Temporary electricity supply.

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Dave Plowman (News)

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May 12, 2022, 6:11:18 AMMay 12
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Back story.
Next door neighbour is a widow near 90 living on her own. Very stubborn.
Was born in her house and wants to die in it. Totally housebound and won't
have any visitors since Covid. So haven't even spoken to her for a couple
of years. Sad, as we got on well enough. She has family who call in every
day, though.

Last week a pipe in the cellar split and flooded it - and next door's
cellar too. Daughter waded into the cellar to turn off the water and got a
bad electric shock. Ended up in A&E - but on the mend now.

Service suppliers cut off both the water and electricity. Insurance are
meant to be pumping out the water, but nothing done as yet.

Son in law has been keeping me updated. When he said the power was off, I
ran a cable reel to their kitchen from my house (fed from an MCBO
protected ring) So at least she can watch TV - the only thing she does
now. And a table light and the microwave. So she can have hot drinks and
meals. Using bottled water, etc. Her cooker is electric, but does have a
gas fire in the kitchen which works.

She refuses to go in a home of any sort. Her kids simply don't have room
for her - and she is adamant she doesn't want to live with either of them
anyway (I'm told) One of the daughters has lost patience and hardly ever
calls.

The pipe should be easy enough to fix once the cellar is dry enough.

The electrics I know to be a total loss - all the lighting is pre-WW2, but
a ring was added by her husband in the 60s. And she isn't willing to pay
for a re-wire or put up with the disruption it would cause. A quote one of
the kids got was 12K.

Is it possible to get a temporary supply laid on? If only the ring was
connected to it that would be good enough for now.

She has agreed to move to a smaller place if one can be found nearby. And
sell the house to pay for it. But I reckon something needs to be done
sooner to make life bearable until then - ie just the same for her as it
has been for the past two years. As moving is likely not going to be done
quickly.

--
*Prepositions are not words to end sentences with *

Dave Plowman da...@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.

N_Cook

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May 12, 2022, 6:18:08 AMMay 12
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Any space for a caravan or even mobile home (don't tell the social ), it
was ok for Alan Bennet's lady in the van


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Colin Bignell

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May 12, 2022, 6:37:51 AMMay 12
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On 12/05/2022 11:11, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
It wouldn't have been when I worked for an Electricity Board, if the
wiring was deemed to be unsafe and I suspect we were a lot more
accommodating than they are today.

In any case, if the water in the basement was live, the ring is probably
out of action until that is pumped out. Do you know any firemen?

>
> She has agreed to move to a smaller place if one can be found nearby. And
> sell the house to pay for it. But I reckon something needs to be done
> sooner to make life bearable until then - ie just the same for her as it
> has been for the past two years. As moving is likely not going to be done
> quickly.
>


--
Colin Bignell

Robin

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May 12, 2022, 6:42:51 AMMay 12
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On 12/05/2022 11:11, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
immediate thoughts:

1. I'd have done what you did but can't see how anyone with an eye to
their professional liability would dare leave her with anything other
than a temporary CU covering ring plus lighting, with main bonding and
all. If the incomer is in the cellar and under water what's that? A
temporary sub-main from next door?

2. she and you swap houses. A change is as good as a rest so it's
win-win :)

3. sometimes old people are more inclined to listen to someone official.
E.g. GP or social services (but good luck getting the latter to even
answer the phone).


--
Robin
reply-to address is (intended to be) valid

Theo

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May 12, 2022, 7:19:28 AMMay 12
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Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
> 1. I'd have done what you did but can't see how anyone with an eye to
> their professional liability would dare leave her with anything other
> than a temporary CU covering ring plus lighting, with main bonding and
> all. If the incomer is in the cellar and under water what's that? A
> temporary sub-main from next door?

I wonder if someone could do a minimalist install. A basic CU at ground
floor level, wiring all surface clipped. Would need some holes drilling to
go between rooms but otherwise no attempt at tidy cable running. Then it
just leaves the issue of the incoming feed, which could be from your CU
(with meter) until such time as the supplier can sort something out. Or a
generator perhaps.

(I viewed a house like that - the owner had attempted a DIY refurb and got
themselves in too deep. I think this was their 'temporary' solution)

> 2. she and you swap houses. A change is as good as a rest so it's
> win-win :)

Just think of it as a source of many new DIY projects :)

Theo

Tim+

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May 12, 2022, 7:40:44 AMMay 12
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Dave Plowman (News) <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:
> Back story.
> Next door neighbour is a widow near 90 living on her own. Very stubborn.
> Was born in her house and wants to die in it.

My mum (96) was in her own flat until December last year. Determined that
was where she wanted to be and to enable this, we had organised live-in
carers for the last two years. She clearly wasn’t happy but this was she
said she wanted. Resisted any suggestion that she was ready for a home.

Last December she ended up in hospital and we took the opportunity to get
her discharged to a home, ostensibly as an interim measure until she was
fit to return home.

Well, she’s happier and healthier in the care home than she’s been in a
very long time and hasn’t asked about returning to her flat once.

To be honest, I not sure if there are any transferable lessons to be drawn
from this other than perhaps that fear of change outweighs any rational
thought about any possible benefits from a change.

Even with hindsight, I don’t think we could have moved my mother sooner,
even though it could have saved her months/years of loneliness. In your
neighbours case it sound like it’ll take a similar crisis to precipitate a
move away from her home.
Well if it was my mother I’d cobble something together but you’d be on very
shoogly ground legally doing it for anyone else. I suppose a professional
sparky could perhaps legally make the wiring “safe” by disconnecting
everything pre-WW2 and checking the ring to see if it meets minimum
standards. I’m sure Adam can advise.

>
> She has agreed to move to a smaller place if one can be found nearby. And
> sell the house to pay for it. But I reckon something needs to be done
> sooner to make life bearable until then - ie just the same for her as it
> has been for the past two years. As moving is likely not going to be done
> quickly.
>

Not being family I’m not sure that there’s much you can do other than to
keep in touch with her and make sure she’s okay.

Tim

--
Please don't feed the trolls

Andrew

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May 12, 2022, 10:14:58 AMMay 12
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On 12/05/2022 11:18, N_Cook wrote:

> Any space for a caravan or even mobile home (don't tell the social ), it
> was ok for Alan Bennet's lady in the van
>
>

This is SouthWest LOndon, and probably a terraced house that even in
its current condition would have buyers fighting to buy, and pay
silly money that would buy a really nice place further away from
London.

Andrew

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May 12, 2022, 10:19:05 AMMay 12
to
On 12/05/2022 11:11, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

> The electrics I know to be a total loss - all the lighting is pre-WW2, but
> a ring was added by her husband in the 60s. And she isn't willing to pay
> for a re-wire or put up with the disruption it would cause. A quote one of
> the kids got was 12K.
>

But this is London, so take that quote with the usual dose of salt.

ARW

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May 12, 2022, 2:04:19 PMMay 12
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On 12/05/2022 12:19, Theo wrote:
> Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
>> 1. I'd have done what you did but can't see how anyone with an eye to
>> their professional liability would dare leave her with anything other
>> than a temporary CU covering ring plus lighting, with main bonding and
>> all. If the incomer is in the cellar and under water what's that? A
>> temporary sub-main from next door?
>
> I wonder if someone could do a minimalist install. A basic CU at ground
> floor level, wiring all surface clipped. Would need some holes drilling to
> go between rooms but otherwise no attempt at tidy cable running. Then it
> just leaves the issue of the incoming feed, which could be from your CU
> (with meter) until such time as the supplier can sort something out. Or a
> generator perhaps.
>
> (I viewed a house like that - the owner had attempted a DIY refurb and got
> themselves in too deep. I think this was their 'temporary' solution)


I once did something the same but with trunking.

The electricity co will take no time to swap the cutout once the cellar
is pumped out.

Robin

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May 12, 2022, 3:47:37 PMMay 12
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On 12/05/2022 19:04, ARW wrote:
<snip>
>
> The electricity co will take no time to swap the cutout once the cellar
> is pumped out.
>

Which prompts a question for Dave: was the meter flooded and if so is
her supplier on notice to get it replaced?

That's based on my assumption that even in such cases UK Power Networks
will do everything up to and including the meter board but not the meter
itself.

lacksey

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May 12, 2022, 3:58:28 PMMay 12
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On Thu, 12 May 2022 21:40:38 +1000, Tim+ <tim.d...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dave Plowman (News) <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:
>> Back story.
>> Next door neighbour is a widow near 90 living on her own. Very stubborn.
>> Was born in her house and wants to die in it.
>
> My mum (96) was in her own flat until December last year. Determined
> that
> was where she wanted to be and to enable this, we had organised live-in
> carers for the last two years. She clearly wasn’t happy but this was she
> said she wanted. Resisted any suggestion that she was ready for a home.
>
> Last December she ended up in hospital and we took the opportunity to get
> her discharged to a home, ostensibly as an interim measure until she was
> fit to return home.
>
> Well, she’s happier and healthier in the care home than she’s been in a
> very long time and hasn’t asked about returning to her flat once.

But it is silly to assume that everyone would react the same way.

Tim+

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May 12, 2022, 4:10:07 PMMay 12
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lacksey <lki...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 12 May 2022 21:40:38 +1000, Tim+ <tim.d...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Dave Plowman (News) <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:
>>> Back story.
>>> Next door neighbour is a widow near 90 living on her own. Very stubborn.
>>> Was born in her house and wants to die in it.
>>
>> My mum (96) was in her own flat until December last year. Determined
>> that
>> was where she wanted to be and to enable this, we had organised live-in
>> carers for the last two years. She clearly wasn’t happy but this was she
>> said she wanted. Resisted any suggestion that she was ready for a home.
>>
>> Last December she ended up in hospital and we took the opportunity to get
>> her discharged to a home, ostensibly as an interim measure until she was
>> fit to return home.
>>
>> Well, she’s happier and healthier in the care home than she’s been in a
>> very long time and hasn’t asked about returning to her flat once.
>
> But it is silly to assume that everyone would react the same way.

See below. I never suggested that everyone would. Still, your reading
skills were never your strong point Wodney.


>
>> To be honest, I not sure if there are any transferable lessons to be
>> drawn
>> from this other than perhaps that fear of change outweighs any rational
>> thought about any possible benefits from a change.
>>
>> Even with hindsight, I don’t think we could have moved my mother sooner,
>> even though it could have saved her months/years of loneliness. In your
>> neighbours case it sound like it’ll take a similar crisis to precipitate
>> a
>> move away from her home.

<plonk>

Peeler

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May 12, 2022, 4:13:38 PMMay 12
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On Fri, 13 May 2022 05:58:19 +1000, lacksey, better known as cantankerous
trolling senile geezer Rodent Speed, wrote:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
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"You are still an idiot and an embarrassment to your country. No wonder
we shipped the likes of you out of the British Isles. Perhaps stupidity
and criminality is inherited after all?"
Message-ID: <plbf76$gfl$1...@dont-email.me>

Animal

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May 12, 2022, 5:13:53 PMMay 12
to
12k is nuts, unless it's a real large house.
To reconnect supply the install only has to be 'safe'. A minimal install is not too much work, maybe a double socket per room, and preferably 1 light, all surface, plus CH feed.

Theo

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May 12, 2022, 5:46:25 PMMay 12
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ARW <adamwa...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> I once did something the same but with trunking.
>
> The electricity co will take no time to swap the cutout once the cellar
> is pumped out.

If it were me I'd be tempted to find a location on the ground floor exterior
for a meter box, with a CU inside somewhere nearby. Maybe the insurance
would pay?

But I think you're right that the incomer is probably OK once dried out and
the DNO will fit a new meter board and cutout. So you don't need a new
incomer. It's not like flooding is a regular occurrence here, where it
might be advisable to move it.

I forget the regs, is there any issue with having the meter somewhere
distant from the cutout, assuming suitably robust cable? For example if the
householder can't get down the stairs into the cellar any more, could it be
moved to the ground floor next to a new CU? A smart meter shouldn't need to
be accessible for meter readers in person, but sometimes suppliers still ask
for readings (eg when changing supplier).

Either way, a new CU inside plus a few sockets with surface wiring would be
a lot cheaper than a full rewire. Might have to do something about
lighting, but maybe a few wall lights?

Theo

Mark Carver

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May 13, 2022, 4:51:45 AMMay 13
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On 12/05/2022 20:47, Robin wrote:
> On 12/05/2022 19:04, ARW wrote:
> <snip>
>>
>> The electricity co will take no time to swap the cutout once the
>> cellar is pumped out.
>>
>
> Which prompts a question for Dave: was the meter flooded and if so is
> her supplier on notice to get it replaced?
>
> That's based on my assumption that even in such cases UK Power
> Networks will do everything up to and including the meter board but
> not the meter itself.
>
The meters are no longer owned by the DNOs, it's the energy suppliers
now (and if the same 'company' as the DNO, then it's the retail arm, and
not the 'network' arm you need to talk to)

Robin

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May 13, 2022, 5:22:17 AMMay 13
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As a general rule, yes, but I just wondered if DNOs had authority to
install a temporary meter in emergencies - possibly at a price to the
user - prompted by the way suppliers cannot arbitrarily refuse to let
customers provide their own meters.

Theo

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May 13, 2022, 5:24:04 AMMay 13
to
I think that was Robin's point. The DNO will furnish you with a new meter
board and cutout, but presumably won't wire anything past the cutout since
that's the energy supplier's responsibility. Which leaves you without a
working supply until your supplier can visit to install a new meter.

I contacted the late unlamented Symbio about doing something (non-emergency)
to my meter and they replied about three weeks later. So wouldn't have held
out much hope of them attending in a timely manner.

I'm not sure if there's anyone who takes charge here, or is the 90 year old
supposed to coordinate between supplier and DNO?

Theo

SH

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May 13, 2022, 6:26:05 AMMay 13
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might be worth waving the "vulnerable customer" card on the grounds of
her senior citizen status to get a priority appointment?

Colin Bignell

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May 13, 2022, 6:41:35 AMMay 13
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I would be talking to the local media by now. A human interest story, if
ever there was one.

--
Colin Bignell

Robin

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May 13, 2022, 8:29:43 AMMay 13
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On 13/05/2022 11:41, Colin Bignell wrote:
>
> I would be talking to the local media by now. A human interest story, if
> ever there was one.
>

Although the full story may be less interesting - e.g. if the insurance
company said straight away they would pay for her to move into a decent
hotel until the cellar was pumped and power restored.

Theo

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May 13, 2022, 8:58:23 AMMay 13
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Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
> On 13/05/2022 11:41, Colin Bignell wrote:
> >
> > I would be talking to the local media by now. A human interest story, if
> > ever there was one.
> >
>
> Although the full story may be less interesting - e.g. if the insurance
> company said straight away they would pay for her to move into a decent
> hotel until the cellar was pumped and power restored.

Yes, it does depend rather what they asked for and what was offered. If the
resident insisted on staying, despite the place being unsanitary, there's
not much the insurance can do. Or the resident said they could handle it
themselves and didn't want to involve the insurance.

Unfortunately handling this kind of thing does require being on the ball
about making the phone calls etc, and that is something a 90 year may not
cope with. It sounds like one of the daughters is on the case so that's
good (although perhaps not if they were in hospital), but if they weren't
I'm not sure there is somebody who will automatically take charge of
managing a case like that. Maybe Social Services or similar? Somebody
would have to contact them in the first place though.

(Having dealt with a case like this, there's a whole patchwork of insurance
assessors, claims handling companies, approved contractors for cleanups, etc
etc, which makes it a quite complicated job to sort out. They are not
proactive, you have to phone them up and pester them. And it may not be
the case that the insurance will pay all the costs upfront, they might
expect you to pay and then claim back later - which is difficult if you have
no spare cash)

At the end of the day, if the resident is unwilling it can be very difficult
for people to help.

Theo

Animal

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May 13, 2022, 9:00:56 AMMay 13
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A minimal temporary safe install would make the rest of the process far easier. A few sockets downstairs would be enough to get the power back on.

Dave Plowman (News)

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May 13, 2022, 9:34:08 AMMay 13
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In article <d5a2b32d-38c8-c742...@outlook.com>,
Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
> On 13/05/2022 11:41, Colin Bignell wrote:
> >
> > I would be talking to the local media by now. A human interest story, if
> > ever there was one.
> >

> Although the full story may be less interesting - e.g. if the insurance
> company said straight away they would pay for her to move into a decent
> hotel until the cellar was pumped and power restored.

Yes they did. She refused.

--
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Dave Plowman (News)

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May 13, 2022, 9:52:14 AMMay 13
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Just a general answer based on my memory. Several years ago I installed
for her an extra 13 amp socket and a phone outlet for a DECT phone.

I don't think the cable, riser, meter or fuse boxes were under water. They
are all close to the cellar ceiling, and the water didn't get that high.
if it had, it would have been impossible to get to the internal stopcock.

As I remember it, the ring was likely 50s or 60s. Those rather nasty
surface mount MK sockets. But PVC wiring. Earthed only to the incoming
water main. A 30 amp fuse switch via a Henlec block. And another for the
cooker.

I'd say they would pass tests (except for the earth)

What I was hoping for would be a way to re-connect them and not the
lighting. She more or less lives in the kitchen/breakfast room which has a
cloakroom attached. At the moment that loo is still flushing from the
header tank. But likely not for much longer. She hasn't been able to get
upstairs for a couple of years now.

There's some disagreement within the family about the best way forward.
All I'm trying to get help with is to get the best for my neighbour who is
to put it bluntly, stubborn. But part of her charm. And suggest, if asked.

A story about that stubbornness.

The garden wall between us is mine. Original, and made from cast concrete.
About a meter high between the gardens (and that was in excellent
condition) but twice that height between the houses - for privacy. And the
high part poor. I had it rebuilt (with new foundations) in blockwork and
rendered to match the existing. She wouldn't allow the workmen in to
render her side. Never said why. But of course her side of the wall now
looks distinctly odd.

--
*Could it be that "I do " is the longest sentence? *

Theo

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May 13, 2022, 10:21:05 AMMay 13
to
"Dave Plowman (News)" <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:
> Just a general answer based on my memory. Several years ago I installed
> for her an extra 13 amp socket and a phone outlet for a DECT phone.
>
> I don't think the cable, riser, meter or fuse boxes were under water. They
> are all close to the cellar ceiling, and the water didn't get that high.
> if it had, it would have been impossible to get to the internal stopcock.

Presumably there was some outlet in the cellar, which is how the water
became live? And without an RCD it stayed that way?

> As I remember it, the ring was likely 50s or 60s. Those rather nasty
> surface mount MK sockets. But PVC wiring. Earthed only to the incoming
> water main. A 30 amp fuse switch via a Henlec block. And another for the
> cooker.

So no consumer unit at all, those things connected straight off Henley
blocks from the meter?

> I'd say they would pass tests (except for the earth)
>
> What I was hoping for would be a way to re-connect them and not the
> lighting. She more or less lives in the kitchen/breakfast room which has a
> cloakroom attached. At the moment that loo is still flushing from the
> header tank. But likely not for much longer. She hasn't been able to get
> upstairs for a couple of years now.

If the supply is good and the ring would pass tests, a basic CU with a
single MCB+RCD or RCBO way wouldn't seem complicated. The earthing would need
sorting out, but perhaps there's an earth off the incomer? If there is only
an earth rod, perhaps the DNO could convert it to PME when they come to
refit the cutout?

If the cooker wiring isn't good, run a new wire in surface trunking.
Likewise for the lighting. Total three RCBOs, £25 each. Probably another
£50 for a cheapo CU and a main switch.

I'd imagine around here the work would be sub £1000 depending on the cable
runs and other fiddliness - although I'm not familiar with London prices.

If they get a sparky in, they can do the work and coordinate with the DNO to
reconnect once everything is safe.

Theo

Robin

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May 13, 2022, 10:36:34 AMMay 13
to
Very possibly (and last time I checked still for free in London at
least) *but* won't be done unless and until main bonding is up to
current requirements.

> If the cooker wiring isn't good, run a new wire in surface trunking.
> Likewise for the lighting. Total three RCBOs, £25 each. Probably another
> £50 for a cheapo CU and a main switch.
>
> I'd imagine around here the work would be sub £1000 depending on the cable
> runs and other fiddliness - although I'm not familiar with London prices.
>
> If they get a sparky in, they can do the work and coordinate with the DNO to
> reconnect once everything is safe.
>
> Theo


Theo

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May 13, 2022, 11:25:14 AMMay 13
to
Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
> On 13/05/2022 15:20, Theo wrote:
> > If the supply is good and the ring would pass tests, a basic CU with a
> > single MCB+RCD or RCBO way wouldn't seem complicated. The earthing would need
> > sorting out, but perhaps there's an earth off the incomer? If there is only
> > an earth rod, perhaps the DNO could convert it to PME when they come to
> > refit the cutout?
>
> Very possibly (and last time I checked still for free in London at
> least) *but* won't be done unless and until main bonding is up to
> current requirements.

If UKPN has a massively out of date install (which if it was pre-WWII this
might have been) I think they are quite keen to bring it up to modern
standards when they're on site anyway, and won't worry about charging for
that. They came to upgrade my main fuse and ended up changing the entire
1960s service head, for example.

However the current setup is electrically unsafe so sounds like they won't
re-energise it until further work takes place. Any new CU install is going
to have to bring the bonding up to scratch too. Once installed, the DNO can
re-energise.

Theo

Colin Bignell

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May 13, 2022, 11:43:59 AMMay 13
to
On 13/05/2022 14:52, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
> Just a general answer based on my memory. Several years ago I installed
> for her an extra 13 amp socket and a phone outlet for a DECT phone.
>
> I don't think the cable, riser, meter or fuse boxes were under water. They
> are all close to the cellar ceiling, and the water didn't get that high.
> if it had, it would have been impossible to get to the internal stopcock.
>
> As I remember it, the ring was likely 50s or 60s. Those rather nasty
> surface mount MK sockets. But PVC wiring. Earthed only to the incoming
> water main. A 30 amp fuse switch via a Henlec block. And another for the
> cooker.
>
> I'd say they would pass tests (except for the earth)
>
> What I was hoping for would be a way to re-connect them and not the
> lighting. ...

The supplier will want the entire house up to standard before
reconnecting. Otherwise, there is nothing to stop somebody reconnecting
the lighting once there is power is available in the house.


--
Colin Bignell

Animal

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May 13, 2022, 12:17:12 PMMay 13
to
What's needed is a new CU with RCBO/RCD, main earth bond and 1+ new light/s where the supplier will go. There should be no need to show anyone the rest of the house or discuss any rewiring, and of course the old prewar lighting should not be reconnected. Visible parts of it should be removed. The rest should too really.

Doing the minimum would make her house habitable. From there she can take her time getting quotes etc and dealing with insurers, trades etc, and end up all sorted.

Colin Bignell

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May 13, 2022, 12:44:28 PMMay 13
to
Even decades ago, when I worked for an Electricity Board, we wouldn't
have accepted that. It smacks of somebody wanting to get a sub-standard
system installed, once the power is to the house.

--
Colin Bignell

lacksey

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May 13, 2022, 1:53:17 PMMay 13
to
On Fri, 13 May 2022 23:25:22 +1000, Dave Plowman (News)
<da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <d5a2b32d-38c8-c742...@outlook.com>,
> Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
>> On 13/05/2022 11:41, Colin Bignell wrote:
>> >
>> > I would be talking to the local media by now. A human interest story,
>> if
>> > ever there was one.
>> >
>
>> Although the full story may be less interesting - e.g. if the insurance
>> company said straight away they would pay for her to move into a decent
>> hotel until the cellar was pumped and power restored.
>
> Yes they did. She refused.

So would I given that there is still so much covid around
and she doesnt allow visitors into the place. Your extension
cord from your place is the best approach imo.

Peeler

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May 13, 2022, 2:04:37 PMMay 13
to
On Sat, 14 May 2022 03:53:09 +1000, lacksey, better known as cantankerous
trolling senile geezer Rodent Speed, wrote:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
Marland addressing senile Rodent's pathological trolling:
"That’s because so much piss and shite emanates from your gob that there is
nothing left to exit normally, your arsehole has clammed shut through disuse
and the end of prick is only clear because you are such a Wanker."
Message-ID: <gm2h57...@mid.individual.net>

Animal

unread,
May 13, 2022, 8:35:28 PMMay 13
to
Firstly that's a guess, and these days not a too realistic one.
Secondly a minimal system is safe, legal & habitable.

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 14, 2022, 5:46:45 AMMay 14
to
It is the voice of experience of what strange things people get up to.

and these days not a too realistic one.

I would have thought that there was a duty of due diligence today, which
we didn't have to follow, which would have made it even less likely to
be acceptable.

> Secondly a minimal system is safe, legal & habitable.

That is not the concern. It is possible sub-standard additions to it, to
make the rest of the house habitable, that is.

About the only people I can think of who could have a minimal
installation approved like that would be a builder working on the
premises, who needs the power (and possibly water) to carry out further
work. If Dave knows an accommodating builder who is willing to apply for
the supply, but not actually do any work, that might be a way to do it.

--
Colin Bignell

Andrew

unread,
May 14, 2022, 6:25:24 AMMay 14
to
On 13/05/2022 11:41, Colin Bignell wrote:
I'm sure all the local (and not so local) burglars will be delighted to
watch that news story on social media and work out where the property
is, so that they can "check it over" for jewelry and other stuff.

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 14, 2022, 6:53:58 AMMay 14
to
On 14/05/2022 11:25, Andrew wrote:
..
> I'm sure all the local (and not so local) burglars will be delighted to
> watch that news story on social media and work out where the property
> is, so that they can "check it over" for jewelry and other stuff.

More likely to be travelling around the area, looking for places without
lights or burglar alarm.

--
Colin Bignell

Dave Plowman (News)

unread,
May 14, 2022, 7:32:45 AMMay 14
to
In article <7cx*sP...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
Theo <theom...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> "Dave Plowman (News)" <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:
> > Just a general answer based on my memory. Several years ago I installed
> > for her an extra 13 amp socket and a phone outlet for a DECT phone.
> >
> > I don't think the cable, riser, meter or fuse boxes were under water.
> > They are all close to the cellar ceiling, and the water didn't get
> > that high. if it had, it would have been impossible to get to the
> > internal stopcock.

> Presumably there was some outlet in the cellar, which is how the water
> became live? And without an RCD it stayed that way?

I doubt there are any sockets in the cellar, Just a light. But not certain.

My guess is there was current flow to the only ground - to the water pipe.
And the daughter standing in water made a better path to ground. I've not
been down there to look at things, though. could be the earth connection
is on the wrong side of the stopcock - which was installed later, I've
been told.

> > As I remember it, the ring was likely 50s or 60s. Those rather nasty
> > surface mount MK sockets. But PVC wiring. Earthed only to the incoming
> > water main. A 30 amp fuse switch via a Henlec block. And another for the
> > cooker.

> So no consumer unit at all, those things connected straight off Henley
> blocks from the meter?

No. As I remember the original lighting predated CUs. So separate switch
and fusebox.

> > I'd say they would pass tests (except for the earth)
> >
> > What I was hoping for would be a way to re-connect them and not the
> > lighting. She more or less lives in the kitchen/breakfast room which
> > has a cloakroom attached. At the moment that loo is still flushing
> > from the header tank. But likely not for much longer. She hasn't been
> > able to get upstairs for a couple of years now.

> If the supply is good and the ring would pass tests, a basic CU with a
> single MCB+RCD or RCBO way wouldn't seem complicated. The earthing
> would need sorting out, but perhaps there's an earth off the incomer?
> If there is only an earth rod, perhaps the DNO could convert it to PME
> when they come to refit the cutout?

> If the cooker wiring isn't good, run a new wire in surface trunking.
> Likewise for the lighting. Total three RCBOs, £25 each. Probably
> another £50 for a cheapo CU and a main switch.

> I'd imagine around here the work would be sub £1000 depending on the
> cable runs and other fiddliness - although I'm not familiar with London
> prices.

> If they get a sparky in, they can do the work and coordinate with the
> DNO to reconnect once everything is safe.

Again, as I remember, the cooker circuit was later than the ring.

Although I'm not sure she does any cooking. But does use a microwave to
heat ready meals, etc.

--
*Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity *

Dave Plowman (News)

unread,
May 14, 2022, 7:36:37 AMMay 14
to
In article <Sqadnbij3cbg5-L_...@giganews.com>,
Colin Bignell <c...@bignellREMOVETHIS.me.uk> wrote:
> About the only people I can think of who could have a minimal
> installation approved like that would be a builder working on the
> premises, who needs the power (and possibly water) to carry out further
> work. If Dave knows an accommodating builder who is willing to apply for
> the supply, but not actually do any work, that might be a way to do it.

That really was what I was hoping for. I'm happy enough giving her a free
13 amp feed for a while. But not for ever. If it were just her, a
different matter. But from what some of the relations say, protecting
their inheritance seems to be the priority. ;-(

--
*When you get a bladder infection urine trouble.*

Robin

unread,
May 14, 2022, 8:48:26 AMMay 14
to
On 14/05/2022 12:27, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
> In article <7cx*sP...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
> Theo <theom...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>> "Dave Plowman (News)" <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote:
>>> Just a general answer based on my memory. Several years ago I installed
>>> for her an extra 13 amp socket and a phone outlet for a DECT phone.
>>>
>>> I don't think the cable, riser, meter or fuse boxes were under water.
>>> They are all close to the cellar ceiling, and the water didn't get
>>> that high. if it had, it would have been impossible to get to the
>>> internal stopcock.
>
>> Presumably there was some outlet in the cellar, which is how the water
>> became live? And without an RCD it stayed that way?
>
> I doubt there are any sockets in the cellar, Just a light. But not certain.
>
> My guess is there was current flow to the only ground - to the water pipe.
> And the daughter standing in water made a better path to ground. I've not
> been down there to look at things, though. could be the earth connection
> is on the wrong side of the stopcock - which was installed later, I've
> been told.
>

I had wondered about that when you said the flood didn't reach the
cut-out etc. And wondered too if water mains (and communication pipes)
had been replaced.

Theo

unread,
May 14, 2022, 9:37:14 AMMay 14
to
Colin Bignell <c...@bignellremovethis.me.uk> wrote:
> It is the voice of experience of what strange things people get up to.
>
> and these days not a too realistic one.
>
> I would have thought that there was a duty of due diligence today, which
> we didn't have to follow, which would have made it even less likely to
> be acceptable.

I'm not sure what DNO policy on this is. But I think that suppliers who are
changing meters won't intervene if there is something not up to scratch with
the installation - they will swap out the meter and leave things as equally
bad as they were before, but they won't cut people off when they have come
just to change the meter. That is presumably why this installation is still
going with pre-WWII wiring - the meter must have been changed several times
since then, but the installation was not condemned. Maybe the householder
was told it needed improvement but then ignored it.

That seems to be in contrast to gas installs where the gas distributor may
cut you off if your installation is dangerous. Presumably because a gas
explosion affects more people than just those who live in the house. But
also because it's easier to live without gas than without electricity.

Perhaps Adam has more experience here?

Also bear in mind the person calling the DNO to re-energise is going to be
an electrician not the householder, and the electrician is able to sign off
their own work.

Theo

Dave Plowman (News)

unread,
May 14, 2022, 9:56:59 AMMay 14
to
In article <631f4b23-b162-b593...@outlook.com>,
Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
> > My guess is there was current flow to the only ground - to the water
> > pipe. And the daughter standing in water made a better path to ground.
> > I've not been down there to look at things, though. could be the earth
> > connection is on the wrong side of the stopcock - which was installed
> > later, I've been told.
> >

> I had wondered about that when you said the flood didn't reach the
> cut-out etc. And wondered too if water mains (and communication pipes)
> had been replaced.

I simply dunno. The water main from street into my house is still lead.

However, I'm told by the son-in-law he had a stop cock fitted to the
incoming main - and also one close to the (external) header tank which is
mounted on the flat roof to the rear addition. It's possible the mains
earth is now on the house side of the stop cock. Or even just not making a
decent earth connection all these years later.

--
*I'm not your type. I'm not inflatable.

Dave Plowman (News)

unread,
May 14, 2022, 10:07:05 AMMay 14
to
In article <4cx*HW...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
Theo <theom...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> Colin Bignell <c...@bignellremovethis.me.uk> wrote:
> > It is the voice of experience of what strange things people get up to.
> >
> > and these days not a too realistic one.
> >
> > I would have thought that there was a duty of due diligence today,
> > which we didn't have to follow, which would have made it even less
> > likely to be acceptable.

> I'm not sure what DNO policy on this is. But I think that suppliers who
> are changing meters won't intervene if there is something not up to
> scratch with the installation - they will swap out the meter and leave
> things as equally bad as they were before, but they won't cut people off
> when they have come just to change the meter. That is presumably why
> this installation is still going with pre-WWII wiring - the meter must
> have been changed several times since then, but the installation was not
> condemned. Maybe the householder was told it needed improvement but
> then ignored it.

I do know she had a power failure in the last couple of years or so.
Remember lending her a Lidl rechargeable LED work light I have which runs
for a few hours. The pavement outside her house was dug up for a repair,
and done very quickly. But can't say why they didn't refuse to reinstate
her supply then. Assuming they went into the house.

--
*After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 14, 2022, 11:42:17 AMMay 14
to
On 14/05/2022 14:37, Theo wrote:
> Colin Bignell <c...@bignellremovethis.me.uk> wrote:
>> It is the voice of experience of what strange things people get up to.
>>
>> and these days not a too realistic one.
>>
>> I would have thought that there was a duty of due diligence today, which
>> we didn't have to follow, which would have made it even less likely to
>> be acceptable.
>
> I'm not sure what DNO policy on this is. But I think that suppliers who are
> changing meters won't intervene if there is something not up to scratch with
> the installation - they will swap out the meter and leave things as equally
> bad as they were before, but they won't cut people off when they have come
> just to change the meter. That is presumably why this installation is still
> going with pre-WWII wiring - the meter must have been changed several times
> since then, but the installation was not condemned. Maybe the householder
> was told it needed improvement but then ignored it.

That is not quite the same as reconnecting a supply that has previously
been disconnected as being dangerous though.


>
> That seems to be in contrast to gas installs where the gas distributor may
> cut you off if your installation is dangerous. Presumably because a gas
> explosion affects more people than just those who live in the house. But
> also because it's easier to live without gas than without electricity.
>
> Perhaps Adam has more experience here?
>
> Also bear in mind the person calling the DNO to re-energise is going to be
> an electrician not the householder, and the electrician is able to sign off
> their own work.
>
> Theo


--
Colin Bignell

Andrew

unread,
May 14, 2022, 1:57:41 PMMay 14
to
On 14/05/2022 14:55, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
> In article <631f4b23-b162-b593...@outlook.com>,
> Robin <r...@outlook.com> wrote:
>>> My guess is there was current flow to the only ground - to the water
>>> pipe. And the daughter standing in water made a better path to ground.
>>> I've not been down there to look at things, though. could be the earth
>>> connection is on the wrong side of the stopcock - which was installed
>>> later, I've been told.
>>>
>
>> I had wondered about that when you said the flood didn't reach the
>> cut-out etc. And wondered too if water mains (and communication pipes)
>> had been replaced.
>
> I simply dunno. The water main from street into my house is still lead.
>

Good job London has really hard water then :-)

Andrew

unread,
May 14, 2022, 2:00:08 PMMay 14
to
I thought they insisted that the installation complied with BS7671 ?

Andrew

unread,
May 14, 2022, 2:05:18 PMMay 14
to
On 12/05/2022 22:46, Theo wrote:
> ARW <adamwa...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> I once did something the same but with trunking.
>>
>> The electricity co will take no time to swap the cutout once the cellar
>> is pumped out.
>
> If it were me I'd be tempted to find a location on the ground floor exterior
> for a meter box, with a CU inside somewhere nearby. Maybe the insurance
> would pay?
>
> But I think you're right that the incomer is probably OK once dried out and
> the DNO will fit a new meter board and cutout. So you don't need a new
> incomer. It's not like flooding is a regular occurrence here, where it
> might be advisable to move it.
>
> I forget the regs, is there any issue with having the meter somewhere
> distant from the cutout, assuming suitably robust cable? For example if the
> householder can't get down the stairs into the cellar any more, could it be
> moved to the ground floor next to a new CU? A smart meter shouldn't need to
> be accessible for meter readers in person, but sometimes suppliers still ask
> for readings (eg when changing supplier).
>
> Either way, a new CU inside plus a few sockets with surface wiring would be
> a lot cheaper than a full rewire. Might have to do something about
> lighting, but maybe a few wall lights?
>
> Theo

Since she cannot get upstairs, all the upstairs wiring might just as
well be removed, and this does not infringe any regulations (AFAIK),
leaving a minimal downstairs upgrade (cooker plus 1 ring)

Andrew

unread,
May 14, 2022, 2:07:06 PMMay 14
to
On 12/05/2022 22:13, Animal wrote:
> On Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 11:11:18 UTC+1, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
>> Back story.
>> Next door neighbour is a widow near 90 living on her own. Very stubborn.
>> Was born in her house and wants to die in it. Totally housebound and won't
>> have any visitors since Covid. So haven't even spoken to her for a couple
>> of years. Sad, as we got on well enough. She has family who call in every
>> day, though.
>>
>> Last week a pipe in the cellar split and flooded it - and next door's
>> cellar too. Daughter waded into the cellar to turn off the water and got a
>> bad electric shock. Ended up in A&E - but on the mend now.
>>
>> Service suppliers cut off both the water and electricity. Insurance are
>> meant to be pumping out the water, but nothing done as yet.
>>
>> Son in law has been keeping me updated. When he said the power was off, I
>> ran a cable reel to their kitchen from my house (fed from an MCBO
>> protected ring) So at least she can watch TV - the only thing she does
>> now. And a table light and the microwave. So she can have hot drinks and
>> meals. Using bottled water, etc. Her cooker is electric, but does have a
>> gas fire in the kitchen which works.
>>
>> She refuses to go in a home of any sort. Her kids simply don't have room
>> for her - and she is adamant she doesn't want to live with either of them
>> anyway (I'm told) One of the daughters has lost patience and hardly ever
>> calls.
>>
>> The pipe should be easy enough to fix once the cellar is dry enough.
>>
>> The electrics I know to be a total loss - all the lighting is pre-WW2, but
>> a ring was added by her husband in the 60s. And she isn't willing to pay
>> for a re-wire or put up with the disruption it would cause. A quote one of
>> the kids got was 12K.
>>
>> Is it possible to get a temporary supply laid on? If only the ring was
>> connected to it that would be good enough for now.
>>
>> She has agreed to move to a smaller place if one can be found nearby. And
>> sell the house to pay for it. But I reckon something needs to be done
>> sooner to make life bearable until then - ie just the same for her as it
>> has been for the past two years. As moving is likely not going to be done
>> quickly.
>
> 12k is nuts, unless it's a real large house.


It's London, and the house is probably worth £500K+ even in that state.
London Tradesmen quote 'appropriately' :-(

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 14, 2022, 7:11:24 PMMay 14
to
On 14/05/2022 19:00, Andrew wrote:
> On 13/05/2022 17:44, Colin Bignell wrote:
...
>> Even decades ago, when I worked for an Electricity Board, we wouldn't
>> have accepted that. It smacks of somebody wanting to get a
>> sub-standard system installed, once the power is to the house.
>>
>
> I thought they insisted that the installation complied with BS7671 ?
>

IEE Regs 14th Edition in my day, but they were not legally enforceable,
so engineers had to make judgements, based upon experience.

--
Colin Bignell

Animal

unread,
May 15, 2022, 6:06:59 PMMay 15
to
recently a house was reconnected that had partially 1930s wiring with a 60s CU. Butit hadn't been condemned as dangerous or disconnected previously, it just got a new incomer.

Animal

unread,
May 15, 2022, 6:08:05 PMMay 15
to
Might be worth getting a quote from someone way outside the area. Maybe somewhere relatively deprived.

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 15, 2022, 6:30:00 PMMay 15
to
Which, in my day, would have been a different department. The incomer
would be the Engineering Department. From the company fuses onwards was
the Commercial Department. Different skill sets and different
responsibilities.

--
Colin Bignell

Rod Speed

unread,
May 15, 2022, 9:12:32 PMMay 15
to
Or very depraved like Adam.

Peeler

unread,
May 16, 2022, 4:25:37 AMMay 16
to
On Mon, 16 May 2022 11:12:25 +1000, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
dennis@home to senile know-it-all Rodent Speed:
"You really should stop commenting on things you know nothing about."
Message-ID: <pCVTC.283711$%L2.2...@fx40.am4>

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 16, 2022, 6:56:45 AMMay 16
to
I remember cutting out a section of lead water pipe in London. It looked
like the cautionary pictures of furred up arteries.


--
Colin Bignell

Dave Plowman (News)

unread,
May 16, 2022, 10:20:09 AMMay 16
to
Latest part of the saga.

Plumber (Pimlico) refuses to repair the pipe due to unsafe working
conditions - flooded cellar. And won't pump it out due to the stuff stored
there - says it has to be cleared first. Next door got theirs pumped out
with no problems - despite obviously having things stored there too.

Due to no water to flush the toilet, they've got her a commode. And have
lifted the manhole cover to the drains (in the back garden) and are
emptying it into that. And have put a wire cover over the hole for
'safety'. I've not had any smells yet - but give it time. Although that
manhole is very close to the other neighbour, so they might get the
results first.

I'm also thinking me providing an electricity supply might be actually
making things worse in the end.

--
*Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home.

Andrew

unread,
May 16, 2022, 10:23:57 AMMay 16
to
On 16/05/2022 15:19, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
> Latest part of the saga.
>
> Plumber (Pimlico) refuses to repair the pipe due to unsafe working
> conditions - flooded cellar. And won't pump it out due to the stuff stored
> there - says it has to be cleared first. Next door got theirs pumped out
> with no problems - despite obviously having things stored there too.
>
> Due to no water to flush the toilet, they've got her a commode. And have
> lifted the manhole cover to the drains (in the back garden) and are
> emptying it into that. And have put a wire cover over the hole for
> 'safety'. I've not had any smells yet - but give it time. Although that
> manhole is very close to the other neighbour, so they might get the
> results first.
>
> I'm also thinking me providing an electricity supply might be actually
> making things worse in the end.
>

Pimlico plumbers !!. Good job the insurance co is paying the bill.

Dave Plowman (News)

unread,
May 16, 2022, 10:37:15 AMMay 16
to
In article <U4KdnT0mnd54sB__...@giganews.com>,
Colin Bignell <c...@bignellREMOVETHIS.me.uk> wrote:
> I remember cutting out a section of lead water pipe in London. It looked
> like the cautionary pictures of furred up arteries.

Most of the plumbing in this house was lead too when I bought it. And as
you say, cutting it showed a nice coating of 'lime' inside the pipe.
Making the lead safe. Since my pressure and flow are OK I've left it as
lead up to the stopcock in the cellar. Had fun wiping copper to lead first
time I'd tried this - to fit a new stopcock. All copper after it now.

The odd thing about lead is my brother lives in a soft water area - NE of
Scotland. And his ancient house has a lead feeder too. But has had the
water checked, and OK. Perhaps that soft water has something else in it
which causes a coating?

--
*And don't start a sentence with a conjunction *

Colin Bignell

unread,
May 16, 2022, 11:22:54 AMMay 16
to
On 16/05/2022 15:19, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
> Latest part of the saga.
>
> Plumber (Pimlico) refuses to repair the pipe due to unsafe working
> conditions - flooded cellar. And won't pump it out due to the stuff stored
> there - says it has to be cleared first. Next door got theirs pumped out
> with no problems - despite obviously having things stored there too...

Perhaps London Fire Brigade might help for a bit of positive publicity.
Otherwise, do you know anybody with a boat who would lend you a
submersible sump pump? It wouldn't be as quick as Fire Engine pump, but
it would empty it eventually.


--
Colin Bignell

Rod Speed

unread,
May 16, 2022, 11:48:55 AMMay 16
to
Colin Bignell <c...@bignellremovethis.me.uk> wrote
But might kill it working it that hard.

You can hire decent pumps.

Rod Speed

unread,
May 16, 2022, 12:01:06 PMMay 16
to
Rod Speed <rod.sp...@gmail.com> wrote
Or just use the same plumbers that next door did.

Theo

unread,
May 16, 2022, 12:22:47 PMMay 16
to
Would have thought you could hire such things.
eg
https://www.hss.com/hire/c/pumping-and-drying/pumping-and-pumps

Although if this is all 'remote' (ie relatives can't be on site to take
charge) and the trades are turning up, sucking teeth and leaving there's a
limit to what can be done by phoning people up.

Theo

Peeler

unread,
May 16, 2022, 12:29:27 PMMay 16