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Pressure and Flow

Water Pressure:
Water pressure can be explained by the example of a cylinder fitted in a loft that contains a large volume of water. The cylinder is the main feed for outlets fitted upstairs and downstairs. If we were to measure the pressure of the water downstairs we would find that it is much higher than that found upstairs. This is due to the bigger distance downhill for the water to run. Naturally the whole pressure question depends on the location and height of the cold-water cylinder.

When you have a garden hose and you open the nozzle slightly, the velocity or jet would definitely be very fast, indicating a high pressure. Now if you if open the nozzle to its maximum, the high pressure jet would fade away somewhat as a greater amount of water flows but the pressure became lower. The flow rate, however would be a lot larger.

There are devices around that can accurately read the flow and the pressure of a system. A professional plumber from Feltham Plumbers will use them. The flow and pressure information is used when planning a future plumbing system installation.

This flow rate is usually found by working out the volume of water that can flow compared to the time span. A 3ltr bucket takes 3seconds to fill up, so the rate of flow will be 1litre each second.

Weir Cup:
A weir cup is a piece of kit that is designed to measure the rate of flow by allowing the water to flow through it. It is like a measuring jug but with an outlet at the bottom for the water to pass out. It can read both litres per second and gallons per minute. If the flow rate in a system needs to be reduced, the weir cup is used, and will accurately alter the rate of flow needed to fulfil an appliance’s operating specification. A professional tradesman like a Feltham Plumber understands flow rates.

Heating Boiler

One of the most reliable appliances in the world of plumbing is the humble central heating boiler, however like most things if it is neglected it will almost certainly fail, and probably at the worst time. One of these times is usually when you need it the most such as in winter. A trained plumber like a Feltham Plumber carries the correct tools and can logically fault find, diagnose, then repair or replace any defective parts that show up on an appliance. Any failure affects you in many ways and a boiler snag can be in the control system, with components like the thermostatic control/timer or valves and pipes.

Having a regular servicing schedule in place is a good idea. The servicing can be done by you or perhaps carried out by a professional service like Feltham Plumbers with specialist boiler knowledge and all the relevant equipment.

If You Think there is a Boiler Fault:
Take some time to really look at all the aspects of the boiler and its associated pipework, where accessible, for anything that does not look correct. Check the pressure gauge and also any funny smells. Below is a small list suggesting some reasons that might cause or contribute to a boiler breakdown:

1). Corrosion that has formed inside the system pipes. Corrosion is the result of constant boiler use and the effects of the chemical reaction that occurs between water and metal which causes sludge and rust to form inside.
2). Leaking pipework, valves and radiators will cause a lowering of the system pressure which will knock on to the boiler and affect the controls.
3). Any home left empty for a long period, means that it is more difficult to restart the boiler because the water has settled. This can apply to many different appliances.
4). The older the components the more chance they have of failing as their age does have a detrimental affect on the overall performance and reliability of the boiler.”

Basin waste fitting

The notes below assume that you have removed the old unit.

For basins there is no need to make an overflow connection as this forms an integral part of the appliance. Feltham Plumbers can install basins. The waste fitting is ideally made into the basin with suitable rubber washers but where these are not available the joints can be made as follows:

1). Apply a ring of plumber’s mate or silicone rubber to the underside of the section of the waste fitting that sits in the basin outlet. This joint to be successful the appliance must be absolutely dry, otherwise jointing mediums used will fail to stick to the porcelain.
2). Place the waste fitting in position and apply a second ring of plumbers mate, silicon or a large rubber washer to the area around where the thread pokes through the waste hole of the appliance.
3). Then put on a 32mm polythene washer.
4). Finally, wind a large back nut onto the waste fitting, clamping the whole lot together to form a seal.
5). To prevent the ways fitting turning in the basin while doing up the back nut, poke two screwdrivers through the slots or grates in the waste fitting and hold it secure. A Feltham Plumber carries the correct tools.

Once the appliance is made up you can begin what is referred to as the “second fix”. First, secure the appliance into its location, ensuring it is adequately supported and level. The top of the appliance is plugged in level as the gradient towards the waste is built into the design of the appliance.

Extra Info:
For plastic bath installations there are additional wall fixing clips, provided with the appliance designed to prevent the bath sagging due to the weight of water as it fills.

Emergency task

Tools and materials:
A good long pair of rubber gloves.
Old clothes.
2mtrs of strong twine.
A length of Wood around 300 mm long.
A small Container.
A plastic Bucket.
Old cloths.
A large adjustable wrench.


First fill a bucket with water. Then, remove the heavy lid from the top of the cistern and put it somewhere safe. Reach into the cistern and lift the float. Bridge the top of the tank with the word and tie the float arm up so that the water stops running. Feltham Plumbers can carry out emergency repairs. Use the ball to build a water out of the Tyler pan. With the unit more or less empty, take the wrench and undo the last casting doubt on the underside of the unit. Move the outlet pipe to one side. Depending on your model, undo the not clamps, disconnect the wire that links the flushing lever to the top of the siphon, and then lift the whole site unclear of the tank. It is at this point that you have a choice, you can either replace the whole site and unit, or you can remove the pierced plastic plate from the underside of the siphon, and remove and replace the plastic flap valve. Whichever you choose to do it is a very simple and straightforward operation. Finally, when you have fitted a new flap valve, or purchase a whole new unit, you simply reverse all the fitting procedures as already described, and the job is finally complete.

Note: the trick with this particular job is to make sure that you thoroughly clean and dry all of the washers, Nuts, and surfaces prior to refitting. A Feltham Plumber is a skilled tradesman who can repair all kinds of plumbing problems.

Glossary of plumbing terms

The procedure of setting one part on or against another, such as a socket on a wall, with the help of a measure and spirit level in order to obtain a good line and fit. Feltham Plumbers carry out this action.
An airlock is a trapped pocket of air in a pipe which cuts off the water supply to a tap. This possible cure is to get a length of garden hose, slip it over the affected tap and the kitchen cold water tap and turn them both on to clear.
This is another name for a water storage tank. For example, both the tank behind the WC and the cold water storage tank in the loft can be called cisterns.
This is the lowest tap in an appliance (such as a boiler or radiator) or system, from which water can be drained. To drain the system, you simply slip a garden hose on the drain cock, run the other end of the hose out into the garden and then turn on the tap.
Rising main.
This is the cold water pipe that runs from the water suppliers stopcock to feed water (under pressure) to the kitchen tap and cold water storage tank in the loft. This should be the first valve to be closed in an emergency.
PTFE Tape.
This is a thin, ribbon-like plastic material used to seal threaded fittings. In action, the tape is wrapped around the thread and the joint is tightened up so that the tape fills the ‘V’ section part of the thread. Many plumbers prefer to use the traditional method of wiping the thread with a mastic made from putty, and then finishing by winding over a thread of hemp fibre. A Feltham Plumber uses this tape.
Fused connection unit.
A unit that allows a junction between a higher rated cable and a lower rating cable or flex, with a fuse that will blow to prevent the smaller cable being overloaded.

Installing a new storage cistern

Storage Cisterns used to today are made of plastic and if you are going to install one it is essential to ensure that the bases completely supported, otherwise the way to want to contend will cause the plastic to stretch and eventually break at the unsupported point. Old galvanised ones did not require this total support. These old metal cisterns are invariably left in the roof space and removing them requires extensive additional work. Feltham Plumbers will remove and replace this item. Sometimes, old asbestos ones are encountered. These are fine while in use, but when their past their useful lifespan is essential that they are disposed of safely. Do not cut the material, as this will make a dust which is extremely dangerous to inhale, even a minute particle can be hazardous to your health.

The size of a new cistern should be a minimum capacity of 100Ltrs if it is to serve only either a system of cold or a system of hot water, however, this volume should be at least 200Ltrs ideally 250Ltrs if it is to serve both cold and hot supplies. In order to provide the best pressure possible at the outlet points, such as showers and taps, the cistern should be located as high as possible, which may require the construction of a supporting frame. If you make a stand it is essential that you use sufficiently strong timbers and breasts to ensure that it can take the weight of the cistern when full of water. The weight of water is quite substantial for example 1 Ltr of water weighs 1kg, therefore, 250L of water would weigh 250kg which is equal to a quarter of at ton. A Feltham Plumber is aware of this.One point to note is that it is essential that no jointing pastes compounds are used to make the connections to the unit as these will have a detrimental effect on the plastic walls of the unit, causing it to break down and reducing the expected lifespan quite drastically. The connections are made with what are referred to as tank connectors. These are simply passed through a hole made in the unit, with a plastic washer included, and when the fitting that is tightened it clamped tightly to the system wall.

Clear a blocked sink

The sink is full of dirty washing of water. You pull the plug and nothing happens. Everything looks fine, there is no noise or dribbling water under the sink, and nothing unusual about from the fact that the water doesn’t go away, its blocked!

Tools and materials:
Sink plunger.
Small soft plastic bowl.
Large adjustable wrench.
Old wire coat hanger.
Plastic bucket.
Plenty of old cloths.


Take the plastic bowl, hold it rim the side down and plunge it up and down against the waste whole. Feltham Plumbers do this. If you are lucky, you will hear gurgling noise and the water will begin to run away. If the water stays, take the sink plunger and repeat the procedure as already described, only this time, block the overflow hole and be slightly more vigorous in your approach. If the water stays, use the basin to bail the water from the sink and into the bucket. Remove all the items from under the sink, and put on your old clothes. With the bucket placed at the ready under the sink, take the wrench and very carefully undo the cleaning eye or, if it’s a bottle trap, the lower part of the bottle. Let the last dregs in the sink and the contents of the U-bend or bottle trap fall into the bucket. Take the wire coathanger and reshape itself into a probing hook that suits the shape of your particular trap use the wire to fish around the U-bend end or in the trap, to poke out all those long, greasy strands of hair and bits of debris that has caused the blockage in the sink. A Feltham Plumber can sort this task easily. Use washing-up liquid and an old toothbrush to clean up all the grease to enable the waste water to drain away fast. Reseal the trap and run the water into the sink to check that it runs away. Make sure the system is not leaking. Cleanup, wash your hands and the job is done.

Types of Plumbing Tools

Chain Wrench.
A tool with a handle a toothed jaw and a chain used to grip pipes and large nuts. The chain is wrapped over the item to be turned, engage the chain with the toothed jaw and lever with the handle so it grips. It is a very useful tool for working on, old pipework, large nuts and threaded galvanized pipes.

Measuring Tools.
You will need to own two measuring tools, a wood, metal or plastic rule for sizing and marking holes. A flexible tape measure for longer measuring jobs like position of taps, radiators and lengths of pipework.

The Basin Wrench.
Is a wrench with a longer handle and is specifically designed for use when fitting taps. The jaw of the wrench is turned over into ‘tighten’ or ‘untighten’ mode and then is operated with a pivoting movement.

Wood Chisels.
You need a set of chisels for chopping and cutting wood for setting pipework in joists and cutting holes in plasterboard. Used with a hammer, goggles and mask. Feltham Plumbers carry these tools.

A good pair of pliers are very useful. Long nosed for electrics and large for heavy work such as soldering and WC valves and others for lots of hard to do tasks.

Spirit Level.
A tool to check that fittings and fixtures are level and true . Available in lots of sizes and types. Most common used are small wooden bodied with the level set in the middle. Great tool and carried by a Feltham Plumber .

Three hammers are used, a claw hammer for general work knocking in nails and clawing out old. A small tack hammer for pins and very small nails and large headed clump hammer for lifting floorboards and chopping holes in plaster and brickwork. An essential tool.