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Author: STEVE THE HANDYMAN

Installing a gas boiler flue inspection hatch

flue inspection hatch installation
Stages of the installation of a gas safety inspection hatch

Gas flue inspection hatch installation for gas safety

Do you have a condensing gas boiler or planning to have your existing boiler replaced? Well, the chances are your boiler may be situated away from a wall in the center of a room. If this is the case and your flue is above ceiling level, or in this case boxed in, then your going to need a gas safety inspection hatch fitted. Why? Because carbon monoxide is being expelled through your boiler flue and that flue needs to be inspected regularly to make sure there are no breaks in any joints. If the flu became damaged and leaked gases unchecked then there could be a risk of fatality from carbon monoxide poisoning.

A safety hatch similar to the one I installed enables a Gas Saftey engineer to carry out checks to the flue during an annual service and inspection to comply with Gas Saftey regulations. This particular hatch had to be installed using an angle grinder to cut through the existing tiles to provide the opening for the hatch and then a wall board saw to cut out the plasterboard underneath where the tiles had been removed. The hatch was then stuck to the face of the tiles with silicone.

 

Adapting euro ⅜” tap connectors to uk ½”pipework

⅜">½"-tap-tail adapter
⅜” to ½” tap tail adapter to use with taps supplied with European tap tails.
hansgohe 70 tap and schematic
Hansgohe 70 tap and schematic

Fitting a tap with European ⅜” tap tails

So as a plumber and handyman the jobs I get asked to do can be varied and wide ranging as you can imagine, and sometimes the job throws up curve balls and presents you with something unexpected. I give you the Hansgrohe 50 focus tap. Now on the surface this may look just like an ordinary basin mixer tap, but when you take a closer inspection you’ll notice the flexible tap tails that are supplied look a little different. That’s because UK pipe sizes as some of you may or may not know are typically ½” feeding a bathroom basin tap; but this tap has a ⅜” connection typically used on the continent. “How’s that going to work?” I hear you cry! Well it just so happens there are ½” to ⅜” compression to male BSP adapters available to reduce the 15mm pipe connection down to fit the hoses, they are available from all good plumbers merchants, and worth stocking a few pairs just in case this problem pops up. Next time you visit your plumbers’ merchants ask about these fittings.

 

Covering stains with paint

painting-over-stains-large
The stages of stain treatment with before and after photos for comparison

Pipe smoking stains at the Frasers’

How can you succeed covering stains with paint? As you can see from my pictures of a recent decorating job I did in Orpington, tobacco smoke can have a serious effect on your paintwork, not only wood paint but also emulsion as well. The tar from the smoke will, if heavy enough, bleed straight through fresh paintwork leaving a nasty brown streaky effect on emulsion and my decorating job at the Frasers’ in Orpington was a classic example of this. There are a few products on the market which will cover, or prime the stain well enough so that the tar is well and truly sealed and won’t permeate through the paints pigment. For this particular job I used a product called Zinsser Cover Stain which I highly recommend, it’s not only a stain covering paint but also a fantastic primer. As you can see from the before and after shots above it did a remarkably good job of covering some very yellow paintwork.