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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