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Ted D. Bear

Toilet Opens Onto Kitchen

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Hi all,

I don't know if anyone out there knows about regulations around house layouts, but if someone does, I have a question!

We have looked round a place that is available to rent and it is quite nice but the downstairs loo opens straight into the kitchen area which doesn't strike us as very sanitary or sane! What we wonder is if this is even legal given the potential for contamination of the kitchen area (the loo room was also lacking ventilation, I don't recall there even being a window, it clearly used to be a utility room but the LL has thought an extra loo shoehorned in next to the washing machine was a bright idea).

Thanks for any insights :)

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I don't think this is allowed.

Seen it before in two rented houses (coincidentally both of the landlords were "builders"), both terraced, where originally there was an outside toilet I suspect the owner/landlord at the time was looking for a cheap way of making it indoor.

I think to do it properly you should put a small interconnecting room in between the kitchen and the bathroom. Doesn't add much expense.

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...it clearly used to be a utility room but the LL has thought an extra loo shoehorned in next to the washing machine was a bright idea).

I hope that doesn't mean that the sewage pipe from the loo has just been bodged onto the same outflow pipe as the one from the washing machine. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the sewage drain was entirely separate from the normal waste water drain, and that the two had to be kept that way.

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I believe (someone may correct me) that years ago it was building regs that stated there had to be 2 doors between a bog and a kitchen but this was done away with 10-15 years ago. That is why in older conversions there is often a 'lobby' between kitchen and bathroom/toilet but not if it has been done more recently.

Personally, so long as the bog had a window it wouldn't bother me too much. Remember most people bring their stinky underwear into the kitchen to load up the washing machine.

Reminds me that many years ago when eating in a Chinese restaurant I went to the ladies lavatory. One of the lavs was overflowing quite badly and urine was actually running under the outer door and into the hallway where rice, and other foodstuffs, were being stored in material sacks. As I exited one of the chefs came into the hall and picked up one of the now saturated sacks and hauled it into the restaurant kitchen!

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Thanks for the replies chaps!

I'm 99% sure the LL is a "builder" - this was the second time we looked at the place and last week there was no second loo - no idea what posessed him to think it a good idea, the place is small enough without what was a useful utility room / larder being transformed into a loo.

AyatollahB:

What you have said about the plumbing has me wondering... the back garden was being dug up when we looked, I think to plumb in the loo. I had always thought that sewerage outlet pipes were quite deep, but the pipe exposed was only a foot or less down, a plastic pipe maye four or five inches in diameter - does that sound like a proper sewerage outlet pipe or a 'sinks and washing machines' outlet? I wouldn't have the foggiest!

Thanks muchly all :)

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I wouldn't be too happy about it myself but I think that it is now legal. It didn't used to be but (something to do with the EU maybe?) although I seem to remember that you do need to have a washbasin in there too.

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I wouldn't be too happy about it myself but I think that it is now legal. It didn't used to be but (something to do with the EU maybe?) although I seem to remember that you do need to have a washbasin in there too.

Hmm, a washbasin had been added too, maybe that's why. Even if it is legal it's a bit nasty, but I suppose that's what we should expect from this nation's kindly LLs.

The odd thing is that it's a small house, I couldn't imagine more that a couple and perhaps a small child living there, so why the need for two toilets? Especially with storage space at a premium? Seems nuts to me :unsure:

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It is fine (under building regs) for a toilet/washroom to open into a kitchen. No need for a lobby.

It should have mechanical ventilation (extractor fan) with an over run timer (if there is no opening window) There should also be a wash basin in there.

There are two types of drainage system in a domestic situation. Foul water (sewage) should take all dirty water/waste from the house.

This will include washing machine waste water as well as toilet and bath washing waste. The other system is rain water. The two are seperate and it is not permited for the two to mix. Both main drains under the ground are normally at least 4" in diameter. A foot from the surface is not unusual.

The new toilet will be subject to building regs as the foul water drainage has been altered and added to.

Edited by white van man

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There are two types of drainage system in a domestic situation. Foul water (sewage) should take all dirty water/waste from the house.

This will include washing machine waste water as well as toilet and bath washing waste. The other system is rain water. The two are seperate and it is not permited for the two to mix.

Thanks. So the two drainage systems are one for rainwater and the other for everything else, sewage included? Didn't know that all domestic waste water went to the sewage farm - must admit that I thought the stuff that actual sewage was kept separate from everything else in the drainage system.

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Thanks. So the two drainage systems are one for rainwater and the other for everything else, sewage included? Didn't know that all domestic waste water went to the sewage farm - must admit that I thought the stuff that actual sewage was kept separate from everything else in the drainage system.

No problem. Thats right. All "dirty water" goes for treatment through the one system. As far as I know all surface water ie rainwater goes into local streams and rivers. Reason being that it doesn't then overload the sewage system. The enviroment agency know when many people are putting dirty water into the surface water system because it shows up in the local streams/rivers. A couple of years ago in my area, residents near to local rivers had visits from the EnvAgy to check up!! All those with washing machines etc discharging into surface water drains were told to re route the plumbing into the appropriate drains!!

Edited by white van man

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I hope that doesn't mean that the sewage pipe from the loo has just been bodged onto the same outflow pipe as the one from the washing machine. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the sewage drain was entirely separate from the normal waste water drain, and that the two had to be kept that way.

Stuff from the washing machine is hugely polluting if left untreated (just a little less so if you stick to eco-friendly detergents). Since there are just the two drainage systems (dirty and clean), it has to get lumped in with other dirty water.

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Thanks. So the two drainage systems are one for rainwater and the other for everything else, sewage included? Didn't know that all domestic waste water went to the sewage farm - must admit that I thought the stuff that actual sewage was kept separate from everything else in the drainage system.

For info see:

Grey Water

Black Water

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Thanks. So the two drainage systems are one for rainwater and the other for everything else, sewage included? Didn't know that all domestic waste water went to the sewage farm - must admit that I thought the stuff that actual sewage was kept separate from everything else in the drainage system.

Sending all domestic waste water to the sewage farm helps to keep things moving - otherwise it wouldn't be so easy to get the stuff that really needed dealing with to the sewage works...

It's been a while, so I could be wrong, but I think even the rainwater goes to the sewage farm - LINK with pictures - I had a trip to a sewage farm once - fascinating, but once is probably enough! The bit I really remember were the big screens as the water comes into the works - they catch all the big lumps - as well as all the things people shouldn't put down the toilet, it then goes through a grit seperation device - I remember the large skip next to the device, full of road grit and sweetcorn lumps!

If there's a lot of rain, there are holding tanks to reserve the excess to put through at a quieter time, and if there's a deluge of rain and they can't keep up with the pace, then they figure it's diluted enough and just let it go out as it is.

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For info see:

Grey Water

Black Water

Thanks. As mentioned above, I'd thought that the drainage system was based on the distinction between black and everything else. Didn't know that it in fact distinguished between black/grey and rainwater (i.e. water that has not been treated or entered the water supply system at any point between falling from the sky and entering the drainage system).

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It's fine for it to be by the kitchen.

Interestingly, the Building Regs on this have NOT changed. However, until 10-15 years ago the interpretation of the building regs was that it was illegal. The interpretation changed and it became legal.

Therefore there is the bonkers situation that one Governemnt department writes the rules, and another interprets them - and changes its mind on what the first department thought it used to say...

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I know almost everyone on this site hates LLs, irrespective of their behaviour, but I do feel Ted D. Bear is being pretty harsh and pernickerty here. If you don't like the downstairs loo, don't use it! Just shut the door and forget about it. Personally I prefer the option of a downstairs loo, as do lots of other people, especially if they have a child: it avoids trailing up and down the stairs, which can be steep and narrow in old Victorian houses. As for internal lobbies - they're just a waste of space unless you can shoehorn a washing machine and tumble drier in there too, or use it as a pantry or for added storage.

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I know almost everyone on this site hates LLs, irrespective of their behaviour, but I do feel Ted D. Bear is being pretty harsh and pernickerty here. If you don't like the downstairs loo, don't use it! Just shut the door and forget about it. Personally I prefer the option of a downstairs loo, as do lots of other people, especially if they have a child: it avoids trailing up and down the stairs, which can be steep and narrow in old Victorian houses. As for internal lobbies - they're just a waste of space unless you can shoehorn a washing machine and tumble drier in there too, or use it as a pantry or for added storage.

I agree. I live abroad, but my only toilet opens onto the kitchen. It has an extractor fan but no window. Can't really say it's a problem. As far as hygiene goes, I doubt having the kitchen by the toilet is any problem as long as you wash your hands. Now, if there was no extractor fan....... :unsure:

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seems a good idea especially for double ncome families short of time

means you can help with the cooking - ie chopping onions on your lap - whilst doing a poo, and save time

incontinent granny can sit on it all evening at dinner parties

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Hi all,

I don't know if anyone out there knows about regulations around house layouts, but if someone does, I have a question!

We have looked round a place that is available to rent and it is quite nice but the downstairs loo opens straight into the kitchen area which doesn't strike us as very sanitary or sane! What we wonder is if this is even legal given the potential for contamination of the kitchen area (the loo room was also lacking ventilation, I don't recall there even being a window, it clearly used to be a utility room but the LL has thought an extra loo shoehorned in next to the washing machine was a bright idea).

Thanks for any insights :)

does seem a waste of living space when there is a perfectly good sink in the kitchen

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