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Which water appliances meet building regulations in the UK?

Alex Maynard
Customer Success Director, Zip Water

Installers are likely to know it’s illegal to install an appliance that isn’t compliant with UK building regulations. But, did you know it isn’t illegal for a manufacturer to sell a product that isn’t compliant?

So, how can Installers know the drinking water appliance they are installing meets relevant building standards?

As experts in all things water, here at Zip Water we know that building regulations and accompanying legislation can be a challenge to navigate. We have broken down this specific topic into bite size chunks of information so installers can quickly assess if a water appliance they are installing meets building standards.

 

Independent certifications

Ultimately the product needs to have Regulation 4 compliance (read more about this on our blog). Thankfully there are some really simple certifications to look out for:

  • WRAS approval (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)
  • NSF certification
  • Kiwa approval

These are all independent certification testing bodies. Products approved under these schemes demonstrate, if installed correctly, that they meet the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, or the Scottish Water Byelaws.

 

Building Regulation G

Building Regulation G, or G3 specifically, relates to hot water supply and systems. It exists to protect users during the normal operation of a system – or should any part of the product fail. For example, the guidance states that any water discharged from a heated vessel must be done so safely and visibly. It also states that stored water should not exceed 100℃.

It’s for this reason that our instant boiling water systems are factory-set to store and supply water at 98℃ (this can be adjusted by the user by 0.5℃, plus or minus). This temperature not only complies with WRAS and Building Regulation G3, but ensures water is delivered safely, with no spluttering or scalding steam. It is also the optimum temperature for making regular hot drinks.

 

UKCA & CE

The UKCA & CE marks are also important as they show that the manufacturer has checked that its products meet UK and EU safety, health and environmental requirements (all Zip Water products have been fully tested and comply with UKCA & CE requirements).

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) mark is the new product marking that will be required for certain products being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most products that previously required the CE mark.

UKCA will not be recognised in the EU market and products will still need a CE marking to be sold in the EU. From the start of 2025 only products with UKCA marking are accepted in Great Britain.

 

What is the purpose of the regulations?

In the UK, any property domestic or commercial connected to a public water supply (i.e. provided by a water supply company, not solely a private supply on-site) is subject to the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, or the Scottish Water Byelaws.

The regulations ‘set legal requirements for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of water fittings, systems and appliances, specifically in order to prevent the contamination of drinking water as well as preventing misuse, waste, undue consumption and erroneous measurement’.

 

When do the regulations apply?

The regulations apply in all premises where water is supplied by a water company – from the point that the water enters the property (boundary) to the water being used through a plumbing system or water appliance.

Legal responsibility to ensure regulations have been met falls to who is installing plumbing equipment, water fittings and appliances.

 

What are the consequences of not complying with regulations?

Inspections are carried out by a variety of people, from the water supplier to building control officers and even trading standards. This is on both new and existing installations to check they are compliant with the regulations.

If the installation fails to meet the requirements, the installer will be issued with a notice, and any infringement considered a risk to public health will lead to an immediate disconnect of the property’s water supply.

It’s important that any notice is acted upon quickly. Breaching the regulations is a criminal offence. If the infringement is unaddressed, failure to comply with regulations can lead to prosecution and fines.

With work completed and certified by an approved plumber, legal responsibility falls on the plumber.

If an installer chooses to install a Zip Water system they can rest easy in the knowledge that all of our products are compliant with building regulations. We also offer the added benefit of certified Zip installation, so installers have complete peace of mind.

 

For more information on building water regulations in the UK, visit the Water Regulations website.

Explore our range of WRAS approved instant filtered drinking water taps for the home here or discover our workplace water solutions here.

Other useful resources include:

 

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