A brick is simply not enough

17/01/2012 | Of course its right that we should become more aware of the vast quantities of water that we use in the UK. The rate of growth in our water consumption is unsustainable and we should all endeavour to cut down from our current excessive levels. The water supply companies in the UK are doing a lot to highlight the facts and the pressure is on to reduce consumption, particularly in the bathroom. Some companies are giving away cistern displacement devices to reduce the flush volume in WC suites. Others are giving away flow restrictors for use in tap and shower supply pipework. These freebies are great in highlighting the need for water conservation. But members of the BMA are constantly frustrated by the complaints they receive from consumers who have used these devices but have then found that their bathroom products don’t work correctly. In some cases products are actually damaged. Of course, it is not the original product which is at fault but the incorrect use of the water saving device which has caused the problem. Bricks, bags and bottles are called cistern displacement devices and the idea is to place one of these in the cistern and immediately save water by reducing the flush volume. But take care! These devices will cause problems if used in a cistern which has been installed within the last decade. Modern low volume WCs - some are already down to 2.6 litres, short flush - are carefully designed to clear and cleanse the bowl. Using a displacement device will stop the WC working correctly and more water, not less, is inevitably used. Additionally, some plastic devices will deteriorate over a period of time and when they crumble they can block the drains. Other apparently simple devices called flow restrictors can be installed in the supply pipework to taps and showers. But if they are used in ignorance, they can cause serious problems. Who reads the manufacturer’s instructions? Examples are now quite common of consumers installing the free restrictor to the cold supply of an instantaneous electric shower. The resulting reduced flow can be beyond the tolerance of the shower causing it to fail, dangerously and irreparably. Take care! Advice from the BMA is don’t install a flow restrictor if it will impair the performance of a highly technical bathroom product. Damage can be the result. The only real way to save water in the bathroom is to install fittings which have water efficiency built into their ‘DNA.’ Take a look at recently upgraded Water Label website at www.water-label.eu where you can search through the database of almost 1600 new water efficient products, the list is growing daily. You’ll also find your local stockist there, too

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