• 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.

  • 17 Mar 2017 1:55 PM | Deleted user
  • 16 Mar 2017 8:08 AM | Anonymous

    There have been a number of changes that have been made to the areas of compliance related to SANS 10254; the installation, replacement and maintenance of a geyser as at 2001 when SANS 10254 became a regulation & amendments to safety in 2004. These changes have often resulted in confusion and misinterpretation of this specific regulation.

    To help reduce non-compliance within the plumbing industry, The Institute of Plumbing SA (IOPSA), in association with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB), has broken down and simplified the critical areas of the regulation to ensure that the standard can be easily understood.

    This is freely available on the IOPSA website and has been designed to alleviate some of the confusion that could result in safety hazards as it provides a practical guideline in the form of a compliance table.

    Compliance to SANS 10254 affects all manufactures, suppliers, merchants, retailers, installers & the entire value chain.

    For ease of use, the compliance table is split up into different sections:

    •          Table A: The installation of a new geyser
    •          Table B: The replacement of a geyser
    •          Table C: The repairs and maintenance of a geyser

    The compliance table will give guidance to the PIRB Auditors, when an audit is undertaken, to cover all the above sections. It is further noted that if the minimum compliance is not met on any of the installation, replacement or repair, the licensed plumber will be issued a PIRB rectification notice.

    The critical compliance table must be read in conjunction with SANS 10254 and the IOPSA notice of non-compliance that specifies all areas of compliance. It is further noted that as required by the regulation an installer must issue the building owner with a notice of non-compliance, if any existing items do not meet the regulations.

     These documents can be found and are available for download from the IOPSA website at For more information, contact Kaela on 08610 PLUMBER

    Gary Macnamara emphasized “All requirements of SANS 10254 must be met at all times, these tables just highlight the most critical areas of compliance”

  • 15 Mar 2017 1:53 PM | Anonymous

    Taking into consideration the lack of competent skills within the plumbing industry, the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) has created an online portal for members to facilitate access to specific competent skills within the sector.

    The purpose of this portal is to both help applicants to find jobs, and aid employers in their quest to locate ideal candidates. The IOPSA job portal offers a broad range of jobs in the plumbing field, for every sector within the industry; providing a scope for junior and senior roles and individuals with a variety of qualifications and skills.  

    For the employer:

    •          Employers on the portal can post an available job position on the job portal, providing a detailed description of the job. Employers are also given the option of finding a C.V within the C.V search, to find the right candidate for the job.
    •          The intuitive search function enables employers to search for candidates whose CVs have been uploaded.

    For the job seeker:

    •          The portal allows job seekers to explore the vacancy opportunities on the portal, using keywords to match their desired title, with the option of selecting the area in which they are looking to work. Should a job on the portal matching this description be available, the applicant will be able to apply online immediately. If a job seeker is looking for a specific company to work for, the portal offers a list of selected companies that, when clicked, will show the available positions inside that company.
    •          Within the portal is a function to upload CVs for potential employers to peruse. The availability of a C.V on the portal will increase the chance of being contacted for a job.

    The IOPSA job portal has been designed to support the industry and its members to find employment and the right employees for the positions available. It is the first specialised online job portal tool for the plumbing industry. The portal is a means to connect job seekers with potential employers.

    Gary Macnamara indicated “The first plumbing industry specific job recruitment portal free to all members. An easy to use portal for both employers looking for skills and individuals looking for employment in the plumbing industry”

    • If you, as an employer, would like to list your company, contact Kaela on 011 454 0025, or email her on

  • 15 Mar 2017 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    Understanding plumbing pricing principles has been identified as a critical factor in failure or success. The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) is a leading industry support body which focuses on advising, protecting, and promoting its members; and are often asked to assist or even mediate on pricing. Due to a lack of information, many members in the plumbing sector are undervaluing their services, because they simply don’t know how to calculate their fees, labour or bill of quantities. IOPSA is proud to announce that it has published an in-depth 2016/2017 Plumbing Industry Pricing Guideline.

    What to expect in this guide:

    • ·      Legislation, regulations and standards
    • ·      Principles of maintenance rates
    • ·      Per point installation principles
    • ·      Bill of Quantities principles and exclusions
    • ·      Principles of Preliminaries & General

    Within this framework, members can make informed decisions on how to calculate their pricing, taking into account their local requirements, pricing and availability. It is available to the industry, and invaluable to plumbers, suppliers, manufacturers, professional specifiers and building and drainage authorities. The aim of this guideline is to create awareness of these principles of pricing and items included or excluded from costing a plumbing job.

    Along with an in-depth look at the legislation, regulations and standards that govern the plumbing industry, the guide takes a detailed look at the principles of maintenance rates; primarily based on time, travel, and the cost of being in business, with separated hourly service rates and call out rates.


    IOPSA’s Pricing Guideline also covers construction rates: defines plumbing designation levels, employee benefits to accurately calculated labour rates, nationally and regionally. There is a detailed per point section which provides a comprehensive breakdown of pricing per component, giving plumbers a base to work off when planning the pricing of an installation or project.


    The Institute has sourced plumbing principals, items, quantities, labour and product pricing to compile a Bill of Quantities (BoQ) and per point framework. This framework was distributed to plumbing industry merchants to submit retail pricing. An average of these received prices has been published in this guide and will be updated annually.



    Gary Macnamara, Executive Director of IOPSA, stated “The Plumbing Industry Pricing Guide is exactly that; a guide. Users must ensure they continue to do their own research on pricing at their local manufacturers/merchants at the time of quoting/tendering”.


     “It is strongly advised to refer to SANS (South African National Standards) standards for product performance and installation requirements”, he continued.


    IOPSA extends its gratitude to the maintenance and construction working groups and volunteers for their valuable input and contributions to the 2016/2017 Plumbing Industry Pricing Guide.

    IOPSA’s Plumbing Industry Pricing Guide is available online at: To become an IOPSA member, please visit

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