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Our History

Engineering is problem solving!

Following the invention of the World’s First thermostatic steam control valve by our MD’s grandfather, The Horne Engineering Company Ltd was founded in 1909. For the first time in history, temperature control of hot water steam boilers (calorifiers) became an automated process; regulating the temperature to 60°C to match demand for hot water. This valve became known in the market as The Standard Valve and was sold predominantly into fever, work and poor houses of the time – the precursor to today’s NHS.

In the early 1920s, another World First came with Horne’s invention of the hot water blender, which, using the same thermostatic technology, mixed hot water with cold water to deliver warm water at a safe and comfortable temperature. This was in direct response to appeals from the (Standard Valve) market for a product to reduce the incidence of scalding accidents in communal bath and ablution houses.

Over the next 80 years our Thermostatic technology was refined and the product range extended to include thermostatic mixing valves sized from DN15 – DN 50 (for point of use, group, system and process applications) and the development of Horne’s thermostatic shower valve, now included in a range of pre-plumbed surface mounted shower panels.

Changes to the Healthcare regulations motivated further innovations and shortly before the company’s centenary in 2009, the Optitherm thermostatic tap for clinical hand washing won the coveted Building Better Healthcare Award for Best Interiors Product.

Early into the company’s second century saw the design and launch of the highly functional yet minimalist design Duŝo sport shower column to the market.

In 2013, the company achieved its 3rd World First with the design and development of the patented In-line Thermal Disinfection Unit, ILTDU. This was specifically developed in response to the growing issue of retrograde contamination of hospital domestic water systems with antibiotic resistant pathogens such as Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. The ILTDU allows for the periodic, controlled, thermal disinfection of the water system proximal to the point of discharge and including terminal fitting (tap), thermostatic mixing valve and all its ancillary fittings and upstream pipe drops (i.e. everything downstream of the ILTDU).

As Horne’s markets continue to evolve and their needs change, Horne, with its close customer links, is well-positioned to further develop its product range and invent new product categories. 

After all, engineering is problem solving!