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Possible asbestos, getting a plumber to remove it. Could I be liable if anything goes wrong?

(14 Posts)
mintwater Tue 29-Sep-20 16:44:11

I'm wondering what I need to be aware of. I'm replacing my outside toilet. When the plumber came to quote, he said the cistern is likely to contain asbestos. I can arrange for safe disposal by City of London and have ordered heavy guage plastic sheeting to wrap it up in once removed. I'm wondering though, what questions I need to ask, what points I need to be clear on, before anyone starts the job. I'd hate for the plumber to breathe it in and become unwell, and of course, me being sued for it.

Anyone with any experience of what I need to ask? Is he insured? What precautions he'll take, that sort of thing?

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PigletJohn Tue 29-Sep-20 16:54:39

Sounds a bit unlikely. Or is it grey, moulded, thin cement board?

show us a photo of this cistern please.

mintwater Tue 29-Sep-20 17:06:20

Here it is...

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smartiecake Tue 29-Sep-20 17:08:49

Your council should have a department to speak to about asbestos removal. I called mine and they gave me the names of two firms that would deal with asbestos removal. Give them a call and see what advice they have

AgentProvocateur Tue 29-Sep-20 17:09:47

I think you might need a special license to dispose of some kinds of asbestos.

PigletJohn Tue 29-Sep-20 17:13:21

the cistern is black plastic.

Where is this asbestos supposed to be?

mintwater Tue 29-Sep-20 17:17:36


the cistern is black plastic.

Where is this asbestos supposed to be?

I've literally no idea, it hadn't occurred to me, but plumber #1 mentioned it. I googled, it said asbestos can be found in old toilet cisterns. Plumber #2 wasn't so convinced it'd have asbestos. How can you tell if it's in a cistern? It's just plaster on the walls...

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Wherehavetheteletubbiesgone Tue 29-Sep-20 18:26:48

Asbestos is quite common in toilet cisterns especially victorian it was used for reinforcement. That looks just like the one on the HSE website

PigletJohn Tue 29-Sep-20 18:29:39

I see no sign of any asbestos. Some old water-tanks are made of asbestos cement, but I don't remember seeing a WC cistern. Asbestolux is a common fire proof board, not one of the worst sources. Fluffy asbestos insulation, found in boiler rooms of factories and battleships, is very bad but not likely to be in a domestic WC.

photograph the lagging on the pipes, and the roofing material, when you have time, please.

Wherehavetheteletubbiesgone Tue 29-Sep-20 18:30:16

So yes it probably does contain asbestos But a plumber can do it you don't need to be licensed for these materials so long as the materials are in good condition. Just seek advice from the plumber they will be very used to seeing this

Wherehavetheteletubbiesgone Tue 29-Sep-20 18:31:40

@PigletJohn look at the hse link i included an almost carbon copy of that cistern is on there as an example of an asbestos containing substance

PigletJohn Tue 29-Sep-20 18:34:04


Well bless my soul! I didn't know that!
If the plumber has been "appropriately trained" I presume he will be able to tell if the cistern is broken with exposed fibres. If they are mixed into the plastic compound and undamaged they may be encapsulated and safe to handle.

Ginfordinner Tue 29-Sep-20 18:34:18

@PigletJohn we are selling late MIL's house, which was built in the late 1950s, and asbestos was definitle used for cold water tanks and cisterns then. We had to have an asbestos survey to ascertain what was actually made from asbestos. Fortunately the cistern wasn't, but it was certainly one of the objects flagged up by the surveyor as it being a possibility.

The cold water tank is made of asbestos, but it is completely selaed, and it is safer to leave it in situ than to try and break it up to get it out of the loft (it isn't used any more anyway)

mintwater Tue 29-Sep-20 18:39:00

Thanks everyone. You're all far more clues up than I am. I think I will text the plumber and say that there may be asbestos and that he will need to take proper precautions which I'm sure he would. I will send him the HSE link too. Thanks again!

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