Strange - I thought it was normal to have all the cold taps fed from the
mains, that's how my houses have been. I'd always wondered why there was
this thing about not drinking from an upstairs tap.
Even stranger. In most houses are cold water is mains fed to all taps except
the bath so that a shower or mixer can be used - certainly the washbasin
should be and usually is mains fed.
If your house has mains cold water to all taps, bath included, then you must
have a mains fed instant water heater so that both hot and cold pressures
are the same. If you did not there would be a risk of cold mains water
running back through a mixer tap into the hot tank, which I doubt is
acceptable by water regulations.
No the bath is definately fed from the mains - out of interest I just
checked - ran the tap on full for a while, but no sound of the tank filling.
The taps are separate, not mixer. One shower is electric (mains fed), the
other is power (fed from hot water and header tanks). The hot water is
conventional - header tank, cylinder, gas boiler etc.
Not sure that you "must" although it will obviously fix the pressure
Our house has mains fed cold to all taps including the bath. The only
cold feeds from the cistern go to the hot water cylinder and the shower.
The bath has a mixer tap with gravity fed hot water and mains cold.
They are normally far more worried about (potentially un-clean) water
being fed back into the mains...
My parent's house used to be gravity cold on all taps, except the kitchen
sink. Now every tap, hot and cold, is mains pressure through a Megaflo. You
still shouldn't drink from an upstairs tap, as the cold is softened up
My previous house had mains cold and gravity hot (pump assisted by the time
I'd left). My current house has mains cold and gravity hot. Next week it
should have mains hot and cold.
The installed base is currently getting much more mains based, IME. In
particular, a lot of combi boilers seem to get installed these days.
It is probably historical. When water was supplied to Londoners from the
waterwheels under London Bridge, it only flowed for a few hours each day, so
you had to have a storage tank if you wanted water at other times. A lot of
French houses still have a supply pumped from a well, although, if they have
mains water, that is only supposed to be used for watering the garden..
Talking of British and French plumbing - lets get to the loos. In France
flushing seems to be always done by pressing a button on the top of the tank
or a small leaver on the side. Whilst in Britain we have the leaver and
syphon, which often seems to go faulty after a time. Why the difference? Can
the French flushing mechanisms be used here?
Mine's not missed a beat in 22 years. The technical name for
the syphon flush is/was WWP - waste water preventer. If it is
faulty nothing happens, unlike the arrangements which have a
valve in the bottom of the flushing tank. I suspect it all
goes back to the days when water supplies were much less
reliable (thus the c.w. cistern in the loft) and is also down
to our water being unmetered, so water undertakings needed to
know that the chances of it just running to waste were
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A flap valve seal can leak and water will run down the toilet. This does
not happen with a syphon flush. Flap vales require less water to flush,
although bowls are designed to take a certain amount of water, so too little
and no flush. raising the cistern does help, like having it in the loft.
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Aren't French style mechanisms banned in Britain? I seem to remember
that the EU wanted Britain to change its rules a few years ago to
permit the foreign systems. The argument against was that the British
water supply wouldn't be able to cope with millions of leaking
| Talking of British and French plumbing - lets get to the loos. In France
| flushing seems to be always done by pressing a button on the top of the
| or a small leaver on the side. Whilst in Britain we have the leaver and
| syphon, which often seems to go faulty after a time.
I still think a proper chain is best; stand back and pull any-old-how and
the water descends.
Another discussion point might be why the French apparently adopted
the British imperial plumbing sizes, hence you have 1/2", 3/4", 1",
etc. pipes and fittings rather than nicely rounded metric sizes: 10mm,
20mm, 30mm, etc. Its always worth pointing this out if a French person
moans about the British using imperial weights and measures (And by
the way, French trains run on the left, just like in Britain.) Can any
one confirm if plumbing fittings bought in France are exactly
interchangeable with equivalents bought in Britain?
Their standard copper tube sizes are not the same, e.g. IIRC,
14mm is one of their standard ones.
One interesting feature of their gas plumbing is that appliance
isolation valves have to include a feature to automatically cut
off the supply in the event of excessive gas flow, like if the
appliance falls off the wall and gas pipe breaks off.
Kind of like a gas MCB ;-)
Not those porcelain shower-tray types where you stand on
two raised "footprints" and aim for the hole? Ye Gods,
they're primitive over there...
The British syphon arrangement is the more perfect solution.
There's a thing called a "Duoflush" too, by which mechanism
a small quantity of water or the while lot can be used, thus
encouraging water saving.
Unfortunately, yes. I wonder where they were invented, I bet
not in Frarnce. The trouble with the flap valve types is that
they are prone to leakage. This is not environmentally or
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Although someone did suggest to me that they were more hygenic, because you
don't have to sit on or touch anything. And that must have been the way you
"did it" before pedestal loos were invented I guess.
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