The UK construction industry is undoubtedly one of the sectors that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 80% of construction businesses furloughing 42% of their staff on average, the sector ranks third when it comes to using the government’s job retention scheme after the arts & leisure and accommodation & food industries.
The impact of the crisis has been felt even more by the plumbing and heating businesses who have only been operating at 13% of their potential during the lockdown period.
Clearly, these circumstances have brought a major halt to the property development projects in the UK at a time where the nation is already facing a property crisis. The demand for new homes in urban areas is reaching unprecedented levels, and so are land prices, making high-rise and multi-occupancy living increasing popular in big cities.
With the lockdown restrictions easing up and the contractors getting back to site, the main focus would be to fast-track the completion of these projects. But multi-occupancy buildings present significant challenges for plumbing installations and heating professionals working in these confined sites – as both space and time come at a premium.
In this blog, we will discuss the challenges faced by plumbing contractors working at high-rise developments and how innovative combination valves, such as the Tenant Valve from Reliance Valves, can help.
Breaking the installation chain for plumbers
As more apartments get squeezed into the same footprint, one area of plumbing installation that becomes even more difficult and time-consuming is the assembly of the single chain of valves supplying water from mains to individual apartments. Every chain requires a pressure reducing valve (PRV), isolating valve, water meter, a double check and a stop valve – all of which need to be soldered together. Once these are joined, plumbing contractors are left with a big, chunky chain of valves that takes up precious space, which can be up to 1 metre long in some cases.
Assembling a single chain can take experienced plumbers up to ten minutes. Once they have been assembled, each chain needs to be fixed on the pipes, flushed through and tested. In blocks consisting of tens, if not hundreds of apartments, this can take hours. Alongside this, the installation process may take longer if there’s a leak point or issue with the assembly, consequently pushing the construction timeline back.
These valves are generally fitted in tight and confined spaces that don’t offer much room to manoeuvre around. This further impacts installation time and comes with its own set of challenges. This is even more so the case for areas such as communal riser cupboards, where these valves reside and are installed to control the flow of water through a multi-unit block.
Overcoming the space and time challenge with Tenant Valve Plus
One way for plumbing contractors to speed up installations in confined spaces with ease would be to have a single product that includes all the different elements that make up the chain of valves.
The Tenant Valve Plus by Reliance Valves is one such solution, unique to the market. Its single 311mm unit cartridge design ensures a simple, easy and quick installation for plumbers. It also takes up much less space in comparison to its chain valve counterpart.
This pre-insulated solution also means that contractors don’t need to spend time sourcing multiple parts from manufacturers, as the Tenant Valve features a ball-type isolating valve, an approved stop valve, a pressure reducing valve, a double check valve, a dual reading pressure gauge/test point and a connection point for an optional water meter.
The all-in-one valve is easily serviceable too. If one of the apartments has a leak or an issue with its water supply, there’s no need to shut off water and drain the pipework of the whole building (which can take hours). The plumber just needs access to the Tenant Valve in question, which can be easily serviced from the front.
Time to opt for smart plumbing solutions to fast-track installations
As plumbing contractors are getting back to site, it is more essential than ever to opt for smarter solutions that can help fast track installations for projects that are already well delayed. The all-in-one Tenant Valve Plus not only helps in solving the critical space-saving challenges but also speeds up installations and makes it easier to get product on-site, all thanks to its compact design.
At RWC, we are on hand to offer advice on intelligent space and time-saving solutions to make installations quick and easy, especially during these challenging times.
Get in touch with our team of experts if you need guidance with selecting the right plumbing installation solutions for your job or if you are struggling to source products for your project.
For the problem solvers, the urgent fixers, the everyday heroes and the truly up against it, we’re with you all the way.
Visit RWC.co.uk to learn more about Tenant Valve Plus and other solutions by Reliance Valves.