Approved Plumber Search

Find a local plumber you can trust using our free online directory search.

WaterSafe approved plumbers are certified by our national accreditation body, with specific training in the UK’s Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws.

Hiring a WaterSafe approved plumber ensures that all plumbing work meets high standards and protects the quality of drinking water in your home and business, in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Emergency Plumber Search

Find a local WaterSafe approved plumber to help with your emergency.

For leaks, burst pipes, or other plumbing emergencies, WaterSafe’s emergency search will give you the contact details of a plumber who can help right away.

If you have no water, very low pressure or concerns about the quality of your water, you should contact your local water company straight away.

Click here for more information about Emergency Plumbers

Common Plumbing Problems


These topics give information on some of the most common plumbing problems, including how to detect and fix leaks, causes of noisy pipes, low pressure and controlling water temperature, as well as avoiding dangerous burns and scalding.












You can also find tips and advice in our short films on WaterSafe’s YouTube channel.

Leaks

How do I know if I have a leak in or around my home or business?

How to check for a leak at your property

If you're on a meter, a higher than normal bill may mean that there is a leak on one of your pipes or appliances. You can check this yourself in a few simple steps:

  1. Turn off all the taps in the house and make sure there is no water being used.
  2. Write down your current meter reading
  3. Take a second reading after a few hours, making sure no water has been used in the meantime.
  4. Check the meter reading again. If the reading is higher, this means there could be a leak in your home.

If you're not on a meter, signs of a leak could be:

  • Areas of lush vegetation - could be a symptom of a recent leak during dry periods
  • Areas of reduced vegetation – this could be a symptom of a long term leak
  • Damp patches
  • A constant noise of flowing water coming from the pipes in your home.

If you have a leak on your supply pipe outside your home, check with your water supplier as they may be able to help repair it. If you think you have a leak inside your property you'll need to contact a plumber. You can use our postcode search to find a WaterSafe recognised plumber near you.

What should I do if I find a leak in or around my home or business?

Assuming the worst has happened, the first thing you should do is turn off all water at the stop tap (sometimes called stop cocks or stop valves).

The stop tap controls the water entering your home and is often sited under the kitchen sink, but it depends on where the service point enters the property. Sometimes you will have an additional stop valve in your loft or airing cupboard.

A good tip is to find these stop valves and label them before any plumbing emergencies occur. Try to gently turn them off and back on again. If it won’t budge, don’t force it - you’ll need to get a plumber to replace it.

Watch our film on how to find and turn off your stop tap.

The next thing you should do is open all cold water taps so the pipework and storage system drains quickly, this will help to reduce the damage. Do not turn on hot taps. Turn off the central heating system and, if it uses a solid fuel boiler, allow the fire to die out. Switch off any electric immersion heater, and then call a WaterSafe plumber.

You can use our postcode search to find a WaterSafe recognised plumber near you.

If you have a leak on your supply pipe outside your home check with your water supplier as they may be able to help repair it.

Noisy Pipes

I can hear a banging noise coming from my pipework. What could it be?

If you can hear noises or banging in the pipes inside your property, possible causes are:

  • Faulty ball valves can generate noise
  • If pipes are not clipped correctly, they may move and hit against walls/flooring, creating noise
  • If air is trapped at the stop tap, this can cause the pipes to vibrate and cause a hammering/banging sound
  • Loose fitting washers (jumpers) in stop taps.

A plumber will be able to help you fix the problem, search for a WaterSafe approved plumbing business.

Pressure

What should my water pressure be?

Water pressure within the home can vary based upon the location, type and height of the property, as well as the type of appliances used and how much water is being used by other customers.

Water pressure can vary at different times of the day. Pressure is normally higher late at night when very little water is being taken from the mains network and most people's taps are turned off. In the morning when people are taking a bath or shower, or watering their garden on a hot evening, there is a bigger demand for water which can cause low pressure.

Water suppliers’ statutory service standard level of mains water pressure is 10 metres/head (or one bar). This means there is enough force/pressure to push the water to a height of 10m.

This is measured at the point where the water leaves the water suppliers’ pipework and enters yours (usually the outside stop valve or property boundary).

As a guide, if you have a suitable single service pipe, the first tap in the home (this is usually the kitchen tap) should be able to fill a 4.5 litre (one gallon) bucket in 30 seconds, with all other taps and appliances turned off. Another way of putting it is enough water pressure to fill a cold water storage cistern in a two storey house roofspace.

It is possible to make changes to your internal plumbing to improve your water flow. For example by ensuring your stop tap is fully open. You could also check that any systems that depend on the supply pressure are set to the statutory minimum level of 1 bar/10 metres head.

For further help and advice contact your water supplier.

What is the minimum water pressure that a water supplier must supply?

Water suppliers’ statutory service standard level of mains water pressure is 10 metres/head (or one bar). This means there is enough force/pressure to push the water to a height of 10m.

This is measured at the point where the water leaves the water suppliers pipework and enters yours (usually the outside stop valve or property boundary).

As a guide, if you have a suitable single service pipe, the first tap in the home (this is usually the kitchen tap) should be able to fill a 4.5 litre (one gallon) bucket in 30 seconds, with all other taps and appliances turned off. Another way of putting it is enough water pressure to fill a cold water storage cistern in a two storey house roofspace.

Temperature

What temperature should cold water be distributed at?

The temperature of water within cold water pipes should not be warmed above 25ºC and ideally not above 20ºC. Adequate measures should be taken to ensure that this temperature is not exceeded.

What temperature should hot water be stored at?

Defra guidance states that hot water should be stored at a temperature of not less than 60ºC and distributed at a temperature of not less than 55ºC. This water distribution temperature may not be achievable where hot water is provided by instantaneous or combination boilers.

Where practicable it should also reach your tap and be at least 50ºC within 30 seconds after fully opening the tap. This criteria may not be achievable where hot water is provided by instantaneous or combination boilers.

What are the risks associated with hot water?

Each month more than 200 children are admitted to an NHS Burns Service following injuries with hot liquids. The majority of burn and scald injuries happen at home, and mainly in the bath. (According to the Children’s Hospital in Bristol about 30 per cent are linked to baths and showers. Find out more from the Children’s Burns Trust.)

One of the main reason scalding occurs is that hot water is stored at 60°C or above to limit the growth of harmful microrganisms, such as Legionella bacteria. But if water comes out of the tap above 60°C, people can suffer third degree burns in just six seconds.

What can I do to reduce the risk of burns and scalding?

WaterSafe recommends using a qualified plumber who will advise on the use of thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) with taps or showers to reduce the risk of burns and scalding. These devices should be maintained annually.

TMVs allow water to be stored at a high enough temperature to kill harmful microorganisms, but reduce it to a safe temperature at the point it comes out of the tap or shower, by mixing it with the cold water supply. TMVs also maintain the pre-set, safe temperature even when water pressure fluctuates as other appliances are used. TMVs will shut down the flow if the hot or cold water supply fails.

Note: Care needs to be taken that adding TMVs does not lead to problems with microorganisms, so TMVs should be installed close to where they will be used to minimise the length of pipework the water will pass through at a reduced temperature.

Hot Water Burns Like Fire is a campaign to stop scalding by hot water from taps and showers. Visit their website for more information on how to minimise the risk of burns and scalding.

Find Your Nearest Approved Plumber

Our Partners

WaterSafe Approved Contractors' Scheme Operators