First, check their credentials. All WaterSafe approved plumbers have an ID badge with the WaterSafe logo, so you can ask to see their ID card.
You can also contact the plumber’s Approved Contractor Scheme to validate their membership and ask what their minimum membership requirements are. Ask if they can give you a breakdown of the range of works carried out by their members in your area.
Referrals and recommendations are another useful way to check a plumber’s competency and reliability but can’t always be guaranteed – that’s why we recommend using a WaterSafe approved plumbing business, as we’ve already done the competency checks for you.
In addition to their credentials and any referrals, you should always pick a plumber who can provide:
WaterSafe approved plumbing businesses are fully qualified to carry out plumbing work in homes and business premises. They have specific training in Water Fittings Regulations, which enables them to ensure there should be no risk from poor installation or sub-standard materials that could cause contamination of the drinking water supply.
For most types of plumbing work, plumbers have a legal duty to notify your water supply company before they start work - this can lead to delays. However, WaterSafe approved plumbing businesses can carry out some work without the need to provide this advanced notification to the water supply company.
A ‘work completed’ certificate issued by a WaterSafe approved plumbing business provides a defence for property owners who are challenged by a water supplier enforcing the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws.
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 plumbing business will be required to put their work right if it does not meet the requirements of the Water Fittings Regulations or Byelaws, enforced by the water supplier.
Plumbers employed by a WaterSafe approved plumbing business need to have successfully completed at least an NVQ Level 2 in a plumbing related discipline as a minimum, and hold a water industry-recognised Water Fittings Regulations qualification to ensure they are competent and have the relevant knowledge. In addition, if a plumbing individual does gas work then they are legally obliged to be on the GasSafe Register.