How the Latest Water Testing Technology is Taking S Payne Plumbing & Heating to the Next Level

To try and tackle the issue of poor water quality in the nation’s heating systems, a revised British Standard BS 7593:2019 was introduced in May 2019. This standard has since been included in Part L of Building Regulations. It includes, amongst other measures, annual water testing to check the level of inhibitor and cleanliness of the system every year and a full system water test or re-dosing of inhibitor every five years.

Although the main driver behind introducing the new requirements was to raise standards, installers can also leverage these new rules to have more productive conversations with their customers and upsell water treatment services. Being able to offer a diverse range of services in the current economic climate gives businesses a competitive advantage, with more opportunities to maximise the returns on each job.

One installer who has already realised the full potential of specialising in water treatment is Sean Payne of S Payne Plumbing and Heating. Having worked as a British Gas service engineer in the early days of his career, Sean was already clued up on the signs and symptoms of a contaminated system and a strong advocate for water treatment, but found that it wasn’t always easy to encourage customers round to his way of thinking:

“If I go to a customer’s house and the boiler is kettling or the radiators aren’t heating up properly, those are pretty sure signs that the water quality is poor, but it’s not an exact science. And, because the issue is hidden away in the pipework and radiators, customers don’t always understand what you’re talking about or think you’re having them on.

After owning a successful heating business for many years, water treatment became Sean’s bread and butter after he realised that he could make a comfortable living out of it, but it would be less physically demanding than boiler installations. With this in mind, he consulted his local ADEY Business Support Manager, who introduced him to a new solution that would take his business to the next level: ADEY ProCheck®.

The new ProCheck® water test kit and supporting app allows installers to access key data connected to a system’s water quality, including measuring for inhibitor corrosion and pH levels. Users simply need to take a water sample, use the supplied test strips, scan these against a unique test card via the app and receive instant results. Through the most advanced technology, the app analyses the image to produce results and displays recommended actions on the user’s phone within seconds, without adding time to service routines. Installers can review the findings on-site and discuss any issues and potential treatments with the homeowner while still at the property, eliminating the need for a repeat visit. As well as showing the results instantly, they can be emailed directly to the homeowner for further reassurance and understanding.

Sean was one of the first installers to get hold of a ProCheck kit and he hasn’t looked back since. “It’s ground-breaking” he said, “there’s no other product on the market like it at the moment. You can see exactly what’s going on with the system in an instant and, best of all, you can also show the results to the customer to help them understand.”

Thanks to ProCheck, Sean’s business has become more profitable because he’s able to upsell the remedial actions required – whether a simple inhibitor top-up or a full system flush using ADEY MagnaCleanse®. Once customers can see the tangible effects of water treatment, they’re quick to jump on board, as Sean explains:

“When I book a customer in for their annual service, I explain that standards have changed and I’m now required to take a sample of water for testing to check everything’s OK with the system. Whilst I’m doing the other elements of the service, I’ll give them an ADEY consumer leaflet to read, which explains the basics of water treatment and why it’s so important.

“I do the water test last and take time to fully explain what the results mean and what the recommended treatment is. If the recommendation is to add inhibitor I do this immediately and take another test to prove that it has worked. The key to building trust is involving the customer in the process so they know that what you’re telling them is genuine.

“The ProCheck app automatically records everything, so when you next visit the property you know exactly what’s been done before. After a job, I always email or print the results for the customer and advise them that having this paper trail will be really useful should they need to make a warranty claim, as it proves to the manufacturer that the system is clean and has been properly maintained. This is a really compelling message for customers.”

As well as helping to engage customers on the issue of system maintenance, Sean has also found ProCheck to be a useful diagnostic tool when attending repair visits:

“I had a job recently where one of the radiators in a three-storey house wasn’t heating up properly, which I suspected was because of an issue with the TRV, but I couldn’t be 100% sure without taking the radiator off the wall. As sludge in the system can also cause similar symptoms, I thought for the sake of two minutes, why not take a quick water sample just to check? The results came back negative and confirmed my diagnosis so I could crack on with the replacement. Better for the customer and better for me as it means I can get the job done quicker.”

Having seen numerous benefits already, Sean intends to continue using ProCheck as a key part of his service offering:

“I’m using ProCheck on nearly every job now. It’s great. And the support from ADEY is the icing on the cake. If I ever have any questions or need advice, I just speak to my rep who will ring the technical department for me, allowing me to get on with the job as quickly and effectively as possible.”

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