Watertight: Why push-fit technologies and innovation are key to speeding up valve installations

Plumbing design

Lee Halstead, Technical Sales Engineer at RWC, explains why push-fit technologies and product innovation play a vital part in delivering faster, safer valve installations that withstand the tests of time.

Across the plumbing and heating industry, installers and contractors are continuously urged to speed up valve installations to minimise disruption to homeowners and reduce costs without sacrificing safety, performance, and quality.

Not just since we started to emerge from the stronghold of the pandemic, we have seen massive growth across the construction industry in the last few years, and according to the latest Construction Products Association (CPA) report, we can expect to see a further 4.3% growth in 2022, following on from a phenomenal 13.3% in 2021.

At the same time, we are faced by rising energy and living costs in the UK, making it vital for domestic and commercial plumbing and heating systems to be watertight, minimising the risk of costly leaks and damage to buildings. Now more than ever, owners of commercial building and domestic homes alike are searching for ways to future-proof their properties. With these circumstances in mind, it becomes ever more important that we install plumbing systems that withstand the tests of time, but are also cost effective, safe, sustainable, and quick and easy to install. That way, installers and contractors not only ensure their installations are watertight, but they can also minimise disruption to homeowners and reduce both labour time and costs, meaning they can fulfil more jobs in the same time, alleviating some of the pressure they are currently facing.

With changing demands and pressure on contractors and installers to offer faster, more cost-effective services to housebuilders and specifiers, the products on offer to ensure smooth installations play a vital role in delivering on time and budget. Invented in the 1970s for high-end compressed air applications, RWC’s JG Speedfit push-fit technologies are said to have long been a favourite in the toolkit of installers and contractors.

Straight-forward technology

Push-fit technologies are a very straight-forward, installer-friendly concept: the fitting is simply pushed onto a pipe, which locks it into place. Push-fit technologies can be rotated after installation, allowing for easy access, and the soldering-free application means it can be easily maintained long-term without the need for time-consuming or costly repairs.

However, when it comes to installing valves into a domestic system, push-fit technology really comes into its own. Combining the tried and tested concepts of two heritage technologies; Reliance Valves with Speedfit Connections essentially brings the speed and simplicity of the push-fit technology and the control and reliability of Reliance Valves into one solution.

The following three reasons highlight why push-fit technologies and innovation are the key for faster valve installations.

Speeding up installation

As the construction industry experiences further growth, installers and contractors are faced with increasing demand for their services. In addition, a growing skills gap and ageing workforce is putting further pressure on plumbing and heating installers to complete jobs faster in order to serve all their existing customers, as well as satisfy new business demands. Therefore, to accommodate more projects, installation times need to be cut without sacrificing quality, which can be achieved by opting for an innovative product that does most of the work for you.

Installing valves with push-fit connections is as straight-forward as installers have come to expect from push-fit technology. Compared to soldering, compression, or press-fit fittings, valves with push-fit can be installed almost 40% faster, and the lack of specialist tools or equipment required, enables installations in even the tightest of spaces in record time.

Brass Push-Fit

As installers and contractors have come to appreciate, this means that installations in retrofits or rooms with very difficult access situations are easier to carry out than compared to more traditional methods, which translates directly to faster installation times.

Speeding up safety and sustainability

As the ease of installation suggests, Reliance Valves with Speedfit Connections are safe and sustainable choices for most domestic and light commercial applications. There is no soldering or open flame required during the installation process, as well as no hot works, flux, or glue, minimising the risks of injury to the installer.

Reliance Valves with Speedfit Connections also comply with the latest government building regulations to ensure safety protocols are met. For instance, the Easifit Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV), which you might fit under a basin, operates strictly to the maximum temperature stated in the regulation, meaning water would never exceed 48 degrees.

As with most push-fit solutions, the lack of mess normally associated with jointing compounds and hot works also makes them a cleaner and more sustainable option overall. Installers and contractors do not need to worry about bringing extra or bulky tools as fitting push-fit solutions is virtually tool free, or taking more time to clean up after completion than necessary, freeing up valuable time to move on to the next job.

Providing a watertight service

In order to deliver faster valve installation times, installers and contractors will know that if you can fit a system four times faster, you can do four times the jobs you would normally have capacity for. But it is not all about speed – the valves and fittings you install need to offer customers a watertight service, from the moment they are being installed all the way through to long-term maintenance or renovation projects.

As mentioned above, opting for valves with push-fit connections means less labour time due to the ease of installation and lack of specialist tools required, with installers able to be more productive overall. At the same time, the incorporated trusted push-fit technology minimises the risk of costly leaks, which is underlined by a long product performance warranty, offering customers peace of mind.

And in light of the rising energy costs, protecting customers from the potential of costly leaks is vital to offering a watertight service. Minimising the potential of leaks not only reduces the risk of wasting water, it also means homeowners face lower risks of costly repairs or disruption to their lives, all of which translates into real cost-savings in the long-run.

Finally, because the valves can be fitted in even the smallest, most confined spaces, they can easily be moved, fitted, or replaced should customers wish to undertake renovations or structural changes to their properties.

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