Sunday, 25 October 2015

More central heating work.

So, this was originally intended to be a very straightforward post...  But as most DIY jobs go, it just didn't go to plan.  And you find all sorts of other problems that you have to sort out first...

All we had to do, was to put the radiator back on the wall and connect up to the pipes which were already there.  Sounds simple huh? We had done some work to the system back in April, so were fairly confident this was be a 10 minute job.  HAHAHAHA!

So I started out putting the brackets back on.  We had left the screws in the wall during plastering so we would know exactly where to put it back, and I had marked the brackets up too.  Simples.

I then took these photos to show you guys the way I prepared the joints ready for connection.  My go to products are PTFE tape and Fernox LS-X (a silicone sealant which solidifies on contact with water - it absolutely stinks but I like to use it as a fail safe)

I'm fully aware that the threads aren't what prevents the water leaking out, and its actually the olive on the connecting pipe which does that job.  However, I still like to do 3 turns of PTFE (clockwise direction when looking at the threads) just to be sure, to be sure.
 This is when it all went terribly wrong.  I don't photos I'm afraid.  I was too busy trying to deal with the water that was flying everywhere!!  So, way back when, when we orignally messed around with the plumbing, we put in  some push fit T-pieces so that we could connect up a radiator in the living room back to back.  I raved about the each of push fit copper fittings and how easy they were to use... I take it back! All of it!  They are a nightmare!  That's probably a little unfair, but essentially copper push fit fittings are not good if they have any strain on them.

When we originally put the radiator on, it all joined up perfectly.  But the extra plaster on the wall added a few mm to the wall thickness which pushed the radiator out those few mm as well.  When we then tried to connect up the sides, this was just a few mm too far.  Everytime we tried to connect it up, water came shooting out of the joint.  The other problem was that when we had drilled the holes through the walls we had quite a lot of play in the pipe to allow some movement.  The plasterers had kindly filled in the holes so make it look super neat, which was great, but we also lost all the movement in the pipe.  Initially thinking it could have been this that was the problem, we set about gouging out the plaster around the walls [yes, the new plaster :'( ] to see if that would help...

Nope. It didn't help.  We still had water shooting everywhere.  Nightmare.

It was at this point that I realised we would have to drain down the whole system and start again. Changing the push fit T-pieces at the very least :'(

Have you ever done a job, and then later realised what a hash you made of it to start with it?  I hope it's not just me!


  1. Oh no, what a nightmare!! I hate the idea of Push-Fit Plumbing - We've never used them, so don't really have a legit excuse for not liking them, but the idea of them sounded a little unnerving to me. Definitely staying clear now! All the waste pipes in our house were push-fit, (equally dodgy in my opinion) I thought it must have been a miracle that there hadn't been a leak so far.

    Did you manage to get it all sorted? I hope your flooring survived?!

    1. We used plastic push fit in the end, but the John Guest speedfit ones and they have an extra mechanism for making sure the pipe is definitely in there and won't come loose anytime soon (hopefully)! They seem to be more flexible than the copper ones too. They were very highly rated too, even by the trade, so thought we'd give them a go before even contemplating soldering.

      All sorted now (posts coming up shortly), and yes, even the floor was fine! I was expecting to lift the laminate to find huge great water marks and soggy wood, but all of it was just fine thank goodness!

  2. The Energy Saving trust offers free help and advice when looking to replace your combi boiler with something new and more efficient.
    combi boiler