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Bitpipe last won the day on February 24

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  1. Must get one of those. Lighting a proper fire used to play havoc in the old car.
  2. My mate's indoor herb garden is a big success.
  3. I have a fire app on my Amazon fire stick (appropriately enough) for the big TV - is actually quite calming, even crackles. In an airtight house, opening one window never works, you need two to create a cross draught.
  4. Agree with much of the above, I did not plan MVHR very well into my TF design (had lots of long steels to navigate past, no penetrations) so had to make some adjustments when it came to install. You do need MVHR in the basement (I have one) otherwise it will get very stuffy. Extract not really required unless you have wet services down there (air will get drawn up to the next floor with an extract. Some of my basement runs take a very meandering route (one goes down from ground floor ceiling, through a stud wall, all to avoid a steel) but the airflows are fine. Extracts tend to be double runs of duct to get the required flows, supplies single. Things can get quite congested at the manifold when you bring that many pipes together and you need to avoid very tight bend radii as you'll constrict air flow. Expect lots of trial and error as you install but it is do-able as DIY. My strategy was to position the ceiling plenums first and be roughly consistent with spacing from wall - more for aesthetics as the downstairs is open plan so you can see more than one vent at a time. I then ran duct from a position near the manifold (but not right next to it) to the plenum and secured it there - silicone spray is very handy to persuade the rubber seals into place. I left a generous tail on each piece. Essential to mark your supply & extracts with different coloured sharpies as you go! Then, when all the duct was back to the manifold location, there was a lot of jiggling and re routing to get the ducts flat and neat as possible, and the last thing I did was trim the tails to get neat connections to the manifold. The much bigger job is getting the external supply and return ducts (mine were 180mm steel) to the appropriate location and getting those insulated. Final connections from MVHR to manifold and external ducts was made with the flexi insulated hose and jubilee clips.
  5. We have quite a few ICs in our patio and resin bound driveway - we used clarke drain covers and inset with the surrounding material being used and they look pretty decent. Agree that the default black covers look awful in that context.
  6. Duct tape looses adhesion over time. Airtightness tape would last longer but is quite expensive. But I digress... I have quite a large MVHR (result of building a large house) Sentinel Kinetic Plus and it has a noise rating of 39dB @ 3m. The plant room is isolated from the neighbouring room by a standard stud wall insulated with rock-wool and a FD30 door and you can only hear it when you open the door. It is mounted on a concrete wall though so there is no vibration transference. Every UVC will have one or two immersion elements (mid and near top of tank) to provide top up heating via electric - ours are wired to a PV diverter which detects exported electricity and uses it to get the tank back up to temp - on cold but bright days we have noticeably more DHW. If you're getting decent levels of insulation and airtightness, then you may find an internal heat source like an ornamental gas fire chucks out an uncomfortable amount of heat. Our previous new build (2001) was just built to regs and running the gas fire there made it too warm very quickly. In our current passive standard house it would drive us outside in minutes. We made provision for a 'fake fireplace' ethanol burner and even the smallest generated too much heat. So now it has cut logs and twinkly fairy lights instead It's good to be green but be wary of those innovations that cost a lot of money both upfront and as a knock on to your build and then have a very long payback time and questionable environmental impact. In my view, always best to design & build an efficient house that has a fundamentally low energy requirement for space heating and has an efficient DHW, lighting etc approach.
  7. That's how MBC do it - whole floor deck and then internal studs stood up on that.
  8. Rainwater is usually stored in a custom underground tank (3000-4000l) or if you have a suitable space you can DIY one using IBCs. Needs to be dark and cold or you get algae growth and risk of legionnaires. Also needs to run off to soak-away when full and needs to filter out leaves and other junk from the supply - which must be from roofs and not ground acos to avoid contamination. It will have dilute bird crap in it though so think if you want that flushing your loos. If you're using it to flush toilets (again, not as simple as it sounds, needs separate plumbing run) then you need a separate gravity fed header tank (usually in loft) that is pumped from the main source and has a mains feed incase the main tank runs dry. Adds up to quite a bit tbh and only gets you a few brownie points on the water usage calculator. Best to get a nice efficient dual flush system for your toilets. Grey water harvesting is even more complicated and needs loads of space.
  9. Either have a ASHP or a gas boiler but not both. For a rarely used gas boiler, you'll need a heating design that will work with both and enable a means of cutting over, have to pay cost of boiler, install (more complex due to a dual system), commissioning, standing daily charge for gas, annual service etc. Hot return is simply running a wider bore (22mm) hot feed in a circuit around the house with individual feeds teeing off as required in either 22mm (shower, bath) or 15mm (sinks). At the end of the run, there is a 15mm return back to the UVC with a pump and either a timer / pipe-stat or in our case connections from PIRs or light switches in each bathroom (also triggers MVHR boost). All hot pipes need to be well insulated and there is a small heat loss of circulating hot water in a loop, but it's likely minimal in practice. When the pump is running (timer / pipe stat or someone has walked into the bathroom) the hot water is close to the tap and does not require a long flow to pull off the cold 'dead leg'. The end user experience is near instant hot water to any tap - most useful for hand washing, showers and baths less so as you're more tolerant to the 'heating up' delay. There are other ways to achieve similar experience - @Jeremy Harris has impulse heaters near each hot tap or you could use a lower bore run from the hot manifold to the tap (smaller volume of water to 'dead leg'.
  10. Mine has a humm from the MVHR and usual boiler noises. Occasional gurgle from the condensate pump (as it's in basement needs pumped up to ground floor).
  11. Depends who you've locked in it and if you used the ball gag or not.
  12. What worked well for me was to print a longer than required tag (using spaces), loop round cable and stick it back on itself.
  13. A few considerations. Your electricity meter can be quite far from the house (as noted, many of us have this in an external kiosk / box) but if you're on gas then that needs to be much closer to the house - ours is in a ground box right next to the utility room. Definitely plan to have MVHR inside and preferably in a central location to even out the runs (makes balancing easier), ditto UVCs which can take up quite a bit of space and generate a lot of heat even if well insulated. That said, our plant room ended up in basement under the utility so we broke both those rules we do have a hot return circuit so that minimises the impact of having some long runs to bathrooms. Gas boiler is in there also as is all the power distribution (i.c/ PV and diverter), incoming cold feed etc Can you fit MVHR and UVC in your loft? I recall an installation that @Nickfromwales did that had the UVC side mounted. They are the two bulkiest items.
  14. I had a similar Dymo label printer from an old job - could print black on white tape and vice versa. Very addictive - was told to stop using it by SWMBO as was labelling every jar, container etc. This was pre build, I left the post build labelling to our OCD electrician...
  15. I used Newton Stopaq for a few service penetrations to the basement - another never setting compound. Basement contractors cast in 120mm ducts for fouls and 65mm ducts for water & electric with twin Sika watertight seals on outside of the duct. I then plugged the inner of the ducts with the newton compound - was an awful job - it sticks like $#!+ to everything, nearly impossible to clean off tools etc. You then finish with a cement compound flush to wall. Still, no leaks though!