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Pushfit connecting plastic to copper leak HELP

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by adviceneeded, 10 Oct 2013.

  1. adviceneeded

    adviceneeded

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    Hi there, I'm new to this forum and desperate for some advice regarding a recent flood at my Mum's house following a disastrous fit of a recent bathroom. Luckily I was the one taking a shower when I noticed a complete loss of pressure and then water started to come through the ceiling lights and eventually through the ceiling. The pump was continuing to run and I could not turn off the shower. It's not a power shower but run from a 3 bar pump in the airing cupboard next door.

    I managed to pull the power from the pump and isolate the leak by turning water off.

    When I went into the loft I could see the 15mm plastic hot water pipe had come away from the push fit connection connecting it to a copper pipe at a right angle bend going down into the bathroom to the shower. When we called a plumber he said it was not installed correctly and shouldn't happen again and simply pushed it back but when I called the pump manufacturer and showed them the picture they said it will happen again as you shouldn't connect plastic to copper like that and should solder a copper extension to the current pipe and connect at a straight instead. Also I notice they have gone right through a timber beam down into the bathroom on the pipe that came off. Does that create any vibration issues that may have lead to the pipe coming off again? This is in my disabled Mum's house and paranoid this will happen again when she is taking a shower and not so lucky being alone so really need some good advice to ensure this never happens again.

    I haven't got a picture of the end of the pipe that popped but it just looks like the end of a hose pipe with no connections at all.

    HELP!
     
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  3. CBF

    CBF

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    Nothing wrong with using that fitting there so don't really know what the pump manu is on about, I hope the guy that fixed it took the insert out first rather than just push the pipe back in ? The pipe doesn't sound like it was pushed into the elbow far enough on the orginal install

    Elbows are abit high & you could get air collecting at that point
    Could do with some clips & timber to support the pipes
    Pipes need lagging (unless this has been removed just for the leak & pics)
     
  4. adviceneeded

    adviceneeded

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    Thanks CBF. NO! The guy just came round and pushed it back in and charged me kindly for it. He definitely did not take anything out of the fitting first.

    Also no lagging, that's how the pipes were left on the install.
     
  5. ALEC1

    ALEC1

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    wasn't it under guarantee? How much did he charge?

    was it on hot or cold?

    if he did not replace the grab ring and its pumped the chances are that it will happen again!
     
  6. adviceneeded

    adviceneeded

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    It was on the hot pipe and he charged £60 and gave a one year guarantee.
     
  7. Charnwood

    Charnwood

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    What a cowboy job!
    Loose, flapping pipes fitted to push-fit fittings from a shower pump.
     
  8. footprints

    footprints

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    Agreed Charnwood, reckon his horse would have done a better job!
     
  9. sooey

    sooey

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    I agree with alec, I wouldn't trust that joint if he's just stuck it back in.
    Probably the best thing to do would be to use a compression elbow on it with copper olives. Though you might have to butcher even more out of the wood to get it on.
     
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  11. adviceneeded

    adviceneeded

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    Guys, thanks for the advice. A second plumber came round to make sure the connection was safe on this break and said it should be ok now but I am getting poor pressure in the system to the rain shower head. Originally they ran 15mm pipes into a 22mm salamander 1.5 bar pump but came back when we complained of poor pressure and changed the pump to a 3 bar and changed the hot and cold feeds in to 22mm and ran 22mm out half way across the loft and then converted back into 15mm half way across the loft and down into the bathroom and to the shower head. I am so confused why they didn't run 22mm the whole way but it's done now and cannot be changed as it's all behind marble tiles. Some people say this should be ok and should get good pressure from it whereas others say this might cause problems. I notice I get ok pressure from cold only but as soon as I mix some hot into the equation the flow halves. Could there be some sort of air lock in the system?
     
  12. stem

    stem

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    Small point, but actually that is what a power shower is.

    Pipes should be secured and not flapping freely, but not in that way. I would be more worried about weakening of the roof support timbers, they are not supposed to be drilled AFAIK

    The lack of insulation is also a problem, not just to prevent heat loss, but as the pipes are so close to the edges of the roof. Temperatures there will pretty much correspond with outside in the winter and likely to freeze.
     
  13. Madrab

    Madrab

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    IMO, the key points with that installation are -

    1. Joist being drilled like that, ridiculous - I would get it checked to see whether it could have weakened the timber.
    2. The pressure at the shower is not the issue, it's the flow, a 1.5 bar pump would deliver plenty of pressure but if the pipes can't flow enough water then shower won't run properly. What make of shower is it?
    3. 22mm into 15mm pipe should flow enough water but it all depends on connectors, valves/regulators, type of shower, how it's been installed.
    3. The guy that came and charged £60 to push the pipe back in should have his horse shot!
    4. The original installers should have the same treatment. Not very professional installation as others have commented I'm afraid to say. Bad pipe/coupling placement, no clips etc. Where in the cupboard is the pump sited?
    5. the shower flow will drop if it is a thermostatic shower due to the temp differentials as it adjusts the flow to maintain the required temp setting

    Bear in mind the shower will only flow a maximum amount.

    Sorry to sound so negative but the installation isn't looking the best.
     
  14. SandyLyon

    SandyLyon

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    Total agreement with CBF in post no 2

    That fitting is an "O" ring first grip 2nd configuration, there is nothing wrong with that but it is more prone to installer error.

    With that configuration when the pipe is pushed into the fitting it passes through the seal first and the grip 2nd. If the installer doesn't push the pipe fully home it can just catch on the grip ring and hold for some time before blowing off.

    The manufacturers of this type of fitting reccommend a pressure test of 18 bar for that reason. Fittings with grip first, seal 2nd say 1.5 times working pressure.

    It looks as though the stainless steel sleeve is retained in the fitting, my guess would be that he didn't mark the pipe (recommended by manufacturers installation instructions) and didn't push the pipe fully home first time.
     
  15. adviceneeded

    adviceneeded

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    In total agreement with everyone even if I didn't want to hear it and it makes me mad that two plumbers in a row have given us bad treatment.

    After a lot of discussion on this it appears a logical reason for this hot water loss in pressure still lies with this shoddy elbow connection that popped and caused the flood in the first place and was simply pushed back by the second plumber.

    If you look closely in the picture you can see that where the plastic pipe popped there is the copper pipe sticking out? Surely it should either be an elbow bend which connects a straight piece of copper coming up through the bathroom to a straight piece of plastic coming over from the pump feed or a straight connection to a straight connection. It looks to me like the first installer has forced the elbow onto a curved piece of copper pushing it through to the other side of the elbow and then tried to push fit the plastic into it making them meet each other without a proper seal?

    The problem is that when you take the elbow away you are left with a copper pipe that is too short on its exit to make a straight connection but too curved to make an elbow connection. I am a complete novice and learning throughout this horrendous ordeal but can I ask the pro's to confirm this? Would a solution be to take it all apart and take the bend off the copper pipe to make it straight up and start again with anther elbow connection? I also don't think he put a tube support on the plastic connection which could be allowing the plastic to be squeezed causing restriction to the flow.
     
  16. Madrab

    Madrab

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    No, I can see why it may seem like that but it's not a bit of copper pipe
    That 'pipe' you can see coming out of the elbow is what's called an insert.
    It pushes into the end of the plastic pipe and when the pipe is pushed into the elbow that insert helps the pipe keep it shape to fit snugly onto the seal and grab ring (a metal washer with teeth), especially under higher pressure
     
  17. footprints

    footprints

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    Not quite sure what you mean about the copper passing through the elbow, the tube you can see inside the elbow is the liner that fits inside the plastic pipe to keep it firm it should be a tight fit and come away with the plastic he may have used the wrong insert from another make.
    If you have removed the elbow and now have a bit of pipe sticking up can you get one of these on?

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/conex-pus...Search-_-SearchRec-_-Area1&_requestid=197642#
     
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