Raising a Tank

There was a problem in the building. A water problem. A hot water problem actually. So I fixed it.

The water tank and beginnings of the wall behind it.
The cause of our problems was this water tank being too low.

The hot water problem turned out to not be a hot water problem at all, but rather a general water problem that came back to the simple issue of not enough water pressure. Although here we have mains water, the pressure at which it arrives at our door is not sufficient and is too variable for most uses. Combine this with 24hr water cuts throughout summer and the need to store water in some sort of tank becomes very important for an uninterrupted supply.

Raising this tank up high enough gives us some very nice water pressure too. But that was our very problem now. We had a tank, but it was not high enough to give us the pressure that we needed. You see, this tank supplies not one shower, but four. As it was, we could use one shower without problems, but with the second shower going, both people needed to hug the wall as the water dribbled out of the shower heads.

It had been quite some time now since I had heard the cries of the girls – for it was the girls bathroom that was affected here – and after several months nothing had yet been done. So one day I set about correcting the problem and raised the tank.

A sign on the door (no water for one week) and some cutting of pipes, and soon the tank was off its low stand, resting on the roof. First task completed. It then took three days to build up the wall to a height 1.25 metres higher than it was before. I stopped here because it was at this point that I could no longer reach up to place more bricks on the wall. Besides, it seemed like a good height now.

The team of guys needed to lift the tank.
The team of guys needed to lift the tank safely onto its new wall.

Lifting the tank up was not as easy as we first thought, and needed a team to help out. Once in place we needed to fit longer pipes and then check it all worked. It didn’t.

Our first problem was water leaks. After some scary acrobatics in climbing in and around the tank to replace the broken bits and seal up the leaks, we were ready to test things out again. This time it worked.

The height to which I climbed… on a bucket.
One of my unstable platforms on the roof that was needed to fix the leaks.

With four showers now working we added some showerheads, replaced some broken bits, and ran new pipes to the toilet cisterns so that everything was now working, bringing the girl’s bathroom up to a fully functioning standard.

Now I hear no more complaints from the girls about their bathroom.