Leaking water pipe

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  1. Hi Penny
    when was copper pipes first used in water supply line in residence

  2. V C Downing says:

    Sent an email asking for advice.
    to date no reply.

  3. Polycop pipes (made from a type of polypropylene material) were never intended to be used for hot water, but it is still used for cold water. So you’re fine. Prior to Polycop galvanized steel pipe was used for cold water. A newer alternative is Cobra multi-layer pipe for hot and cold water, as long as where the hot water cylinder is attached, there is at least 1 m of copper pipe.

    BTW these standards are not covered by the National Building Regulations but rather by SANS 10252-1:2012 Water supply and drainage for buildings Part 1: Water supply installations for buildings

    5.2 Pipes and pipe fittings
    NOTE 1 Piping materials used for water installations in buildings include, but are not limited to galvanized mild steel, copper, stainless steel, polypropylene, polyethylene, cross-linked polyethylene, PVC-U, chlorinated PVC, Poly butylene, PVC-M and PVC-O.
    NOTE 2 Metals and metal alloys (such as copper and stainless steel) that rely on the presence of protective surface films for their corrosion resistance are particularly prone to pitting corrosion under unfavourable conditions.
    NOTE 3 Where galvanized mild steel pipes and copper pipes are used in the same system, the corrosion rate of galvanized steel is usually substantially increased by the traces of copper present in the water. Dissolved copper ions can stimulate the corrosion of zinc coatings and bare steel surfaces, either by direct electrochemical exchange reactions or by galvanic attack. Dissolved copper is, however, usually only found in cases where galvanized mild steel hot water outlet pipes are used together with copper domestic water heaters that operate at excessively high temperatures.
    NOTE 4 Where galvanized mild steel pipes and copper pipes are to be used in the same system especially at temperatures in excess of 60 °C, the copper pipe should be downstream of the galvanized steel pipe. (second para)
    All SANS standards for plastic polymer piping system for hot and cold water supplies are approved for use inside buildings only. All plastics pipes used in hot and cold water installations near external doorways and windows, shall be protected from sunlight. Unlike metal pipes (steel and copper) that have generic pipe and fitting standards, thermoplastic pipe systems are required to be installed using the fittings and tools that are tested and approved as a complete system, The use of pipes, fittings and tools from other manufacturers or suppliers, that are not the same as the approved system, shall not be acceptable.

    Let me know if you need any more info.

  4. Peter Muller says:

    I’ve recently had my geyser replaced. The geyser is situated in my roof-space.

    The water pipes were all polycarp, however, I’ve had the hot water piping network replaced with copper pipes some years ago, so what is remaining is polycarp on the cold water side.

    The plumbing contractor is now wanting to replace all the polycarp with copper pipes, (in the roof-space) as he claims it is compulsory for it to be copper. I have searched this site, but could not find any reference to polycarp vs copper.

    Could you please shed some light on this, would be highly appreciated.


  5. Tebogo Teisho says:

    Working in government as a qualified plumber.why can’t PIRB compel plumbers to register ones qualify?

  6. Rudolf, how do they address the situation when the plumber is NOT actually a plumber? As in our experience, the plumber (who was ironically better than most of the other supposedly qualified plumbers who had been called in) was openly a man who worked in the IT industry. That is downright illegal!

  7. Rudolf Opperman says:

    Dear Raoul
    Contact a Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) inspector in your region, to come and advise you. He will most probably cite the plumber for illegal work done on your apartment.

  8. I have bought a unit in a sectional title complex and I am having problems with the plumbing installation at the complex. When the unit was handed over to me I complained about sewerage stench in my bathroom, I was told that the system is new and the smell will go away in the foreseeable future.
    I have occupancy for two and a half years and the smell still exists. Recently I have discovered what the problem is after my tenant complained about noises in the ceiling which she attributed to rodents. I had a pest control company inspect the flat and to my disbelief they told me that there is no rodents or pests in the ceiling but that the noise is coming from a sewerage pipe running across my ceiling and then down the corner of the main bedroom behind the cupboard, further he tells me that the sewerage gasses are vented from the pipe into my ceiling. Surely this contravenes the health and safety act. I have reported the matter to the body corporate and they tell me that they cannot do anything about it and that I should contact the builder myself.
    Before I contact the builder I would like to know if this is standard practice or accepted by regulations that a waste pipe may traverse one’s ceiling and that the sewerage gasses may be vented into the ceiling. If the building regulations have been transgressed, what recourse I have?.
    I find it strange that we pay all sorts of taxes so that we can be protected from being ripped off but it still happens. The building inspector should have condemned it and the building plans should never have been passed.
    Can someone please advice on this issue?