• 29 May 2017 4:08 PM | Anonymous

    Certified Quality Plumbing Products

    Plumbers understand that plumbing is the conveyance of water, which means the supply of clean water and removal of dirty water and sewerage. Quality plumbing products suitable for the building environment form part of industry’s responsibility to ensure public health and safety when working with water - a critical resource.

    It is imperative that there is a guideline as to what constitutes a good quality product suitable for use in a building. This not only governs the industry, but also creates an equitable environment for all manufacturers and suppliers to compete.

    Standards such as the National Building Regulations (NBR) and Water Services Regulations (WSR) are not only a guideline but a regulation; which makes them mandatory. In the current environment, they have little positive contribution to managing the building environment as a result of ineffective enforcement.

    An imbalance is created when one of these areas are lacking or absent, such as the certification of products, further impacted by poor policing when products are installed. The consequences, for example, of such challenges are the manufacturing or supplying of poor quality products not fit for the South African plumbing environment.

    This problem has a knock-on effect and may only become apparent sometime later, which makes the problem even more difficult to correct, especially when poor quality products have already been sold into an industry.

    Ultimately compliant manufactures and suppliers are forced to compete with poor quality products still carrying a huge cost of certifying their products. Cost sensitivity is a key factor in a competitive environment, however not at the expense or risk of the public or sustainability of an industry.

    The reality is, non-compliant products become more cost effective and inviting to the public. This also is perceived to be a competitive advantage to installers who benefit, short term, by gaining work; they do however lose clients in the long term due to product failure.

    It is therefore extremely important that the entire industry takes responsibility. The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) has been working closely with their manufacturing members through the manufacturers forum to facilitate solutions to overcome the imbalance that has been created due to lack of enforcement of products, as well as poor or non-existent product testing and certification.

    Traditionally, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has provided an extensive array of testing and certification. Once the product met the SABS testing and certification requirements, it could carry the SABS mark for a 3-year period. The misconception in the industry is that the SABS mark of approval is mandatory. However, the requirement of the National Building Regulations (NBR) is simply that products should comply with SANS standards unless the SABS mark is specifically required by local bylaws.

    This means that manufacturers or suppliers of products do not have to carry the SABS mark, but should prove that their products meet the minimum performance requirements of the relevant SANS standards by means of product certification.

    The solutions offered for testing and certification are unable to support market demand for testing and certification, so industry has naturally begun the process of finding alternative solutions to measure their product performance, to remain competitive and meet the requirements of regulations.

    IOPSA is therefore facilitating through industry, the development of quality testing laboratories and certification bodies. This creates opportunity for interested competitive market forces without excluding any existing testing or certification solutions.

    IOPSA Manufacturer members have voluntarily tabled their requirements to potential testing houses and certification providers who test against the South African National Standards (SANS) document. Manufacturers will engage individually with the testing houses, with IOPSA purely facilitating these conversations.

    The risks of an open competitive quality support environment is the possibility of misinterpretation of requirements, standards and management. The government body that currently measures and certifies testing and certification entities is South African National Accreditation System (SANAS)

    It is critical that industry and public are assured of quality products across the plumbing supply chain. This can be achieved by a plumbing industry oversight body, creating an industry guideline within the existing framework and enforcement mechanism ensuring minimum product performance standards are kept.  

    The health and safety of a person should not be equated to cost. In other words, one cannot state that Health and Safety requirements cannot be met due to expense.  The plumbing industry, for example, cannot place a person at risk such as not installing an electrical geyser safety valve which may cause a hot water cylinder to explode causing harm, damage or even death.

    As plumbing is a relatively technical subject, one cannot expect a consumer to understand the risks when making a choice unless they are highlighted. This may not seem important or too much of a risk. So, let’s highlight the reality that if you knowingly sell or install a product that may harm a person now or in the future, it is highly irresponsible and according to the Consumer Protection Act, Building Services Act, Water services Act, Occupational Health & Safety Act illegal and may lead to prosecution. 

    Let industry take ownership of their future and an equitable environment for all. 

    For more information, please visit the IOPSA website at Or contact 08610 PLUMBER

  • 29 May 2017 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    As per SANS 10400 – P ,Ensure your installation is done correctly as per the following key points

    A ventilating pipe or two-way vent valve shall be so installed that its open end is…

    1.       Not less than 2.5m above finished ground level

    2.       Not less than 100mm above the closest part of the roof covering of the building through which it passes.

    3.       Not less than 2m above the head of any window or door

    4.       Not less than 2.5m above the surface level or any roof slab, where the slab may at any time be occupied by people.

  • 29 May 2017 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    Steve Brown is already very well known within the plumbing industry due to his vast experience and travels.

    Steve is currently the National Operations manager for IOPSA as well as a director of the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB).

    Steve brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the IOPSA team and with his guidance, assistance, determination and diligence he has played a vital part in what IOPSA is today.

    He started out within the industry in 1981 as a qualified plumber. He has owned his own plumbing businesses, worked as a training lecturer for Watersmith Training Centre for heat pump and solar training modules. Steve also sits on a multitude or boards as a committee member such as the World Plumbing Council Executive Board.

    In his spare time, Steve enjoys surfing some waves and spending time with his family.

  • 17 May 2017 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    IOPSA, Plumblink Benoni, Plumblink Benrose (Gauteng) and Grohe Dawn Watertech joined together for Interesting Plumbers Morning(s). Business owners and staff joined for borewors rolls and got chance to speak with respective representatives. 

    IOPSA are driving awareness in terms of Compliance, our online Job portal, Webinars to earn CPD points as well as providing support to current members. 

    Look out for a Merchant Activation near YOU and stand a chance to win a Plumblink Hamper every month worth R500!

    Jacky Gewe (Grohe Dawn Watertech) and Kaela Bell (IOPSA National) ready for action.

    A wealth of Information at the ready.

    Sello Mokawane (IOPSA Gauteng) engaging with one of the many visitors.

  • 04 May 2017 11:59 AM | Anonymous
    IOPSA has worked tirelessly to create awareness and accessibility to the knowledge of the SANS codes however we still see many cases where installations are not compliant due to common mistakes. 

    Below we explain why an installation is non complaint and how to correct the mistake.   

    T&P Safety valve overflow pipe has been piped with the correct copper tubing but the incorrect bend has been used. 

    As per SANS 10254 the overflow pipe needs to be piped using 45 degree bends only. 

    See extract from SANS 10254 along with the now compliant installation.

    5.2 Discharge from valves

    The discharge pipes from expansion control and safety valves shall

    a) be of a size not less than the size of the connection to which they are fitted with due

    consideration to the fact that in runs exceeding 4 m, the size shall be increased;

    b) have three or fewer bends, shall not exceed 9 m in length for each additional bend, and

     the maximum drain pipe length shall be reduced by 600 mm; all bends shall be a maximum of 45° or

    formed with a centre-line radius at least five times the diameter of the drain pipe;

    c) be so installed that

    1) they incline downwards continuously to their outlet,

    2) drainage of both valve and piping is ensured,

    3) blockage due to freezing or foreign objects is prevented,

    4) when flow occurs from them, the flow can be readily observed with the minimum risk of injury

    or damage due to steam or hot water,

    5) they are never joined together,

    6) each is led to a discharge point which is visible outside the building and in a position where

    the discharge from the pipe will not cause a nuisance and also cannot become blocked,

    7) water traps which could prevent the free return of air into the system do not develop,

    d) in the case of safety valves, always be of metal and be inclined downwards away from the valve;

    e) be used for conveyance of water resulting from the normal expansion of heated water and shall

    discharge to the atmosphere in a position where the discharge is readily discernible but shall not

    inconvenience the building's occupants or cause damage to the building.

  • 04 May 2017 8:39 AM | Anonymous



    IOPSA provides an industry forum for plumbers, suppliers, manufacturers, professional specifiers and building & draining authorities. The Institute provides a platform to advise on the practice and principles of the plumbing industry. The Institute regularly consults and liaises with the plumbing industry, governmental and regulatory bodies for the discussion of matters affecting the plumbing industry.

    The PIRB proactively promotes quality workmanship by means of issuing a Plumbing Certificate of Compliance (CoC). This CoC may be issued by a Licenced Plumber – that is – a qualified plumber registered with the PIRB. 

    The PIRB covers the following sectors:

    - National Regulator

    - Senior Building control (officer)

    - Insurance (representative)

    - Department of Water Affairs

    - Manufacturers

    - Merchants

    - Plumbing contractors

    - Training providers

  • 02 May 2017 2:14 PM | Anonymous

    Over the past few months IOPSA have had to deal with complaints from across the country in terms of plumbing water reticulation systems that do not function correctly.

    In  most cases these issues are only noticed once occupation has been achieved and the problems in terms of flow rate are then brought to the fore.

    In many cases rectification of the system is costly and as experienced in one such complaint legal action was taken.

    In many instances the design of the water reticulation system is left with the plumber who is not competent to design.

    SANS 10252-1 has very clear detail in terms of sizing of water reticulation systems which cover.

    Static and residual pressures.

    Calculating water demand

    Pipe sizing in terms of flow rates required for each terminal fitting.

    Ensure that you take these details into account when next you price a project or for that matter be up to speed In terms of being able to question drawings supplied to you.

    If you are unsure then seek guidance rather than assuming what is right is right and then finding yourself in a legal battle.

    The standards are there to assist us and if we follow and abide by them the system will function correctly.

    There are webinars available to assist with basic pipe design and these will add a great amount of value to you and your business.

    Cover the bases and yourself follow the rules.

    We are currently dealing with a few design complaints that may cost the contractor a great deal of money and in one case where the fire reticulation system failed due to incorrect pipe sizing and placed the complex and residents at risk.

    Reducing pipe sizes will reduce cost but ,will certainly increase your risk.

    With local authorities reducing pressures through their bulk mains due to the drought, even more reason to ensure that the system is designed correctly taking these reductions into account.

    By Steve Brown

    IOPSA Operations Manager

  • 24 Apr 2017 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    Mark joins the IOPSA team as the National Technical Manager with over 11 years’ experience within the plumbing industry. Coming from a long line of family within the construction and plumbing industry Mark followed in his families’ footsteps.

    Before coming to IOPSA, Mark worked for MNK Projects where he worked as a site agent and plumbing department manager in the commercial development division.

    Mark is a qualified plumber and registered gas installer.

    Mark is responsible for technical reports, complaints, inspections and members’ technical assistance.  He also sits on the SABS Committees on behalf of IOPSA, the IOPSA National Executive board as well as being a PIRB inspector.

    In his free time, Mark enjoys spending time with his family and 2 month old son. Mark is also a HUGE Lions Rugby team supporter. 

  • 24 Apr 2017 12:11 PM | Anonymous

    Every day 6,000 children die of water-related diseases. Waterborne disease is a worldwide leading killer. How to avoid tragedy and protect your family by understanding what causes, injury, health issues and even death in your home.

    Finding a reputable and credible plumber, who adheres to the regulations & bylaws can be an arduous and stressful process; often through trial and error – which is an expensive exercise. It is essential for plumbers to be reliable, efficient and to deliver.

    The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) is a voluntary national body that provides a platform for qualified accredited plumbers. They advise on the practice and principles within the plumbing industry and regularly consult and liaise with governmental and regulatory bodies on matters affecting the plumbing industry.

    IOPSA members employ professional plumbers registered with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) and are experts in their field, having met IOPSA requirements.

    The fact is, it is law that any person working on any plumbing within your property must be trained (as a qualified plumber), or work under the adequate supervision of a trained plumber. An unqualified individual practising plumbing is doing so unlawfully.

    Typical problems that arise when using unqualified plumbers can include leaks, bad smells from drains and pipes, flooding, damp, mould and poor water pressure. Other more serious issues can include contamination of clean drinking water, the breeding of disease, scalding and burns, and even explosions.

    Using an unqualified plumber can lead to additional costs to find the problem, fix it, repair the damage, and replace finishes; it may even lead to injury or even death.  

    Using IOPSA plumbing companies gives a consumer peace of mind, technical support, rates guidelines and most importantly recourse. IOPSA members ensure accountability, quality service, required insurances, community growth and reliable results. So if you as a consumer believe that a member has not delivered a service or product agreed upon, then you can approach IOPSA to intervene and facilitate a suitable solution.

    IOPSA also supports the development of individuals to become qualified plumbers and entrepreneurs.

    IOPSA encourages consumers to make use of their online platform to find a local IOPSA member for their next plumbing endeavour. For more information or a list of qualified accredited plumbing companies in your area visit our website. or contact Kaela on 08610 PLUMBER (75862).

    “Qualified plumbers reduce the risk of poor sanitation and disease more than any other trade in the world.” Quoted by IOPSA executive director Gary Macnamara.        

  • 29 Mar 2017 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) sets out to achieve the best for the plumbing industry, and strives to share the rules and regulations in a simplified and straightforward manner.

    IOPSA is proud to announce that the Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) has approved a much-needed grant which will allow IOPSA to engage the services of a Health and Safety Officer, who is an expert in their field. The position will carry great

    responsibility and the person will have an extensive knowledge in this field. With an in-house Health and Safety Office, IOPSA will be able to provide occupational health and safety training and advice to members.

    FEM was established as a mutual insurer in 1936 and, on the introduction of the Workmen's Compensation Act 1941, was granted a licence to continue to transact workmen's compensation insurance for the building industry. Its business operations are essentially confined to the insurance of employers against their liabilities under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 1993.

    The IOPSA Health and Safety Officer will advise and guide the members and other stakeholders in the plumbing industry on the implementation of, and compliance with, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), including, but not limited to:

    •          Convening regular health and safety-related meetings
    •          Informing members of any health and safety-related issues   which arise from their working environment
    •          Ensuring the appointment of the requisite number of health and safety representatives on its committees
    •          Informing members and other stakeholders or any other persons or entities as requested by FEM, in the plumbing industry, of amendments to the OHSA
    •          Arranging, developing, and conducting forums, workshops, and  training sessions on health and safety-related topics and developments

    •          Publish articles, newsletters and/or publications containing OHSA and additional health and safety-related information received from FEM

    IOPSA hopes that with this valued Grant from FEM, having an expert in the field will alleviate some of the frustrations caused by the lack of knowledge on health and safety.

     “The presence of having a specialist working with IOPSA, we believe, will improve the industry tremendously and assist with one-on-one as well as one-to-many communication. In time, the plumbing industry will benefit organically,” enthuses Gary Macnamara from IOPSA.

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