Author Topic: Plumbing advice needed  (Read 1411 times)

Offline PeteHall

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Plumbing advice needed
« on: July 20, 2021, 07:11:48 pm »
Any plumbers out there who can pass a little advice?

The radiators in my house have started coming on when the hot water is getting heated, which is the last thing I need in this weather!

There appears to be an actuated valve to direct the water from the boiler either through the heating loop in the jot water tank,  or around the central heating circuit. I assume that this is jammed in the wrong position.

Does this sound like a reasonable diagnosis? Any idea if I can test if it's the actuator or valve that's at fault, or will I need to replace the whole unit?

Any other tips before I regret being a cheapskate and not paying a plumber?

Offline Fulk

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 07:16:49 pm »
I suppose as a short-term measure you could turn all the individual heaters off until you get a definitive diagnosis.

Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2021, 07:52:27 pm »
I dont have any zone valves but believe that they can be actuated manually. They are a common source of problems. You can get new motor units off eBay without replacing the whole unit. The open/closed position should be marked, if in a dark place use a torch and turn the rads off manually.

Google up "zone valves" , "wet central heating" etc and you should get a load of info.

I dont want hot showers in this weather so I turn off the whole lot and save money. Dont forget that the boiler itself will add heat ti your home.
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Offline PaulW

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 08:39:40 pm »
as above, 3port valve that diverts heated water from boiler to either heat the radiators or the hot water cyclinder, or both.

Ours is the same at the moment and awaiting a replacement

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2021, 09:58:04 pm »
You may have one 3-port valve, or two 2-port valves. Either way, they can be manually overridden to on, or in your case to off by removing the actuator and turning the valve by hand. You can at least prove whether it is the valve or actuator as they are separately available.

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Offline jimmo62

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2021, 08:41:01 am »
Some 3 port actuators have an external indicator which shows how they are set - you could google the instruction manual for your make/model and see if it is so equipped?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2021, 08:47:23 am »
Thanks all. It's in a bit of an awkward place, but now it's cooled down and I've got close to it, I should be able to take the actuator off fairly easily (once I've isolated the power to it...)  :thumbsup:

Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2021, 09:04:19 am »
Seeing that there is quite a bit of plumbing interest....

I bought my home in 1977 and it had the 'old school system' of cast iron pipes and rads with a solid fuel boiler. All ripped out and replaced by a gas fired system. When I had the place extended, I extended the heating system myself following a bit of academic study. I did a few mods as well during lockdown.
Its a bungalow by the way, the original wet central heating nightmare as no upstairs to balance the system.
I changed part of the system to underfloor and put in an extra return from one of the descending loops.

Now, and its a large place, the whole system runs fine with the circulator on its lowest setting. My main living area is my roomy bedroom, small dressing room, and ensuite, this plus hall and kitchen can be heated for same running cost as a single electric convector heater. No zone valves, with hot water only one single rad gets lukewarm only, and as this is only on a very short while do not consider it an issue. Main unwanted heat in summer is from the boiler so I just turn everything off. Stored cold in the loft gets warm this weather and does me for showers.
Boiler is the original but had to fit new gas valve in first 5 years, then replace all the control system with modern electronic system.

Interesting thing about DIY is that if you know what you are doing you find out some of the stuff that 'professional tradesmen' have done in the past. Oh Dear.
Another bathroom had its mixer shower with cold being drawn of the mains, miracle its worked OK never mind building regs.

Thermostat was a 3 wire, but only 2 connected = never worked. I fitted a new one which was 2 wire mechanical plus a third for indicator LED, used the earth for this in the preexisting wiring. "Jaysus Mickael, I never taught of tat"
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2021, 09:33:06 am »
Interesting thing about DIY is that if you know what you are doing you find out some of the stuff that 'professional tradesmen' have done in the past. Oh Dear.

Pretty much why I'll never pay anyone to do anything (except gas pipes, I'll pay up and let someone else solder those!). My logic is that it's generally not very difficult, but you actually have an incentive to do a decent job, unlike the professional who's only incentive is to get it done as quick as possible.

I've found some absolute shockers in my house. The last owners clearly went for the cheap tradesman every time...

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2021, 09:57:30 am »
I've found some absolute shockers in my house. The last owners clearly went for the cheap tradesman every time...

Not much!. one picture is the 'before' wiring for the central heating, the other picture is the 'after'.

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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2021, 10:01:31 am »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

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Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2021, 10:33:27 am »
Re wiring. Yes. Junction Boxes every time rather than loop in, and wiring neatly secured to, and along,  the roof beams not lying everywhere.
Costs more but a better job.

I really like 'messing' DIY jobs on the home or whatever.

Chris, this maybe up your street, bottom of the page. last lockdown project was rebuilding it. The yellow one, had to use a 5 ton trolley jack to lift the barrel.
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Online SamT

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2021, 10:58:13 am »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

Noice!!

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2021, 11:41:28 am »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

Shame you don’t no how to rotate a photo though  :tease:

Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2021, 02:55:13 pm »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

Shame you don’t no how to rotate a photo though  :tease:

So thats it, I wondered about the large square LED unit on the ceiling. I have two in my bathroom but they are round. Also, odd place to run the pipes, I pondered on this.
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Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2021, 02:56:51 pm »
It's the innovative celing mounted radiator that gave it away!

Online Tomferry

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2021, 03:05:27 pm »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

Shame you don’t no how to rotate a photo though  :tease:

So thats it, I wondered about the large square LED unit on the ceiling. I have two in my bathroom but they are round. Also, odd place to run the pipes, I pondered on this.

Yes Roy it took me until I got neck ache to figure it out , with some one as good as Chris with technology on p.c”s I expected more myself  :spank:

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2021, 03:16:34 pm »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

Shame you don’t no how to rotate a photo though  :tease:

When a photo is uploaded directly, it sometimes appears sideways, even if it was originally the right way around. I expect it's something to do with the metadata, but I may be wrong.

If you actually click on it to see it full size, it is the right way around  :tease:

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2021, 03:24:25 pm »
Dam it why did I open my big mouth he is going to  :furious: :lol:

Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2021, 04:09:43 pm »
My plumbing is also pretty tidy!  :smartass:

Shame you don’t no how to rotate a photo though  :tease:

When a photo is uploaded directly, it sometimes appears sideways, even if it was originally the right way around. I expect it's something to do with the metadata, but I may be wrong.

If you actually click on it to see it full size, it is the right way around  :tease:

Yes, I have just done this. This must have annoyed Chris something wicked when it appeared the way it is!
Its usually down to people uploading direct of cameras or using the cameras supplied software to view on their PC, not realising that their pic isnt being saved in that format.
I resize and correct all mine in Photoshop before uploading anything.
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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2021, 05:21:14 pm »
Yeah I have no idea as it has been post-processed to reduce the resolution. But I thought nobody would actually care that much!

And I like Roy's house - not to my taste, but eclectic nonetheless! The joys of living by yourself I suppose - I'd never get away with that.

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Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2021, 05:26:37 pm »
How do you like something that is not to your taste?

Next home project is a full size replica 1862 model Gatling Gun. Look wicked in the living room.
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Online Tomferry

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2021, 06:04:31 pm »
Nice projects !!

My favourite old fashioned gun would this followed by the Gatling gun



Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2021, 06:35:40 pm »
He got a bargain at $20K USD, even in the USA. A 1/3 size reproduction Gatling made by a guy in Barnstaple Devon fetched about £14K  on eBay.


You dont get anything like these on the market here, none in private possession that I know of.
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Offline sinker

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2021, 06:42:20 pm »
How do you like something that is not to your taste?

Next home project is a full size replica 1862 model Gatling Gun. Look wicked in the living room.

Love the bar Roy. Especially the Mitchells & Butlers Brew XI bar towel.
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Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2021, 07:39:24 pm »
Pete,

That is exactly the same thing that is happening to my hot water /central heating. (so having less showers at mo!! :o)

I thought it started happening after I upgraded from Hive vI to vII so spent almost 4 hrs with Hive Support trying lots of control permutations.  :'( 

Found out that as I have a header tank, immersion heater tank and part pumped the indicator light should be blue not green.

Still not fixed so now waiting for a visit.    >:(

If I do my homework and study the responses on here I might sound a little knowledgeable when they turn up   :smartass:
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Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2021, 08:06:46 pm »
I had that problem years ago, lousy hot water and rads would get warm in all rooms when you used hot water. I think it's a common fault. In my case a plumber/heating engineer that lived roughly opposite swapped the valve/actuator all together. He did it freebies because I scared off theives breaking into his van in the night a month earlier so I never looked into if you could get separate to save money. When I described it to him he knew what it was before he even looked at it, so can't be that rare a problem!
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2021, 10:02:53 pm »
Turns out that the actuator comes off with a small plastic clip.

Manually operating the valve, it's clearly leaking into the central heating system when it's supposed to be closed.

Obviously there aren't any isolator valves nearby, so I'll need to drain the system to change it. One for another day. I've manually closed the radiator valves in the meantime...

Offline royfellows

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2021, 10:20:22 am »
Turns out that the actuator comes off with a small plastic clip.

Manually operating the valve, it's clearly leaking into the central heating system when it's supposed to be closed.

Obviously there aren't any isolator valves nearby, so I'll need to drain the system to change it. One for another day. I've manually closed the radiator valves in the meantime...

Check the pipework out for a gate valve somewhere, could be under insulation wrap, some are actuated with a screwdriver so dont have a valve wheel. Its unusual for a system to not have an ordinary gate valve somewhere for situations such as yours.
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2021, 10:34:36 am »
Turns out that the actuator comes off with a small plastic clip.

Manually operating the valve, it's clearly leaking into the central heating system when it's supposed to be closed.

Obviously there aren't any isolator valves nearby, so I'll need to drain the system to change it. One for another day. I've manually closed the radiator valves in the meantime...

Check the pipework out for a gate valve somewhere, could be under insulation wrap, some are actuated with a screwdriver so dont have a valve wheel. Its unusual for a system to not have an ordinary gate valve somewhere for situations such as yours.

Trust me, I've checked Roy. No valve from the boiler cupboard, through to the airing cupboard as far as where it goes under the floor boards. I've not taken up the carpet or floor to look further, but if it's not accessible, I doubt they installed one. Like I said earlier, the previous owner clearly went for the cheapest tradesmen every time...  :wall:

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2021, 02:44:52 pm »
I was going to suggest you add an isolator valve on the DHW side and use an Aladdin so no draining, but then I saw the price of a 22mm and couldn't believe it, makes heating engineers look cheap

https://www.screwfix.com/c/tools/misc-plumbing-tools/cat6750008?brand=aladdin
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2021, 03:22:55 pm »
Looks a handy thing, but at £140, I'd rather drain the system and install a normal isolator for £4.30

Offline wormster

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2021, 10:30:47 am »
My pervious house in Cheddar needed the boiler replacing, the Gas Board came and did the job. (Oh it was a combi system, no header tanks - I was going to convert the airing cupboard in the back room into a secret book nook!) anyhoo, after one year the boiler broke down, I had 2 separate Gas Board "Engineers" to look at it, (the second knew our very own Mr O'Doc as he lived in the same village) each diagnosed differernt faults and replaced parts - all to no avail, no hot water no heating! - I didn't mind as it was late spring early summer. I got fed up with this and threatened leagal action - sale of goods etc.... the Gas Board then sent a 3rd Engineer from the manufacturer to fix the problem, she walked in opened the boiler up, looked at the mess that the other "Engineers" had left behind, muttered a few unspeakable words, replaced a few things, and then took the control board out, explained to me that the work that had been carried out was to the most part "stabbing in the dark", because an updated controller had been released which fixed the fault I was having. A new board was popped in and tweaking a few PID'S in the controller and presto the system fired up and was running sweetly when the house sold a while back.

Nowt to do with the O/P's problem, but a boiler story that ended well
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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2021, 04:35:14 pm »
Those clowns are not engineers. It is very frustrating to a real engineer (like myself) to be categorised with 'fitters' and 'technicians'.

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Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2021, 06:33:33 pm »
Unfortunately they are "engineers" because the word is so vague. Anyone from Sir Frank Whittle to Frank Spencer can be called engineer. In other trades you'd distinguish between architect and site labourer but for peculiar historical reasons "engineer" is a very very broad brush. Point taken they're not "professional engineers".
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Offline sinker

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2021, 06:38:38 pm »
Those clowns are not engineers. It is very frustrating to a real engineer (like myself) to be categorised with 'fitters' and 'technicians'.

Chris.

What defines an Engineer (I always capitalise the word)...?

Practitioner of "engineering"...?
A degree?
Membership of a professional body?
Experience?
Certain professions?
Or just a job title??  :lol:

discuss....



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Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2021, 06:48:41 pm »
A degree in my opinion.
Anything else is just bollacks.
I had a friend who claimed to be a Toyota engineer.
Turned out he was a production worker.
A lot of employers give there work force inflated titles to giving them a deflated salary. Works everytime

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2021, 08:50:35 pm »
I would go with a Degree as a minimum, maybe being chartered too?

I believe in Germany it is illegal to call yourself an Engineer unless you meet certain criteria (but I don't know what they are!!).

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Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2021, 09:26:50 pm »
Degree on its own means little, long gone are the days when having a degree was a relative rarity.
Professional Engineer is a good way to distinguish a professional from a fitter etc

"Engineer" has been used in English for about 300 years to mean anything from grease monkey to train driver (although for driving fell out of British English in early 20thC) to large engine mechanic, to professional engineer. Therein lies your problem

Only a BSc in Eng (not BEng/MEng, so I may be outranked here)
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Online Fjell

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2021, 10:20:08 pm »
In most of the world including UK engineering, you have engineers and technicians. Engineers design things and make choices, technicians execute the design and run and maintain systems. They are different jobs, and senior technicians are often better paid as they are hard to find. Engineers tend to migrate to management to get ahead.

In Germany you are called Herr Ingenieur, or possibly Herr Doktoringenieur if you are postgrad. They take it very seriously. Very Seriously. No sense of humour whatsoever (OK, even less than normal). And if you are not German but called Herr Doktoringenieur Karl von Meyenfeldt they will collapse at your feet because they think you are an aristocratic Doktoringenieur, even if you are not. And if you are Dutch, and the boss of this German operation, there is no end to payback for nicking all the bikes.

Offline sinker

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2021, 10:25:02 pm »
Degree on its own means little, long gone are the days when having a degree was a relative rarity.
Professional Engineer is a good way to distinguish a professional from a fitter etc

"Engineer" has been used in English for about 300 years to mean anything from grease monkey to train driver (although for driving fell out of British English in early 20thC) to large engine mechanic, to professional engineer. Therein lies your problem

Only a BSc in Eng (not BEng/MEng, so I may be outranked here)

Agree; "engineer" is a broad term.

"Professional"; in my opinion I always used to consider that a "professional" was someone who needed to be Chartered or a member of an institution etc in order to be able to carry out their work. So a doctor or solicitor etc.
But these days the word is added to almost anything to make it sound grander than it is; Healthcare Professional, HR Professional, Marketing Professional etc.

All semantics.

All bollocks.

Ah, well, now, you see...erm...

Offline sinker

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2021, 10:28:06 pm »

Engineers design things and make choices, technicians execute the design and run and maintain systems.


I was about to make the same point but was wondering how to express it. You have done it perfectly. I agree.

Ah, well, now, you see...erm...

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Plumbing advice needed
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2021, 09:51:08 am »
But these days the word is added to almost anything to make it sound grander than it is; Healthcare Professional, HR Professional, Marketing Professional etc.

I quite like the concept of someone in HR or Marketing who _wasn't_ professional, but just did it for fun as an amateur? :P

 

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