Keraflo Float Valves : Cold Water Storage – Fit the Right Valves & Don’t Improvise!
Published 25 Sep 2016
Keraflo Float Valves
Today T&D present a Guest Blog from Neil Weston, Sales Manager at leading float valve manufacturer Keraflo about how the practice of tampering with cold water tank equipment could land you in hot water.
More than half of all cold water storage tanks sold in the UK are fitted with a raised float valve chamber. This is a small housing on top of the tank where the valve is installed to either maximise the tank’s capacity or enable the obligatory air gaps that are required by water companies.
However, problems may arise when it comes to fitting the float valve in the chamber. Installers are running into problems when they try to install a standard “ballcock” valve. This type of valve cannot work effectively because the “arm” is not long enough to reach down into the main part of the tank. While this can be overcome simply by using a ballcock valve fitted with a “drop arm”, it can be viewed as an expensive alternative. So some installers are choosing to fit their own drop arm –which essentially means that the valve has been modified beyond its original design parameters.
The Dangers of Modifying Float Valves
This type of float valve modification will almost certainly have inherent design issues which can present major problems – with serious consequences for the building.
If the float valve is not correctly aligned it could twist and therefore fail, resulting in flooding. Furthermore, if the valve leaks (which they can be prone to), the excess force on the float can cause the valve either to twist or fail at the pivot point. Another potential problem when the valve opens fully (either due to supply out-stripping demand or the tank being emptied for cleaning or maintenance) is that the ball may go back on itself and jam against the side wall causing the valve to fail in the fully-open position – a major flood risk.
With so much potential for failure, this then begs the question; who is culpable if a modified valve fails?
Would the building insurance cover the owner in the event of a failed valve that was modified beyond its original spec? Or would the insurance become invalid and therefore leave the owner liable to pay out for the damage?
It is a hot topic at the moment. Ultimate responsibility could lie with the installer personally, the building owner, or even the specifier, landing someone with a hefty clean-up bill. The culprit could also find themselves in deep water as such practice will render the valve’s approval invalid.
Fit a WRAS Approved Keraflo Float Valve
It is a legal requirement in England and Wales to conform to the Water Regulations Act 1999. WRAS approved products, including Keraflo float valves, have been tested and proven to have met the Act’s requirements. If a product is not WRAS approved a water company can insist that it is removed.
According to Item 2.7 of the Standard Terms and Conditions of WRAS Fittings Approval: “It is a condition of WRAS Fittings Approval that no changes or modification to the Application / Approved Product, fitting, assembly or range of fittings, including changes, substitutions or modifications to the materials of construction, components or sub-assemblies, be made without the Applicant / Approval Holder first notifying WRAS Ltd. Full details of the proposed changes must be provided to the Scheme and if required Samples supplied for testing and reassessment. Failure to comply with this condition will immediately invalidate a previously granted Approval.
“With respect to water inlet valves; if an aftermarket drop arm is added to a WRAS approved float valve, then the modified assembly will not be considered WRAS approved.”
Thankfully, there are a range of specifically designed Keraflo float valves available that will work in tanks with raised float valve chambers, without the need for modification.
Keraflo Aylesbury Valves : Brochure Presentation
The Aylesbury Delayed Action Float Valve Range is designed to provide an accurate and efficient method of controlling the level of stored cold water in tanks with and without raised float valve chambers. All Keraflo float valves are WRAS approved.
Delayed Action Float Valves Designed for Purpose
Overview of the range of WRAS Approved Keraflo float valves:
Keraflo are renowned for their ‘Aylesbury™’ range of delayed action float valves. Launched in 1987, the design pioneered the use of ceramic discs in valves for cold water storage tanks. Keraflo float valves are designed to provide an accurate and efficient method of controlling the level of stored cold water in tanks with and without raised float valve chambers and are constructed to operate over long periods without the need for maintenance.
Benefits of Keraflo Aylesbury Valves
Keraflo have a free download, Keraflo “Think Tank” best guide to Water Tank Management. The guide is intended to be a useful summary or professional good practice in the management, maintenance and care of cold water storage tanks in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
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- Keraflo Aylesbury Delayed Action Float Valves – Brochure Size: 765.40 KB
- Keraflo Think Tank Best Practice Water Tank Management Size: 150.75 KB