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  • How plumbing regulations affect you

    The regulations are known as the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

    These national regulations set out the legal requirements for all plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances, within your property. They also cover the design, installation, repair and maintenance of plumbing systems.  

    They are designed to prevent drinking water from:

    • contamination
    • waste
    • misuse
    • undue consumption
    • incorrect measurement. 

    They apply at the property boundary at all buildings connected to the public water supply including properties that have a private supply connection.

    Approved products 

    One of the most important ways to meet the regulations is to ensure that you only use products that have been tested and confirmed as suitable to carry drinking water within your property. 

    Water is a food grade product and like food packaging, pipes and fittings cannot contain harmful materials that may contaminate the water. 

    It is not illegal to sell unapproved fittings, but it is against the law to install them into a plumbing system. Therefore it’s best to check their suitability before buying.

    Using products that are unsuitable are not only against the law, but can cause contamination of your drinking water.

    Some contamination can be harmful to health or generate unpleasant taste and odours.

    WRAS logoPutting these issues right and replacing unsuitable fittings can sometimes require inconvenient, intrusive plumbing work and become very expensive. 

    The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) publish a list of fittings that have been tested and proven suitable for use in plumbing systems. This directory allows you to search and look up specific products.

    Did you know? 

    Solder containing lead has been banned since 1986 for use on plumbing systems due to its ability to leach lead into drinking water and its high toxicity, especially to children and infants.

    However, there have been cases where its use has continued and it can still be purchased as it suitable for use on other systems, eg, gas and electricity.  

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