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Extraterrestrials in the tank

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Lolainlondon, 17 Dec 2018.

  1. Lolainlondon

    Lolainlondon

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    We had a bit of a plumbing nightmare at my partners flat this week. We tried to replace the element in his immersion heater (hot water only) and didn’t quite turn off the cold water. Which was fab when the element seal broke. Stupid us.

    Anyway we turned off the supply to the cold tank while we waited for a plumber but on the supply pipe we found this which we didn’t like:

    Looking at the tank the water looks clear and it runs clear at the tap. It’s just the bit around the main that looks gross.

    We asked the emergency plumber if it was normal to have stuff growing and he said yes. But the next guy who looked at it literally gagged and advised that we shouldn’t use the hot water and that the whole system needs replaced. So I’m now confused and a little concerned as we were using that water (hot until the element went and then cold) for ages.

    My question is twofold: from any of your experience how dangerous does this look, and is there anything for a DIYer to do about it in the short term to make it safer while we scrape up money to replace the whole thing?

    I searched for threads before posting but couldn’t find any exact matches.

    Laura
     
  2. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson

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    It looks worse than it is. It's mainly just limescale


    Should it be cleaned?

    Yes.


    Should you not use the water?

    No. Just don't drink it. It will be fine for bathing.
     
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  3. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Its hardly uncommon, I expect most older properties in your area are like it.

    Don't forget the cold water tap in the kitchen is almost always direct from the mains water.

    the bathroom taps etc are fed from the cold tank or cold tank via hot water cylinder.

    If you hadnt looked you would've been blissfully unaware.
     
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  4. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Worst is it needs a new ball valve and float and maybe the cistern cleaned out if there's any sediment. Certainly don't need the whole system renewed, that sounds like someone trying to make work for themselves IMO.
     
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  5. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson

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    I've seen far worse than that in Laaaaandan's cisterns. :LOL:
     
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  6. Lolainlondon

    Lolainlondon

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    Ooh thanks everyone! That makes me feel a bit better about using it over Christmas.

    He may still be right about replacement overall. It’s an old system and on top of that it looks like whoever installed the hot water cylinder originally installed an indirect cylinder, but the flat has no boiler so it’s being entirely heated by the top immersion element. Which may account for why the element has been going so regularly!!

    Yet another thing we didn’t discover until we started trying to bail out the water coming from the top of the tank. It’s disconcerting to find a hole in the side of a tank where you expect no hole to be!

    But that’s still more a “something to get round to” than a “must do this week”.
     
  7. Nige F

    Nige F

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    You should have used a Gag Safe plumber. The hole you didn't expect - has it got an overflow pipe connected to it ? An indirect cylinder is no big deal in place of a direct. I seem to remember they were similar prices at one time. You could try posting your location, there are guys here that cover areas of London. P.S £30 difference in screwfix.
     
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2018
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