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Julie Street

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    Oldham, Lancs

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  1. I agree with Andy (I think the Italian study refers to "centralised" rather than "central" heating, ie serving a whole building or town -where the water travels long distances has time to cool to Legionella-promoting temperatures) but my point was that a reputable qualified plumber has already been trained and assessed and would be happy to provide the guidance. Would this not "stand up in court" far better than a piece of paper signed by a letting agent, whose only plumbing-related qualification is that he went on a Legionella risk-assessment course?
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/latest-legionnaires-disease-data-published-for-england-and-wales It's about 5 per million, 40% due to foreign travel.
  3. Hi all, Legionella Risk Assessments can be done by landlords and their plumbers without any need for expensive training courses! Plumbers who have done their NVQ qualification will have had basic instruction in college about Legionella, as it is a disease mainly associated with "outbreaks" from commercial/public and industrial plumbing systems, where large quantities of water are stored and the plumbing systems are complex. The bacteria live in rivers and lakes and can sometimes get into the water supply and multiply with the right conditions. Isolated cases are rarely recognised or reported, simply because most cases are very mild (cough and flu-like symptoms, called Pontiac fever) and are brushed-off as being "just a bug" or "a virus". If you went to your GP he would most likely say you had a chest infection and give you some antibiotics. It tends to be people who are already immuno-compromised in some way, such as the elderly, who become really ill and eventually are tested and diagnosed. The disease is named after some elderly American Legionnaires who became ill with pneumonia from contaminated water in a hotel where they were having a convention in the 1970's. Of course the disease existed "forever" BEFORE that, but that particular outbreak eventually identified the bacteria and gave it a name. Nowadays if a few people in the same place become really ill and Legionella is identified, doctors start calling it "an outbreak", so they then start testing for it in everyone who presents with similar symptoms, and pretty soon the media are calling it an epidemic. There was an outbreak from some cooling towers (the most common source) in Edinburgh in 2012 when several people died. The resulting court case has dragged on since 2012 and illustrates just how difficult it is to apportion "blame". Once you've had Legionella you develop antibodies to it and it is estimated at least 2-3% of the general population in the UK have the antibodies, so must have been in contact with Legionella at some point in their lives, it's just that they were never diagnosed. (Interestingly, in parts of Australia it's thought to be 20-30% of the population!). Landlords of normal domestic properties have very little to worry about, especially if there is no stored water at the property (ie:- if it's a combi boiler). In ANY type of system the best advice is to run all your taps for 10-20 minutes after the system hasn't been used for a few days. Fresh chlorinated water will then enter the system pipes (and any tanks), and flush everything out. Anything which "sprays" water droplets, such as shower heads, should be descaled and disinfected, especially if the property has been empty for some time. It really makes me a bit cross (grrrr..!!) when I read that people are running expensive training courses and then charging hefty fees just to do basic plumbing checks and write a report. Any decent plumber will give you a "risk assessment" and check all the plumbing whilst they are at it. Cold tanks should have lids and be insulated to keep water cold; Hot cylinders should store water at or above 60 degrees, "dead-legs" (redundant pipework) should be eliminated, etc. This is all good plumbing practice anyway and is designed to prevent not only Legionella but E.Coli and MRSA (not to mention dead pigeons, squirrels, bats and rats....). Now I've had my rant, I hope that's helpful guys an gals. Get yourselves a good plumber and all will be well. Julie PS:- Yes I am a plumber, but back in the 1980's I was a nurse! So please forgive my little soapbox indulgence....
  4. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating have published the following useful information on things to look out for when a property has been empty for a while:- http://www.ciphe.org.uk/consumer/safe-water-campaign/keeping-tenants-safe/
  5. Haha, I will try to keep my pipeline flowing Richard!
  6. Hi all, I first subscribed to the Hub in December and only just got round to the forums as I've been listening to the podcasts and reading Beyond the Bricks - twice! Not to mention the new magazine which is FAB. My Other Half (Nige) and I have been learning about property investment for a few years now but lots of family "stuff" has got in the way and meant we just haven't been able to get serious about it, although things are changing for the better now so we are getting our strategy together. My background is 20+ years in engineering bossing blokes around (always fun), and then I retrained and became one of the very few (1-2%) female plumbers in the UK. I also do general handyWOman(!) work and help to co-ordinate other trades (just more bossing-about really!). So this is going to be mega-useful when it comes to doing refurbs/flips, which we hope to concentrate on to start. I am happy to help if I can with advice on any plumbing issues, so please ask! Julie Stopcocks Women Plumbers http://www.stopcocks.uk/plumber-in-oldham/
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