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  1. How to Install the Perfect Bathroom for your Client Chris Derrer 05-Jan-2018
  2. Wireless Thermostats: When and How they should be installed Chris Derrer 20-Dec-2017

How to Install the Perfect Bathroom for your Client

Chris Derrer - Friday, January 05, 2018

Bathroom designs and styles are always changing. Wet rooms and shower rooms are becoming increasingly popular and can often be the best-looking room in the house. Your clients may ask that you advise on what YOU think they should have installed. So, what are the factors to consider when giving this advice?

 

  1. Will it fit?

A pretty obvious one to start with. We tend to post occasional pictures of botched plumbing jobs done by cowboy plumbers on our Facebook, so believe us when we say we are no stranger to people who have made silly mistakes like not considering this one. Basically, don’t be that guy/girl! Measure and stick to the units you started with, preferably mm. Just to be safe!

 

  1. Water System

The choice of shower can be limited due to a certain number of factors, one of which is the type of water and heating system. Mains pressure systems requires a large water cylinder to store the heated-up water in, where as a combination boiler system will rely on the mains pressure, but does not need any additional storage cylinders. Basically, it heats the cold water as and when used. Finally, there’s the Gravity system which uses (you guessed it) Gravity within it’s mechanics. Pumps are often used in upstairs water sources to drag the water up to the taps/shower etc, otherwise it would all flow downwards, towards the centre of gravity.

 

  1. Tray/Tub/Former?

Depending on the space you calculated, from the first point on this list, you now must make a decision on what style shower to put in. Obviously, what the client wants has to come first, but you can use your expertise to sway them towards a more suitable option for the space. For example, a shower with a tub at the bottom will take up more floor space than a tray. If your customer is pushing for more functionality and accessibility, a walk-in shower is best, especially for people who use wheelchairs.

 

  1. Type of shower

The market today has many kinds of showers, but lets keep to the main ones that you most likely will choose between, for now. There are thermostatic showers which reduce temperature change issues, as turning on a tap/flushing the loo elsewhere in the house will not shift the temperature. Mixer showers have a hot and cold feed and the two then ‘mix’ together to get the perfect shower temperature you desire. Along with standard electric showers which heat the water from the cold feed before outputting it, there are also new digital showers which can offer increased control (and style). They can be touch pad activated, or even voice controlled through Bluetooth devices to set the correct temperature and flow.

 

  1. Budget

This one is very important, as it basically decides what is and what isn’t possible for this installation. With a low budget comes limited options, but with a larger budget and a larger shower room there is more freedom of market choices. Talk to your client about the prices of the different shower options and then they can decide what they want and how much they wish to spend.

 

If you consider all 5 of the above points, you’re on to a winner and it all comes down to your installation skills… but we know you’ve got that side covered!

Wireless Thermostats: When and How they should be installed

Chris Derrer - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Controlling our heating from a distance wirelessly, whether it’s to heat up the home with more fluidity, or simply the convenience of not having to walk to the thermostat all the time is becoming a real trend. Wireless and Bluetooth heating control devices are becoming more and more popular as of late with apps like Hive and Nest becoming super popular with the market and are well integrated into smartphones and smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. We know that some of you may have installed one of these before, but for those who are unfamiliar with this kind of application, here are some things to consider when and if should you fit these pieces of technology, considering the kind of environment they will be in.

Expected Range of communication:

Within the average household, wireless signals and Bluetooth products should communicate, to a reliable extent, up to a distance of 30m in any direction from the source. It is important to consider which product you will grace your customer with as the signal will have to be strong enough, or persistent enough to travel through walls and ceilings. Also note that older houses built in the 30’s tend to have very thick walls and ceilings, so that is something that could impact the communications. They may also struggle in very large properties where the control device is more than 30m away from the thermostat… we’re thinking this won’t be a problem 99% of the time though!

Other devices:

The last thing you need when you’ve finished your day of fitting a wireless thermostat, is to be called back and the client is very adamant you’ve done something to their internet, or automatic garage door. Many wireless thermostats work off something called a frequency and it is measured in Hertz (Hz) and the average frequency for the wireless thermostat is between 433MHz (Mega Hertz) and 868MHz, which are the frequencies that control garage doors, remote doors, etc… By far the best and most sophisticated frequency is 2.4GHz (Giga-Hertz) and that is very well controlled and globally accepted by WI-FI and Bluetooth devices. It is a very busy waveband and can handle much many more devices at once. This is always the safe option, but can be slightly more costly.

Consider the environment & boosting:

In the majority households there is only 1 or 2 floors; a ground floor and an upstairs. However, some houses end up with loft conversions, an extra floor or an extension, which means that the device could be out of range as we mentioned earlier. If you think that extensions, thick walls, or extra floors/loft conversions are going to promote any problems look into signal repeaters and boosters that take the original signal received and amplify up to another 30m in any direction from the source of the repeater.

And there it is, a good idea of the things to consider when installing wireless heating controls. Like we said earlier, they can be really useful and help the homeowner to save a lot of money in utility bills if managed correctly. Knowing how to install one without any major problems with connectivity and bandwidth occurring is a good thing, because in the future this is something that will pretty much be everywhere and in everyone’s homes, like the basic boiler controls are in today.


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