I live in the upper flat of a two flatted property. There is a lead pipe that protrudes from the wall into the garden. It permanently drips water. We have no idea where it comes from but has obviously been there a long time. Recently the dripping has been a lot worse. Where does it come from and how do we stop it dripping?
nothing - it is too far up the wall to access unless we had a proper ladder
Do you have central air conditioning? Is the water hot?
we don't have air conditioning. Water that drips is cold. It has stopped tonight. Central heating is on at night.
Hi I am Rick, UK Plumber, almost certainly it is the overflow from your cistern, this will indicate the ball valve has failed to shut off properly, the dripping will stop when you use water from the cistern but will start again soon after water usage stops, the ball valve needs attention, Rick
the toilet has been replaced very recently - drips came out of this pipe prior to this, The last toilet had a problem with the ball valve and this came out of another pipe which came through the wall next to the bathroom rather than the kitchen
The idea is to associate the pipe with a WC or the cistern in the loft (if there is one) it is also possible that a sealed system boiler which has an external discharge pipe (but the installer used an old lead pipe for the discharge) this will usually be near the wall the boiler is on but not always, so lift the WC lids and check the water level and if you have a cistern in the loft check this also, Rick
30 Years on the tools, now retired, Ex CORGI
Our old boiler was on that wall but we moved it to a different wall. We only have one cistern - WC - and can't lift off lid since it has a flush system where you press the button on the top. If it is related to the central heating - what do we do - is it related to the water pressure?
,Our old boiler was on that wall but we moved it to a different wall. We only have one cistern - WC - and can't lift off lid since it has a flush system where you press the button on the top. If it is related to the central heating - what do we do - is it related to the water pressure?
The push buttons can be unscrewed anti clock and the lid will come off, there are a few that you prise out the buttons and access a screw, but if your WC is new it will not have an overflow out the wall but will discharge into the pan, you say the pipe is HIGH, if it is higher than the WC then it will be from a loft cistern, can you access the loft to check, Rick
its a new toilet so there is no overflow its discharging into the toilet pan. My feeling is that it must be an overflow from the central heating but its strange that the flow increased recently - it used to just drip now its more like a trickle. Should we try increasing the pressure within the central heating system?
If your CH is a sealed system, then can you check the pressure, it should be around 1.5 bar cold rising to around 2 bar when all hot, if it rises much above this then it could discharge from the pressure relief valve, IF THIS HAS BEEN CONNECTED TO AN OLD LEAD PIPE then this could be your problem but any leak from a sealed system would mean constant topping up, I think it more likely that you have a header tank which is overflowing, Rick
We have a walk in loft that runs the length of the house - we don't have a tank. Checked the pressure on the CH and it is fine.
Your dripping lead pipe is a bit of a mystery, can you tell me how high it is on the outside wall,example just below the roof, top of window below window etc, Rick
It is a four flour building (ground floor is basement level). It is below our kitchen window level which is on the second floor - the first floor is our downstairs neighbour and it is above her kitchen level.
I guess this is an old building, it is possible the pipe in question was past of an old venting system, for it to be an overflow it would be around 25 mm diameter, if it is more than 50 mm diameter, then let me know, Rick
It would be nearer to 25mm. The building is approx. 100 years old. Is it possible that this pipe belongs to our downstairs neighbour? She said that she already asked a plumber and he felt it belonged to us.
yes it is possible, if it is above her ceiling level then it could be that in a side loft is a cistern, if no such space exists then it may be she has an old high level WC cistern this would put the overflow about 7 feet above her floor level, one simple way of deciding whose it is, is to turn the mains off to one flat only at a time for a while and use some water, and see if the dripping stops, Rick
Thanks - it is possible that she has an old high level WC cistern - her bathroom is in the basement and the pipe quite high up her wall near her kitchen on the first floor. It is not directly above her bathroom - in fact quite far away. We shall follow your tip tomorrow for establishing who the pipe actually belongs to.
OK wait to hear, Rick
Thank you for you help Rick. The pipe continued to drip despite turning off our stopcock. We didn't get access to the neighbour's stopcock but found out that she does have a tank in a cupboard high up in her kitchen. The pipe stopped dripping after she took a shower this morning but started again presumably once the tank had filled up with water again - so this must be the source of the problem. Thanks for your expert advice and patience!
No problem, Glad you found it in the end, Rick