Virtually everyone who lives in modern accommodation will have a system of plumbing installed, even in the most remote and primitive locations. Plumbing is an essential part of our lives, allowing us to enjoy clean drinkable water, heat our homes when it is necessary and to transport toxic waste substances to a place of safety where they can be neutralised. We have all heard of plumbing and most of us will have employed a professional plumber at one time or the other but how much does the average person know about what lies behind the plumbing system in their home? Because we imagine not many people will have considered what plumbing actually involves we have prepared this article in which we give a clear explanation of the building discipline known as plumbing and reveal what may be some surprising news about the regulation of the industry.
What is Plumbing?
In simple terms, plumbing is a building discipline within which a system of pipework, drain works, fittings, valves, assemblies, and other devices have been installed into a property for a variety of disparate reasons:
- The first of these is for the supply of drinking water. We all need potable water for our very survival and without a system of plumbing that connects our household to the mains water supply we would be reliant on rainwater which, even in Devon, is not completely reliable!
- A second critical requirement in a home is that is kept sufficiently warm to sustain the health, if not the life, of its occupiers. Most modern central heating systems use a series of pipes that transport hot water from the boiler around the house and into radiators which are placed in an optimum location to distribute heat around the house.
- Of course, water is also required for washing both ourselves, our baths and showers and our clothes and other belongings. Water is therefore critical for preserving our physical hygiene and, in turn, any health issues that are reliant on our maintaining a level of cleanliness to counteract bacterial infection.
- Finally, plumbing is required as an essential conduit for the elimination of water-borne waste matter from the house. Washing water, the water used to clean dishes, bath water and, of course, effluents from our lavatories all have to removed from the home via its plumbing system.
The Role of the Plumber
The plumbers in our Torquay, Newton Abbot and Exeter builders perform several different tasks. They install complete piping systems and also provide repair services to the system, the plumbing fixtures and peripheral equipment such as water heaters. Some have an additional qualification that allows them to work with gas boilers and gas central heating systems.
Categories of Plumbing Systems:
Drinking water and a hot water supply
Fuel gas piping
We referred above to the issue of plumbing regulation. Save for the need for a plumber who is working with a gas installation or a boiler to have a Gas Safe certification you may be surprised to hear that plumbing is pretty much unregulated. Although a professional body, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, operates in the UK it only has an educational charity status, leaving the trade virtually unmonitored. This means that no system or regulatory framework exists to regulate the operations of unqualified plumbers or, equally importantly, DIY enthusiasts who decide to carry out their own plumbing work.
We at The Builders SW take the view that works that have the capability of raising significant health and safety concerns should have a clear regulatory system and a supervisory body to ensure that the regulations are complied with.
If you require a professional plumbing service please contact our Devon plumbers and builders
The Builders SW
Decoy Industrial Estate,
Tel: 07515 393231 07710 621755 0800 0322213