HINTS AND TIPS


1.  MAIN HEATING NOT WORKING

2. BALCONY DOOR-FRENCH WINDOWS NOT CLOSING/LOCKING

3. WATER BUILD UP IN FRIDGE

4. WATER PRESSURE

5. BROKEN (FROSTED) MIRROR DOOR ON WARDROBE

6. FLOOR REPAIRS

7. REPLACEMENT/COPIES OF FRONT DOOR KEYS

8. SHOWER THERMOSTAT

9. SHOWER TAPS

10. WATER LEAKING

            11. SEALANT & FAILED DOUBLE GLAZING

12. APPLIANCES & OTHER USEFUL ITEMS

13. LEAKING WINDOWS & CONDENSATION

14. BUILDING INSURANCE & INSURANCE COVER: PROLONGED UNOCCUPANCY

15. HOT WATER/BOILER PROBLEMS

16. REPLACING THE BATHROOM LIGHT

17. BROADBAND

18. WARDROBE DOOR DOES NOT CLOSE

            19. DISPOSAL OF LARGE REFUSE/BULKY WASTE

            20. INTERCOM USER GUIDE

            21. BUILDING INSURANCE AND CONTENTS INSURANCE GUIDELINES


MAIN HEATING NOT WORKING

Below please find a link to the original ceiling units brochure and operating guidelines:

Flexel Brochure and guideline

The most common issue with the heating is failure of the thermostat. If this is the case, then it is straight forward to replace, although please do see the comment below about maintaining the timer functionality.

The thermostats are specific to the system – the model is a Microtemp OTN 1999 - and are not cheap. The original supplier is Strada (details below) who charge around £80 including VAT & shipment (they require a cheque but you can also talk to them to set up a Pay Pal option online).  The manufacturer is OJ Electronics (01985 213 003) however you cannot order from directly. The following companies have accounts with them and can order the thermostat on your behalf:

          Flexel (who originally installed the heating panels) tel. 01592 757313

          Newey and Eyre. tel. 0207 253 6162

          Edmundson Electrical. tel. 01277 263540

          Plumb Center (branches nationwide but nearest one is at St Pancras Commercial Centre)

          Tel. 0207 424 0957


Thermostat model: 1 x no Microtemp OTN 1999 Room thermostat complete with setback facility. Costs about £80.

Strada Radaint Systems
118 Green Lane
Derby
DE1 1RY

Tel 01332 343 664
Fax 01332 345 214
www.stradasystems.co.uk

One resident has replaced their thermostat with a different model, Warmup Thermostant type WA-XSTAT-V, and is delighted with the results.

Replacement of thermostat is generally very straightforward and any electrician can do the work. Jonathan Alvin recommends MAC Services, Tel:020 7486 9075,mail@mac-services.co.uk, they know Ice Wharf and have carried out similar work.

FAILED CEILING UNITS

If it is one or all of the ceiling elements that has failed -which has happened in several flats already- then access to the ceiling void would be required which would make repairs cost prohibitive for most. You can test whether there is an issue with the ceiling elements by overriding the thermostat first. Be careful when coming to this diagnosis as in some instances qualified electricians have come to the conclusion that ceiling panels needed replacing when they did not! Contact the electrician Kenny, through Joseph as he has previously been able to assist residents.

If it is indeed the ceiling elements that have failed and you do not want to rip open the ceiling, you can replace them with portable electric panel heaters that can be hard wired into the electrical supply or plugged into a socket.  Cost and supply are about £250 (although this may depend on the number of panels being installed and the supplier.) One supplier who has installed new electrical panels in several flats at Ice Wharf is Buildplan however a recent search indicates that this company is no longer in business.

Back to top



BALCONY DOOR-FRENCH WINDOWS NOT CLOSING/LOCKING

- Send a polaroid to Eddie Lee? at Crittalls and he sent me replacements (free at that time) which I had fitted by a handy man.

Crittall Windows Ltd
Springwood Drive
Braintree, Essex
CM7 2YN

Tel: +44 1376 324106
Email: hq@crittall-windows.co.uk

- I got a lock which Chadha and Son (no longer in existence so you would need to find a different company hardware/handyman company) provided and put on. It's small and has done the job well.

Back to top



WATER BUILD UP IN FRIDGE

This happens when the drain at the back of the fridge is blocked. You can either find a very long piece of wire to push down the hole in the back of the fridge by the bottom shelf or find something to unblock it. Be careful not to touch the back of the fridge as this could cause more blockage.

If you are going away for a long period, the fridge and freezer need to be emptied and left open as the fridge works best when the door is frequently opened and closed. This also clears any existing blocking.

Replace the plastic/rubber seal: I found a great kitchen man Chris; he puts new seals on his number 07956376684

Back to top



WATER PRESSURE

Suffering from lack of water pressure? There can be a number of reasons:

1 – There is a build up of limescale, etc, in the taps causing specific taps to have lost water pressure. Solution: Unscrew the tabs, remove and/or clean the filters (remember to turn the water off before doing this!!) You can obtain replacement filter (called aerators from Hansgrohe very cheaply).

2 – You have lost water pressure everywhere, to the extend that if you flush the loo or run water in the kitchen, there no longer is sufficient water to run a shower.

Solution:  Over time the cartridge on the pressure reducing valve which is situated near the boiler gets clogged up with limescale and debris.  It is not possible to clean the cartridge.  The contractor changes the cartridge and clears the filters on the taps. Cost as at 2009 around £150 + VAT. The spare parts are quite expensive.

 

If you have a general low pressure system throughout the flat, then it is likely the cartridge.

 

If it is just in once location, it may be the filter on the tap.  Please see photograph (View Image).  You can remove the filter with a wrench and clean the out the debris.  Do not flush the debris down the sink or basin. 

To replace the cartridge, contract Azem on 07795 964 826 who has fixed this previously.

Back to top



BROKEN (FROSTED) MIRROR DOOR ON WARDROBE

It is recommended that you replace it with a mirror rather than frosted glass as it is much cheaper. There are a number of places who will fix this:

- Caledonian Glass on the Caledonian Road. They remove the wardrobe door, fix it, then bring it back and re-install the door. Around £145.

- Ray at the Frame Emporium on 020 7387 6039. About £130 per panel, including installation. About 3 week delivery.

Back to top


FLOOR REPAIRS

The following suppliers have been used by other residents for floor repairs or replacements:

• Unique Floors. Call Martin on 020 7231 8421 for a quote
• Afrim, Mobile 07973 25 66 03, Land line 020 7244 6733

Back to top



REPLACEMENT/COPIES OF FRONT DOOR KEYS

Allgood is 020 7255 9321

Back to top



SHOWER THERMOSTAT

Part = Hansgrohe Regeleinheit 1/2" (1x92601000).
Suplier: Edwins Plumbing Supplies
17. All Saints Road
London W11 1HE
Tel 020 7221 3550
Cost £89.25. + VAT

This cartridge exchange is a relatively simple operation

Back to top



SHOWER TAPS

We have replaced five shower mixer taps recently. It appears they are coming to the end of their useful lives. They are cheap plastic shower mixer taps apparently made in Spain, by a company that does not provide spare parts. This is why we have had to replace them as they have developed faults with pressure and temperature regulation

Embassy Plumbing supplies on Edgware Road sell shower mixer taps for £199 -for a similar chrome plastic version, which do have spare parts available. Other mixer taps can cost up to £350 + vat.
Labour is around £100 + vat to have the mixer tap replaced.

Back to top


SEALANT AND FAILED DOUBLE GLAZING

SEALANTS

Many flats are now experiencing water ingress from windows where the sealant has failed through old age.  This means the windows need to be resealed. This is not a major job.  However, once the windows are sealed properly then condensation becomes a problem as the leaky sealant acted as a de facto trickle vent. 

FAILED DOUBLE GLAZING

The Critall double glazing is starting to fail and is no longer under guarantee. Ice Wharf have tried to get a preferred supplier but none of the local glaziers have shown interested. Two recommended local companies are:

Caledonian Glass – Bob - 020 7833 2257

Lightfoot Windows – 020 7281 1404

Bartletts on Prince of Wales Road

Back to top


APPLIANCES & OTHER USEFUL MAKES

OVENS

The original ovens are: Baumatic BT401SS. Residents have replaced it with a Neff single oven model B1832, available from John Lewis, Baumatic oven or AEG Santo C7 18 40-4i. The main thing to take into account when replacing the oven is the size; there are many models and makes that will fit.

 

HOBS

It is possible to replace the hob without having to replace the surrounding metal Again, the main thing to take into account is size. The standard John Lewis ceramic hobs tend to be slightly larger than the existing hobs and will require that the surrounding metal is cut. Joseph has installed, as well as cut the metal to size, several hobs.

 

FRIDGE

The fridge originally installed is no longer being manufactured. One of the reasons the fridges break down is because they do not get sufficient ventilation and they overheat. Adding vents to increase ventilation will help. There are a number of replacement models that work. Most residents have found replacements online. It is important to choose a model that is the right size. Below follows a list of fridges other residents have purchased:

 

          Electrolux:     ER 81331 integrated fridge freezer,  Type:  B256926, Product number: 925 692 702

                             Serial no: 31100044

          Zanussi:        ref Z1920/8FF

                             ZJD12191

          Bosch:          KIV38X22GB

            White Knight: FF250IHE 70/30 - About £280 from appliance direct.

Washer/Dryer Machines – As with the fridge, there are a number of models residents seem satisfied with:

          Indesit:         WDS1000

          Hotpoint:       BWD 129 W/D

          John Lewis:    Has some models that work. The one below was installed by a resident in Summer           2014

      http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-jlbiwm1402-integrated-washing-machine-6kg-load-      a-energy-rating-1400rpm-spin-white/p230473548

 

 

Toilet seats: the toilet seat make is ASTRA by ARMITAGE SHANKS. It can be bought for around £60 from Travis Perkins who have a branch just behind St Pancras

Kitchen Cabinets: the original cabinets were supplied by Commodore Kitchens, Acorn House Gumley Rd.  Grays Essex RM20 4XP, Tel 01375 382323. Order the following: 6mm toughened sandblasted and clear coated glass door with hinge and handle holes 765high  x 498 wide

 

Bathroom Fans: these are made by a company called Nuaire and the model is called Genie. the original cabinets were supplied by Commodore Kitchens, Acorn House Gumley

Back to top


LEAKING WINDOWS & CONDENSATION

On many of the Crittall windows in the complex there are no trickle vents.  The result of this is that in the sort of weather we are now experiencing, sub zero temperatures, there tends to be a significant build up of condensation on the metal frame which condensation drips down on to the cill and can cause water damage.

 

The issue was raised with the Developers in the course of the freehold negotiations.  The window design was within the Building Regs current at the time of construction.  Their advice was to 'crack' the windows: this means to adjust the closure so that there is a tiny amount of air coming into the room through more than one window.

 

Flat 217 had a serious problem with condensation. Two vent axias were installed in the living room: one in the top window at each end of the room. Please select to see the photo below.  This has been successful and has stopped water collecting on the floor and damaging the parquet.  Other owners have successfully adopted this system however it should be noted that it does not work when temperatures are very very cold.

 

If you have bad water damage to the cill, the chances are the cill may have rotted as it is MDF.  When painting the cill, make sure you use egg shell and not emulsion as the former is oil based and more water/condensation resistant.

 

Image of window with two vent axia: View Image

 

One resident is using a Crocador Moisture Absorber from Homebase. She reports that they have helped enormously. Another resident uses a de-humidifier that makes a huge difference. He recommends that an e-bac de-humidifier for scoped to deal with at least 100 m2 (about the size of an IW flat). Yet one more resident says they use a 151 interior damp remover. It's cheap and it works. The only downside is that it needs to be replaced weekly.

 

·         Crocador Moisture Absorber from Homebase.

·         e-bac de-humidifier http://www.ebacdirect.com/product.php?productid=32

·         151 INTERIOR DEHUMIDIFIER DE HUMIDIFIER www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000X1ERW8/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

·         Unibond www.robertdyas.co.uk/P~154448~UniBond-Humidity-Absorber-450g-White

·         Electrical De-humidifier £70 www.screwfix.com

Or Crystals:

·         Kontrol http://www.robertdyas.co.uk/P~114115~Kontrol-Steamline-Moisture-Trap-500g

ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO CONCENSUS AFTER A NUMBER OF YEARS OF TRIAL AND ERROR, THE EBAC DEHUMIDIFYER HAS COME OUT ON TOP OF ALL RECOMMENDATIONS.

A small number of flat have tiled the area in front of the main windows/doors. Although this does not resolve the condensation it does stop the water from getting to the wooden floors/carpets and provides a not unattractive workaround.

Back to top


BUILDING INSURANCE & INSURANCE COVER: PROLONGED UNOCCUPANCY

For copies of the insurance documentation, please refer to the owners section of the website. Below follow some points to be aware off wrt to the insurance cover:

  1. With regard to unoccupancy, we do not need to specifically advise Zurich if a single unit becomes unoccupied, however, should prolonged unoccupancy be anticipated or significant portions of the building become unoccupied then it would be prudent to advise insurers. The important point here is to advise the respective owners of their obligations should their part of the property become unoccupied, may I suggest sending them a communication confirming the terms of the cover, outlined in italic text below. We should not assume that the owners of the apartments will be familiar with such restrictions as with this being a commercial policy the terms are a little more onerous than the average domestic household policy.

 

4 Unoccupied Buildings

Whenever a Building or portion thereof becomes unoccupied:

a) the Insurers shall not be liable for the first £500 of each claim following damage

resulting from acts of Malicious Persons, (other than by Fire or Explosion) not acting on           behalf of or in connection with any political organisation, Storm, Flood, Escape of Water or           Fuel Oil, Sprinkler Leakage or Theft

b) the following action must be implemented by the Insured:

i) All mains services must be turned off (except electricity supply to maintain any fire or           intruderalarm system) and the water system must be completely drained, or

during the period 1st October to 1st April each year central heating systems must be kept

working at a minimum temperature of 5 degrees C. Where sprinkler systems are installed           and water supplies must be maintained, heating must be maintained at a minimum           temperature of 5 degrees C.

ii) Unless the Insured are notified by the Insurers in writing to the contrary an inspection

of the Building internally and externally must be carried out every seven days by an

authorised representative (or such other frequency as notified in writing by the Insurers)

and any waste removed

iii) All letter boxes must be sealed up and steps taken to prevent accumulations of mail

iv) Buildings must be secured against unlawful entry by closing and locking doors and           windows and setting any security and alarm systems.

 

  1. Claims procedure, for straightforward losses the Claims Helpline is 0845 300 4055 and must be made within 30 days of an event happening. Mark Hargreaves from Ribble Insurance, tel. 01772 33818, markhargreaves@ribbleinsurance.com can also assist.

Back to top


HOT WATER/BOILER PROBLEMS

1.       Most people will have replaced the heating element in their boilers - We are in a relatively hard water area so the units furr up quite quickly and become less efficient - If you're still on the original element it's time for a change

2.    I'm not sure about the tank construction but I'd expect to find some furring and carbonate residue in these - When changing the heating element it is relatively easy to inspect the inside of the tank 

3.    Occasionally older tanks can fail causing water damage to your neighbours - If you've got an engineer in make sure he checks the base of the tank for corrosion 

4.    Carbonate residue may occasionally cause problems with the valves  

5.    The original timing units are part mechanical and quite old fashioned - I made the mistake of replacing ours with an identical model - If you are having timer problems go for an all digital model with a back up system in case of power cuts

 

It has happened that one or several of the immersion heaters, or associated controls, have gone faulty.

To check this, follow the steps below:

 

1.       At a time when there is no hot water, borrow the meter cupboard key from Joseph

2.       Turn all electrical appliances, heating, lights etc AND water heater and BOOST off in the apartment           and go and see if the disc on your meter is turning round quickly. If it is, something is left turned 

          on which you need to turn off temporarily.

3.       Now go back, turn on the 1 hour boost and check the meter again. Disc should now spin very           obviously.

4.       Go back, turn the boost off and turn the main supply time switch so it is now on. Check the meter           again. The disc should again spin very obviously.

5.       If the disc does not spin in either case you will need to call an electrician.

 

In our case, the boost function has failed in the past. Actually not a problem with the element itself, but in the first case the programmer switch was faulty which we replaced, and in the second case, the safety switch on the element itself had tripped – resetting it cured the problem. However, this is something for a qualified professional electrician to do as there are potentially lethal mains voltages involved!

 

Back to top


 

 

REPLACING THE BATHROOM LIGHT

You will need to lift the mirror up and off, best done with 2 people. Once you have done that, you can replace the light tube just like a bulb. If you have small hands, you may be able to fit your hand in and replace the light without lifting the mirror. There is a kind of swivel action needed to click the neon tube into place.

The light tubes are sold in the electrical store on the Caledonian Road, opposite Smartline DryCleaners or in the electrical store just off Chapel Market.

More often than not, it can be the little starter motor that has gone rather than the tube itself. Replacements are cheap and can be had from any hardware store. You will need to take the mirror down to replace it. Simply unscrew and replace.

Back to top


 

BROADBAND PROVIDERS

Ice Wharf flats are cabled for Virgin only so if you select a provider other than Virgin, you may incur the additional costs of getting the right cables installed. Several residents use Virgin with different degrees of satisfaction; some are very happy with the download speeds but others are struggling to get the speeds they have contracted. Another resident recommends AOL for both broadband and calls; speed is apparently good as is customer service and depending on when you check, they may have a deal on for bundles (they do at the time of writing this).

Back to top


WARDROBE DOOR DOES NOT CLOSE

There is a hinge at the bottom of the wardrobe door and two screws. These should be clearly visible. First you have to release the upright by turning one screw.  Then you raise the upright with the other screw and re-tighten the original screw.  You will need a long screwdriver.  This will raise the door and allow it to slide easily.  Also best to clean out the metal channel along which the glazed doors run and spray with a lubricant

Back to top


DISPOSAL OF LARGE REFUSE/BULKY WASTE

Islington council will collect large refuse, eg. Old fridges, furniture, etc. You need to advise Islington Council either by registering your request online http://www.islington.gov.uk/services/rubbish-recycling/rubbish/Pages/bulky-waste.aspx. The service is free although there is a limit as to how many times a year you can use it.

Please do not just leave bulky waste in the bin areas without advising the council. The rubbish collection will not take it and the item will just stay there and get in everyone’s way.

Back to top

 

INTERCOM USER GUIDE

Click here to download the Intercom User Guide.

Back to top

 

BUILDING AND CONTENTS INSURANCE GUIDELINES

 The most expensive flood Ice Wharf has suffered in the last 10 years was from a flat in 300 Building when a plumber not registered with a trade association (such as CORGI) installed new plumbing. The water leak ran the entire length of the first floor and dripped down into the garage and the service stairs. It took 3 months to find where the leak emanated and the claim on the insurance policy was in excess of

GBP 10,000.

 

There is currently and excess of GBP 250 on the IWCL block policy. If the leak was caused by negligence of the Owner or a Tenant or failure to employ a qualified plumber, then it is the policy of IWCL to invoice the Owner for the excess.

 

Owners (including buy to let Landlords) are advised:

·         Contents are not included on the IWCL block policy

·         Use qualified and registered plumbers

·         Check dishwashers and washing machines for leaks on a regular basis

 

David Lowe carried out an excellent overview of the insurance position a few years ago and a resume is set out in the attached: Insurance Guidelines.

Back to top

© YAP DIGITAL, 2008. All rights reserved. Website by YAP DIGITAL