If Something Goes Wrong

What can and cannot be expected of plumbers? If a problem recurs, is the plumber responsible for fixing it again?

Be sure to specify at the contract stage what will happen in the event that repairs are needed to the work, such as a faulty part or improper fitting - we cover the importance of contracts here.

It would be reasonable to expect a plumber to fix a problem in the first instance. This could be down to an error during installation or a faulty fitting. However, persistent failure of a particular fitting would probably warrant contacting the manufacturer to resolve the issue. They may provide a free replacement but you could incur the cost of fitting it.

What protection is there for a customer if something goes wrong with the work carried out by a WaterSafe approved plumbing business?

Every WaterSafe approved plumbing business is required to hold public liability cover of at least £2 million and employers’ liability insurance where appropriate. By using an unrecognised plumber, customers may well be unprotected if the worst should happen.

WaterSafe approved plumbing businesses must also adhere to the WaterSafe code of conduct and customer commitments - where they fail to meet these standards, a disciplinary process applies. Furthermore, a WaterSafe approved plumbing business which fails to uphold the standards will be subject to a range of penalties; in serious cases, this would result in its membership of WaterSafe being revoked.

A WaterSafe approved business will be required to put their work right if it does not meet the requirements of the Water Fittings Regulations or Byelaws that are enforced by the water supply company.

What should I do if something goes wrong?

Inform the plumber/plumbing business straight away in writing, detailing what’s wrong and what you feel would be a good way to resolve the problem.

If there are problems on completion, they are obliged to put items right that fall within the quotation or contract, plus anything else that came about due to work taking place in your property - such as damage to carpets or curtains.

It would not be fair or reasonable to expect that they take responsibility for items excluded such as the performance of an existing plumbing or heating system.

If a WaterSafe approved plumbing business fails to respond or refuses to return to your property, you can file a complaint with the Approved Contractor Scheme that they are a member of, or with WaterSafe directly.

How do I make a complaint?

You should contact the Approved Contractor Scheme that the plumbing business is a member of, or WaterSafe directly on 0333 207 9030. If the latter, WaterSafe will arrange for the Approved Contractor Scheme to contact the customer to investigate their complaint.

Our Partners

WaterSafe Approved Contractors' Scheme Operators

Anglian WaterAssociation of Plumbing & Heating ContractorsCIPHESevern TrentSNIPEFWIAPS