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Large pipe in hole behind skirting board

Discussion in 'Building' started by Jar99, 14 Sep 2020.

  1. Jar99

    Jar99

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    Hi,
    I've removed skirting boards from hallway to replace them.

    Behind the skirting adjacent to the front door was a big hole where you could see below floor level, looking into it I see a 6" pipe with an air brick above it.
    There is dust and dirt at the base of the pipe and it is dry.

    From the outside these are located underneath a tiled step up to the front door. The step does not have the airbrick exposed.

    See attached pics.

    Two questions:
    1. What do you think this pipe was / is for?
    2. How / should I block off the hole before putting the skirting over it?
    (hallway was cold in winter)

    Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    measure the internal diameter of the pipe. Apart from the enlarged socket at the end, is it about four inches?

    Poke a piece of wire down it. How far does it go? Is there any sound or smell? Does it run vertically or horizontally?

    It has the look of a glazed clay soil pipe. Was there ever a WC nearby? Is there a manhole cover outside? Is it in a porch that was extended from the original house wall?

    Is there a cellar?

    How old is the house?
     
  4. Lower

    Lower

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    Does that pipe bridge from one suspended floor to another where you have a solid floor in between? Sometimes builders would put in a pipe like that (or any old thing they had lying around) to enable cross ventilation from one void under a suspended floor to another when there was an area of solid floor between the two suspended floors.
     
  5. Jar99

    Jar99

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    Hi John,
    Just measured, it is four inches internally, it runs horizontally. I don't have a long sturdy wire to hand, but I poked a 100cm metal ruler down it and it went it about 60cm / 24 inches before it hit something low down (I'm not sure if the ruler was travelling through the centre of the pipe at the tip/end).

    The WC is on 1st floor with the soil pipe coming out the side wall (this is the front wall).
    There is no manhole cover right outside.
    No porch extension or cellar.
    House is 1930, solid walls.

    I've attached another pic showing what's at the end of the pipe. Hopefully can shed more light on it.
    Plus another pic of the outside.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Jar99

    Jar99

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    It doesn't bridge floors. The pipe go outwards towards the pavement.

    In fact!! The outside step is 24 inches wide and as I mentioned in the previous post the pipe is about 24 inches long.

    So by what you suggest about cross ventilation, maybe the pipe was to extend air flow from the step to the below floor void but they never put the airbrick in the step?
     
  7. Lower

    Lower

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    I bet the airbrick that would be at the end of that pipe has been tiled over or covered over by the crazy paving.
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    As it runs horizontally, I think it was probably intended to ventilate the void under the floorboards to protect against damp and rot. This was probably done because the new step blocked the original airbrick provided by the builders for that purpose. It looks like the pipe was subsequently also blocked.

    Blocking airbricks is often done by idiots, and is a common cause of damp and rot under floors.

    You could speak to a local builder about making some new ventilation holes through the wall into the underflooe void. It will be easy unless they also raised the ground above DPC level by laying new paving (this is also often done by idiots).
     
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  9. DIYnot Local

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