Plumbers are professional tradesmen that offer a wide variety of services to home and business owners across the UK. Because nearly all buildings are made of up pipework, plumbers keep themselves very busy doing things like fixing water leaks, servicing taps & sinks, and unclogging plugged drains.
Even though plumbers are valuable tradesmen who can help with all types of problems, there are some things that plumbers can’t do including the following.
While many plumbers stick to repairing taps and installing new bathroom suites, some work with central heating and do things like install and service boilers. However, a plumber cannot legally work on central heating systems unless they are Gas Safe registered.
Working with gas is dangerous. That’s why it’s important to be sure the plumber you hire to work on your central heating system is Gas Safe registered. If you’re unsure if a plumber is Gas Safe registered, find out before allowing them to start the job. Ask to see their accreditation to be certain.
If your plumbing work requires that asbestos be removed from inside walls, it’s likely that your plumber cannot remove the asbestos. In the UK, removing asbestos which may include removing old pipe insulation, must be done by someone with a license from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Asbestos is not just a problem from the past. This harmful substance still kills approximately 5000 workers each year. Asbestos can be present inside any building built or refurbished before the year 2000. Do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself or ask your plumber to do it for you. You need to call an expert who is licensed by the HSE to safely remove asbestos.
In the UK, plumbing businesses must carry a minimum level of public liability insurance. The recommended cover for a plumbing company includes employer’s liability, public liability, premises and premises contents cover, product liability, and cover for flood damage.
If a plumber has to tear apart a wall to gain access to pipework, someone else will have to rebuild the wall once the work is done. Plumbers are not construction workers. If you know ahead of time that a wall must be torn apart for plumbing work, find a contractor who will come in and rebuild the wall when the plumbing project is completed.
It’s perfectly fine for a plumber to carry out minor electrical work like replacing a light fitting if the wiring remains the same. However, under law, only a registered electrician can perform more complex electrical work.
You can face legal problems if you allow a tradesperson like a plumber to carry out electrical work. This type of work needs to comply with building regulations known as Part P of the government’s Building Regulations. Even if your plumber says he/she is experienced enough to do some electrical work, don’t take any chances. Follow the law and call a licensed electrician.