Cold Water Supply
As you probably know, water travels to your house via the water mains. Your house will have its own branch service pipe with a stop-valve – this is the water company’s stop-valve. Leading from the water company’s stop-valve to your house’s own main stop-valve, is the service pipe. It is from this point on that your own supply starts. Once water has reached your main stop-valve, it is moved along via the rising main. The cold water supply can work in two different ways: indirect and direct. The indirect cold water supply is the more common version and it works by the rising main going directly to the cold water cistern and the cistern can generally be located in the loft. With the direct cold water supply on the other hand, cold water supply for fittings and taps within a house, comes directly from the rising mains.
When it comes to the indirect cold water supply, there is normally only one permitted connection to the rising main and that is the one going to the cold water tap in the kitchen. In some houses there could be an existing connection to the WC as well. As a home owner, you are allowed to make connections off the cold water supply branch in the kitchen and this could be to an outside tap or for the plumbing to a washing machine. You do however have to use water regulated and approved fittings and valves. If you connect a washing machine to the cold water supply from the rising main, it should be at the mains pressure. Hot water supply should be at the lower pressure.
You might also want to make a connection to the rising main if you have an electric shower or an instantaneous gas water heather as these need mains pressure. The same thing goes for any conditioner, filter or softener devices that change the quality of water. It could be good to know that the rising main, travels up inside a house to a large water cistern in the loft. Some people call this a water tank but technically, a tank is under pressure and closed on all sides. A cistern on the other hand, is open at the top. A cold water cistern is basically a large cylinder that stores water and provides the rest of the house with water. Water tanks and cisterns can be moved if needed, but this is definitely a job for your local plumber.