Author Topic: Isolation Valves on showers  (Read 10331 times)

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rommer

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Isolation Valves on showers
« on: December 18, 2013, 12:20:27 pm »
Having purchased a new build home 4 years ago, we have encountered a long list of snags.
However I am not sure about our latest discovery, so thought I would see if anyone can advise me.
Our showers have started cycling hot & cold so we realised they were probably clogged with limescale.
But, when we went to isolate the shower so we could remove the mixer tap, we discovered that either there are no isolation valves or if they are present they are hidden behind the tiles.
This means in order to remove the mixer tap we have to turn the water off at the mains.
I was under the impression that all taps/showers etc had to be fitted with isolation valves that are accessible by law?

Does anyone know if this is the case, as the only information I have been able to find is a bit woolly.

many thanks



Philofacts

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Re: Isolation Valves on showers
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 12:55:46 pm »
It is not in the water regulations.
You have to have a service valve on the hot water supply. For cold supply, you only have to have service valves on anything with a float (aka ballcock) valve WC cistern central heating header tank, cold water tank etc.

It is generally considered good practice to fit an isolation valve e.g 'ballofix', to taps, shower valves and the like, because it makes it easier for maintenance or replacement. Instead of isolating the whole water supply, you can simply turn off the valve to that appliance. For the sake of a little over £1 each, I am appalled the house builder's plumbing contractor did not fit them. 
Then again I suppose they thought it is two more areas for a potential leak!

As for where they are located if fitted:
My first guess would be in a cupboard such as the Airing Cupboard (they should be labelled!), in the floor void below the valve, or within the stud wall cavity behind the valve. In the last two cases an access panel should have been provided.

It is not a huge problem to turn off the water supply stopcocks and change the shower valve though.
It should have lasted for more than 4 years too.  Who was the house builder?
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rommer

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Re: Isolation Valves on showers
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 02:49:07 pm »
Thank you for your response, we will have a look in the airing cupboard, though I don't hold out much hope!
It was Persimmon who built the home.
The frustrating thing is the majority of the build is really good quality, there are just some things that have been done really badly and they are different in each house. ( There are 8 identical houses on my street.)  
We call it the 'Friday syndrome'!
We were just worried that if we turned the water supply off and then ran into difficulties we would have no water or heating!

Philofacts

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Re: Isolation Valves on showers
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 08:43:25 am »
Turning off the water at the stop valve should not mean you have no heating!
It may result in you having no hot water though.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "Friday House"  but there is a End-of-year figures house

Persimmon are hardly known for building quality new homes either, winning a mere 13 NHBC Quality Awards despite building nearly 10,000 new homes and one of just three large builders rated only 4 stars by their customers in the HBF 2013 survey.
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