Plumbing in Germany

No, this is not a guide to German plumbing regulations or how to install central heating in your new apartment. But, I want to mention just a few things that a non-German might like to be able to read about rather than have to find out.

Fist of all, don't be surprised to discover that hot water is delivered to your apartment from some communal source. Most likely there will be a boiler room in the basement of your building and the installation there will supply water for heating as well as for washing. Of course, these supplies are metered and you will be billed for use.

While hot water for washing is usually metred by conventional gauges, your radiators may each carry a little gadget that records the actual heat output of the radiator over the course of a year. These are read annually by a man who visits and crawls all over your apartment often to the accompanyment of loud bangs, flashes and the smell of ozone while he removes the old gadgets and spot welds new ones on!

German water is delivered at a lower pressure than in the UK and one consequence of this is that it is rare to see something like a cold water tank in the loft or somewhere.

Don't be surprised either to see steel braided rubber hoses connecting taps. This is quite common and doesn't seem to cause any problems.

The water throughout Germany is allegedly safe for drinking but there is a fair old culture of drinking bottled water.

One other thing that I want to write about is the so called open outlet water heater. They are no big deal but if you don't understand them, they can give you a nasty wet surprise.

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