Mains water supply to bath taps?

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    Mains water supply to bath taps?

    Barratt 2 bed house circa 1980. Floor mounted gas boiler. Bath, no shower. Cylinder in airing cupboard scenario.

    Tenant moves in 18 months ago and asks landlord if she can have a shower installed (thermostatic valve type with riser rail). She is paying and gets local plumber to to the job.

    After 8 months of happy shower use with no problems there is a catastrophic event whereby we believe the cold tank burst or joint to tank failed and 40 galls of water enter the accommodation by gravity. Landlord is now claiming that the bath was supplied by mains water and not from the cold tank. He also claims that the fluctuation in pressure from the later installed shower caused backflow to the cold tank causing it to overflow.

    The plumber who had installed the shower does not want to get involved in the dispute but states he did not plumb the shower into the cold mains at the bath as it was supplied by a cold tank.

    Landlords plumber is disputing this insisting that the bath was supplied by mains cold water and therefor the tenant is in someway responsible for having the shower installed. Tenant has now left so we can't go back and check.

    Question- how likely is it that the bath was supplied by the mains and not via the cold tank?

    All thought welcome.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    #2
    My 1980's flat had mains water to the cold bath tap. The hot one came from a Fortic cylinder.

    However, I'm struggling to see how installing a shower could make a tank explode.

    Comment


      #3
      As a fixture the shower surely becomes property of owner when put in (& by sound of it he gave his permission). IMHO only permit such works by one's own workmen.

      But, LL&T 85 s11, not his resp to fix. Were I LL I would fix it.

      Can't see this being resolved other than by LL taking T to court - LBA, SCC - (will fail?).
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...n-put-in-place

        This is in relation to this case above - we now have a hearing date for reconciliation + a date for a full hearing.

        The sibling landlord RL works as a plumber of same surname (he says it is not a relative but it is an uncommon name). He (landlord) maintains he called out his employer to look at the damage to this house and to repair and the employer has put pen to paper on the matter of the backflow causing the cold tank (not hot) to overflow.
        The landlords did claim on their insurance though my friend has been unable to access any details of the claim which was paid out. The landlord states that they were under no duty to rehouse her and therefore owe her nothing as she was given accommodation that in one case was superior to the house she rented.
        Any ideas to aid the defense welcome.



        Freedom at the point of zero............

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
          how likely is it that the bath was supplied by the mains and not via the cold tank?
          There's no fundamental reason why it shouldn't be; but given the presence of a cold tank it would be a bit odd. My own house has mains-pressure bath taps; but then so are all the other taps as there is no cold tank here. If you're going to have a system with a cold water storage tank, then you'd expect that to be used to supply all water outlets except for the kitchen sink (= drinking water).

          However, I'm not following the logic as to how this has anything to do with the tank blowing; especially the bit about 'backflow'.

          Comment


            #6
            In lots of houses the cold taps are fed from the mains, and the cold water storage tank is only used to feed the hot water tank. But what Eric suggests is more likely.

            I too fail to see this' backblow'.

            I can only imagine it is being suggested the pipes had been configured to somehow apply mains pressure to the lower pressure cold water tank outlet. I can't really think how that would have happened, but if that was the case I am doubtful it would have waited 8 months to cause a problem.

            Comment


              #7
              Many thanks guys for your replies. Below is a quote from the plumber's letter which will no doubt feature at court.

              'I inspected the inlet valve to the tank which was operating correctly. If the tank was not being overfilled from the inlet then it must be back feeding from an outlet. My attention was drawn to the bath taps. They were of a mixer type which were supplied from the cold mains and the tank fed hot. As a result the higher pressure cold was able to overwhelm the hot and back fill the tanks.'

              Trouble is the tenant has no idea what actually happened in the roof. She woke up to water pouring through the ceilings and turned the water off at the mains. The insurance claim is not available to her to examine the claim.
              Surely if water was coming to the tanks for whatever reason it should have been exiting via the overflow?



              Freedom at the point of zero............

              Comment


                #8
                If bath taps were the problem, and the tenant only installed the shower, then surely the tenant is not responsible.

                Anyhoo, surely the main culprit must be a blocked overflow, which should have dealt with any problems causing exvessive water in the cold tank.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by andybenw View Post
                  If bath taps were the problem, and the tenant only installed the shower, then surely the tenant is not responsible.
                  I concur. Going back to the original post, Interlaken mentions 40 gallons of water cascading down... now, that is presumably the entire volume of the cold water tank. If there was somehow "backflow" into the tank via the bath mixer tap, then if there was a missing or blocked overflow, then you'd expect the tank to simply overflow until the bathroom tap was turned off. And the tank would remain full. For the contents of the tank to have been dumped through the ceiling, either the tank's outlet pipe has come adrift, or the tank has split catastrophically for some reason. I can't see how either of those can be down to the tenant's shower.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Is it possible that the hot cylinder water forced back into the cold water tank melted it?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                      Is it possible that the hot cylinder water forced back into the cold water tank melted it?
                      That would only even be a possibility if there's a mains-pressure (sealed) hot water tank, which isn't mentioned and I suspect it's very unlikely, given the presence of the cold water tank in the loft (if there was a mains pressure hot water tank, what on earth would the cold tank actually be for?)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                        That would only even be a possibility if there's a mains-pressure (sealed) hot water tank, which isn't mentioned and I suspect it's very unlikely, given the presence of the cold water tank in the loft (if there was a mains pressure hot water tank, what on earth would the cold tank actually be for?)
                        It's a job to get your head round.

                        Normally the cold water tank is joined to the bottom of the hot water cylinder, and the hot tap is joined to the top. If the shower valve breaks such that mains water pushes up the hot pipe, then hot water would be driven back into the cold water tank. If the immersion or boiler was on, the water in the cold tank would get hotter & hotter.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Leaking heating coil in the hot water tank could cause build up of water in cold header tank, so that's another suspect if tank was simply topping up.

                          If 40 gallons at once though, surely a failed joint.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by andybenw View Post
                            Leaking heating coil in the hot water tank could cause build up of water in cold header tank, so that's another suspect if tank was simply topping up.

                            If 40 gallons at once though, surely a failed joint.
                            Thanks again for all your replies. Yes Andy that is another possibility - have had that experience with my late mother's flat and one of my rentals - boiling cold tank water, masses of condensation coming back through trap door from roofspace.

                            My last time at court (as a landlord) was not a good experience. Fibbing tenants won the day and this has left me a bit on the back foot in helping with this case.

                            I think this plumber (for the landlord in this particular case) is trying to prove tenant fault to justify why the landlord demanded and received rent on an uninhabitable property yet the insurers did find her accommodation of varying sorts over the 2 months while repairs were carried out.



                            Freedom at the point of zero............

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