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Insurer says plumbing part for repair is obsolete, so I must buy new water tank

(24 Posts)
stargirl04 Sat 07-Feb-15 13:18:43

Hi - I posted a few weeks ago about a leak I had in a valve on my water heating system, and tried to get it fixed under my home emergencies insurance.

But my insurer tells me that the part needed - a pressure reducing valve - is obsolete, although I don't understand why as the water heater and pipes were only installed in 2005, when the flat was built.

The insurer said that I would need to install a whole new water heater, which I am not covered for, and which will be expensive. (The leak is covered - or would be if there was a part to mend it!)

Has anyone had any luck finding obsolete or discontinued plumbing parts, and if so, could they recommend the company used?

Thanks for reading.

lljkk Sat 07-Feb-15 13:45:30

Have you phoned other plumbers asking about the part you need? I'd try phoning at least 5 before gave up. Plus I assume you googled & checked Ebay for it?

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 14:19:42

I think you probably mean a hot water cylinder of some kind, rather than a tank, perhaps an unvented one.

Is it white?

Is it heated electrically, or by a gas boiler?

What makers name/model are on it?

stargirl04 Sat 07-Feb-15 17:20:02

Iljkk, thanks, this gives me hope!

Thanks for replying PigletJohn. It is always great to hear from you! flowers

The hot water cylinder is white and heated electrically - there is no gas at all in my flat.

Hope these pics answer your questions.

And this is a link to my previous post (which you also advised me on): www.mumsnet.com/Talk/property/2273998-Another-leak-sigh

The photos on that first post show the part that is leaking, as I think I am only allowed to upload 3 at a time. (but am probably wrong blush )

Thanks so much for your help!

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 18:12:15

Approach the makers and say you need a new part.

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 18:17:01

having looked again at the old thread, it appears that the pressure reducing valve is on an external pipe, and is not part of/inside the cylinder.

In which case any brand of reducing valve can be fitted. It is complete rubbish to suggest that you need a new cylinder, unless there is some part of the cylinder that is faulty, such as the pressure relief valve (which is a service part so should be readily available).

See if Tempest have a list of approved local installers.

stargirl04 Sat 07-Feb-15 19:09:11

Thanks PigletJohn.

It's a big relief to think this is fixable and that I won't have to fork out a few £k for a new water heater.

Just some more pics to show you how the pipes connect to the heater. (As you can see I have a small towel around the leaking part in the upper left of the pic, which is doing the job for now.)

('Scuse the scruffy airing cupboard folks..... blush )

The pipe with the leaking part at the end leads to a smaller cylinder positioned higher up in the cupboard (pictured) and I have no idea what this is or what it's for. The last pic is of the label on it, FWIW....) Maybe this is the thing that's obsolete, as there appears to be foreign writing on it....???

Whatever though, I will ring Tempest on Monday and ask them about it - I don't know what the part's called but maybe they will?

Thanks so much for your help - it is always deeply appreciated. flowers

stargirl04 Sat 07-Feb-15 19:10:36

Oops! Forgot to post the pics.....

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 19:12:48

they do appear to have local service agents. If these are the same people who install them, they should know about the pipes and pressure valve as well. The cylinder and its safety devices are supposed to be inspected/serviced yearly by a qualified person (most plumbers aren't).

If your small cylinder is red (and even if it isn't) it is probably a pressure vessel to absorb the expansion when cold water comes in and is heated.

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 19:14:43

yes, it is.

The picture of the "bicycle pump" indicates that a sort of balloon inside is pumped full of air, which compresses when the water expands.

stargirl04 Sat 07-Feb-15 20:04:04

Hi PigletJohn,

Thanks for this - do you mean the "bicycle pump" bit is the smaller cyclinder (which before seeing the pics you thought might be red)?

I had no idea this thing had to be serviced every year so I will call Tempest and try to sort this out.

I noticed tonight that my hot water isn't as hot as it usually is, and the leak seems to have got worse. Maybe I'll try Tempest tomorrow before I go to work.

Many thanks as ever, PigletJohn. Without your advice I'd have just found a plumber, but it seems there is more to this than just a leak!

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 20:10:16

the pumpable cylinder is a pressure vessel. It contains a bladder of air which is compressed to take up the expansion of the water as it is heated.

Pressure (or Expansion) vessels are often red. They need to be pumped up occasionally. If they go wrong, a new one is not very expensive.

www.screwfix.com/search?search=pressure+vessel#category=cat830950

summersoft Sat 07-Feb-15 20:50:44

Hello, i'am G3 unvented qualified, anyone working on any part of the pictured installation needs to hold this qualification.
First off, you can not fit any old pressure reducing valve to an unvented hot water cylinder. It has an incorporated pressure relief valve as well. The pressure that the pressure reducing valve and relief valve are set at, are specific to that unvented cylinder.
The expansion has to be white and suitable for potable water, otherwise it will corroded within 18 months.
Spares are still available for your unvented cylinder.
Tell your insurance company to contact Advanced Water on, 01386 760066. They will be able to tell your insurance company what part is required and where to purchase it from.

PigletJohn Sat 07-Feb-15 21:22:51

Thanks!

stargirl04 Mon 09-Feb-15 11:09:39

Thanks Summersoft for this - I really, really appreciate it. PigletJohn, thanks so much for your help too, as always.
flowers flowers

stargirl04 Mon 09-Feb-15 11:23:53

Sorry Summersoft - I just have a question. I rang the insurer to tell them about Advanced Water and they asked me what the name of the part was - I don't suppose you would know, would you?

Many thanks.

summersoft Mon 09-Feb-15 20:13:59

It's a combination cold water inlet valve. With a 3 bar pressure reducing valve and 6 bar pressure relief valve.
Don't quite understand why they want the part info if they have already told you it's obsolete. Seems they haven't looked very hard. Good luck.

summersoft Mon 09-Feb-15 20:16:21

Sorry typo, '5 bar pressure relief valve' not 6. All the info is on the Telford label you pictured on your previous thread.

stargirl04 Tue 10-Feb-15 21:56:25

Thanks so much Summersoft - I rang Advanced Water and gave them this information and they said that the part is, in fact, obsolete.

They said I would have to get a new valve and replace the multibloc, all of which will be expensive, but not as expensive as installing a new water heater from scratch.

I am waiting now to find out if my insurer will cover it. I'm not holding my breath though...

PigletJohn Tue 10-Feb-15 22:04:21

I bet if you phone Tempest they will have crates of the things, or an equivalent alternative.

stargirl04 Tue 10-Feb-15 22:39:14

Hi PigletJohn, I did call Telford/Tempest first and they said they'd stopped buying this particular part years ago but they advised me to contact Advanced Water too, saying that they would stock the part.

It's very annoying!

PigletJohn Tue 10-Feb-15 22:45:14

oh sad

I thought with their service people they'd have an easy answer.

stargirl04 Tue 17-Feb-15 18:23:34

Hi, here's an update for PigletJohn and Summersoft, if he's still around (I assume Summersoft is a man?)

I'm having this leak fixed tomorrow and it's costing me quite a lot more than I'd hoped to pay, but I am just so relieved it's finally getting sorted that I don't care.

I got back to Telford who offered me two options for repair and service:
1. A £209 "parts and service" option
2. A £348 "full refurb" option, with the lifetime guarantee of my water cylinder reinstated. (The lifetime guarantee is only valid if the cylinder is serviced annually and I had no proof or documentation that it had been. I doubt it would have been serviced annually as the previous owners had money problems and they bought the flat as a repossession, so those owners obviously had money problems too.)

I just paid for the full refurb, thanking my lucky stars that I don't have to fork out thousands for a new boiler, and I will get it serviced yearly.

Thanks once again to all those who helped me. flowers

stargirl04 Tue 17-Feb-15 18:27:19

Oh, and I am now wondering why on earth I bothered with extra "home emergencies" insurance. My sister, an insurance broker, said most home emergencies insurance is rubbish as a decent home insurance policy would cover most of the things offered under "home emergencies".

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