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Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting us please have a look through our Frequently Asked Questions. If you wish to discuss the matter further or have another issue, you can send us an email by clicking here.

 

Static Caravans, Homes, Cabins and Lodges

Q - The compressor stops after a few seconds, but no water comes out of the inside taps

A - If only after a couple of seconds the compresssor stops, then there is a problem.  First of all, make sure you are not connecting to a non return tap (see below) or there is not a non return valve after the point of your connection.  When connecting the tool to a tap or fitting, you should ensure that the tap has been opened and run dry before positioning the tool.  Also, make sure that the tap is open and that the tool is seated well, to allow the compressed air to pass through.  In addition, sometimes older taps stick inside, so twist the head left and right to loosen the inside of the tap. (These problems are discussed further in the Essential Winterising Techniques Series of How-to DVD's)

A - With static caravans, sometimes a compressor will stop at 30PSI(2BAR) or reach that pressure and continue very quickly.  Check your mains feedpipe and see if it lies on the ground before rising up to the tap.  If this happens, then when you turn the tap on not much will come out and the remaining water in the line will be topped up to the tap itself.  Try opening a tap inside first, then compressing again.  As the compressor pressurises water should be pushed out of the tap inside.  If not go to the next step.

A - Another issue we have found is that some older taps have a little closing lid inside the tap for the purposes of shutting off the water when the tap in turned off.  This lid disconnects from the tap handle inside and falls down into the tap (ie it is broken).  Ordinarily this would not be noticed, as when the tap is turned on the water pressure pushes the lid out of the way and water flows from the tap.  However this is a problem for winterising as when we apply pressure in the opposite direction, the lid falls down again and acts like the tap has been turned off.  You will know this is happening if the compressed air pressure starts to reach a high level very quickly.  This is a faulty tap and should be replaced with a normal outside tap and not a non return type.  Remember to use PTFE tape on the tap threads.

 

Q - I have a new house with a new tap.  I have tried to loosen the tap, but still nothing happens.

A - In the UK, by-laws now dictate that "New Builds" should be fitted with non return valve outside taps, to prevent back siphoning, a very rare phenomenon where if the end of the hose is left in a bucket of old water, it can be sucked up, polluting the fresh water system.  These taps WILL NOT WORK.  You will know it is a non return tap by noticing a small nut between the tap outlet and the main brass body.  There are three solutions to this problem.  Remove the tap and take out the little cir-clip and white insert from internal body section, Remove the tap and replace with a standard tap or, use a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard tee type washing machine fitting.

 

Q - Ideally, where should I fit the Winteriz-it Water Drainage System?

A - There are two types of properties, those with direct mains water straight to all of the cold and hot taps in the house or Static Caravan and those houses that use a cold water storage tanks, header tanks and a hot press.

In Direct Mains Properties, cold water comes in to the property from the street.  It then splits into two branches.  The first goes as drinking water to all of the cold water taps, kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, dishwasher etc and of course the outside tap.  The other branches off to the boiler, then to the hot taps in the property.  When using the tool on direct mains properties, you should connect the tool after the stopcock.  It doesn't matter if this is on the cold branch or hot, as long as it is before the boiler.  Therefore, when you pressurise the system and try a hot tap first, if water comes out under pressure, the air is positively travelling through the boiler to the taps.  This is essentially winterising the boiler also however, it is important that you contact your boiler manufacturer or a qualified tradesperson to enquire as to other boiler winterising tasks required.  In this example an outside tap would be a preferred choice for fitting.  If none present, then fit a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us), or standard tee type washing machine fitting somewhere local on the cold or hot line after the stopcock..  Static caravans have a similar system

 

On the other hand, if your property has storage tanks, then there are a few places you need to winterise, however it must be iterated at this point that you should consult a qualified plumber for first time use.

To explain, water enters from the street where it meets your stopcock.  From there it splits into two branches.  The first will go to your cold water tap in the kitchen, outside tap and utility room if present as drinking water.  It will also go to your washing machine and dishwasher.  All of these outlets should be disconnected and winterised as per instructions.  An Outside tap, Washing Machine Valve or Self Cutting Tap would be best to drain these pipes.  In a holiday home the dishwasher and washing machine should be left disconnected until Spring for convenience on future winter visits. 

The second branch goes to the attic where it fills the cold water storage tank.  This tank will have two outlets (possibly three), both with gate valves to be turned off at the tank to stop water coming from the tank.  The first outlet for cold water, will go to the cold water taps in the bathrooms and ensuites etc.  If you open these taps, gravity will take its course and the majority of water will run from them, however the pipes will still have water in them.  By fitting a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard tee type washing machine fitting somewhere on these pipes and following the Winteriz-it Instructions, you can purge the remaining water from these taps and pipes. 

The second outlet for hot water, will run to your hot water cylinder and then continue to your hot taps.  You will not be able to drain the cylinder without disconnection as it fills from the bottom, so it is advisable that you fit a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard tee type washing machine fitting somewhere just before the gate valve connection with the cylinder.  At this point you can use gravity to drain the pipe from the tank to the cylinder.  If you open the gate valve into the cylinder, you can also now drain the cylinder, however this wastes a large amount of water.  To prevent the cylinder from freezing, you could place an electric light nearby, as a few degrees can just be enough to prevent frost damage.  A similar lamp should be placed beside the tank in the attic to do the same.

Where the water then travels from the cylinder on to the hot taps in the property, bathroom, kitchen and washing machine etc, you need to winterise these taps and fittings.  By turning off the gate valve at the cylinder and all the taps and fittings you will seal the system.  Again by fitting a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard tee type washing machine fitting somewhere in this system, you can use gravity initially to purge the water and then the Winteriz-it Water Drainage System. 

As mentioned, there is one final outlet that is sometimes found coming from the tank, depending on the type of boiler system you have.  This is an outlet that fills a header tank which feeds the boiler system.  As mentioned, it is recommended that you speak to your plumber about this system if present.  Also discuss with the plumber about the removal of potential airlocks  A battery pack type compressor is ideal for winterising this kind of property, as it is portable. 

Finally with both types of properties, as always, leave all taps open after the winterising procedure to allow for any residual water to freeze and expand up the pipes not burst out of them.

 

Q - How long should the compressor take

A - Depending on the size of the property, times will differ, however, the water system in a static caravan or 3 bedroom house should take at least 20 seconds to be pressurised. This time will increase to 45-60 seconds as you purge taps as there is less water in the system to be replaced with compressed air.  A digital compressor is best as it will stop at the right pressure.

 

Q - Why use a self cutting tap or washing machine tee valve tap.

A - Self Cutting Taps are a fantastic invention.  They can be fitted without turning the water off and placed almost anywhere on a 15mm copper or plastic pipe.  Standard washing machine tee connectors are better in the long run as they are a more solid tap; however, they require you to cut your pipe at exact dimensions.  If you are unsure, ask a qualified Plumber.  Both of these taps have a 3/4" threaded connection, the same as an outside tap, therefore they can be used for the same purposes as an outside tap, such as the Winteriz-it Water Drainage System or indeed to act as a hose connection if you don’t have an outside tap

 

Q – When I turn off my stopcock, water still comes out of my outside tap

A – This is more likely to happen on Static Caravans than would in built properties.  It simply means that the feed pipe from the street has been tee’d off to the outside tap before it gets to the mains stop cock.  There are a few solutions to this.

Most favoured would be to fit a stopcock before the outside tap or remove the tap and fit it after the stopcock.  As the tap is live even with the stopcock turned off, it is vulnerable in winter and the pipe to it may burst. Lagging the pipes would also help

If this is not possible then it might be advisable to fit a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us), or standard tee type washing machine fitting somewhere after the stopcock and before the boiler.  This will gain you access to the water system.  Therefore, when you turn off the stopcock and open the new fitting, gravity will push most of the water out, after which, you can carry out the winterising process as normal.

 

 

 

 

 

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