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More than 50% of homeowners have suffered water damage, study reveals

With flood warnings currently in place across various parts of the country, there is growing concern for the potential impact heavy rainfall and burst river banks could have on businesses and residential properties.

But it’s not just flooding that can cause water damage, with cracked pipework and plumbing complications recently revealed to have affected approximately 52% of homeowners according to a recent survey.

One in 10 have encountered a major incident where water has caused extensive damage inside the home.

A third of homeowners haven’t checked the state of the boiler and pipes in their home in last year.

And nearly two thirds would rate their basic plumbing skills and knowledge as below average.

A spokesperson for Sykes Pumps Hire said: “It seems inevitable that at some point, whether through inclement weather, a burst river bank, or just some dodgy plumbing, homeowners are going to need to deal with some major water damage.

“Even for those who don’t live in at-risk areas below the water table, being prepared for a flood or unexpected water issue can help to limit the damage which can be done to your home.”

A water-related mishap has the potential to be costly and causes, on average, £976 to recover from when a burst pipe or flood strikes.

Unsurprisingly, the kitchen is the room in which we are most likely to suffer water damage, followed by the bathroom and the living room.

When asked to identify the culprit of the worst water damage they have experienced, one in four homeowners said a leaky pipe was to blame.

Fifteen per cent have had a pipe completely burst in their home, and one in 10 have suffered from a leaky roof.

Despite the high chance of a plumbing-based blunder, 42 per cent of homeowners would have no idea how to stop the water flow should a faulty pipe start flooding their home.

One in 10 homeowners surveyed believe they are currently living in an area at risk of flooding.

But only six per cent have any kind of flood preparation, such as pumps and sandbags, ready in their home in case of disaster.

Of those who have suffered water damage to their home, only a third went through their insurance policy to get their repairs done, and 38 have no idea if their insurance covers water damage

Fifty-two per cent paid outright for the damage to be sorted, and nine per cent said there are still repairs which need addressing in their home after their most recent experience of water damage.

A spokesperson for Sykes Pumps Hire, which commissioned the study, added: “We were surprised at the sheer number of people who have suffered water damage to their home, while still lacking the skills and knowledge to prevent further damage if disaster were to visit them again.

“Knowing your plumbing basics, and having some flood preparations to hand should the weather turn, can really make all the difference.”

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Extreme electric racing seeks Andrews Heat emergency heating

Every year, London is selected as the ideal location for many exciting and innovative events – and 2019 has so far proven to be no different. One of these well-attended events recently took place near London Bridge, where a historic ship hosted an extreme electric car racing event.

The ship, which used to be a Royal Mail vessel servicing British territory, is the first of its kind to be used for this type of occasion. The rationale behind the choice stems from it being perceived as more environmentally friendly than traditional racing.

The project manager recently contacted  Andrews Heat for Hire in search for a solution to heat up the main cargo hold of the ship. This is the area in which the national press and industry experts would be hosted, but low seasonal temperatures meant it would be too cold unless outside assistance was sought.

Our experts visited the site to carry out a site survey and decide which units would best suit the application. They settled on five DE190 40kW electric heaters, which come with multiple power settings to provide the user with a greater degree of cost-saving flexibility.

The units were chosen due to their size and heating capacity, which allowed them to be lifted onto the ship via crane to provide safe, clean heat without any flame.

Our team delivered the equipment to the customers at the docks and loaded them onto the ship before the ship itself sailed up the Thames.

The equipment provided a more than ample solution and immediately alleviated the customer’s concerns about whether sufficient heating capacities could be generated. As a result, they were extremely satisfied with our service and our units, stating: “we needed a non-combustible clean heating system to force air around the hold of the ship, which is exactly what we were provided with.”

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Electric heaters for large London event

One of the UK’s largest exhibition centres stands alongside the River Thames in East London and is well-known for hosting major trade shows and other high-profile events. Due to our previous involvement with the venue, Andrews Heat for Hire is regularly asked to assist when events are hosted here.

A temporary external structure outwith the main building was being used to host props, robotics and other sensitive equipment portraying the world’s most famous super heroes, which unsurprisingly attracted a great deal of interest from fans across the country. Andrews was therefore tasked with keeping the attraction warm and dry given that the event ran during the winter months.

With the structure being a very large marquee, our specialist visited site only a few hours after the original call from the customer. The client specifically requested units with a small footprint due to space restrictions, with high heating capacities essential. It was also impressed upon us that the client desired a solution that was not reliant upon fuel due to constraints imposed by the organisers.

It was decided that the best solution was to use multiple DE190 electric heaters positioned strategically around the venue. These units can individually deliver 42 kW of heating off an electrical supply and provide clean and dry air from the moment they are in operation.

The equipment was delivered from our London location in Charlton, merely a stone’s throw away, allowing our engineers to install the units quickly – much to the customer’s satisfaction.

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Andrews Boilers provide emergency solution for prison in Kent

When a prison on the Kent coast suffered a boiler breakdown unexpectedly, Andrews Boilers was contacted regarding a solution.

Without a functional boiler, everyday tasks including cooking and cleaning cannot be undertaken properly which led to the facilities manager contacting us out of hours.

It was hoped that hot water and heating services could be restored as soon as possible and so an Andrews representative visited site to outline the best course of action. It was important that the prison’s day-to-day requirements were taken into account so that a boiler of sufficient capacity could be installed.

Our specialists visited the site a few hours after enquiry was received, conducting a free site survey to establish which unit would suit the application best. We provided a 500kW packaged boiler unit, which proved a more than adequate replacement for the customer’s original boiler – which was being repaired off-site.

Thanks to our quick response, we were able to get to the location on the same day of enquiry, allowing us to implement a quick solution and avoid any further problems. The outcome was therefore extremely positive, and the client was satisfied with the results we provided.

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Andrews Heat provides emergency heating for motorway service

When a motorway service was carrying out renovation works on a motorway service facility, Andrews Heat for Hire was drafted in to provide heat to maintain a high temperature and avoid droughts.

Our specialists visited the site to determine the best solution for the application. They decided to place an ID65 Indirect fired oil heater, which provides a nominal heating duty of 65kW.

The equipment was placed in the car park, which was within a 40m distant of the area in which heating was required. A 1000 litre fuel tank was also supplied to ensure the unit could operate without interruption for extended periods of time.

Lengths of ducting entered the building via an 18″ diameter hole at the services’ entrance, allowing the full heat load capacity to penetrate the area as desired by the customer.

This temporary heater hire arrangement was delivered and commissioned less than 24 hours after enquiry was received. We also provided fuel for the project at the request of the customer, with an out-of-hours delivery arranged during the Christmas period.

An engineer later visited site to ensure everything was working as intended, with the customer indicating that they were very happy with the kit and service provided. The client also made us aware of how impressed they were that we surveyed the application beforehand and proposed a practical solution off the back of that.

Andrews made such a good impression with the contractor that they later asked us to spec and quote a separate boiler hire, which has since gone ahead.

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Emergency drying for history museum in the South of London

Andrews Dehumidification Hire was recently contacted by a popular museum in South London, after the institution required a temporary drying arrangement for a historic paper storage area.

The building in question is ‘Passivhaus’ which means it is built to be environmentally friendly, hence why this particular structure does not have any fixed plant systems. Due to the building being relatively new, the issue had never occurred before and therefore the consequences of high ambient moisture had not been properly prepared for.

After visiting the site, our experts decided to install four DH150 refrigerant dehumidifiers with a distribution board and condensate pumps. This type of unit represents a more economical alternative to desiccant dryers and although it does not require a lot of attention while in operation, is capable of drying large applications such as museums.

We also provided a DE65 portable electric heater to operate alongside the hired dehumidification equipment, which was useful in aiding the drying process by increasing temperatures inside.

The internal condensate pumps were used to pump moisture collected from the units to an outside source via 30m condensate hoses. This addressed all issues caused by the high moisture content and allowed a prominent museum to continue business as usual.

The equipment is currently providing drying to the storage area, which will keep the moisture levels low enough to prevent any artefacts from being damaged.

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Cold weather makes it harder to get out of bed, study finds

A recent survey conducted by Andrews Heat for Hire has revealed that the average Briton spends an additional 24 hours in bed throughout the cold season.

People’s reluctance to confront the early morning cold causes them to hit the snooze button and delays the inevitability of actually getting out of bed, according to the findings.

Of those asked, 38 per cent of employed respondents said they were more likely to be late for work during winter because they found it harder to get up in the morning.

Statistics reveal that an ordinary person will be late for work seven times as a direct result of oversleeping, with 20% of those asked admitting that they’ve feigned illness to have a duvet day.

One in two Brits find it harder to get themselves out of bed in winter more than any other time of year, and a third think they are more likely to hit the snooze button when the mornings are dark and cold.

Following the revelations, an Andrews spokesman concluded: “Darker, colder mornings can make waking up in winter months more challenging than any other time of the year.

“And while an additional quarter of an hour snoozing each day doesn’t seem like a big sacrifice, over the course of the winter we lose an entire day to those few extra minutes in bed.”

Breaking it down further, it transpires that the Scottish are the quickest to get up when the weather’s bleak – possibly due to the fact that most residents are used to a slightly worse climate than some of the UK’s more southerly regions.

On average, the Scots spend an extra 14 minutes in bed when it’s cold outside. We found that those in Yorkshire are least likely to be quick risers, taking 17 additional minutes to rise.

One in two British citizens concede that they find it more difficult to get themselves out of bed in winter compared with any other time of the year, with a third admitting they are more likely to hit the snooze button when the mornings are dark and cold.

More than two in three of those asked say the lure of staying under the duvet is too tempting to turn down when it’s chilly outside.

It may seem slightly trivial but the link between bitter weather conditions and tardiness is plain for all to see.

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Sykes Pumps provides customised solution for Hinkley Point C water management requirements

Pump specialist, Sykes Pumps, is to install the latest pair of custom-modified pumps sold to EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C site in Somerset as part of the water management strategy implemented by Tier 1 contractor, Kier BAM Joint Venture.

The 430-acre site, which will be the first in a new generation of UK nuclear power stations, has been divided into six Water Management Zones (WMZ) during the construction phase to manage groundwater and rainfall as the build programme progresses, while ensuring that all water returned to natural water courses from site is cleaned to the highest environmental standards.

Sykes Pumps has been involved with the Hinkley Point C site for the past four years and has already hired a range of submersible, diesel and electric pumps for various elements of the development programme, including the sale of twelve custom-built electric surface-mounted pumps for WMZ|’s 1-6. The latest installation in the WMZ roll-out is for WMZ 4, which will involve the installation of two 22kW pumps to work in conjunction with a silt separation process.

The pump units have been custom-built to include Sykes Pumps’ automatic self-priming capabilities to enable instant start-up and priming on demand, along with sophisticated control systems that will ensure the required level of flow is pumped through the system, based on monitoring of groundwater conditions and rainfall. One of the specially-modified pumps at WMZ 4 will be used to pump water from the groundwater storage lagoons, where water from each WMZ is diverted from the deep dig excavations. It will then be pumped through a silt separation unit into a second lagoon for cleaned water. The other pump will take water from the cleaned water lagoon following water quality monitoring, and pump it back into the local water courses. Each WMZ pump system has been designed to adjust the flow rate aligned to groundwater and weather conditions so that the capacity in all lagoons can be maintained at optimum levels at all times.

Explains Bob Lima from Sykes Pumps, who has been responsible for commissioning the pumps: “Kier BAM provided us with a maximum flow rate for each WMZ, based on worst-case scenario storm levels. The controls fitted mean that the pumps are only in use as much as they need to be to help manage the water on site while offering sufficient resilience to ensure flooring is avoided during any periods of severe weather.”

The maximum flow rate for WMZ 4 is 160 litres per second, which is less than that for WMZ 3 where the 320 litres per second maximum flow rate requirement resulted in the specification of two larger 55kW pumps. All pumps have been built with variable speed motors to ensure pump speeds can be tailored to suit real-time site conditions.

Sykes Pumps has provided training for the Tier 1 team on site and also has a four-strong team of engineers permanently based at Hinkley Point C to carry out the planned servicing of the hire pumps every two weeks in addition to any reactive maintenance requirements.

Peter Pearson, from Kier BAM, comments: “The pumps provided for the WMZs are just one of the solutions that Sykes Pumps has delivered for the complex requirements of this large, coastal site.

“Sykes Pumps was able to design a flexible solution around the specific demands of our water management strategy, delivering an installation that addresses both the need to control groundwater and the imperative for limiting unnecessary energy consumption whilst ensuring we uphold the highest environmental standards.”

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Andrews provides heating for major agricultural show in Scotland

Andrews Heat for Hire was recently involved with a major agricultural event that takes place annually in the county of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The well-known show takes place over a six-week period and includes animals competitions, trade stands, music, arts, children’s activities and other popular attractions.

Given that the festival was scheduled to take place during the height of winter, the organisers were extremely keen to source a temporary heating solution to ensure visitors were kept warm throughout.

After originally being contacted over the phone, an Andrews specialist was sent to site to assess the situation, speak to the customer and come up with a heater hire package that was befitting of the application. After carrying out a site survey, our engineers installed six ID65 Indirect fired oil heaters outside the client’s main marquee and used ducting to ensure large volumes of warm air would raise temperatures inside.

These units were specifically selected because of their aptitude for delivering a safe and clean supply of hot air to environments where constant operation is required.

We received the enquiry during the Christmas period, and our team was able to react extremely quickly to provide a perfect solution despite the short notice. Fuel buggies and tanks were also provided to ensure the heaters could run unattended for extensive periods, as was necessary.

Our equipment is scheduled to remain with the customer until the event’s conclusion and our regional engineer has since revisited site following installation to make sure everything is still functioning as planned. We’re pleased to report that our solution has successfully combated the bitter Scottish weather and allowed guests and visitors to enjoy their experience.

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Sykes Pumps helps secure continuity during water shortages

A flexible pumping solution was key to ensuring water continued to flow in Essex and Suffolk during last summer’s heatwave

Last summer’s prolonged heatwave put water companies under immense pressure to maintain supplies, with increased consumption exacerbating the challenges of reduced capacity on the network. The problems were particularly acute in East Anglia, where the temperatures reached record highs for record periods and farmers were forced to water their crops to protect yields.

To address these severe conditions, Essex and Suffolk adopted a strategy of supplementing the existing infrastructure by recommissioning disused assets in order to put more water into the supply chain. For the rural Norfolk villages north of Norwich, this meant re-activating a disused pumping station in the village of Horning and Sykes Pumps was brought in to provide a temporary pumping solution that would enable the use of an asset that had been out of service for 40 years.

Flexible solution

The nearby pumping station at Belaugh provides the local area with 27 mega litres of water per day to Ormesby WTW, supported by abstraction from the Trinity Broads to meet the needs of local households, businesses and farms. However, reduced rainfall and operational constraints meant that this capacity was compromised and Essex & Suffolk Water secured permission from the Environment Agency to resume abstraction from the area’s main natural water source, the River Bure at Horning. To do this, the water company needed to re-activate the disused pumping station at Horning but, after 40 years of inactivity, the existing pumps could not be used due to their age and state of repair.

To work around this, Essex & Suffolk Water’s contractor, Integrated Water Services, contacted Sykes Pumps to discuss a pumping solution that could abstract the 2-3 mega litres of water they estimated would be required to supplement the supply from Belaugh. The solution would need to use the existing pumping station to put the additional volume into the treatment works while overcoming the need to reactivate the existing pumps.

“One of the challenges of the brief,” explains Mark Burden from Integrated Water Services, “is that we didn’t know how hot it was going to get or how long it would be until the dry period ended. Not only did this make the amount of water coming into the system unpredictable but it also made it hard to assess how much strain additional consumption would put on the network. Our aim was to generate an additional two to three mega litres of water per day but there had to be some flexibility in the solution because we didn’t want to take more than we required but we had to be able to ensure continuity of supply.”

To ensure that the temporary pumping installation met Essex and Suffolk Water’s requirements, the Sykes Pumps team visited the site to carry out a full specification could be drawn up.

Tailored installation

Explains Sykes Pumps hire manager, Rob Richards: “The customer wanted a robust solution that would allow them to increase capacity quickly if the situation escalated. Our response was to provide two duty pumps and a standby, along with two accessories needed to connect the temporary pumps with the existing infrastructure, adapting the fittings where required to align to the temporary pumps to existing connections.

Sykes Pumps supplied a silenced UVO 150/100E pump as the main duty pump, which typically provides a maximum head of 93 metres and a flow fo 120 litres per second. Mark Burden continues: “We were planning for a worst-case scenario situation but the combination of pumps and the design of the solution mean that we were able to use it in a best case scenario way, reducing the abstraction required from the river. Originally, one of the UVO 200/150F (D90) pumps was specified as a duty pump but we were able to keep this on standby and only use the smaller pump.”

While the duty pump was a 6″ unit, Sykes Pumps adapted the set-up to use 8″ hoses so that everything on site was standardised. The pumps were connected using 200mm wire armoured Bauer suction hoses to abstract the water and 200mm high pressure flanged discharge hoses to feed the abstracted supply to the network.

Rob Richards explains: “Three suction hoses per pump were designed to pump the water out of the pumping station chamber supplied by the river and a 23m flanged high pressure hose connected the pumps to the nearest point on the raw water main to Ormesby WTW.

Ample contingency

“The existing pipework connections were 450mm so we also supplied a number of gate valves, non-return valves, adapters, reducers, bends and Y-pieces to enable secure and leak-free connection to the 200mm hoses. We were able to use our experience of a similar project at another location, along with the initial site survey to designed to the solution to fit the requirements on site.”

The temporary pumping solution was installed by Integrated Water Services with the support and advice of the Sykes Pumps team who assisted with connecting the pumps up. While all three pumps remained on site into September wehen the heatwave had passed, only the UVO 150/100E 6″ diesel pump was actually required to boost the water supply throughout the summer months.

Mark Burdens adds: “The water shortage was not as severe as we thought it might becoming but having plenty of contingency was the right choice. With Sykes Pumps’ help we were able to bring an asset that had been out of use for four decades back into service and our experience this summer means we know that we can utilise this solution to provide additional capacity in the future.”

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