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08 Aug PA 250

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Crime prevention starts with a hot doggie bath

The Stiebel Eltron Integrated Heat Pump (WWK 302 H) product and high-quality workmanship (installation) from Rivers Projects and Plumbing were donated to the Tshwane Municipal Police Department (TMPD) K-9 Dog Unit via a donation by Plumb-it Online in Centurion.

By Eamonn Ryan | All images by Eamonn Ryan

The Steibel Eltron heat pump at the TMPD K-9 Unit. Managing director of Rivers Projects & Plumbing Services, Frank Crisafulli, says, “The TMPD sent out a request asking for the Tshwane community to support their K-9 unit with products – due to them being a non-profit organisation, and this was picked up by Plumb-it Online who supplied the Stiebel Eltron Integrated Heat pump including the fittings and piping required.”

In response, Rivers Plumbing installed a 300ℓ Stiebel Eltron heat pump at the TMPD K-9 Unit – one of many CSI initiatives it undertakes with its various partners such as, in this instance, Stiebel Eltron and Plumb-it Online, supplier of taps, sanitaryware, heating systems and more. Plumb-it Online is celebrating 21 years and have lots of in-store and online promotions. You can visit them at: www.plumbitonline.zo.za

The K-9 unit looms large in urban policing, being responsible, after four to five months of intensive training, for crowd control, narcotics detection and even bomb detection. However, their accommodation north of Pretoria From left: installers Mabuyi Hadebe, and Allie Aubrey Maluleka; Frank Crisafulli; Dana Altmiks; and Nico Jooste. Front: Inspector Adrian du Plessis of the SAPS K-9 unit, and Senior Superintendent in charge of the K-9 unit, equestrian and specials ops, Nadine Bezuidenhout.had no access to hot water, which meant the dogs had to be washed with cold water. When the decision was made to help out, it was decided that a large electricity-saving heat pump was to be installed, which according to Stiebel Eltron manager of technical sales Nico Jooste, saves as much as 60 to 80% of the typical water heating bill, depending on variable environmental conditions.

“We didn’t want to put in a conventional geyser as it would consume a lot of electricity, and we did all the piping to the bath house and shower head,” says Crisafulli. All this was done to the background of barking by German Shepherds, Collies and Labradors. The installer has a significant influence on performance. A heat pump is only as good as its installation: Pipe distances must be kept as short as possible; and the pipework needs a proper insulation to avoid energy losses. All this influences the performance of a heat pump and the efficiency you can get out of the system.

The efficiency of a heat pump is similarly determined by climatic issues and its positioning. Ambient air temperatures affect the coefficient of performance (COP) of the unit, says Jooste. “The higher the air temperature, the better the performance will be.”

Two of the dogs of the K-9 Unit.With a heat pump, two important factors must be considered: the input- and the output-parameters. The input parameter consists, for example, of the ambient conditions that the system has to operate within, such as temperature and humidity, which have a great impact on performance. The output parameter describes the requirements of the specific project, like the amount of domestic hot water required. In this instance, the washing of dogs was not expected to be an onerous demand on the system.

Inspector Adrian du Plessis of the SAPS K-9 unit explains the circumstances that lead to their call for help: “In winter it is difficult to wash the dogs and keep them clean – it was a punishment for the dogs. They have to be groomed properly because we go into public areas. Now, with the hot water the dogs love being bathed.” It puts the dogs in excellent fettle for subduing lawbreakers. He explains that the K-9 unit will respond to a tip off, get a search warrant and visit specified premises such as people’s homes. The dogs are also used to search a venue before an event, and also in the case of ATM bombs. From left: Stiebel Eltron manager of technical sales, Nico Jooste and managing director of Rivers Projects & Plumbing Services, Ffank Crisafulli.Patrol dogs in turn are used to apprehend dangerous or armed suspects, or premises where such as person has holed up.

The dogs are useful in many crime situations, for instance where a criminal has disposed of a firearm or explosives after a crime – the dogs can sniff it out.

The dogs are brushed and combed every day, and washed as needed, but at least once a month, says Senior Superintendent in charge of the K-9 unit, equestrian and specials ops, Nadine Bezuidenhout. “You cannot bath a dog too often as it damages the oils on the hair. They need to be in good condition at all times.”

Rivers Plumbing will service the heat pump as and when necessary, says Crisaffuli, as they must be serviced much the same as a car requires regular servicing. Several factors can affect the ongoing performance of a heat pump.


 


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