Anyone who’s been following my blogs has probably worked out by now that I’m not the most organised person on the planet. If I’m going on holiday, tickets tend to get bought the day before, bags get packed about an half hour before I leave for the airport, and hotels are found when I arrive.
And I am now beginning to think that if I’d been more organised that whole saga of the water in the bedroom could have been avoided – I mean, if I’d just told the plumber upfront where I wanted a couple of extra stopcocks, I wouldn’t have had to do it myself. (Mind you, he was supposed to be the expert – you would have thought he’d have been the one advising me on what the options were.)
Oh well, hindsight may be a wonderful thing but it doesn’t actually fix the plumbing. So having recovered from the trauma of the cold water running through the light fittings, I turned my attention to the hot water pipes.
These flow into the building from the boiler room, at the opposite end of the house from where the cold water stopcock is located. Which meant that the most logical place to put an additional shut-off point was in the roof space above the bothy, before the pipe passed through the metre thick wall into the two bathrooms beyond.
First check – which one of the half-dozen or so pipes running through the roof space is the one for the hot water??? Not exactly something you want to find out by trial and error – or by randomly cutting through the wrong one!
I worked it out by tracing the pipes through the various walls – into the bathroom and into the boiler room to see which was the one running from the hot water tank. Up and down the ladder a dozen times just to figure out which pipe was which – who needs a gym? Clearly another job that is going to take me longer than planned!
Hot water pipe identified, I got to work. Turn off the main supply, cut the pipe. Drain out residual water. Fit stopcock. Easy…
And since I’m now becoming an expert at this, I made sure the stopcock was closed before I turned the water supply back on. No water explosions in the roof – which meant I’d at least put that connection in properly.
So, also learning from previous experience, I went round and checked that all the taps were off, and any unconnected pipes in the bathrooms were capped off. And with a vague memory that we’d run a hot pipe up to the kitchen I went and checked that too. Just as well; there was an open pipe above the door into the cottage, put in when I’d originally planned to run the hot water from the same supply as the rest of the house. I capped off that offending pipe, and feeling smug (but nervous) climbed back up into the roof to open the stopcock. I didn’t immediately hear any sound of running water, but admittedly I don’t have the best of hearing, and I was sitting in an insulated roof space with metre-thick stone walls either side of me.
The euphoria didn’t last. By the time I’d got down the ladder and halfway up the corridor to the bathrooms, that ‘fear-of-the-sound-of-running-water-in-a-barn’ panic kicked in. Somewhere water was flowing freely. I dashed into the bathroom downstairs. Nothing. I hared up the stairs to the bathroom above. Nothing.
I took the plasterboard off (at least I was forward thinking enough to create an access hatch) and crawled behind the wall space to inspect the pipes.
No leaking pipes anywhere.
I dashed downstairs again. And then I saw it.
Looking through a window from the stairs, through the living room there is an opening to the kitchen. And perfectly framed in this opening was a fountain of hot water spraying up in the middle of the kitchen.
I thought I thought I’d been so smart remembering to cap off the redundant water pipe to the cottage; I’d completely overlooked the pipe in the middle of the floor, put in place in anticipation of having an island sink in the kitchen.
Another kitchen… another fountain. Hey ho! At least the Aga got a wash!