This includes all types of boilers from conventional through to combination and condensing boilers from a wide range of manufacturers to suit all types of property. Recent innovations with boilers have made modern appliances very much more energy efficient which reduces heating and hot water costs.
Brassware refers to the wide range of control fittings used in plumbing. These include gate and stop valves, other water control valves, check valves and diverter valves all designed to control the flow of water. Other fittings included in the term brassware are drain cocks, ball cocks washing machine valve and flexible hoses
Heating controls are used to control the flow and operation of heating systems according to time and temperature. Common examples are room thermostats which switch the heating on and off depending on the room temperature as well as full central heating programmers which may include different settings for weekdays and weekends
Central heating pumps or circulating pumps are fitted to the pipe work and a small motor inside the unit drives an impeller which forces the water along generating a flow. Units are usually fitted with isolation valves next to them allowing for maintenance.
Various additives or chemicals can be added to central heating systems to improve circulation and efficiency. Sludge removers can help break down the build up of deposits and descalers can be used to remove lime scale build up. Various other additives are available including boiler noise reducers.
Cold water tanks or cisterns are made of black plastic rather than the old galvanised versions of old. The cisterns are durable yet light and flexible making them easier to lift into the loft. They should also have a cover helping to reduce the risk of contaminants entering the water.
Plumbing compression fittings are connected to pipe work by means of a threaded connection. A metal ring or olive is mounted on the pipe and as the nut is tightened over it, the olive is compressed against the pipe forming a water tight seal.
Waste compression fittings are connected to waste pipes by a threaded connection. When the outer shaped ring of the fitting is tightened, a washer is compressed against the pipe to form a water tight seal. These types of fittings are commonly seen on traps under sinks.
Push fit fittings allow pipe work to be connected up far more quickly than with solder or compression joints. Pipe inserts are fitted to the pipe work and special rings inside the fitting grip the pipe and seal the joint at the same time. They are easily dismantled and reassembled.
Copper tube has long been used for domestic plumbing work although rises in costs means its popularity is diminishing. All manner of accessories are available including clips and supporting brackets which ensure the pipe runs are held firmly.
Solder joints which do not have an integral ring of solder are referred to as end feed fittings. These fittings are assembled with flux pasted around the connection and the joint is then heated as solder is applied to the joint to make it watertight.
Flexible hoses are used in many situations in plumbing work. Typical examples where braided flexible hoses are used can be seen where sink taps are connected to the hot and cold supplies, and filling loops for central heating boilers. The flexible nature makes alignment of pipe work easier.
Gas appliances and pipe work may include specialist fittings and connections. Remember though that work on gas pipes and appliances may only be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer. However straightforward a job may appear, do not do it yourself.
Cylinders for the storage of hot water come in many different designs. There are vented and unvented cylinders available. These cylinders are usually pre insulated now but lagging jackets for old type cylinders are still available as well as other accessories.
A wide range of connectors for connecting a WC pan to the soil pipe is available. The connector used will depend on the position of the two in relation to each other as well as the outlet and pipe diameters. Macerators allow small bore soil pipes to be used.
Pipes and connections for transporting water from an overflow outlet to a suitable conspicuous discharge point. Typical examples include the overflow pipe from a cold water cistern in the loft which discharges outside or the overflow from a toilet.
A wide range of plumbing accessories is available from flux to ease solder flow and lead free solders, through to washers and replacement seals as well as jointing compounds and ptfe tape which are both used to improve the seal on plumbing connections.
Pipe work which will not be visible after completion is now often carried out using flexible pipe and push fit fittings. These fittings make work much faster and the connections can be readily dismantled and reassembled. Internal rings which grip the pipe are released with a special key.
Waste pipe systems can be connected up using simple push fit fittings. The fitting simply pushes on to the waste pipe and an internal sealing ring is squeezed against the pipe to form the seal. This is a popular alternative to the solvent weld type.
From standard white panel radiators through to elaborate and stylish designs, there is now a huge choice of style as well as materials for radiators. Whichever type is used, it is important to check the potential heat output available and to match this with the heat loss of the room.
Radiator valves control the flow of water in and out of radiators on a central heating circuit. A lockshield valve at one end is used to balance the system and a standard or thermostatic valve at the other end gives user control so that heat can be delivered as required.
This section covers all items related to the discharge of rainwater form the roofs of buildings. They include the different guttering systems - gutters, connectors, brackets and outlets, as well as the downpipe used to carry the water to a suitable drain discharge point.
Foul water discharged from toilets is carried via a soil pipe to a suitable connection point for discharge into the sewers. The term soil and vent pipe comes from the combined need to provide a method of allowing air into the pipe work to prevent siphonage of water traps.
Copper pipes can be readily joined using integral solder fittings. Flux is applied to the pipe and fitting and, once assembled, the connection is heated with a gas torch to melt the solder. This solder flows from the integral ring to seal the connection between the two.
Solvent weld waste pipes are commonplace. Before assembling the special plastic pipe and fitting, a special glue or solvent cement is brushed round both. Once assembled, the surfaces quickly bond with the cement forming a watertight seal.
Replacement components for WCs or toilets include float valve parts as well as complete flushing mechanisms, handles and toilet seats, plus cisterns and diaphragm washers. Repairs to toilets are usually relatively easy to carry out provided a suitable isolation valve has been fitted.
Towel radiators are connected to the central heating system and double up as a source of heat for bathrooms and shower rooms as well as hanging and drying towels. There is a wide range of styles and designs available to suit all rooms from classic to contemporary.
Underground drainage pipes and fittings refers to all waste pipe work that is buried in the ground. The items in this section include pipes, sockets and inspection chambers, all manner of connections and bends as well as gullies and traps.
Washing machines and dishwashers are connected to the water supply by means of flexible machine hoses. The outlet connection on the water supply should be controllable by means of a machine isolation valve allowing the machine to be easily disconnected without draining down the system.
Traps beneath sinks, basins, baths and showers rely upon a level of water being trapped inside the bend beneath the waste outlet. The water trap serves to seal the waste from smells which would otherwise permeate from the drains. Various shapes and styles are available to suit most applications.
Storage containers for oil and water are usually made of plastic nowadays as they are more durable and lighter to transport. Oil tanks usually have a factory fitted level gauge. Plastic oil pipes are available for feeding from the tank to the boiler.
Mains water pipe work is usually run in plastic MDPE pipe which is easier to lay due to its flexible lightweight nature. A wide range of simple plastic compression fittings suitable for underground installation is available for these water pipes.
Water filters and treatment units allow high quality drinking water to be fed to the kitchen sink or other outlets. Simple solutions comprise replaceable cartridge filters mounted beneath the sink and connected to a drinking water tap by means of a flexible hose.