Waterfall on outside wall of property above causing water ingress internally below

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    Waterfall on outside wall of property above causing water ingress internally below

    An external water leak via a very short inward-curving pipe from an upstairs maisonette (owned by a freeholder, but inhabited by rental tenants) is pouring water down the outside wall of my kitchen (I am a leaseholder).

    This water is making its way into my internal kitchen wall, probably through cracks in the paintwork - the wallpaper has wrinkled.

    This started on Saturday - the managing agent was not available until Monday.....

    Reported to MA on Monday - plumber booked but the renters upstairs were 'not available' to let anyone in on Monday or Tuesday and are not providing any information (they only want to deal with the MA), but I can guess that the leak may be from a boiler.

    Now, on Wednesday, the renters have Covid and the plumber will not go in until this has cleared, perhaps a week.

    Meanwhile, the water is still pouring down the wall and my kitchen wall may get damaged over time.

    I have a stopcock for the property upstairs next to mine and could turn this off now, but this would leave the renters without water, and such an action may not be legal.

    The MA can only suggest I carry on waiting.

    I could be patient and understanding, but I don't really want to own somebody else's problem for too long.

    Any suggestions please?

    #2
    If it's a boiler over pressure vent which it sounds like it is, the water should be able to be turned off at the boiler itself so the rest of the property is unaffected but they won't have hot water.

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      #3
      Useful information - thank you.

      Is turning off the water to a boiler a DIY job?

      No access is allowed at present due to Covid infections.

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        #4
        As said the short inward curving pipe is the boiler overpressure overflow.

        There will be a 'filling loop' usually underneath.the boiler.
        It is used to repressure the heating system if the pressure falls through bleeding radiators etc.

        It usually has a quarter turn valve at each end of the loop, either thumb-turn or screwdriver slot so anyone should be able to give them a quarter turn.

        Shutting either one (or both) of those valves will stop the flow.

        They shouldn't normally be left open anyway.
        (It's probably leaving them open that has caused the overpressure problem in the first place).

        Look up 'boiler filling loop' and pass it on to the isolating neighbours.

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          #5
          Sounds to me like your neighbour is trying to wind up his landlord.
          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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            #6
            Are you reasonably handy? I would run a length of downpipe from the overflow into the hopper head. Though if it was me I'd have turned their water off as soon as they started being awkward.

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              #7
              Originally posted by nukecad View Post
              As said the short inward curving pipe is the boiler overpressure overflow.

              There will be a 'filling loop' usually underneath.the boiler.
              It is used to repressure the heating system if the pressure falls through bleeding radiators etc.

              It usually has a quarter turn valve at each end of the loop, either thumb-turn or screwdriver slot so anyone should be able to give them a quarter turn.

              Shutting either one (or both) of those valves will stop the flow.

              They shouldn't normally be left open anyway.
              (It's probably leaving them open that has caused the overpressure problem in the first place).

              Look up 'boiler filling loop' and pass it on to the isolating neighbours.
              If someone has left the filling loop open then that’s pretty dangerous! Most systems only run at 1bar and will dump any pressure over that amount. Mains pressure is a lot higher and a heating system isn’t designed for that.

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                #8
                Thank you all for your efforts here.

                I have asked the MA to order an emergency plumber to fit an external pipe from the overflow to the nearby drain hopper about 1 metre away. This will at least keep the waterfall off my wall.

                The water only started to flow last Saturday. Is this an indication that someone has tampered with the boiler or would there be some sort of fault with it?

                Why would an open loop be dangerous? Surely, this would allow excess water pressure to exit safely?

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                  #9
                  The Director of the MA tells me that I cannot turn the water off if the property is inhabited (no reason given).

                  I checked this with the Fire Brigade - they say it would infringe upon human rights.

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                    #10
                    If they leave the filling loop on it's likely to break something in the boiler - can't remember what it is but my T did this and flooded the flat below. It's supposed to be a closed system and topped up to a certain pressure. It is often possible to isolate the water supply to the boiler which would stop the overflow. Failing that anyone civilised would turn the stop cock off and turn it on only when they need to use the water. I'm sure you're not supposed to turn their water off but it would be an incentive for them to be helpful.

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                      #11
                      Thanks, but such an incentive may land me in court!

                      The MA wants to wait for the Covid to clear so that an engineer can enter to fix the boiler, but I would like (in the immediate term) an external pipe fitted to channel this and any future water to the nearby drain hopper.

                      As I don't want to wait, I may have to pay to get the work done myself, although without MA permission, this could also be tricky.

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                        #12
                        I suggest you lift up cover to the toilet water tank, to check if the water is escaping via the overflow pipe

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                          #13
                          Toilet overflows do not (usually) curve back to the wall, there is no need.
                          In fact most overflow into the pan unless it's a very old toilet with a seperate cistern.

                          Boiler overflows should curve back to the wall so that if the escaping water is hot it runs down the wall cooling as it does instead of possibly dripping on and scalding somebody.

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                            #14
                            What nukecad says. I can't see how a hose can be fitted over the end without cutting the pipe which isn't a good idea as it's damage to someone else's property. You may be able to slip something between the wall and the pipe to divert the water a bit but meh...

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                              #15
                              Thanks 1600e for the great idea - I have clipped together two lengths of 2m plastic gutter and jammed this between the outlet and the ground - the water (which is hot) is now being diverted away from my wall.

                              This will do until the boiler is fixed, but the MA has refused to fit a diverting pipe to the nearby drain hopper - I would like this as this would solve any repeat problems. It seems I have no choice.

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