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Advice when doing building work

We felt it would be helpful to give you a short introduction on how you could reduce your plumbing bills and also to understand the plumbing process better.

Plumbers are involved in the very beginning of a job and also at the end. In order to be efficient they put in all the drainage and basic infrastructure for a job in the beginning and at the end they connect up the various appliances to the water supply and drainage.

Clear drawings, a simple specification and a site visit all help get the job off to a good start.

If drawings are not required then the site should be marked up (in chalk for instance) where things are going to go. A specification only needs to be rudimentary but it must state what appliances and fittings are required, who is to supply them and where they are to be located.

Please note that the basic plumbing infrastructure of a building can really influence what can work. If you do not have sufficient pressure you cannot have modern continental taps and your showers will not perform properly. If you have a direct mains supplied pressurised system, the pressure delivered is the one that is supplied by the water authority. There is nothing that can be done to change this.

Flats in Mansion Blocks pose special problems as the plumbing was installed when they were built and not designed for the plumbing we now want. Waste pipes are too small and feeds come from central tanks etc.

The costs of isolating both the water and central heating can be very expensive. Usually, there is a managing agent who needs to be kept informed at all times especially to establish emergency procedures.

If the customer supplies the materials these must be delivered to the site on time. Time is money for a plumber so that waiting for things to be delivered that are not in his control will cost you money.

If you change your mind this can be costly. The plumber will almost certainly have made provision for an appliance, tap or shower at the very beginning of the job. When you change your mind this can have dire effects not only to the plumbing that may already be installed but on the work of other trades such a tilers.

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