sewer manhole inside flat and building regs


Postby Rippley » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:01 pm

Hi
Didn't know if should post in 'Bathrooms, drainage and waste plumbing' but as it is re building regs- here it is.
In the basement flat I live in, discovered the last manhole access before the main/public sewer was under the lino in the store cupboard inside my flat. I've had to deal with 2 blockages that needed to be cleared (not my fault- I know better then to put wet wipes etc down loo!) and it is a constant worry as I am the one who always has to deal with it if there is a blockage.
I thought that if a sewer manhole serves more then 1 property (4 flats go into this), that the sewer access has to be in an obvious and accessible space and if I am not here- how is the sewer manhole in my store cupboard inside my flat accessible?
Landlord says this conforms to building regs and to have it outside the flat is 'best practice' but not absolutely a 'must do'. The original plans showed it was to be moved outside the property so help with clarification please?

And have I got it right that building regs say a 'low level' access is required to the soil waste pipe (in my flat - serving 4 flats)? There is a boxed access point on the soil waste pipe that is 100cm above floor level- is that considered 'low level'? When the plumbers were here to clear the sewer trap blockage they said they wouldn't want to open it because depending on where the blockage was- it could flood my bathroom with sewage from above. Such fun.
Plumbers were also surprised as there is no access in the floor at the junction of the pipe leading from this main waste down pipe where it connects with the main pipe running into the sewer manhole. They were unable to get a camera around the sharp bend and said that it could be a snagging point for debris and cause a blockage. ?

Hope I've been clear as trying to understand and help with clarification of regs in appreciated.
Rippley
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:30 pm

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Postby stoneyboy » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:36 pm

Rippley,
The arrangement you have is far from ideal. The access cover in your store cupboard should be screwed down and sealed.
You say the plans show a different arrangement and the key question is how old the plans are or how long ago were the drains modified. If less than 4 years you might get some help from your local BR department. Older than this and no action can be taken for non-compliance.
end
stoneyboy
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 pm


Postby Rippley » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:28 am

Thanks for your reply stoneyboy.

The cover is bolted down but I don't know if it is sealed as such. The landlord says it has a special 'lip' on the inside that creates the seal (unfortunately- I take what my landlord says with a pinch of salt).

The plans I have seen showing the manhole being repositioned into the yard outside are last dated 3/06, so that is just under 4 years ago.
The manhole is in the same position that served the original Victorian building when it was a house- but then it was an outside 'coal house'. The conversion into 4 flats started shortly after the plan is dated with the drain modifications to connect the individual flats made during that time with completion around 10/06.

I have contacted my local BR who said that it was non compliant- but as the local BR dept was not involved as the landlord had their own 'approved inspectors' to oversee and sign works off, I am just shunted back to my landlord- yet again.
Rippley
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:30 pm


Postby stoneyboy » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:24 pm

Rippley,
Sorry to say you are in an impossible situation.
Normally a landlord has to give you notice if he wants to enter your flat.
It may be worth a look at your rental agreement to see what rights the landlord has to break into your flat in an emergency situation eg blocked drains.
end
stoneyboy
Posts: 2708
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 pm


Postby Rippley » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:07 am

Yes- stoneyboy.
I now know I am in an impossible situation with them all round.
With all the defects and other changes to the original plan specs (inc ref my other posts re condensation and dissolving concrete), they clearly promised one thing and did another (and badly). That's Registered Social Landlords for you!
They are supposed to give min of 24hrs notice- except in an emergency, but they don't state what they would do and how they would manage the situation if the occupant is not there.
Thanks anyway.
Rippley
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:30 pm


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