The Flexseal Coupling has become a contractor staple, however the manufacturer has taken a deeper look into its other product offerings and outlines further significant opportunities for merchants supplying the new build housing market.
As a manufacturer with 30 years history supplying the builders’ merchants and civils & drainage sector, Flexseal claims its technical expertise is second to none and its army of circa 65 members of staff all focused on adding value for customers.
The specialist manufacturer says its product portfolio offers “solutions to connect almost any wastewater pipe configuration” and, talking to PBM specifically about the housing market, Flexseal states that it is “raising awareness with merchants of the competitive advantages some of its products can bring when tendering for housing projects.”
Ricky Hasprey, National Sales Manager, explained: “With competitiveness at an all-time high and an increased need to provide reliable products and transparent product information, it’s never been more important for merchants to have credible and dependable suppliers.
“As a specialist manufacturer, we’re well placed to provide direction and support for our customers and when we spot opportunities, we work with our merchant partners to ensure the whole supply chain benefits.”
As well as its established range of flexible couplings, the company also manufactures a large range of lateral connection saddles which are alternative solutions to factory made pipe junctions and Flexseal states that its saddles offer multiple benefits to both merchants and contractors, specifically those serving the housing sector.
How lateral connection saddles work
To connect two pipes together linearly, Flexseal Couplings are used at the joint of two pipes. Similarly, if a lateral pipe is to be connected into a linear pipe then a Flexseal Saddle acts the same as a coupling, in that it creates a watertight and airtight connection between the two pipes.
To connect into a linear pipe, a core hole must be drilled at the desired position, then the saddle is to be connected into the cored hole and the lateral pipe is to be connected into the top of the saddle.
Materials cost savings
Flexseal says that “saddles generally come at a much lower cost compared with factory made pipe junctions and we’re committed to see both merchants and contractors benefit from this.” Indeed, many of the company’s Saddles are designed to be universal or semi-universal, meaning they have the ability to connect to multiple pipe sizes.
Pipe junctions on the other hand are made to specific sizes to connect to specific pipes and as the size increases so does the cost. However, Flexseal states that its saddles — with their universal design — cost the same no matter what main pipe size is to be connected into.
Ricky said: “All of this means that the bigger the pipe to be connected into, the bigger the cost savings when comparing saddles directly with pipe junctions. To put the material savings that Flexseal Saddles can bring into context, when projects are large enough to be put out to tender the compounded cost saving saddles bring is often in the thousands.
“Housing projects can be specifically lucrative, given that every house requires a connection into wastewater systems and rainwater systems, meaning at least two saddle sales for each home. For merchants faced with stiff competition, any material savings that can be provided for projects adds a great advantage.”
Material costs savings are a great way to grab the attention of buyers but ultimately contractors need to feel confident that any new product brought into a housing project tender needs to fulfil, if not exceed, the performance requirements and expectations.
To support product confidence, Flexseal has had the vast majority of its saddles tested and approved by the water company-recognised WRc Accreditation. This approval can prove specifically important to groundworkers in the housing sector, as houses are ultimately connected into adopted drainage systems.
“The WRc Approved scheme is recognised and established within the construction industry, providing suppliers, buyers and end-users confidence that the products are fit for purpose,” explains Ricky. “The scheme reduces risks in procurement by assuring quality, performance and installation processes have been tested with the most stringent of requirements. Flexseal can offer a range of lateral connection products which carry the assurance of WRc Approval.”
It’s important for merchants to also understand the user benefits associated with saddles vs pipe junctions, as material costs are just some of the savings housing groundworkers can expect to see according to Flexseal, as Ricky adds: “The method of making a lateral drainage connection using a Flexseal Saddle is much quicker compared with traditional junction methods and therefore overall project costs are reduced.”
Ben Beatson, Product Development Manager, continues: “The method to connect household drainage systems into main water company systems include excavation of earth to access the main pipes. To fit a factory made junction, a full section of pipe needs to be excavated, cut, removed and replaced with the junction — a time consuming process involving multiple people, lots of manual work and often heavy lifting equipment.
“To fit a Flexseal Saddle, only the top part of a pipe needs to be excavated, a core hole drilled and installation of the saddle which takes approximately 5-10 minutes. This method can be completed by one person with no heavy lifting equipment and very little low risk manual work involved.”
For merchants without the space to stock junctions and having to rely on direct to site services from suppliers, Flexseal states that its saddles offer the benefit of being small, compact and robust pieces of kit, allowing merchants to stock an array of universal saddles for concrete, clay, twin wall and smooth PVC pipes. These benefits are also transferable to benefit transportation of the product.
For merchants stocking Flexseal products, the manufacturer has committed to provide training support in various forms as explained by Marketing Manager, Ryan Lockwood: “Our support package is a huge part of our value proposition to the market, so for merchants wanting to capitalise on saddle sales, we offer training courses via our online Flexseal Academy or in branch, delivered by one of our product experts.”
For more details on the Flexseal Academy, go to: academy.flexseal.co.uk