UK homes at risk from plumbing botch jobs

One in 10 householders has experienced a plumbing ‘botch job’, according to a survey by WaterSafe, the national register of approved contractors.

Research shows 11 per cent of 2,000 people surveyed had to employ a second plumber to rectify poor work.

Common problems included wrongly connected pipework, water tasting or looking unpleasant, water smelling off or the work causing a water leak or damage. 

 Julie Spinks, Director at WaterSafe, said: “It’s alarming to hear that almost a quarter of people interviewed said the rogue installer they employed did not do the work properly. It gives reputable, qualified plumbers a bad name. 
“It’s not just the inconvenience, but with the increased cost of living, having to then pay more to put things right is unacceptable. 
“Unfortunately, regardless of qualifications or experience, anyone can set up a plumbing business. I would urge households who need plumbing work done to use an approved contractor registered with WaterSafe and follow our advice for employing a professional.”
“If a contractor is a member of WaterSafe, the customer can be reassured they are qualified, belong to an approved contractors’ scheme and carry Public Liability Insurance,” Julie added.

For advice on how to tell if a plumber is qualified to perform the work, visit 

The WaterSafe register is promoted by all UK water companies and drinking water regulators and was set up to help keep the UK’s drinking water safe in homes and businesses. 

WaterSafe-approved plumbers are all trained to meet the strict regulations for installing pipes and fittings which supply drinking water. They will issue a Certificate of Compliance, stating their plumbing work complies with the regulations – giving customers a legal defence if something is later found to be wrong.

 *Based on 2,000 people living in the UK in September 2023



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