Exposed pipes

The ceiling has been repaired in the downstairs flat. Here are some pics of the damage. The first image is after leak number one, the second image is after leak number two, and the third image is our kitchen floor.





It’s quite astonishing how many layers there are between our home and the home below. Our neighbour has a false kitchen ceiling, and then the original kitchen ceiling (both had to be replaced), then some wooden floor boards, then another layer of wooden floor boards, then particle board, and then laminate flooring. All these layers span a distance of around 1 metre.

Now that I know where the pipe is, it seems crazy that the original engineer thought he could get to our pipe from below. He would never have reached it. They should have gone through our floor right from the start (GrahamWithHats you were right).

Why do they bury pipes beneath floorboards? We’re contemplating installing new pipes in our kitchen and keeping them exposed all the way from our hot water cylinder to the kitchen sink. Exposed pipes can look really nice and it’s impractical to bury them. Expensive too. I found these pics on the web. I doubt our kitchen will ever look as trendy as that first one but you get the general idea.

23 responses to “Exposed pipes”

  1. Bright copper can look very good. You can keep the cold ones bright with little clear lacquer. I’m not sure about the hot ones. Possibly, with a suitable substance.

    If anybody actually pulled down the ceiling (i.e. it wasn’t the water that brought it down) without permission to do so, then I think they are responsible for the repair.

      • We didn’t have much choice really, as when we moved in thieves had stolen all the lead piping and water was running down the walls.I was only 9, but I remember how amazing my Mum was!
        So, tho you’ve had a rough time lately – it could have been worse!

      • Oh wow. That’s terrible. Why did they steal all the pipes? Was there a high demand for lead? The old lead pipes are still present in our kitchen although they’re no longer in use. They’ve just been abandoned there. And you’re right, things could have been much worse.

  2. One thing to consider is the loss of heat from exposed hot water pipes. May not be a big deal in winter since they heat the house:) but otherwise, depending on their length you can loose quite a bit of energy.
    Apart from the additional heating that also means you have to potentially waste quite a bit of cooled down water before you get hot out of the tap.

    • I wondered about that but isn’t that a problem even when they’re buried in the floor? They’re not insulated at all down there. Running the pipes across our own ceiling and floor would reduce the length of them since the hot water tank is right up at ceiling height.

      • Your floor space looks very tight so I would say that there is be less heat loss (since there is not much air to warm around the pipes) compared to exposing them. But your are right that in general its also a problem. The best thing would be to insulate the hot water pipe but I am not sure you can get any insulation material into the floor.
        But like you say because of the shorter runs you may end up the same as you are now.

    • Yes, it’s a huge mess. If it was just the false ceiling it wouldn’t have been so bad but they ripped out a heap of the original ceiling and that’s why we needed a joiner.

  3. I think pipes that are left exposed could get dusty and annoying to clean on a regular basis.
    I am not sure what the solution is though – everything has a shelf life and it’s weird as we are only a relatively short way into the modern world, these problems will build up and need to be looked at eventually, as in your house. But for the people who first install them, it will never be their problem, so I guess that’s where it comes from.

  4. Just what I’ve been looking for. We want to do the same in our “off the grid” cottage. Thanks for sharing.

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