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28th January 2021
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A fast and easy way to turn off your water in an emergency
Britons fork out over £1.8 billion per year to repair the damage caused by leaking water in their homes, according to recent research from Halifax Home Insurance. Leaking water from washing machines, dishwashers, burst water tanks, pipes, showers and baths causes damage to some 3.3 million homes per year.
However if there is a water emergency a third of householders don't even know where their stopcock is located!
This isn't surprising really as they are tucked away in the most inaccessible places, behind kitchen cupboards, hidden under floorboards or at the back of packed cupboards. And if you can find your stopcock, years of non-use can make it difficult to operate.
Surestop will eliminate the need for you to frantically flap around searching for the hidden stopcock if you discover a leak - or if you can find the stopcock - sprained wrists in trying to shift it. The device enables you to turn your water off and on instantly - great in an emergency - and even better; it can be fitted into any easy-to-access area.
The design (diagram below) is powered by water pressure alone, so there is no need for it to run on electricity or batteries. The switch is linked to the Surestop valve (connected directly into the water supply) by 2m of flexible tubing, allowing the switch to be placed in a remote location, away from the stopcock.
If you are leaving your home or there is a leak, you can turn your water supply off instantly, without any hassle, to limit water damage or to prevent your pipes freezing up in winter. The device is easy to install and - according to the company's Angus Turner, pictured here - is completely reliable.
The switch was invented about 10 years ago, but has only started to become popular in the market recently, with over 300,000 units sold since it was launched. I think that the supply and fit of such a product would be a useful add-on service for plumbers and fitters and asked Angus what he thought.
He told me that the company runs an Approved Installers Course that is a free of charge and which takes you through all aspects of installing and commissioning SureStop water switches.
The course is designed for plumbers or anyone who is regularly involved in installing plumbing and heating products. The sessions last around three hours.
During the course you get the opportunity to build your own Surestop unit and test it out to make sure it works. All of the common technical issues are covered to ensure that you know how to correctly install a Surestop and have sufficient technical knowledge to tackle any issues you may face on site.
As well as looking at the technical aspects of the product, the company also discusses the ways in which plumbers and other tradesmen and women can boost their incomes by installing Surestop water switches. Alex said that there are many case studies of plumbers who have been through the course who have been able to develop significant business installing Surestops.
"As consumer awareness of the product grows so will the opportunity for experienced installers," he said.
"Every attendee receives a certificate and is able to describe themselves as a Surestop Approved Installer. We are also able to provide free product literature, van stickers and a web banner for those of our delegates who have their own web sites."
T: +44 (0) 845 643 1800
F: +44 (0) 845 643 1801
4th March 2011