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Heater pressure tester?


1969Mk3Spitfire
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I have my heater box out to replace the non-working motor. Since buying the car, I've never pulled the heater control knob so I don't really know if it's working. I'm guessing that it would be wise to pressure test the heat exchanger prior to refitting the box.

I don't want to buy a proprietary radiator pressure tester for a one-off use.  Has anyone found a cheap and cheerful yet eloquent solution for such a test?

Any additional background info would be appreciated.  Many thanks. 

 

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yes bike pump .     only a few PSI  like same as the rad cap  or use the tap water and hose to pressure up.

does it look like its had a leak????   if you use a hose  to pressurise dont put full tap pressure through get the matrix filled then cork up one end and let the hose pressure the matrix  ...nice and steady to build up load . 

Pete

 

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Remember in the UK the garden hose operates at full mains pressure probably between 40 and 100psi and water contained (shut outlet) is in-compressible so a sealed matrix would be at full pressure probably many times its normal operating pressure!!

I  flush my heater cores out using the garden hose at 100psi mains pressure (generally in Aus the whole house plumbing/fittings operate at full mains pressure) via both the inlet and outlet pipes. It cleans the matrix out well and there will be an increase in pressure within the matrix equal to at least or probably greater than the car coolant pressures of say 15psi.

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in sunny bedfordshire its more than your thumb will hold back but having a few CH boilers around that need pressurising youre lucky if you get 

anywhere  near 2 bar  around 30 psi as a max 

Pete

this is affinity water  they target 0.7bar 

Who's responsible for managing water pressure?

  • Our responsibilities

    By law, we must maintain a level of water pressure in the water mains network which allows water to reach the top floor of your home. This does not apply to any floors of a property that are higher than the reservoir or water tower that supplies the property with water.

    We are legally required to supply a minimum water pressure of 7 meters head (0.7 bar) to your boundary stop tap. We use checking devices throughout our mains network to monitor this.

    There may be times when we cannot meet the 7 meters head (0.7 bar) target.

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gives a new meaning to "I can p##s higher than you".

The UK water authority I worked for in the early 70's had distb/retic mains pressures up around 60psi at the lower elevations and I can remember transfer pressures of 100psi, do you now pressure reduce your household offtakes?

If I remember in the UK only the kitchen sink cold water tap, garden tap and supply to the header tank is at mains water pressure all other house supply is from the in roof header tank, whereas here the whole house operates at full mains pressure generally even the hot water services are direct mains pressure.

Interesting thing about domestic PRV's (generally spring and piston) they cannot control pressure without flow, so when you go to bed at night the pressure in your house will be regulated if you don't use any water overnight the pressure will slowly creep up to the incoming or street mains pressure so when you open the tap for the first time in the morning it'll blast out hit the sink bottom and you'll possibly be one of the wet tee shirt brigade (how do I know one recently married young lady complained, should have asked her to show me! solution told her to go to the toilet first thing before making breakfast so the cistern took the pressure blast), thereafter with normal daytime use the pressure will be regulated, we here in Melb legally only pressure regulated the house service if the mains pressure was >105mts head (150psi), the customer can put his own PRV on downstream of the meter if he wants. Our own house was used as a test service for domestic pressure reduction (in late 70's 80's) and we found you had to get down below 30psi to reduce/have an impact on household consumption, we also tried flow regulation to an upper limit using Dole valves, found below a max of 8lpm was too restrictive and the direct mains pressure hot water could cause dangers of scalding in the shower as the cold water didn't dilute the water temperature as effectively, ask the wife!!

One of the 3 main Retailer Co here has had a program of pressure reducing zones more to reduce mains burst frequency min pressure in zone of 40psi, but some of it was notional ie minor reduction and not worth the expense or water quality issues with more dead ended bigger retic mains at the increased number of zone boundaries, and the workforce necessary to keep those boundaries in tact, the other 2 Retailers aren't convinced! of the benefits & haven't followed the exercise. If I remember Wessex Water used to successfully pressure reduce in tiers thro their system with pressure regulated by zone demand, ie as demand increased the pressures were increased to maintain adequate min pressures/supply and conversely reduced as demand decreased, that was late 80's and not aware how it progressed.

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20 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

in sunny bedfordshire its more than your thumb will hold back but having a few CH boilers around that need pressurising youre lucky if you get 

anywhere  near 2 bar  around 30 psi as a max 

Pete

this is affinity water  they target 0.7bar 

Who's responsible for managing water pressure?

  • Our responsibilities

    By law, we must maintain a level of water pressure in the water mains network which allows water to reach the top floor of your home. This does not apply to any floors of a property that are higher than the reservoir or water tower that supplies the property with water.

    We are legally required to supply a minimum water pressure of 7 meters head (0.7 bar) to your boundary stop tap. We use checking devices throughout our mains network to monitor this.

    There may be times when we cannot meet the 7 meters head (0.7 bar) target.

This 0.7bar is a nightmare. One place which I "maintain" has about 1.5Bar at ground level, but on the top floor is is down to 1bar. But there is an electric shower there, most of which shut off the heater if the pressure falls below 1bar. Caused issues for ages, until I discovered Mira showers have their cutout set to 0.7, in line with the UK minimum.

Peter, to answer your question, most new houses, and indeed many boiler replacements, now use Combi boilers so the whole house is at mains water pressure. Even places with water tanks are heading towards pressurised systems. (all this is a bit up in the air as gas boilers are phased out. No new builds will have them after 2025, but existing gas boilers can stay, and I suspect be replaced like-for-like for many years. )

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the rules on mains supply or tanked supply changed back to mains supply a good while ago , and with combi boilers storage and headers are not needed now  and things  like soil pipes went from outside to inside and now back to outside 

think the rules are run by a government sat nav     please make a U turn 

pete

 

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19 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

think the rules are run by a government sat nav     please make a U turn 

pete

 

I'm waiting for the regulation that says we can sell unused water back to the grid, I'll just plug the drainpipes into the system and the torrential and perpetual rain will make me a fortune.

Last house I was in, on top of a hill (the interestingly named Babylon Hill!) there was insufficient pressure to run a power washer or even a good electric shower. That has certainly changed now that I'm down in the dips.

 

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I have a power shower, it sucks the water out the hot and cold tanks so incompatible with a Combi boiler.  So I have a condensing boiler which has a connection to the waste water, only a matter of time before the water board cottons on, there's more water coming out the house than going in! More importantly "they're" building houses around here without gas connections, a cunning government plan to stop us using that nice Mr Putin's gas.

db

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They haven't worked that out yet BW....... Maybe go back to oil or coal like us, as we don't have gas either or mains drainage for that matter!! And don't get me started on fast broadband...... Maybe we will have to use our car heaters to heat the house when we are not out driving them :) 

Tony.

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16 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

you mean the rows of terraced houses with 3 car ownership parked in the raod  will have a problem charging when they all come home ?

A man on the telly last week from Nissan was praising electric cars to the Heavens, and was asked about people who don't have parking near their houses to leave the cars on charge.

"Don't worry, we'll have the infrastructure by 2035, there'll be charging points everywhere, especially fast charging points so you can sit and have a coffee whilst your car charges."

Just a short time after, the Gov was debating extending the manufacture of petrol and diesel cars as they can't meet that date as things stand...

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