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practical advice & help for your home

Kitchen Extension in South Bristol

Kitchen Extension in South Bristol

This kitchen was an extension project in a terraced Victorian house in South Bristol. A narrow galley-style kitchen was separated from the garden by a very cold utility room. The utility room had previously been a bathroom and had an uninsulated concrete floor. Because of a number of leaks over the years, the joists under the kitchen were very springy and believed to be rotten, and had never been insulated.

There was a large chimney breast between the kitchen and utility room, which blocked the view to the garden.

In addition there was an under-used and quite shady external side area to the side of the kitchen. The clients  wanted to incorporate this area into into the kitchen, to create a large, sunny open-plan room.

The structural building work was carried out by Stepping Stones Building, who took down both the chimney breast, and part of the side wall. They then installed steel beams to support the walls above.

The old external concrete floor was dug out, as was the cold concrete floor under the old utility room. They installed new joists and these were then fully insulated, before a new caberboard floor was installed on top.

A large electric Velux window was installed above the side-return, to maximise the light and two more Velux windows were installed above the dining area, creating a large airy space.

Once structural work and plastering had been completed, Practical Women installed the kitchen. Losing the use of a kitchen for any length of time, can be very difficult to cope with. Where possible we install a temporary sink during the project. In this case, if we needed to move the sink while we were working, we re-installed and plumbed it in each evening.

 The clients chose to have the cabinets installed along one wall, to maximise the space in the kitchen.

The cabinet layout was carefully planned. As the panels and doors were made to order, we were able to adapt some of the cabinets to accommodate the pillars supporting the steel beams. This also allowed the clients to retain a full size washing machine within the kitchen, hidden in a cupboard.

 

New Kitchen in St George

New Kitchen in St George

New Kitchen/Electrics in St George

The customer wanted a re-model of their very damp, and quite dark, kitchen.

Local builders, Stepping Stones Building, carried out the structural work, including installing a new window looking out onto the garden, bricking up a doorway and removing a chimney breast.

This gave the customer much more space for the kitchen layout they wanted.

The customer has maximised the available space. Choosing a standalone fridge-freezer rather than built-in, gave them more food storage space. They also decided that a freestanding washing machine would give greater capacity. An integrated dishwasher was installed next to the sink.

The cooker hood was ducted through the outside wall. The ducting was boxed in and additional feature downlights installed in the ducting.

The customer wanted different lighting options in the kitchen, so chose downlights recessed in the ceiling over the worktops, with feature pendant lights over the sink.

Matt Grey Kitchen cabinets, Ceramic Sink & Oak Worktops were supplied by Howdens Kitchens.

How to re-pressurise a Boiler

How to re-pressurise a Boiler

How do I know that my boiler needs re-pressurising?

In most cases, you will suddenly discover that you have no hot water or heating, and your boiler is not working.

There are many things that cause a Boiler to stop working. Most of them will require an engineer to come out and repair the fault. However, by far the most common issue to stop a boiler working is a drop in boiler pressure. This is something that you can rectify yourself.

In fact the pressure on your boiler is something that you really should be aware of and check on a regular basis. If the pressure is constantly dropping and you are regularly having to re-pressurise your boiler, that indicates that there is an underlying problem, and you should call in a Gas-Safe Engineer to investigate and rectify the problem.

How do I read my Boiler Pressure?

Most Boilers have some kind of pressure gauge on them, which gives you an indication of the boiler pressure. They usually have a helpful Green section which indicates a safe operating pressure, and a  Red section, which indicates that the pressure is too high or too low. They also often have some lines, to indicate a normal pressure. The needle should be slightly above this normal level, or, on some dials, between 1 & 2.

If the needle has fallen below 1, (or the line),  then the boiler pressure is too low and needs to be increased.

If the needle is in the high Red section, your pressure is too high. The boiler should rectify this problem itself by dumping (usually very hot) water out of the system through a Pressure Relief Valve. You may see this happening on an outside wall of your house. If this does happen, turn the boiler off and call an engineer.

Pressure Gauge

Pressure Gauge

Pressure Relief Valve

Outlet pipe

How do I re-pressurise my Boiler?

If you’re lucky enough to still have the manual that came with your boiler, the instructions will be found there.

Failing that, there is a lot of information on the web to help with re-pressurising your boiler. Each make (and sometimes model) of boiler is different, so it is not possible to give a one-size-fits-all explanation.

We thought that it would be more helpful to provided a series of links to different makes of boiler below for you to find your own model and instructions and follow them yourselves. We have also posted links to some useful videos:

 

Older style Worcester-Bosch Boilers have a slightly awkward Filling-Key system. This video shows how to operate it.

 

View Video

 

Newer style Worcester-Bosch Boilers have an Internal filling system, which is much easier to operate. This video shows you how it works:

 

View Video

Viessmann Boilers have some help on their website. Here’s the video guide to repressurising:

 

View Video

 

A list of Viessmann Error Codes and their meaning. In most cases, you should call a Gas-Safe Engineer:

 

Error Codes

The most common Vaillant boilers are the Eco-tec range. There are numerous different sizes and models. This video will explain how to repressurise them.

 

View Video

 
A list of Potterton Error Codes and their meaning. In most cases, you should call a Gas-Safe Engineer:

 

Vaillant Fault Codes

Potterton & Baxi Boilers are extremely similar. On a Potterton Boiler you may get the error code: E119 to tell you that the pressure is low

 

View Video

 

A list of Potterton Error Codes and their meaning. In most cases, you should call a Gas-Safe Engineer:

 

Error Codes

A video to show how to repressurise an Ideal Boiler:

 

View Video

 

Ideal also have a useful information page on their website which gives support for lots of different issues:

Ideal Support

 

Ideal Fault Codes

Baxi don’t give a lot of help on their website, but this video shows how to re-pressurise their boilers:

 

View Video

 

A list of Baxi Error Codes and their meaning. In most cases, you should call a Gas-Safe Engineer:

 

Error Codes

Electrical – Glossary of Terms

Electrical – Glossary of Terms

We thought it might be helpful to have a list of regularly used electrical terms to help explain some of the sometimes confusing terminology used

This can be switched or unswitched. It is a way of connecting an appliance without using a plug. It is commonly used with Boilers. The fuse holder can take different size fuses – 3, 5, 10 & 13amp

These are commonly known as “Fuses” on Consumer Units. They are used to control individual circuits. In more modern Consumer Units, they are controlled by Levers. if the lever is pointing UP, the MCB is on, if it is pointing DOWN, the MCB is off.

RCBOs are very much more common these days. At its most basic level, an RCBO is an RCD combined with an MCB. Effectively each circuit has its own RCD.
They make a Consumer Unit more expensive, but they are much more convenient for the consumer. If a fault developes on a circuit, only that circuit will be affected, leaving everything else working.

If the lever is pointing UP, the RCBO is on, if it is pointing DOWN, the RCBO is off.

RCCBs are RCDs. Like RCDs, they are used to protect a collection of MCBs. Like RCDs, they can also be used as a Main Switch.

If the lever is pointing UP, the RCCB is on, if it is pointing DOWN, the RCCB is off.

An RCD, or Residual Current Device, is a device to protect against faults. It measures the current in the circuits that it controls. If there is an imbalance, it assumes that some of the current has leaked out and is causing a danger. The current is immediately (or, at least within 300 milliseconds) switched off and there is no longer any power.  

If the lever is pointing UP, the RCD is on, if it is pointing DOWN, the RCD is off.

RCDs are sometimes used as the Main Switch on a Consumer Unit

Surge Protection Devices are becoming increasingly common. The latest (18th) Edition of Electrical Regulations required that these devices be installed where an interruption to the power supply could cause a danger. 
Manufacturers are now including these as standard in many of their Consumer Units. They are designed to protect sensitive electrical equiment against fluctuations in the supply voltage. We now have many more sensitive electronic devices in our homes which could be damaged by fluctuations in supply. 

Bathroom in Horfield

Bathroom in Horfield

This bathroom was a long-awaited upgrade of an existing awkward layout. The customer knew exactly what they wanted. A low window in the middle of one wall made the space particularly difficult, but we managed to maximise the usable space.

We completely stripped the bathroom.

As frequently happens, removing the tiles loosened the old plaster, which then also had to be removed.

The pipework for the new shower was installed in the wall. Several pipes under the bathroom floor were renewed and re-routed. Old lead pipe was also replaced, while we had the opportunity.

The new bathroom was then installed.