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Push-fit seals breaking down?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Johnboy54, 26 Feb 2019.

  1. Johnboy54

    Johnboy54

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    Hi.
    I asked the Water Board to come out today for an unrelated matter to my 'problem'.

    I've used plastic push-fit piping on my entire house. H/C and central heating. It was a gutted shell when I bought it, and it was easier.
    Last night I noticed some black stuff hanging from the cold water tap as it was running.
    It felt like a very thin film of rubber.
    I showed it to the Water Board lad, and he noticed another bit hanging out.
    He said it was the rubber seals in the push-fit joints breaking down. He said it was the chlorine that caused it.
    I told him I'd installed it all about 8 years ago. He said the regs on push-fittings were not as strict from 8 years and longer ago as they are now. He said I'd need to replace all my H/C pipes, as fittings from then only lasted about 3 years? The C/H pipes would be OK because they go through the boiler, where the heat does something to the chlorine so it doesn't harm the seals.

    Looking at past posts from 2009 onwards a few years, people on here seem to agree push-fits are/were fine. But, has anybody else had a problem like mine since that time?

    The lad seemed to know his stuff and I have no reason at the moment to doubt him. It's just major major surgery for me to change all the pipes. As I said, it was easier when it was a shell.

    Many thanks,

    John
     
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  3. reds42

    reds42

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    More likely just some algae/crud thats acumulated in tap nozzel come loose and flushing out.
     
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  4. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    Johnboy54, good evening.

    Do you have a cold water storage tank?
     
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  5. Johnboy54

    Johnboy54

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    Hi, and thanks for the replies.
    I sincerely hope it is crud!
    No, don't have a storage tank.

    Thanks to both of you.

    John
     
  6. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    Johnboy54, good evening again.

    Has there been in the last 2/3/4 Months or so a failure of the water supply? meaning did the water company's mains fail and was there a drop or no pressure for a while?

    Ken
     
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  7. Johnboy54

    Johnboy54

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    Hi Ken.
    Not had any problems at all with water supply while I've been here.
    However, just stumbled upon something while looking up effects of chlorine on rubber.
    Chlorine has no effect, but chloramine does.
    Guess what.
    Found an article from Northumbrian Water chairman where he says they use chloramine because it tastes better than chlorine.

    Wonder how many others use it, and if there are problems around the country.

    Thanks Ken.

    John
     
  8. Hot&Cold

    Hot&Cold

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    Johnboy54 Maybe ask the pipe fitting manufacture re chlorine,they can be contacted by email :D

    Have you removed the tap's aerator to check if any similar debris is lurking around,although you may of flushed it all out. Checking all tap aerators may be an idea. Any other filters on your domestic plumbing ? could be worth checking just to get an idea of whats going on.

    (y)
     
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  9. dhutch

    dhutch

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    Interesting, just had a quick look and chloramine appears to becoming more commonly used, and also a concern for lead pipes.
     
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  11. Johnboy54

    Johnboy54

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    That's not a bad idea to contact John Guest, the manufacturer.
    I'll let you know what they say.
    Nothing in the taps at the moment and no other filters.
    The stuff that comes out is very thin, as if it was lining the pipes and then came off.
    Definitely got a rubbery feel to it, as the Water Board lad confirmed.
    No replies from other experienced plumbers on here with the problem, so I'm guessing I'm the only one.
    Born lucky.

    As for the lead pipes, he said they flush something through the system along with chlorine/chloramine that lines the lead, stopping any nasty stuff getting into the supply.
    Although in some areas he covered, they had problems with lead in the water, which I think he said was due to clay soils?
     
  12. SandyLyon

    SandyLyon

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    I’d be very surprised if the “O” rings have failed or are failing, they are made from EPDM rubber and have to undergo rigorous testing not only for temperature and pressure cycling but also for chemical resistance (central heating inhibitors etc) and of course be WRAS approved.
     
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  13. Hot&Cold

    Hot&Cold

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    Its then Verses
    :mrgreen:
     
  14. flameport

    flameport

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    Are the taps connected with braided flexible hoses?
     
  15. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Quote from This artical

    Ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM) is commonly used in severe environments because it is a versatile elastomer with excellent resistance to water, chemicals, and ozone.

    These features make EPDM the elastomer of choice for rubber used in conjunction with water supplies in urban areas. However, recent environmental pollution has accelerated the deterioration of the water quality in metropolitan areas. The residual chlorine concentration in city water has increased due to countermeasures against water quality deterioration, and consequently, the number of reported cases of EPDM rubber degradation due to residual chlorine has increased in the last 15 years.
     
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  16. kidgreen61

    kidgreen61

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    Surely if the rubber seals in your pipework were deteriorating to that extent, you would have water gushing out everywhere.

    Sounds like a load of tosh from water man.

    As said, more likely to be from flexi pipe conn, or the innards of the tap coming adrift.
     
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  17. Johnboy54

    Johnboy54

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    Yes, they are braided hoses.
    Not sure about the 'tosh' bit.
    The article I mentioned earlier about the effects of chloramine in the water and the further link provided by bernardgreen suggest something is going on?
    For now I've convinced myself it's the braided hoses at fault.
    However, if at some point I hear a gushing sound I'll get back to you.
    Meantime, thanks to all for your comments.
    John
     
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