Found some horrible plumbing, comments welcome

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by BikerChris, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Hey all,

    Cheers for reading.

    I've had problems with my new gaff, lot of pipe noise. After I fitted a drain cock where there should have been one, I was able to properly drain the system and add some F3. Left it a week then drained and replaced with F1 (Fernox).

    That didn't help so I needed to pull up floor boards this morning and found the attached (I am lifting the pipes up when taking close up pics).

    - A long unsupported pipe length for rad feed and return (two on right) and hot feed to hot water tank.
    - some bad rubbing of pipes.

    So far I'm thinking of

    - supporting the long lengths with a new bit of 3x2 under the pipes around half way along with cuts in to
    - using pipe insulation to separate the pipes a bit as well as plastic clips to keep em away from each other

    I am going to pull up carpet in other rooms later but that needs some time as loads of furniture :(

    Anyway, if you have any comments I will very much welcome them and hope you all had a good festive time.


    Attached Files:

  2. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    Know the feeling :(, looks like a mammoth task :eek:

    Good place to start is look at where the pipes cross over the joists and any wood work, as well as pipes touching each over. If any of the pipes are in contact with wood then it will make some noise when they heat up during expansion, remedy this by providing more clearance around the pipe by notching wood work.

    I have found traditional plumbers felt/lagging to be good, and I always make an effort to wrap this around whenever I have the opportunity, this can be purchased in a small roll.

    Another thing that would be useful is supporting the longer runs of pipework with clips. This can be done by running a batten along the joist and using angle plates to secure into the ends, the add your pipe clips. With the weight f the 22mm/3/4" pipework it is likely that the feeds are in contact with the joists.

    Get as much done and then run the system again, with the floorboards up. There is no need to add inhibitor just yet, as you may need to drain again.
    Heat, BikerChris and Hans_25 like this.
  3. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

  4. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    And add a Maganclean Pro2 if you don't yet have one fitted!
    KIAB and BikerChris like this.
  5. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Yeah, not looking forward to it, but need to move some sockets as well, so at least pulling up once for 2 jobs! Don't help when the flooring was put down THEN the skirting attached...thank god for multi tool!
    I will do that where pipe crosses over joist, thank you mate.
    I just nipped round to shop and got that pipe lagging - not the stuff you showed which looks better :( I will get a supply of it ready for the other rooms though, cos I can see this hasn't been done by a proper plumber...and I ain't no plumber!
    I was going to batten as the pipes are far from joists, I've run out of angle plates so just going to fix new noggin between joists, just to give the pipes something to rest on. Will wrap pipes too, to avoid moving across wood.
    I want to fix then put the floor boards back, but you're right, I need to run system just in case I have f'd up! lol
  6. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Got one already...but it could be older than the house lol!

    RIP Hans in real life, seemed like a good egg to me
  7. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    I've used the above pipe lagging to protect pipes in notches, works well. My plumber suggested using pipe clips too on every other joist but I don't feel its necessary.

    I did add some battens to provide support - just cut them every so slightly long so they will hammer in place and then add a bead of stixall to secure. Pipe sits on top with some lagging around it.
    BikerChris likes this.
  8. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    A decent industrial vacuum cleaner is needed there!

    Those cables - close to pipes which is not good and then in a small notch! Can you get them through a hole on the centre line?
    BikerChris likes this.
  9. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    Those joists don't look to good either. The middle one twists quite a lot near the front of photo and dosnt seem like its connected to anything.
    BikerChris likes this.
  10. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Well all, in case interested I lagged the pipes especially where crossing over each other, and i lagged where it goes over joists... no change to noise, sounds like it happens under carpeted bedroom so something for another day. I've put the boards back again now, I will probably have to pull em up again to sort other things out! Thought I would attach a pic showing what is going on
    Ah nice one, thanks for letting me know that. Oh damn, I forgot about cutting it shorter and hammering in, cheers for that!
    lol you are not kidding about vacuuming, I got one of those titan vacuums a few months ago, much suckier than a henry and lighter. just a shame the plastic hoses are a bit thin and cheap.
    I will sort those cables out, you are right they need sorting and i would like to tack them to the side of the joists to tidy them up. I reckon I can get em through a centred hole though - those cables are probably moving soon as the sockets are in stupid places. The more i reveal of this gaff the more I find fudges :(
    Well spotted mate, that centre joist is as twisted as a politican. it is connected via a worthless bit of timber to the joist on the left. Unbelievable really :(

    Attached Files:

  11. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    I have seen a lot worse!
    The pipes should have had lots of space between them and the cross over pipework is atrocious.
    Copper pipes can be reasonably okay without supports for fairly long runs of perhaps at least 3m, as they are strong enough, but really should be supported within 2m.
    A tip to add timber support between joists is to use a baton of timber screwed on joists on each side with support timber set on top. That way you don’t need to cut the support timber very tight and struggle to wedge it in.

    Usually no need to clip heating pipes that are supported on timber supports or joists. But use piece of lagging below the pipes or a piece of DPC. It is best to use DPC wrapped around pipes that are through tight holes in joists.
    Use lagging to hold pipes apart to prevent them rubbing.

    Personally, as a plumber, I would just repipe such jobs entirely.
    The original installer was obviously not that careful or capable of high quality work, but that seems to be the normal
    BikerChris likes this.
  12. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    At least get a safe plate over the cable notch. Take 2mm off teh top to about 40mm each side to accomodate it and let teh floor lay flat.
    BikerChris likes this.
  13. Chuck eastwood

    Chuck eastwood New Member

    Hi lads and OP. I'm facing into an job almost exactly the same as this, one run of pipes from the front of the house to the back upstairs. When the heating come on the banging is cruel and loud enough to wake our baby. Now in my case the house was built in 1979 with no heating and some absolute cowboys (My dad a blocklayer and uncle a welder) piped the system themselves as funds were tight. All in all the did a decent job, even zoned the system. But that one run of pipes is melting my head. One question, could I replace the feed/return on that one section with qualpex? I've cleaned the system and have a magna pro on it. All out of options
  14. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Cheers heat, I'm glad you've seen worse!
    I was thinking that, about pipe spacing, who only leaves a Cig papers width between em!
    Thank you for saying about the max unsupported length of copper pipes, I wonder if diameter matters?
    Cheers for the tip on baton, I have put a temporary one in to see if there's a difference and screwed that into joist sides.
    What I did do at one end is take a baton, screw plastic pipe clips on them, then fix the batton underneath the pipes...probably should have bothered with clips, but I bought them and wanted to use!
    Personally, as a non-plumber I said to wife last night that if we upgrade boiler, we upgrade pipe work!
    Talk about workmanship, I went to a job this morning, some attic boards were lifted and my god how much better workmanship was. Like you said, seems to be normal, especially when it's hidden.
    Heat likes this.
  15. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    hi Mike58 & Chuck, I wanna reply to you but have a few family issues that need dealing with, back soon!

    @Mike58 @Chuck eastwood
  16. Chuck eastwood

    Chuck eastwood New Member

    No panic at all. Child hasn't slept a night in 18 months. Banging pipes for another few nights won't make a difference
  17. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    Surprising how much noise heating pipes will make if jammed tight to notches in joists or touching the underneath of floorboards
    BikerChris likes this.
  18. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    Maybe put a noggin in to support mid span, see if you can release that contact point, then plane a few mm out the floor boards length of the run to stop the contact.
    BikerChris likes this.
  19. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    I'm definitely going to do that, cheers very much, I have ear marked the safe plates for buying.
  20. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Hey Chuck, sorry to hear you are suffering the same. My plan, and it might a plan for you too is to tackle one room at a time, carpet up, boards up and turn heating on. For me the ideal thing is for everyone apart from me to go away for a week so all could be pulled up and exposed at the same time. Something worth doing is identifying the pipes once boards are up and figuring out the routing, and which ones are making the noise as well. Biggest problem is that noise can resonate down pipes so while you hear it in one place, the problem could be coming from somewhere else.

    I'm guessing you have an F&E system?

    I'm not sure if changing the pipe type is the fix - please know I'm not a plumber! Sounds stupid but know that the noise is either coming from the boiler, the pipes or the rads. Turn the rads on and off individually to figure out the routing, that will also tell you (if you don't already know) if it's a 1 or 2 pipe system. Once done, you might be able to just turn on the first rad that the feed goes to, see if there's noise and then move on. It will be tedious, but if no one is in and there is no other noises, you might be able to pin point the run that is causing the problem.
    Knowing the routing is important though, our system is F&E so a feed and return goes from the boiler and upstairs to the (indirect) hot water tank. Before it goes straight in there's a switch that directs the water either into the hot water tank (to heat the water up) or to the rads or a bit of both. In case it's those main pipes that are causing the noise, try turning off the heating and only having hot water and see if that still makes a noise.

    I spoke to some plumbers that said insulate the pipes if it's a cold house (not much insulation), that could reduce the banging as they will be cold pipes over night. It's expensive but may be leave the heating on for a few nights so you can all get a couple of nights kip - if once the heating has come on once, it is not as noisy. Or if your kid is getting woken up by the rad in their room, put an electric radiator in there so they can get some decent sleep and allow you to have a good mind to sort the problem out. I did that because when we first flicked the heating on it made so much noise as it was so poorly maintained. I know that is more money but its sort of a quick fix.

    After I have said all this, getting a plumber is the 'fix all' solution, but he needs to know as much as possible to save him time and you money. I know this is obvious but it can be better to deal with the problem when it's still cold outside.

    Really sorry I have gone on so much, sorry about that, it's not in the best order either, so pick and chose what should do next! I hope at least a bit of the above helps, I do feel for ya!

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