Continuing our series about the plumbing in your home – and how to look after it – it’s time to consider where the water goes when it gets into your home.
British homes have one of two types of cold water supply – direct and indirect.
A direct supply means that all the cold water taps and toilets in the house are supplied with water directly from the rising main. This is also known as a high pressure system.
With an indirect system usually only the cold water tap over the kitchen sink (and possibly the water feed to the washing machine) are attached to the rising main. The rising main goes straight up to discharge water into the cold-water storage cistern, normally located in the roof space. This cistern has pipes that supply water to the cold taps in the bathroom, the lavatory cisterns and the hot water system via gravity. This is known as a low pressure system.
It has an overflow pipe to carry excess water out of the house in case the cistern over fills or the ball valve fails. The overflow normally emerges from the side of the house at around roof level – so if you see water gushing (or even dripping) from a pipe somewhere up high on the building, it almost certainly means the cistern is overflowing. It will not do any damage but you need to get it fixed. Give Drain Doctor a call and we will investigate to find out what the problem is and give you a quote for fixing it.
The capacity of the average domestic cold water cistern is around 230 litres (50 gallons). That is a lot of water so call Drain Doctor if you think that the overflow pipe has become blocked or damaged. If the water comes through your ceiling, instead of going through the overflow pipe, you will have a serious flood!