Replacing the cold water system in your home can be a big task by anyone’s means. To make it less daunting, you can do it in pieces. Therefore, in this article I will tell you a bit more about replacing part of the system, rather than the entire cold water system.
Going Through the Ceiling
In order to allow for the rising main to go through from the kitchen to your first floor, you will have to make a hole in the kitchen ceiling and through the floorboards upstairs. In order to do this, start by removing or lifting relevant carpet and/or floorboard to check where the hole should go. This is also the time when you will discover what type of ceiling that has been fitted below the joists. It will either be plasterboard or the so called lath-and-plaster. Using a bradawl, make a small hole in the ceiling, close to a joist and leave the bradawl in place. Go downstairs and mark the joist position and width onto the ceiling with a pencil. The mark shows you where to drill the hole without going through a joist. Use the same procedure to mark and make the hole through the upstairs ceiling and loft floor. Once you are up in the loft, use compression or push-fit fittings as they will allow some adjustment later on. It also means you are avoiding the risk of fire from working with a blowlamp.
Connecting It Together
If you have chosen to also replace the cistern and the pipes, once the new rising main are in place, it is time to connect it all up. It should be connected to the mains stop-valve and to the cold water cistern. If you are joining it to an old mains stop-valve, you might have to use a special connector. I would fit a drain-valve just above this. Use a ½ inch tap connector for the connection with the cistern ball-valve and fit a servicing valve before it. Before you make the final connections, make sure to flush through the pipe. Afterwards, fit insulation to the exposed pipes. If you come across any buried lead pipe, you can leave that in place. Any exposed lead pipe can be taken out and you might make a few quid by selling it for scrap.
Remember, you do not have to tackle this job yourself. If you are in any doubt or want a professional to deal with it for you – call your local plumber and he or she will be happy to do the job for you.