Tuesday 20th August
Doors arrived and went in. They look good. We have 1.7m French doors which open all the way out so they can be hooked to the walls. Each side is a 0.65m side panel with a window at the top for ventilation on warm, rainy days. Good solid German doors (I forget the brand at the moment), put together (made to measure) in Heybridge (or was it Hullbridge?).
Today the radiator was installed and tested. It did not heat up with the 10mm flexipipe feeding it so the pipes were replaced with 15mm copper pipes. Push fit / speedfit connections used, which were to be screeded over. However, I am now getting a plumber I know to do it all his way – in the walls etc. with no push fit and no pipes in the screed.
I added some protection for my speaker cables in the evening using some Tower PVC Channel 38mm from Screwfix. Not an ideal solution but better than the cables feeling the full force of the floor above and becoming damaged. I also used some spare channel to cover the exposed electric cable that is fixed to the suspended floor.
Near the end, but tired and stressed now. Got a very bad stress headache and feel a bit sick. Cannot work. Need a break!
But, happier today. Plan is to get the kitchen plumbing and electrics all done separately and let the builders do what they do best – build the new walls, replace windows and fit the kitchen.
I did just have my lunch (it is now Wednesday) sitting looking at the new room and it does look great.
Things I Learned Today
Push fit / Speedfit fittings should never be put direct in a screed floor (or concrete wall). If the fittings cannot move there is risk that over time as the pipes contract and expand the will work loose. If there is a leak then it is impossible to fix without digging up the floor. The solution which Speedfit recommend is to use conduit to run flexi cable in, and install access boxes on every fitting. In my case it would be boxes at the base of the radiator, where the pipes cross over and on the wall where they come out. But …..
Copper pipes should never be put direct in screed as the screed will corrode the pipes. The insulation placed around them is not enough – and there is copper exposed by the fitting. That pipe along the back is the mains water feeding the outside tap. It should all be in a conduit or welded properly. Ideally in the wall. Think my plumber mate will sort this out too.
I contacted Speedfit today after reading their website and some forums, and they replied:
“Thank you for your e-mail. According to regulations any pipe buried in concrete or plaster must be removable therefore we supply a conduit in which to run our pipe. Copper pipe should not be run directly in concrete or screed because chemicals within the cement will cause it to corrode. Speedfit fittings must not be buried directly in concrete because when the pipe, copper or plastic, expands and contracts the fittings will not be able to move and the pipe will tear itself out of the fitting. We guarantee our pipe and fittings for 25 years however if they are not installed as per our instructions we cannot guarantee them.”
The website also says:
CAN SPEEDFIT PIPE AND FITTINGS BE BURIED IN A SOLID WALL OR FLOOR?
Speedfit only permit the burying of pipe in screed for use in underfloor heating circuits. Pipe in any other application and Speedfit fittings must never be directly buried.
Speedfit provide a conduit pipe through which the Speedfit Pipe can be laid. If the Speedfit Pipe needs to be replaced, it can be disconnected at each end of the conduit and then pulled out.
Conduit pipe is supplied with an outside diameter of 24mm for use with 15mm pipe and an outside diameter of 30mm for use with 22mm pipe. Both sizes are available in lengths of 25 metres or 50 metres.
Where it is deemed necessary to install fittings in a solid wall or floor, they should be installed in an access box with a removable lid.
The Water Regulations state that pipe or fittings for hot or cold water services laid in any solid wall or floor must be removable.
This website provides a good guide to SpeedFit: http://www.cabp.co.uk/acatalog/speedfit_guide.pdf
Regading water regulations, DIYNot.com provided some useful information on a forum thread: push fits under screed:
Location of water fitings
G7.1 Unless they are located in an internal wall which is not a solid wall, a chase or duct which may be readily exposed, or under a suspended floor which may, if necessary, be readily removed and replaced, or to which there is access, water fittings should not be:
- a)located in the cavity of a cavity wall; or,
- b)embedded in any wall or solid floor; or,
- c)installed below a suspended or solid floor at ground level.
See Figure 3.1and 3.2 for typical details of acceptable arrangements
and also ……
As stated in Water Regulation Schedule 2.7 and BS 8000 : part 15, fittings and pipe should be removable for possible replacement, Insulation is also recommended to protect against heat loss and the effects of frost.