How to trace a pipe?


Postby Rastanking » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:16 am

Hi everyone,

I'm currently on a shared water system with the rest of the street and have been looking to get my own water supply, recently whilst renovating the kitchen I noticed what appeared to be a water supply pipe coming out of the ground in the kitchen, the pipe is about 1" in diameter and blue in colour.

I have been told that this is a water supply pipe, however I don't know where the other end of the pipe comes out, united utilities have told me that they have no record of it being laid to their main, the builders have gone bust so the question remains how can I trace this pipe?

There is no obvious stop tap outside the property and the floors are solid so can't dig them up. Would a plumber be able to trace the pipe?

Any help would be appreciated
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Postby rosebery » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:16 am

Everyone in every street is on a shared water supply. The main is a shared water supply. So unless I'm missing something I don't understand your desire to establish your own personal supply.

The pipe you have found is an MDPE water pipe. It may not be connected directly to the water main. There has to be a mains stopcock for your premises in the street somewhere. Its probably been tarmaced over - mine was until just recently when they fitted a water meter next door to what I thought was my stopcock. So they dug around and found it. Now I have my own.

The 1" MDPE is probably either connected into that stopcock or there is a join betwen the stopcock and the house if there is water coming out of it. In any case the water company wouldn't have a record if the join is on your property because once it crosses the boundary of your property its your pipe and your responsibility. If there is no water coming out of it it may have been laid in anticipation of something but then Plan B came into operation and it was abandoned.

The only way to trace it is to start digging (outside obviously) but I'm really not certain I see the point. Anyway its up to you.

BTW United Utilities should know exactly where their stopcock is or certainly within a few inches. Have you asked them?

Hope that helps.

Cheers
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Postby Rastanking » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:17 am

Thanks for your help, I will certainly ask them about it.
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Postby Rastanking » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:19 am

Thanks for your help, I will certainly ask them about it. Also the mains pressure is so low that it takes ages to fill the bath, so my own water main is my only option.
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Postby htg engineer » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:07 pm

'so my own water main is my only option'

What do you mean by this, why do you think the pipe in the kitchen will have a greater pressure ?

If it is connected to anything, then it'll be to the same distribution main as your current water supply. There'll be no pressure increase. (even though your problem is the flow rate, not pressure).

No matter what you do - you'll be on a shared distribution main with the rest of the street - they're not going to install one main per house. You're heading down the wrong path.

What type of boiler do you have ? combi ? etc.. Is it the cold and hot water flow rate that's poor, if it is you could check or renew the main stop tap to see if it improves.

Buy a flow cup http://www.uk-plumbing.com/regin-flow-c ... 43223.html see what the flow rate is on the cold water, hot water and if a combi see what flow rate the boiler will produce (manufacturers instructions) if you do not have a combi or a mains pressure hot water system, then it's nothing at all to do with the cold mains.

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Postby Rastanking » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:26 am

'so my own water main is my only option'

What do you mean by this, why do you think the pipe in the kitchen will have a greater pressure ?

If it is connected to anything, then it'll be to the same distribution main as your current water supply. There'll be no pressure increase. (even though your problem is the flow rate, not pressure).

No matter what you do - you'll be on a shared distribution main with the rest of the street - they're not going to install one main per house. You're heading down the wrong path.

Thanks for all your help however what I need is flow, pressure being the resistnace to flow. The current water main runs into the first house at the end of the street, it then comes through the houses all the way down the street, by the time it reaches my house the flow is so poor it takes ages to fill the bath.

By getting my own water supply, which will be tapped from the other side of the street, I will achieve greater flow due to 3 houses being occupied on the other side of the street, soon to be none due to demolition.

I need to trace this pipe to see where it comes out of, ie connected to a stop tap.
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Postby htg engineer » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:54 pm

You wont get the mains connected to the other side of the street. No matter how much you complain, they have a minimum standard for water pressure, if that's maintained then you do not have a case.

What's going to be built in place of thse houses ? you'll probably find the watermains will be removed or made redundant.


'By getting my own water supply, which will be tapped from the other side of the street, I will achieve greater flow due to 3 houses being occupied on the other side of the street, soon to be none due to demolition'

No chance, they wont dig up a road or tunnel under to give you an independant water supply.

You're like everyone else, you're not going to get your own independant water main.

As you haven't given info on the heating system type - can't offer anymore help. Is it a combi ?

htg
Last edited by htg engineer on Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rosebery » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:49 pm

"By getting my own water supply, which will be tapped from the other side of the street, I will achieve greater flow due to 3 houses being occupied on the other side of the street, soon to be none due to demolition."

HE is right - you don't stand a chance of getting this even if you did they would charge you £ 000s. With respect I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of this subject anyway.

The water companies have a statutory duty to supply water to every property at a usable pressure. If you think you are getting lower pressure where you are compared with houses furher up the street then your remedy is to complain to the utility company for them to meet their statutory obligations.

So you need to do two things. Use a flow cup as HE has suggested to find out the flow rate of the mains. Theeasiest place to do this is an outside tap or at the washine machine tap in the kitchen. Second use a pressure guage to measure the mains pressure at either of the same points.

Then you can check with them that they are meeting their statutory obligations.

If they are then the problem is within your four walls and its for you to fix. We can try and help you with this.

Have you got a combi boiler or a conventional installation with cold tank in roof and hot water cylinder elsewhere? If you can answer that question then that will be a good start.

Cheers
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