P&H Engineering May/June 2019

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STEMMING THE FLOW The industry’s role in preserving water




The industry must learn vital lessons, says Dame Judith

Recognition and celebration of 70,000 registrations since 1886

A positive look at controversial CCC recommendations


Welcome What’s the connection between Winston Churchill and plumbing? The answer is a man called Joseph Chamberlain, who built Birmingham into the modern city we know today. Churchill singled him out as a politician “who made the weather”. A self-made man who had earned enough money to retire in his 30s, he went into politics and transformed his home town as its mayor. He persuaded the council to buy the two local gas companies and used the profits to build libraries, sewers and more. His approach was not to wait for government, but to use his assets and skills to create positive change. This is a milestone issue because we are celebrating the industry’s skills and exploring how people in it will play a role in extending the life of our planet, such as how installers have a vital part in preventing water shortages. We meet the 70,000th person to be recognised as a Registered Plumber; someone who is committed to quality – and is seeing business boom as a result (p22).

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A year after her report was published, Dame Judith Hackitt calls for industry lesson-learning

25 To design a hot water system, we must first consider consumer behaviour, advises Paul Harmer 28 CPD Regulation for ventilation

18 High & dry

30 Your membership

How can the installer take action to combat future water shortage?

Pressing news on lead solder

14 Hackitt report

33 Comment 22 CIPHE milestone We welcome in the 70,000th Registered Plumber with a look back at the history of our register


Gas-free homes recommendations provide opportunity, says Roger Webb

34 Q&A: Patricia Curtis... ...on dyslexia and word of mouth

5 From the CEO


Recognising excellence is vital for raising standards in our profession

6 Frontline

Editor pandhengineering@ jamespembrokemedia.co.uk

Editor Chris Smith Project manager Lizzie Hufton Head of design Simon Goddard Publisher James Houston Published by James Pembroke Media, 90 Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BG Tel 01225 337777 Group Advertising Sales Manager Lee Morris, lee.morris@jamespembrokemedia.co.uk Advertising sales executive Hannah Sarsfield, hannah.sarsfield@jamespembrokemedia.co.uk Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) 64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6NB Tel 01708 472791

Industry news, legislation and regulation updates, and more

Subscriptions P&H Engineering is the magazine for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, containing tecąical articles, latest industry news and environmental and educational updates. It is published six times a year and sent free to members. Annual subscription for non-member £120 Annual subscription for overseas non-member £145 To join CIPHE, email tims@ciphe.org.uk

ON THE COVER Pulling together to combat water shortage Page 18 Illustration: Adam Gale

Membership Founded in 1906, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry. Membership is made up of consultants, specifiers, designers, public health engineers, lecturers, trainers, trainees and practitioners. The CIPHE has a membership of 7,500, including over 150 manufacturers and distributors. The majority of members live in the UK, although over 1,000 are residents in Hong Kong. The CIPHE is a member of the Construction Industry Council and a licensed member of the Engineering Council.

Copyright notice and disclaimer P&H Engineering is published bi-monthly by the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. All material is copyright of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering and may not be reproduced without written permission. The publishers do not accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Institute and publication of an advertisement or article does not necessarily mean the Institute endorses those products, materials or tecąiques.


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Knowledge gained from practice sets an expert apart

KEVIN WELLMAN Chief executive officer kevinw@ciphe.org.uk

Having your skills and experience recognised is hugely important for our industry


eing qualified for the job, One of the reasons for granting a Stay in whether it’s a heart surgeon Royal Charter to the Worshipful touch or plumber, is fundamental. Company of Plumbers in 1611 was Send us your views on P&H However, the knowledge gained from “for the utility, advantage and relief Engineering magazine and issues in our industry on many years of practice is what sets of the good and honest and for the Twitter: @CIPHE an expert apart from a gifted amateur terror and correction of the evil, or someone starting out in their deceitful and dishonest”. chosen profession. A report, ‘Making Apprenticeships Work’ by Professional recognition the Social Market Foundation think tank, made In reaffirming a statute laid down in the reign exactly this point. Its biggest recommendation is of Elizabeth I and not repealed until 1814, the that we adopt the Austrian and German model of Royal Charter gave the Company the right to encouraging a Master Craftsperson qualification fine anyone working as a plumber in and around FIND OUT after a person completes their apprenticeship. the city of London unless he had served his MORE I think they are right. Recognising seven-year apprenticeship. It was an early form Want to be considered excellence in our chosen vocation is a very of licensing that would serve us well today! for the Master Plumber practical way of maintaining and raising Master Certificates were reintroduced in 2001 Certificate? Read more standards. The report quite rightly states: following collaboration between the CIPHE, the on our website: “When apprenticeships were first introduced Worshipful Company of Plumbers and City & www.ciphe.org.uk/ in England in the Middle Ages, apprentices Guilds. Five years ago, the World Plumbing Council professional-members/ trained to become a ‘Journeyman’ under the pledged its support to the Master Plumber awards/ supervision of a ‘Master Craftsman’.” Certificate. After some 150 Master Certificates Over hundreds of years since then, the had been awarded, the scheme was expanded to Livery Companies of the City of London have provide a progression route to encourage those made an invaluable who embark on a ‘career based on skill’. The first investment in the Apprentice and Journeymen Certificates were futures of their presented at a ceremony in October 2008. industries. Their Today, some 17 Livery Companies support the experience and Master Certificate Scheme and share the belief expertise have been that recognising excellence in their chosen developed by the vocation is a very practical way of maintaining modern Livery, a and raising standards. Something that has unique family with a survived since the Middle Ages but has evolved common heritage of along the way obviously has value. mutual respect and a desire to act in the Training in heating ventilation and air conditioning at the School for Master Craftsmen best interests of the in the Chamber of Trade, Düsseldorf, Germany community.


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KEEP INFORMED Read all the latest news, updates, and member benefits Facebook/CIPHE twitter.com/CIPHE www.ciphe.org.uk

All that’s happening in plumbing and heating Sprinklers in buildings across the UK over 11m high should be mandatory, say industry leaders



Find out more Read more on the schools fire safety consultation at: tinyurl.com/y3jo8pp9 Environment

INDUSTRY CALLS FOR TOUGH FIRE SAFETY RULES Architects and building industry leaders have demanded sprinklers are made mandatory in new developments more than 11m high


resh calls for better fire protection have been issued by industry leaders. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Chartered Institute of Building have called on the government to demand the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings more than 11m high in England. The groups have also called for the retrofitting of sprinklers in buildings when relevant refurbishment takes place.

Different regulations across the UK were a major concern 6 P&H ENGINEERING

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This is mandatory in Wales for new buildings and will be in Scotland from 2021. They warned different regulations across the UK were a major concern: “Harmonising building regulations across the nation states of the UK regarding the installation of sprinklers would provide clarity to the industry and protect the public.” This came as the Department for Education issued a call for evidence that will form part of a review of fire safety standards in schools. Kevin Wellman, CIPHE chief executive, said: “Installing active fire-protection systems is just the start. The need to ensure product compliance will be essential, together with regular maintenance to ensure these systems work.”

The industry’s biggest manufacturers are set for an arena show – and CIPHE members can get free tickets. The award-winning Installer2019 heating and plumbing trade show is heading back to the Ricoh Arena on 7-9 May featuring more than 120 industry brands. Many exhibitors will have exclusive show-only offers on their stands and among them will be ADEY, Ideal Boilers, Mira, Nerrad, Rothenberger, Vaillant, Wilo, Wavin, Wera and Worcester Bosch. Some are planning product launches so that installers can see new kit first-hand. In addition, there will be giveaways, interactive games and challenges to make it a fun day out. The CIPHE will be exhibiting at Installer2019 and as a member you can attend for free. There’s free parking and free Wi-Fi at the venue. To register for your tickets and to find out more about what’s going on, visit www.installershow.com, and follow @Installer_show on Twitter for updates.


BRISTAN SWAPS PLASTIC FOR BRASS TO GO GREEN Tap manufacturer Bristan, a CIPHE Industrial Associate Supporter, has reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability with changes to its ranges. The firm is switching plastic washers and nuts for brass in a bid to lengthen the lifetime of its products. A spokesperson said: “Having found that installers are often frustrated with the strength of these nuts when tightened, as they are more likely to break, brass delivers a much stronger product that’s built to last. Leading manufacturers such as Bristan can take the opportunity to reiterate the importance of supporting contractors to do their jobs.”



WATER SHORTAGE Can installers influence consumer behaviour to prevent a water crisis? Page 18


New boiler controls from Sensata Campaign

Change attitude to save lives, industry warned SAFETY EXPERTS HAVE called on the building industry to rethink its attitude to risk to save lives. The former head of the Health and Safety Executive, and the key figure leading the government’s changes to building regulations, said in March that changes in attitude to risk were needed to prevent mistakes that could cost lives of residents and site workers. Dame Judith Hackitt, who led the review into building standards and fire safety after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, told attendees at an Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) event that there were problems in company culture, building management and approaches to regulation. She said: “It’s not about how we can make a fast buck and get out of here as quickly as possible.”

The post-Grenfell inquiry into building standards has kickstarted industry change

It came as the Health and Safety Executive announced plans to tackle how workers and managers approach risk. It is set to launch a course created with psychologists to help practitioners understand the many factors that influence both workers’ and managers’ behaviour. The HSE said: “Not all risks can be engineered out of the work environment. Even with the best plans, procedures and systems in place, individuals at work still take shortcuts and make mistakes. Sometimes risk-taking behaviour is intentional, for whatever reason. To the organisation, some of the many costs can include lost time, damage to machinery, litigation and prosecution. If unchecked, these costs can escalate.” Read more on page 14




New data for smart cities Real-time data from infrastructure will be a vital tool for achieving sustainability, according to one of Europe’s leading manufacturers. Siemens said building sensors and cloud computing are the next step for planners and designers.


Saniflo success at ISH SFA, Saniflo’s parent company, showcased a new range of outdoor pumping stations for underground use at ISH Europe’s biggest plumbing trade show in March. The company said the debut will be followed by a push into the UK later this year.


INTERNATIONAL SKILLS RECOGNITION Plumbing professionals from three countries are among those to have their skills formally recognised. Professional status has been approved to people from the UK, China and the Philippines in the latest round of assessments by the CIPHE election and enrolment committee. Kevin Wellman said: “Professional status is a vital part of our drive to improve standards across the industry.”

New sensing solutions have been launched by Sensata Technologies for designers of hydronic HVAC systems. The manufacturer of sensors for industrial applications is promoting the 116CP series that uses ceramic-capacitive, pressuresensing technology.

Sustainability drives heat pump growth Eng. Tech Stuart Alan Cadman, Aberdeenshire Chi Kong Andy Li, Hong Kong Sean Andrews, Essex Mrs Dorota Bailey, Hampshire IEng Pandivel Karuppiah, Philippines Upgrade to ‘Fellow’ Anthony James, Pembrokeshire

Panasonic has become the latest manufacturer to launch improved air-to-water heat pumps. With government deadlines on the horizon for reducing gas heating, air pumps are increasingly being used as an alternative where ground heat is not possible. Panasonic is promoting the Aquarea for residential and commercial applications.

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Having respected professional titles will help drive up standards, says research group

NEWS IN BRIEF Enforcement

Engineer sentenced for false use of quality marks A heating engineer has been given a suspended jail sentence for falsely using quality marks. Liam Golden from Derbyshire had failed to pay for membership of HETAS but carried its mark on his Facebook page, business cards and invoices. He was given a six-month suspended sentence.

Got a news story? Get in touch with editor Chris Smith using the email address on p3


Bemis looks East Bemis Manufacturing, the toilet seat maker, has announced expansion plans. The firm has bought Ivanićplast, a thermoset compression and thermoplastic injection molder based in Croatia. Ivanićplast markets toilet seats through retail and wholesale channels and to sanitaryware manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe. A company spokesperson said: “Ivanićplast adds a presence in Central and Eastern Europe, reaffirming the ongoing Bemis commitment to expand its capabilities.”


Masters can help raise standards, says think tank EXPERIENCED PLUMBING and heating engineers should be given the same status as doctors, according to a top think tank. The Social Market Foundation called for the titles of master craftsman and craftswoman to be adopted to raise the status of apprenticeships, industry standards and pay. It published research showing 43% of apprentices are undertaking

Higher-level apprenticeships rank alongside university degrees

Clean energy

Energy superhub for Oxford A £41m energy superhub will be built in Oxford to cut emissions. Consortium partners – Oxford City Council, Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Kensa Contracting, redT energy and the University of Oxford – will provide heat and energy for transport. Kensa Contracting will install over 300 UK-designed and manufactured innovative low-carbon ground source heat pump systems. Heat pumps will be used to help save around 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2021.


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intermediate (Level 2) schemes, which deliver no wage returns. In contrast, analysis showed that having a Level 3 apprenticeship compared to no apprenticeship increases wages by 20%. The group said professional recognition for technical trades similar to that in Germany would help end the UK’s skills shortage. It said: “People know the difference between a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, and we call someone with a PhD ‘doctor’. Higher-level apprenticeships rank alongside university degrees; holders should have titles which reflect that.”

HSE guidance

WELDING-FUME DANGERS The HSE has issued further guidance on controlling exposure to welding fumes. Following an early warning, firms have now been told they must have effective

engineering controls in place, including for mild steel. Respiratory protective equipment is required where extractors are not enough to control risk from the residual

fumes. The action followed publication of research highlighting the risk of cancer from breathing in fumes and the HSE warned: “There is no known level of safe exposure.”



MEMBERSHIP MILESTONE We welcome the CIPHE’s 70,000th Registered Plumber and look back at past achievements Page 22



CIPHE president Tracey Richardson with past president Geoff Westall (left) and vice president Christopher Northey (right) at last year’s AGM


Book now for CIPHE AGM BOOKING IS OPEN for the CIPHE’s 2019 Annual General Meeting. It will take place on Friday 21 June at UIB, 69 Mansell Street, London E1. The meeting will be followed by a meeting of branch representatives to discuss HQ support for local

The next year will be important – I urge as many people as possible to attend

activities, progress with digital strategy, relationships with businesses and colleges, GDPR and branch communications. CIPHE CEO Kevin Wellman said: “With building regulations under review and our safety campaigns making an impact in Westminster, the next 12 months will be important. I urge as many people as possible to attend.” Register attendance by emailing lesleyc@ciphe.org.uk or calling 01708 463115

A fuel poverty charity has warned the London Mayor against expanding district heating systems across London. Fuel Poverty Action said the plans by Sadiq Khan to create a district heating network would add to the problems of people who cannot afford to heat their homes because of ageing boilers and outdated insulation. The charity made the warning while giving evidence to a consultation on the plan. It argued that the plan needed to address existing problems first: “Many homes with district heating will continue to fail the test of being legally habitable, as they are chronically too cold.” Fuel poverty

NEW HEATING SUPPORT SCHEME A council has launched a heating support scheme to help people on low incomes access energy-saving grants. Bracknell Forest Council has lowered the earnings criteria. Hazel Hill, sustainable energy officer, said: “People think you need to be in receipt of benefits to be eligible for these grants, but this isn’t always the case.”


DUO CELEBRATES TOP SKILLS AWARD Two CIPHE senior practitioners have been awarded the top industry accolade by one of the City’s oldest livery companies. Members Jamie David Cousins and Lucy Mawer received Master Plumber certificates from the Livery Companies Skills Council (LCSC) at an event

The newest master plumbers


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hosted by the Worshipful Company of Carpenters at the Carpenters’ Hall, London. Certificates were awarded by Lord Mayor Peter Estlin. Jamie David Cousins has more than 20 years’ experience in the plumbing industry and is currently a plumbing lecturer at Bucks College Group (High Wycombe Campus). Lucy Mawer has over 17 years’ experience and is currently head of plumbing at University Academy Holbeach. Kevin Wellman said: “It’s always a real pleasure to see our members achieve master plumber status and be recognised amongst elite representatives across the trades.”

Colin receives his award from Tracey Richardson

Long service

40 YEARS’ SERVICE A former CIPHE president has been given a lifetime achievement award to mark more than 40 years of work promoting the industry. Colin Stainer received an Honorary Fellowship of the CIPHE at the annual President’s dinner on 13 March at The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.



OPINION Could setting a date for the end of gas boilers create new opportunity? Page 33

Energy saving

New water label scheme

Industrial Associates


EUROPE’S BATHROOM INDUSTRY has streamlined schemes to improve energy-saving awareness, it was announced in March. Four existing labels designed to show how much energy products use have been incorporated into a new Unified Water Label. The creation of the single voluntary scheme was welcomed Find by the EU Commission’s out more lead for green initiatives, Want to become an DG Environment, as a industrial associate? Email significant step on the road to the membership director achieving 80% representation tims@ciphe.org.uk of units sold in the EU. But DG Environment stressed the importance of achieving this goal, with a stern warning that the

Five of the biggest names in the sector and a powerful local authority have signed up with the CIPHE. Award-winning shower manufacturer Triton, Harvey Water Softeners, Plumbing & Heating Investments Ltd, the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), Roman Ltd and Worcestershire County Council’s County Enterprises are all now Industrial Associates (IAs) They join more than 160 organisations that are IAs, including merchants, consultants, educational bodies and other local authorities. The companies will also contribute to technical-advice share through the CIPHE. Tim Sainty, CIPHE membership director, said: “All our new IAs have a proud commitment to raising standards; including a local authority which enforces them. They clearly see the benefits of membership and strengthen our voice in the sector. We look forward to working with them.”

Not a member? Contact us to find out how you can sign up today membership@ciphe.org.uk 01708 463116


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Altecnic appoints to boost expansion plans CIPHE INDUSTRIAL Associate Supporter Altecnic has appointed a new UK product development manager. The firm, which is a major supplier to the bathroom industry, announced Stephanie Allchurch will be joining its 100-strong team to increase share in both the domestic and commercial markets. Previously, she was technical manager with a leading manufacturer and has spent 16 years in the industry. She will play a key role spearheading the development of Altecnic’s product offering across the UK, while also

Commission has already mandated that in the event of the industry not achieving a full voluntary agreement then a mandatory eco-design energy label would be enforced. Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, welcomed the EU announcement: “Significant consideration and activity have been undertaken in the technical and marketing working groups to ensure harmonisation has been achieved. I urge all registered brands to commit to the initiative.”

Stephanie Allchurch

expanding the company’s portfolio. Altecnic’s managing director Gary Perry said: “Altecnic is known as a manufacturer of high-quality components for heating, plumbing, air conditioning and renewables systems. Having Stephanie in this new role demonstrates our commitment to innovation. We are looking forward to supporting her in expanding our offer in the UK.”


RE BUILDING THE SYS TEM Nearly two years on from the Grenfell Tower fire, Dame Judith Hackitt, who led the investigation into the failures of building and fire safety regulations, is calling for the industry to learn lessons. By Chris Smith


JAN / FEB 2019




s tough tasks go, fixing Britain’s broken building system is about as big as it gets. Ending decades of gaming the rules, greed, confusion and incompetence would be difficult enough, but to do it while a criminal investigation and public inquiry are under way, and a community is mourning 72 deaths, is a huge challenge. However, that is exactly what Dame Judith Hackitt has done, in the full glare of the media, driven by a mission to understand the circumstances that led to the fire at Grenfell Tower in West London on 14 June 2017 – and ultimately to make the building system better for the future. Her report into building regulations and fire safety was delivered in 10 months. She was chosen by the government because of her career as a chemical engineer and as the former lead of the Health and Safety Executive. Dame Judith had a reputation as someone who would be forensic, ask blunt questions and give straight answers. She didn’t disappoint, with a demand for a change in the culture of the entire industry, and clearly identifiable responsibilities and audit trails. She also

LEFT: Grenfell tower today, almost two years on from the tragedy BELOW: Dame Judith Hackitt wants the building industry to ‘take off its blinkers’

Not a member?

called for a single regulator or a bit of paper were gone Email us at with the power to hold the forever. Sadly, more than membership@ciphe.org.uk to find out how you people responsible to account. 40 years on, it is apparent can sign up Nearly two years on, she we don’t always learn those is still working with Whitehall lessons once and learn them departments to deliver those changes. for good.” To the surprise of many, the government She adds: “We seem to go through these has accepted all of her findings in full. cycles where we think we’ve fixed it. Then With Whitehall on board, her attention we have to learn the lesson the hard way. is turning to challenging industry leaders I’ve always felt a sense of frustration. We and supporting the small number of ‘early say we learn lessons – and to some extent adopters’ that accept her solution. Her we do – then, over time, our memory fades recent lecture to the Institution of Gas and we move on to other things.” Engineers & Managers (IGEM) is a part of Part of Dame Judith’s remit was to see if her work to drive home the message that – she says, “In the vain hope of Whitehall” – simply changing the rules won’t work. Grenfell had been a ‘very peculiar’ one-off. She wants the industry to “take off its “Guess what? That’s not what we found blinkers” and look beyond box-ticking. at all,” she says. “We quickly realised there Her speech called for the industry to think were several hundred high-rise residential beyond their day jobs and apply logic to buildings in the UK that were giving cause decisions that go far beyond the length for serious concern.” of contracts and time slots. Within three weeks, her team had She says: “You have to ask yourself found fire doors and ventilation systems ‘Why’? Why no one had considered the not as they should have been and a safety of the people living in the tower.” catalogue of other failures, including a tower block that had wall cracks breaking the crucial compartments. Lessons from the past Dame Judith says: “Even at the interim What clearly angers her is that we have stage it was clear that we had a completely been here before; she highlights the broken system. What was more shocking Flixborough explosion in 1974 at a chemical to me was that people knew it. When I plant where equipment had been unsafely talked to people, they told me: ‘We know modified. The blast killed 28 people. people are gaming the system.’” Dame Judith says: “After Flixborough, What she wants implemented is we thought the days when you could just a holistic approach to building with make a change on the back of a fag packet simplified rules, a single regulator with strong enforcement powers and traceability of materials on every project. The immediate problem is that the legislation to drive the changes is a long way off. Dame Judith simply says: “Don’t ask me when. It’s Brexit first.” Her key theme is leadership, and one of her frustrations is the failure of politicians

We don’t always learn those lessons once and learn them for good MAY / JUN 2019



to understand the complexity of the industry – and to explain this to the public. When it was published, her report was criticised by activists for not apportioning blame for decades of failings. She says Westminster must step up, but the public also needs to look beyond finding culprits: “Those of us who think like engineers and see things as complex systems find it more and more difficult to operate in a world that wants quick fixes and simple solutions.” She adds: “It’s your fault if you don’t come up with the answer they want to hear.” These are bigger issues, so what can the industry focus on to achieve all this? It can start by calling out bad practice. If those working in the built environment are to take on corner-cutting and poor workmanship, they have to be able to back up those who challenge it. The industry is still resolving the scandal from a decade ago, where more than 3,000 construction workers were blacklisted for either union membership or raising safety concerns. This point isn’t lost in Dame Judith’s report, which sets out a recommendation for sites to have a safety lead and a clear reporting procedure that is followed up. She says: “We’ve got to get the construction industry out of the mindset of ‘I’ll do what I’m told’. We need more competent people or to have workers supervised by people who will check their work.”

RIGHT: The 1974 fire at the Nypro Gas and Chemical Plant at Flixborough was caused by equipment that had been unsafely modified

Responsibility is key, says Dame Judith, and everyone working in the built environment needs to change their attitude towards correcting major problems, rather than presuming someone else will spot them. She says: “Structural engineers didn’t raise fire safety issues even when they were clear [during inspections]. That really does concern me. What are the chances that someone’s going to change their front door? That’s all it takes to destroy the integrity of that compartment, which is a vital part of the safety of that building.”

Golden thread of responsibility The whole-system approach has to start on the drawing board and continue through the lifetime of the building. Dame Judith describes this as the ‘golden thread’ of responsibility. That means firms becoming less willing to use cheaper solutions and for the property industry to stop seeking them. Dame Judith says: “Cost-cutting drives the culture. We’ve got to focus on delivering buildings that are fit for purpose: especially when people are living and working in those buildings.” She reserves particular concern over how safety regulations are portrayed by the media and politicians. Dame Judith says: “One of the challenges I faced [at the HSE] was reclaiming that ground at a time


‘Listen to residents’ Dame Judith says that it’s vital to ensure that complaints from residents are acted on, given that, in the case of Grenfell, residents’ warnings were ignored. She says: “They didn’t know where to go and who to take them to. They were not confident that someone was going to listen to them. We have to treat residents in these buildings with respect. They have not been listened to and that needs to change – and change in a very big way.”

when the general public thought it was about banning conkers and flower baskets. “With apologies to anyone from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the ‘one in, one out; one in, two out; one in, three out’ rules were some of the most ridiculous approaches to regulation we’ve ever had. That sort of stuff drives the ‘add a bit on here’ approach without looking at the whole system.” She also says the rethink will futureproof careers and skills: “Jobs for life are gone. We need to have a skillset that is transferable and recognises that fact. I no longer think of myself as a chemical engineer. We’re all engineers and we need to think about providing solutions.” She concludes: “We have to focus on what engineering is about, which is delivering safe solutions for society. This is a big challenge, but it’s also a huge opportunity and I am sure we can do better.”

More information To read the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: final report, see tinyurl.com/hackittreport


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HIG H AND DRY ? The UK faces critical water shortages in 25 years unless we all change. Installers have a crucial role in influencing consumer behaviour – Chris Smith investigates how


he warning by the head of the Environment Agency was stark: Britain will face water shortages within 25 years unless action is taken. Sir James Bevan, the agency’s chief executive, does not court media attention. That made his comments to the Waterwise Annual Conference all the more startling. He explained that in every UK water company’s annual report there is a calculation of the exact point when consumer demand will outstrip its ability to supply due to climate change. It is known as ‘the jaws of death’. By 2040, the Environment Agency expects more than half of our summers to exceed the record temperatures of 2003. By 2050, this could mean the amount of water available could reduce by 10-15%. By then, the UK’s population is expected to have risen from today’s 67m to 75m.

Illustration: Adam Gale

Feeling the heat Waterwise, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes water efficiency, explains that the UK is getting hotter: “During the last year we have seen the impact of drier weather on the long-term water resources situation, as well as levels of demand for water that haven’t been seen previously. “June 2018 was the driest June since 1925, with a rainfall total for England of


only 15mm. In England, United Utilities applied for a hosepipe ban, then called it off. In Northern Ireland, a hosepipe ban was implemented for three weeks.” Sir James’ warning was simple: “Unless we take action to change things, we will not have enough water for our needs.” All is not lost, however. There are plans to overhaul infrastructure to enable water to be pumped from high rainfall areas to low, build desalination plants and create new reservoirs. Water firms are committed to meeting Ofwat’s leakage reduction target of 15% by 2020. There was also a call for better building standards: “Done right, these can reduce the amount of water used

in new and existing properties without adding cost or reducing people’s quality of life,” Sir James said. He went further by supporting Waterwise’s ambitious target of cutting water use to 100 litres per person, per day. Currently, average per capita consumption is 140 litres per person, per day in England. But one of the problems is the consumer and their lifestyle choices, such as buying multi-point power showers similar to those found in luxury hotels. Sir James gave his support to a voluntary scheme being championed by installers: “Water labelling is one example – ensuring all products that use water, like a toilet or a dishwasher, bear a label

5,000 litres

Installing a cistern displacement device (CDD) can achieve savings of up to 5,000 litres per year Source: Waterwise

Sir James Bevan has given a stark warning on future water shortages

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Sustainability is bigger than any government. We’ve got to start asking for everyone to change clearly identifying how water efficient they are, so people can choose products that will reduce water use.” He was referring to the Unified Water Label (UWL), a voluntary scheme that is currently used by over 155 brands and registered with more than 13,200 products across Europe. The scheme is being led by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association as a way of promoting water-efficient products. Chief executive Yvonne Orgill says the industry is not waiting for mandatory rules. She tells P&H Engineering: “There is a growing number of people in the industry who recognise they’ve got to do their bit. They have already started to design and sell products that offer the performance consumers are seeking but use fewer natural resources.”

Yvonne Orgill is promoting water efficiency through the Unified Water Label

luxury and cut water use. Orgill explains: “Consumers think they want a powerful shower. That means a water rate of up to 20 litres of water per minute. The reality is they just want to have a good shower. Manufacturers are now producing showers that feel like they’re delivering 20 litres but are actually using 13 litres.” Leading the customer’s buying decisions is not easy as there are many factors involved – not least price. Nicci Russell, managing director of Waterwise,

Boosting awareness The scheme works in the same way as other energy-saving awareness schemes. Orgill says: “The label simply identifies how much water the product uses. It’s the same as a washing machine, a fridge or the energy certificate on every house.” Orgill argues that installers can use their role as influencers to drive the change in behaviour which also gives them an advantage over web retailers and the DIY market. “It’s a win-win,” she says. “There is a growing market for buying taps and showers on the web. But people still need advice because of the UK’s mix of water pressures and hard and soft water areas.” Installers can steer the consumer towards products that meet the desire for


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5 litres Running your bath just an inch shorter than usual can save, on average, 5 litres of water per bath Source: Waterwise

6 litres

Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth to save 6 litres a minute Source: Waterwise

says: “A home or building is only as water efficient as the people inside it, so we all have a responsibility to waste less.” Sir James has a stronger take: “We need water wastage to be as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea. We need everyone to take responsibility for their own water usage.”

Influencing customer So how can this be done? Waterwise argues that using nudge theory to influence consumers is the solution (see box, facing page). Orgill agrees: “Nudging is the best way forward. Look at changing attitudes towards drink driving and smoking; that started with educating people first. Water is perceived as something that comes ‘out of the sky’ for free. People won’t accept it being banned. We need to take the consumer on a journey. People are fed up of living in a nanny state and being told what not to eat because of diabetes and obesity.” The idea is that inefficient products will disappear from the marketplace if people stop buying them. But in order to achieve this, installers need crucial knowledge about what they recommend. Orgill says: “There needs to be some form of CPD keeping that knowledge well



Did you ahead of the curve. Installers professionalise the industry know? should be the leading and drive out poor standards. A bath typically uses around authority. Sixty per cent of Orgill urges installers and 80 litres of water, while a our market is still merchants manufacturers to see the short shower can use as little and installers. Installers bigger picture: “We’ve had as a third of that amount Source: Waterwise need to educate themselves 150 years of improving health and deliver the best product for because of good sanitation and the lifestyle of the consumer.” plumbing. It’s not perfect but we’re She is confident that buyers will not dying of horrific diseases. We fought take notice because of the way water for that. Sustainability is the new battle.” is provided across the UK and the But social changes such as altering varying age of housing stock. She says: attitudes towards drink-driving were “Increasingly, because of combi boilers, also underpinned by legislation that pressure has improved but many older created penalties for people who refused homes still have traditional water to change. Orgill says the current systems. So we need installers to advise voluntary scheme will work but it needs consumers to get the right product for buy-in from all parts of the industry. their homes and lifestyles. That’s why She says: “We need all partners to come installers need to be educated on water together. There are complexities about the consumption, as they have been on consumer’s lifestyle and the industry, electricity and gas.” which academics and policy people don’t Manufacturers play a crucial part in get. There still has to be choice in the ensuring the scheme succeeds. They have market, but it has to be practical. to ensure the buyers trust the data they “For many, many years, we’ve given are being given. The car industry is still responsibility to government to solve recovering from the VW emissions scandal our problems. Sustainability is bigger that was caused by rigged equipment being than any government. We’ve got to start used for testing to ensure better results. asking for everyone to change. It’s about time the industry and consumers took responsibility too.” Maintaining trust It sounds like a big task, but Orgill Orgill says trust is vital and she is argues that success will come from small confident that suppliers are meeting steps taken by buyers, installers and their responsibilities: “We don’t want manufacturers putting the wrong manufacturers. She is also clear that labels on products. Consumers need to with climate change becoming a bigger have confidence.” concern, the issue won’t go away. Kevin Wellman, CIPHE CEO, supports She says: “If we all made minimal the scheme and the role of installers interventions in our homes, we could as leaders of change: “In our view, make a huge difference to save resources demonstrating product efficiency is a and money. It’s not a nice-to-have; it’s positive and proactive step to having core for business. When you look at the consumers commit to water efficiency goals of the government and the need and energy conservation. We urge all for us to maintain the planet for our manufacturers to get on board with children, it’s clear that sustainability voluntary schemes and to use their must stay on the agenda.” relationships with organisations such as the CIPHE to deliver valuable education More information for members and installers at large. There is no doubt that improved water To read the full speech by Sir James Bevan, go to: efficiency can have a massive impact on the amount of water we use daily, not just in the UK but on a global scale.” Sustainability could also be seen as another tool that can be used to




Helping to reduce water consumption Waterwise is an independent, not-forprofit UK non-government organisation focused on reducing water consumption in the UK. It works to support water companies and others on best practice and innovation in behaviour change, customer engagement and community participation. Go to: www.waterwise.org.uk


Efficiency benchmarks The Bathroom Manufacturers Association scheme is voluntary and benchmarks safety and efficiency. To find out more go to: www.bathroomassociation.org.uk


Nudge theory explained Changing behaviour can be achieved more quickly by encouraging people than by enforcing rules. Some scientists say that the right prompt at the right time – nudging – can influence people before they have time to think. The theory is based on an experiment carried out at the men’s toilets in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The motif of a house fly placed at the base of urinals improved ‘aim’ and cut cleaning costs.

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HISTORY LESSONS The journey that began in 1886 has passed a milestone with the 70,000th Registered Plumber


n 1866 a Scotsman called George Shaw began a campaign for a national register of plumbers, and finally, in 21 July 1886, William Adkins of High Street, Roehampton, signed it. Following cholera epidemics that killed thousands of people, legislation had already been created demanding for every home to have piped water. At the time, it was estimated there were 37,000 people carrying out plumbing work, but only 5,000 were registered. Working life was tough: plumbers had no safety protection equipment and employers’ liability had only become law six years previously. The Plumber and Decorator revealed that getting the register started had not been easy. The register stepped up the battle to stop unskilled people carrying out poor-quality plumbing work. As our timeline (below) shows, overcoming self-interest in other parts of the construction industry and a lack of

understanding from Westminster is a recurring theme. However, the register Adkins signed has lived on and has now reached the significant milestone of its 70,000th member: Sam Demeza, the managing director of Bentley Mechanical Services, a plumbing and heating contractor in Swavesey, near Cambridge. Demeza’s story is not far removed from Adkins: “I’ve been with the company after becoming selfemployed 11 years ago. I did my apprenticeship under the company’s founder Stuart Bentley. I’ve

Timeline: Notable dates in plumbing history 21 July 1886



1954 Footballer of the year Tom Finney – ‘The Preston Plumber’ – plays in the World Cup.


Prime minister Harold Wilson rejects bill for statutory legislation.

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Ironmongers and builders oppose Plumbers’ Registration Bill for fear it will influence wages.

William Adkins of Roehampton signs up as the first registered plumber.

The legislation is abandoned after a campaign that cost £25,000.

1968 Ronan Point gas explosion kills four and CORGI set up in response.

1906 Institute of Plumbing founded.

Worshipful Company of Plumbers hands over management of Register to National Council for Registration of Plumbers (later renamed the Registered Plumbers Association).

1970 Registered Plumbers Association amalgamates with the Institute of Plumbing. Worshipful Company of Plumbers relinquishes the Register and award of the designation Registered Plumber to the new Institute.



Our commitment to quality will give us the edge over other contractors. I want customers to recognise we have high standards

that we won’t cut corners.” Despite business currently slowing due to Brexit uncertainty, the UK housing shortage means the company has a solid future, helped by its location in the main technology and science hub for the UK. He says: “We work worked my way up from being on the tools.” He in and around Cambridge continues: “We specialise in plumbing and heating, because there’s such a huge from first fi x to completion. In the early years I demand and Cambridge is a worked in people’s houses, which was a bit more growing region.” complicated. The company used to do schools and Working in an area where commercial contracts, but in the 2008 recession the innovations like sustainability funding got cut and we haven’t gone back.” are important means The company founder had also been that the company Not a a CIPHE member and Demeza saw a has had to adapt member? clear benefit for the business in his to meet new challenges, including Email us at membership decision. staffing. He says: “A lot of workers try membership@ciphe.org.uk He says: “When we’re pitching for to go solo now. The technology is 10 to find out how you jobs, I want prospective customers times better: combi boilers and heat can sign up to see we’re part of the Institute and pumps are more efficient. Air source that we’re competent. Our commitment to heat pumps are the new thing and I’ve just quality gives us the edge over other contractors.” been reading about hydrogen, but the initial outlay is pricey. A lot of things could go electric.” Future-proofing The one certainty from 1886 to today is change The CIPHE’s commitment to skills and standards but Demeza is confident about the firm’s prospects. is vital to the business and its long-term survival, He says: “We’ve got a good system in place and, as Demeza believes. He explains: “We employ only long as I carry that on, we’ll be okay.” skilled and experienced personnel who are CIPHE membership director, Tim Sainty, reflects: committed to providing workmanship at the “William Adkins was making the statement highest of standards.” that standards matter when he put his name He adds: “The building firms we work with on the register. He wanted to be known for his are ones with which we have long-standing workmanship. He was moving with the times. relationships. They’d rather pay the extra because Sam shares those values. He is continuing the best it’s a lot less hassle in the long run. The bigger traditions of our industry which follows through builders don’t seem to see that, but our attitude is 70,000 members and on to the future.”


1915 Lloyd George drafts plumbers into the war effort to make explosives due to their skill at lead burning.

1986 Registrations pass 58,687 with Parliamentary Plumbing Registration group launched a year later.


Plumbing Trades National Apprenticeship Council is formed.

1990 World Plumbing Council is formed.



The first ever minimum specification for soil and ventilation pipes is published.

1999 Water Supply Regulations and Approved Contractor Person scheme come into force.

Sam Demeza has followed in the footsteps of the company’s founder and joined the CIPHE. He says being a member of the Institute gives Bentley Mechanical Services the edge when pitching to potential clients

2005 Register reaches


Registrations reach

21,086 2008 Institute is awarded the Royal Charter.

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1944 The Times backs the campaign for new plumbing apprenticeships.

2016 CIPHE is licensed to award Chartered Engineer status.



Technical and professional advice from experts on hot water systems, ventilation and more PAUL HARMER Lead technical consultant CIPHE CEng MIET Paul is a chartered engineer who has consulted and led on many high-profile plumbing and heating industry projects paulh@ciphe.org.uk

*The maximum usable volume of hot water in a cylinder is based upon the amount of energy available in the stored water between 40°C and 60°C



Consumer demand for hot water Paul Harmer explains how customer behaviour and limits of existing supply are key factors in designing a hot water system


n a residential application it has become common practice to replace a like-for-like hot water system; however, it would be prudent to first check whether the existing system is actually delivering to meet the consumer’s expectations before any replacement system is installed. It is also worth noting that the consumer will have adjusted their behaviour to the benefits and limitations of the existing hot water system, based upon the operation of the system and their behavioural patterns. For example, a family of four who all wish to shower


between 6pm and 7pm in the evening may have been forced to plan how they shower at their peak hot water usage period, in between the cylinder recovery. Delivering lifestyle benefits for your customers along with new system improvements will make you stand out as a reliable professional. There are many factors that will have inadvertently affected their behaviour, such as: the volume of domestic hot water (DHW) storage available; the available flow rates at the shower outlet; and the size of heat input. Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between hot water storage

volume, time of use, usable DHW volume at 400C and outlet flow rates. The graph in figure 1 also demonstrates that with a 300 litre hot water cylinder, the available usable* DHW is 150 litres, and the time period before the cylinder’s heat needs to be recovered is 15 minutes.

UNDERSTANDING DEMAND Before the type of DHW system is selected, the volume of water required during a building’s peak period needs to be assessed so that the peak demand can be calculated. This peak demand could be over an hour, or even shorter, depending on the type of building, occupancy and activities being carried out. Traditionally,

Traditionally, peak demand has been based upon a heat recovery time period of two hours MAY / JUN 2019



CALCULATING USABLE DHW Hot water storage volume, time of use, usable DHW volume at 400C and outlet flow rates 20 l/min


15 l/min

12 l/min

10 l/min








e ow

r fl


r at













Domestic hot water usable storage (l)

Domestic hot water storage volume (l)

8 l/min

50 1






























Time for the cylinder temperature to drop below a usable 40°C (min) The graph is based upon a 5°C CW inlet temperature, fully mixed 60°C average cylinder stored temperature, heating coil not in use, assumes no heat loss.

It is important to also take into account the system’s effect on water safety peak demand has been based upon a heat recovery time period of two hours, which has been deemed acceptable. However, when assessing the hot water demand for a residential property, it is important to advise the consumer about all of the options available to them based upon their expected needs, and to carry out a rational assessment. For example, a residential property with two occupants may require enough DHW for two consecutive showers at 10 l/min between a peak hour period in the morning. If each of the two occupants had a shower for 5 minutes, each at 10 l/min, then the specific peak DHW demand for that hour would be 100 litres at 400C. Referring to figure 1, the required


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DHW cylinder size (without the use of a coil) is 300 litres, and the time before the outlet temperature drops below 400C is 15 minutes. Nevertheless, in reality, the majority of cylinders are indirect, with an integral heating coil that would prolong the amount of usable DHW. Figure 3 reveals that the example above of 15 minutes use can be extended to 30 minutes with a 12 kW heating coil.


Hot Water Temperature Protocol


THE CONTROL OF LEGIONELLA While consumer satisfaction is being considered, it is important to also take into account the system’s effect on water safety, including legionella risk. To ensure health and safety requirements are met, the DHW must not be stored at a temperature below 600C, with a minimum secondary return temperature of 500C (figure 2). For example, the Water Regulations Guide stipulates that 500C must be achieved at all outlets within 30 seconds of draw off. In a residential application within a single dwelling, it may be suitable to install an instantaneous hot water

Hot water services distribution temperature


Store Temperature


Hot water services secondary circulation


Hot water cold feed temperature



CALCULATING USABLE DHW OVER TIME WITH A 12kW HEATING COIL Amounts of usable DHW with varying flow rates with a 12kW heat input 20 l/min


15 l/min

12 l/min

10 l/min

8 l/min



Total DHW storage volume (l)



e ow

r fl


r at







50 5


















Time for the cylinder temperature to drop below a usable 40°C (min) The graph is based upon a 5°C CW inlet temperature, fully mixed 60°C average cylinder stored temperature, 12 kW heating coil on continuous use, assumes no heat loss.

system, such as a combination boiler. However, depending upon the number of outlets to be used during the peak period, this may not be viable. Another thing to consider is the type of heat source being used – a low carbon solution, such as an air or ground source heat pump, will typically require a stored DHW cylinder, such as an unvented hot water cylinder. If an unvented hot water cylinder is installed then the installer must be qualified and competent to install cylinders to Part G3 of the building regulations predominantly up to 500 litres and 45kW power input.

of water can be calculated using the following formula which highlights that for the 300 litre cylinder in figure 1, that a power input of 17.45kW is required to heat up the cylinder from 100C to 600C in an hour: Q = m x dt x C Q = 300 x (60-10) x 4.19 1 x 3600 t x 3600

= 62,850 = 17.45kW 3600

Q = Quantity of heat required (kW) dt = Temperature difference (initial temperature – final temperature) C = Specific heat capacity (kJ/kg.K) 4.19 used for

Write to us Send your technical questions to paulh@ciphe.org.uk

system design will be critical. This will ultimately lead to a more skilled workforce and increased consumer confidence. The review of Part L of the building regulations, focusing heavily on increasing insulation levels and the delivery of low temperature heating, means that it has never been more important for installers to carry out CPD to upgrade their skills. There is a real economic opportunity for plumbing and heating professionals to prepare themselves for the future.

simplification t = Recovery time expressed as a decimal in hours

CALCULATING HOT WATER HEAT RECOVERY TIME The amount of power required to raise the temperature of a known volume

It has never been more important to carry out CPD www.ciphe.org.uk

m = Mass quantity of water (kg) fixed density used for calculation (1kg = 1l)

BUILDING A LOW CARBON FUTURE THROUGH DESIGN With the Committee on Climate Change’s recommended date of 2025, when all new-build properties will need to be heated by some form of low-carbon technology such as heat pumps, being able to understand

Find out more For information on a career as a plumbing engineering designer, contact membership@ciphe.org.uk. You can get advice on what qualifications and experience are expected to achieve Engineering Council registration for Engineering Technician (Eng Tech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng).

MAY / JUN 2019




Clearing the air Properly ventilated bathrooms are vital to avoid issues like mould and preventing condensation is one of the best measures


hether it’s a new build or an older property, avoiding the build-up of condensation in a bathroom is vital to prevent damage caused by damp and mould. Increasing demand from customers for power showers and wet rooms presents a challenge to installers, particularly in properties where the bathroom does not have a window. Large tiled areas also contribute to the generation of higher amounts of condensation.

ACHIEVING A BALANCE A balance has to be reached between getting a reasonable airflow and keeping the room warm. Getting the calculations right to decide airflow is critical to ensuring the problem is solved and there are minimum standards that must be met. This is set out in the government’s Approved Document F, which covers ventilation and indoor air quality. Following these requirements on a new build is vital to ensure the installation is signed off by building control inspectors.

ONGOING ADVICE Best practice will also help ensure that the customer cannot later blame the installer for a problem like


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It is important that ventilation is controllable to maintain reasonable indoor air quality


A balance has to be reached between getting a reasonable airflow and keeping the room warm condensation, as the rules request that the property owner must have been given advice on how to use the room and any equipment in the room, such as extractor fans. This has to be done within five days of the installation being completed. The regulations say: “The owner shall be given sufficient information about the ventilation system and its maintenance requirements so that it can be operated to allow adequate airflow.”

Read more Go to the professional publications section at www.ciphe.org.uk. Read the Building regulations, Ventilation, Approved Document F at tinyurl.com/y5zhd6mx

Measurements of airflow Airflow can be measured in terms of: - volumetric flow - mass airflow Units of volumetric airflow rates are generally expressed in: - litres per second (l/s) - cubic metres per second (m3/s) - litres per hour (I/h) - cubic metres per hour (m3/h) NOTE: 1,000 litres = 1m3.

Mass airflow rates are frequently used for air conditioning calculations but are rarely used for general mechanical ventilation calculations. Mass airflow rates are generally expressed in kilograms per second (kg/s). Where a mass airflow rate is used, it can be converted to volumetric airflow by multiplying the value by the density of the air being considered.


Career progression Under the CIPHE Code of Professional Standards, members are required to participate in CPD


Assessment: Assessing for mechanical ventilation The following questions cover how to avoid condensation (based on Building Regulation F – see ‘Read more’ link, opposite page)


What is the continuous ventilation extraction rate for bathrooms in new dwellings? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................




How many air changes per hour are required in a habitable room and what is missing for mechanical extraction to be needed? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................

In a room with no windows, what is the minimum overrun for an extractor fan? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... .................................................................................... .................................................................................... What two requirements are needed to be able to vent into a conservatory? … ................................................................................. .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................





For passive stack ventilators, what should the internal duct diameter be in a bathroom? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................

To ensure good air transfer from a bathroom, what should you do? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................


True or false: Common outlet terminals can be joined together from bathrooms and kitchens. .................................................................................... ....................................................................................


For general ventilation calculations, what should the density of air be assumed to be? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... .................................................................................... To remove odour in toilet rooms, what is the historic ventilation rate? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................

1 0

What size air transfer should be allowed on a standard 760mm 2 internal door? .................................................................................... .................................................................................... ....................................................................................

Your CPD CIPHE members are expected to complete 30 hours of CPD each year. Completion of these assessments can count towards this requirement.

What to do Answer the questions (using an additional A4 sheet if necessary) and return by scanning and emailing or posting to the address below.

Your details Please complete this form Your name:

CIPHE membership number:


Return to: CPD Assessment, CIPHE, 64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6NB Email: info@ciphe.org.uk Or visit the members-only area of the CIPHE website, www.ciphe.org.uk/cpd

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Your Membership One of the key benefits of being a CIPHE member is being kept informed on the industry issues that matter TIM SAINTY CIPHE Membership Director Tim looks after the growing CIPHE membership, enhancing services for members and improving communications

Pipe safety


tims@ciphe.org.uk +44 (0)1708 463102

There has been a lot of discussion on social media over recent weeks about the use of lead solder, so we asked Paul Millard, technical manager at the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS), for CPD guidance



t has been illegal to use Exposure to it can be harmful We want to hear your views on this issue. Email lead pipes and solder on to people’s health and most at pandhengineering@ wholesome water systems risk are children and unborn jamespembroke for over 30 years, but the babies because of those effects media.co.uk restrictions are not on the brain and nervous retrospective, so some older homes system. Research into the effects may still have them. It was commonly of lead poisoning has revealed symptoms used in some of the earliest-known such as joint and muscle pain, memory plumbing systems up until 1970, so some loss and the lowering of IQ levels. properties still have lead pipes in them. Pipes or fittings can dissolve into the Lead is a toxic metal that can affect the water within them, and the risk increases brain and parts of the nervous system. with the length of time the water remains

The illegal use of lead solder is still a problem within the industry standing in the fittings. When the water is drawn from the tap after a long time standing, it could contain lead particles and be unsuitable for drinking. Drinking water exposure limits are being reviewed in the UK and EU, and changes have been made globally to reduce them: in Canada, the limits have been reduced to half that of the UK, at less than five parts per billion (5Âľg/l).

New regulation

Lead-free alternatives are more costly, but worth the outlay in the long run


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The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations prohibit the use of lead on any part of a wholesome water system. While lead is allowed on closed-circuit heating and gas systems, any heating system using lead is legally required to be fitted with adequate backflow protection to ensure the complete safety of the drinking water supply.


A simple scratch test will show if lead has been used on piping

It is well known that lead solder is cheaper than its lead-free counterpart and it allows joints to be made more easily and at lower temperatures. For these reasons, some contractors will still carry lead solder in their toolbox to use on heating or gas systems. However, the two are virtually indistinguishable by sight so it is easy to confuse them – a potentially dangerous mistake when working with potable water systems. Lead can also be found in brass fittings and research has shown that it can leach into water. Drinking water quality regulators are already thinking about metals and their compositions. A recent Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) letter on the suitability of metallic materials for use in contact with drinking water is a clear indication of this. It can be viewed on the DWI website: tinyurl.com/dwimetals. At WRAS, we are thinking about our response to it, but won’t be committing to change the WRAS approvals scheme just yet. WaterSafe has created an informative video explaining the easiest way of testing – a simple scratch test. There are also test

If lead solder is found in new developments, the developer must pay for its removal

kits available that can be used to check for lead solder – they are being used to detect unauthorised use of the substance on wholesome water systems not just by water company enforcers, but also by property owners and facility managers.

The case for education The illegal use of lead solder is still a problem within the industry, despite the legal prosecution facing those who ignore the regulations. Recent reports of prosecution prove there are some installers continuing to use it in prohibited ways. Since March 2018, lead products are no longer allowed to be sold in the EU to the general public – however, they are still widely available to purchase by ‘professional users’. The fact that lead is still used in illegal ways proves that there is a way to go in educating clients and plumbing professionals. If lead solder is found in a new development, a developer will have to pay to remove the lead, replace the joints, repair finishes and re-house existing residents… is it really worth the risk?

Any reduction in lead in drinking water, such as avoiding the use of lead solder, can have positive impacts on the health of our children Andrew Kibble, Public Health Wales

As professionals, CIPHE members are in a unique and important position to help prevent lead penetrating potable water systems. As an advisor to your clients, you can ensure that they are fully educated on the risks and how to check their pipes. Ultimately, you have a responsibility to comply with the law and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulation to prevent dangerous use of lead-based substances. You can really help the public to understand the issues, and the fact that there is no safe limit for lead ingestion means it is vital that you use your position to minimise exposure as much as possible.

ACTION PLAN You might want to think about removing lead solder from your tool box completely. Is the small difference in cost worth the chance of a dangerous mix-up?


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0203 859 7100 www.ciphe.org.uk


Gas-free homes: an opportunity for all? The deadline to stop connecting homes to the gas grid is a chance for the industry to work with government, writes Roger Webb, director of external affairs at the CIPHE


f the UK is to meet climate change targets, we will need to reduce the CO2 emitted from heating domestic properties. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently made the recommendation that ‘from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid’. The government is targeting new builds as it is easier to meet regulations when starting from scratch, rather than retrofitting. The CCC recommended that from 2025 no new homes should be New homes will have to connected to the gas grid be designed to accommodate low-carbon heating systems, and it is conceivable that traditional boiler and ‘wet’ central heating systems will no longer be the optimum way of providing thermal comfort. This could be a concern for the plumbing and heating industry but it’s also a chance to sit down with the government and tackle the issues together.

This represents a chance to sit down with the government and tackle the issues together

Past policies The industry has suffered in the past from bad policies, with the 2016 Zero Carbon Homes fi asco still fresh in the memory. The industry responded quickly, invested in research and new products, only to have the initiative dropped just before its proposed implementation date.


The CCC suggests the timeline for the new homes initiative should be set by 2020, which doesn’t leave long to test the feasibility of the recommendations. It isn’t just at the point of installation, but in servicing and repairing the new heating systems where change will also happen. So it’s imperative the industry works with the government from the outset.

This could be an opportunity to upskill the workforce and we need to recognise the value in providing expertise on the frontline. Engagement across the board is the key to effective implementation and the CIPHE is well positioned to help bridge the gap between government and installer. But what if research shows decarbonised gas to be the most viable option moving forwards? It would mean that the new homes which are not connected to the grid won’t be in a position to take advantage, undermining the goal of more efficient housing. It is the responsibility of installers, through the CIPHE, to maintain a dialogue with those invested in heating our homes, working towards a brighter future and ensuring the best results for all involved.

More information Read more at the publications section of www.ciphe.org.uk

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Patricia Curtis MCIPHE RP One of the leading lights of Women Installers Together on going it alone, the importance of experience and her passion for photography





What interests you about the industry?


The people that you meet. One of my customers was the set photographer on Pirates of the Caribbean.


When you have a customer whom you’ve known since they were a baby when you did a job at their parents’ house. I’ve got a few like that; some call me part of their family.

How did you get into it?


I went into the industry straight from school. My One of Patricia’s clients worked on Pirates of initial qualifications were the Caribbean as a pipe fitter and welder. I was one of only two women on my course. My father had seen I was into anything mechanical. I had a lot of family and friends I was dyslexic, but I was good with my who gave me encouragement and hands and excelled at problem solving. recommendations. I did good work and I always was engineering minded. We that was my best advert – I’ve never think outside the box. We might not needed to promote myself. always know how to write it, but we remember it. What’s the best thing




Can you explain how you got into your current role?




In the 1990 recession I lost my job so I started up on my own.



that you’ve learned?

If you want to understand something, study it. Watch people doing it and read up about it. Someone who claims to know everything, knows nothing. Even though I’m dyslexic, I

read product instructions. You shouldn’t have to ask how to do it. Learn from your mistakes; experience is the most important thing in the industry.

Would you do it all over again?

Absolutely. I don’t want to be stuck in an office or behind a counter. I get to meet so many people from all walks of life through my career.

Event Women Installers Together aims to improve industry access and conditions for women plumbers. Its next conference takes place on 4 July at The Building Centre, Fitzrovia, London. For more information see stopcocks.uk/event/wit/


I’m a secret photographer. I like candid pictures; I try to catch people being themselves. I’m usually in the corner snapping away. I don’t manipulate my photographs.

Share your story Would you like to appear on our Q&A page? Drop a line to editor Chris Smith pandhengineering@ jamespembrokemedia.co.uk


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