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Running Overflow Pipe Cannon Hill

When working on older houses with existing hot water systems it is imperative that we inspect the site to be sure that any work we do conforms to regulations.  We often find that existing hot water systems are installed in locations that do not allow for compliance. Up to 40 percent of the hot water installations fail to comply with the QBCC regulations.  Often the installations fail with the overflow lines not discharging to an approved point.

Another factor to consider for older installations is the building material around the unit. In Queensland there is still a high number of houses with asbestos sealed in the walls. Moving a hot water system to an alternative location can result in the breaking of the asbestos seal and can result in a very expensive operation.

One such customer had both issues, a non-conforming hot water system installation with possible asbestos in the walls.

The Problem

We received a call from a landlord regarding one of his properties. He mentioned that the overflow pipe for the hot water system won't stop running. He was mindful of excess water charges.          

Action

We obtained the tenant's details and attended to site on the same day. When we arrived on site, we found that the Saxon hot water system was continually running from the overflow drain, and the tank couldn’t be repaired. It would have to be replaced with a new electric 250L hot water system.

Due to the location of the current hot water system, the new tank couldn’t be installed in it’s current location as it didn’t meet regulations. There was no possible way of running the relief drain from this location.

The best option would be to install the hot water system next to the laundry sink where we can drill through the wall to connect to the hot and cold lines. We will then cap off the lines at the original hot water location. However, as it appeared as though the wall was asbestos, we needed to confirm with the landlord.

After further discussion with the landlord by phone, we advised him to contact an asbestos certified tradesman to check if the wall was in fact asbestos.

The owner has advised that he didn’t want to pay for another tradesman. He has asked us to meet him onsite the following day to discuss possible alternatives while we were onsite on his property.

Solutions

When we returned to site the following day to meet with the owner, we discussed alternative options for relocating the hot water system to the outside of the property. It was decided to locate the new hot water system outside of the laundry at the back. We still had to cap off the hot and cold lines at the existing location. However, it was decided to branch of the copper lines leading to the washing machine taps and run both lines through the side of the laundry tub and through the existing hole beside the waste line of the tub to the exterior. We then ran the lines to the proposed hot water unit which was to be located next to the overflow gully. This was the only way we could have connected an outside system without disturbing the wall sheeting.      

Result

The customer was satisfied with this resolution and approved the replacement of the hot water unit. Once the materials were ordered in, a new 250 litre hot water unit was supplied and installed.

Clients Comments

"very happy with the service. plumber explained thoroughly what needs to be done and found a way to make it work without charging too much. Will definitely use this company again."

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