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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2021
    Posted By: Rex I do of course have s/s braid flexible tails on many of the domestic taps, but they are all at 3 bar.

    Maybe you should make their replacement your next plumbing project. I've just been taking a look online to see if there were any statistics that reflected my own experience; there are.

    Australian insurance company IAG found that flex connectors 'accounted for 22% of water damage claims in Australian households in 2016, with properties between 11 and 30 years old most likely to suffer an escape of water claim'... ...'Consider replacing all affected flexible hoses in your home with a new product as soon as possible'...
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2021
    What is the alternative to flexible tails for all the internal taps? I don' t fell overly concerned as although the incoming pressure is around 5 bar, I put a pressure reducer just after the stop-cock so the internal pressure is around 3 bar. it was necessary as that is the working pressure for the water softener.

    As for soldered slip connectors, I would like to do that but my soldering is not the best. I can get a solid joint but generally, everything goes black and frequently, the solder is not sucked into the joint. Lack of practice!! So the compression slip coupler will be the way to go. Anyway, it will be behind the washing machine so certainly not seen.
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2021
    Posted By: RexWhat is the alternative to flexible tails for all the internal taps?

    Well historically taps were connected with copper all the way. It's still possible to buy copper tails that are slightly flexible but much less so than braided stainless/rubber. Just requires more precise work by the plumber and takes a little longer to install. i.e. it hits the bottom line of the builder :devil:

    I don't think there's a need to be unduly worried. Just check them every decade!
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2021
    The alternative is to run regular copper / plastic pipe all the way to the tap, as was done before flexi connectors were invented. Though a bit tricker when replacing flexible connectors if space it tight.

    A good way to start with soldering is using the solder ring fittings - they're very reliable provided everything is wire-brushed and fluxed, and provided you don't have water too close in the pipes. But if you only have a couple of fittings and don't have the soldering kit, then compression fittings are normally very reliable too!
    When soldering end feed fittings you heat the pipe and fitting then remove the frame and let the heat from the fitting melt the solder. You do not melt the solder on to the fitting with the flame. Using the heat from the fitting to melt the solder rather than the flame ensues the fitting is hot enough to get a good joint. I use wire wool to clean up the pipe and fittings which always need a going over to remove any oxidisation or other contaminants prior to soldering. (including inside the fitting)
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2021
    Success with a soldered joint is more a case of knowing the right things to do rather than practice- the process is very simple so little practice is required, for soldering.
    All surfaces to be soldered need to be polished to fresh bare metal with wire wool/emery. If you use a wire brush it needs to be a specific round one for the size of pipe youre using. New fitting need to be polished to.
    Put a THIN smear of flux on the surfaces to be joined.
    Push the pipe and fittings together making sure the pipe is fully into the fitting.
    Heat the pipe about 10 mm away from the joint without playing the flame on the joint. As copper is a great conductor of heat, heat will travel along the pipe and heat the fitting. If youre using 22 or 28 mm fittings you can heat the centre of the fitting but keep the flame off the joint. If using solder ring fittings, the solder will appear all around the joint in a few seconds. If using end feed, dab your solder stick onto the joint every few seconds until it starts to melt then feed the solder into the joint until theres a ring of solder all round the joint.
    Allow to cool without moving the pipework and wipe off excess flux with a damp cloth and flush the inside
    Job done😁
    • CommentAuthorDavidND
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2021 edited
    Some observations from a plumber.
    - flexible connectors to taps or similar are NOT a long term product. They WILL fail. Failure is always due to the poor quality of the rubber hose itself not the braiding. What happens is that bubbles in the extrusion causes the walls to bubble. This occurs mostly at night when pressures rise. This stresses the braid and as it cycles continually eventually the braid fails to hold the hose in check and it bursts.
    - A check to see if one is failing is to run you hand gently over the hose. If you feel ANY whiskers of braid change it asap. That is a sign the process of failure has started.
    - for all outside taps it is a requirement of the water regs that it has a check valve fitted. The point of it is to stop cross contamination of the potable water. I stopped using taps with inbuilt valves years ago and instead fit one inside where it's protected from frost. Just yesterday I fitted an outside tap so fitted the non return valve & a full bore isolating valve inside. In the winter they have been instructed to leave the OS tap OPEN but shut the isolator inside. This means if it begins to freeze, the expanding water is pushed out of the spout stopping it all from splitting. The full bore iso is installed because it's designed to be used regularly and (unlike the restricted flow cheapo valves) can be used for pressure washers.
    - all water boards in the UK recommend a depth of 750mm for water pipes. Frankly any shallower than that is asking for trouble.
    - if you plan for any pipe to be perm filled at less depth then the ONLY way to keep it safe is with trace heating. Even at 750 you really need it at both ends. Insulation simply slows heat loss rather than stops it so you have to replace what's being lost.
    - re pressure reducing valves. All decent ones have a gauze filter. They need stripping and checking every year to maintain flow especially if work is undertaken anywhere in the vicinity. You will be amazed at the rubbish in our potable water.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2021
    Thanks for your advice.

    I will be fitting a check valve inside and a compression slip joiner. Certainly soldered would be my preferred but the pipe is close to a painted wall and I don't want to damage the wall. Although, I do have some Fremacell bits and that provide very good protection.

    Haven't ever checked the braid tails in 10 years so it may be time to do so.

    Understand the issue regarding contamination of potable water but when we built, the BCO had no comments about the outside tap. However, since virtually all outside taps are from the same source as the inside, therefore all outside taps are potable water, where is the problem?

    As for the MDPE pipe not being at 750, I will take the risk! We have a 1 meter roof overhand and although the ground obviously gets cold in winter, it rarely gets drenched with either rain or snow. It will be closing the isolator and opening all the taps and may even use air to attempt to blow any residual water out.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeJul 9th 2021
    One of the issues with the flexible tails is twisting - when the joints are tightened, any twist in the tail will be a point of failure. I have used push fit tails where necessary.
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