A new year means we can all try and put 2020 behind us and focus on making 2021 as great as it can be, and for plumbing and heating installers this year will offer many opportunities. Things to look forward to include the UK Government’s £11.5bn programme to build 180,000 new homes, through to funded training opportunities and more commercial developments spinning into life this year.
Here are five top tips for plumbing and heating installers on how they can take advantage of new trends and technology to simplify projects, learn new skills to expand their knowledge as well how to stay safe during lockdown.
Top Tip #1: Be prepared for a surge in UFH projects
The Green Home Grant scheme ends on 31 March 2022 (the scheme was extended by another year from its original end date of 31 March 2021). With grants from the government, homeowners can apply for vouchers to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, which benefits tradespeople as well with more renovation jobs.
As heat pumps are one of the improvements under the Green Home Grants scheme, installers can expect to see an upsurge in underfloor heating projects too. This is because heat pump technologies work best at lower temperatures, and are ideally suited to UFH which works at 35-40°C.
To learn more about installing UFH and preparing for these projects, visit our blog ‘Top tips for successful UFH installation’
Top Tip #2: Take advantage of government training initiatives
As the saying goes, ‘new year, new you’ and following the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announcement in Autumn 2020, 2021 is the perfect time to learn new skills and expand your career.
For young plumbers and heating engineers who are working towards qualifications, or experienced tradesmen who are looking to upskill, there are various Level 3 courses which are now funded by the National Skills Fund. These include:
- EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing
- City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Plumbing (450)
- BPEC Level 3 Diploma In Plumbing Foundation
- City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Gas Utilisation Installation and Maintenance: Water Heating and Wet Central Heating
To learn more about the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and the government-funded courses available, see here.
Top Tip #3: Use push-fit fittings for your projects
With COVID-19 having pegged back many new build domestic, commercial and healthcare projects for a large part of last year, we know that deadlines are much tighter, and plumbing and heating have to be completed faster than ever before.
This is where plastic or brass push-fit fittings and valves can really make a big difference. Unlike compression, soldered or press-fit fittings, no specialist tools are needed – simply push the pipe into the fitting or valve, and the connection is made.
For tight spaces like under baths or behind basins, push-fit components make the job much simpler. As an example, the Reliance Valves’ 312 compact Pressure Reducing Valve now has JG Speedfit push-fit connections to make the installation much easier and faster.
Meanwhile, in commercial projects there could be hundreds, even thousands of pipes, valves and fittings to surface mount and connect. Here, SharkBite’s brass push-fit fittings enable a much quicker installation, while also allowing for easy demounting for maintenance and servicing in future. Read more about SharkBite push-fit fittings in our blog here.
Top Tip #4: Staying safe
This tip is not to do with plumbing or heating, but actually ensuring that you protect yourselves, your customers and your co-workers.
While recent news about vaccine rollout is plenty to cheer about, we still need to be extremely careful given the sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. So, we strongly advise you to stay safe by following the government’s guidelines of hands, face, space. Check out the government’s coronavirus resource page as well for posters, materials, email signatures and more to help spread the message.
Top Tip #5: Follow our blog and social media channels!
A final tip is to stay on top of our industry pulse by following our blog and social media channels!
We are always sharing best practice advice, tips, ‘how to’ guides and more on our blog, as well as keeping you up to date with the latest trends in plumbing and heating. To stay in the know, simply head to our blog homepage and you can sign up to our bi-monthly roundups using the form.
Meanwhile, on our social channels, you can stay on top of plumbing and heating news, interesting stories and more.
Staying ahead of the curve in 2021
We hope you find our top five tips for 2021 useful. For further support, our technical team is always on hand to help with your enquiries, so click here to get in touch.