Tuesday morning and our plumber Andy arrives to assess what the hell is going on with the leak in the main soil pipe. The first plan of attack is to go in through the boxing and old floorboards above (under the new staircase), to the area where the waste pipe from the shower, bath and sink, joins the soil pipe. This bit of pipe was replaced hurriedly by our old plumber just before the soil pipe was plastered into the wall. It had been broken (something was possibly dropped on it) and our old plumber took 2 weeks to get around to replacing it, finally doing it literally as the plasterers were waiting with trowels in hand (he had delayed them so much and they had to finish), so it obviously never got checked or tested…
Jasper also wants to know what is causing the leak.
The waste pipe just before it joins the soil pipe below. To access the joint Andy is going to have to butcher the old floorboard. If this works this will be far preferable to hacking off the expensive lime plaster below.
CAN YOU SEE THE LEAK? Yup, as we guessed and assumed, it was exactly where the old plumber had made the hurried repair.
Now he has found the culprit Andy has to cut more out of the floorboard, and cut away the sound proof matting that was wrapped around the pipe, so he can access the joint.
Now he can get to it he can cut out the old pipe and replace with a new one.
It is leaking from the whole joint and leaking even more around the back of the pipe. The leak in the wall below is not directly underneath this, it is at the other end of the wall just before the soil pipe goes out through the external wall. The water is leaking here and running down the length of the pipe on the outside, but inside the sound proof matting (which is wrapped around the length of the pipe two or three times). The sound proofing is a very dense rubber, so totally waterproof, and the water is leaking out where the sound proof matting ends. We suspected this was what was going on and we were dead right!
The pipe gets cut out in sections.
And the reason it was leaking? It wasn’t glued correctly, only half of the pipe was glued, the other had no glue and this is where it was leaking from. Unbelievable. I am bloody glad we fired him when we did (although I wish we had fired him far earlier before he messed up everything else in the house).
Andy glues in a new pipe, making doubly sure it is properly glued and dry before he tests it for leaks. Then he joins the rest of the pipe work back together. It appears this was it! A (relatively) simple and cheap repair thank god and we don’t have to touch the precious lime plaster. The floorboard can be repaired (we have plenty of old bits to use) and as it is under the stairs it won’t be seen anyway. Thank you Andy!
So I can use the bathroom again and enjoy the view from the loo 🙂
The elm floorboards in the bathroom are beautiful.
Dad came over to help with the unpacking and we have made some room in the study and set up my desk.
Boxes of books waiting to be unpacked. These can wait until another day.
Me and Jasper enjoying a rare and brief sit down in the sun.
Jasper has discovered Cat’s cow hide that she brought back from Buenos Aires last year. He loves it.
While Andy was here I had a list of minor leaks in and around the house. Leak no.2 was in the pipe where the Aquabion was fitted last week, so bad we had to put a bucket under it, but thankfully it is in the garage. Leak no.3, also in the garage, is coming from the old external pipe for the hosepipe. Leak nos.4 & 5 are from two radiators (sitting room and dining room). All get fixed by Andy.
Leak no.6. As I am washing up in the kitchen sink (god I miss the dishwasher) I notice my feet feel wet. Water is flowing out from under the washing machine at a tremendous rate! Luckily this has happened before so I knew exactly what was causing it. Dog towels to the rescue while I run outside and clean out the external drain which was filled with dead leaves and building dust!
There is an old rusty pipe that goes through the kitchen wall (top corner of drain in photo) which never got filled in, so if the drain gets blocked and the water level rises it flows back through this pipe and into the kitchen!
I then proceed to throw buckets of hot soapy water with bleach down the drain to flush it through.
Leak no.7. What happened here, Jasper???