Removing bath taps. Strangest fittings.

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by DavidDavidson, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    Oh no, this was the cold water tank, 100% sure on that, considering it emptied when I drained the cold water the first time to help clean the **** (oh come on, word filtering the first four letters of Sir Thomas Crapper, on the plumbing forum too. Heresy!) outta the bottom.
    It emptied, cold water went off. Heating tank (more of a big square bucket really) remained full and even filthier.
  2. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    Just to update, I got them off and have the hot connected (when putting the pressure fitting there was a tiny bend in the pipe that wasn't visoble from my angle so the olive got all mangled up, creating a leak small but noticible and then of epic proportions since all the hot and cold had been run dry i have no idea where the water came fron and the water tank was checked and reported to empty, oh well, I used towels to catch most of it. My mother's currently without running water until I get a 150 flexi (i examined they restrict flow ain't as good as copper. Honestly of o had used my head I should have simply fitted the pipes to the tap/shower system as it turns out that strange middle bit was a reducer from 3/4" to 1/2". Just hit me there that I could have fitted the new taps without any flexi hoses. :(:rolleyes:
    Guess heat was right on two points, a proper plumber woulda done a better job and quicker too.
    One thing to note though, I wouldn't have been unable to remove the hot (far) firing until cutting the pipe, though if I had been thinking like a plumber and an autodydact DIYer thinking "whee I have a pipe cutter now, copper pipe, you better watch yer back:rolleyes:, I may have taken a step back looked at how things were connected, removed the S shaped copper pipe from the T it's fitted to (other pipe goes to sink and toilet I think) and once it was out of the way got to work on the hot, but it's a learning curve when you're learning with barely any experience.
    Heat also did help with the tool recommendations. Instead of a footprint adjustable spanner (unless they work like vice grips and I'm a dunce) I got a plumbers wrench (toothed, £12 and brilliant for the money) from screwfix.

    Anyway I'll see if I can buy an olive, pop the new one in (so I can at least return working product) and, get the money back on the hose (or store credit as I cut the pipe just too short but at the only straight bit as some plumber must have been having a laugh with their pipe bender, as it was S shaped, instead of bent straight up from the T connector, the hot can straight up with a solder joint so I cut off before the solder joint and put the fitting there a short cut so the flexi will be S shaped but it works as advertised.

    One other tool I got which was possibly one of the most useful not adjustable non powered tools due to the fact that it fits most bathroom sized nuts and fittings. At £3 I was expecting plastic construction. Solid steel. Really, really good stuff.

    I practically had to be a contortionist to get it done. The first reducer was packed full of what looked like carpet thread fibre all long the threads, but not too long. Used the basin wrench to remove the other fitting and out came tap number one. Contortionism excluded the second fitting and reducer came undone easier than the first and then the hardest part came, removing the tap from the plastic fitting , they used some sort of paste to hold it in place for what reason I know not. Most fittings are supposed to get easier when you loosen them though somehow this schmoo got all over the threads. Luckily my mother had gotten back to her place so she could help out, since the tap turned freely she would put the tap against the wall, I secured the basin wrench and then she pulled the tap ~90° this was repeated until the fitting got so tight it felt like it would break my wrists holding the basin wrench vertical so I switched to the pipe wrench and gave the basin wrench to my mum (arthritis in her hands and apparently it was too painful to pull the tap but the basin wrench fitted to the tap making a great lever) and spend at least another 25 minutes on the fitting. 40 minutes to unscrew a plastic tap fitting!
    I could have broken it off but that'd be cheating. Realised I could have used a drill and socket if I had a socket that fitted and loosened it in a second. Everyone's a general in hindsight.

    Anyway if it wasn't for that leak (I'm buying female to female 50mm 3/4" to 1/2" flexi putting it in the T on to the tap. Job should hopefully be done tomorrow.

    Then onto the bathroom basin; I've settled on sticking with the old corded black and decker jigsaw as I kind of got the new tool vibes, it cuts straight enough, it's just as old as I am, still I free hand cut a circle out if chipboard with it and tested cutting a straight line just to make sure it's in working order'll do it's job until I can grab that word one up in a sale. I am however getting their battery oscillating multitool kind of gimmicky but as I've heard it can be a real time saver when you need it.

    And finally onto the toilet. What fun.

    Ah I'll have learned a bit, earned a (little) bit and done something productive with my time.

    Dunno what's up next, putting a half second level into her garage for storage probably.
    Dam0n and Richard_ like this.
  3. Richard_

    Richard_ Active Member

    Can we see a picture of the indoor hanging basket with it's 7 screws?
    DavidDavidson likes this.
  4. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    I dunno if there's a hanging basket on it yet, but you can definitely see a picture of it when I'm around tonight.

    Quick question: could I connect a flexi to an old (threaded) copper T shaped pipe joint, or is this madness?
  5. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    Well I got the new tap/shower arrangement fitted. Plumbers will probably be chasing me down to "loosen my nuts" with a wrench when they see how, um flexi the flexi hoses have been done. The hot restricts flow though there's still a good pressure shower and tap out from it. Might get a 50mm one and fit that in further down the pipe (a soldered joint meant I couldn't fit the hot any longer or it would be too long.
    The fittings hold water but it'll be under 24 hour observation in case of a biblical flood. All looks good at the minute.

    As asked by Richard I'll stick up a picture of that indoor hanging basket thing and you can see a picture of the finished work (the bath enamel is getting cleaned and the place is being two-time so the broken tiles aren't a worry).

    Underneath the bath

    Above the bath, the new taps and shower. Old taps were bargain bucket basin/bath taps:

    And as promised, for Richard; the hanging basket saddlerack thing:
  6. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

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  7. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    You're probably right, I would love to learn to solder copper but I just wouldn't trust myself learning it on something I can't turn an immediate off valve in just in case of a solder joint failure and ensuing explosion. Though if you're gonna start to learn to do (a bit of, not for trade work) you gotta start somewhere.

    I also don't have a pipe bender, which I could see causing issue. Wish I could get one of those robitic bending machines from that documentary called "Futurama" they seem like pretty cool guys.

    Honestly I think flexi hoses are custom fecken designed for the DIYer.

    Ps "****"/"fecken" isn't me circumventing the wordfilter, it's colloquial here and isn't seen as bad language. Anyone who's watched Father Ted knows it's a word and anyone who hasn't watched Father Ted and likes UK comedy should watch every episode of it now.
    I especially like the episode where the car for the raffle gets a dent in it; probably would remind Heat of my plumbing somewhat.
  8. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    Would love to edit my last post but editing must be on a timer.

    Big thanks to everyone who responded you guys were really great in naming the fittings, telling me the issues with flexi hoses (though they still got used) and a big thanks to Heat for telling me the tools needed to do the job.

    The screwfix forum community is likely one of, if not the most helpful, polite and decent communities out there, at least from the guys who have set a shining example in this thread.

    Since the job is over and done with a moderator could close the thread or I'll simply let it fade into the aether of thread archives in case some other DIYer runs into the same issue as this.
    And if they do, I would recommend they get a toothed plumbing wrench £12 at screwfix, extremely well made and did the job really well. A basin wrench is also a must have (£2.99) as it fits most, if not all plumbing nuts as well as allows you to quickly loosen and tighten taps.

    Screwfix is the way to go for help and purchases unless you're using (fl)e(a)Bay I doubt you could.get cheaper and it's a dice roll of what you get is anywhere near as good.

    Thanks guys!!!!!
    Dam0n and Heat like this.
  9. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Well-Known Member

    Those flexies look under a lots of strain/twist and i suspect restricted flow.
    Just loosen
    connections, get them sitting nice and then pinch up connections.
  10. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Yes, they do look twisted.
    The proper way to fit flexis is to leave the compression joint to the pipe slackened back a bit after you compress it.
    Then tighten other end to tap before nipping up the pipe end. But essential then to hold the fitting at pipe end of flexi with a spanner while tightening the compression nut.
    I only fit them if part of new taps
  11. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    I'll see what I can do about the flexi hoses, it's just that (I don't think) there's an isolation valve for the water up there.
    It's basically a crawlspace the attic and my mother mentioned a valve coming out of the cold storage tank "but who couldn't turn it" (she can't open a bottle of Pepsi" however she won't let me untie two ropes on a folding straight ladder that someone has converted to a step ladder as "boo boo it's somebody else's!!!" (Like a knot that has been undone can't be redone) and "you'll probably be too heavy for the beams" (I mean seriously, I'm 110kg (which is heavy.

    At the end of the day it's her house, it's her mortgage I'm not taking payment for the job so if she won't let me in her attic to turn off the valve I'm not draining everything again because there likely is a cold water shutoff and she just can't turn it and I am not chancing exploding her water system by putting my hand over the kitchen tap to cold water can flow between the hot and cold, which you can hear the ancient plumbing really does not like.

    If she won't let me into her attic because I can't use a ladder for it's original purpose then turn it back into a rickety step ladder and claims I'll break the load bearing structural support beams then there's nothing I can do.

    It makes me wonder what she has up in her attic, is she starting dead bodies up there or something....

    Edit: Also if I were to get into the forbidden forest attic and find out there is a shutoff valve be absolutely furious.
    It's basically "can you do plumbing for me but you cannot see my water system fully"

    As well as that I'm down with something really nasty and I'm hoping it's not something like legionaires disease or something really nasty like that as I got a facefull of opaque brown/black water and the shock of it (pipe was mostly airlocked (there was the tiniest of trickles) then on loosening the pipe from the tap (no iso valve so I planned to attach it to all old tap with the same threads) I see a trickle, then "hugurg gurgle" and then full pressure black water into the pot, I stuck my thumb on the pipe and then got misted all down the face with said black water before I had it sealed then quickly screwed onto another (shut off) tap.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  12. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    Sorry for the double post (couldn't double edit and I'm a serial editer on forums), but due to the fact that the water is so dirty I'm thinking of having the mother go into the hallowed attic of the covenant and pour some pool chlorine into the water then get one of those UV burn your eyes out death lamps, put it in a clear, water tight enclosure and put said enclosure into the tank, then run the UV arc-eye-inducing lamp for about 2h along with the pool chlorine, as opaque, then translucent, then finally clear water over and over ain't good. I doubt it's something as deadly as legionnaires disease, might even be a bad cold but nobody wants to brush their teeth with water that comes out brown at first, so it's going to need good decontamination.
    Since there are no water charges here in NI (it gets factored into our housing rates) I was thinking of letting my mother stir the tank up with a fine (like a minnow net for fishing to catch anything like insulation which may block pipes (and was the cause of low water pressure when she moved in) whilst adding chlorine and running all the tank fed cold taps, then once it's cleaner, do the same for the hot and do this over an hour or so.

    Abusing the 'free' water supply; yeah, getting clean water you can brush teeth with; much better reason than "well that tap has had a slight drip/trickle for years and I didn't mind because we have free water" or "whoops, I left the tap in before going out to work today, oh well"'
    chippie244 likes this.
  13. Richard_

    Richard_ Active Member

    David, thank you for one of the most, no, the most enjoyable thread on here.

    So many people ask a question then do not bother to come back to say if the learned advice was useful, or even perhaps worked - I have faith that it does work sometimes!

    Maybe it's because they're rude, or are so overawed by the knowledge of this place that they fear coming back like the prohibition on approaching the ark of the covenant. Perhaps they don't come back because our advice has caused their house to collapse on them, or their electricity to electrocute them, or they merely crumpled into a gibbering wreck. So thank you for your feedback.

    Thank you also for the saddlerack picture. It's a nice detail that it is blocked off the wall to allow the curtains to close behind it.

    It really is quite an imposing feature in the room, and I'm wondering if this idiosyncrasy is linked to the step ladder idiosyncrasy. Maybe your mother needs the step ladder so she can sit on the saddle rack like a pulpit so to share scripture readings with her friends when they visit. Other possibilities aren't what one would want to imagine about one's mother.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    DavidDavidson likes this.
  14. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    Thanks for the reply, it really gave me a proper good laugh, especially because my.mum has been doing a course to become a yoga instructor (why? I dunno; she has a masters in psychology!) and has been converting that room (and the bathroom so it is in nice order as cistern is cracked and the toilet takes 5 good pushes on the handle to get it to flush (you guys could probably tell me how to fix that in 5 minutes flat I reckon; though she already has the new toilet) and cistern so I may make a thread if it confuzzles my brain, she says she isn't sure if the soil pipe will line up because it's off by (either 10 centimetres or 10 millimetres, she goes between the two, I hope it's the latter.) But she changed the carpet for a the floorboards (in the spare room), murdered my belt sander when I lent it to her and replaced it with an inferior one (you couldnt balance it upside down for a makeshift sanding station, also lower wattage, but she brought that one back and got the cash back for it so she can pay for a "20v max" (18v sonicrafter) which is an oscillating multi tool.

    As you mentioned that being a pulpit for her to sit on, you may be right, I could see her using it to instruct her fancy muscle stretching "coursework" on her "guinea pigs" (quoted verbatim) and the likes.

    Lots if what she is doing is (in my inexperienced opinion) unwise, currently anyway, but my opinion carries a fair bit more than her, she leaps headfirst into something then looks.

    Since you mentioned me sticking around for the thread it's because of the great communnity, I know lots of you probably think I'm a bit of a moron doing things the way I did but none of you said it outwardly; some places would have just said "son, you are a moron, let someone who knows what they're doing do it" you guys didn't. You're a good community and I hope to be a part of said community, even if it is only sharing very limited knowledge (though 3/4 of my physics class couldn't wire a UK standard 3 pin plug in fifth year (ages 15-16) so go figure, at least I correctly earthed my grandmother's metal antique cieling lamps where the previous sparky left the earthing cable flapping in the wind.

    Personally Ia gained most of my (in)experience (in a way i guess) come from my father dying when j I was just six and three quarters (he was a plasterer and a really good one at that), so I was replacing fuses and the like at 7 years old and using power tools (starting with the less dangerous stuff like a dremel) from about 8-10. Always took stuff apart when I was a kid too for as long as I can remember (disassembled part of the cistern at my pre-nursery at like 3 years old; I remember getting told that one but I kind of grew up on "how things work" books and the stuff I originally took apart broke, then I slowly started learning how it worked; what did what and put it back together. So I guess I've always been a bit of a DIY person.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  15. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

  16. DavidDavidson

    DavidDavidson Member

    I know this is an OLD thread but I'm updating on the situation.
    My mother has now got her bathroom mostly fitted. She used contractors for the rest of the work (except for me removing tiles and a tile lip, which due to them being cemented on required an SDS drill and chisel. The walls behind weren't plaster board, they were plaster on mesh.

    As for the basin the plumber who plumbed it in used (drum roll) flexi hoses!

    The joiner/bathroom fitter has left some (slight) gaps around joins that should be perfect 90 degree joins, as well as just using a brad nailer to hold up the wooden panels (leaving said panels with small holes from where nails went in.

    The cladding in the bathroom looks decent, though there's a bit of excess silicone here and there.

    I was only up for a (highly rushed) hour to replace the halogen long bulb fixture with a standard one. This was at about 5:30PM so I was working in the dark My mother brought out her bedside lamp (which is the sketchiest I've ever seen; solid brass 1940s construction with no earthing wire, the cable going to it is the original single insulated one and looks like speaker cable, it's started to visibly crack in places. Perfectly safe.

    I replaced the fixture on a step ladder in a cramped bathroom with a torch in my mouth. Oddly there were two neutral cables (both black, following the old red and black standard, not the brown/blue modern one) both neutral lines were shoved into the neutral of the previous lamp so after putting up the fixture (was pitch black as I had to switch the lights off at the RCD) I followed suit and added the two neutral cables to the new fixture (which I said I would have to replace as I used a drill to affix the screws, one went in slowly, the other went in real slow then immediately self fed, cracking one hole in the fixture, though it supports lights okay and wasn't a big worry as I figured I could come up in daylight when my mother wasn't busy doing yoga, or horse riding and swap it out for another, new one (rather than the one I 'borrowed' from my grand hoarde of old electrical pieces, as when I asked "so you have the fixture, yeah" I simply got the reply of "no, don't you just remove this thing then shove a lightbulb in??" (which I'm sure some of you will find funny) so it was secure enough to hold a slightly weighty lampshade.

    I got told today that apparently an electrician would be coming out as the light (a CFL) "flickers occasionally", when I asked if she had changed the bulb to see if that fixed it, I got "no, why?".

    As for the joiner and plumber, I guess you get what you pay for.
    As for the electrician, well calling one out when you haven't checked if the (scavenged) bulb is the culprit is just a silly misuse of money.

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