Cast-iron gutters

I live in a small part of a very large building (an old orphanage). Strangely, there are no downpipes from the gutters in the front of the 4-storey building. All the water is transferred to downpipes at the back of the building. Unfortunately the water goes over a valley in our part of the building. The quantity of water after a heavy rainfall is immense; it sounds as though a large river is running over one's head. There is occasionally a slight leak through the ceiling at one point.
I'd like to put up a downpipe in the front of the building. There is a place where this would not be obtrusive. I would collect the water in a tank below.
Unfortunately two builders I have consulted have given different opinions. One (a roofing expert) says that it is not possible to attach a downpipe to the gutters, because these are cast iron. The other expert says he can do it.
I wonder if anyone has a view on this?
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Timothy Murphy
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
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On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:55:58 +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:

I think it could be cut - but I don't know if an off-the-shelf adapter exists to sit between the gutter and downpipe, so you (or someone) might have to make something.
What's the deal with the incline, though - aren't the existing gutters inclined so that water runs to the back of the building?
cheers
Jules
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Jules Richardson wrote:

Thanks for your response.
The water does run to the back of the building, but over our valley. We are at the lowest part of the building, so all the water on the roof naturally comes to our section.
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Timothy Murphy
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There is absolutely no problem with breaking into any guttering system and inserting a downpipe, even if in the extreme it involves fabrication of special parts, anything is possible.
The difficulty I think you have is that you mentioned in your previous thread on this subject that the building is listed and subject to quite tight controls and until that issue is dealt with you are fookd.
http://groups.google.com/group/uk.d-i-y/browse_thread/thread/d1f169537d53353 /
--
fred
it's a ba-na-na . . . .
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fred wrote:

/d1f169537d53353/
Thanks for your response. I think the authorities here have had a change of heart, and anything that creates jobs is good. In fact the downpipe would be more or less invisible, as there is a corner it fit into.
Also, the other end of the building is owned by a property developer who has gone bust, and his part of the building is in very bad repair. Hopefully the council will worry more about that.
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Timothy Murphy
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
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That sounds like great news.
The detail of what you are going to do depends on whether the guttering in simple half round or in complex profiles which will dictate whether standard parts are available off the shelf or not. The worst I can imagine would be the fabrication of a lead collector of whatever size was required with appropriate sealing into the existing setup but perhaps it's time to ask the can-do guy how he would go about the job and reassure him that it is to assess the integrity of the final result rather than tout his design around in order to get cheaper quotes.
I'm familiar with a building that has lead lined stone gutters on the decorative front elevation, they're very nicely done and absolutely watertight.
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fred
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I am unclear as to why you would need a tank, where it would be put to avoid being unsightly*, and where the water would go when the tank became full?
Or, if metal, stolen.
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Robin
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I doubt building regs would accept a tank. Also much new legislation about soakaways and not overloading public drainage with sudden surges.
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Ah: while I knew the Republic of Ireland liked SUDS I thought their legislation only required it for new developments in Dublin.
Is their new legisaltion as tight as ours for "front gardens"?
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Robin
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Robin wrote:

I think it is quite strict about anything in the front of a house, though a man just opposite us has just build a very large garage in front of his beautiful georgian house. He doesn't seem to have got permission for this, and we are wondering whether to cause a civil war by asking the authorities if it is allowed ...
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Timothy Murphy
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Robin wrote:

I was thinking of using it to water the small front garden. The idea occurred to me because a friend who has built what she calls an "eco-house" mentioned saving the rain-water as one of the virtues of the house.
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Timothy Murphy
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Dave Liquorice wrote:

I think there was 100mm of rain in one day in our recent deluge, so I guess a large tank might be necessary ...
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Timothy Murphy
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On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:55:58 +0100, Timothy Murphy

Technically it isn't a problem, although the guttering doesn't appear to be standard so you may need to get a piece fabricated.
However, if this
http://building19thcenturyireland.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/img_3402.jpg
is the building and it is listed I doubt you would persuade a listed buildings officer to allow you to do it.
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Peter Parry wrote:

That is indeed the building. The picture makes it look more imposing than it is. I always tell visitors they will recognise it because it looks like a mental hospital or a prison.
My proposed downpipe would go in the inset corner in the picture. I'll see what the Listed Buildings office says. They used to be very strict, but seem to have become less so.
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Timothy Murphy
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
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On 10/11/2011 12:55, Timothy Murphy wrote:

Would it be possible to extend the downpipe(s) that empty into your valley, so that the water bypasses it?
Colin Bignell
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Nightjar wrote:

Possibly. The problem is that a 1-storey extension was added about 30 years ago at the back, with the result that the water goes down onto a flat roof, and the owner of this is concerned at this, particularly after the exceptional downpour last month.
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Timothy Murphy
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On 10/11/2011 23:52, Timothy Murphy wrote:

If you are extending the downpipe, it could also bypass the flat roof.
Colin Bignell
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I meant to ask you if you had any access to the valley from your property and whether it was reasonably deep?
Using tangential thinking[1] I wondered if lining the valley with something like astroturf might reduce the noise from the water flow or any resonances in the lead (is it lead?) and improve the situation.
[1] I used to enjoy it more when I misspelled it tangenital thinking.
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fred
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fred wrote:

Yes, there is easy access to the valley through a skylight.

I'm not sure if the flashing is lead. Probably, as I imagine it is original. Actually, I don't mind the noise so much; it is more the idea of the quantity of water going over our heads.
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Timothy Murphy
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On 10/11/11 23:48, Timothy Murphy wrote:

maybe you could put a big plastic gutter on top of the valley and direct the downpipes into it so that 95% of the water goes along it.
In torrential downpours the water will go everywhere.
My lead valleys freeze over in the winter, then when the thaw comes the ice melts in the wrong order and water escapes between the joins in the lead and comes into the house# so I get upon the roof and bash it, trying to not damage the lead!
[g]
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