PLANNING A SPOT OF PLUMBING?
When you are looking for a plumbing business, we recommend you select one which is an eligible member of an Approved Contractors’ Scheme, such as the WaterSafe or the Water Industry Approved Plumbers' Scheme (WIAPS).
Even something as simple as a tap or a washer which has not been endorsed by one of these approval bodies can have an impact on the quality of your tap water, including contamination, or even the taste and the smell.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your water system meets the standards set out in the Water Fittings Regulations and Bylaws, which are there to protect the wholesome water we supply. It is a criminal offence to breach these regulations.
You should always use WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approved taps and fittings and a plumber endorsed by WaterSafe or WIAPS can help with this. It’s not always obvious what is approved and what is not – even in major DIY stores.
Using an approved contractor will give you the following benefits:
• Approved contractors are fully qualified to carry out plumbing work in homes and business premises. They have specific training in Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, which helps them to make sure there should be no risk from poor installation or sub-standard materials that could cause contamination of your drinking water supply. For example, unapproved taps can cause your water to have an antiseptic taste, or may contain certain metals which can leach into the water, and some unapproved rubber hoses can cause bacteria the build-up which can get into the water supply.
• They will issue a ‘work completed’ certificate for their work, which provides a defence for property owners who are challenged by a water supplier enforcing the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws.
• For most types of plumbing work, plumbers have a legal duty to notify the water supplier before they start work and this can lead to delays. Approved contractors can carry out some work without the need to provide advanced notification to the water supplier.
• Approved businesses hold public and employers’ liability insurance.
• There is an independent complaints procedure in place to resolve any technical disputes about how the work has been carried out, should a concern arise.
• Approved businesses will be required to put their work right if it does not meet the standards of the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, enforced by the water supplier.
• Approved businesses are audited to check they are complying with the rules of their Approved Contractors’ Scheme.
Please note the individuals listed on WaterSafe are not employed by Northumbrian Water. The register has been provided to help customers find an approved plumbing business.
WaterSafe is a dedicated online search facility bringing together thousands of qualified contractors employed by plumbing businesses from the seven existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes across the UK.
WaterSafe aims to raise plumbing standards by helping customers find the nearest qualified plumbing and heating professionals.
The Water Industry Approved Plumbers’ Scheme (WIAPS) is run by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) on behalf of Northumbrian Water. This is one of the seven existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes in the UK. Not all plumbing businesses registered with WIAPS have signed up to WaterSafe, so WIAPS may have additional qualified plumbers near you.
This website also includes a list of groundworkers who are qualified to carry out work on outside water services only and other specialist workers who work within designated sectors.
Follow the link to search on the WIAPS website - www.wras.co.uk/WIAPS/Plumber_search.asp
WaterSafe is the new nationwide scheme helping customers find qualified plumbers.