Zip Heaters get Top Marks at Northumbria University

 18 Aug 2015


Northumbria University is the fourth biggest academic institution in the UK with two extensive campuses in and around Newcastle upon Tyne. Recent extensions to the accommodation facility, sports centres and teaching blocks meant the University needed a more suitable drinking water provision with a very specific set of criteria.

Efficiency and ease of use were key points in the specification and the units needed to be durable, tamper resistant and capable of dispensing clean, filtered water in a busy and demanding environment. Most important of all was the need for an ongoing maintenance programme, to ensure that the equipment was installed and maintained professionally.

“It was important to find a manufacturer that could service and maintain its own equipment,” says David Greaves, Engineering Officer for the campus property services at Northumbria University. “The ongoing maintenance agreement that we have with Zip means that the drinking water facilities are kept in proper working order so there is always fresh water available for students and staff to drink.

The True Test

To ascertain the suitability of Zip’s HydroTaps and Chilltaps, a free of charge pre-installation inspection was conducted by a Zip engineer. Replacing old drinking water facilities meant that water and electricity supplies were already in situ close to the installation sites. Power supply and water pressure were checked and reduction valves where fitted where necessary. Before the installation began, the water quality was tested to determine whether additional filters were needed and the waste pipes were inspected to ensure the correct drainage facilities were available.


Alongside these installations, Zip also fitted an additional range of chilled water only HydroTaps in more remote kitchens and corridors. The locality of these taps meant that pre-fitted waste pipes were not available, so Zip installed their optional ‘Drainless Font‘ accessory as a solution to the problem, which collects the run-off water safely beneath the counter. These fonts could be emptied manually and allowed staff and pupils to enjoy chilled filtered water throughout the entire University campus.

Northumbria University now benefits from a variety of Zip units throughout its sports halls, teaching and accommodation facilities as well as communal areas and corridors. Further more, they have chosen to benefit from Zip’s maintenance agreement which ticks all the right boxes for convenience and cost efficiency for large scale commercial premises.

David continues: “We chose to install a mixture of Zip HydroTaps and ChillTaps to suit different campus locations and individual requirements. We now have over 60 units in place.

“The maintenance agreement provides a multitude of benefits, including the convenience of a 24-48 hour break-down response time as well as scheduled 6 month visits to clean the machines and change the filters. This means that any problems are dealt with quickly and professionally and most importantly, it gives us the guarantee that any work carried out complies with the legal requirements for the sanitisation of drinking water in the UK.

“With a first time repair rate of 98%, I am confident that the Zip maintenance agreement is the right solution for the ongoing drinking water needs of such a large University.
“The fixed cost maintenance agreement allows the University to budget easily with no additional or unexpected expense. The units meet all our criteria for sustainability, performance and style meaning Zip really has given us the complete package to suit our needs.”