We’ve picked a selection of our favourite photos from the three days, did you beat Plumbase? Plus, don’t miss the Plumbase team at InstallerSCOTLAND between 6-7 September at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow!
We’ve picked a selection of our favourite photos from the three days, did you beat Plumbase? Plus, don’t miss the Plumbase team at InstallerSCOTLAND between 6-7 September at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow!
The 3-day event is the UK’s leading plumbing and heating show and brings professional installers face-to-face with suppliers, manufacturers and merchants. We can’t wait to be part of it!
This year, organisers are expecting over 100 leading brands and more than 3,000 visitors. Those attending will be able to take part in interactive product demos, see industry speakers, win special prizes and access exclusive show deals. 2017 will also see the introduction of InstallerWORKS which offers practical installation advice around wet rooms and underfloor heating.
Our Plumbase team will be at Stand D110, inviting installers to take us on in a series of fun challenges for the chance to win some amazing prizes. There will also be exclusive giveaways, free merchandise and the opportunity to see product demonstrations in our dedicated KD Navien display area.
We’ll be announcing more details about everything you can take part in soon – stay tuned!
As well as exhibiting, Plumbase is the official sponsor of InstallerINVENT too, an initiative which gives industry-inventors the chance to demo their designs to the plumbing and heating industry.
Originally started as a one-off, the scheme is now an on-going support service with Plumbase planning to play a very active part. Between our experienced staff and renowned suppliers, we hope to offer valuable insight, support and assistance to those bringing potential new products to market.
Are you a budding inventor with a product you would like to show?
Plumbase and Corgi Direct are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2016, taking place 19th – 25th September.
Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
If you’re a Gas Safe registered engineer, help remind customers they should:
You can find all the kit you need, from Gas forms to Carbon Monoxide alarms on the Corgi Direct website.
Keeping bathroom Installers at the forefront of their consistent and creative product innovation has enabled Roman to achieve a strong position in the Market Place. David Osborne, Managing Director of Roman, answers your questions around how Roman has become the brand bathroom Installers trust today.
How have showering solutions changed over the past five years and how do you feel this has affected the installer?
Whilst frameless and semi-frameless for 6-8mm thick glass has developed, the biggest change has been the establishment of 10mm thick glass as mainstream top end products. Almost every 10mm product requires a second installer to get the product in place due to their frameless nature and weight.
When you design a new product is it all about end-user form and function, or do you make compromises for the installer?
As the leading UK manufacturer we definitely include the bathroom Installer throughout our design process and our own Installers form part of our product development process. The end user drives the look of the product but they also have to be installed easily. We do not compromise installation for style; we ensure that the products can be both stylish and installed easily.
Give an example of how your designs have improved for the installer over the past 5 years or so.
All of our frameless and semi-frameless enclosures follow the same installation and sealing methods without exception. Once you have installed one Roman enclosure the rest will follow suit.
Our Decem range is frameless which requires different installation and sealing methods. Decem is a second generation product from our Sculptures range and the product practices look similar, but from the installer’s point of view they are vastly easier. The Water Safe system has been introduced which makes frameless 10mm products easy to seal to provide a high level of water integrity. Some bracing systems in the marketplace could take longer to install than the actual product but Roman’s feature one straight forward bracing system that covers all of our products.
How recognisable are your showering solutions to the installer and how are they perceived by the installer?
Our 10mm range features our recognisable Water Safe system. This takes the grey area away from the bathroom Installer when fitting all of our frameless 10mm enclosures.
How do you know what installers want?
Our own installation team are heavily involved in our design process and we make sure we receive their feedback through the design and installation process. We ensure that we get feedback on the ease of installation, the time taken to install the products and our instruction manuals.
How important is after-sales-service to this sector and how do you minimise installation problems for yourselves or retailers?
After sales service is critical and as a UK manufacturer we like to create a big differential from ourselves to imported competitors. Our customer service team have all worked in installation or production so they know the product intimately and what common issues arise when installing products and the time pressure that the fitters face.
Check out our bathroom range online here.
Keith MacBain, Director at Kamco Ltd, discusses why Plumbing and Heating Engineers should be using a Powerflush Pump to clean water and heating systems effectively and avoid costly component replacements.
Modern boilers have increased rapidly in efficiency over the last decade, a welcome characteristic for most household’s budgets.
Efficiency gains have come through more compact boilers, with smaller heat exchangers and waterways, but the downside is that these smaller waterways and heat exchangers require good quality, clean, water in the system.
When a new boiler is fitted to a heating system, boiler manufacturers stress that the heating system MUST be thoroughly cleaned and checked before the installation. This will remove the scale and corrosion debris found in most systems more than a few years old. Manufacturers know that failure to clean the system results in higher guarantee claims and maintenance requirements, and they now making extended guarantee cover dependent on rigorous cleaning of the system.
As detailed in BS7593 of the Code of Practice for treatment of water in domestic hot water central heating systems, the most effective way of cleaning heavily sludged systems is to power flush them. This can be done using a powerful cleansing chemical projected at high velocity through the system to mobilise sludge and debris and to force it out of the system to waste.
Plumbase Spares is well placed to see the nature of the problems when systems aren’t thoroughly cleaned, as components that most often need replacing are heat exchangers and diverter valves. Failure of these is a clue that all is not well, and simply replacing them is not the answer.
The solution is to clean the system properly, and many Plumbase Spares branches (Click here for full list of participating branches) can now hire out a fully equipped Kamco CF40 Evolution powerflush pump to heating engineers which enables them to restore systems to good condition. The pumps come with full instructions, although powerflush training sessions can be booked direct with Kamco.
Powerflush Pump: Frequently Asked Questions
Could a power flushing pump cause systems to leak?
It’s unlikely because the CF40 power flushing pump is a centrifugal type pump, with a maximum pressure of approximately 2 bar. It is the high flow rate of the pump which dislodges debris, and a high pressure is not needed for this. If a heating system cannot handle 2 bar pressure then there is something wrong – combi boiler systems often function at higher pressures than this.
Power flushing process will cure most circulation problems, but of course cannot undo the corrosion and gradual decay of heating system components that has led to the need to power flush the system.
How long does it take?
Naturally this will depend on the size and type of the heating system, but as a rough guide, a ten radiator system could take four hours, but during this time it is often possible to undertake other work on the system. Also as with every job, the more experience you have, the less time it takes.
Isn’t it enough to just fit a magnetic filter to the heating system on the return to the boiler?
Whilst installing a permanent filter is a good idea after first cleaning a system thoroughly, the filter can only remove debris from the water that is actually passing through it, invariably leaving debris elsewhere in the system to break loose at a later date. Most permanent filters have a limited capacity and the debris in many systems would overwhelm their capacity. Relying on the standard circulator pump to remove corrosion debris is a triumph of hope over experience as it can never be as effective as the much higher flow rate of a power flushing pump.
What happens to the debris? Where does it go?
When the high flow rate and reversible flow of the power flushing pump have done their work in loosening and dislodging corrosion debris, the power flushing pump is switched to ‘dumping’ mode, and fresh clean water is forced through the system to force contaminated water to waste, and replacing it with clean water.
What is the reversible flow mentioned above?
The CF40 Evolution has an instantaneous flow reversing device so that with a flick of a lever the water flow through a heating system is sent in the opposite direction. This creates turbulence and will reach and move debris which would be sheltered from water moving in the usual direction of flow.
Do I have to be trained to power flush a heating system?
When you hire a pump from Plumbase Spares you will be supplied with instructions, and you can prepare yourself with further information from the Kamco website.
If you have a good working knowledge of heating systems it is very straightforward to operate the powerflush pump, but if heating engineers want to understand in depth how to get systems really clean and efficient, then Kamco run training sessions twice a month. During these a power flush is carried out and engineers will not only learn what to do, but also what NOT to do, and learn many other tips and wrinkles.
Book training with Kamco here.
The UK’s leading tap and shower brand, Bristan is thrilled to announce that it has teamed up with Plumbase in a new initiative where installers can be in with a chance of winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
In Plumbase branches until 30th November 2016, the ‘Put Yourself in the Driving Seat’ promotion incentivises customers by providing a scratch card every time they purchase from Bristan’s core range of taps at Plumbase (terms and conditions apply).
Certain to get the pulses racing, each scratch card offers the chance to win from a bundle of instant win prizes, including exhilarating driving experience days. Best of all, with every purchase customers are automatically entered into a prize draw for an all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Craig Rendall, Merchant Sales Director at Bristan, comments: “As a business which prides itself on being in the fast lane when it comes to product innovation and customer service, we are delighted to partner with such an industry spearhead, Plumbase, in this exciting promotion.
“Since day one, our brand ethos has been about providing customers with products which are not only design-led but extremely easy to install, ensuring they can get the job done and ‘reach the finish line’ as quickly as possible. Equally, for Plumbase, the remit is to support installers by providing them with the ‘drivers’ to succeed; whether it’s providing informed advice on the best choice of product or best service.
“In this way, it really is a team effort which is why we’ve devised this promotion to provide our loyal customers with a chance to get behind the wheel themselves with an array of fantastic driving-related prizes – all while still benefiting from working with two industry frontrunners.”
To take part in this exciting new promotion simply pop into your local pit-stop (Plumbase branch) today.
The Quick Fit is a quick and effective flushing mechanism which is perfectly suited to the busy installer. Changing a faulty flush valve can be a nightmare job as you have to remove the cistern. Rusted bolts and confined spaces mean access can be limited. The danger of damaging the cistern can be a real issue, a problem that the Quick Fit solves. The advantages to the installer when using the Quick Fit is not only the time saving aspect, it also makes it unnecessary for the installer to remove hard to reach bolts. Thanks to its patented system the Quick Fit flush valve fits directly into the existing installation without removing the cistern, we are so confident in our innovation that we offer a 10 year guarantee.
Question: Will the Quick Fit fit all cisterns?
Answer: The Quick-Fit will be compatible with all close coupled toilets with a 2” outlet.
Question: If the Quick Fit does not seal first time what do I do?
Answer: Make sure your cistern is dry and free from debris and silicone.
The base can be removed and re-installed up to 10 minutes after the first installation. Just push the butyl back into place around the base and install again.
Question: How do I know this will seal and stick?
Answer: The material used in the butyl seal on the Quick Fit is used to attach car windscreens, waterproof membranes in wet rooms and used to adhere to swimming pool liners!
Question: What happens if the back nut falls off the retaining nut holder once I have taken the old base off?
Answer: You can use the retaining holder to retrieve the fallen nut and then continue with the installation.
Question: Old base has an overflow attached and will not turn in cisterns?
Answer: If the overflow is attached to the base this will need cutting off (use a metal spatula, heat it up and cut off the overflow).
Question: Will the flow rate decrease with the Quick Fit?
Answer: WRAS in the UK is tested at 1.85 l/sec, Quick-Fit flushes at 2.5 l/sec.
Watch the Quick Fit Installation video:
Viessmann has unveiled a new Infomobile display vehicle which will demonstrate its leading-edge technologies to installers throughout Great Britain and show consumers how they can save energy and lower fuel bills through “German Engineering for your home.” The Viessmann Infomobile demonstration vehicle is now visiting Plumbase branches throughout the country, as well as visiting town centres and outdoor events.
Striking in the brand colour scheme, the Viessmann Infomobile Demonstration Vehicle has big display walls which fold-out either side of an indoor reception and showroom area. Here installers and consumers will have the opportunity to take a close look at four variants of Viessmann’s popular Vitodens gas condensing boiler range, featuring the first WiFi and internet connectivity for domestic boilers, which remotely provides installers with diagnostics data and connects end users’ smartphones with thermostats; and new, large, backlit LCD touchscreen controls. Vitosol 200-T solar thermal vacuum collector tubes featuring ThermProtect anti-stagnation coating are also on display.
The Infomobile is also equipped with a large-screen TV to show Viessman’s latest news and product features. Darren McMahon, Viessmann marketing director, commented: “Hundreds of thousands of home owners throughout the UK could cut their energy consumption and costs by using modern and efficient heating technologies. The Infomobile will show some of the best ways of doing this, at the same time as widening awareness among installers and consumers of the Viessmann brand and its world-class German engineering.”
Find your nearest Plumbase branch here.
The use of flue gas analysers by engineers was, at one time, an optional part of the job, but now they’re an essential tool.
So why is this equipment so important?
Flue gas analysers measure the gases present in an appliance’s flue, helping to determine whether the boiler is set up correctly, efficiently and safely. For obvious reasons, no one wants excess carbon monoxide emissions in the flue which, if leaked, can have potentially harmful or even fatal effects on people.
Changes in technology
Things have changed considerably since the first flue gas analysers were introduced to the market. Unlike today, their use wasn’t widespread, but pioneering companies like British Gas quickly saw the benefits of the increased control it gave their service engineers. Early analysers simply measured the CO and CO/CO2 ratios, but now they also provide a number of other useful functions and features such as pressure measurements, built-in let-by and tightness tests, differential temperature measurements, gas leak detection and boiler efficiency calculations.
Due to modern boiler technology, the professional gas engineer cannot determine a boiler’s efficiency and safe operation. They can only do this and know the effects of any adjustments to the air/gas ratio valve with the help of a flue gas analyser.
Changes in the industry
Since the HHIC and Gas Safe Register introduced TB143 in April 2014, it has been mandatory for any registered engineer to use an electronic flue gas analyser to ensure a new gas appliance is correctly installed and that CO and CO/CO2 ratios in the flue are below a safe level. However, a flue gas analyser is also essential for any routine service, fault diagnosis or the repair of any fuel burning appliance.
Providing customers with proof of flue gas readings has also become increasingly vital. The latest analysers can send gas readings via Bluetooth to smart phones and tablets, and create PDF reports for email – something which has really caught the imagination of all generations of gas engineers. From newly-qualified engineers to those on the verge of retirement, they’re telling us that Bluetooth technology and our free Anton Sprint Mobile app has revolutionised their way of working. These developments are now freeing up time to do additional work and, in some cases, even giving engineers their evenings back now that all their reports and paperwork are done while on the job!
In line with British Standards, flue gas analysers can also be used to conduct ambient CO build up tests to determine if an operational appliance is causing an accumulation of potentially lethal carbon monoxide gas in the property.
Analysers have to remain up-to-date with changes to the relevant industry standards, such as the introduction of a new appliance “sweep test” to the BS:7967 2015 standard. Our range of eVo analysers will have a new option for this sweep test in the list of available in-built CO safety tests, with automatic alarms when the CO concentration rises above the permissible 10ppm.
Credibility, efficiency and accuracy
One of the most important aspects of flue gas analyser use today is traceability, i.e. proving that an engineer has left an appliance in an efficient and safe state following installation or servicing. The industry has traditionally been very paperwork heavy, with printed reports from the analyser and hand-written forms and reports created in triplicate.
Today’s wireless Bluetooth technology adds unrivalled traceability. The readings are transferred straight from the analyser to the reports, eliminating the potential mistakes of written forms. The customer report also links the analyser serial number, date and time, and the calibration due date for the instrument. This gives the engineer indisputable proof that the service they’ve provided is valid. This peace-of-mind is proving very popular with engineers and their customers alike.
Large contractors, housing associations or any company with multiple engineers, often have their own work systems that our analysers can integrate directly with via the Bluetooth technology. Smaller businesses can use our free Sprint Mobile app which enables companies to get the benefits of paperless Bluetooth reporting, without the investment in their own bespoke software.
Keep your business fired up at Plumbase
With increased reliance on flue gas analysers, there’s pressure on engineers when their trusty instrument is having its mandatory annual calibration and service.
Plumbase is currently the only merchant with national coverage to offer analysers for hire in every branch, giving engineers the option to continue working while their own flue gas analyser is serviced and re-calibrated. Given the safety applications a flue gas analyser is used for, it is absolutely vital that it is used only with a valid certificate of calibration. Plumbase has recognised this stress on their customers and has invested in this fleet of loan units to provide a much-needed service to today’s heating engineer.
Head to your local Plumbase branch to find out more.
Damian Cairns – Sales Director, Anton