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.

Water Support Services search

When planning a plumbing project, you may wish to hire specialised contractors, rather than a fully qualified WaterSafe Plumber.

These Water Support Services contractors include:

  • Groundworkers
  • Catering installers
  • Point of Use

These contractors are not approved WaterSafe plumbers, but they are recognised by the water company schemes APLUS, TAPS, WaterMark and WIAPS to carry out specific types of work in compliance with the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws. 

Groundworkers

Groundworkers can work on the supply pipe (the underground pipe) supplying your property, up to the internal stop valve.

Catering installers

Catering Installers can install commercial kitchen equipment.

Point of Use installers

Point of Use Installers can install cold water chillers connected directly to the mains.

For further information or help, you should contact the relevant water company scheme.

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

Common sources of leaks in the home include toilets, dripping taps, showers, radiators and pipework.

Also look out for poorly plumbed appliances and overflows from a water tank or cistern in the loft. Check outside taps too.

Some leaks are hidden from view and easy to miss. 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.

Not sure where your meter is?

  • Inside: it’s normally fitted close to your internal stop tap, which in many homes is under the kitchen sink, in the downstairs loo, on in your garage.
  • Outside: usually near the boundary of your home, such as in the front garden, your drive or in the footpath. You may need a screwdriver to lift the outer lid.

You can also sometimes find it in a wall-mounted box on the side of your home.

Now you can check your meter in a few simple steps:

  1. Turn off all the taps and appliancesin the house that use water.
  2. Wait 30 minutes to allow any tanks and cisterns to fill up, then write down your current meter reading (including the red digits).
  3. Take a second reading after at least two hours, or overnight, making sure no water has been used in the meantime.
  4. Check the meter reading again, especially the red digits. 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:

  • Loss of pressure
  • Rust
  • 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 on walls, floors or carpets
  • Mould on ceilings and walls
  • 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.

For further information on being more water efficient  click here.

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.

How can I tell if I have a leaky loo?

How can I tell if I have a leaky loo?

Toilets are the cause of one of the most common leaks in the home, with around 1 in 10 homes and businesses having a leaky loo.

A toilet leaking clean water from the cistern to the pan can waste up to 400 litres of water a day (that’s five full bath tubs) and add around £300 a year to your water bill if left unfixed. See more useful facts and figures in this short film from Thames Water:  https://play.buto.tv/bJ6n2

The sound of a constant trickle at the back of the toilet pan is an obvious sign that something’s not right. However, some leaks are silent and easy to miss.

To check if you have a leaky loo, contact  your local water supplier who may be able to provide you with toilet leak detection strips free of charge.

Alternatively:

  • Half an hour after a flush, wipe the back of the pan dry with toilet tissue.
  • Place a new, dry sheet of toilet tissue across the back of the pan.
  • Leave it in place for up to three hours without using the toilet, or overnight.
  • If the paper is wet or torn in the morning – you have a leaky loo.

To save water, money and energy don’t delay in getting your leaky loo fixed. If you need to replace a faulty toilet cistern, think about fitting a dual flush version that will save you several litres of water every time you flush.

Use our postcode search to find a WaterSafe recognised plumber near you.

For further information on being more water efficient,  click here

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.

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