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Could Big Data help to solve our water efficiency problem?

The unique challenges of heating and cooling the White House

Making sure Britain’s housing stock is ready for low-carbon heat

DETECT & SERVE Uncovering criminal activity to protect workers and customers

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Welcome Dark mornings and customers with heating systems that let them down at crucial times are two things we can guarantee every winter. This year, as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, they may be the only things we can be sure of. However, we can be ready for whatever the next few months throws at us – and we are a resourceful bunch by nature. By being alert, we can tackle the worst of society preying on vulnerable people. If we don’t act on any concerns that we may have met a victim of human trafficking, or have seen online fake courses promising plumbing qualifications, how can we stop people being exploited? Government work is one way of staying afloat and we think it’s an opportunity you can consider – including the USA. We’ve had a fun look at this fascinating world.

We’re online! Visit pandhengineering. for regular updates and archived features

Contents FEATURES 14 Daylight robbery How CIPHE members can help tackle criminal activity in our industry, including fake training courses

18 Data flow Could analysis of Big Data help solve our huge water efficiency problem?

20 Power house The White House could soon have a new resident – but how will they cope with its notorious HVAC system?


20 24 THE FIX Technical advice on getting heating systems low-carbon ready, and regulations on safe water storage

30 Your membership Health insurance for members, plus how to get involved with the CIPHE

33 Advice Our Under Pressure series continues, looking at Seasonal Affective Disorder

34 Q&A: Mick Iles MCIPHE RP The Surrey Branch member on problem solving and doing a proper job

5 From the CEO

CHRIS SMITH Editor pandhengineering@

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 Advertising sales executive Harvey Falshaw, Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) 64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6NB Tel 01708 472791

Kevin Wellman on why it’s more important than ever to get involved

ON THE COVER How CIPHE members can help fight criminals in our industry Page 14

6 Frontline The skills investment gap, help for apprentices, guidance updates and more

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.

Illustration: Adam Gale

Subscriptions P&H Engineering is the magazine for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, containing technical 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

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 techniques.

NOV / DEC 2020



Now it’s even more important to be involved with the Institute

KEVIN WELLMAN Chief executive officer

It’s been a tough year and there are challenges ahead but we’re fighting your corner


e’re all facing more uncertainty than usual because of the significant challenges that are with us. That’s why the best thing you can do is make the most of your membership of the Institute. All those things that sounded nice to have a few months ago – like legal cover – suddenly are really useful. The need for expert advice in government has also handed us an advantage. I’m delighted to say that not only have the conversations that started in March continued but backbench MPs have also begun to ask for updates. We’ve also added our voice to the 42 other professional engineering organisations urging the Treasury to invest in skills. The only way we will move forward from this crisis is by investing in jobs and projects that are sustainable in every sense. We couldn’t have been clearer in our advice to the Chancellor.


YOUR INSTITUTE, YOUR VALUES The CIPHE’s manifesto details the Institute’s mission to safeguard public health, to improve education, support research and further our members’ career development. Find out more at

Like everyone else, we’re working out what will change and how it will affect members. It’s going to impact manufacturers more than anyone else but there are also going to be issues around regulations and supply chains. We’re hoping for better clarity by the end of November and as soon as we have that, we will be sharing it with our members.

We’ll be living with COVID-19 for some time

time people are still going to need plumbing, heating and ventilation engineers to come into their homes and workplaces. We’re taking a common sense approach: our advice is to follow the government advice by wearing a mask, washing hands and keeping your distance. Until there’s a vaccine, and most likely beyond that, we have to get through this as a way of living and working. As guidance and restrictions change at both national and local levels, we will keep members updated. The best thing we can all do is stay connected to be as best informed as possible – and that’s the job of the CIPHE. So now it’s even more important to be involved with the Institute. We give clear, impartial advice and with more members that makes our argument bigger and stronger.

COVID-19 I think we need to be realistic and accept that the virus is going to be a fact of life until beyond the first quarter of 2021. During that

NOV / DEC 2020


Frontline Front line

KEEP INFORMED Read all the latest news, updates, and member benefits Facebook/CIPHE

All that’s happening in plumbing and heating

The government has a critical chance to help people retrain





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

HEALTH OFFICIALS LAUNCHED an investigation after eight people were confirmed to have been infected with legionella bacteria. Six people were hospitalised in West Bromwich in September and a joint investigation has been launched with the Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England, supported by local agencies, to find what was believed to be a single source of the outbreak. Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell Council’s director of public health said: “The council is working closely with PHE and the Health and Safety Executive to find the source of this outbreak.”

CIPHE backs industry submission warning that government must take action as part of its Comprehensive Spending Review


he Chancellor has been urged to invest in industry skills and adopt a plan backed by the CIPHE. The National Engineering Policy Centre submission to the Treasury for the Comprehensive Spending Review, agreed by 43 sector bodies including the CIPHE, said the government must invest in engineering skills if it wants to meet emissions targets and create jobs. It set out a four-point plan for the government to prioritise retrofit and refurbishment, fund up-skilling for people already in the industry, invest in research and green-light high quality infrastructure projects. “Investing in the engineering actions we set out will result in progress for all of the priorities of the Spending Review,” the submission said.


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Other supporters included the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President, said: “It is a crucial time for government to take practical actions to help the economy recover while addressing inequalities and reducing our carbon emissions.” The lobbying is part of a change by the Institute to a yearly manifesto to influence ministers, industry and the public. CIPHE chief executive officer, Kevin Wellman, said: “The Spending Review is an opportunity to make changes at a time when people need help. This will create more jobs and prosperity.” A copy of the spending review submission and the letter co-signed by the CIPHE are available at newsroom/Latest_News/nepc/


CIPHE MARKS WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY MORE FUNDING FOR mental health services is needed, the CIPHE has said. The Institute backed World Mental Health Day on 10 October as part of its Under Pressure campaign to raise awareness of mental wellbeing, particularly for lone workers and those affected by COVID-19. The theme this year was resources. Membership director Tim Sainty said: “We’ve all been challenged this year and it’s highlighted the need for more support. Wellbeing help is part of our healthcare cover and it’s a resource that will make a real difference.”


THE HOT SEAT The next President of the USA will have to contend with the White House’s unique HVAC challenges Page 20


Industry urged to help redundant apprentices BIG FIRMS HAVE been urged to lend their support to struggling apprentices by hiring people made redundant before completing training. The National Apprenticeship Service and CIPHE have called on industry leaders to step up help to avoid a skills shortage after the COVID-19 crisis ends because trainees have been laid off before completing their apprenticeships. The CIPHE is also calling on major players who have frozen job hiring to earmark their training money allocations for small traders. Neil Weller, Chair of the London Apprenticeship Ambassador Network which is part of the NAS, said: “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on us all and, as employers, we can make a positive difference by helping those who find themselves in a difficult situation. By hiring an apprentice who has been made redundant, we can help build lives and allow people to complete the first stage of their journeys.”

CIPHE chief executive officer Kevin Wellman said: “We are encouraging big companies to take on redundant apprentices and allocate their resources to the plumbing industry where it is needed most – among small firms that will train new entrants. If we don’t there will be a skills shortage when the recovery begins.” Find out more at

Find a #professional #heating #engineer @CIPHE also shared advice on green energy: “If you are thinking about investing in solar, our latest #blog is a must read. Find out more on #photovoltaic #solar #power and solar #water #heating:

Anyone thinking of improving their skills got a boost from the Institute of Civil Engineers: @ICE_Engineers: “#EngTechMICE has opened more doors for my #career’ – says ICE’s 2,500th Technician Member, Liam Roche” The low-carbon economy was a talking point for Troup


Bywaters+Anders @TroupBywaters “Alongside


The Institute and members have been influencing the big issues on social media Some customer nudging by @CIPHE got people thinking about winter heating: “The autumnal weather is here and its time to turn the heating on, but has your boiler had its annual service? Make sure your heating appliance is safe and ready for the colder seasons.”


people with burn injuries from heating appliances have increased by a quarter, according to CIPHE research. The CIPHE marked National Burn Awareness Day in October by releasing data showing contact burns from heating appliances had skyrocketed by 25% and scalding incidents from taps rose by 9% during 2018-19. Finished consultant episodes for heating burns were up by 24% from 838 to 1,042. Early indications are that the number of cases has already increased this year, in part due to the COVID-19 outbreak which meant more people have been at home.


our carbon reduction strategy, we’ve partnered with @ClimateCare to offset our GHG footprint to become a #CarbonNeutral Partnership.” Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer, said, “With the elderly often living alone, in older homes with outdated plumbing, those who may have to shield in a second wave of COVID-19 are at particular risk. This, amongst a background of weak legislation on TMVs and poor public knowledge, is likely to lead to further avoidable burn and scald injuries.”

And @CIBSE promoted the skills agenda: “It’s really exciting to see a new wave of Building Services Engineering Apprentices start their journey. Best of luck to everyone starting apprenticeships or courses at the moment!”

NOV / DEC 2020



Health & Safety

ONE STOP SHOP FOR PUMP TECHNOLOGY PUMP TECHNOLOGY HAS launched a full supply range for its sewage pump station. The Minimatic is now supplied with everything for installation. The submersible pump station, which has 50mm solid handling capacity and 160 litre tank capacity, is used in domestic sewage and drainage applications where gravity flow is not appropriate or available. For more information, call 0118 982 1555.

EU BACKS SMART DEVICES THE EU HAS renewed its push to achieve a common technical system for Smart buildings. An optional common EU scheme will assess the technological readiness of buildings to interact with their occupants, to interact with connected energy grids and to operate more efficiently. The aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of smarter building technologies and functionalities and make their added value more tangible for building users and smart service providers.

Work on but stay site safe, urges CIPHE INSTALLERS CAN WORK in areas where restrictions are in place – but they must take precautions to protect themselves and clients, according to the CIPHE. As the sector faces a winter of lockdown restrictions, the Institute clarified that the government has accepted installers count as emergency workers but there are limits on what they can do and where they can work. Official guidance remains that there are two options for plumbers and heating engineers working in areas where emergency restrictions have been put in place. They can respond to emergencies such as a broken down boiler or a job that involves working outside. But they must maintain social distancing and wear PPE. CIPHE chief executive officer, Kevin Wellman said: “Together, the industry has successfully argued to the government that being without heat and ventilation at

Fuel poverty

Installers should protect themselves and customers

the moment is an emergency – especially as we go into winter. So working where there are restrictions isn’t a problem. But it is also about member safety; you will be going into environments with people you don’t know so protective equipment is as much for your benefit as theirs.” The HSE warned employers still have a duty of care, despite the pandemic: “The coronavirus pandemic has not changed your duty as an employer to protect people in your workplace from health and safety risks. This includes making sure they are not exposed to hazardous substances as part of their work.”

FIND OUT MORE To keep up to date with the latest changes on guidance go to or follow @CIPHE on Twitter. HSE advice on PPE can be found at:

Low carbon




A college has held an online information day to help apprentices thinking about HVAC careers. CIPHE Approved Training Centre Plymouth College hosted a week of videos with lecturers and local employers as part of Access All Areas, created to help people find out about training for the industry – without breaking social distancing rules.

ENERGY FIRMS HAVE pledged to help people struggling with energy bills due to the COVID-19 crisis. Under a protocol agreed with the government, energy companies will seek to identify and prioritise customers who may need additional support, taking into account Priority Service Register customers, prepayment meter customers, and customers who are vulnerable to having a cold home.

Contact the college on 01752 305300 or by emailing news/advice-for-people-who-arestruggling-to-pay-essential-billsbecause-of-coronavirus

FUNDING TO KICKSTART energy saving upgrades on domestic properties has a tight time limit, the government has been warned. The government’s Green Homes Grant offers 600,000 vouchers for energy efficiency improvements to homes for up to £5,000 but the application and work have to be done within six months. Kevin Wellman, CIPHE chief executive officer, said: “Sadly this is another scheme which creates bureaucracy for businesses involved with installations and is arguably anti-competitive for qualified and experienced members of the CIPHE. Only time will tell if the short timescale for accessing the Grant has been successful and worthwhile.”


NOV / DEC 2020


LEARNING THE HARD WAY Rogue trainers are ripping off vulnerable people with worthless courses. Here’s how to stop them Page 14

Find out more You can find more regulation updates at www.pandhengineering.

Innovation Police are urging businesses to be vigilant about van tool theft


Van tool thefts rise again POLICE FORCES HAVE renewed their advice for installers to get equipment marked and improve vehicle security after a fresh wave of tool thefts. Police are urging van owners to remain vigilant after a series of thefts from vans and attempted thefts that took place in west Suffolk, Stowmarket and Hadleigh. Suffolk Constabulary was the latest force to issue a warning after a spate of break-ins last month. Inspector Kevin Horton said: “I’d urge all those who own vans used for building, maintenance and trade to stay vigilant and think carefully about what crime prevention methods you can use to stop becoming a victim.”

Police advice to van owners Remove tools from the van. Always lock all doors and shut windows, physically checking doors are locked. Always set your alarm/ immobiliser and take action if you hear the alarm sounding. Park in a garage or secure area covered by CCTV, with the doors against a wall. Mark tools with your postcode using forensic markers. Register tools for free at:


SCHOOLS LOOK FOR HVAC ADVICE ON COVID-19 EDUCATION UNIONS AND head teachers have raised concerns over heating and ventilation in schools during the winter, as the COVID-19 crisis continues. The Health and Safety Executive said it would include ventilation measures as part of inspections of anti-COVID-19 measures. The Department for Education suggested “opening windows and doors” but the National Education Union said schools would need to keep a classroom temperature of 18°C. CIPHE technical manager Jerry Whiteley said: “Ventilation is a vital part of combating COVID-19. Our advice reflects this but members working in education settings should get in touch if they are unsure.”

BAXI SECURES GOVERNMENT FUNDING BOOST BOILER MANUFACTURER BAXI has won part of a government grant to increase Smart meter manufacturing. The firm has been confirmed as part of a £300m UK government initiative to boost manufacturing productivity by 30%. The Manufacturing Made Smarter initiative is dedicated to the innovation of digital technologies in UK manufacturing. Baxi is working on the project with the Advanced Services Group, part of Aston University Business School.


SUPPORTING INDUSTRY APPRENTICES NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK 2021 will take place from 8-14 February. The week of campaigning is an opportunity for employers to shine a light on apprentices of all ages and backgrounds who helped transform businesses, whilst promoting apprenticeship vacancies within their organisation. More information on #NAW2021 can be viewed at:

To find out more, go to:

NOV / DEC 2020



PARTNERSHIP GENERATES 450K JOB LEADS A new partnership with the CIPHE has opened access to up to 450,000 job leads. Finding new work has never been more vital and with free access to www., members can find out about UK job leads in the public sector and more by location and sector type. Read more at more at

PLUMBER GETS GONG FOR COVID-19 WORK An NHS estates plumber has been given a medal for his work at the heigh of the COVID-19 crisis. Tony Cocker was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Mr Cocker, who works for Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, had worked to through the crisis to ensure extra hand washing facilities were available across all wards and departments. Find out more at www.

CIPHE CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH The CIPHE’s president has shared his experiences in the industry as part of Black History Month. Mel Gumbs, the Institute’s first Black president, has been sharing his story with members and is encouraging BAME people to become apprentices. He said: “My advice to BAME youngsters is to grab the opportunity with both hands. There’s a good living to be made and prospects to progress yourself.” Read more at www.


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Yvonne Orgill (top left), Richard Soper (top right) and Julie Spinks (below) spoke at the online event

Find out more Big Data can also improve water efficiency. Read more on p18


LEAD ON WATER SAVING, SAY INFLUENCERS AT ANNUAL EVENT Installers and manufacturers should take the lead on water efficiency, said speakers at the Worshipful Company of Plumbers Autumn Lecture


he 200 people who logged in for a web stream of the annual Worshipful Company of Plumbers Autumn Lecture were urged to step up efforts to improve water efficiency because the government is focused on COVID-19 and Brexit. At the online event, hosted by the CIPHE, two industry leaders said the sector could not let progress stall following confi rmation from the government that the Environment Bill had been put on hold because of current uncertainty. Julie Spinks, managing director of Water Regulations Advisory Scheme, said manufacturers have improved the efficiency of products but more could be done. One area of work to develop is to lobby for revisions to the water use rates on products to achieve further savings.

Let’s get the basics right, first and foremost

Spinks said: “The current limits that are set in those current regulations are out of date.” She also renewed her call for compulsory regulation so that only approved professionals who have trained in sustainability can install, supply and fit products. Although water companies can also increase work to reduce leaks, more simple approaches could also make a big difference, said Spinks. “Let’s get the basics right, first and foremost. Let’s check compliant products, use an approved contractor and fi x those leaky pipes and fittings.” Yvonne Orgill, managing director of Unified Water Label, said the industry would have to work with customers to meet targets and change behaviour. She said: “We have to be more innovative. We have to recognise that choice is important and the products have to deliver better performance. We all have a role to play going forward.” An event recording is available at:

GUIDANCE UPDATE Find out more You can find more regulation updates at www.pandhengineering.



Local authorities will no longer be solely responsible for air quality


Defra seeks Air Quality Partners to cut CO2 THE GOVERNMENT IS deciding which public organisations should lead the drive to cut emissions. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is assessing the agencies that could become Air Quality Partners to improve delivery of work across England to reduce harmful emissions. Defra is effectively stripping local authorities of responsibility for air quality. It will also decide what action will be taken to deal with sources of local pollution such as a specific stretch of road or site that emits pollution. The department has already issued a call for evidence that

will feed into an Environment Bill in the new parliament session. The Bill will update the Local Air Quality Management Framework (LAQM). Options include strengthening the powers of the Environment Agency and trading standards officers. Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “Local authorities are best placed to tackle certain issues at a local level, but we want to ensure they don’t shoulder the burden alone and that all relevant public bodies are pulling in the same direction to help clean up our air.” To find out more go to

THE HEALTH AND SAFETY Executive (HSE) has renewed concerns over fake PPE equipment. It revealed that fraudsters hoping to gain from the extra demand of COVID-19 have been selling “a substantial number” of face masks claiming to be of KN95 standards. But the products provide an inadequate level of protection and are accompanied by fake or fraudulent paperwork. The HSE said: “KN95 is a performance rating under the Chinese standard GB2626:2006, the requirements of which are broadly the same as the European standard BSEN149:2001+A1:2009 for FFP2 facemasks. However, there is no independent certification or assurance of their quality and products manufactured to KN95 rating are declared as compliant by the manufacturer.”


BEIS WARNS ON 3D AFTER MARKET PARTS THE FIRST ASSESSMENT of parts made by 3D printers for domestic appliances has been carried out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It covered the safety and legal issues relating to the manufacture, sale and installation of 3D printed parts made by unauthorised manufacturers for use in consumer domestic appliances. It highlighted risks including safety and fraud. Read the review at:


BUY IT: LEGIONELLA GUIDANCE FROM CIPHE THE CIPHE GUIDE demonstrates a practical approach to assessing the risks associated with legionella in residential dwellings and aims to equip the professional plumbing and heating installer with a structured approach to understanding how to protect the consumer and to ensure the system is both compliant and safe. To get your copy, go to:

NOV / DEC 2020



DAYLIGHT ROBBERY Illustrations: Adam Gale

Rogue training firms and people smugglers are taking advantage of vulnerable people. It’s time to fight back


ecessions hit the most vulnerable hardest, making them targets for ruthless criminals who know how to exploit them. Sadly, there is a growing number of people in the UK in hardship. With more than 1.3 million people now unemployed, the UK labour market has never been tougher. The Bank of England has forecast that the economy will have shrunk by 9.5% by the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. And the global downturn has created a vulnerable migrant labour force. These two significant problems have


NOV / DEC 2020

created opportunities for criminals at the fringes of the HVAC industry. They are targeting people who have lost their jobs and are desperate to provide for their families and some firms are prepared to turn a blind eye to cut costs. Bogus training course operators are fleecing people who want to join the industry and human traffickers are providing sub-contractors with illegal labour to cut costs.

Recurring problem So, what’s actually happening and what can be done to tackle the criminals?

The CIPHE has been monitoring both issues and is now urging members to take action to stop criminals profiting from misery. It’s not the first time job seekers have been targeted with the offer of very short courses that cost between £4,500 and £8,000. But furlough, recession and the chancellor urging people to retrain has brought the problem back. CIPHE chief executive officer Kevin Wellman says: “We have been voicing our concerns for many years now, probably for three decades or more. Sadly not enough has been done to


BE TRAINING WISE If you are entering the industry or updating your training, make sure your course is genuine: • Use a CIPHE Approved Training Centre ( • Use a search engine to check for reviews • Check how long the course has been running and who the provider is • Make sure the centre is currently accredited and the course is currently accredited

Ensure your chosen course is recognised and reputable before you invest in training

We have been voicing our concerns for years; not enough has been done tackle rogue trainers. I had a member of the public contact me recently regarding £7,000 they had spent on a course and I had to advise them that it could not possibly have equipped them with the knowledge required for the job. It’s a heartbreaking situation.”

Investing time The training industry hasn’t helped with both time and money being cut from plumbing courses. Wellman says: “When compared with many other courses available at a college/training centre, plumbing is an expensive course to run; especially when multiple fuel options have to be offered. And that’s part of the problem. “We all support the idea of people joining the industry on approved schemes. But a lot of the colleges aren’t running the schemes because they

are three-and-a-half years long. We’ve already seen that time frame fall from five years, then four,” he says. He argues that training has to be comprehensive to prepare people for working in a complex role: “We’ve got innovations like solar energy, PV and heat pumps as well as learning the principles plus the practical skills. Two years is a nonsense. I do fear some parts of the education system are collapsing.” The government has promised to look at the future of the funding, and skills learning will be in the Education White Paper due by the end of the year. Wellman says it’s not enough: “There are already inadequately regulated courses that are not up to standards and thousands of people who are losing their jobs now. Our other fear is what happens to the people who don’t qualify for the government’s scheme? All this encourages dishonest crooks to take advantage of vulnerable people whose redundancy money is their only hope.” It’s not just a problem in England; the qualifications system is different in Northern Ireland and Scotland. But the unaware don’t know onlineadvertised courses claiming to be UKwide actually aren’t.

HOW TO SPOT A FORCED LABOUR VICTIM The signs aren’t always obvious but there are some that you may notice: • Do they look scruffy, malnourished or injured? • Are they acting anxious, or unable to make eye contact? • Are they doing long hours, wearing unsuitable clothing or do they have the wrong equipment for the job? • Is their home overcrowded, poorly maintained or are the curtains always closed? • Do they behave like they’re being instructed by someone else, or are they picked up/ dropped off at the same time and place every day or don’t have access to money or identification? *Source: Kent Police

It shouldn’t be up to the police NOV / DEC 2020



The government is committed to protecting workers’ rights According to the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) website, “The only industry approved training programme for plumbing apprenticeships in Scotland is the SNIJIB Modern Apprenticeship in Plumbing and Heating programme. This programme is managed by SNIPEF Training Services Ltd, the plumbing industry’s training provider. “The terms and conditions of the programme aim to regulate the entry, conditions of service, training and education of apprentices in the plumbing industry and also to ensure that apprentices are trained to the standards set by the SNIJIB and the National Occupational Standards (NOS).” How can you help someone who’s fallen foul of these fake training schemes? Citizen’s Advice says: “If you think a business has broken the law or acted unfairly, you can report them to Trading Standards. Trading Standards uses the information you give to investigate unfair trading and illegal business activity, like rogue traders and scams.” The other part of the problem is that police forces across the country are battling to meet the surge in online fraud targeting bank accounts. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, the police watchdog, revealed thousands of cases are going unsolved. Bogus training requires complex investigations. Trading Standards and the police will struggle to get victims’ money back.


NOV / DEC 2020

CIPHE members can help to uncover people smugglers and rogue trainers

Citizens Advice says: “They can take businesses to court or stop them operating, but they won’t help you fix your problem – for example, they can’t help you get a refund.”

Hidden victims If this is one kind of hidden crime, modern slavery is another that also affects the industry. Despite major companies having to report on human trafficking and signs of slavery since 2017, there is mounting evidence the problem is growing. As part of one of the biggest raids ever staged by the Metropolitan Police at a site in Orpington, Kent in September, two slavery victims were found. But a Met spokesman tells P&H Engineering: “This isn’t just a London issue. Sadly, this is nationwide.” Home Office data shows

that in August 2020, there were over 2,000 active law enforcement investigations, including in plumbing and construction, compared with 188 in November 2016. Based on past investigations, experts say the majority of modern slavery crimes involve sub-contractors and the victims are usually young men from Romania. They live in houses of multiple occupancy or are forced to live in factory buildings. The gangs involved are also involved in money laundering, guns and other serious crimes. In June, Bedfordshire Police made a series of arrests after discovering 16 modern slavery victims in a farm building. The force says it found nearly 400 victims last year, making it the fifthhighest area in the country. Bedfordshire Police Detective Chief


Dame Sara Thornton is concerned about restrictions resulting in more unregulated employment

Inspector Louisa Glynn says: “Sadly, we know that modern slavery and exploitation is going on all around us. “We are doing all we can to protect victims and dismantle the organised crime groups behind this exploitation.” Experts are clear that it is going on – and why. The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton says: “The sectors at highest risk are thought to be those that employ large numbers of low or semi-skilled workers, particularly those relying on a substantial migrant workforce such as agriculture, construction or hospitality.” “I am concerned that using visas to restrict legal routes into the UK for migrant workers in low paid and low-skilled roles could risk a rise in irregular recruitment routes, fraud and deception.” The Home Office tells P&H Engineering that more than 2,000 police

I do fear some aspects of the education system are collapsing

operations are currently underway. According to official data, more than 200 construction industry cases were reported during lockdown. But police forces are under pressure to focus on cannabis factories, the sex industry, County Lines drug dealing, agriculture and garment factories. The casual nature of much of the industry makes it difficult to track. And there is a mistaken perception in society that ‘strong’ men can’t be imprisoned. Driving the crime is a demand for cheap building work, not just among domestic customers. Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, the police’s national lead against modern slavery and human trafficking, says that has to end: “To eradicate slavery, people across the UK should begin difficult conversations within their communities about the demand for cheap goods and services which fuels slavery here and across the world.”

Play your part The CIPHE has long campaigned against unskilled labour; and now the government wants you to help tackle organised crime. The Home Office tells P&H Engineering that it will investigate any intelligence it receives from members on gangs operating in the industry. “If you have any information, share it with us,” a spokesman says. “The government is fully committed to tackling modern slavery, including labour exploitation and protecting workers’ rights. “We continue to work with the police, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, CPS, businesses, including the construction industry, and others to prevent this abhorrent crime, bring perpetrators to justice and restore fundamental human rights to its victims.” So, what can be done to crack down on crime? Wellman says: “If we see it, report it. There’s enough of us out there every

TAKE ACTION: BE THE CHANGE People being conned and treated as slaves is wrong. We can end this with mandatory registration but we can’t do it without you. Write to your MP, enclose this article and demand change. To find your MP, go to the My Society website: Then write to them at: House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1 1AA You can also write to: Robert Halfon MP, Chair, Education Committee Yvette Cooper MP, Chair, Home Affairs Select Committee.

day. But that’s short term. We’re telling the government they should be taking the opportunity to apply the standards for training and go for mandatory registration.” A survey for the Water Regulatory Advisory Service (WRAS) backs this view. It found that 91% of approved plumbers believe it should be mandatory for plumbers to undertake water fittings regulations training. CIPHE president Mel Gumbs has been meeting members across the country and is clear there’s support for the CIPHE’s manifesto commitment. He says: “We’d love to see it. I don’t know who would police it but I’d be 100% behind it. It shouldn’t be up to the police by themselves.”

How to report trafficking Aware of an offence? Report it online or call at: 08000 121 700

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MANAGING DATA FLOW Could Big Data make the huge improvements needed in water efficiency?


adical ideas are needed to reduce the amount of water being lost. According to the Consumer Council for Water, 3.1 billion litres of water are lost every day in the UK from leakage. What can be done to stop this? Water firms have begun to explore how Big Data can be used to tackle the problem. The concept is simple, even if the work to do it isn’t. It’s telemetry on a massive scale: bringing together lots of information about water use or loss from multiple sources. Add in the factors that influence the rate of losses and you


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have a dashboard that helps decide the inputs you make. But it requires a lot of computing power to get there and complex analysis to get it right. UK Water, the body which coordinates work between the UK suppliers, has started a focus group specialising in data and analytics as part of the British Water Technical Forum. The two areas of focus for the industry are network management and sustainable water management. Technical Director Marta Perez says: “At its first meeting, members of Data &

Analytics Focus Group vowed to work towards a code of practice to advise UK utilities and their supply chain. The data and analytics experts also propose to compile a glossary of technical terms to streamline the way language is used across the industry.” They are latecomers to the idea: the Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN) has already been sharing best practice from utility firms in America, Asia and Europe for more than three years. Organisations working with the utility firms have already been using the



An early alert of a ‘freezing and thawing’ gives a water company time to prepare data analysis to reduce water loss. The Met Office, using its access to massive computing power, needed to calculate weather changes to advise UK water firms. Nicholas Law, senior account manager at the Met Office, has been telling IT leads at utility firms that data can help them be better prepared. “A solution we developed to help better manage severe weather is our new ‘Freeze-Thaw’ warning and alerting capability. The model analyses specific combinations of forecast weather elements, that when combined can cause an impactful freeze-thaw event. An early alert of a ‘freezing and thawing’ event gives a water company enough time to prepare an appropriate response and better manage resources.”

Is this a game-changer? It’s a change that the big players don’t want to keep to themselves. UK Water, in its 2050 innovation strategy launched last month (see, says it wants to see “systemically rethinking innovation practices, culture and enablers in the water sector. “This means that innovation extends well beyond new technology… and spreading and scaling what works, so that we achieve maximum benefit.” Later this month, British Water – which represents the waste water industry – is bringing together experts to explain the benefits for smaller operators such as cutting costs, increasing sales, more accurate pricing and becoming more agile to compete with bigger rivals. They say: “Companies

Even small businesses can use data to help plan work and improve marketing: Social media Maintaining an active presence on social media not only allows you to market your business easily, but channels such as Facebook offer useful insights from individual reviews to wider patterns of use – for example, which of your posts generate big reactions, and what kind of people are looking at your page. Google Analytics If you have a company website, Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to monitor how many people are looking at your site, when and how they’re accessing it, and which pages they’re visiting most. Spotting trends Take advantage of services that already harness Big Data, such as long-range weather forecasts and economic predictions, to work out when your customers are most likely to need and be able to afford your services.

need to turn their data into usable information to increase efficiencies”. While data analysis on a large scale offers benefits, there are challenges, most obviously the issue of data sharing. Two years ago, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), began a review into how Big Data could help improve its future work to tackle flooding, and found that a lack of access could limit potential gains. Defra says: “Sharing of data is often restricted by licencing arrangements and a risk-adverse approach to sharing what can be seen as ‘sensitive’ data. A possible solution would be the creation

of ‘safe havens’ for people to access and work with sensitive data.” Then there is the issue of translating the results of large-scale analyses into real-world actions. Julie Spinks, managing director of the Water Regulatory Advisory Service (WRAS), says: “After you collect data, you’ve then got to persuade people to do good things. “The conversations I’ve had around building design show there’s a bigger opportunity in Smart Metering and getting people to know their plumbing and water use, and to identify losses. There’s also designing out faults.” And when it comes to water efficiency – where urgent action is needed to prevent critical shortages – some would argue that simply raising awareness of the issue and taking practical steps to improve things could result in faster gains than switching to a data-led strategy. CIPHE technical manager Jerry Whiteley says: “Net-zero carbon targets dominate the agenda whilst the use of water, a finite resource, still does not command the public and legislative attention required.” At a day-to-day level, installers have yet to be convinced about data and believe better quality products and workmanship will help more. Mick Iles, former Surrey CIPHE branch chair, is an installer with 30 years’ experience. He says: “There are better things we can be doing. Manufacturers have tried to make things more efficient but some of the toilet valves are getting far too complex. When they fail, the system still works so people don’t bother repairing them – and the waste goes on. “A lot of it is down to education and good system design. Sometimes the expectations of the client are different to what the regulations want and what the manufacturer claims.”

Want to find out more? For HVAC and the Internet of Things, go to

Smarter Water networks Forum is at

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POWER HOUSE? It’s home to the world’s most important politician and many White House residents have changed its heating and ventilation. P&H Engineering explores its history


t’s one of the world’s most famous addresses, where the most powerful person in the world lives and works. But at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, all is not what it seems. For starters, the location means the White House residents have had to deal with stifling heat in summer and, as with all old buildings, the workmanship over the years has varied. Many US presidents have complained about it – and also used it to promote new technology or encourage industry to build during downturns. The site was selected by George Washington in 1791 and it’s been the home to every US leader since 1800 when the second president, John Adams, and his wife Abigail moved in. But there have been issues from the beginning; Adams was dismayed to find


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no running water or indoor plumbing. That didn’t arrive for another 33 years for drinking and for fire protection. Temperature control was also a problem. Washington DC has sweltering summers and freezing cold winters. In the early years, presidential families would literally head for the hills in summer. Things got better in 1840 when ducts were installed. The first air conditioning was installed in the form of an electric blower pushing air through ice and cotton sheets in 1881 specifically

for staff to try and ease the suffering of a mortally wounded President Garfield. Additionally, a gravity hot-air heating system fed off of a self-contained furnace heated his and several other rooms through the ducts. But the system was limited to the state rooms until five years later when President Polk ordered its extension to the second floors. None of which stopped President Taft, in the days before high security, from sleeping on the porch to escape the heat.

Moving with the times

The infrastructure needs constant improvement

Events forced a major overhaul after construction work caused a fire in 1930 that caused extensive damage to the West Wing. Proper HVAC units were installed in 1933. Even so, President Roosevelt chose to work in shirtsleeves with the windows open.

WHITE HOUSE / PROJECT FOCUS Did you know? The 2017 project to overhaul HVAC There has also been a collapse. The overhaul left at the White House constant battle over who a façade with iron girders cost $1.965m pays for improvements. holding the main structure, The first swimming pool, effectively building a modern indoors, was finished in 1933 office and housing complex within after a newspaper raised the money the shell. for Roosevelt, who suffered from Artifacts lost at the time were later poliomyelitis and needed to swim as collected and returned in a project First part of his treatment. Lady Kennedy began in 1961. She formed President Lyndon Johnson never got the White House Historical Association the hang of the HVAC system and was and since then it has sourced $50m from rumoured to sleep under an electric donations to assist with its upkeep. blanket, even in summer. Heating continued to be a problem for

Starting from scratch Decades of wear and tear finally took their toll and in 1948 surveyors warned the building was in imminent danger of

The estimated age of the system based off of usage is 81 years old

successors. President Nixon, relied on a burning fire in his private office, even at the height of summer. Before leaving, he said its best asset was the staff and was frank about its modernisation over the years: “This isn’t the biggest house. Many, and most, in even smaller countries, are much bigger. This isn’t the finest house. Many in Europe, particularly, and in China, Asia, have paintings of great, great value, things that we just don’t have here.” The next change was an outdoor pool installed in 1975 at the request of President Gerald Ford.

Many houses, even in smaller countries, are much bigger The most radical innovation was requested by President Jimmy Carter, who lived there from 1977 to 1981. At the height of the oil crisis, he requested the installation of solar panels to heat water. They were mounted on the roof until quietly being removed on the orders of President Reagan in 1986. But he inadvertently backed recycling as the panels were installed at Unity College, Maine and they remained in service until recently.

Pressure points President Carter also downplayed the image of the official residence: “I would say that the quarters at the White House are quite similar to those we enjoyed as the governor’s family in Georgia.”

FANCY A TOUR OF DUTY? You don’t need to be an American citizen to work the for US Government. They say: “The federal government maintains a substantial presence overseas and the positions cover the entire spectrum of employment.” The UK government has renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with US counterparts covering “cooperation in research and development, production, procurement and logistics support”. The locations will be government buildings including embassies – also in Edinburgh and Cardiff –

offices and military bases. Join today? We found a vacancy for an HVAC engineer with the US Airforce at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Contractor firm Engie offered as a permanent contract on 40 hours a week. Where do I find jobs like this? The main recruitment websites carry them or the websites of the companies that have the contract. BAE Systems is the eighth-largest

US government contractor, according to USASpending. gov. Whichever government you work for, you will need a very high level of liability cover and get legal advice to be clear of what is expected of you. You will also need security clearance which involves significant disclosures about your career, personal life, finances and connections.

building and maintenance work to keep the industry going. In June, Amey was awarded as a co-contractor in the £200m project to refurbish homes for Armed Forces personnel. More than 2,000 jobs are being created to install better insulation, energy-efficient boilers and solar panels. For US government opportunities, go to: uk.usembassy.

Post-lockdown In recessions, the government increases

gov/embassy-consulates/jobs/hrd/ To find UK government work go to:

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Left: One of the men’s bathrooms at the White House today. Top right and below: workmen inside the basement ventilation system and the excavation under the North Portico during the Truman renovations in 1948


Photos: [Left] White House Historical Association/ Peter Vitale. [Right and top right] White House Historial Association/ Abbie Rowe

The Situation Room in the West Wing is the heart of the operation. Created for President Kennedy in 1961, today the 513m2 basement needs sophisticated HVAC to handle three conference rooms that host 5,000 people every day. Refitted in 2007, it can handle contact with 1,800 at once and process 2,000 items of data each day.


It was so good before [the Obama administration] did this system

complained that low water pressure was preventing him from getting perfect hair. In 2017, the now 27-year-old HVAC system was replaced and officials moved to the Old Executive Office building while the work was carried out. It coincided with President Trump playing golf for two weeks.

Although now 96, there is one President who could build a house. Every year, health permitting, Jimmy Carter has joined volunteers to build houses for people on low incomes. Last year, he joined Habitat for Humanity in Tennessee despite suffering a fall the day before that required stitches. “I had a number one priority and that was to come to Nashville and build houses,” he said. The former peanut farmer himself lives in a modest house and practices carpentry.

Pace of change With the pace of world events speeding up, so has the building. President Bush brought solar heaters back in 2003 for the presidential pool and some staff. Then President Obama ordered their installation for the living quarters. The two most recent occupants have never seen eye-to-eye except on one issue. Presidents Obama and Trump have agreed that the low water pressure is a problem. Staff bought a specialist shower head for President Obama shortly after he and his family moved in. Mr Trump, a property developer, has been less than impressed. In 2017, he described it as “a complete dump”. Shortly after moving in, he demanded a new toilet seat and recently


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White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “The HVAC systems are 27 years old, but due to the 24/7, 365-day use a year, the estimated age of the system based off of usage is 81 years old.” But Mr Trump has a different take on the problems: “The Obama administration worked out a brand new air conditioning system for the West Wing. It was so good before they did the system. Now that they did this system, it’s freezing or hot.” The new incumbent will have to get used to the quirks of living at the world’s most famous address. Tommy Vietor, who served as National Security Council spokesman under President Barack Obama, says: “It’s the

best office I will ever have, but that building is old and the infrastructure needs constant improvement.” For the next four years, water leaks in White House will be the lowest Presidential worry. As one ex-member of staff gleefully told the press, “It’s the only ‘leaks’ they can fix.”

Find out more Read about other unusual plumbing and heating projects, including Crossrail and a Commonwealth Games swimming venue:

TheFix The Fix

Advice on preparing older homes for low-carbon heating systems, and water storage regulations 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



The low-carbon-ready system New homes will have to meet strict standards for lowcarbon heating systems, but how do we address the problem of retrofit solutions for Britain’s existing homes?


ith the forthcoming arrival of the Heat in Buildings strategy and the update of the Building Regulations in line with the Future Homes Standard 2025, it has never been a more important time for installers to upskill to be able to create a low-carbon-ready heating system for their customers. Most of us will remember the introduction of the HD-ready TV


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which gave the consumer a clearer picture (excuse the pun) about what they were buying compared to a standard resolution TV, so the introduction of a Low Carbon Ready System badge (fi gure 1, opposite) will help consumers and installers identify what steps need to be taken to upgrade the heating system to meet the required future domestic heating standards.

GOVERNMENTS’ CHALLENGE One of the challenges that any government faces when introducing new policy is balancing the political, economic, social, technological, legislative and environmental impact of any policy change. Clearly the decarbonisation of our heating systems has a long-term environmental and economic benefit to society by lowering fuel bills and CO2 emissions through the use of low-carbon technology; however, the introduction or deployment of any new technology at scale will not come without its challenges. The Future Homes Standard to be introduced in 2025 will require new build homes to be future-proofed with low-carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency, but we cannot forget the millions of existing homes that will require some form of early adoption of



The Low-Carbon Ready badge

THE SKILLS THAT WILL HELP US TRANSITION As the UK transitions towards a more technology agnostic low-carbon future, installers will need to be capable of designing and installing a wide variety of solutions such as heat pumps and hydrogen boilers, so understanding the key differences in system requirements is critical to protecting the consumer. Generally, heat pump systems will need to be designed for a ΔT of 5°C, whereas a condensing boiler system can operate at a ΔT as high as 20°C, therefore a whole-systems approach to the future is the way forward to ensure consumer satisfaction.



low carbon

retrofit measures to help the UK achieve its 2050 net zero target. The CIPHE is currently leading the way in low-carbon heating education and is working with government to help solve the skills gap conundrum that industry faces during the 2020s.

ONE STEP AT A TIME What small steps can we take to make a retrofit heating system low-carbon ready? After all, we need to walk before we can run. 1 Before any heating system is

installed you must carry out a room-by-room heat loss survey of the property to understand its needs. 2U nderstand the consumers’ needs and behaviours, such as how they use their heating and hot water system. 3A ssess the existing heat emitters to see whether they are sized sufficiently to operate at a low flow temperature such as 55°C. 4E nsure the pump and pipework is sized correctly to the ‘as designed’ system ΔT (figure 2, below). 5U pgrade the controls to a more efficient form of control such as weather compensation and ensure the heat generator can benefit from the full use of its turndown ratio. 6E nsure the system is balanced and the water is sufficiently protected. 7E ducate the consumer on how to operate the system more efficiently. 8C orrectly sized hot water system to meet the needs of the consumer and the heat generator type.


Sizing the pipework to suit the application

14kW load

14kW load ™

ready low carbon

Not to scale




0.81 m/s

208 Pa/m

0.53 m/s

175 Pa/m



Not to scale



22mm 20.2mm

*no allowance for lifecycle pipe roughness (illustration purposes only)

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Points to consider to retrofit low-carbon-ready heating to older homes


Heat loss

A low flow temperature such as 55°C A dditional response capacity if required Validated radiator heat outputs EN 442

Room-by-room heat loss Correct use of building element U values Correct use of weather data for peak cold temperatures (design for 99% or 99.6%) Correct ventilation rate Opportunities for increasing insulation

Find out more Visit for more on low-carbon solutions


Hot water Sized for the consumer’s needs B alance the storage size for volume vs heat generator capacity Correctly sized cylinder coil to meet the application Priority hot water where required T hermal batteries PCM for higher energy densities Safe water


P ipework sized correctly for either a boiler or heat pump I ncreased pipework diameter for higher flow rates and heat loads I nsulated pipework where required

low carbon Controls


eather compensation W L oad compensation Smart controls Zoning


Components Correctly selected valves and components suitable for the application (kV and valve authority)

© CIPHE *without limitation technical overview

System protection E nsure system water quality in line with manufacturers’ instructions

Heat generator S ized and set up correctly to meet the space heating and hot water demand B ack-up capacity for heating and hot water where required

Hydraulic separation orrect use and selection of hydraulic C separation where required


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Underfloor heating orrect UFH system type selection C Validated UFH system heat outputs BS EN 1264 Correct pipe centres to meet the heat loss Correct floor coverings

Pumps S ized to meet the needs of the index circuit

Technical guidance Visit the Advice section on the P&H Engineering website to find archived TechTalk articles on designing and installing heating and hot water systems in a variety of settings:


Britain’s existing homes need to be ready for low-carbon heating

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.



Introducing low-carbon heating solutions 1

Typically what temperature difference between the flow and return do you design for a heat pump installation? A: 12°C B: 20°C C: 5°C D: 15°C




What standard is used for calculating radiator heat outputs? A: EN 554 B: EN 445 C: EN 442 D: EN 767 E: None of the above


What is the maximum temperature of a low-carbon-ready heating system A: 45°C B: 50°C C: 35°C D: 55°C E: 75°C

Without changing the pipe size, if I increase the flow rate and consequently reduce the temperature difference between the flow and return pipework, the pipe velocity and pressure loss increases. A: True B: False Which standard is used for correctly designing an underfloor heating system? A: BS EN 1246 B: BS EN 1265 C: BS EN 1624 D:BS EN 1642 E: None of the above

Career progression

Your details Please complete this form Your name:

CIPHE membership number:


Return to: CPD Assessment, CIPHE, 64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6NB Email: Or visit the members-only area of the CIPHE website:

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

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Images: Courtesy of Precolor Tank Division

Large-scale tanks for potable water storage need to be inspected annually


Trouble in store? Testing large scale water tanks is vital for safety and supply security. Knowing the regulations is critical to success. Here’s what you need to know to be compliant


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ater storage on a big scale is vital for industrial consumers, whether they are factory owners, farmers or utility suppliers. The Association of Tank and Cistern Manufacturers has recently become one of the CIPHE’s Industrial Associate Supporter Members. Former Association chairman Ian McCrone explains all that you need to know to be up to date on methods of determining the relative air gap values for multiple inlets feeding cisterns and tanks compliant with UK Water Regulations:

The current BS EN 14622 and 14623 Standards explained below are what you must comply with if you are inspecting, installing or repairing water storage units. A cistern or tank used for potable water storage within England and Wales requires compliance with the requirements of Schedule 2, Section 16 of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. Similar regulations also apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A water tank installed in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings for potable water provision requires the owner, within his duty of care obligations to


Water samples must be taken and the condition of the tank structure noted

users of these establishments, to conduct an annual inspection of the tank to provide assurance that the water stored is at the required wholesome quality. Water samples must be taken and the condition of the tank structure noted. Should any significant level of debris be observed internally and/or water quality be less than the level required, it is recommended the vessel be drained, internal surfaces washed down, the tank re-sterilised and the water quality rechecked before returning it to service. During inspection the following are some of the critical observations required: 1. Are there any damp or wet patches around the tank base? 2. Are any tank connections leaking? 3. Is the tank support base adequate? i.e. flat, level and unyielding to <1/500 of its length, breadth or span? 4. What is the condition of the tank’s inner and outer surfaces? 5. Are the sidewalls showing signs of

bulging or undue distortion? Is the inside of the tank clean and the base free from debris or silt? 7. For sectional tanks, a check should be made on panel bolt tightness. 8. Is the tank insulation appropriate for the duty? 9. Has the tank got a fixed or closed fitting lid or cover? 10. Has the appropriate and required anti-siphon air gap between the inlet supply and the tank’s critical water level been provided? 11. Is the inlet control (float valve) capable of closing off drop-tight? 12. Are the screened overflow pipe fittings of the appropriate size and located appropriately to provide the required protection and are respective screens fitted, clean and unobstructed? 6.

Modern-day cisterns and tanks are unlikely to suffer from the structural defects listed 1. to 5. but tanks of some vintage could require considered attention. Irrespective, a check should always be made regarding the main regulatory requirements listed from 6. to 12. to provide the necessary assurance on tank design and water quality. And it’s not just assessments where the ATCM can assist. To help with the design and manufacture of units to prevent pollution from backflow of potable water, it has developed an Air Gap Calculator to ensure you get the measurements right first time. You can find it at:

MEET THE IA The Association of Tanks and Cistern Manufacturers was created in 1993 to promote the design and manufacture of water storage and other tank products of the highest quality. It now covers the full scope of manufacturing techniques and technology adopted by the water, building and chemicals industry. The ATCM is available to act as an Ombudsman on matters of technical concern. Find out more by visiting:

COMPLIANCE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW If you are working with a supplier or installer that is an ATCM member, this is what you need to know about the compliance rules they must meet: To provide assurance that tank and cistern products manufactured or marketed by ATCM member companies comply with the performance and quality standards of the relevant British and European Standards related to product design, operating performance and workshop practice and that the production processes adopted are third party accredited ensuring the products produced are consistently of high quality. An ATCM member company is required: 1. To be knowledgeable of and compliant with the UK Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and the requirements of BS 6700: 2005 as it affects the application of tanks and cisterns installed within a water supply system. 2. To design and manufacture tank and cistern products to UK or European standards as set out in BS4213: 2004, BS EN 12573: 2000, BS 1564: 1975, BS EN 13280: 2000 or BS EN 12845 / LPC 1276 and to provide installation and maintenance guidance and / or services as appropriate. 3. To have their tank and cistern products third party accredited to UK Water Supply Regulation requirements by WRAS (Water Regulation Advisory Scheme) or a test centre accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) to conduct this assessment. 4. To adopt, implement and comply with the requirements of Health and Safety statutory legislation related to workshop practice and management. 5. To operate a third-party accredited Quality Assurance Scheme to ISO 9001 or 9002 standard.

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Your Membership Find out more about key membership benefits, and how you can get more involved with the CIPHE TIM SAINTY CIPHE Membership Director

Health insurance

KEEP WELL, KEEP WORKING With NHS services under continued pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, private healthcare insurance can help you access help when you need it

Tim looks after the growing CIPHE membership, enhancing services for members and improving communications +44 (0)1708 463102


routine treatments that were cancelled ack in March, we saw the or delayed at the peak of the outbreak, country go into a lockdown with further disruption likely which wreaked havoc across throughout the winter. many industries, especially healthcare. Self-employed plumbers and heating The global pandemic is engineers rely on the job requests transforming the national that come in from customers. health system as we know But what happens if an illness it and it’s still working stops you from working – can through a significant Member benefits you afford to be stuck at the backlog of surgeries and also include pension

Did you know?

and legal services

bottom of a long waiting list for your procedure? This is when private health insurance can help you stay healthy and fit to work. To provide you with discounted private health insurance, CIPHE has teamed up with M&L Healthcare Solutions and General & Medical Healthcare, which both have an extensive amount of experience in the health insurance industry and are well-respected companies. Private health insurance gives you quick access to consultations, diagnostic tests, treatments and surgeries. Plus, with access to over 1,000 of the best hospitals in the UK, you’ll be able to get the treatment you need at a local hospital closer to home.

Manage your risk Private health insurance is a great way to manage your risk by getting you back to work so that you don’t miss out on those important job requests and contracts that you heavily rely on. As a CIPHE member, you have exclusive access to a voluntary private health

Health insurance gives you better access to healthcare


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Extra benefits for you

*Excludes where cover for pre-existing conditions has been added to the child’s policy

Health insurance gives you peace of mind should you become ill and gives you the time to focus on getting better insurance scheme, which provides a variety of benefits, including a discounted price, reassurance when you need it most and fast access to diagnostics and treatment. Through this exclusive scheme, you have access to a variety of health insurance products, including low-cost options and more comprehensive cover. Low-cost policies offer essential and everyday levels of cover with in-patient and out-patient benefits, whereas more comprehensive policies feature an extensive range of advantages, with cover for cancer treatment and additional cash benefits included. When it comes to your health you want to know where you stand, and private health insurance gives you the opportunity to choose which hospital and consultant you use, and you can opt to undergo treatment at a date that suits you, fitting around life, family or work commitments. The scheme gives you access to over 1,000 hospitals and medical facilities around the UK, where typically you can enjoy a private room with en-suite facilities, unrestricted visiting hours and excellent food, giving you the privacy and luxury to focus on your health. Not only that, but you are also likely to have the same consultant dealing with you throughout your treatment, and will have access to nursing staff with more time to dedicate to your personal care.

As well as receiving a high-quality health insurance policy at a discounted price, you’ll also have exclusive access to a range of further benefits including health and wellbeing services, Lifestyle Rewards, free child cover* and cover for specified pre-existing conditions.

Free Health and Wellbeing service All of the private health insurance policies come with access to a comprehensive range of Health and Wellbeing service meaning you’ll have access to a team of specialists who are on hand to offer advice and reassurance when you need it. You’ll have access to a 24-hour telephone counselling services, online health checks, lifestyle programmes, self-help modules, everyday life support and a vast array of medical information at your fingertips.

24-hour GP Advice Line Certain cover levels come with access to a 24-Hour GP Advice line which allows you to speak to a qualified GP or doctor over the phone, or you can arrange a video consultation using your smartphone or PC. This unlimited service provides confidential advice, reassurance and diagnosis, all specific to your personal needs.

Lifestyle Rewards Access over 200 unique deals and exclusive discounts on a number of brands, products and experiences through the scheme.

VOLUNTEER TO JOIN THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES In accordance with Bye-Law 21(c) and Regulation 30(b), due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees has unanimously decided to nominate Mel Gumbs, the current President, and Dr Henry Hung, the current Vice President, to each stand as President and Vice-President respectively for a further year from the 2021 AGM. Both candidates have expressed their willingness to serve, if elected.

WE ARE SEEKING NOMINATONS However, we are seeking nominations for a Voting Member Trustee to serve on the Board of Trustees for four years (2021 – 2025), as set out in Bye-Law 24. An application form and details of the responsibilities and requirements for the role is available from: Lesley Church Tel: 01708 463115 Email: Or by writing to: CIPHE Honorary Company Secretary Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering 64 Station Lane Hornchurch Essex RM12 6NB

WRITTEN NOMINATIONS FIND OUT MORE For more information about your exclusive discount or to obtain your free quote, please call M&L Healthcare on 0800 145 5838 or email They will be happy to talk you through your policy options and provide advice on what cover is available for you.

Written nominations must be submitted to the CIPHE Honorary Company Secretary no later than 31 January 2021. The CIPHE’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 18 June 2021 at which the results of the elections will be announced.

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Under pressure: Let there be light

Dark mornings and cold nights can trigger the winter blues, but there’s lots you can do to get through it


or HVAC workers there’s an added challenge as many are not only going to work in darkness but also then working in dark, dirty spaces. A lack of sunlight can impact on your mental health and some people get seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s actually quite Lack of sunlight can adversely common in the affect your mental health UK. According to the Royal What can I do? College of Psychiatrists, about three The good news is simple things make people in every 100 have significant a big difference. Some people sit in winter depressions. front of specialist light lamps every How do I know I’ve got it? day. The National Institute for Clinical The symptoms are a low mood and a Excellence advises: lack of interest in life, being less active than normal, sleeping more, changes in • Get as much natural sunlight as appetite and being unable to concentrate. possible – even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial What are the causes? • Make your work and home The lack of light is believed to impact environments as light and airy on production of the hormones as possible melatonin and serotonin and disrupt • Sit near windows when you’re indoors the body’s biological clock. • Take plenty of outdoor exercise • Eat a balanced diet. NICE adds: “It can also be helpful to talk to your family and friends, so they understand how your mood changes during the winter.” The CIPHE is also there to help. Membership director Tim Sainty says: “One of the benefits of membership

is a healthcare scheme. This includes free access to a comprehensive range of health and wellbeing services (see page 30), meaning you’ll have access to a team of specialists who are on hand to offer advice and reassurance. “Nothing is more important to you than your health and the health of your family – especially at the moment. Diagnosis and treatment can be dealt with efficiently, helping you to concentrate on getting well.”

Find out more •M ental health charity Mind • T he Lighhouse Club is a charity that provides wellbeing support to construction workers and their families •A bout Seasonal Affective Disorder

Nothing is more important to you than your health

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Mick Iles MCIPHE RP The Surrey branch member plumbs the depths to WW1 shipwrecks and recalls his run in with police about a handgun…


What do you love about your, job?


How did you get into the industry?



I enjoy the engineering side of it; the problem-solving. I also like meeting different people. We’ve got quite a big client base that have stayed with us for 27 years. Some of the new technology is pretty good and I like keeping up with all of that.


I was warned not to by my grandfather, who’d been a plumber but went over to being an electrician. He said it was a dirty job, but I could see it being interesting. I worked in a builder’s merchants before I finished school and two weeks after that I started as an apprentice with Marryat Jackson Norris.


How did you get into your current role?

I was self-employed with another engineer and then started another company for seven years doing office interiors. I just decided to come back to doing domestic and some commercial


Mick enjoys the problem-solving aspects of his work

plumbing. It’s gone reasonably well – we look after two schools and churches. A lot of it is quite specialist and that’s where we better our competitors.


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?


Try to keep a level head and don’t push too hard. It’s about having the mental capacity to get your head around a problem, whether it’s engineering or on the business side. Even I still find it hard sometimes.

Tell us something people don’t know about you

I’ve been diving since I was 14 and I’ve dived all over the world. When you immerse yourself in water, your heart beat slows down – it goes back to before you were born. It relaxes me. My favourite is the Scapa Flow off Scotland. It’s my home from home. I wear a chain with a ‘piece of eight’ from the 1700s that I found off the South coast.


NOV / DEC 2020

Have you got a standout moment?

Finding a handgun and ammunition under the floor of a council refurb we were working on. There was a hatch and they were in a tin inside. I took it to the local police station and they decided to question me for some time. It turned out to be a Webley ex-service revolver that a previous resident had kept.


What are the benefits of a CIPHE membership?


It’s run by members for members. The connections and friendships are invaluable. People that don’t get involved are missing out in a big way. If anybody’s got a problem, they can get on the phone. I’ve got someone on the commercial side where, if I’m stuck, I can make a call. We also know the manufacturers. That’s a big help.


Would you do it all over again?

Absolutely. I should have been a bit more ruthless – but that’s not me. I like to do a proper job for the right money and not rob anybody. I’ll always help somebody out.

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