Plumbing: The Domestic Scene
Modernizing a plumbing system may suggest improvements in the layouts of the bathroom and kitchen, or the provision of extra facilities, such as a downstairs cloakroom.
Much domestic plumbing work is a matter of improvement and updating – the removal of festoons of ancient lead or iron pipework and its replacement by neat copper, stainless-steel or plastic piping.
Major additions, such as a utility room, may also fit in with updating and call for extension to the plumbing and domestic hot-water systems.
Labour-saving devices in the kitchen, such as a washing machine, water heater, waste-disposal unit or dishwasher; or, in the bathroom, water heaters, showers or bidets, all require various degrees of adaption to existing plumbing.
Before you carry out any major re-plumbing work, it is necessary to get approval from your local authority. This does not apply to routine jobs such as replacing a cracked wash hand basin or replacing or rewashering taps.
With major replumbing work, it is necessary to submit a drawing of the proposed changes, together with details of the existing layout. This must show all the detail, down to stopcocks and valves.
In the case of a bungalow, you need only provide a simple plan drawing, but, for a house, the full elevations must be shown. It is not necessary to produce these drawings to high architectural standards-the rule is that they must be accurate, clear and intelligible.
One also needs to comply with the byelaws of the local water authority. These will meet model water-board requirements, subject to local circumstances, and a copy of the local water authority’s rules should also be carefully studied. It is also a good plan to have a word with the local council to get advice on its requirements.
Once you have received the go-ahead to do the work, plan your work programme carefully. In particular, take care to ensure that any work you do does not rob the household of water for a long period of time. Where possible, carry out the work in definite, planned stages, and make as much advanced preparation as possible, by cutting and pre-assembling pipework and fittings.
Our dependence on water is very great and illustrated by the amount of daily consumption. In an average town, each person uses an estimated 910 litres. A bath takes around 91 litres, washing uses 23 litres, and even washing of hands accounts for seven litres. If we take industrial use into account, there is an enormous consumption of thousands of millions of litres each day.
It, therefore, makes sense that plumbing services should be well installed and not lead to waste. Faulty overflows and dripping taps cumulatively mean waste losses.
10. November 2011 by admin
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