A plumber who works for mechanical and electrical services specialist J S Wright has solved the problem of failing expansion gaps on first-fix soil vent pipe installations.
James Mwangi, who works out of the Birmingham-based company’s London office, devised a gap-fixing method that has impressed plastic pipe manufacturer Polypipe Terrain so much so that it plans to incorporate the aid in its installation manual.
The idea came about when James was working on a 10-storey residential scheme and following the traditional method of marking and withdrawing the pipe to maintain the correct expansion gaps between fittings.
James explained: “The downward force of the installation process can lead to movement at the joints, so I came up with the idea of fixing a 12mm spacer between the gaps of the fittings using piping instead.
“I cut pieces of piping and married them to create a solid and accurate fit. The spacers can be removed easily at second-fix stage.”
Alan Whyte, senior contracts engineer at J S Wright, said of the invetion: ‘“The ‘Mwangi Clip’, as we have dubbed it, is a real time and a cost saver. It is so strong that you can literally stand on it without compromising the expansion gap.
“The clip avoids having to replace sections of pipe and, much worse, remove tiles and sections of sanitary ware later in the building process.”
“Making use of a seal ring adaptor above and expansion coupling below, James’s method also provides greater flexibility in allowing for fittings to be turned to suit site requirements post-installation.”
Carl Brunger, drawing office manager for Polypipe Terrain, said: “The ‘Mwangi Clip’ is a simple yet brilliant solution to ensuring the expansion gap is maintained on Terrain PVC installations.
“We are now looking to include it as an installation aid under our new product development process.”
J S Wright’s MD, Marcus Aniol, added: “I am delighted by the ingenuity shown by James in producing a new working method that will save time and money.
“It is great to know that we have so much talent within our workforce.”
J S Wright, is headquartered in Birmingham and offices in Bristol and London. The company was voted one of the UK’s Top Ten Specialist Contractors to Work For in the 2016 Construction Enquirer Awards, and named H&V News Building Services Contractor of the Year in 2015.