Solutions for bathrooms, kitchens, plumbing and central heating

A luxury escape: Lisa Scholtens on bathroom trends

The bathroom is one of the few private spaces a person can find in a busy home – this means it should be a special space, not an uninspiring, purely functional one. Lisa Scholtens of Waterware discusses current and emerging bathroom trends and the importance of ensuring this space is not overlooked when creating a home that offers zones of restful luxury. more

Showered with Warmth

Bathroomware Nz- Shower A warm home is a great thing to have. But even if you think your home heating is perfect as it is, your bathroom is probably one of the coldest rooms in the house. Having the ultimate shower experience in winter is something we should all get to enjoy, and a few tweaks to your bathroom can give you what you deserve.

The first step is to install a heated towel rail. This is easily done with a central heating system, as the hot water pumping round the rest of your house will already be helping to fight the chill in your bathroom. A ladder shaped heated towel rail will provide ample room for all the towels and pyjamas you want to heat whilst you’re having your shower, and will help to dry your towel afterwards in preparation of the next day’s showering needs. To ensure your bathroom has a good ambient temperature have underfloor heating, like heated tiles, put in when you get your central heating system installed. This will keep your feet nice and warm when your stepping in and out of the shower. Refin: advantages of underfloor heating has more information on the benefits of underfloor heating.

The next thing you will need is a good supply of hot water. Nobody wants to have everything set up for their ultimate shower experience only to find the showering itself is done in icy water. There are two choices to ensure you have a good supply of hot, either having a hot water tank or having a system that produces instantaneous hot water.

The hot water cylinder is where hot water is stored, a crucial role in the showering business.  Hot water cylinders come in two types; with a coil and without a coil. Heating a hot water cylinder with a coil indirectly uses the heat from your boiler. This is done when there is a set of radiators connected to the boiler, which would slowly contaminate the boiler water with iron residues and make the water unsuitable for washing. A cylinder coil is a little tube fitted inside the tank to heat up water, this happens by using water from the central heating system and pumping it through the coil. The reason the tube is coiled and not straight is because it has more of a chance of touching the surrounding ‘cold’ water and heating it up.  A hot water cylinder without a coil is warmed with an immersion heater, which heats the water directly (sometimes ones with a coil have an immersion heater as a backup for if the boiler breaks down).

Storing your hot water in tanks has advantages and disadvantages. It is great for dealing with a big demand, like after sports practice or during the after dinner bathtime/dishes/laundry rush. However, the tanks can grow harmful bacteria and when you run out of hot water it takes a longer time to replenish when compared to instant hot water systems. To help prevent this from happening, will help you choose the right sized tank.

Instant hot water heating systems work in a similar way to your kettle. This is usually done with a ‘combi’ boiler, which means it provides hot water for both domestic use like showers and for your central heating system. This can be cheaper as the water is only heated when needed and is very quickly produced from cold water, however instantaneous hot water heating systems are not so good with high demand and if the boiler fails there is no backup source for a hot water supply.

Finally, when you have you bathroom a pleasant temperature, a good supply of hot water and a snugly warm towel ready to wrap yourself in after your shower, you need to make sure the shower itself will be a good one. A shower head can make or break a good shower. Which one is best for you depends on who you are and what you do, from the eco minded parent to the hard-core labourer, you need to find a shower head the gives you the ultimate shower. A good rain shower head can wash away the day’s worries; and warm frozen and sore muscles.

Waterware   has everything you need for a warm, cosy, shower in the darkest depths of winter. Just look at our Bathroom and Kitchen range of products or call our great staff (+64 9 273-9191) for a chat and to find out more about our great range of bathroom supplies for you warmth while having the ultimate shower experience. more
Plumbing Power

Plumbing Nz- Bathroom The plumbing of your house is like the intestines of your gut; a bit gross, important not to get blocked up and you never want to see them! Plumbing plays a big role in your household, it is vital to keeping your house warm as most home heating systems such as central heating or underfloor heating require pipes full of hot water to function properly.  Just like your intestines your pipes and fittings require maintenance and care to avoid having to replace them.

A home plumbing system has three key elements. The water supply system, the appliances and the fixtures (such as your boiler, toilet and washing machine) and the drainage system. Water enters your home via the main water supply line. Knowing where your water mains are is handy in times of burst pipes or flooding- so find it and remember where it is. If you need help finding it The Family Handy Man: How to find your gas and water shutoff valves will give you a good indicator.

Once inside you home, a very important pipe splits off- the hot water pipe! This is the necessary piece for all home heating, hot showers, clean dishes, everything you can think of that needs hot water.  This runs to your boiler and hot water cylinder and then pumps hot water to wherever it is needed around the home.  A cold water pipe runs alongside the hot water pipes to all the places that need both hot and cold water, like baths and kitchen taps.  

Wastewater then enters the drainage system, which usually works entirely through gravity. First it enters a U-shaped pipe (a trap), which has standing water and prevents sewer smells entering your home. Then the wastewater flows through a series of pipes, moving downwards towards a vent pipe system that mixes fresh air with the water to prevent suction from slowing, or even stopping, the water drainage. Vent pipes are connected to the roof, which is where they bring the air in. Be aware that leaves and other debris can block the vent pipes at the roof end, and so they need to be cleared regularly.  Once the water and air have mixed, the solution flows towards the main waste and vent stack, where it then flows out your home along the sewer line.

It is important to get to know your pipes, especially how they can be controlled and gauged. The temperature, flow and pressure of pipes is measured with gauges that are attached to the outside of the pipe. Attached to the gauge is little knob that you can rotate to increase or decrease the temperature and pressure as you desire.  Do be careful not to go to high or you will wreak havoc with the pipes; it is important to monitor pressure, temperature and flow, as too much of any of these can cause bursts, leaks, and other forms of expensive damage. Nowadays most pipes are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) but some are made from copper. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, for example PVC is more resistant to corrosion but can cause to water to have a slight plastic taste. On the other hand copper is better in an earthquake as it is more flexible, but it is more expensive. When making an informed decision view the complete list of pros and cons to make sure you make the best choice in pipes for your home.  

Keep track of how many litres of water your household is using with metering. Metering can be done manually, but if you don’t want the meter man crushing your prized roses with great, big, stomping books then Hydrolink Metering will be better for you. Hydrolink is a M-Bus hard wired system, this means it is wireless and the meter man can collect information on how much water you have used remotely. All they have to do is be within transmission range. This prevents the errors caused by manual reading and keeps for flowers safe! For more information on Hydrolink visit us here.

Luckily for us all Waterware has everything we need to keep our plumbing safe, working and up-to-date. Just look at our website or call our great staff (+64 9 273-9191) for a chat and to find out more about our great range of plumbing supplies; pipes, fittings, gauges, boilers and water systems. All the necessary things to keep your pipes and your home running smoothly! more
Stop Feeling Hot And Bothered Over Heating Choices

Centra Heating Nz- Home more

Boilers 101

Central Heating Nz- Boilers

Boilers are key for every home. They are the heart of central heating, underfloor heating and hot water systems; most forms of home heating use boilers in one way or another. Each boiler is different, with different fuels, levels of efficiencies and roles in the house, but each is key to keeping you happy and warm!  As boilers are so vital to the home it is important to have the best boiler for your home, and keep it effective, safe and working properly.

Boilers have a myriad of functions round the home. In central heating systems they provide the warmth to your home by pumping hot water through pipes to your radiator or underfloor heating pipe network. In your hot water supply they either directly heat the water or indirectly heat it through coils. Combination (‘combi’) boilers provide both your heat and your hot water, and are a vital organ in the home.  As boilers are such a central part of home heating it is important to keep them as effective as possible. Be on the lookout for any leaks, any pipes that had water drips in the winter should be checked by a plumber and replaced if necessary,  and if you use wood pellets or coal to power your boiler keep an eye out for soot build up. To create a good checklist of common problems to look out for have a look at Common boiler problems  for help. Sometimes your boilers problem is as simple as a frozen pipe or broken thermostat, but always call a trusted professional if in doubt.

It is important to keep your boiler up to standard, for both your safety and your health.  Boilers need regular servicing. Otherwise you risk a build-up of harmful bacteria, iron residue, particulates that can block or corrode pipes or many other problems. It is a good idea to get a qualified, registered boiler service person- you wouldn’t see anyone other than a doctor for health checkup, so give you boiler the same treatment! The same goes for if you are upgrading a boiler, don’t sell yourself and your boiler short by getting a second rate installation job done. Always pick the professionals. Companies like Waterware that sell a variety of boilers usually have a fully qualified installation team. For more information of when you should get your boiler serviced check out Homeserve: Annual Boiler Services.

When choosing your boiler it is important to know what fuel is readily available to you and the advantages and disadvantages of this particular fuel. With fuel you need to load in yourself such as Wood, Pellets and Coal, Wood is best. It is available in both the north and the south islands, is the most clean burning of the three and has a near zero carbon footprint.  With all three of these fuels ash and soot need to be regularly cleaned from the boiler, and you need to have a way to store the excess fuel. Pellets are cheaper than wood, but exceed emissions standard. Coal is very dirty and the boiler needs daily attention. Electricity is a good option to pick, very easy and convenient to use, but this comes with a hefty bill compared to other fuels.  Gas is expensive and natural gas is only available in the North Island, but there is low initial costs with both of them.  Diesel and used oil are the other two options. Diesel is the best, it is fully automatic when in use and only needs annual servicing, it is great for a hassle free boiler. Used oil is dangerous, and may be harmful to your boiler if the fuel is contaminated. It is banned by some local authorities so if you are planning on using it, check with your local council that it is legal. If you need more information on the different types of boiler fuels to help you decide which is best for your home visit Boiler Fuels.  

Waterware has a great range of boilers and qualified installation people. They will give you a boiler that is efficient, effective and safe  and help keep you and your home warm!

For more information about their boiler supplies visit their website or call 64 9 273-9191 to talk with their helpful staff. more
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