How to futureproof plumbing systems and avoid common plumbing pitfalls
As well as ensuring that plumbing systems perform well, are efficient and meet the day-to-day demands of users, installers need to futureproof plumbing to make sure they stand the test of time. That means delivering reliable performance for years post-installation and giving users greater peace of mind – not just that systems will perform as expected, but that they’ll also be quick and easy to maintain, and repair should something go wrong.
To make futureproof plumbing possible, high-quality solutions are essential in supporting installers to create strong, safe and reliable systems, as well as building in features that will make future maintenance trouble-free.
Here, we’ll explore some of the common plumbing pitfalls and look at how they can be overcome to create plumbing systems that last.
From unreliable connections to tricky installations
A common reason for plumbing systems to develop issues over time is poor pipe connections. Leaks can occur if connections are not properly secured or if they are subject to stress or movement. To mitigate against this risk, plumbers can adopt practices that reduce leaks in new installations, such as keeping the system clean and using pipe inserts when connecting plastic pipes to enhance connection reliability. The use of pipe inserts also provides extra strength to individual connections, giving them greater rigidity when subjected to stress and movement which can be triggered by simple knocks and bumps.
Innovative solutions like JG Layflat pipe and JG Speedfit Twist & Lock® fittings can be used during first-fix installations to futureproof plumbing system performance and minimise the chances of future leaks.
Facilitating the installation of long pipe runs thanks to its flexibility and ability to lay completely flat once installed, JG Layflat instantly reduces the number of connections which need to be made – particularly when compared to traditional materials. In turn, this reduces the potential for leaks, with poorly made or damaged connections being one of the primary causes of leaks in domestic properties. Where connections are still required, the advanced gripping technology of JG Speedfit Twist & Lock fittings ensures a durable, leak-proof seal is achieved every time.
Plus, with no need for special tools, secure connections can be made even in tricky and hard-to-reach parts of a system, giving plumbers and their customers greater peace of mind.
Overlooking features that aid future maintenance
A key aspect of a reliable, futureproof plumbing system is the ability to carry out repairs and maintenance quickly and easily. Most plumbers will be familiar with maintenance-related callouts where efforts are hampered by poorly designed systems which make it difficult to carry out repairs. By considering maintenance requirements at the point of installation and enabling easy access for repairs or upgrades, future maintenance-related problems can be minimised.
To carry out maintenance work without shutting off an entire system, plumbers will look to isolate specific appliances or parts of a system. Isolation valves, such as JG Speedfit Service Valves, make this possible, minimising hassle for plumbers and disruption for customers.
Quick and easy to install, JG Speedfit’s push-fit service valves are compatible with plastic or copper pipe and can be installed without the need for tools thanks to in-built push-fit technology. The JG Speedfit Flexi Hose with service valve is another option available to installers, making it possible to install isolation valves even in hard-to-reach spaces.
In addition to easing future maintenance, service valves can also enhance system safety. The Double Check Service Valve from JG Speedfit, for instance, facilitates system isolation and prevents backflow in fluid category 3 environments, ensuring water flows just one way to prevent the backflow of contaminants.
By integrating isolation valves, installers can make future maintenance efforts much easier and even improve the safety and longevity of plumbing systems.
Falling behind on regulation changes
To ensure safety, efficiency and environmental responsibility, regulations continue to evolve, directly impacting the work of plumbing and heating installers. Staying up to speed with these changes is vital for every plumber to maintain high standards in their work.
The greatest regulation changes for our industry right now are, of course, those to Part L of the Building Regulations which came into effect in June 2023. This includes the requirement to insulate pipes and ensure that pipework passing through voids are contained within a conduit pipe. Alongside this, heating systems should operate at a maximum of 55°C, and all central heating and hot water circuits must be thoroughly cleaned and flushed before installing a new heating appliance. The changes to Part L also make it mandatory to install radiator valves on every radiator – something which has long been best practice, but which is now a requirement.
By keeping these tips in mind for future installations, professionals can carry out work to consistently high standards, avoid common installation pitfalls, and ensure installations are fit for the future.
JG Speedfit push-fit plumbing & heating
To get access to the best-in-class plumbing solutions and technical support which will help you to navigate common plumbing pitfalls and create systems that stand the test of time, visit JG Speedfit.