Flexible Tap Connectors - Can They Be Used?

Flexible Tap Connectors – Can They Be Used?

We were recently approached by a school to provide a price to replace all the existing flexible tap connectors fitted to the school’s sinks and wash hand basins. They requested a hard plumbed copper connection due to the possible bacteria growth within the hose connector. This request was prompted by information the school received from the local authority which oversee the buildings in the area.

This got me thinking. Why are items that are commonly used needing to be replaced and is there an alternative?

A Grey Area

After doing a little bit more investigation, it seems that this area is a little bit grey at times. The HSE’s website says, ‘materials which encourage growth of Legionella (e.g. flexible hoses) should be avoided wherever possible‘ but doesn’t say cannot be used. The Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) published a document in 2011 related to this issue. They have confirmed that some rubber hoses along with certain O-rings do have the risk of bacteria growth. This is due to the rubber that is used and the manufacturing process in which they are produced. However, if the correct hygiene is followed the risks are reduced. WRAS also state that they do test and check some manufacturer’s products and issue approval numbers to them if they are compliant with current regulations. Therefore, a WRAS approved flexible tap connector can be safely used if hard plumbing is difficult or unachievable.

Is There an Alternative to Rubber?

Is there is an alternative to a rubber flexible tap connector which still provides the movability that the flexible option gives? The simple answer is yes. A copper version is available but does have some limitations. They take longer to connect due to the additional connectors required and the flexibility is more limited compared to the rubber option.

Conclusion

The bottom line is, it’s down to the view of the end user and the instructions from the local authority on the standard they want all of their buildings to follow. Personally, if a flexible connector has WRAS approval a replacement seems to be false economy unless the hose is faulty. Moving forward and if required, then the flexible hose could be phased out within the commercial sector in years to come. However, I can see them being around a lot longer within the domestic market due to ease of use and speed of installation.

Andy

 

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Commercial building is a growth area for Waller Building. We work in the education and healthcare sectors. The retail sector is also an area of growth. This is due to many warehouse developments in the south east. We install toilet and kitchen areas.

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In the last 25 years, Waller Building has worked on many commercial projects. Our reputation is growing fast. The services provided range from refurbishment through to extensions and complete new builds. Additionally our glazing department repairs windows and glass. We also install uPVC and aluminium windows and doors. One of the major areas that we are continuing grow is window replacement in schools. Waller Associates is Fensa, Chas, Constructionline and safecontractor approved. We are also a Kent County Council approved contractor. We would also be happy to give you a price for any refurbishment works.

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Forming of a structural opening and installation of a set of aluminium French doors and window at Iwade Primary School Nr Sittingbourne.

Due to the jubilee bank holiday weekend the schools half term only had three working days for the works to be carried out. This meant we were very limited for time to carry out the knock through, installation of new doors, plastering works and decorations, but with great team work by our operatives we managed to meet the deadline. The school were extremely pleased with the finished result and said that the door looks like it had always been there and the school cleaners complemented us on how clean we had left the school after some really messy work.

Before

inside before
outside before

After

inside-finished

outside-finished

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The simple answer is yes! but there is still some questions that need to be answered before you start work.

The main problem for any flush floor / walk in shower is how do you get rid of the water that goes down the drain. Unlike the waste on a bath, where normally the water leaves the waste trap located close to or above the level of the floor and then by using the power of gravity and a waste pipe at a slight angle discharges the water to the soil stack or waste outlet.

A flush floor / walk in shower requires the waste trap to be positioned under the floor level and then still by the power of gravity the water is discharged away. This system is relatively simple to install if installing the flush floor / walk in shower tray in to a timber floor with a joist depth great enough to allow for the discharge waste pipe to slope to the soil stack waste outlet and also if the soil stack is accessible to allow a a new connection. If the slope can not be achieved within the joist height, it maybe possible to take the waste into the room below and then connect into the soil stack at a lower level. This does require some extra work because these exposed pipes will need to be boxed in and decorated to give a tidy finish to the room that has been disturbed.
When installation of a flush floor / walk in shower is required in a concrete floor the work involved is slightly more in depth. Firstly the concrete has to be removed to allow for the installation of the new floor tray and also a trench has to be created to allow the waste pipe to be connected to the waste outlet as above.

When it is not possible to install a waste that flows away by gravity a waste pump can be installed. The pump is automatically turned on when the shower is used and an in-built timer runs the pump for a set time after the shower has been turned of to allow for surface water to be cleared. The quality and noise of these pumps have improved over the years and they are very efficient at clearing water from the showering area.

One thing to remember is when adapting any drainage, there maybe a requirement to have the works checked and approved by your local building control. If in doubt, contact your local building control office or visit you local building control web site.

Waller Building Services have been installing flush floor showers to peoples homes for over 12 years, these are for clients that require a walk in shower because of their heath and mobility along with clients that want the contemporary look to their bathroom.

I you would like any more information please contact Waller Building Services and we will be happy to help.

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