A day in the life of a Zip Engineer

Certainly no two days are the same for any installer and James Still, an engineer for Zip UK, is no exception.  We went on the road with James, who’s worked with the boiling water tap manufacturer for over two years and is one of 53 service engineers employed by the company to service and maintain its products, across his London patch, seeing the types of jobs he comes across on a daily basis.

Image 1As we all want things in an instant, the boiling water tap market is continuing to grow for both commercial and residential installations. With the ability to be fitted at the sink or on a separate font, Zip offers a flexible range of products that can work in a range of environments; all with the backup of their dedicated team of engineers who can ensure the product you have sold continues to run at its best year after year.
James comments: “I was an electrician for eight years before starting to work for Zip. Although I enjoyed what I did, I wanted something that involved more interaction with customers.  A typical day involves 5 – 8 jobs depending on the distance I need to travel, and can include servicing maintenance contracts to general upkeep and troubleshooting, so it is certainly varied. Jobs range from larger office buildings to individual properties, but in all it is amazing how much people rely on their Zip boiling water tap, so I know I have made a real difference to their day once the job is complete.”
Image 3The first job of the day is to a firm of Lawyers on Chancery Lane where a Zip HydroTap was installed in its kitchen to provide filtered boiling and chilled water efficiently and easily for meetings and employees. James carries out the scheduled six month service plan.
The service involves flushing the system, checking for scale, changing the filter, and general maintenance and electrical checks, before flushing Chlorinated water through the system to ensure it is completely cleansed.
Where scale is a big issue, for peace of mind Zip offers a scale management plan where the inner tank can be replaced and the old one refurbished by Zip, minimising disruption to the customer.
Image 6Further down Chancery Lane the second job of the day involves trouble-shooting an issue with a HydroTap that was delivering chilled water but not boiling water. The problem had been spotted first thing that morning.
After assessing the issue James was able to replace the hot water pump which had been affected by limescale in this hard water area. Providing back up for installers around the country, where customers opt for a maintenance contract, the team from Zip aim to tackle any issues in 24 – 48 hours to minimise disruption. Carrying a majority of the parts needed to solve most problems instantly, installers can be sure that their customers will be looked after even after the installation has taken.
Further checks are made on the unit before returning it to the under counter unit all ready to use.
Ideal for use in larger office areas, this particular HydroTap model helps provides chilled and boiling water for around 100 employees. As Zip’s products are the only models on the market that can be fitted to a font connected to adequate drainage, it gives flexibility when choosing where to locate the product. Here the unit has been installed to the right of the tap allowing for wheelchair users to comfortably and easily use the tap whilst seated.
Image 7aJames carries out maintenance on an under counter unit that is making a rattling noise. All screws were tightened and, as it was the uneven nature of the cupboard underneath that was causing the unit to move about, padding was added to stop any further movement.
Taking time out from the manual side of the job James checks the workings of a HydroTap installed in another office and advises the customer on using the safety functions incorporated into the model.
Image 812.30am:
Just time to head back to the van for a bite to eat before heading off across London to the next job.
James visits the London School of Economics to ensure the HydroTap units they have installed are working efficiently.
Image 11The final visit of the day was to a company on The Strand where a HydroBoil is installed in one of its kitchens, supplying boiling water to a large number of employees.
As the capital (and much of the country) is known for its hard water, it is advised that installers fit a limescale filter to the cold tap at time of installation to avoid excessive build up over time. Taking out an ongoing maintenance contract will further ensure scale doesn’t affect the product further down the line.
The unit installed here did not have a limescale filter and no contract was in place to service it prior to this visit. Having found the unit had completely scaled up over a number of years, James was able to descale the unit by hand, replace any parts affected by the limescale and return the unit to its best once again in under one hour.
Getting in the know
To help capitalise on all opportunities, Zip has put a great deal of investment into its training offering. Focused training sessions can be arranged either at Zip’s HQ in Clerkenwell, London or at a merchant’s premises if more convenient. The sessions can be tailored around where there are gaps in knowledge or perhaps if there a sector you feel you can make more of with the latest information under your belt.
To make sure time is well spent, sessions take a module format, which gives the opportunity to address specific needs. Sessions include why and where boiling water taps, instantaneous or storage water heaters should be fitted, installation techniques, commissioning and setting up products for customer’s requirements, right through to servicing, diagnostics and trouble-shooting.
As there is nothing like having a go yourself, all products are available as working models to provide the opportunity to get to grips with technicalities. Step-by-step demonstrations and practical hands-on diagnostics form a large part of the sessions to show best practice and how to avoid any common pitfalls.
For more information about Zip or the training offered, contact Zip’s Customer Service on 0845 6 005 005 or visit www.zipheaters.co.uk.