As a homeowner you do carry risk in almost if not every part of your home. Therefore you need to minimise that risk to ensure the safety and health of your family, friends and all visiting your home.
One the potentially biggest risks is plumbing or more so plumbing not correctly done.
The World Plumbing Council (WPC) of which the Institute of Plumbing of SA (IOPSA) is a member promotes four simple principles for the plumbers and it works just as well for consumers.
Known as the Four Pillars of Plumbing which are;
PRACTICES: this relates to compulsory standards, regulations and accountability. Plumbing is heavily regulated for the purpose of seeing that design and installations are done to protect health, safety of consumers and the environment. The accountability of the plumber is to ensure that he/she is correctly qualified, offers added value by their registration with a professional body (giving you recourse) and installs according to standards as well as using product approved by a recognised certification body. Membership of a voluntary association like IOPSA is an added benefit to reduce risk and provide you with comfort.
PRODUCTS: must be of quality accepted by the recognised SA National Standard. Inferior and sub standard products increase your risk of disease and is hazardous to safety. Indeed, these products will cost more as more is invested in their manufacture and ongoing process of ensuring manufacturing maintains its quality. Besides a cheap product will be replaced many times more than a quality one – so buy quality first and be hassle free. Also if there are problems with quality products the manufacturer will stand by the guarantee/warranty.
“Goedkoop is Deurkoop” is good to remember.
PROTECTION: sadly even the best installation or product can fault. As stated earlier quality and recognised product and manufacturer will stand by their reputation. Equally so will a qualified plumber and you have recourse to the professional body (Plumbing Industry Registration Board) and IOPSA.
PARTICIPATION: this is the pillar that grows the plumbing industry with qualified plumbers and being part of the process of providing safe water to all – a basic human right. As a consumer you can be part of the participatory process by NOT employing unqualified people and using only qualified plumbers. Again, Goedkoop is Deurkoop, and when using an unqualified person your RISK INCREASES and you endanger the lives of all on your premises.
No amount of public liability will cover the death of people when your geyser explodes, a potential bomb, when installed incorrectly. And husbands please leave plumbing to the plumbers. It usually ends up costing more -ask me I know!
Both IOPSA and PIRB will assist when you need a plumber or word of month is also a good reference.
Question for you: how is you risk management now?