Water wastage is an ever-growing problem, with over three billion litres of water being wasted every day in the UK alone*. This is often overlooked by homeowners even though it can potentially save them money. There are many ways that the plumbing and heating industry can take steps to help educate homeowners and specify the most water efficient products when installing them in systems.
Identifying Water Efficient Products
Finding water efficient components to install in a system does not need to be time consuming or require specialist research. In recent years industry associations and responsible product manufacturers have worked together on Europe-wide initiatives to make this process easier, such as the ‘Unified Water Label’ scheme.
The Unified Water Label
The ‘Unified Water Label’ scheme has been created to aid installers, architects, construction companies, local authorities and housing associations to create homes and other buildings that are water efficient. This is achieved via the application of a recognisable water efficiency label and online product database where users can search for water efficiency rated products that are available on the market. Each product in the central database is tested and colour coded. A simple scale ranging from low to high water use provides an ‘at a glance’ indication of its water saving performance.
The full label shows how a certain product compares to similar products with differing flow, volume or capacity levels. This simple method allows for quick and easy comparison on water efficiency and so, for a homeowner or installer to make a prediction about its potential water and cost saving ability.
The ‘Unified Water Label’ scheme is also independently supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Limiting flow to increase efficiency
The Caleffi 534 Series Flow Limiter is verified by the Unified Water Label scheme and aids the efficiency of any water system. By limiting the flow rate of the system installed, the water running within the system can be saved. This can even occur in cases where the pressure valves and pipework vary, with the flow limiter being able to be set at a specific value.
The Caleffi 534 also allows an Installer to maintain the quality of the water in the system and, subsequently, maintain the quality of the system as a whole. By design, the 534 allows this to happen, with the internal regulating device being able to be dismantled by removing the spring retaining ring.
Through this design, periodic maintenance can be carried out thus preventing impurities which may be present in the water and could affect the correct functioning of the equipment. This enables a system to maintain its water efficiency and prevents any issues for the end user.
The Ball Valve that Cuts Water Bills
As well as the Caleffi 534 Flow Limiter, Altecnic have a water efficient ball valve, the Calflow Plus, which has been classified in the top category for water efficiency and has been verified by the Unified Water Label Scheme.
The Calflow Plus combines an isolating ball valve, an automatic flow regulating valve and strainer into one valve body. This design maintains a constant flow of water to an individual outlet – such as a tap, mixer, shower or thermostatic mixing valve – whilst the generously proportioned strainer element collects debris without continually becoming clogged and restricting the water supply.
Also, with an easy-to-use and replace automatic flow cartridge inserted, the Calflow Plus offers a number of benefits when used with hot, cold and mixed water supply pipes. These include being able to isolate outlet fittings for maintenance purposes and prevent overflow by ensuring a continuous and constant flow of water at the desired flow rate. This also ensures customers are protected from splashback caused by high-pressure water when turning on a tap.
WRAS approved and available in 15mm and 22mm versions, the Calflow Plus ball valve is easy to install, with just two compression joints to make, and can be used in place of a conventional isolation valve. This makes the Calflow Plus ideal for installing in homes, council buildings, student accommodation and business premises where water consumption is an issue and space is at a premium. Even more savings can be made when the valve is used with timed or electronic taps, controllers and showers.
The combination of the Caleffi 534 Flow Limiter and the Calflow Plus can help improve the efficiency of a system, which is exactly what the Unified Water Label Scheme aims to achieve. Installers can use the online database to research and build their own awareness of how to make the systems they are working on as efficient as possible – saving money for their customers, whilst also helping to reduce water wastage.
For more information, contact Chris Reilly, Country Manager for Ireland, on +353 (0)85 215 2288 or e-mail [email protected] or Gary Swann, Northern Ireland Sales Manager on +44 (0)7760 596727 or e-mail [email protected] or visit the website at www.altecnic.co.uk