Plumbing and heating businesses within the UK have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, operating at 13% of their potential during the lockdown period. RWC discusses how innovative combination valves such as their Tenant Valves Plus can help the industry to overcome the post-pandemic challenges.
Breaking the installation chain for plumbing contractors
As more apartments get squeezed into the same footprint, one area of plumbing that becomes even more difficult and time-consuming for installers is the assembly of the single chain of valves supplying water from mains to individual apartments. Every chain requires a pressure reducing valve (PRV), isolating valve, water meter, a double check and a stop valve, all of which need to be soldered together. Once these are joined, plumbing contractors are left with a big, chunky chain of valves that takes up precious space, which can be up to 1 metre long in some cases.
Assembling a single chain can take experienced plumbing installers up to ten minutes. Once they have been assembled, each chain needs to be fixed on the pipes, flushed through and tested – in blocks consisting tens if not hundreds of apartments this can take hours. Alongside this, the installation process may take longer if there’s a leak point or issue with the assembly, consequently pushing the construction timeline back.
These chain of valves are generally fitted in tight and confined spaces that don’t offer much room to manoeuvre around, further impacting installation time. This is even more so the case for areas such as communal riser cupboards where these valves reside and are installed to control the flow of water through a multi-unit block.
Overcoming the space and time challenge with Tenant Valve Plus
One way for plumbing contractors to speed up installations in confined spaces with ease would be to have a single product that includes all the different elements that make up the chain of valves.
The Tenant Valve Plus by Reliance Valves is one such solution, that is unique to the market. Its single 311mm unit cartridge design ensures a simple, easy and quick installation for plumbers. It also takes up much less space in comparison to its chain valve counterpart.
This pre-insulated solution also means that contractors don’t need to spend time sourcing multiple parts from manufacturers, as the Tenant Valve features a ball-type isolating valve, an approved stop valve, a pressure reducing valve, a double check valve, a dual reading pressure gauge/test point and a connection point for an optional water meter.
The all-in-one valve is easily serviceable too. If one of the apartments has a leak or an issue with its water supply, there’s no need to shut off water and drain the pipework of the whole building (which can take hours). The plumbing installer just needs access to the Tenant Valve in question, which can be serviced from the front.
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