Uponor designs out opportunities for legionella to thrive
Uponor’s Smart Ends range of fittings opens up approaches to installing hot and cold water services that address two of the principal ways of combatting the build-up of legionella bacteria — keeping water moving and keeping it at the right temperature. The approach is based on avoiding the use of T pieces with long runs of pipe up to taps and other water outlets that could lead to stagnation.
The Smart Ends range enables water to be brought up close to outlets, minimising the amount of standing water.
The range also makes it possible for plumbers in the UK to install loop or serial plumbing systems, both of which have long been the methods of choice in continental Europe.
The serial method is based on installing the most-used piece of kit, such as a WC pan and cistern at the most remote end of the pipe run. Every time the pan is flushed, water will be drawn past, and close to, all the other outlets. Similarly for pipes carrying hot water.
The loop system is similar to the serial method, but with a return pipe from the most remote point back to the supply; it’s a bit like an electrical ring main. With a loop system, water flows in both directions to an outlet — minimising the potential for stagnation.
The design of Smart Ends fittings encourages balanced flow to maximise the benefits of keeping water moving throughout a system.
It might all sound rather expensive, but because fewer fittings are needed and multi-layer composite (MLC) and PEX pipes are quicker to install, there are savings to be made on installation.
Smart Ends fittings are compatible with a variety of jointing methods — such as MLC press-fit, ring tension memory fittings and Uponor’s Q&E shrink-fit PEX piping system.
‘Mark Dowdeswell, applications manager for plumbing with Uponor UK, says, ‘From the outset, our Smart Ends range was designed with hygiene in mind.
‘The launch of Smart Ends now gives UK installers a wider choice of hygienic plumbing systems which do not require flushing or the regular turning on and off of taps to circulate water. A serial or loop installation is not a difficult task to undertake, it just requires a slightly different method of installation. As with all our past product launches, we are offering comprehensive training programmes for installers in order that they can see for themselves how simple a serial or loop installation is.’