All posts by Mark

Homeowners staying put

Recent consumer research backed by Plumbfix, part of the Screwfix group of companies found that over 48% of UK homeowners plan to stay in their current homes.

[Source: Heating and Plumbing Monthly March 2013]

Householders will look to improve and invest in their current home rather than consider a home move and the related expenditure that entails.

Given the current economic climate this bears will for tradespeople who are likely to fulfil the work.

Which means that installers could well be busy during the coming year.

56% rate home improvement as more popular than going green or refurbishing newly bought homes.

Aquatech provide commercial heating and boiler repairs for industrial and commercial premises. For more information click here or speak to an expert advisor call Mark on: 07836-317406

A plumbing set with plansHomeowners are staying put and hiring professional tradespeople to do their heating, plumbing and house projects.
Homeowners may well have a number of DIY projects but are more likely to rely on a trained tradesperson to carry out the work. Eight out of ten would not feel confident starting a plumbing project and 42% admitted they would prefer to hire the services of a professional tradesperson to do the odd jobs around the house.

Many tradespeople are struggling to find new business due to the economic climate and if the stats can be believed then this would suggest that there is a strong consumer demand for home improvement projects that will require the services of tradespeople to carry out the work.

There is a big BUT in all this if homeowners are reluctant to move because of the uncertainty in the economic climate then it is highly unlikely homeowners will carry out major refurbishments of their own homes. Surely they’ll make do rather than spend money in an economic climate that promises very little at the present time.

water

How to be more efficient with water?

2012 saw an unprecedented shortage of water despite a rain filled summer and little sun. It was hard to listen to the environmental agency insisting on the continuance of hose-pipe bans across the UK when there was no real summer and persistent rain.

All that is a distant memory as now we are in the middle of winter.

The use of water is becoming an increasingly “hot” topic and 2012 served only to hi-light the blight of our infrastructure and its inability to cope with the demands being placed on it.

How do we become more efficient with water usage?

With a growing population and a change in our lifestyles there has been a steady increase on water usage of 1% year on year.

One of the many solutions currently under review would be to invest heavily in the system of reservoirs and pipework to increase capacity and eke out leaking water pipes.

Another option is to influence people’s water consumption through the adoption of more efficient products and a change in attitude to water usage.

How do we do that?

40% of homes in the UK have a water meter which is a proven way to raise awareness among consumers as to the amount of water they are using.

Installing water meters has served to make the consumer conscious of water consumption therefore they are more likely to think of ways in which they can reduce water usage.

There has been a further drive to regulate water usage by a change in the building regulations. Part G came into force in 2010 for all new build homes stating that in terms of water efficiency “reasonable provisions must be made by the installation of fittings and fixed appliances” and a new standard of a maximum of 125 litres per person per day for new homes was also included in Part G.

The average person currently uses 150 litres of water a day.

Bathroom manufacturers are designing new products that help the homeowner use less water without having to consciously think about it saving water.

As much as 70% of water in the home is accounted for by bathrooms.

Simple aesthetic changes are making a difference – refining the shape of the bath or creating a shallower wash basin can account for a huge reduction in daily consumption of water. Another innovation is the use of “eco click technology” on taps which creates two flow rates, a lower flow rate for general washing functions such as washing hands or brushing teeth. When there is a requirement for a faster flow rate then the tap is clicked into the faster flow position.

There is the potential for households to save 32 litres per day. Toilets can also save significant amounts of water by limiting the fill of a cistern as well as adding dual flush capability that can use as little as 3 litres.

The bathroom industry is working hard to redesign W.C.’s to make them water saving friendly by minimising the full cistern capacity to just 6 litres that could represent a saving of 60 litres a day.

Redesigning baths that retain the water temperature reduces the likelihood of the user topping up the bath with more hot as it gets cold. Of course there is still a long way to go in the industry and it doesn’t just stop with the householder.

Office buildings, Industrial premises, schools and hospitals can all lead the way by adopting similar practices. Employees and consumers alike need to be educated to remember to turn off the tap when finished with and the installation of dual flushing in public areas such as Airports and Hotels has made the consumer more aware of the need to save or rather not WASTE water water unnecessarily.

latest news

Commercial heating and plumbing maintenance services. How to ensure best practice.

One thing that sets Aquatech Services apart from other service providers is the quality of its commercial heating and plumbing maintenance services and installations and the reputation it has built up by having long term customer relationships.

The business is founded on establishing an excellent reputation by word of mouth and as an organisation committed to quality Aquatech employs a best practice policy.

customer surveryWhat does that mean?

Recent trends and customer acquisition demonstrates that customers are prepared to search on the Internet and undertake detailed research prior to selecting a heating and maintenance company.

This research involves vetting installers, comparing brands and doing price comparisons and as customers become increasingly knowledgeable it is essential that heating and plumbing companies provide the highest level of service and installation.

Price is still a key issue and often the determining factor in choosing the supplier.

Being able to offer reliable, expert advice is what creates a long term trusting business and working relationship. It’s that trust and advice that is the foundation for repeat business.

That’s why it’s important to follow best practice and offer solutions that are suitable for the customer and will save them money on heating and energy bills.

Best practice means providing a complete service and offering the right solution for problems encountered.

But this can only be done when trust has developed over a period of time.

The key is building long-term relationships with customers by offering complementary services and promoting ancillary products that will maintain and improve system performance.

It means keeping up to date with the latest technology, undergoing relevant manufacturers training courses and updating current skills and qualifications.

Today’s boilers are more efficient but narrow waterways make them vulnerable to the affects of magnetite sludge and the importance of flushing the system with chemicals and installing a quality filter every time a new boiler is installed is best practice.

Particularly as the boiler manufacturers are making it a prerequisite to ensure longer boiler guarantees.
There will always be the customer who has a budget cap or competitors who offer cheaper prices but at the detriment of quality of installation and product.

Sticking to the best practice approach of giving expert advice such as system flushing and the use of chemical inhibitors, the recommendations of a system/boiler as an essential part of the installation may help in the customer’s decision-making process.

results

Homeowners staying put

Recent consumer research backed by Plumbfix, part of the Screwfix group of companies found that over 48% of UK homeowners plan to stay in their current homes.

[Source: Heating and Plumbing Monthly March 2013]

Householders will look to improve and invest in their current home rather than consider a home move and the related expenditure that entails.

Given the current economic climate this bears will for tradespeople who are likely to fulfil the work.

Which means that installers could well be busy during the coming year.

56% rate home improvement as more popular than going green or refurbishing newly bought homes.

Aquatech provide commercial heating and boiler repairs for industrial and commercial premises. For more information click here or speak to an expert advisor call Mark on: 07836-317406

Plumbing

Homeowners are staying put and hiring professional tradespeople to do their heating, plumbing and house projects.

Homeowners may well have a number of DIY projects but are more likely to rely on a trained tradesperson to carry out the work. Eight out of ten would not feel confident starting a plumbing project and 42% admitted they would prefer to hire the services of a professional tradesperson to do the odd jobs around the house.

Many tradespeople are struggling to find new business due to the economic climate and if the stats can be believed then this would suggest that there is a strong consumer demand for home improvement projects that will require the services of tradespeople to carry out the work.

There is a big BUT in all this if homeowners are reluctant to move because of the uncertainty in the economic climate then it is highly unlikely homeowners will carry out major refurbishments of their own homes. Surely they’ll make do rather than spend money in an economic climate that promises very little at the present time.

What do you think? Drop us a comment in the box below.

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How to be more efficient with water?

2012 saw an unprecedented shortage of water despite a rain filled summer and little sun. It was hard to listen to the environmental agency insisting on the continuance of hose-pipe bans across the UK when there was no real summer and persistent rain.

All that is a distant memory as now we are in the middle of winter.

The use of water is becoming an increasingly “hot” topic and 2012 served only to hi-light the blight of our infrastructure and its inability to cope with the demands being placed on it.

How do we become more efficient with water usage?

With a growing population and a change in our lifestyles there has been  a steady increase on water usage of 1% year on year.

One of the many solutions currently under review would be to invest heavily in the system of reservoirs and pipework to increase capacity and eke out leaking water pipes.

Another option is to influence people’s water consumption through the adoption of more efficient products and a change in attitude to water usage.

How do we do that?

40% of homes in the UK have a water meter which is a proven way to raise awareness among consumers as to the amount of water they are using.

Installing water meters has served to make the consumer conscious of water consumption therefore they are more likely to think of ways in which they can reduce water usage.

There has been a further drive to regulate water usage by a change in the building regulations. Part G came into force in 2010 for all new build homes stating that in terms of water efficiency “reasonable provisions must be made by the installation of fittings and fixed appliances” and a new standard of a maximum of 125 litres per person per day for new homes was also included in Part G.

The average person currently uses 150 litres of water a day.

Bathroom manufacturers are designing new products that help the homeowner use less water without having to consciously think about it saving water.

As much as 70% of water in the home is accounted for by bathrooms.

Simple aesthetic changes are making a difference – refining the shape of the bath or creating a shallower wash basin can account for a huge reduction in daily consumption of water. Another innovation is the use of “eco click technology” on taps which creates two flow rates, a lower flow rate for general washing functions such as washing hands or brushing teeth. When there is a requirement for a faster flow rate then the tap is clicked into the faster flow position.

There is the potential for households to save 32 litres per day. Toilets can also save significant amounts of water by  limiting the fill of a cistern as well as adding dual flush capability that can use as little as 3 litres.

The bathroom industry is working hard to redesign W.C.’s to make them water saving friendly by minimising the full cistern capacity to just 6 litres that could represent a saving of 60 litres a day.

Redesigning baths that retain the water temperature reduces the likelihood of the user topping up the bath with more hot as it gets cold. Of course there is still a long way to go in the industry and it doesn’t just stop with the householder.

Office buildings, Industrial premises, schools and hospitals can all lead the way by adopting similar practices. Employees and consumers alike need to be educated to remember to turn off the tap when finished with and the installation of dual flushing in public areas such as Airports and Hotels has made the consumer more aware of the need to save or rather not WASTE water water unnecessarily.

Next steps

For all your commercial heating and plumbing requirements Aquatech Services provide maintenance service contracts for the repair and servicing for all commercial boilers.

You can follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin for all updates just hit the RSS orange button and any updates are automatically sent to your inbox.

 

Storing water can lead to legionella. Here’s how!

It is a legal requirement in the UK to have a legionella risk assessment of water systems.

The HSE approved code and practice for the control of legionella bacteria in water systems highlights the maintenance required to keep a stored hot water system free of legionella.

Maintenance of these systems involves time, expense and the adoption and adherence to strict guidelines.

Stored hot water systems provide an increased risk of legionella particular at the base of calorifiers where incoming cold water merges with the existing hot water. Legionella bacteria thrive and multiply when temperatures are at 20-45°c.

Water at the base of the calorifier can collect organic and mineral sedimented deposits which support bacterial growth including legionella which is then proliferated around the system.

To eliminate the threat of legionella the water contents of the calorifier and the base must be heated to a temperature of 60°c for an hour each day.

Much of the above can be solved by installing a gas fired continuous flow system.

There is no cylinder because the water enters the water heater directly from the mains and is immediately 60°c.

There is no stratification issue because there is no storage of water there is an even temperature permanently and there is no requirement to heat large volumes of water simply to eliminate legionella bacteria as the minimum temperature is 60°c.

However there is an exception to the rule where continuous flow hot water heaters with secondary return systems.

When the taps stop running the pipework is full of cooling water providing a perfect breeding ground for the legionella bacteria.

Having stored water like this requires the appropriate measures to safeguard against and implementing a water treatment service program safeguards against legionella. 

The implementation and management of a water treatment ensures your employees are safe-guarded from legionella

Typically a Leisure Centre, Hospital or School might be affected where there are no tanks but pipework that could hold up to 10,000 litres of static water when not in use.

Shower heads are at risk when it comes to infection because legionella is ingested and is spread not by drinking the water but by inhalation of the fine water mist created when showering.

“Contrary to what most people think, legionella cannot be spread by drinking water. The bacteria are ingested from the fine mist of water spray.”

Therefore ensuring the ACOP L8 is adhered to will minimise the risk of the bacteria.

The process involves treating the water chemically or by thermal shock.

What is the best solution for eliminating any risk of legionella bacteria multiplying in a secondary return system?

Using a timer channel programme and a temperature controller. The timer will override the temperature control for a short period and then revert back to a safe level.

This allows for the safe running of water at 42°c core temperature during the day and 60°c at a time when the building is closed.

By the time the building is open again the core temperature is down to 42°c for safe use.

Where some parts of the system are rarely used such as shower heads or terminal fittings regular checks and maintenance are important to make sure that the hot water system is operating correctly.

This process is suitable for large office buildings, schools, sports and leisure centres.

There is a duty of care to protect employees, tenants and the general public from the dangers of hot water systems notably scalding and legionella.

Next Steps

Call Aquatech Services for an informal discussion and we can advise you what on is required to implement a water treatment program.

For regular news and updates you can follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin

Commercial heating and plumbing maintenance services. How to ensure best practice.

Having an excellent reputation is based on trust and expertise backed up service delivery.

One thing that sets Aquatech Services apart from other service providers is the quality of its commercial heating and plumbing maintenance services and installations and the reputation it has built up by having long term customer relationships.

The business is founded on establishing an excellent reputation by word of mouth and as an organisation committed to quality Aquatech employs a best practice policy.

What does that mean?

Recent trends and customer acquisition demonstrates that customers are prepared to search on the Internet and undertake detailed research prior to selecting a heating and maintenance company.

This research involves vetting installers, comparing brands and doing price comparisons and as customers become increasingly knowledgeable it is essential that heating and plumbing companies provide the highest level of service and installation.

Price is still a key issue and often the determining factor in choosing the supplier.

Being able to offer reliable, expert advice is what creates a long term trusting business and working relationship. It’s that trust and advice that is the foundation for repeat business.

That’s why it’s important to follow best practice and offer solutions that are suitable for the customer and will save them money on heating and energy bills.

Best practice means providing a complete service and offering the right solution for problems encountered.

But this can only be done when trust has developed over a period of time.

The key is building long-term relationships with customers by offering complementary services and promoting ancillary products that will maintain and improve system performance.

It means keeping up to date with the latest technology, undergoing relevant manufacturers training courses and updating current skills and qualifications.

Today’s boilers are more efficient but narrow waterways make them vulnerable to the affects of magnetite sludge and the importance of flushing the system with chemicals and installing a quality filter every time a new boiler is installed is best practice.

Particularly as the boiler manufacturers are making it a prerequisite to ensure longer boiler guarantees.

There will always be the customer who has a budget cap or competitors who offer cheaper prices but at the detriment of quality of installation and product.

Sticking to the best practice approach of giving expert advice such as system flushing and the use of chemical inhibitors, the recommendations of a system/boiler as an essential part of the installation may help in the customer’s decision-making process.

What happens next?

Aquatech Services provide commercial heating and plumbing services contracts. For more information call us on: 0845 057 3969

For news and updates please follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin

Top tips for increasing boiler reliability and maintenance.

It’s no surprise that risk adverse business owners of commercial properties and premises have become savvier when it comes to boiler installation and servicing.

Potterton commercial boiler

Regular boiler servicing coupled with a service contract will ensure your commercial boilers operate at maximum efficiency.

Reliability and longevity are the most important part of the process when investing undergoing installation and replacement of old boilers.

Ensuring the right boiler(s) are correctly specified for your building or industrial premises are key along with siting maintenance and demand profile.

For most Hospitals, buildings or company premises it is one of the most sizeable investments they will be making and therefore critical that the boilers fitted are maximised fully.

This can be done with the right care and an effective on-going maintenance programme which will ensure savings on fuel bills, emergency call outs and early replacements.

Inefficient boilers work harder to provide the level of warmth needed in a building because they are less efficient.

Inefficiencies within the system can lead to wear and tear.

Combustion management technology means that the boiler will operate at maximum efficiency all the time reducing fuel bills and increasing the longevity of the appliance(s).

One of the biggest issues facing Schools, Care Homes and Commercial Offices is that after a long period of inactivity during the summer months and especially if the boilers are ageing is their susceptibility to breakdown due to long periods of non-use.

Keeping boilers active throughout the year and switching them on for short periods will ensure they are functional and will operate when the cold weather arrives.

Regular servicing is crucial and an annual service of the appliances will keep the boiler in good working condition and operating at optimum performance.

It is also very important that regular servicing is scheduled as a faulty boiler can result in carbon monoxide gas escaping if not checked properly. Having a CO alarm fitted to the boilers is an additional precautionary measure.

If the boiler is very old its likely that the radiators and pipes are the same age and in some cases older pipework and radiators maybe badly damaged due to debris build-up and corrosion.

Clearing the debris out of the pipework and radiators by means of a power flush will remove the debris from the contaminated system water by adding a chemical inhibitor which will protect the system from further build up and corrosion.

Contaminants that enter the boiler will decrease the efficiency of the boiler and ultimately cause failure and system breakdown.

Installation of an incline system magnetic filter can help protect the boiler and system pipework from debris build up.

Using a quality system filter alongside chemical water treatment is also a good way to ensure reliability and longevity of the boiler and system.

Finally, thermostatic controls can make all the difference by maximising fuel efficiency in a building and maintaining comfort levels throughout.

Controls not only save money by controlling when and for how long the heating remains on for, but ensures the boiler operates at its optimum level resulting in less cycling and reduced energy usage.

Aquatech Services provide reliable heating, plumbing and maintenance service contracts for commercial, offices, education, industrial and hospital premises. If you want to make sure your heating systems are operating efficiently then call and one of our advisors will help you.

 For regular news and reviews please follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin.

 

Top tips for winter – commercial heating and plumbing

Top Tips for winter plumbing

Irrespective of the size of your commerical premises, office building or home the following tips may help you reduce the risk of plumbing emergencies and could save unnecessary expense and distress.

Following these top tips will ensure you have a “warm winter”!

  • Find out where the stop valve(s) are located on the incoming water supply mains and clearly label it so it is easily identifiable. At the same time be sure to find where other service valves are located and again make them easily identifiable. It is worthwhile ensuring that your building’s facilities manager or your maintenance company check occassionally that it is working.
  • Find the location of any drain valves on the system as these can be used in an emergency to empty your water and central heating systems (once the source of heat has been put out).
  • Ensure that the storage system and exposed pipes are properly insulated, particularly in roof spaces and unusual areas.
  • In very cold weather take special care to prevent water pipes becoming frozen. If you have a storage cistern in the roof space, it’s a good idea to leave the hatch open. Heat from the building will help to keep the cistern and pipes from freezing.
  • Inspect your cold water storage cistern (tank) regularly and, if it is metal, make sure it is not corroding. Call Aquatech Services if there is any sign of a problem.
  • Check the condition of flexible hosepipes to plumbed-in domestic appliances at regular intervals.
  • Dripping taps or continuously running overflow pipes are a sure sign that your plumbing system requires maintenance. To avoid them becoming major problems call in the services of a professionally registered heating and plumbing company such as Aquatech Services.
  • Have central heating boilers and other heating appliances serviced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • If you have a condensing boiler, make sure that the condensate pipework is protected against freezing.
  • Finally, don’t wait for the cold weather to arrive to see if there is a problem with the heating system, run the heating system to identify and isolate any potential problems prior to winter.

Make sure your central heating boilers and other heating appliances are serviced annually.

Next steps

To ensure that your heating and plumbing systems are working contact Aquatech Services Limited who specialise in the provision of large scale heating and plumbing maintenance and repairs.

For regular news and updates follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin.

Top tips to ensure you choose the right heating and plumbing company?

Now the Olympics are over it’s back to the usual doom and gloom. The media has officially confirmed that the UK economy is effectively in a double-tip recession as if we needed reminding.

Consequently, companies are sacrificing regular service and maintenance of their commercial heating and plumbing systems in an attempt to save money.

Choosing your service contractor purely on price rather than testimonials and qualifications could end up by costing you a lot more!

In the current economic climate, installers are constantly fighting to remain competitive. When they win the work, often they are unable to deliver a good job because they’ve quoted too cheaply to ensure they have a good chance of winning the work.

As a result, Installers select inferior products, fit them quickly without any consideration for the future running of the system and with little regard for the customer who in turn shows little or no loyalty to the installer.

In this scenario no-one wins not even the customer even though they may of beaten down the price and considered half a dozen or so alternative prices.

The losers are the buyers or the owners of the commercial building/premises.

After all when is a good deal, a good deal?

Whilst on paper it may look like a significant saving has been made, in reality this is often not the case as farther down the line there will be additional expenditure on maintenance and repairs. In all likelihood, the company will have paid out twice the amount than the original cheap price quoted for the work.

It’s a false economy and one that many companies fall prey when earnestly selecting a contractor solely on price.

It makes sense that when choosing your commercial heating and plumbing contractor that they are selected on quality, delivery and sustainability i.e. they can successfully demonstrate their work via customer testimonials and case studies and provide longevity of service at a fair price and not the “cheapest”.

Working with a company that has an unrivalled reputation and who work efficiently and effectively results in a far more proactive and long-term relationship than selecting solely on price alone.

Seeking to establish a long term relationship with your contractor will bode well for the long term ensuring that work is of good robust quality that delivery expectations are manageable and on time and more importantly your contractor will act as your on site advisor and provide guidance on strategic maintenance for repairs and installations that are required to be done in the medium and long term without you feeling that you are being “had”.

The old saying “if you buy cheaply, you buy twice” rings true. By ensuring that good quality products are installed and that the job is done right first time removes many of the hassles associated with “the cheapest price” option.

Great communication is key with your contractor and being advised as to the status of the project, repairs or installation at any given time is key to successful completion.

Ensuring that any enquiries or problems that may arise following the completion of a job or servicing is key to developing trust and confidence in your service provider.

Reliability is another important point and this often becomes an issue after a job has been completed and paid for by the customer only to find that a problem arises and the contractor doesn’t show for four weeks or is unavailable. If you have selected purely on price alone you can hardly expect the installer to return post haste and fix it if he’s already out of pocket!

Working with a company that has a good reputation for delivering on time and can bring expertise, knowledge and skilled engineers costs!

Engineers that bring expertise, knowledge and skill through regular training can enhance your organisation and the company save money in the long term!

But in the long run it will save you heaps simply on time, money and irregular servicing and maintenance work as preventative maintenance is better than the full cost of an unscheduled repair or worst still replacement of a completely new appliance or system.

Choosing to work with a company that is committed to training its engineers is crucial in the maintenance of heating systems. It is also integral to their strategy for success.

Why?

Because it demonstrates that the company is committed to investing in its people and its reputation for the long term this creates a domino affect as the knowledge and training acquired by the engineers spills over to benefit your company when it comes to evaluating the maintenance and service needs of a commercial building, hospital or school.

Firstly, it ensures that the company can demonstrate they are Gas Safe registered and hold the relevant qualifications and are qualified to work on all makes of boiler therefore harnessing the knowledge an engineer has learned to best effect ensuring your job is managed safely and correctly.

Regular training ensures that new technological developments that might benefit you can be passed on equally on-going training ensures that your service company is updated with regulatory and legislative changes.

Service engineers that are highly trained and competent to carry out the work makes you better informed to make the right decisions for the service and maintenance of your buildings, boiler plants or plumbing systems.

Aquatech service engineers are highly qualified and competent to work on any heating system and boiler manufacturer!

What do you think? Have you bought on price and  later regretted it?

Next Steps 

Aquatech Services are CIPHE and Gas Safe Registered and are experts in the field of domestic, commercial, gas, oil LPG and renewable energy.

For more information about the following:-

  • Breakdown cover programs

  • Annual servicing contracts

Please drop your contact details in the form below and one of our advisors will contact you shortly.

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