New home? Check your plumbing

Follow these top plumbing tips when you’ve just moved into a new home or business property. They include finding your internal stop tap, checking the boiler’s service history, looking for leaks and lead pipes and checking if you have a water meter.

And, if you’re planning to install a new bathroom or kitchen, make sure you know the plumbing law.

Where to find an internal stop tap

An internal stop tap (sometimes called a stop cock or stop valve) is usually found where your water supply pipe enters your house. The most common places to find one are under the kitchen sink, under the stairs, or in a garage, utility or bathroom. Make sure it’s working properly and you can turn it on and off easily, in case you need to in an emergency.

Click here for more information about turning off your water supply.

Check the boiler’s service history

It’s important to find out how old the boiler is and how regularly it’s been serviced. The previous owner or your estate agent should be able to tell you. If it’s due a service, always use a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If there’s a cold water tank in the attic, make sure it’s clean, has a lid fitted and is adequately insulated.

Look out for leaky taps, toilets and radiators

Tell-tale signs to look out for are loss of pressure, rust, water stains on the walls, floors or carpets, or mould on ceilings and walls.

Underground leaks outside can sometimes be identified by patches of lush or dead grass. Fixing even a small leak will save you money if you have a water meter.

Click here for more information about how to check for leaks at your property, what to do if you find any, and advice about your water pressure.

Does your home have lead water pipes?

Drinking water which has passed through lead pipes is not good for you, especially for pregnant women and young children, so you might want to replace them with copper or plastic ones. Lead pipes are often found in older style properties. One sure sign is a dark matte grey pipe which turns shiny when scraped with a screwdriver. It is now illegal to use lead pipes or lead solder for plumbing which supplies water.

Click here for more information about why you should check if you have lead water  pipes and what to do if you have.

Check if you have a water meter

If you have a water meter you’ll be charged for the amount of water you use – so it’s good to know. It could be in the ground outside the front of your house, or inside near the stop tap. Your water supply company will also be able to tell you if you have a meter and where it is located.

You can find your local water supplier and their contact details here.

Are you planning to fit a new bathroom or kitchen?

In many cases, work on new and existing plumbing systems, and some types of water installations, needs to be notified to, and approved by, your local water supplier before it can begin.

It’s a legal duty for owners and occupiers of premises to ensure that any significant plumbing work complies with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws.

WaterSafe plumbers can carry out some work without the need to provide this advance notification and they will also provide a certificate on completion. That is why we recommend you always use a WaterSafe plumber to ensure you don’t fall foul of the law.

Click here for more information about the regulations and whether you need to notify your water supplier about any planned work.

If you need help from a qualified WaterSafe plumber use our postcode search to find one local to you. 

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