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Opinions needed on plumbing job

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Matthew89, 30 Sep 2016.

  1. Matthew89

    Matthew89

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    Hi, Sorry to make my first post a beg for help, I've been a silent visitor to diynot for awhile but I now have a personal question to ask.
    So I need 2 opinions, I have just had 2 radiators piped up in my living room and hall. The pipes pass through the kitchen wall and then the radiators are back to back on a wall between the Living room and hall. Reason for the job was that I opened up the doorway and had to replace with shorter double rads. A plumber from (mybuilder) did this work yesterday I had to leave him with my girlfriend as I had work. When I got back I found an empty CH system and pipework which looked very untidy in my opinion. On filling the system I found a couple of leaking compression fittings. Called him back this morning and he left saying its ok but there still leaking slowly but leaking. Also the rad tails are leaking, he's said that the kudox rads I got from screwfix are to blame and they always leak. ( I've fitted one in the past, No problems)
    So the first opinion I need is on these photos, Is the work done to a bad standard or am I just too fussy.

    http://s418.photobucket.com/user/mat4291/embed/slideshow/PlumbingWork

    I'm not happy with the work and have been looking for someone else to redo it but struggling to find someone on short notice. I'm now contemplating doing it myself. I'm a mechanical / electrical engineer and have done some soldered pipework for machine applications in the past but this was done in a workshop with a vice.
    What is your opinion on me attempting this myself?
    I think I could do a good job it would just take awhile. I don't have any specialist tools so would need to buy a brazing torch, heat mat. I would most likely use 45 and 90 degree angles to save buying a pipe bender.
    He used compression fittings on the pipe which went through the wall as he said that he was worried the short pipe would get hot and set fire inside the wall. This does not sound likely to me but is this correct? As I would prefer to solder it.

    There is most likely more that I've missed but you've probably given up reading now so i'll stop. :)

    Thanks

    Matt
     
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  3. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    jeez that looks crap.. you can see why its leaking its not straight. I'm not sure but I think you also have a possible air lock risk due to the way the pipe go up and down. I can't tell from the pics.

    If you don't have the kit, I'd say you can't diy it, it does take a bit of practice to solder correctly and you'd need a bending spring at least.. Have you paid him? Problem is so few plumbers work in copper anymore the skills are gone.

    If the compression fittings leak, then it may be easier for you to buy a tub of boss white/ jointing compound and see if it will seal the threads
     
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  4. petit_pablo

    petit_pablo

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    Thats absolute garbage.
    That guy isnt a plumber, hes a chancer.
     
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  5. Matthew89

    Matthew89

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    The pipe going up may be my mistake as it was at my request. I wanted the pipes high enough so that I could fit 5" skirting underneath. Although I'm wondering now if it may have been a better Idea to mount the pipe though and along the skirting. He's been paid, but to be honest its not about the money really. I just want it to look tidy. I would keep on at him to sort it until it was ok but I just don't think he is competent enough.
    Would I need a bending spring if I was planning on just using angled fittings. I've been looking at the ring fittings which are loaded with solder and they look easy enough (famous last words)
    I have some jointing compound which I usually use on the olives when using compression fittings. I asked my girlfriend and she said that she saw him only brushing on stuff when soldering which would have been the flux.
    Also he said as the female thread for the radiator tails were rubbish that he has to build up a load of ptfe tape at the end of the tail so he has something to tighten up against. Are the male threaded parts on these tapered like pneumatic fittings? When i've replaced a rad in the house like for like before I just wound some ptfe tape and then fitted the tails no problem, and no leaking.

    Thanks

    Matt
     
  6. muggles

    muggles

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    I'd have refused to pay for that; it's awful
     
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  7. Matthew89

    Matthew89

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    Because of work I had to sort money before I left. I didn't want to leave it for my girlfriend to pay him, also I couldn't put her in the position to have to argue about the quality of his work.

    I'm happy that you guys agree with me about the quality of his work though (or lack of) and that my comments to him were not unjust.

    Hopefully leaving him truthful feedback on his mybuilder account will save people from making the same mistake as me.

    Regards Mattew
     
  8. Steelmasons

    Steelmasons

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    A mechanical/electrical engineer shying away from the job?
    So the 'plumber' left the system empty expecting you to re-fill?
    My dog would have done a better job....industry gone to the dogs..
     
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  9. phod

    phod

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    You need to rip that lot out and start over.

    Yorkshire fittings are easy once you've done one or two.
    Clean, flux, apply heat until you see the solder rings appear - that's it. Virtually impossible to overheat.
    Don't quench the joint and it will be spot on.
    Practise with a few test goes first though.
    Youtube if you're still unsure.
     
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  11. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Oh Dear ... NOPE ... That's just un-acceptably shocking, a definite name and shame bodge of absolute bodges. He's no plumber.

    You want to remove all the compression fittings and solder it all. As others have mentioned get some pipe and fittings and practice. Even set up a test if you can, attach it to a live isolated pipe and then test it for leaks. Once you're happy, fit your pipework, do it all dry to size properly, set you clips and then solder. Can't see there being much in a brick wall (?) that would combust when soldering pipework.

    Most if not all rad tails require PFTE tape/thread lock to be fitted properly, it's the norm. Most rad tappings are parallel so the tails need tape to seal properly, he just hasn't used enough or used it properly.
     
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  12. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    Awful job. Put your location up, someone on here may be local and can help you out. Has to be better than getting a chancer through a ratings site.
     
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  13. Matthew89

    Matthew89

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    Yeh. I really should have attempted it myself in the first place. Just thought it would be easier and quicker if a plumber did it and probably would be if I had found a plumber.
    Just some questions before I replace it all tomorrow.
    1. Is this the neatest way to get the pipes to the higher level.
    [​IMG]
    Or should I go 90 degrees up from the original pipework and the 90 degrees straight to the new holes in the wall?

    2. Can I use Loctite 577 pipe sealant on the rad tails to seal them properly?

    3. Would it better to replace the radiator tails for ones with rubber o ring seals? like this http://www.screwfix.com/p/white-chrome-radiator-union-valve-tail-15mm-2-pack/78169. I've used these in the past where I couldn't move the pipework at all and the width of the radiator to be replaced was no longer a standard size. (No issues) Although these might come out to far for the one radiator where the pipes run through the wall.

    4. The wall in question is plasterboard with card between the sheets, will this pose a fire risk?

    Regards Matt
     
  14. Crezzer

    Crezzer

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    Was he the cheapest quote from "my builder"?
     
  15. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    1. Whatever you like. Personally, I'd probably bend two pieces of pipe to 45°, and then drop those from the elbows at 45°, then go horizontally to join the existing pipes, rather than that chicane he's done.
    2. Done properly, PTFE should be all you need to seal radiator tails. Take them out, clean all the carp he's used off, wrap in PTFE and remake the joint.
    3. As you are redoing the pipework anyway, alter it to suit the new radiator, it'll look tidier.
    4. Be careful, I'd err on the side of caution and not use heat too close to the wall. If you can solder the pipework, allow to cool and then push it through the wall, it would be safer.
     
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  16. Matthew89

    Matthew89

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    He was the only guy who would quote for the job. I had been recommended a plumber by a friend but the earliest he could look at it was early Nov. I had a deadline to finish the front room to take delivery of new furniture. Which I have now canceled so I can take my time and finish it properly.
    Ill hopefully start tomorrow and keep you updated on progress.
    Thanks for everyones help.
    Matt
     
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  17. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    Think maybe a lesson learned, good tradespeople are busy tradespeople. People who are booked up for a while are usually busy for a reason, its the guy who can 'come tomorrow' I'd be worrying about....
     
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