Once water from the public mains leaves the pipe of the water company and goes into a private home, all heating systems, taps, valves, toilets, pipes and other water-using components must comply with the Water Supply Regulations. In order to ensure that there is no wasting of water or contamination of drinking water, the regulations say that all water components must be “of an appropriate quality and standard.”
As the installer of the products has the ultimate responsibility of making sure that the components comply with the regulations, it’s best if they use Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) approved products. To be approved by the WRAS, all products are tested by independent labs and given the seal of approval by water suppliers, who are responsible for ensuring the regulations are adhered to.
The tests involve:
- Taps are turned on and off 200,000 times to check they don’t leak
- Pipes are tested with pressurised hot and cold water
- Materials that come into contact with water are tested to make sure there are no toxic substances or bad tastes
- Air gaps are tested for backflow protection
- Check valves are tested
- Toilets are filled with fake poo to ensure the flush gets rid of the contents in full
WRAS approved products always display their specific logo, though for extra certainty, it’s possible to check the WRAS Product & Materials Directory
. The installer also needs to let the water supplier know what work they are carrying out, as installers are legally obliged to get consent for what they are doing.
Suffice to say, if installers are using WRAS approved products, getting the correct permissions from the water companies and following the installation instructions, then everyone involved can be happy that the completed work will meet the Water Supply Regulations requirements. Installers are encouraged to become members of the WaterSafe Installers Scheme and gain a Water Supply Regulations qualification, which will give customers extra confidence and peace of mind regarding the work that is being done.
Article by Benjamin Clarke
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