Author Topic: Unlagged hot water pipes in ceiling void  (Read 421 times)

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Lesley2604

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Unlagged hot water pipes in ceiling void
« on: January 22, 2019, 11:08:40 pm »
My house construction was undertaken between April 2014 and January 2015.
The site was notified to NHBC in November 2013 and the foundation excavations were in April 2014.  The hot water pipes run through the ceiling void in the kitchen and part of the lounge before going up into the airing cupboard. 
The pipes are lagged in the cupboard but not the ceiling void.  The builders say there is no requirement to lag the pipes in the ceiling void as this was simply "best practice" at the time,  the 2014 NHBC regulations apply and the NHBC technical note, issued in March 2014, which states the pipes should be lagged does not apply. 

As these are hot water pipes we are losing heat from these year round and a thermal imaging camera clearly shows them as "red hot".  Are the builders correct on this?  Are they not bound to follow "best practice"?

All input on this gratefully received!


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Re: Unlagged hot water pipes in ceiling void
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 06:09:31 am »
It is not just these pipes are losing heat, it also means that you need to run the hot tap downstairs for a considerable time to get hot water to. In a new home that wastes a lot of expensive water over the course of a year.

What you highlight is a deficiency in the NHBC warranty and standards.  Apart from the five core Technical Requirements, everything else is deemed "Guidance" on how to meet of achieve the Technical Requirements.

I am sure you realise that to insulate the pipes now means either taking up the floors OR taking down the ceiling, neither of which is desirable for either homeowner of housebuilder.
I suggest you write and ask for a financial settlement to cover the cost of lost heat for the next five years. Heating hot water costs (gas) around £15 a month so ask for £5 a month (£300).
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Lesley2604

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Re: Unlagged hot water pipes in ceiling void
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 07:58:50 am »
Thank you for your response.  The builder is already doing substantial works in the room but are saying they are not obliged to lag the pipes as it is just best practice.  My question really is must they adopt best practice per NHBC and given the technical guidance was issued prior to the foundations being laid should they be following this technical guidance or do they have a get out as it was not in the 2014 published standard.

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Re: Unlagged hot water pipes in ceiling void
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 06:36:37 am »
I expect somewhere in your sale contract it states something like all works will be done ina workmanlike manner and comply with building regulations and warranty standards. It could be argued that this would be deemed to also include "best practice".

But I really have to ask why, given that you are already having extensive works in the room, the housebuilder is not willing to pay for the pipes to be lagged as the cost would be minimal if done at that the same time.

Who is the housebuilder?
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Lesley2604

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Re: Unlagged hot water pipes in ceiling void
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 06:01:13 pm »
Thanks for your response.  They are just being very difficult and really sticking to the minimum they think they can get away with.  They started off not too badly but are off-site and everything has become a bit of a battle.  The housebuilder is Cala.