New hot water system at Strand House
One of the joys of running a listed building is that everything to do with the maintenance and upkeep of the fabric and fixtures is so difficult. Mind you we have plenty of help and advice from the “Listed Property Owners Club” (see website) about such nightmarish things as woodworm and deathwatch beetle.
But this winter, during our maintenance period, we finally managed to complete the upgrade of the hot water system which has been going on for the last two years with the installation of a pressurised hot water tank in the main building of Strand House.
Now you probably have one of these in your own house, in the trade they are known as unvented cylinders but the problem we had, was that we wanted more hot water than with the old tank but did not have anywhere to put it. This tank is a 250 litre and it replaced an old unvented 160 litre one and when I measured it I reckoned we could squeeze in a 180 litre one at most and would then have to find space for another tank as well. But our plumber Mark Appleton reckoned that he could get a 250 litre one into the same space.
Great! The advantage of one of these is that we could remove all the old water pumps scattered around that house that made such a noise and could remove the big old cold water tank from the roof space.
We have done this before in the Rye Bay Cottage and the Crows Nest Cottage but Strand House is really short of room compared to those two buildings so this was going to be a challenge. But Mark is used to working in the old houses of Rye and Winchelsea and does a lot of work in hotel and bed and breakfasts so he was up for the challenge!
I must admit there were one of two heart stopping moments, mainly when the tank got stuck at the top of the stairs and would not go through the bathroom door. We tried to take the door off its hinges but the door was made by some medieval armourer because we could not even get the hinges off let alone get the door off. But with three of us holding the tank we managed to slide it into the bathroom almost upright.
And it fitted into the cupboard with about 2″ to spare at the top and the cupboard door even shut. Well sort of, I have had to taken various bits off the top half of the door such as the bracing and locks but as everything is skewed in this house, the top part just fits while there is bags of room at the bottom?!?