REAL estate developer John Karenju,60, says he has finally found a long-lasting solution to piping challenges after many false starts.
Karenju says he had a preference for cheap pipes in the hope that he could maximise profits, but they ended up compromising the quality of his houses resulting in lower than expected valuation.
“Though there are set standards by the government but most companies don’t adhere to them and that is why in market we have similar products but of different quality,” he says. “The market is totally price-driven.”
Most of the building materials are imported for price benefits, he says, whereas the same are manufactured domestically.
“There is nothing that disgusts as leaking pipes whether in the toilets, bathroom or even in the kitchen. They make the best housing units look ordinary,” he says. “You only invest in your house once in a lifetime and let there be no mistake made in choosing the right product.”
One of the products recommended by Karenju is Astral CPVC pipes. The pipes are corrosion-resistant, support little bacteria-growth and are compatible with hot and cold water.
Manufactured by Astral Pipes, CPVC pipes can withstand high temperature and have lower coefficient of thermal expansion than alternative plastics.
“It is very plumber friendly as it doesn't need heating before joining,” Astral Pipes general-manager Suneel Menon said in an interview.
He says the pipes use the latest technology of cold welding and takes about a minute to join. They are also light-weight, cutting the joining process turnaround time by almost half.
“The problem is that most of these ordinary pipes have materials which are affected by chlorine in water supply causing breakdown of polymer chains and potential leaks that pose a great threat to human health,” Menon said. “There is need for customers to look for products with warranties since this is the only way you can differentiate between low-quality products and high-quality ones. If a company gives you a warranty, it shows they believe in their products and they are products of high quality.”
Increased competition in pipe manufacturing space has resulting in price undercutting while compromising on quality.
Suneel said the options for manipulation in the plastics industry are high in terms of quality and, therefore, the customer stands cheated all the time.
Among other qualities, he says, developers should go for pipes that are retardant, light-weight and those that do not change the colour of water when used.