has a normal ballcock arrangement, which has been there since before I moved into the house, so is over 22 years old, and welded in or fossilised or something. I have a constant drip from the overflow, which is watering the rose bay willow herb which is growing out of the guttering and spreading its roots under the roof tiles.. Suggestions of how to deal with this without calling out a plumber would be greatly appreciated!

if the stopcock is not shutting off and as a result you have a drip > you thought it may have been welded in place [highly unlikely], if so you have to drill a new hole in the tank and instal a new stopcock - you gonna neeed a plumber to reposition the inlet flow [ thats if you cant jockey the yank and the pipes a bit to the new position] > maybe the gunk around the stopck is corrosion or salt deposits -- then you can go as far as to break the old stopcock out and replace with a new one --- becareful not to enlarge the hole in the tank  [it may be corroded as well  and if gets to big the new stopcock may wobble a bit

BUT before you try all of that -- maybe you can unscrew A PART of the stopcock and relace the little rubber washer that has worn through and is causing your leak and costs about 5p

AND -- PLEASEPLEASEPLEAS TURN OF THE MAINS BEFORE YOU UNSCRERW ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!! Shocked


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« Reply #3003 on: April 23, 2011, 03:37:24 PM »

AND GET RID OF THAT PLANT IN THE GUTTER STRAIGHT AWAY. BORROW A LADDER IF YOU HAVE TO --- BUT GET RID OF IT..... i have been in the house maintanace game for a long time. i am a qjalified electrician and an experianced plumber and i can fix anything in your house that doesnt have a computer in it. 
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« Reply #3004 on: April 23, 2011, 03:49:34 PM »

... ALSO, the water pressure may be a whole lot better than it was when the tank was installed ---- so maybe you can get rid of the tank alltogether ..... you have no idea how many dead pigeons i have found inside taks on roofs over here ----  they asre all pretty much phased out by now....big round tin hulks....  
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 02:42:35 AM by LashSlash » Logged
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« Reply #3005 on: April 23, 2011, 06:47:49 PM »

Sometimes it's just a limescale build-up, Delph, which you can dislodge by working the ballvalve up and down, side to side. More likely, though, given the recent weather conditions, your tank may have frozen over at some point and bent the arm of the ballvalve up. It takes a bit of strength to bend it down again (assuming brass arm, rather than plastic), but more often than not it'll cure the problem. You have to be careful not to snap the arm off, or the ball, so one hand holds the top of the arm still while the other bends the bottom, otherwise things get messy. If that fails, you may have to change the washer, which isn't hard to do, but will require a few basic tools.

Tell us how you get on afro
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« Reply #3006 on: April 24, 2011, 02:57:51 AM »

..... thjere may be a screw or a nob you can turn to adjust  the level of the shut-off.....ed's suggestion of bending the arm is a good one -- you can accomplish the same thing by taping a piece of styrofoam to the float or maybe a tennis ball or something like that ....

lift the float manualy as high as it will go and see/listen if the inflow stops.... if it does - bending the arm or adding floatation will help..... if it continues to flow when lifted as high as possible -- its a washer
problem.
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marc_chagall
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« Reply #3007 on: April 24, 2011, 05:31:28 AM »

Many thanks for all the advice, Daniel and Ed. This won't be a limescale problem as I'm in a very soft water area, and don't get any lime at all. It won't have been frozen as it's well inside a well-insulated attic. (No pigeons as it's a boarded out attic room and they have no access). I think it's almost certainly a simple thing like a new washer needed. Unfortunately I don't have any tools to do the job, and even though the washer would cost next to nothing, I have no way of knowing what sort to buy, or even if you can get the right size these days (for all I know the mechanism could be thirty years old or more, so will be imperial rather than metric, and probably long defunct). The mechanism looks corroded anyway. The plumbing in this house is a nightmare. I have two stopcocks located under floorboards downstairs, neither of which work very well. There are other random pipes wandering around the place with no known function. I think I'm going to have to get someone who knows what he's doing to come in and scratch his head and try not to flood the place. Will leave it till after Easter and then start phoning around for quotes. In the meantime, I'll tackle the plant. Luckily it's growing out of a first storey gutter, so I can actually get at it.
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« Reply #3008 on: April 24, 2011, 06:24:19 AM »

do you know where your water meter is?---- turn off all the taps in the house and test to see if the metere spins..... it may be that the trickle you are losing is so small that it doesnt register on the meter
 --- if this is the case, why the heck fix it?  and if the leakage does register - is it worth paying someone a lot of money to fix it?

take a pic of your stopcock and take the pic to your local hardware store --- loosen the top 2 buttons of your top/shirt and ask the man [big smile] if he has a replacement washer --- THEN ASK HIM to show you hOW TO CHANGE THE WASHER IN A STOPCOCK HE HAS IN THE SHOP  ---..... now you know how to do it yourself!!!!

[ps -- wear a RED top/shirt] Wink Wink Wink Wink
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« Reply #3009 on: April 24, 2011, 09:08:17 AM »

Hmm, it's the sort of thing an odd job man could cope with, rather than paying a plumber's rate, Delph. It's pretty easy to do yourself if you've got a pair of grips and an adjustable spanner somewhere. A washer for a part 2 ballvalve is 70p in Wickes, and they do a part 1 refurb kit for three quid.

If you look at this page -- http://www.wickes.co.uk/bin/venda?ex=co_wizr-locayta&template=wz_locayta&pageno=1&perpage=9&collate=cat%3Aivtype%3Aprice%3Apdxtpromotion&refine_sort_alph=pdxtdoorwid&threshold=90&fieldrtype=type&termtextrtype=invt&typertype=exact&typekeywordsearch=keyword&termtextkeywordsearch=ballvalve

The top picture is a part 1 ballvalve -- they've been exactly the same as this for the past hundred years or so (both part 1 & 2 are still half inch BSP imperial). The third pic is a part 2. Why on earth they show pic number five as being different from pic one, I've no idea. My guess is the dearer one will have a brass piston inside instead of a plastic one scratch Everythings still the same size on the stem, though, regardless of whether they call it half inch or 15mm. It hasn't changed.

Actually, I think they've put the wrong pic for the product on the top pic -- it's meant to be a lever valve, which doesn't look like that. Pic five is the right thing for the description it's with.

Both are really easy to change. Just leave the threaded stem in place and change the rest. Alternatively, buy the right valve and then take it apart to find how to get to the washer, and just change the washer. It's literally a ten minute job an apprentice could do, so even if you're not a keen DIYer you could sort it in under an hour.
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« Reply #3010 on: April 24, 2011, 10:00:25 AM »

Daniel, I don't have a water meter (they're the exception rather than the rule in the UK) so can't tell exactly how much is being lost, and I wouldn't be able to anyway without replacing the valve in the stopcock as that'll almost certainly be leaking more than anything else. As to me repairing the stopcock - just not going to happen, I'm afraid (see next para).

Ed, yes, it's a simple basic job that anyone could do. Only I'm not anyone. Ask me to fix your violin or even sort out a problem on your computer and I may well be able to do it, but anything that requires even small amounts of physical strength is beyond me due to disability issues. Somewhere around the place I do actually have a husband who possesses the requisite strength, but he took a look at it today and said he'd probably try to fix it in his own house, but he wouldn't risk doing it in mine just in case it all went horribly wrong.

Just took a look outside and it's not even dripping at the moment, but that could be because the overflow is coming over concrete tiles on a south facing roof and is probably being evaporated by the blazing hot sun before it reaches the downpipe at the moment.

I have managed to deal with the plant, so that's something!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 10:08:31 AM by delph_ambi » Logged
Pharosian
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« Reply #3011 on: April 24, 2011, 11:02:19 AM »

Somewhere around the place I do actually have a husband who possesses the requisite strength, but he took a look at it today and said he'd probably try to fix it in his own house, but he wouldn't risk doing it in mine just in case it all went horribly wrong.

You and your husband have your own (separate) homes?  scratch

It's cool and rainy here. It rained most of yesterday, too. And Friday. We've had a LOT of rain this year, and other parts of the country are plagued with tornadoes (we may have some coming through on Wednesday, they say). So no blazing hot sun for us. Yet.
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marc_chagall
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« Reply #3012 on: April 24, 2011, 11:14:47 AM »

You and your husband have your own (separate) homes?  scratch

Yes, we actually live about 14 miles apart. An excellent arrangement. If I had him under my feet all day I wouldn't get any writing done. afro
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Ed
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« Reply #3013 on: April 24, 2011, 01:48:30 PM »


It's cool and rainy here. It rained most of yesterday, too. And Friday. We've had a LOT of rain this year, and other parts of the country are plagued with tornadoes (we may have some coming through on Wednesday, they say). So no blazing hot sun for us. Yet.

Not to gloat, but it's been gorgeous here. Sunny, 24C, which is well into the seventies in Fahrenheit and it's been like that for a couple of weeks now. I've really enjoyed it, especially with us being able to sit outside for our meals over Easter. It's made it feel like a proper break.

My solar panels were up to near boiling point today, and got our 300 litre thermal store up to 70C by about 2pm. Great stuff afro

I'm guessing we'll pay for it at some point over the course of the summer months. After all, summer in the UK is monsoon season, and we can have truly appalling, cold, wet weather during July and August, and often do.
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« Reply #3014 on: April 25, 2011, 04:00:15 AM »

Just got back from a couple of weeks in Malta. Weather cooler there than in the UK but then we didn't go for the weather but for me to hug the Ggijantia 'temple' 20-ton stones that form the world's oldest building - 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. Also met with writers there and hiked over 50 miles over the limestone archipelago - briliant.

Delph, I had a similar problem and tried Ed's and Dan's solutions but the ball cock mechansim was seized up even though it was plastic and only about 35 years old. Luckily, we are covered by British Gas homecare and a bloke drilled another hole for a new ball cock, having cut off the old one. The things we writers have to dwell on!
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