very dumb first attempt at plumbing questions

hi all, couple of things on plumbing... ive never done any before and have managed throught reading posts here and the trusty collins book to plumb in a new sink unit and change the taps on the bath! however....... while doing this i noticed that the pipework is all over the place in this house, with layers of old piping left everywhere capped off etc, even older metal piping embedded in the rendering etc etc (the house is circa 1890) and all this will eventually have to go when i have the confidence to redo and upgrade all the plumbing,,, but for now - * the connections i made are all good, but when i press my ear to the rising main(which is helpfully placed in the middle of the wall in the landing and will have to be eventually resited!!) i can hear a hissing noise, very faint..does this mean i have a leak somewhere? * the wrench i bought for the jobs was a universal basin wrench -allegedly fits bath and sink nuts - but the one i have would only do the 15ml connections,and is too small for the nuts on the bath taps and the 22ml mini valve thingys i fitted. and it was hell doing that bloody bath -did i get the wrong tool or did i just get a duff one?
thanks in advance
tom
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fireblade wrote:

Why is that the rising main comes in via the roof in some old properties? Anyway, is this a terraced property? if so it could be someone else's leak you can hear! Are there any overflows running, esp. tanks in roof? Check all the joins you've made for seepage. I'm paranoid about this and check mine several days running especially if the pipes are going to be boxed in. Is your basin wrench one of those made from a flat bend piece of metal with various shapes cut in it? If so, they aren't much use. A proper tap wrench has a selg tightening jaw like a birds beak and can swivel on top of its shaft. They aren't much use for anything else except the nuts which hold taps to the basin or bath but they are invaluable for that. For all the other nuts e.g. compression fittings you need a couple of ajustable spanners or mole wrenches to tighten them enough.
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The whole terrace was probably plumbed together and not as individual houses. I have two points were water enters mine, and there's only one feed from the road for the terrace (as my neighbour who dug it up and ripped it out then discovered;-). I'm not sure what would happen if any of us wanted water meters.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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I have an old circa 1870 house, with three water inlets from three different directions. Ive had a water fitted 2 years ago, and as far as I can tell, only the water trough one meter has been metered. This is fabulous news, as this water main only feeds the cold water supply to the kitchen sink, so baths, showers and toilets are competely charge free. Yipee
Andrew Gabriel wrote:

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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

They have to give you a reduction in your water charges if you ask for a meter and they can't fit one.
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As to your hissing noise it may not be a leak,but turn off water and drain down and then check to see if hissing is still there,
This the tool you need for basin abnd bath,still needs a little practise though
http://tbx.toolbankexpress.com/browse.cfm?CFID 3674&CFTOKEN348885&rID3&ID98&CatLevel17&catID98
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i
rising
and
mini
Tom,
Find the external stop tap and turn the water supply off from there and then have a listen. If no noise, turn this back on and then shut down the internal stop tap. If there is a noise on the pipe then it is possible that you have an external water leak coming into your property and you may need to ask the waterboard to locate it for you.
If the noise stops at this stage and you are sure that you have no leaks, try going around any ball valves in the house and you may find one weeping slightly (although this should show up when it overflows to the outside).
If you are in an old terrace of houses, then it is possible that you can have a number of the houses all drawing off the same incoming mains pipe and there could be an underground leak anywhere along its length. If this is the case, then ask the waterboard to check this out and if necessary locate the leak and then you may have to speak to all the users to agree to share the costs of fixing any leak on the shared section i.e. from the joint where the pipe that feeds your property comes off.
Brian
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i
rising
and
mini
Firstly Tom. If the hissing sound was loud you'd have a leak within 50 yards of the point you're listening to. If it is a very quiet hissing, then it is probably someone miles away having a shower.
Now the basin wrench. Does your wrench have two jaws which can be interchanged ? Some of these wrenches have a large jaw and a small jaw. The spare jaw is usually clipped or screwed the wrench somewhere to keep it handy.
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thanks to all for your help... im paranoid about leaks too which is why ive not yet covered up anything ive done so i can check all the joints i made- and a few days later theyre all sound, so im sure none of them are leaking or weaping. the hissing soundin the mains pipe seems to have stopped now! (the checks and pointers i got from you all was very educational and useful for future referreence). oh, and its a terraced house.
The wrench was BnQ's own brand universal basin and bath wrench, so i guess u pays ure monies and takes your choice lol... ive got the right tools now anyhow- brace yourselves for many more dumb plumbing questions in the near future when i redo the bathroom, have to trace and remove old pipes, resite rads, and remove the rising mains from the middle of the wall in the landing and resite it (and probably the tank in the attic too) to somewhere less intrusive and visible so the first thing u see when u go up our stairs is a lovely old waterpipe lol. just one more quick question before my recess from plumbing - * we have central heating and hot water through a combination boiler (a vaillant), BUT we only seem to have one tank in the attic. I thought there was supposed to be a seperate expansion tank (or some such) for the central heating? maybe not, but given the state of the rest of the plumbing in this house it wouldnt surprise me if there was suppose to be one and isnt lol. the heating and hot waters always worked fine tho. Just wondering?....

then
it
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The Heating system on a combi is a pressurized sealed system, it doesn't have the header tank that a 'normal' system does, instead it has pressure vessel - normally in the back of the boiler that keeps the system pressurized.
--
Chris French, Leeds

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<snipped>
There may be a tiny tank hidden at the back of your main tank. These header tanks are not usually huge big things, but only enough to hold a few gallons to fill the heat exchanger in the boiler. Out with the torch and go have a look in the attic.
It may also be that the boiler is fitted with an expansion vessel nearby. It will look like a big red balloon somewhere near the boiler. Another alternative that was used years ago, was to take the same feed pipe as the hot water tank, so that might also be worth a look.
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