Water Supply

Assuming that water is drawn from a public supply, it is important to know the position of the stopcock for cutting off the house branch from the main; to have the necessary fork-ended T-iron for turning the cock; and to keep this iron in a place where it cannot be hidden.

If a burst occurs during a thaw after frost, only the prompt cutting off of the main supply may avert serious damage. There may be other occasions, such as cleaning service cistern or boiler, or the repair or replacement of taps, when the stop-cock will be needed.

If a drain cock is fitted on the main branch, between the stop-cock and the house, it will be possible to empty the pipe feeding the cistern to below ground level, and so prevent freezing up in frosty weather.

When water is laid on to a house, the pipes should be buried at least 3 feet, to be beyond the reach of frost; and if possible they should be carried up interior walls. If this cannot be done, they should be cased in and insulated, especially where they have to pass near a window or door.

The house-servico tank, if it has to be placed in the roof, should be accessible through a trap-door large enough to pass another tank of the same size, when that in use needs renewal – as it will do sooner or later, if of galvanised iron. (A lead-lined wooden tank may be regarded as a per-manency.)

If this provision is not made, fitting a new tank may entail cutting a hole in a ceiling or the roof. As the roof is the coldest part of a house, a tank there, and any pipes leading to it, should be well protected from cold; a precaution which in only too many cases is neglected, with uncomfortable results when a severely cold snap conies.

To make inspection of the tank easy, the rafters round about it should be boarded over, and a boarded path from the trapdoor be provided. It will also be money well spent to fit an electric light near the tank, and so do away with the plumbers candle-ends.

It is very important that all overflow pipes from cisterns should be completely self-draining. A bent pipe is able to hold water which may seal it in frost.

Stop-cocks on the pipes drawing from the service-tank, for cutting off the water when taps have to be re-washered, are recommended.

If the service-tank is in an upper room, the noise of the water entering it through the ball-cock may be a nuisance to people in neighbouring rooms. Covering the tank in and making the ball-cock discharge through a pipe reaching almost to the bottom of the tank will prevent the inflow causing annoyance.

Water Tap, Re-washering a leaky. A tap leaks because the valve, when screwed down, does not make a watertight joint with the seat against which it presses.

The valve consists of a loose jumper, to the underside of which a soft washer of fibre or rubber is attached by a nut. Use gradually cuts away the washer until the metal of the jumper comes into contact with the seat, and then dripping, which may develop into a steady flow, begins. What appears to be a trifling leak may waste many gallons of water in a day, and may keep the hot-water supply depleted. Leaking hot-water taps at least should therefore be attended to at once.

The first step is to provide oneself with a new washer. Measure the bore of the nozzle of the tap, and if it is -I inch, ask for a washer for a I-inch tap. The next thing is to cut off the suppty, if possible. The fresh-water tap is put out of action by merely turning off the supply from the main. In the case of a tap drawing from the service cistern in the roof, the inlet from the cistern may be closed with a wooden plug, which need not be a very good fit, as a small flow will not matter. In some houses there are cocks in the piping for isolating the cistern, and these make the job a matter of only a moment or two, but be careful to turn a closed cock ou again after the tap has been put right.

If neither of these courses be feasible, the main cock may be closed and the service-cistern emptied. If the hot-water is drawn off from above its tank or cylinder, the hot water will not be disturbed; but if the draw-off is below the tank, the hot water as well will run away.

Finally, if the tap is not on the main, the operation of re-washcring may be done with the water running (except very hot water), and splashing be prevented by covering the tap with a heavy cloth as soon as it has been opened. A tap on an upper floor will be relieved if a tap drawing from the same supply at a lower levol is turned on full.

Now comes the removal of the cover, or collar, of the top. This is effected by gripping its hexagonal neck in a spanner – which must be a good fit to avoid slipping and cutting the neck – and turning in an anti-clockwise direction. Especially if the tap is attached to a lead pipe, the pull of the spanner should be opposed by gripping the taps nozzle.

Some bathroom taps have the spindle housed in a rounded cover, which has to be unscrewed and lifted up the spindle as far as it can go to expose the hexagon.

When the jumper has been removed, take off the nut holding on the old washer, fit the new washer, and replace the nut. Getting the new washer on may necessitate enlarging the hole in it with a broach or the tip of a triangular file. Should the washer project beyond the edge of the flat plate of the jumper, trim off the surplus with a sharp knife, being careful not to bevel the washer.

Before replacing the cover, screw the tap spindle up, as otherwise the valve may be hard down against the seat before the cover is home, and damage be done.

If a tap leaks badly round the spindle when the water is turned on, this is a sign that the spindle needs repacking or more packing to be added. To get at the packing, unscrew the milled-edge collar encircling the spindle. The packing can then be dug out and replaced by soft, untwisted twine, or tow, forced down after every few turns round the spindle.

Wood-Scrapers and Their Use. A scraper used by a joiner is an extremely simple tool, merely a piece of flat steel 3 to I inch thick. Its purpose is to give the finishing touches to surfaces on which planes have done all that is possible with them. Paradoxically, its action is not, as its name would suggest, scraping, but one of cutting.

A properly sot scraper removes tiny, very thin shavings, and eliminates any marks left by the plane. It is specially useful on hard woods and where the he of the grain is troublesome. Many amateur joiners do not use scrapers, either because they have never seen one employed, or because they do not understand how to sharpen a:is apply one.

A scraper for flat surfaces is rectangular, measuring a few inches on the side. The corners may be rounded off to different radii for dealing with hollow surfaces. All the edges may be sharpened, and used in turn.

To prepare a new scraper for use

We will assume that its edges are quite straight and square to the sides. It is laid flat on the bench with one edge projecting a little beyond the front. One hand holds it down tightly, while the back of a gouge or a bar of hard round steel is rubbed backward and forward along the upper angle of the edge, at a slight slope, to turn the metal over and produce the burr which will do the cutting. The scraper is then reversed, and the other corner treated similarly.

When using a scraper, the worker generally slants it away from him, and makes pushing strokes, cutting outwards only, with his thumbs pressing on the back. But it may also be used inwards, with drawing pulls.

When one edge becomes blunt – begins actually to scrape – another is used, until a general resetting is needed. After several sharpenings the edges become rounded, and need squaring with the file and oilstones. An edge is made straight by holding the scraper vertically on the stone and rubbing it lengthwise.

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