New gas safety certification scheme launched

HVP (Heating Ventilation & Plumbing) reported this month that a new gas safety certification scheme aimed to serve as a benchmark of best practice was launched on 3 February by Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS).

This is a voluntary scheme that will give certified businesses, says CGCS, a competitive edge, as it will demonstrate their ability to deliver a high quality service, having gone through rigorous and impartial third party assessment, confirming that all legal gas safety standards are met.

The scheme is UKAS accredited and recognised by public and private sector organisations. It also offers reduced risks in relation to the delivery of safe gas work as the use of relevant accredited certification is recognised as a mitigating factor in legal processes… read the article in full

In a second article HVP have reported that some engineers feel this undermines the value of being Gas Safe Registered… read the article in full

We believe that whatever business you are in, it is important to offer a

Gas Safety Certification
Personalised Gas Appliance Label

high quality and professional service to your customers. To help you do this, we supply a range of personalised products that can be placed on boilers, cylinders and gas appliances, including products licensed by the Gas Safe Register. This means your customers always have your details to hand and can get in touch with you.

Filling in the date when the next service is due on the personalised boiler service label gives the

New Gas Safety Certification launched
Personalised Boiler Service and Efficiency Test Label

homeowner peace of mind and saves them time trying to remember when they last had their appliance serviced. Your Gas Safe number and contact details are clearly displayed on the label so that it is quick and easy for customers to get in touch with you.

The personalised Landlord/Homeowner Gas Safety Certificates again have all your details

Gas Safety Certification launched
Personalised Landlord Homeowner Gas Safety Certificates

clearly printed and saves you time repeatedly having to fill in your details.

All of the personalised products are competitively priced and available in small or large quantities, aimed at professional plumbing and heating engineers and installers who wish to offer their customers a high quality service.

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Saving Water Tips

Following on from yesterday’s post regarding reducing water use, here are some top tips we have come across to help consumers save water:

  • Turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth – a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute.
  • Purchase a water efficient dual flush toilet, which has a split flush button giving the user the choice of how much water to use – this will be typically 4-6 litres of water opposed to the old style flush systems which use a massive 13 litres per flush.
  • Try to avoid flushing away cotton wall or make-up tissues.  Not only can these items block the system, simply throwing them in a bin will cut down
    Saving Water Tips
    Saving Water Tips

    on the amount of water wasted with every flush.

  • A bath typically uses around 80 litres, whilst a short shower can use as little as a third of that amount.  But beware, since many power showers may actually use more than a bath.
  • Switch to a low flow aerated shower head which reduces the amount of water used by mixing air in with the water to still give the same pressure and feel as a normal shower.
  • Don’t leave the shower running before you get in and try to keep track of the time you spend in the shower by setting a timer alarm on your mobile phone.
  • Take shallower baths – by running a bath just an inch shorter than usual, you can save on average 5 litres of water.
  • You can minimise your water use by reusing your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden.

And Another Water Saving Tip!

R M Labels Stopcock Label
Use R M Labels Mains Water Stopcock valve tag to identify your stopcock so that it can quickly be turned off in an emergency and save wasted water

If you have a water leak in your home, how quickly can you locate your mains water stopcock and isolate the water supply? Knowing immediately where the stopcock in located could save litres of wasted water and also save endless damage to your home.  Seeing a Mains Water Stopcock label hanging on the valve will continually remind you and your family of where it is located and if an emergency arises you will be able to go straight to it and turn it off.  Many plumbing and heating professionals are already installing these labels as part of their service and putting their details on the reverse of the label, so that the homeowner can quickly and easily get in touch in an emergency.

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Rainwater harvesting and reducing water use

In the UK, one third of all domestic water is used for non-potable purposes such as flushing toilets, watering gardens and use in washing machines and does not need to be of drinking quality. Rainwater harvesting makes both financial and environmental sense providing an easy and efficient way to collect rainwater for reuse in and around the home.

Almost a fifth (18%) more of UK consumers are now actively taking action when it comes to cutting back on water consumption compared to this time last year – an enormous rise in just 12 months.

R M Labels labelling for harvesting rainwater
Harvesting rainwater

With more rainwater harvesting solutions being installed in properties, it is important to remember that all associated pipework should be clearly labelled to avoid cross contamination with the drinking water supply.  We are continually helping our customers understand the labelling options available for rainwater harvesting products. These products and the supporting pipework should be clearly labelled up as non potable water from any other source to the latest British Standard BS 1710 2014 requirements for water in the correct colours and sizes.

R M Labels labelling for Harvested Rainwater
R M Labels labelling for Harvested Rainwater

We are always happy to discuss your requirements and offer help choosing the correct labelling solution for your job.


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Choosing the right product for the job

There are a large variety of products available for marking up pipework and sometime it is hard to know which product is the most suitable. Detailed below are some of the options available to you:

Pipe Markers
A quick and cost effective solution for marking up pipework that does not require full banding. We have a large range of standard self-adhesive pipe markers to choose from and each marker has an arrow either end allowing you to cut off one arrow, leaving the remaining arrow to indication the direction of flow. You can also add your own text to the pipe markers. Available in three sizes to suit all pipe diameters. The Water Pipe Markers are colour banded for water from the Public Water Supply or Any Other Source and for Potable or Non Potable Water. All of the Pipe Marker colours comply with the BS 1710 2014 requirements. View the Pipe Markers

Pipe Banding
Ideal if you need to mark up pipework with full colour banding. Each piece of banding is available in three sizes to suit all pipework diameters and is long enough to wrap around the pipe. The banding comes with descriptive text viewable from any direction and includes directional arrows, saving time building up full banding with individual rolls of tape. All of the Pipe Banding colours comply with the BS 1710 2014 requirements. View the Pipe Banding

Pipe Identification Tape
A cost effective way to mark up large areas of pipework. Choose from the comprehensive ranges of 50mm wide text tapes and coloured Pipe ID Tapes. The coloured tapes are available in three sizes and can be used together with the text tapes and directional arrow tapes to create full banding to the British Standard requirements. All of the colours for Pipe ID Tapes comply with the BS 1710 2014 requirements. View the Pipe ID Tapes

Engraved Labels and Discs
Produced using a high quality traffolyte engraving laminate, these products are hardwearing and ideal for use in commercial situations such as boiler houses and plant rooms. The standard 42mm diameter discs come complete with chrome plated fixing chains and are ideal for marking up valves; other disc sizes are available. The engraved labels are available in any size and come with screw holes or a self-adhesive backing. View the Engraved Labels and Discs

Valve Tags
These credit card sized durable plastic labels are suitable for domestic use. There is a complete range of standard tags for marking up all of the system’s pipework and valves, including tags for plumbing, heating, oil, gas, solar and reclaimed water. Each tag comes complete with a plastic cable tie. View the Valve Tags

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Five things you should tell your customers about CO safety

We spotted this article on CO poisoning by Honeywell in PHAM News and felt it is well worth a read:

“Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is still responsible for more than 50 deaths every year in the UK, yet only around one-third of UK households have a working CO alarm. Honeywell have highlighted five points that every installer should be telling their customers:

1 The silent killer

Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless.  Unlike a fire, which you can see and smell, a CO leak provides absolutely no warning. What’s more, depending on the scale of the leak, the homeowner could be suffering from low-level symptoms for months, completely unaware of the cause.

As an installer, communicating the most common symptoms could eventually save a customer’s life. A low level leak could result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness and shortness of breath. CO poisoning often manifests in such a way that it can be confused with flu or food poisoning, however, it does not cause a fever – an important differentiating factor.

2. A colour change spot detector isn’t enough

You may find that certain homeowners already believe that their CO protection is complete, relying upon a colour change spot detector that works in a similar way to litmus paper by changing colour in the presence of CO.

These detectors are inadequate for a number of reasons. Firstly, no matter how prominently the detector is located, it is unlikely that the homeowner will check the unit every day, so if a colour change is triggered, there is every chance the homeowner will fail to notice. Secondly, if there is a major CO leak during the night, then the detector is effectively useless.

In addition, because the sensors degrade over time, these spot detectors need to be regularly replaced, typically every three to six months, or they become ineffective.

3. Legal compliance does not equal best practice

When completing an installation for a landlord, you may find that whilst their property complies with legal CO requirements, it’s still unsafe. Many incidents of CO poisoning are the result of badly maintained or faulty gas appliances such as boilers or cookers, which are not specifically addressed by the legislation.

In light of this, it’s best to recommend a CO alarm in every room housing a fuel burning appliance, and for proper protection, an alarm in any bedroom above these, too.

4. Siting is crucial

Locating an alarm inappropriately can have a serious impact on its functionality, reducing its efficiency and effectiveness. Ideally, a CO alarm should generally be positioned high up on a wall, typically 30cm from the ceiling, and 1m away from boilers, fires, cookers or heaters. It can be free-standing on a shelf, as long as the recommended positioning requirements are met.

Bear in mind that the location could be different for a gas-fired appliance and a wood burning stove. The nature of  a solid-fuel stove means that the doors will be opened intermittently in order to add further fuel, which means occasional bursts of CO will enter the room, potentially triggering the alarm if it is sited too close to the appliance.

5. Quality matters

It may be tempting for homeowners to find the cheapest option online, but it’s important for installers to communicate the benefit of choosing a well-established brand with BSI certification: EN50291-1 2010/EN50291-2 2010. The difference in price is negligible, and when it comes to safety it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.”

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Understanding banding for pipework containing water

We have found that we are receiving lots of enquiries regarding the BS 1710:2014 requirements for water pipe banding, with many people being unclear on the colour coding required.  Below is a brief description of the BS requirements which may be of help.  We would however recommend contacting the British Standard office or your local water authority for full details.  Since 2014 the British Standard Regulations recommend that all pipework containing water should be clearly banded to denote where water is derived from and whether it is potable or non-potable.  The basic identification colour Green 12-D-45 is still used for the outside bands, together with the centre band being in the safety or code colour Auxiliary Blue 18-E-53 if the water is derived from the Public Water Supply. However, if the water is derived from Any Other Source, ie. a borehole, the centre band should be in the safety or code colour Flint Grey 00-A-09.  In addition, if the water is non-potable (not suitable for drinking) it should have the additional centre band in the safety/code colour Black 00-E-53. This also applies to pipework for Fire Safety systems that contain water and should follow the same format as above, but these have an additional centre band in the safety/code colour Red 04-E-53.  All safety and code colours should be of equal widths and to the minimum requirements for the pipe diameter including any lagging, as detailed in the BSI Standards Publication ‘Specification for identification of pipelines and services’ BS 1710:2014.

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Do your customers know how to find their valves?

valve-tagsGive your customers peace of mind.  Label up their valves so that if they have a water leak or think they can smell gas they know where to turn off their stopcock or gas valve, saving valuable time in an emergency.

And for the ultimate customer service, put your details on the valve tag so that your customer can quickly get in touch with you.

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