I have a problem in my house this morning. I got up and turned on the cold
tap, the water came out with a good pressure but it was spluttering and
banging and the amount of water got worse until it was just a fine mist
coming out, although the pressure seemed to be the same. I tried the hot
tap and got the same. Same with both taps in the kitchen.
I've no idea about plumbing I'm afraid, but I can't understand how there is
so much air coming out of the taps - when there is no water, there is a good
pressure of air being forced out. We don't have a water tank. I believe the
supply to all taps comes from the same source and comes through the boiler
(perhaps only the hot water does?).
Anyway - I'd appreciate any help you could give.
Thanks a lot!
If you have no water tank, then its likely that your local water board is
doing some work nearby and air has got into the main, it should clear its
self once they have completed the work, try to purge your system by turning
on all taps (all cold ones first) a small amount in turn and wait for the
air to clear. Be careful clearing the toilet system as what once happened on
mine was that the air/water mixture blew off a small plastic diverter in the
cistern making the water go upwards, and hence water leaked out all over the
Thanks Jon. I gave Thames Water a call and they said that they were doing
some work nearby between midnight at 4am. Perhaps it's just a hangover from
I'll try what you suggested when I get home and see if it clears up.
On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 11:00:42 -0000, "Gregor Spowart"
Before opening other taps, I would recommend running the kitchen cold
tap, or whichever is nearest the incoming main to flush out any grit
that may have been introduced into the main or loosened in it during
There may be more over the next few days, so if you have a roof tank,
keep an eye on the overflow and also on the toilets. Small pieces of
grit have a habit of ending up in the ball valve nozzles and stopping
them from closing properly. You won't get a flood, but maybe a
small overflow. If this happens, you need to turn off the water,
take the valve apart and clean the bits.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 09:48:00 -0000, Gregor Spowart wrote:
Call your water supplier. They've probably had a burst overnight and
had to repair it this lets air into the system. This air has to come
out somewhere, generally they'd open a washout valve (WO) and let most
out that way but some still ends up comeing through the taps. Maybe
you hit the period when there was still lots of air in the system as
When you return home run the cold tap for a good while to flush
through any mucky water.
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
I just remembered that it did this a little bit last week (spluttering, but
the water never actually stopped), but cleared up quickly enough (like
within 5 or so seconds) and it had never done it before.
Do you think it could be related, or was it possible that they were doing
work then too? I think what I'm wondering is if it's possible the system is
somehow sucking air in through the overflow (not sure how plausible this
is - I generally have no idea!!).
Thanks again - what a friendly newsgroup!
On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 11:18:34 -0000, Gregor Spowart wrote:
Quite likely related to the same work.
From your previous decription I don't think your system has an
overflow as it is a sealed system combination boiler. There will be a
pipe that looks like an overflow on the outside of the house near
where the boiler is located but this is a pressure relief vent to stop
the boiler going bang if the flow through it stops and the burner
doesn't shut off.
There was work done on our main on wednesday got a letter telling us
it would be off from 0900 to 1500. Mains water is a fairly recent
addition to this house so the rising main goes straight up to several
storage tanks. Now wishing to get them full of muddy water I turned
off the street stopcock before 0900 and fitted a pipe and hose to
flush water through once it came back on. Come 1600 I could see they
had stopped work on the main a couple of miles away so turned our
supply back on, big hissing noise. Investigate end of hose, massive
suction, enough to pull my fingers over the end from 1/4" away. Turn
it all off and call the water board, almost but not quite next to
useless, I don't think any of the teletubbies understood what the word
"suction" or the phrase "drawing air in, fast" meant. The only plus
point is that we are going to get compensation without having to ask.
Don't know when the water came back but it was on at 1000 the next
morning but so where the workers, so I left it off again until they
went. An intresting excercise used just over half of our tank supply
in that 24hrs with only some conservation. Kids shared their bath
water, only one lot of washing up and no washing machine.
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 14:22:44 -0000, Gregor Spowart wrote:
You won't, you have no stored water. If the mains fails that's it
nothing, not even a cup of tea. A *serious* drawback to combis IMHO
and one that many people won't realise until the mains fails and they
have to join the queue in the shops for bottled water, always assuming
they are quick enough and the all shops haven't sold out...
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
Follow up - You were all quite right. After much spluttering, banging and
getting only slightly drenched(!) it settled down. There wasn't much grit
and stuff came out either, just lots of air.
Anyway, it's fine now so thanks very much to all for your help.
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