Monday, 23 August 2010

Damp spreads brick to brick by diffusion

Recently our housing caretaker and myself had a look at some water dripping down the wall at the front of the building from my next door neighbour's
upstairs neighbour's bathroom. The maintenance operatives had fixed the overflow pipe from the header tank earlier in the year, but this leak appeared to be coming from the main cast iron waste pipe.
The wall under the waste pipe looks quite nasty, damp and with lots of insects enjoying feasts of slime.
For some time now my neighbours and I have noticed a bad smell coming from this area but we hadn't realised it was coming from the waste pipe.
However the caretaker and I both saw the water dripping from the pipe. He suggested that in addition to his written report I should ask my neighbour to request a repair.
So today the repair man came out to have a look.
Unfortunately it was raining heavily at the time so it was impossible to notice any extra water, but I was able to ask the upstairs neighbour with the offending soil pipe to flush the toilet a number of times.
Indeed the toilet waste pipe is clearly leaking, and the repair man has now seen it.
Now he needs to ask for backup: a replacement pipe and joints will need to be obtained, as will a dry day, a 2 man job slot as ladders are needed, and some brute force.

It appears that a cast iron waste (soil) pipe may be repaired with other materials:
learn one way

or this site explains exactly how to fit a new soil pipe on from an old cast iron one

A google search using the terms cast iron soil pipe problem leads to the possibility that the problem is a blockage in the pipe which is causing it to back up and force sewage out into the area under the building. This would account for some of the problems in the ground floor flats! Lets hope this is not what has been happening.

Whilst we were all having a look at the leaks earlier today we found yet another leak... this time the daughter drainpipe in the middle of the front of the building which drains off the gutter. It has some small holes in it and is jetting out of the pipe on to the paving. This will have to go on the list of jobs to be done.

The work which was done on my main drainpipe and guttering a week ago seems to be holding up quite well and there is much less water running down the window and wall. I think there will always be some overflow due to the poor design of the extension which was put on the building in the 1970's, which means there is a part of the roof not properly served by guttering.

This sort of issue is useful material for meditation practice. I was sitting in meditation recently and found my mind drifting on to these topics. At first I became critical, telling myself to try to ignore work going on outside the building on the guttering. Then I realised this is just showing me my connection with what is outside. What we do and think, is all linked up with what is outside us, as well as our histories, because everything is linked up. Drains, weathers, metals, materials, people! There is no need to push away thoughts or feelings, just notice them come and go, they will be different each moment!

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