Jamie Holmes, a Watersafe approved plumber from Princebuild, explains why cutting corners with your home plumbing is bad news for you and your family. 

As a Watersafe approved plumber, it’s my responsibility to make sure that the work I complete not only functions correctly, it also functions safely. This means protecting the water supply within the home and keeping drinking water safe and free from contamination.

Many homeowners are not aware of the Watersafe standards, but by making sure they only employ approved plumbers to carry out work in their home they can be sure they stay on the right side of the regulations and keep their water supply fresh and clean.

As well as my plumbing qualifications, I have received additional training to enable me to complete work to the high standard required by water companies to protect the water supply.

There are a few issues that I find in many homes, most are easily solved and can be put right quickly by a Watersafe plumber.

One of the most common involves outside taps. I regularly find that these have been fitted without the required double check valve, which gives protection from back flow. Without this it’s possible for water to be sucked back into the water supply, which with a hose or other device connected to the tap could introduce some nasty bacteria. Double check valves should be fitted on all external taps. Hose pipes should be stored in a coil and disconnected when not in use.

Jamie HolmesBall valves on tanks and particularly toilets are also a problem area. Very often we see that the critical level is not correct and the inlet of water is lower than the overflow. This can result in water being sucked back into the inlet in the event of an overflow. This is a particular issue with toilet cisterns as people often use in-cistern cleaners and fresheners which contain harmful chemicals. It’s pretty easy to check this just by lifting up the lid to the cistern, there should be at least an inch between the water level and the inlet and the overflow should always be lower than the inlet.

Other problems can arise from DIYers and unaccredited plumbers using sub-standard fittings. They are readily available over the internet but many are not WRAS approved and some are not even made to British standards. Using these poor quality fittings can be one of the biggest problems we find in domestic properties as it can be a lot of work to replace all the components to reach the Watersafe standards.

Another basic error is placing hot and cold pipes too close to each other, this causes heat transference and warms up the supply of cold drinking water. Correctly fitted and properly insulated pipes will be fitted by all accredited plumbers.

Some of these issues may sound pretty minor, and the event of contamination unlikely, but why take the risk? No one wants to be drinking dirty water and no one wants to spend more than they need on home plumbing jobs. That’s why you should always do it right the first time. Use a Watersafe approved plumber to ensure the job is done correctly and safely to protect you and your family.

Find out more from Princebuild at www.princebuild.co.uk

And find your local Watersafe approved plumber at www.watersafe.org.uk