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Thread: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

  1. #1
    Almost Ex-HEXUS Staff Jonatron's Avatar
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    Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    Pondering why puny projects are particularly prolonged...

    The cold bath tap is running slow. No problem, I can redo the bath sealant at the same time as fixing anyway...shouldn't take long.
    Have a look at taps, see grub screw, undo but it doesn't seem to loosen anything.
    To get under the taps, I need to disconnect the sink.
    To get to the far tap, I need to disconnect the overflow.
    The overflow has welded itself together from limescale.
    After damaging it while removing, I buy a new bath waste / overflow.
    Turn off water.
    Invent a new tool to reach the far tap.
    The water leaks despite water being turned off.
    Buy a bung to stop water completely.
    Remove tap, scrape off a thick layer of limescale.
    Apply new sealant! Yay!
    Put tap back in.
    Install waste.
    Waste leaks.
    Water leaks.
    Buy new pipe fitting.
    Tighten waste seals.
    Mop up.
    Move toilet to check water isn't under the floor.
    Reconnect toilet.
    Toilet inlet pipe leaks.
    Try new washer. Still leaks.
    Buy new flexible hose.
    Cold Tap still slow.
    Remove taps again, remove waste again.
    Use tweezers to remove the offending piece of fluff.
    Install tap and waste again.

    Anyway plumbing parts:
    Tolerances? What are they? Just use sealant if it doesn't fit.
    Torque required? Enough! But not too much!
    Description? You should already know what everything is.
    Temporary disconnection? Buy a new one.
    Types of fittings? Here's a choice of 30, all of them do the same thing.
    Lifespan? Oh at least a year, probably.

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  3. #2
    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    Yeah, my lest favourite type of DIY. Had two toilets start to run in the house, couldn't get either apart completely myself and one of them the plumber cracked trying to take apart. Not looking forward to having to redo two bathrooms this year!

  4. #3
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    Re: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    Our bathroom taps needed doing a few months back. Kitchen tap did too, but that's a different story.

    We have a 'contact' for a well-regarded local guy, just him, self-employed, not a company. He's not the cheapest option, and will ONLY do the job if good quality parts are used. Suits me.

    So, he gets going and a while later, I hear banging and sawing, more sawing and more banging, and it went on, and on and on. I wondered what the bleep he was up to, it being merely a bath mixertap and a couple of sink taps.

    So .... whoever fitted the bath mixer had used about half a ton of some kind of resin bond, presumably to stop a leak from not having done it right in the first place. My guess is that this was the original house builder, back in the mid '70s, as I dont think the tap's been changed since.

    Anyway, it took him nearly an hour and a half (IIRC) of cutting, chipping and chiselling to get all the resiny stuff off, HOPING he wasn't going to crack the damn bath in the process. So all told, he was here about 6 hours, The kitchen tap was done in uder 30 minutes (I fitted that one about 20 years ago), the bathroom sink's two simple taps were done in about 45 mins, and the rest of the time was doing the bath mixer, and that damn gunk.

    Well, all told it cost a bit over £800, but that includes VAT, and good quality taps which were north of about £400 on their own.

    Not a cheap job, IMHO, but that guy certainly earned his pay that day. He stuck to the original quote, though.

    I am SOOO glad I didn't decide to do it myself.

    As has been said, plumbing isn't my favourite job, either. I *can* do the basic stuff, and in the past have had no real choice. It's nice to be retired, reasonably financially secure and to be able to afford to pay to get someone else to do the stuff I really don't want to tackle.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    I replaced the ceramic cartridges in the tap in our utility room. I couldn't find the correct fit despite the efforts of a really helpful and well stocked local plumbing supplies shop, so ended up getting cartridges from Amazon that fitted the tap and came with their own new levers which looked close enough for a utility room. The levers needed filing down to get them to fit without fouling on the tap when you tried to turn them.

    After all that the tap still didn't work beyond a dribble. Turned out it had one of those bits of mesh in the end that sort of froths the water as it comes out, and in a hard water area that was almost solid limescale. At least those seem to be a standard part and easy to replace.

    Plumbing sucks, never goes right.

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    Re: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    .... At least those seem to be a standard part and easy to replace.
    Not the one I had. I mean, yes, it was old. The shop (Texas) I bought it in has been gones for a long time, and it was an "own brand" tap, meaning it was a who-kows-what. But I couldn't find that little mesh bit, or the cartridge-thingy that held it, anywhere.

    We have a very good and very helpful plumbing 'trade' place here, and providing you go in at a quiet time, the guys in there, each of whom is semi-retired (after a lifetime as a plumber), are only too willing to help, or even it seems, chat. And it stumped them too.

    Hence ... new kitchen tap.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    Guess I was lucky with that at least then.

    I bought this pack: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09DCLTG5H/

    and went around the house replacing them in all the taps that had them. The bath tap was bigger, so just left that alone.

    OFC being a cheapskate I did to start with putting the old aerator into a mug of white vinegar, which promptly dissolved the mesh as well as the limescale

    That was after I had bodged these onto the mixer tap: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09SXXCKTV/

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    Re: Plumbing parts are pretty preposterous

    A nylon (or similar plastic) mesh, I presume? Even that cheap Texas Homecare tap (about £35 IIRC) the mesh was metal. The problem was that the threaded mount in the tap 'corroded'. It looked to me like it was one of those anode/cathode type things between two dissimilar metals. Still, it lasted abut 30 years.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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