Plumber says I can't have vertical radiators - is he spinning me a line?

(34 Posts)
KindleMum Thu 07-Mar-13 13:28:45

We are getting quotes for a major refurb of our "forever house", work to be done before we move in. We have a builder quoting who seems good and is recommended to me but yesterday he came back with his electrician and plumber and I really haven't taken to the plumber.

I hate radiators. I really wanted underfloor heating but it turned out that wasn't really the right option for the house. So we compromised on vertical rads. Plumber arrives and says no you can't have those. Summary of conversation from then:

Me - Why not?
P: Cos they're rubbish and you'd need 2 in this room.
Me: I don't mind having two, I was planning on having two. I hate horizontal radiators.
P: No luv, you just want one normal one under that window there.
Me:No I don't, that's right by 2 doors, I'd lose all the heat.
P: Anyway, you've a concrete floor, you can't have vertical rads.
Me: Eh?
P:We'd have to drill into the floor.
Me:Surely you'll have to do that anyway for a horizontal?
P:Yeah, but that's different.
Me: Why?
P: Just is. Anyway, it'll cost too much.
Me: When I've got the quote then I'll decide whether it costs too much.

I'm not used to getting building work done but surely I can expect someone quoting for work to explain better than that why he won't do what I want. Does anyone have any idea if he has a point?

I very much doubt I'll use him because he's also flat out contradicted advice I've had on combi boilers which makes me very wary and I think he's someone who just fits his favourite things regardless of what the client wants. But I would like to know if he has a point on the vertical rads?

Speedos Sat 09-Mar-13 07:16:23

We have a new massive combi in our 5 bed 4 bath house, notice very little impact on pressure with more than on tap on, maybe it just doesn't happen often? My FIL is our plumber so I believe he had our best interests at heart.

KindleMum Sat 09-Mar-13 09:16:09

Interesting, Speedos. Do you know what type it is?

PigletJohn Sat 09-Mar-13 09:47:14

with combis and multiple taps, the most important thing is the incoming water flow (not pressure, which is different) coming into the house from the watermain. Fill a bucket at your kitchen sink cold tap (or garden tap, if better), time it, see how many litres per minute you get. The amount of incoming flow, with a combi, will be shared between all taps and other outlets running at the same time.

Newly built houses often have a larger service pipe thay can carry more water. Otherwise you may need to dig a trench all the way to the pavement and lay a new, larger, plastic pipe. This is fairly easy if it is wooden floors and garden, but more tiresome through concrete. An old house with long lead pipes, or a conversion with lots of bends and valves, may have very poor flow.

KindleMum Sat 09-Mar-13 11:20:01

He didn't do that. I asked about upgrading to larger diameter plastic pipes as you'd recommended and he said it was worth doing that from the garage thoughout the house (utilities all enter the house through the garage) but he didn't recommend taking the new larger pipes all the way from the garage to the water company connection - I'm struggling to understand that. I don't see how it can improve the flow if the pipes at the connection are still the same size. Won't I end up with air and noise in the larger pipes?

PigletJohn Sat 09-Mar-13 11:59:32

It depends how big the pipe from the road into the garage is. Mine has a 20mm plastic service pipe which changes to 15mm inside the house (as they are measured by external diameter, and the plastic has thicker pipe walls, this is, in fact, almost the same)

A more modern house might have a larger incoming pipe. What colour is yours?

You won't get air and noise in the larger sections of pipe, but the flow will have been throtlled by the smaller sections of pipe, and valvers, it has already passed through.

KindleMum Sat 09-Mar-13 12:04:45

Right, I'll need to look at that. Thanks

Heifer Sat 09-Mar-13 13:12:35

We had exactly the same thing years ago when they first came out.
We just binned him and got a plumber who would do what WE wanted.....

Speedos Sat 09-Mar-13 14:13:07

Ours is a Woscester Bosch combi, best one apparantely but it is massive, we have it located in a cupboard in the part of our garage that is a gym so it is actually outside the house. We also replaced the above mentioned pipes to the water main on the road.

Another element of the pressure is the type of tap you have, our kitchen tap is not brilliant because we have one of those detachable spray hose taps and the hose is very narrow on that one. All the other taps are fine.

Ihatemytoes Sat 09-Mar-13 15:24:35

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