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  • Plumbing and regulations

    If you are having plumbing work done in your home, you may need to consider if they meet the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

    These national regulations set out the requirements for plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances and cover design, installation and maintenance.

    They aim to prevent inefficient use, waste, unnecessary consumption or incorrect measurement of water and, most importantly, contamination of drinking water.

    All plumbing systems, water fittings and equipment supplied or to be supplied from public water supply in all types of premises come under these regulations.

    They apply from the point where water enters a property’s private service pipe. Premises that don’t have access to a mains water supply connection are not governed by the regulations.

    As a water supply company, we’re responsible for enforcing the regulations.

    WRAS regulations

    The regulations and you

    If you’re carrying out your own plumbing installation make sure you know which requirements you must meet - see Regulations and plumbing - need to know for more information.

    If you’re employing someone else to do the work, consider using an approved plumber who will guarantee the new installation complies with the regulations.

    An approved plumber will provide a certificate saying that his or her installation or maintenance work satisfies the regulations.

    If breaches of regulations are found in the certified work, the legal responsibility falls on the approved plumber and not on you.

    Owners and occupiers of premises, and people installing plumbing systems or water fittings, have a legal duty to ensure the systems satisfy the regulations and advance notice must be given of proposed installations. Architects, developers and plumbers must comply with the regulations on behalf of future owners or occupiers.

    Complying with the regulations

    Plumbing systems must be designed, installed and maintained to meet the regulations’ requirements and plumbing materials and fittings must be of a suitable standard.

    It’s not illegal to sell unsuitable fittings and appliances but they would not comply with regulations if fitted so do check suitability before buying.

    The regulations list the standards for suitability and the Water Fittings and Materials Directory, published by the Water Regulations Advisory Service (WRAS), provides up-to-date details of a wide range of items which have been tested and shown to comply.

    Plumbing must be installed and maintained properly to protect water quality, ensure safety, ease of access for maintenance, detection of leakage, protection against damage or freezing, etc.

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