rain gutter repair | leaks and overflow

Various rain gutter repair problems can develop with a rainwater disposal system. These are the more common ones. Overflowing gutters One of the commonest reasons a gutter overflows is that it has become blocked, perhaps by dirt, leaves (in the autumn) or a bird‘s nest (in spring). The solutions is straight forward   look for and clear the blockages. If the gutter is of cast iron, clear it with a garden trowel  its rounded shape will fit the inside of the gutters better than a bricklayer’s trowel. For plastic gutters, make a half-round scoop in hardboard. lf you are working near the outlet to a downpipe, block it off with a rag bung to prevent debris falling down to cause a blockage there.

rain gutter repair - leaks and overflow  Scoop out the blockage from the gutter, and shovel it into a bucket suspended from one of your ladder rungs. Flush the rain gutter repair system through with buckets of cold water, and then clean out the insides of the gutters with an old brush or a cloth. There is not much you can do to prevent a recurrence of the trouble. Atmospheric dirt will fall on the roof and, during a downpour, wash down into the gutters. If the house is surrounded by trees, however, it might be worth fitting netting on top of the gutters, to keep out falling leaves. Another possible cause of an overflow is that a section of the gutter may have sagged, making it lower than the top of the downpipe, so that water cannot flow away. A pool of water in the gutter at one place is often a sign that the gutter is sagging there. On iron gutters, try to bend the brackets upwards to restore the correct slope. Otherwise drive small wooden wedges between the bracket and the guttering to achieve the same effect. Fill the gap with the aid of a glass fibre repair kit if you wish. Take care not to flex cast-iron guttering by more than about 25 mm, or you risk breaking the seal at the joints.  With plastic guttering, it is usually better to re-fix the brackets slightly higher up.

Make sure you plug up the old screw holes to stop moisture entering the wood. In either case, a new bracket might be necessary. Leaking joints Water may be escaping where two lengths of guttering join. Sections of cast—iron guttering overlap each other slightly, and are fastened together by a nut and bolt, the joint being sealed by a waterproof mastic. The joint can deteriorate because of age or movement. lf it has, it will have to be remade from scratch. Begin by unfastening the nut and bolt. That will not be easy because they would have corroded. Try to tree them with penetrating oil, but usually you will have to out through the bolt with a hacksaw, and perhaps drill out the remains of it. Sometimes you can knock out the stub of the bolt with a hammer. but be careful not to strike the iron with too much force, for it can shatter dangerously. Lever the two sections apart, using an old chisel or screwdriver, and scrape away all the old sealant, cleaning up finally with a wire brush. Apply a bed of sealant to the lower of the two overlaps, bring both together and fit a new nut and bolt, with a washer on each side. Wipe up any sealant that oozes out. Treat the inside of the joint, or even a longer stretch of the gutter if need be, with a bituminous sealer. Plastic sections lock together in various ways, according to brand. Some have a self-locking seal; others are welded together by solvents. Examine their joint to determine the method of sealing. Renew a failed seal with non-setting mastic, or apply fresh solvent to a loom, welded joint.   leaks in gutters The middle of a section of plastic gutter is unlikely to leak unless it has been damaged physically. Mid-section leaks usually occur on cast iron when the metal has rusted through. What you do about it depends on the extent of the damage.

Rain gutter repair can be carried out with waterproof tape, or even a glass fibre repair kit. Such a leak, however, might indicate extensive rusting and that complete replacement of the section is required.  Damaged guttering can be replaced with a plastic section, even if the existing gutters are of cast iron Remove the defective section of guttering by dismantling the joints as explained above. lf it is cast iron, take care bow you get it to the ground. lt can easily shatter, causing dangerous fragments to fly everywhere. Either fasten a rope to it and lower it gently, or carry it down. Always keep children and pets well out of the way when you are taking down old cast-iron rainwater goods. New plastic guttering can be cut to the correct length, if necessary, using a sharp fine-toothed saw, such as a hacksaw or carpenters panel saw.  Adapter joints can be bought to connect plastic to cast- iron guttering. Since your present gutter is defective, it is likely that the brackets need replacing too. Buy new ones and fix them at the spacings recommended by the manufacturer.   Supplier should have leaflets giving such information.

rain gutter installation guide and instruction

A manual containing detailed rain gutter installation guide and instruction can be obtained from a supplier or manufacturer. The general procedure is to install the gutters first — all else will be governed by the position of the outlets to the downpipes. To pinpoint this position, drop a plumb line from the gutter to the drain outlet at ground level. Then mark on the fascia the centre of the position for the outlet. At the end of the run, fix a bracket to support the guttering as close as possible to the underside of the felt projecting from beneath the tiles or, if felt is not fitted, as close to the tiles as possible. Tie string to this bracket and stretch it taut to the position of the outlet. Use a spirit level to ensure that the string is level, then slant the string to give the correct fall. Rain gutter installation guide and instruction will be specified by the manufacturer, but it should be about 5 mm for every metre of gutter run. Mark the position and fit the brackets to support the outlet. Now fit all the other brackets in that run.

rain gutter installation guide and instructionTwo brackets are usually needed for the outlet, plus one at each join and at the spacing recommended by the manufacturer, which is likely to be one bracket about every metre. Use the string, tied taut to a bracket at each end of the run. as a guide to setting all the intermediate brackets at the correct height, and mark the positions at the correct spacing on the fascia. Use non-rusting screws for the fixings. The brackets are normally screwed to the fascia, but if there is none, brackets for screwing to rafters can be bought. Now fit the gutter to the brackets. Use a sharp, finetoothed saw (a hack saw or a carpenter’s panel saw) to cut standard lengths to size. The gutter should be cut squarely across its length. To ensure this, place it upside down on the bench and drape a sheet of newspaper over it. Bring the two edges of the newpaper together, and use the side of it as a guide for the saw, or draw a guide line next to the newspaper. Remove the swarf with a medium-grade file. Fit the gutter to the stop end and outlet. On some brands this is done with clips; others use a sealing device, or solvent welding. lf two lengths are to be joined to make a run of suitable length, follow the manufacturer’s rain gutter installation guide and instruction. Leave gaps within the joints to allow for expansion or contraction during hot or cold weather.

When all the gutters are in position, install the downpipes. These are usually assembled from one or more standard lengths and are cut to size. As with the gutters leave expansion gaps. The pipes are held to the wall by clips. Place a clip at each join, where provision will be made for the expansion gap, and at intervals as recommended by the manufacturer — probably every 2m (6 ft or so). There is no need to drill into brickwork to make the fixings. The weight they carry is minimal, so fixings into mortar joints are adequate. Cut the pipes to lengths that allow such a fixing. Cut the pipes as described for gutters. Do not seal the joints: should a blockage occur later, water issuing from a joint helps to detect its position. To take the pipes under the eaves, you need an offset or ‘swan’s neck’. Either buy one or make it from an offcut of pipe, an offset socket and an offset spigot. Seal also the joint between the gutter outlet and the offset socket, but not that between the spigot and the rest of the downpipe.

Joints in pipes that are not vertical should be sealed, otherwise water will pour out of them regardless of whether there is a blockage farther along, Position the fixing clips so that the main runs of the pipe are vertical. When the clip holding the offset spigot is in place, drop a plumb line from it to help you mark on the wall an accurate position for the clips lower down.  lf the downpipes discharge into an open gully, install a shoe at the bottom (a clip will be needed here, too) pointing away from the house wall and no higher that 50mm above the grating of the gully. This ensures that water will enter the shoe and not splash up against the house wall. lf an adaptor is needed for a direct connection to the drain, buy one from a supplier’s catalogue. As a final check, pour a bucket or two of water in the gutters at the highest point to make sure everything is functioning correctly.

instant hot water heaters system

instant hot water heaters systemThe instant hot water heaters system is very common in modern homes because it makes use of the boiler that is necessary to heat water for radiators, however, there is an a1ternative form of instant hot water heaters system like the space-heating one, the hot water supply may be of the instant type. With such a heater, which can work off gas or electricity, no hot water is stored and there is, therefore no hot cylinder. Instead, the gas jets or electric elements come into play only when you turn on the tap and water passes across them. Instantaneous heaters may be multipoint, with one heater sewing the entire house. Or they can be single point, placed over a sink, washbasin or bath, for instance. Such tank less instant hot water heaters system are usually installed in conversion and modernization schemes because they simplify, and therefore usually reduce, installation costs, and because they are space saving one heater takes the place of a boiler and hot water cylinder. They can also save money in operating costs, because you heat up only as much water as you need; and they have the further advantage that they can supply unlimited hot water, whereas a hot tank once emptied of hot water takes time to reheat. In a home with this type of system it is often the case that all cold outlets are fed directly from the rising main, so that a cold storage tank will not need to be installed either.  You should aim to get to know the plumbing system of your home, so that you will be ready to deal with emergencies. Try to trace the run of the pipes from the point at which the rising main starts. And, with the boiler or other water heater shut off, turn off one at a time any stop taps you come across. Then turn on the taps and flush the lavatories to determine which outlets are controlled by each stop tap. So, Instant hot water heaters system without tank, boiler and cylinder is overall better for any homes. Because it offer more benefits that cover the disadvantages.

electric shower installation | fitting

An electrically heated shower, which heats the water as it is being delivered, is the easiest (and usually the cheapest) to install. In the electric shower installation the heater unit should be positioned so it can discharge into a bath, and perhaps a basin as well, so it can be used for hair washing too. Fix it to the wall according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then connect it, by means of a T-joint, to the rising main. Run pipe from this T-joint to the heater, and connect up according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Carry out any final assembly, for example of the shower rose and flexible hose. The heater must then be wired up by a competent electrician. Although electric shower installation it is as easy as it sounds, the rising main should ensure that there is sufficient water pressure, the flow out of the rose of an electric shower is restricted by the heater.


electric shower installationIf you want a shower at a comfortable temperature, water can come out only as quickly as the heater can warm it. If you have a cheaper means of heating the domestic hot water especially if you have a radiator central heating system, your running costs would be lower with a shower unit fed from your existing hot and cold supply system. Most electric shower installer knows this, for a shower unit to work effectively off the hot cylinder and cold tank you must have a strong enough head of water probably at least 900 mm (3 ft). The greater the difference in height between the shower rose and the bottom of the cold tank, the better the flow of water.   lf you do not have such a head of water, consider residing the tank at a higher level or choose an electric shower, which will give a stronger flow than a shower unit with a poor head of water. A shower unit can take the place of the existing bath taps, in which case the installation is similar to that of a kitchen mixer tap. Or you could install a separate unit with its own supply. There is however, a caution to observe. A person might be taking a shower when somewhere else in the house someone turns on another tap causing what the plumber calls an auxiliary draw-off that reduces, or indeed might cut off entirely, the flow of water to the shower. If the auxiliary draw off is in the hot supply, then the bather gets a cold douche uncomfortable, but not too serious.


If the auxiliary draw-off is from a cold supply, however, scalding hot water might surge out of the rose (one of the advantages of an electric shower is that there can be no auxiliary draw-off). The way to prevent auxiliary draw-off in a shower unit is to choose one that is thermostatically controlled. These are expensive, but they ensure that the temperature of the flow remains constant. If the electric shower installation without such thermostatic control, give the unit its own direct cold supply from the cold storage tank. This will eliminate the most dangerous (scalding) type of auxiliary draw-off by ensuring the cold supply is never interrupted, the direct cold supply must be fixed low down in the side of the tank by means of a tank connector.


cold water storage tanks

Cold water storage tanks or sometimes called cold water supply tanks were at one time made of galvanized iron, a material that eventually corroded. Modern tanks are of either glass fibre or plastic. The plastic type is flexible, so can be squashed to go through a narrow loft opening, but may well need support under the entire base. Glass fibre tanks are rigid. Your local water authority will have rules about the size of the cold water storage tanks, which it will express as something like 40/50. The latter figure (5O gallons/227 litres) is the amount the tank will hold when full to the brim; the former (40 ga1lons/ 181 litres) its capacity in practice. When a cold water storage tanks is being replaced the house will be deprived of water for some time. So do as much of the preparatory work as you can beforehand. Begin by shutting off the rising main, and opening cold taps to empty the tank. The draw-off points are in the side, rather than the base of the tank, so some water will be left behind. Beware later of spilling any of this. The tank needs to be disconnected from its various pipes. Do not bother trying to free corroded nuts to do this. The pipe runs will probably need modifying anyway, so just saw through them near the tank, making sure your cuts are Square. Do not worry either. If the Cold water tank is too big to come out through the loft opening. Just leave it up there.

cold water storage tanksNo holes are bored in the side of the tank when it is delivered the manufacturer could not possibly know where you want them. You have to make them yourself, with a hole saw in either a hand drill or an electric drill. So decide on a site for the tank (remembering that if you want a shower it might be wise to site the tank on a stout platform as high as possible to increase the pressure of Water at the rose). Plot the pipe rims and determine the position of the holes in the tank. The pipes are linked to the cold tank by pipe connectors. These have a threaded sleeve with a back plate. Push the sleeve through the hole from inside the tank with a washer on each side, then tighten the fixing nut. The supply pipes are fixed to this connector with a compression joint. You will need a cold supply from the rising main, a cold feed to the cold outlets, perhaps a special cold feed to a shower and an overflow. Also the vent pipe from the hot cylinder must bend over the top of the tank. Modify existing runs and add new ones as needed and connect them to the cold water storage tanks. A ball valve will be needed to control the entry of water from the rising main. Your local water authority may have regulations about the position of the various pipes. A rule of thumb however is that the ball valve inlet should be 55 mm from the top of the tank; the overflow should be 25mm below that (so that water from the tank cannot be sucked back into the main); and the various feeds to the supply should be 50 mm (2 inches) from the bottom of the tank Finally, having connected up all the pipe work, restore the supply and check for leaks. Cold water storage tanks are certainly useful and it is not difficult to fit one into your house yourself.