Happy World Plumbing Day!
The World Plumbing Council selected the 11th March as World Plumbing Day last year, with the aim to promote the role plumbers play in helping communities worldwide.
Robert Burgon, the Chairman of the World Plumbing Council, said in a statement that, “plumbing is directly connected with health of a country and ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation.”
Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Matt shares his Plumbing stories with us…
Train4TradeSkills students are doing their bit for plumbing and here is Matt Norman’s story about when he had to fix an emergency leak. Matt won the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Award for February and here is Matt’s winning story:
I am on the plumbing course, and in full-time employment for a plumbing company. Last Friday night I received a phone call from the boss of an emergency job and to take another lad and drive from London to Brighton mid rush-hour. There were reports of a leak coming through the ceiling from the loft. I loaded up with a range of tools and fittings expecting anything. After getting to the job and accessing the loft (which contained a large CWSC feeding 4 flats, a large HWSC for the heating as well as a LEAD mains riser, split into 4 separate mains feeds to each flat) meaning pipes everywhere and no floor just joists.
I put a hole in the ceiling where the water was dripping from to allow it to drain and prevent the ceiling from collapsing. Looking in the loft I found the problem – Lead. The kitchen had recently been replaced/ re-plumbed. A lead-loc reducer had been fitted to take it from the 3/4″ down to the 15mm copper, then run along for about 150mm then dropped down in some boxing to feed the kitchen cold tap. The copper had NO fixings and every time the cold tap was turned on then off the pipe would kick and resulted in over a matter of weeks it pulled the lead-loc, stretching the lead and causing a 2mm split in it.
I reported the issue to my boss having never worked with lead before, and he replied “just do it”.
I began tapping the lead over to reduce the water flow, then Googling the nearest Screwfix, putting it in the SatNav and rushing down to get the part before it shut; 1 LEFT IN STOCK!
On return, I got straight into the freezing cold loft, itching due to the fibre-glass insulation and carefully using to boards swapping them round so I’d have something to stand on. After much careful work on the one nearby gate valve which was still on the lead pipework. It eventually closed enough to allow me to work on it, though not completely. I set everything I’d need up in-front, 2 pairs large adjustable ,screw-gun with screws and 15mm plastic pipe clips, 12″ alligator grips, a pair of Stilsons, PTFE threaded tape, correct LEAD-loc which also provided the protection against galvanic corrosion, new gate valve and a 15mm flexible pipe.
The plan was to use cut the lead back to before the split but still leaving plenty of room in front of the old valve. Then fit the lead-loc, connected to the flexi-pipe, then connected to the existing copper. I also will cut the copper a little further on the install the gate valve for future kitchen work. Then clip the pipe to the joist to reduce the kicking movement.
The idea of using the flexi was to give more freedom, and give it some slack to further reduce the kicking movement/ stop it completely from pulling on the lead. I also felt obliged to install the new valve as it was completely impractical to replace any of the lead and taking into account the difficulties I had turning the valve off, one would be needed in future for any more kitchen work.
I cut the lead, fitted the lead-loc (PTFE every threaded joint) connected the flexi, then back to the copper. I then cut the copper and fitted the valve. Then clipped the pipe to the joist. I then had to PTFE the packing gland on the old valve. I turned the water back on and checked the joints, LEAK FREE. On testing the kitchen tap I noticed a massive decrease in pressure. I suspected an airlock in the pipe. I shut the new valve off and opened the kitchen tap, then turned the new valve back on and the pressure went back to normal. Then double checked each joint and sure-enough no leaks. I packed up and left for a long journey home in harsh motorway weather conditions.
If you want to read other stories from Train4TradeSkills Plumbing students, listen to T4TS Radio and the likes of Andy, Anis, Charlotte and Mohammed talking about their courses with Train4TradeSkills.
Posted on March 11, 2011, in plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, Plumbing News, train4tradeskills, Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month and tagged AudioBoo, Matt Norman, Plumber, plumbing, plumbing jobs, plumbing training, t4ts, t4ts radio, train 4 trade skills, train4tradeskills, Train4TradeSkills Radio, World Plumbing Council. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.