If you require a plumbing work. Finding a plumber that you can rely on to work safely in your home, to the legally required standards should not difficult. However, unlike the other controlled services; electricity and gas, there is no requirement to belong to a competent persons scheme to work on water systems. This makes a reliable plumber difficult to find.
The Water Regulations
Just because there is no competent persons scheme in the home, this does not mean that there are not regulations covering the installation of water systems. The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 has replaced the complicated set of byelaws that went before. The regulations do require that an approved contractor only can work on the supply system. However, as a plumber can contaminate the water supply by poor workmanship and incorrect fittings.
Plumbing and Building Control
A plumber is expected to work to the Building regulations. Approved documents “G” and “H” are probably the most relevant. Like all work on buildings, every aspect of the building regulations apply. This is to ensure that plumbers do not affect the strength of a building by cutting incorrect notches in joists or compromise the fire safety of a building by running pipes through a fire break.
Document “G” covers the requirements for sanitary arrangements in the home. Document “H” covers drainage and waste disposal. Whilst Document “M” also covers provisions for disabled users.
These documents cover the types of pipes, seals and installation of plumbing as well as the requirements to test the plumbing systems.
Supplied water to the home is wholesome and strictly controlled by the requirements of the Water Industry Act. The reason for the water regulations is to ensure the supplied water is not contaminated by poor workmanship or use of incorrect fittings by a plumber.
It remains obvious that you would not want sewage coming into contact with drinking water due to the presence of bacteria. Bacteria can also grow in conditions were the water is stored at an inappropriate temperature, such as in a hot water system or pipes. Hot water may also be drunk. So correct installation and design of such systems is required.
A simple tap that is not approved for connection to the water system can cause contamination. The Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) approve what can and cannot be fitted directly to the supply.
The range of plumbing services offered are:
- Maintenance and repair – of pipework and fittings
- Alterations – to waste and water systems such as in a bathroom.
- Installation – of pipework and water systems