Rerouting pipework currently buried in concrete.

28 Mar 2011
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United Kingdom
Hi all

Bit long, this...sorry.

Our bungalow was built in the early 70s and has concrete floors. The cold mains emerges from the floor under the kitchen sink, supplies the kitchen tap then disappears under the concrete kitchen floor, emerging in the bathroom, where it feeds bath, toilet cistern and basin, plus the hot water cylinder supply and central heating feed/expansion tanks in the loft. The hot supply to the kitchen goes in the opposite direction from the hot water cylinder, under the floor to the kitchen tap.

I keep a close eye on my water consumption, which is quite easy to do because we have a water meter. The consumption remains consistent and there’s no obvious movement of the little “wheel” on top of the meter when no taps are open, nor any tanks being filled.

However, I’ve heard it said that there are drawbacks to routing copper pipes under concrete floors:specifically the likelihood that they will fail under attack from acids/ alkalines in the concrete mix, or from movement in the floors causing friction between pipes and aggregate.

Despite there being no obvious problems, I’m considering a pre-emptive strike. Specifically, cutting the pipes off where they enter the floors and rerouting them up the wall in the kitchen, through the loft then down into the airing cupboard. At the points where they enter/exit the floor under the sink unit, both pipes look pretty ropey.

Attached is a picture of the pipes emerging from the floor under the airing cupboard. The lower pipe is the hot water supply from the cylinder to kitchen (left and under floor) and bath/ basin taps (right). Upper pipe is the cold supply from the kitchen to bathroom taps and up into the loft.

My question is, would the hot water pressure in the kitchen be adversely affected if the supply from the cylinder had to go up into the loft rather than down into the floor as currently? I know the hot supply works by displacement, but I'm just not sure how this would be affected if I reroute the pipes.

Thanks in advance.

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If you have a loft tank supplying the hot water cylinder then it makes no difference how the cold feed to the loft is routed.

Your pipework has survived for 47 years and I would not be in a great hurry to replace it.

Unless you were going to upgrade to an unvented cylinder or combi boiler etc.

Given that there are no obvious leaks it is of course feasible to leave things well alone, and I might just do that.

Thing is, we've been here 3 years now and just about everything that a DIYer of humdrum ability can achieve is done. I'm in the happy position where a casual trawl of the internet occasionally suggests some project that I hadn't thought of before and that I might be capable of doing; but yes, that I could probably put off.

Just to clarify (and apologies if this leads to repetition) am I to understand that bypassing the hot water pipe which is currently buried under the floor by rerouting it from the cylinder through the loft and down the kitchen wall to the sink will make no difference to the pressure at the hot tap?
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