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Plumbing advice needed

Plumbing advice needed

Old Jan 26th 2017, 5:24 pm
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Question Plumbing advice needed

Hi all

We've just taken on a project apartment in Catalonia, which has been unoccupied for 16 years. We're wanting to get water heating sorted as our priority and have decided on Electric for the time being as we won't be spending too much time in the apartment for a few years.

There was one 50l Electric Water Heater mounted on the kitchen wall but disconnected and a Mains Gas Instantaneous Boiler mounted on an external wall approximately 2 metres from the Electric Water Heater. The gas is disconnected from the property. The Electric Water Heater apparently pre-dated the gas boiler. In any event neither have been used for 16 years.

I'm looking to replace the Electric Water Heater with a new one of up to 100 litres. I've removed the old one from the wall after removing kitchen cabinets, so I now have exposed wall mountings, 2 water feed pipes and an electric socket ready for the new electric water heater. The next thing I did was to test the 2 pipes to establish I had a cold feed and check which of the pipes it was. I found that there was a pressured water supply coming from both pipes! I turn the stop cock off and the flow stops on both pipes, I turn it on it flows from both pipes. These pipes were definitely the cold water feed and the hot water supply previously for the Electric Water Heater.

Am I missing something ? In my mind, I should have only one cold water feed and if anything only a small trickle from the hot pipe which will be unaffected by me turning the stop cock off and on. I can only imagine that somebody has teed incorectly in to the hot water pipes, perhaps when fitting the gas boiler.

I was hoping to fit the Electric Water Heater myself but now it seems it's not going to be that simple !

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old Jan 26th 2017, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Originally Posted by stepto64 View Post
Hi all

We've just taken on a project apartment in Catalonia, which has been unoccupied for 16 years. We're wanting to get water heating sorted as our priority and have decided on Electric for the time being as we won't be spending too much time in the apartment for a few years.

There was one 50l Electric Water Heater mounted on the kitchen wall but disconnected and a Mains Gas Instantaneous Boiler mounted on an external wall approximately 2 metres from the Electric Water Heater. The gas is disconnected from the property. The Electric Water Heater apparently pre-dated the gas boiler. In any event neither have been used for 16 years.

I'm looking to replace the Electric Water Heater with a new one of up to 100 litres. I've removed the old one from the wall after removing kitchen cabinets, so I now have exposed wall mountings, 2 water feed pipes and an electric socket ready for the new electric water heater. The next thing I did was to test the 2 pipes to establish I had a cold feed and check which of the pipes it was. I found that there was a pressured water supply coming from both pipes! I turn the stop cock off and the flow stops on both pipes, I turn it on it flows from both pipes. These pipes were definitely the cold water feed and the hot water supply previously for the Electric Water Heater.

Am I missing something ? In my mind, I should have only one cold water feed and if anything only a small trickle from the hot pipe which will be unaffected by me turning the stop cock off and on. I can only imagine that somebody has teed incorectly in to the hot water pipes, perhaps when fitting the gas boiler.

I was hoping to fit the Electric Water Heater myself but now it seems it's not going to be that simple !

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Maybe your initial assumption was wrong. Maybe both the gas heater and the electric heater were contemporaneous and one of the pipes was for the gas heater and one for the electric?
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Old Jan 26th 2017, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Originally Posted by stepto64 View Post
Hi all

We've just taken on a project apartment in Catalonia, which has been unoccupied for 16 years. We're wanting to get water heating sorted as our priority and have decided on Electric for the time being as we won't be spending too much time in the apartment for a few years.

I was hoping to fit the Electric Water Heater myself but now it seems it's not going to be that simple !

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst BEVS moderates Europe. Moderators are there to ensure that the site runs smoothly within the rules of BE. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

Rosemary
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Old Jan 27th 2017, 6:52 am
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
Maybe your initial assumption was wrong. Maybe both the gas heater and the electric heater were contemporaneous and one of the pipes was for the gas heater and one for the electric?

That would also be my assumption.

The property was probably fitted with the electric heater to start with, then the owner fitted the gas heater because the electric one was too expensive (gas used to be really cheap ten years or so ago), but kept the electric one in case the gas ran out?
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Old Jan 27th 2017, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

In that case there must be a connection nearby for the outlet from heater to connect to as has been said these 2 must of feed either heater.
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Old Jan 27th 2017, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Another possibility is that you have a mixer tap (kitchen or shower/bath) in the system which is open (because of the cold temp) and the cold water is crossing over and feeding back through the hot pipes. Not legal in the UK, where you must fit non-return valves, but who knows about Spain or DIYers
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Old Jan 27th 2017, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
Another possibility is that you have a mixer tap (kitchen or shower/bath) in the system which is open (because of the cold temp) and the cold water is crossing over and feeding back through the hot pipes. Not legal in the UK, where you must fit non-return valves, but who knows about Spain or DIYers
Spain have the same rules about non-return valves - but, as you say, DIYers ....
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Old Mar 11th 2017, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Thank you all for the replies. I haven't been on here for a while, but we are returning to Spain this week and to the project and so I will be able to have a look. Interesting theory about the mixer tap given that the mixer tap in the bath/shower had just broken before we left in January. I think this will be my first focus.
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Old Mar 11th 2017, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Can anybody recommend a good energy efficient 100l Electric Hot Water Cylinder ideally available in Spain but at least usable in Spain? Thanks
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Old Mar 11th 2017, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Thank you Rosemary
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Old Mar 11th 2017, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Originally Posted by stepto64 View Post
Can anybody recommend a good energy efficient 100l Electric Hot Water Cylinder ideally available in Spain but at least usable in Spain? Thanks
Head for your nearest Leroy Merlin they have a good selection. By the way they are "Termos Electicos"

Last edited by Loafing Along; Mar 11th 2017 at 2:36 pm.
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Old Mar 12th 2017, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Plumbing advice needed

Originally Posted by Loafing Along View Post
Head for your nearest Leroy Merlin they have a good selection. By the way they are "Termos Electicos"
Thanks for the tip, they look promising and we have one not so far away.
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