Summer is here and people are doing things outside which would benefit from having an outside tap. Whether it’s gardening, cleaning the patio, cleaning the dog an outside tap can be convenient to have. There are number of outside tap packs that are available however I have not seen one that would be regarded as a quality installation. When fitting an outside tap, or doing any work in the construction industry the work must be done in a way that protects the property and people. Some people may believe that the image below is all that is required for an outside tap.
This outside tap installation has no easy to use isolation valve so you can switch the tap on and off from the inside. It has no back flow prevention. Why is back flow prevention important? Some people like to leave a garden hose attached to their outside tap and control the water flow with a trigger which is on the end of a hose. If the water in that hose was left to heat up in the sun (above 20 degrees Celsius) on a hot day then harmful bacteria could thrive in the water in the hose. Having the correct back flow prevention would prevent the water in that hose from going back into your drinking water. This installation has no protection against corrosion. Copper reacts to building materials including brick, mortar mixed with the moisture in the air over time the copper will decay and water will leak. Should the pipe freeze or decay in this installation and the pipe leaks the water could go in the cavity wall and in to the house, this could be undetected until hundreds of pounds worth of damage has been done. An outside tap fitted correctly would prevent this from occurring.
When Pavlou Plumbers do any plumbing work we realise the work we do will be in there for many years. This is why the parts we recommend and the order in which we fit them will mean the customer can use them for those years easily.
Having warm water come out of your outside tap could be useful for hosing done muddy pets, cleaning the car or filling up a paddling pool. For those of you who would like either hot, warm or cold water to come out of your outside tap this can also be arranged.
If you would like an outside tap fitted correctly by a Water Safe registered company then get in touch with Pavlou Plumbers.
Before talking about weather or not your system needs a flush you need to understand what the ‘sludge’ is. The ‘sludge’ is a form of rust. When you combine different metals, water and oxygen you get rust. There is one particular type of heating system that is more prone to sludge and that is the more traditional open vented system, which is the system with a water tank (feed and expansion tank) in the loft or high up in an airing cupboard. The reason these systems are more prone to the buildup of ‘sludge’ or rust is because oxygen can get into the system through the feed and expansion tank. If this system had a small leak in it say on a radiator valve or on a pipe or on a radiator the rust build up would accelerate. The reason being fresh oxygenated water would be fed into the system from the feed and expansion tank and combined with the metals in the system would cause more rust or ‘sludge’.
If however you do not have a feed and expansion tank (sealed systems) but you are having to top up the water pressure in your central heating system regularly then this will also accelerate the production of rust. Regular loss of water pressure in a sealed system does mean there is a fault somewhere in the system and should be investigated as soon as possible to avoid bigger repair bill if not addressed.
In order to prevent the rusting to occur in the 1st place a central heating inhibitor / protector should be added to the central heating water. These solutions do expire over a certain amount of time depending on which brand you use so this should also be checked during any heating system service.
Now onto the question of ‘do I need a flush?’ One of the easy ways to tell if your system has a build up of sludge and therefore inefficiently would be to feel your radiators after the heating has been on for 20 – 30 mins. If the bottom middle is significantly colder than the top middle of the radiator then that means there is something blocking the radiator and that something will be sludge. The downstairs radiators are more likely to be the worst affected by any sludge build up.
Another symptom would be a noisy boiler when the boiler is reaching temperature, noisy or failed heating pump.
Keep it Clean
After you have had a central heating flush it’s a good idea to fit a central heating filter on the system to protect the system by collecting any rust that occurs throughout the year. then during the boiler service the central heating filter can be cleaned and it can indicate whether or not the system requires more inhibitor or not.
Flushing a central heating system usually takes between half a day and full day to complete depending on the size of the system and the amount of sludge in the system.
If however you are looking to change your boiler building regulations and boiler manufacturers state a the central heating system must be flushed before the boiler installation is complete. If the system is not flushed the warranty on your boiler is usually void. There has been talks of adding central heating filters to the building regulations because of their benefits.
The central heating filters I recommend are the MagnaClean Pro 2.
If you are thinking about renovating your property then I would strongly recommend installing underfloor heating because it is much cheaper to run and provides a much better performance. Due to the source of heat coming from the ground, the temperature of the water running through the underfloor heating pipes is much lower than the water temperature in radiators. Lower water temperature means your boiler works less which means lower bills. Have a look at the YouTube video below for more information on why underfloor heating is better than radiators. Pavlou Plumbers are BPEC qualified underfloor heating installers so please get in touch for more info or to book a review.
[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaPo7x0KlKg[/youtube]
A very happy customer in Ewloe wanted to sell their property however their bathroom and downstairs W/C had seen better days, so they invested in having a new bathroom and downstairs WC installed. A wise move in my opinion. The painting and flooring was arranged by the customer in the pictures below.
There are a few different filters on the market that look similar to this:
These are relatively cheap and usually means drilling a hole into a stainless steel sink or in through a kitchen work top.
Alternatively, if you wanted to spend a bit more money you can get a 3 way kitchen mixer tap which will look similar to this:
with this underneath your sink