NASTY SUMMER NIFFS OR FLASH FLOODS MEAN IT IS TIME TO CLEAN OUT THE DRAINS
As hot and humid weather and heavy thundery downpours hit the local area, the sweet perfume from gardens in bloom may be replaced by a nasty niff and uncharacteristic flooding may occur. These are sure signs it is time to check your drains.
The warm wet weather that followed the recent heat wave may be good for the garden. Below ground, though, the roots that support the new growth can play havoc with drains and sewers, penetrating pipes and causing blockages. And it’s set to continue for a little while yet.
As a householder, if the blockage is within the boundary of your property, you are responsible for clearing it. If it is beneath the street outside, it is probably the responsibility of the water company.
Locating the blockage can itself be difficult though. The best and most certain way is to put a CCTV camera into the drainage system to see what is actually down there – and where it is. A reputable drain clearance company will give you a detailed report.
There are a number of drain clearing products sold in supermarkets and DIY stores. Some will clear the initial problem – but few will stop it coming back.
Rather than using a chemical-based product, take a tip from the professionals and consider using biology to shift the blockage. The UK’s largest emergency plumbing and drain clearance business Drain Doctor Plumbing, for example, uses an enzyme cleaner which digests organic wastes in drains, breaking down fat and grease build ups which lead to odours and blockages. The company recommends using the product on a regular basis to keep drains free-flowing and clean-smelling.
Robin Banks of Drain Doctor says: “Using enzymes rather than chemicals is much better for the environment – and, in the long run, much more effective at keeping drains clear.”
Even enzymes, though, won’t get rid of roots which can grow across pipes and then catch debris coming down the drain until it builds up to create a really effective blockage. If that happens you will need a specialist with the right equipment to remove the roots and repair the drain.
Prevention is, of course, better than cure and Drain Doctor has a number of tips to avoid summer drainage and plumbing problems.
Install a strainer in plug holes to catch hair and other objects that could block drains.
Don’t pour fat and grease from cooking down the drain – allow it to cool and put it in the bin.
Don’t dispose of old oil, paint or other substances down the drain.
Have an established plumber inspect drains for leaks, damage and corrosion and get problems sorted out while they are small, rather than waiting for a disaster! By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, plumbers can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or penetrated by roots. Ask the plumber to give a diagnosis of the work needed and provide a written estimate up front. The ones who don’t probably have something to hide such as VAT costs or other ‘extras’.
If you do have a drainage problem and simple DIY techniques don’t solve it, call in the professionals – but make sure they are professionals. Drainage is becoming increasingly technical and you should always seek a qualified drainage technician such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Call them 24 hours a day on 0800 3357 999.
LITRE METER LAUNCHES SECOND OIL AND GAS SAFETY SURVEY
UK flowmeter specialist Litre Meter (www.litremeter.com) has launched the second in a series of oil and gas industry safety surveys that will be introduced throughout 2014.
The survey (http://tiny.cc/ped) is designed to enable manufacturers and resellers to test assertions about functionality and construction and quality of manufacture.
The new survey concentrates on the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and one lucky respondent will win a Kindle for taking part.
The purpose of PED is to harmonise national laws regarding the design, manufacture, testing and conformity assessment of pressure equipment and assemblies of pressure equipment. This includes pressurised storage containers, heat exchangers, steam generators, boilers, industrial piping, safety devices and pressure accessories. Such pressure equipment is widely used in the process industries including oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastics and rubber and the food and beverage industries – all of which are key markets for Litre Meter.
All relevant equipment, plant and systems in the European Economic Area must comply with the PED. It requires the level of hazard of pressure equipment to be assessed and classified into 1 of 5 categories labelled SEP (sound engineering practice) then categories I-IV. The higher the level of hazard, the more extensive the level of quality assurance required during the design, manufacture and testing of the equipment.
Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss said: “There has been increased focus on safety issues in the offshore sector over recent years. We want to make sure that our manufacturing focus is on safety in relation to both the environment and industry trends.
“Issues surrounding the environment and hydrocarbon releases, asset aging and life extension drive the focus on safety. We want to be able to help in the process of recognising hazards and reducing risk as well as help engineers take ownership of risk and asset integrity through proving assertions about the functionality and construction of instruments.
“Asset integrity management ensures that the people, systems, processes and resources that deliver integrity are in place, in use and will perform on demand over the asset’s lifecycle.
“Being able to prove assertions about the manufacture and functionality of equipment are vital in this process.”
Earlier this year Litre Meter conducted a survey of the use of Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) in the specification of instrumention in the oil and gas sector. The results of that survey are published at http://tiny.cc/sil-result.
To take the PED survey visit http://tiny.cc/ped and spend just a few minutes answering the questions.
LITRE METER APPLAUDS LEWA SALES PERFORMANCE
UK flowmeter specialist Litre Meter (www.litremeter.com) has presented an award to its US distributor LEWA-Nikkiso America Inc. (www.lewa-inc.com) for outstanding sales performance.
With offices in Houston, Texas and Holliston, Massachusetts, LEWA-Nikkiso America is a leading provider of metering solutions for the oil and gas industry. Applications include chemical injection solutions for oil, gas and water treatment; high pressure injection: solar operated chemical injection systems and sealless metering.
Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss said: “We have a strong relationship with Lewa in the United States. As expert solution providers for chemical injection in oil and gas Lewa is well-placed in one of Litre Meter’s core markets.
“Natural synergies between the companies have allowed us to forge strong and long-standing trading relationships. The evidence of this is borne out in Lewa’s sales performance and we were delighted to present them with these awards.”
Charles Wemyss travelled to Houston to present Lewa’s sales manager Bob Fletcher with two awards – one for becoming Litre Meter’s first $1 million distributor and a second for outstanding sales performance and maintaining its position as Litre Meter’s best distributor.
Bob Fletcher said: “Litre Meter’s products are high quality and perform well in highly demanding conditions. VFF positive displacement flowmeters are ideal for chemical injection measurement and we regularly specify them in our solutions.
“Litre Meter’s VFF flowmeter is ideally suited for use in the oil and gas industry and in particular for low flow / high pressure applications.
“Years of experience in chemical injection applications onshore and offshore have confirmed the instrument’s capability to reliably measure fluids under extreme conditions of both temperature and pressure.”