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Eskimo Design / Best of British  / LOVE YOUR PLUMBER. FIND A GOOD ONE.


My Grandad was a Somerset plumber and he always used to say to me, “radiators only work as well as the plumber who puts them there”. Of course radiators, like any other well designed functional product, should always be designed to work extremely well. And these days they should be incredibly good looking too. But Grandad Bob was right, we are still all reliant on the excellence of skilled tradespeople at that ‘completion’ point. And what we need to do, is work with them to ensure a helpful, straight forward and cost-effective installation.
Like most radiators – and there are now thousands of variable options on the market – Eskimo radiators are mindful of straight forward, good installation. We utilise as little components as possible, even when it comes to the more innovative designs, like our accessible hidden valve ‘Hinge & Bracket’ models. But ultimately, the way that your radiators look and their robust, ongoing functionality, all begins at installation. Eskimo’s radiator and towel rail designs have already started their journey at our factory in Birmingham, every element of form and function, lovingly and obsessively addressed before leaving us. Prior to that, during design and product development – we’ve consulted plumbers and electricians, to ensure that we’ve considered absolutely everything and that they would be more than happy to install our products. Sure, our Product Engineers have great knowledge, but never underestimate the breadth of experience and latest knowledge that we are lucky enough to be able to extract, from the people that we consult. The number of times we’ve found ourselves at the Eskimo design studio looking at each other with an “ahhhhh, i see!” moment. To be fair, that’s mainly me, as I don’t have an engineering background. But none the less, it’s fascinating and invaluable information.

Plumbers ensure that there is no noise from heating systems. Radiators are never the cause of noise you see.  They explain to us that whooshing/whistling water – is an indication that the pump is set too high and/or the radiators are not balanced. Clanking from pipework shows us that there is insufficient space for pipe expansion (copper expands 1mm lengthways per metre), so if pipes are trapped between floorboards and joists then as the pipes expand you may get “clanking” noises. Your radiators are simply amplifiers of sounds from elsewhere. Many noise problems can be swerved if plastic rather than copper pipe is used. Whilst plastic pipe does have some obvious advantages, our plumbers always recommend using copper pipe for the final connection up to the radiator for aesthetic reasons at the very least. Sometimes it can also be as simple as the radiators being too tightly wedged onto their brackets. A good plumber makes sure that those small, silent, yet important matters, are avoided. We’ve learned a lot from our plumber peers. We listen and continuously learn. Cold spots, for example, it’s a common query.

When you listen to what works well, what can be improved, this informs the smallest of design decisions.

Who knew that radiators would be a part of the aesthetic consideration when you look back at the history of heating. Radiators were just functional, therefore, how they looked just had to be how they looked. A piece of equipment. Well, that’s how Eskimo actually began. Phil Ward – our Principal Product Design Engineer and MD of the Company – was helping out on a listed building way back, and was horrified by how the stunning interior space was diluted by large, ugly, inefficient radiators. They couldn’t do anything about them, they had to leave them right where they were. Eskimo was born in 2001 from that moment of asking the question, “well why aren’t there any efficient radiators on the market that work well and blend in with their spaces perfectly?” At the time, Eskimo was the only gang in the UK to offer good looking designer radiators that were energy and cost-efficient. Now, there are plenty of options available on the market which we are pleased about – I know, we shouldn’t like “competition” right? But we do – although we are still pompous enough deep down in our design bellies to honestly feel that we don’t have competitors. Genuinely though, the Eskimo family still remain passionately dedicated to saving the world from the ugly and impractical saboteurs of interior design. And we welcome anyone else that has the same ethos.

Grandad Bob isn’t around anymore sadly, but as his grandaughter who never aspired to be interested in plumbing in the slightest, I smile to myself and often chuckle with my dad, that I’m fascinated. Learning more and more, so as to keep design innovation working successfully alongside with installers. Love your plumber, because, without them, we are a leak away from corrosion, stained floors and noisy pipes.

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