The water tap can be used at extremely low temperatures.
Marko Krtić and Joško Radanović from Ilok in Slavonia managed to achieve something which is quite a rarity in Croatia – turn an innovation into a completed product, and a very popular one at that. Their water tap can function normally, without freezing, even at extremely low temperatures, reports Glas Slavonije on February 3, 2017.
The water tap is made of high quality stainless steel. It is detached and free-standing, with the length of about 160 centimetres, of which about 60 centimetres is underground, and, most importantly, it works flawlessly even at extremely low temperatures. “I work for the Ilok water company and every winter we face major problems due to the freezing of outdoor taps. Pipes are breaking, people are left without water, and repairs are very expensive. Therefore, I came up with this idea”, said 45-year-old Marko Krtić, which has been dealing with various innovations for the last 20 years and is a member of the “Tesla” Association of Innovators.
It took them four days to turn their idea into a working prototype. That happened in 2013, and in 2015 he and his colleague Radanović founded IWT (Innovative Water Tech) company. They say it is a small company that was “started from scratch, with our own funds”. So far, they have produced about 70 water taps. Although similar products do exist in other countries, Marko protected his patent globally and says that their water tap is unique.
“The water tap is made of several types of stainless materials and it incorporates a system of thermal self-protection, which is entirely mechanical. It can operate in temperatures up to minus 100 degrees, and even lower, without fear of freezing. The tap includes an embedded system to prevent uncontrolled leakage of water, as well as a sanitary drainage outlet supported by magnetic force that protects the inside of tap from contamination. There is just one important precondition – inlet pipes must be properly buried at least half a metre into the ground, because nothing can be done if the water freezes in underground pipes.
When temperature drops below two degrees, water tap drains the water from the pipe into an underground drainage area, so there is nothing in the tap to freeze. Even if temperatures reach 20 or more degrees below zero, the water will normally flow from the tap, with the excess water being automatically released again afterwards. Therefore, the tap can function 365 days a year without difficulties.
The water taps have been bought and installed by customers from many parts of Croatia, for example in Ilok, in a town park in Bjelovar, at a cemetery in Županja, at a community centre in Vukovar… Interestingly, during recent record low temperatures, they received many calls from usually warm Dalmatia. Marko and Joško also sold some of their taps to neighbouring countries, Serbia and Slovenia.
IWT hopes to expand production and hire a couple of workers. They are also preparing to apply for state incentives, and are currently negotiating with a well-known distributor for Europe.