Home | General | Overflow Pipes – Warning!

Overflow Pipes – Warning!

Even though we install, service and repair boilers and central heating systems, we are also plumbing experts and do a whole lot of plumbing maintenance which includes everything from overflow pipes, dripping taps, shower pumps and a whole lot more.

There are many different components in a domestic plumbing system which require no maintenance, like waste and drain pipes other than getting blocked occasionally, but many things do wear out or deteriorate with time.

Lets start with overflow pipes, these should really be called warning pipes because they are often the first sign of a problem with the ball valve, filling valve or pressure relive valve. It’s always important to get an overflow problem dealt with quickly because usually the pipe work and fittings connected to the overflow pipe have never been tested for leaks and in many case, the water can leak inside the property with you even knowing.

Overflowing pipes are installed in cold water storage tanks in lofts and this includes the central heating feed and expansion tanks. The cause of a tank overflowing is usually the ball valve (but not always). When the problem is a ball valve then, as long as the mains water supply to the tank can be replaced usually very quickly.

Overflows are also connected to toilet cisterns, not always, but i will explain as we go along. If a toilet cistern with an overflow discharges then it’s a matter of replacing the filling valve or the diaphragm washer in the valve, of which there are many different types. Toilet cisterns that do not have overflows are usually more recent installations and do not have overflow pipes running to the outside of the property but any overflowing water runs into the toilet pan, this is another warning that something is wrong.

This can be caused by the filling valve “letting by” or the flushing mechanism not sealing properly. In recent years there have been many different types or flushing and filling valves installed and it can sometimes be difficult to track down spares for these.

Another thing that an overflow does is act as a safety valve which can discharge due to over pressuring or overheating of water storage equipment and central heating systems.

Again if these discharge then it’s a warning that something is not right. If an overflow discharges from the storage tank and the ball valve is not defective then further investigation is required.

leaking overflow pipe
baker smith icon

Interested in our Plumbing and Heating services?

Need an emergency plumber? Get urgent gas and plumbing help & assistance 24/7

Call your local plumber 24/7 on 01727 730 590