Creating greener plumbing and heating systems through retrofitting

Close Up Of Woman Carefully Filling Kettle From Tap And Saving Water

With the construction sector embracing the government’s ambitious net-carbon targets, we look at how we can create greener and more water and energy efficient plumbing and heating systems through retrofitting.

Retrofitting in the plumbing and heating industry is the process of modifying or installing equipment to make the plumbing system more modern or rectify problems, such as leaks. Reconstructing pipes can increase their longevity and make the plumbing system more durable. People often renovate their plumbing systems when selling their house to boost its value. However, retrofitting has the added benefit of improving how economical a plumbing and heating system is – one pipe at a time.

Why would you want to retrofit your plumbing system?

Retrofitting has benefits for those selling their property, but also offers many pros for homeowners who want to improve their current system and make it more durable and efficient. You can save money in the long term by fitting more economical solutions, while making the system more efficient and environmentally friendly. Whether it be correcting a low water pressure or adding smart technologies to your system, a few retrofits here and there easily make for greener plumbing and heating.

You can also ensure the safeguarding of your property from leaks or other issues that may occur in the future. Leaky pipes or fittings don’t just have financial implications, they can leave occupants without water, or in worst cases force them to temporarily relocate.

Simply put, we are becoming more environmentally conscious and want to prevent water and energy wastage where we can. Whether it’s a leaky toilet, dripping taps or something larger, these can all lead to huge amounts of wasted water. According to research from the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme, 27% of Brits wait over a week to fix a dripping tap which causes 168 litres of wasted water.

Let’s take a look at the retrofitting solutions available to create a more economical and more desirable plumbing system.

Reliance Valves MultiSafe Leak Detection System

Install smart systems and stop leaks in their track

Not only can leaks be hard to detect if they occur behind walls, but they can also be difficult to fix, often resulting in extensive renovations of surrounding areas. The MultiSafe Leak Detector Control Valve, from RWC’s Reliance Valves, counteracts leaks by preventing them long before they might occur. It works by identifying the issue early to prevent water damage, sending an alert when an unusual fluctuation in water flow is detected, and automatically shuts off the water supply.

The MultiSafe Leak Detector Control Valve also recognises micro leaks, when exceptionally small amounts of water continuously leak over time and monitors water usage and patterns, identifying potential areas for conservation. This makes the system a lot more efficient and can create a greener home for the future.  

Exchange for more efficient materials

Simply exchanging the materials used in your plumbing and heating system can yield positive results from an economical and environmentally friendly perspective. Installers and homeowners can reduce costs and make homes more water efficient by installing RWC’s JG Speedfit and SharkBite push-fit solutions that make installation faster, maintenance simpler, and system reconfiguration more straightforward and sustainable.

The JG Speedfit plastic and SharkBite brass push-fit connectors are an easy solution for installers as they require no tools for assembly. With stainless-steel teeth, the fittings ensure a secure connection, and the O-Rings guarantee a watertight seal.

Finding leaks after they happen is important, but preventing them is a more effective and lasting solution. Conveniently, RWC’s plastic and brass connectors address one of the biggest causes of leaks – corrosion. Because JG Speedfit and SharkBite fittings are corrosion-proof, they last longer and require less maintenance, making the installation a faster, cheaper, and greener choice for homeowners. 

Reliance Valves Floreg Isolation Valve

Conserve water at the tap

Homes require a lot of water and energy, but these resources aren’t always used efficiently. Often, this happens without the homeowner’s knowledge, but it can result in rising energy costs and environmental impact.

By installing intelligent valves that maintain flow rates at a certain level, energy and water waste can be reduced. Water flow can be shut off completely or restricted by using the Reliance Valves' Floreg Isolating Valve. The isolating valve has an external lever that controls the flow of water. For example, restricting the amount of water used when flushing the toilet. Most toilets have a six-litre or nine-litre flush option, so you could easily save three litres of water multiple times a day.

Greener plumbing for greener homes

Navigating retrofit projects can be tricky, as each installation may require new products or a complete system re-arrangement. From space, safety, and smarter solutions, transforming a home’s plumbing and heating system needs due care and diligence. That’s why we are on hand to offer the product guidance and installation advice that will make retrofitting projects smooth, economical, and ensure homes are greener for an environmentally friendly future.

To speak to a technical expert, please contact us here. And for more information on our RWC family of brands and how our complementary solutions can help futureproof your retrofit projects, please visit

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Andy Lea Headshot

Andy Lea

Technical Sales Engineer

About the author

My journey in the construction industry began when I trained as a plumber.

Fuelled by ambition, I took the leap and became self-employed, running a successful business for eight years. Seeking to expand my knowledge and enhance my skills, I pursued a Higher National Diploma, which provided me with a broader perspective on the industry.

Today, I proudly celebrate 22 years with RWC, a company I've called home. As a spokesperson, I have the privilege of sharing my extensive expertise and insights, connecting with audiences and conveying RWC's vision and innovative solutions.