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Hand-washing guidance

With the UK and the rest of the world in the middle of a major health crisis due to #CoronaVirus, the current Government guidance at home includes instructions to wash your hands for 20 seconds at a time.

However, in line with the BS EN 816 standard for sanitary tapware, time-flow taps are required to have a flow of no longer than 15 seconds  – at a measured flow rate not exceeding 4 litres per minute.

This means that to stay safe and comply with Government guidelines, you would need two presses of a time-flow tap, with 10 seconds of water wastage from every wash of your hands.

With the current outbreak growing in significance every day, safety is the key priority but there is also a global battle against water wastage which has been ongoing for some time now.

With the increased need for hand-washing and more people paying closer attention to doing this right than ever before, there is probably more water wasted right now than there has been for some time.

As a business, this highlights the impact our non-concussive time flow taps or infrared time flow taps could have on wider society. Both offer a solution to the potential water wastage problem, with water flow able to be set and altered by the property owner. The infrared also improves hygiene as it doesn’t require a touch to get water flowing.

While the obvious priority right now is containing this virus, it will be interesting to see in the long run who considers the potential water wastage that a society focused on hygiene first could have.

Perhaps at some point in the future regulations will change, but for now, press twice to be safe!

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Inta pledge support for 2021 instalment of popular endurance challenge

Leading anti-scald bathroom products manufacturers Inta and Zilmet have pledged to sponsor a unique sporting event in Staffordshire when it returns in 2021.

The Hixon based companies, both long-time supporters of the Trent 100, have agreed to defer 2020 sponsorship until next year after the event was delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Trent 100 is the UK’s longest team endurance challenge for stand-up paddleboarders. Taking place over the course of two days, competitors cover 100km of fast water before crossing the finish line, starting near Inta’s head office in Staffordshire and finishing in Nottingham.

Dave Mistry Pain of the Trent 100 organisation team, said: “We are grateful to Inta and Zilmet for renewing their support to the competition once again, especially as this allows us to plan ahead in uncertain times.

“Next year we hope to welcome more athletes than ever from all over the world, bringing a unique event and attraction to Staffordshire.”

Inta, which recently celebrated 10 years at its base in Hixon, Staffordshire is one of the UK’s leading bathroom, plumbing and heating manufacturers and has been developing and producing products for more than 15 years.

Meanwhile Zilmet, a group company, is an internationally-renowned – and Europe’s largest – expansion vessel and heat plate exchanger manufacturer.

The companies sponsored the inaugural Trent 100 in 2017 and have continued to do so annually since.

Cynthia Fisher, Director at Inta and Zilmet, said: “The Trent 100 is a fantastic event and has a global appeal for lovers of endurance challenges. I’ve always enjoyed being at the start to see them set off.

“We have a fantastic relationship with the organisers and are delighted to pledge our support for next year early, so we can help ensure its success in 2021.”

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Intatec at Ten: Plumbing, People and Phones

As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of anti-scald bathroom products celebrates ten years since becoming a stand-alone business, the directors at Intatec are reflecting on a decade of success, as they face challenges far removed from its launch day.

Created in 2002 as a small offshoot of another business, the aim of Intatec was to bring thermostatic control to the bathrooms of Britain. After a period of product development, and testing the market initially with TMV2 and TMV3 anti-scald valves and showers, in May 2010 around a dozen staff joined founders Cynthia Fisher, Barry Humphreys and Stuart Gizzi at a newly fitted out facility in Staffordshire to begin properly under the Inta brand. Since then Sales Director Darran Bougourd has joined the board.

The initial problem with the new head office and warehouse, despite plenty of stock and months of planning, was the absence of a telephone or internet connection. Even the mobile phone signal was patchy.

Managing Director Stuart Gizzi said: “The launch into our new premises was the most carefully thought through project that any of us had ever been involved with, but despite promises and due dates with plenty of room for manoeuvre, our brand new network just wasn’t connected.

“We had to rely on mobile phones, with the team having to find the best part of the car park to get a signal to talk to customers. It was a time when fax machines were dying out, but we couldn’t even use one of those.

“But right from day one, we managed and we fulfilled every order, with a dedicated team who were instantly resourceful to make sure we delivered.

“Ten years on, as the world is in the midst of a Covid crisis, the tables are turned – we have the technology and high-speed connectivity that allows our teams to work from home. With the dedication of the warehousing staff, who quickly devised a socially distanced, safe way of working, we have been able to fulfil every order that our customers want.

“In 2010, the place was full of people with no connectivity. In 2020, the offices are empty but properly connected, so the people who need to can work from home.”

Since the Covid lockdown began, products on Inta’s most wanted list include HTM lever operated taps that have gone into some of the new Nightingale hospitals and touch-free anti-scald taps, for customers who are revising their washroom facilities for when the lockdown is lifted.

In 2020 Intatec has around 60 staff, a turnover in excess of £30m and has had to extend and reconfigure its warehouse to accommodate extra stock and product lines.

Stuart Gizzi continues: “We have dedicated ourselves to quality, safety and style and I think we have achieved that.

“In our early days we were campaigning to help bring anti-scald legislation into the Building Regulations and it’s one of my personal highlights that we’ve been instrumental in doing that, bringing an anti-scald message to not only the industry but to the plumbing trade.

“In 2010 our InatSol valve won an H&V News Award – it allows solar-heated, unvented hot water cylinders to be linked with a combi boiler. Over the past ten years, we have had ten consistent nominations. I’m really pleased that over that time we’ve managed to keep our innovation going and that this year, we’re shortlisted in the product of the year category again..”

In addition to safe and stylish bathroom products, Inta also launched its industry-acclaimed heating and plumbing arm three years ago, covering everything from magnetic filters to thermostatic radiator valves.

Stuart concluded: “I am really proud of what we have achieved as a team over the years, but right now I’m proud that we have managed to keep going to support people in the front line fighting the virus with the products that they need, and also that we are in the right place to support plumbers and tradespeople, as they fight to get their businesses back on track when the lockdown is lifted.

“Our Intamix thermostatic mixing valve has become the ‘industry go to’ as we sold our millionth unit in 2013, which I think is a good indication that we are getting our product ranges right. Plus, with us frequently winning the supplier of the year award across a number of buying groups, I think we have our people and product mix about right too.

“I want to say thank you to the people and businesses who have supported us over the years and I wish everyone the very best of luck for the challenging decade that we all have ahead.”

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Inta – Coronavirus update

As the Coronavirus pandemic and its knock on impact continues to grow, we wanted to reach out to our network to provide an update on our current position.

If it were any other year, our team would be out at trade shows and exhibitions right now. While we are missing that human interaction, we understand that the cancellation of such events right now is the correct measure to take.

As a company, we are still operating fully and would like to ensure our clients that they can reach us at any time, as would usually be the case – however, we have temporarily suspended face to face visits in favour of telephone/Skype conversations.

We will continue to work in line with Government guidance with regards to our procedures and look forward to things returning to how they had been prior to this outbreak.

Thank you.

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Statement Regarding Coronavirus (Covid 19)

As a business Intatec Limited is monitoring daily the impact of Coronavirus (Covid 19).

Advice has been given to our colleagues to enable us to protect all staff.

  • Overseas travel is monitored, following Travel Advice from HM Government
  • Advice on following basic hygiene protocols in line with WHO and PHE guidance
  • We have no suspected cases amongst our workforce, if we were to do so we would follow advice issued by PHE and ask the individual to self-isolate for the required 14-day period
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A New Year might mean a new kitchen or bathroom – but how do you overcome the same old limescale?

The start of a New Year marks a time for change, with many homeowners looking to revamp their property for the better.

In 2018, kitchens and bathrooms proved the most popular rooms to renovate, with the average new kitchen in the UK costing around £11,000, and the average price of a new bathroom coming in at £5,000.

But when it comes to designing kitchens and bathrooms, one thing that often gets overlooked is the issue of hard water and the damage it can cause.

“Almost 13 million households in the UK live in hard water areas – that’s almost half the households in the country. And with hard water comes limescale,” said Stuart Gizzi, director of leading bathroom, plumbing and heating equipment manufacturer Inta.

“Having a beautiful new kitchen or bathroom is all well and good until taps, shower heads, kettles, appliances and pipes have a nasty build-up of limescale, which can lead to multiple problems – from heating inefficiency hiking up energy bills and costly system failure, to an increase in the consumption of cleaning products and a shorter lifespan for electrical appliances.”

A simple, cost-effective way of improving water quality in hard water areas is to install a water conditioner, such as the Inta ActivFlo Lite.

The ActivFlo Lite is a compact device that is fitted to one water pipe in a property, and can be retro fitted. It works by treating the water directly, using a unique alloy that changes the chemical structure of limescale-forming calcium carbonate in water, converting calcite, a form of calcium carbonate that causes hard water, into aragonite.

Suitable for domestic applications, the WRAS-approved ActivFlo Lite is available with 15mm, 22mm and 28mm connections. It comes with a five-year warranty and is priced from just £53.22. “The ActivFlo Lite has a clean ‘in-line’ design which makes for quick and easy installation in both new-build and retrofit applications,” added Stuart. “Its patented fitting system incorporates a collar at either end of the device, which can be removed without any modification to the existing pipework.

“When you consider the tens of thousands of pounds people spend on a kitchen or bathroom makeover, installing an ActivFlo Lite for an extra £53 is worth every penny if hard water issues can be resolved – it works out to less than 1% of the cost of a new kitchen!”

For more information about the ActivFlo Lite, visit www.activ-tec.com

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Multigenerational bathrooms: Why the industry needs to cater for all

With an ageing population and an increasing number of adult children returning to their parental homes after moving out, multigenerational living in the UK is on the rise.

Research by insurance company Aviva* shows that multi-family households in the UK grew by 50% between 2005 and 2015. Assuming the same rate of growth in the next 10 years, there will be almost half a million multi-family households by 2025.

Having two – or even three – generations living under one roof means families are required to adapt their home to meet everyone’s needs and one room where this can prove difficult, is the bathroom.

Ever Range

Older generations or those with limited mobility may need living aids, shower seats and grab rails, while younger people often want to create a relaxing bathroom with stylish products and accessories.

So is the industry catering for this so-called multigenerational bathroom and does a happy medium for every member of the family really exist?

“When we design bathrooms we should be thinking about longevity, rather than just looking at short-term fixes,” said Stuart Gizzi, Director of bathroom manufacturer Inta.

“Multigenerational bathrooms are not impacting the bathroom market as much as they should be and the industry needs to do more to embrace this growing trend. At the moment it is still a niche market but when you consider the rate at which multi-family living is increasing, the industry is not up to speed.

“As manufacturers we should all be striving to design products that are practical and safe for older generations, yet contemporary and sleek enough for younger people to want to install them. It’s really simple – we need to move away from thinking that bathroom products for older generations are ugly.”

Inta, which has been developing and manufacturing high-quality bathroom products for over 15 years, has designed a series of independent living products for its Ever range that put safety first but do not compromise on aesthetics – including on-trend polished copper and chrome grab rails and a slip-resistant shower seat in black and chrome.

Thanks to copper’s antimicrobial properties, the rail eliminates bacteria quickly, preventing the spread of germs. The polished finish will keep its lustre, while concealed fixings with resin fixing plates mean that it looks neat.

Meanwhile, the strong and sturdy shower seat with contemporary styled slip-resistant black seat and chrome fittings has a maximum load of 125kg, as do the slip-resistant polished chrome grab rails, manufactured from full brass construction with concealed fixings.

Grab Rails

“Grab rails, low-level shower trays and shower seats do not have to look like they belong in a hospital,” continued Stuart. “The industry needs to promote future-proofing bathrooms to avoid families having to rip out and replace items further down the line.”

As well as designing contemporary fixtures and fittings, developing the latest shower technology is also crucial to the advancement of multigenerational bathrooms, according to Stuart.

“I think digital showers will actually lead the way for multigenerational bathrooms,” he said. “The benefit of digital showers is that they can be preset to optimum temperature and pressure. Some can even be switched on using a smartphone – so they are ideal for families who want the added reassurance of being able to control these aspects to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their younger and older relatives.”

And while aesthetically-pleasing products and digital innovation are key for the future of multigenerational bathrooms, safety still remains the number one priority at Inta.

Stuart Gizzi

“Multigenerational bathroom or not, I can’t reiterate enough how important the installation of a TMV-approved fitting is,” Stuart said. “A basic TMV2-compliant valve costs no more than £40 – it is not expensive when you’re talking about the difference between life and death.”

TMV2 certified valves offer the highest level of accreditation of anti-scald thermostatic mixing valves. Correctly installing and maintaining approved thermostatic mixing valves could help prevent hundreds of thousands of tragic scalding accidents.

Stuart concluded: “Ultimately, multigenerational bathrooms should embrace independence and inclusivity for everybody. To do this, manufacturers need to develop products that are accessible and safe for all ages.”

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Independent living bathroom products from Inta offer safety and style

Older people and those with mobility problems deserve better than “institutional” bathroom products that help them lead independent lives, says British manufacturer Inta.

According to Public Health England, life expectancy for the over 65s is the highest it’s ever been and as a result, many more older people are choosing to adapt their homes to live independently for longer.

To demonstrate that living aids can still look good, Inta, which has been developing and producing high-quality bathroom products for more than 15 years, has designed its contemporary Ever range of grab rails and shower seats.

Stuart Gizzi, Director at Inta, said: “Older people want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, which means they will need products that help them to maintain their independence for longer – but that doesn’t mean they should have to compromise on style and settle for an institutional-looking bathroom.

“We’ve created a range of products that not only provide an exceptional level of support for the user, but they also still look great in the bathroom; complementing existing chrome or copper fittings.”

Inta has carefully developed a series of independent living products that put safety first but do not compromise on style, including on-trend polished copper and chrome grab rails and a slip-resistant shower seat in black and chrome.

The copper grab rail has been designed for intensive use and is suitable for domestic settings, as well as care homes and hospitals. Thanks to copper’s antimicrobial properties, the rail eliminates bacteria quickly, preventing the spread of germs. The polished finish will keep its lustre, while concealed fixings with resin fixing plates mean that it looks neat. Meanwhile, the strong and sturdy shower seat with contemporary styled slip-resistant black seat and chrome fittings has a maximum load of 125kg, as do the slip-resistant polished chrome grab rails, manufactured from full brass construction with concealed fixings.

Inta also manufactures a safe touch thermostatic basin mixer tap with easy-to-grip lever option that enables it to be operated by hand or elbow. This stylish design, with anti-scald technology, a safe touch body and self-draining spout, is suitable for domestic bathrooms as well as sheltered accommodation and care homes.

Stuart added: “As a trusted brand, we’re keen to ensure that our products meet the highest of standards for both functionality and style. It’s important to offer a solution for people who want to maintain their independence and fit aesthetically-pleasing bathroom aids.”

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Flushed with success? How toilet technology is changing

We’ve come a long way since the days of the chamber pot and the cry of “garde à l’eau!” as people chucked the contents on to the streets. (Did you know it is this phrase that led to the English word ‘loo’?)

Over the years, toilets have become rather more sophisticated – from Sir John Harrington, the godson of Elizabeth I, who invented the flushable water closet in the late 1500s, to Alexander Cummings’ revolutionary S-trap, patented in 1775 – there have long been efforts to improve bathroom technology.

It was the 20th century that saw bathroom technology develop rapidly, with the advent of flushable valves, close-coupled toilets and automatic flushing systems among other introductions.

However, the toilet of the 21st century is yet another concept and we are seeing the rise of the smart toilet. Not surprisingly, the Japanese are at the forefront of these high-tech developments.

Smart toilet? Well, yes. Seat heating, coloured lighting, automatic lid openers and slow-closing lids, built-in deodorisers (no need for a spray of VIPoo, with that particular feature), and self-cleaning features such as using UV light, which interacts with the bowl to electrolyse and then sanitise the water. Even privvies that have music playing while you’re on the throne and those that can be controlled by an app.

These are fun – OK, not absolutely necessary – advancements that we’re likely to see only in the homes of celebs and multi-millionaires who have thousands of pounds to spend on a super-lav.

Other technologies, however, such as remote-controlled bidet with adjustable washing and flushing modes, and adjustable air dryers, are proving to be hugely helpful for the disabled and the elderly. We can imagine a time when these will become mainstream.

But controlling a toilet from an app and having mood music and tunes playing? Not for us, thanks!