< Expert Advice | 29.06.2017 |

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Question: I’m winning more commercial work. I know domestic plumbing like the back of my hand but when it comes to the commercial sector, it’s taking me a while to identify the right product for each job. Where should I go for help?

Answer: Plumb Center now has a dedicated commercial plumbing and heating website designed to make it easier for installers looking for commercial-grade products and helpful advice.

Venturing into new sectors is challenging enough without having to trawl through a large database of products to find the right ones for the job. Our new commercial website allows you to search by application rather than product, which is fast and simple.

There are 2,500 products to choose from, with more being added all the time. Installers and contractors can log in to see technical details, sector-specific, and view their closest commercial branch and account manager if they require.

Customers will be able to benefit from online ordering with fast and stress-free browsing on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Don’t take our word for it. Visit plumbcenter.co.uk/commercial to take the new site for a spin.

Question: Our company is currently pricing up a summer school refurb job and needs some specialist drainage for the science labs. What would you recommend?

Answer: Where hazardous chemicals are being disposed of and the right piping system isn’t specified, it can be a matter of life or death. A recent incident in Bournemouth caused members of staff in a mortuary to be poisoned after a blockage was caused by poor design of the waste trap. Among a range of dangerous substances used in the day-to-day operation of a mortuary is embalming fluid, which contains a highly toxic and volatile chemical called formaldehyde. Exposure to its vapour can cause burns to the cornea of the eye, throat and nasal passages.

Similarly, with experiments in school science laboratories often leading to unknown combinations of chemicals being created, it is imperative that the drainage system can safely transport any chemical concoctions.

A good example of this is Vulcathene from Durapipe. It is a purpose-designed chemical-resistant plumbing system that has been specified and installed in the laboratories of schools, universities, hospitals and research facilities across the world.

The product range includes laboratory bench items such as wastes, sinks, drip-cups, anti-siphon bottle and dilution recovery traps, plus a comprehensive range of pipe and pipe fittings. It can handle all chemical combinations emptied into it, including acids, alkalis, solvents, detergents, blood samples, retroviruses and radioactive waste. The controls have brass bodies with anti-corrosive plastic coatings and the sinks are designed with self-draining bases.


Question: With the advances made in underfloor heating (UFH)system technology, is the industry currently designing systems as effectively and efficiently as possible?

Answer: No, there is much improvement to be made. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) believes that there needs to
be a review of the BS EN 1264 standard and the way the industry is currently designing systems.

It is now known that some UFH systems have been installed without any correct heat output data to support the designs, supplemented by marketing material that can be misleading.

It is critical, though, that a valid and accurate set of heat output data is known before designing or installing the complete UFH system.

By contrast, a correct set of UFH heat output data is useless without knowing the true heat loss of the building for which the system is to be installed. Therefore, if the information provided at the very start of a design is incorrect, for example the room-by-room heat loss data, then the whole design will not be fit for purpose.

Paul Harmer is technical director, CIPHE

To support the future education of the industry, the CIPHE is carrying a research project in conjunction with its industrial associates into the thermal output of systems. Please contact Paul Harmer at paulh@ciphe.org.uk for further information


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