IOPSA’s Western Cape region has had a tough time of it lately. There are rumblings on the ground and murmurings in the air that suggest that IOPSA as an organisation is failing in its mandate. Speaking of which, just what is its mandate? Why does it exist? What does it do for the plumber, and why should he/she part with hard-earned cash to be part of it? Well I’m not here to give a lengthy nuts-and-bolts dissemination of every detail of IOPSA’s role in the plumbing industry. What I can tell you though is that at the WC regional level (driven down from National), one thing has started to come sharply into focus as a non-negotiable: Service. Service to the plumber and the industry. There needs to be value for the plumber. There needs to be a perception of “getting something out”, and it needs to start with the EXCO members. One thing’s for sure- the people in the organisation, from National down to regional EXCO volunteers- are rock solid, we all collectively have the same goals and passions to see the INDUSTRY grow. Without a successful and thriving plumbing sector everything else falls apart. Now we can sit and debate just how this is to be achieved, and we will- but for now we need you to know that certainly at WC EXCO level, (And I’m sure I speak for all others) there will be a concerted drive to start to serve you, the plumber.
It’s early days, and there are many ideas on the table but here are some to whet your appetite:
On the 24th of August 2017 IOPSA border region hosted the very first Annual Plumbing Games. This was held instead of having a regular plumbers event for a little fun.
The event was hosted at the Plumblink showroom where snacks and drinks were served to keep the players hydrated and fed.
There was a total of 5 games that were played:
There were four teams who took part in the event and they were able to select their own team names.
The winner of the event was the Misfits receiving Rothernberger tools and the Golden Plunger Trophy
The event was a great success and the teams had great fun.
IOPSA KZN was fortunate to Host Mr Domenico DiGregorio at the Grohe Dawn Lifestyle Design Centre in Durban on 29 June.
Domenico recently returned from Durban, South Africa, as a participant of the International Workshop on Community-Scale
Resource-Oriented Sanitation Treatment Systems, a program managed by ANSI with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help facilitate advancements in non-sewered sanitation products. With over 80 participants submitting reviews, comments, and recommendations, this workshop will prove instrumental in furthering development of new technology and solutions to improve access to hygienic sanitation for the 2.5 billion people living without this basic human right.
While in Durban, Domenico was also a guest speaker at the local meeting of IOPSA (Institute of Plumbing South Africa).
IOPSA members have been some of the most enthusiastic supporters of PWB since our inception, and their passion to serve their communities is abundantly evident.
PWB looks forward to further collaborating with IOPSA members, especially in support of their sustaining interest in forming a “Team” of local South African/PWB volunteers, who are actively involved in improving their communities’
plumbing and sanitary needs. Thank you to Steve Brown, IOPSA Operations Manager, and the entire membership for their warm reception, amazing hospitality and long-standing support of the PWB mission!
Over the past two years Gary Macnamara has been the executive director for The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA). Within his role at the organisation, he has achieved and conquered any challenge put before him and this is a trait of his that will be dearly missed.
Pictured: Chris Burgess, Craig Preston, Steve Brown, Lea Smith and Gary Macnamara
Every beginning has an end. And every end is a new beginning. Macnamara leaves the IOPSA team to relocate his family to New Zealand and tackle new adventures that may lay ahead.
At a small farewell gathering, Macnamara was given a multitude of gifts from the organisation to help him on his new adventure to New Zealand.
Gary Macnamara pictured at his farewell dressed in his gifts
IOPSA would like to wish Macnamara and his family best of luck for their new chapter and every success in their future.
For the IOPSA offices, it is still business as usual.
The IOPSA KZN committee Travelled up to Richards Bay to hold a Plumbers evening on 19 July and were met with some old and new faces. The evening was informative and as always, Gopal Bissessur of Aqua-Tap Plumbing Richards Bay was a phenomenal host and sponsor. One of the highlights of the Evening was the story of a keen plumber who, along with his assistants, travelled a round trip of approximately seven hundred kilometres to join in on the evening. Some commendable commitment from Simphiwe Cele of Plupacati Plumbers. The evening was an informative session, followed by Questions and Answers from the Plumbers pertaining to industry.
Pictured; IOPSA Representatives, Gopal Bissessur of AquaTap and Plumbers enjoying their Prizes.
IOPSA KZN was fortunate to Host Mr Domenico DiGregorio at the Grohe Dawn Lifestyle Design Centre in Durban on 29 June. Patrick Gordon of Grohe Dawn lead with an Informative talk, thereafter Plumbers were treated to shared experiences and insight into the Plumbers Without Borders journey along with some of the interaction on Local matters. Mr DiGregorio and the team at Plumbers without Borders have been growing from strength to strength, being instrumental leaders in the upliftment and reestablishment of many disaster and rural areas. To join Plumbers without Borders from any type of participatory level, visit their website; www.plumberswithoutborders.org.
IOPSA (Institute of Plumbing South Africa) has compiled a short document explaining the fundamental differences between UG (underground) piping and SV (soil-vent system - above ground) piping, and why the two should be used absolutely correctly. Many plumbers don’t understand how different the two are, and installation requirements are often neglected. It is imperative that the pipes meet the SANS requirements before installation occurs.
Below are just a few key points explaining the differences, as well as why UG piping systems cannot be used above ground:
UG Bend at 92.5˚
SV Bend at 95.0˚
The below table has been taken from SANS 10252-2 further explaining the requirements for the installation in a duct, it makes clear reference in point 2 as to the pipe required in an installation.
TABLE 20 – MAXIMUM SPACING OF PIPE SUPPORTS FOR STRAIGHT PIPE LENGTHS
The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) has facilitated with industry-leaders and geyser manufacturers, the development of a guideline to alleviate confusion in the industry relating to fixed electrical water heating (geyser) cylinder failures. The confusion & frustration has been created due to a very high percentage of non-compliant installations verse actual product failure and whether poor installation has resulted in the product failure.
To avoid such confusion, industry has collaboratively created a document that aims to support plumbing installers and manufacturers, clarifying critical areas that determine where incorrect installation can be used as technical reason to void a warranty claim.
Geyser manufacturers are within their right to void a warranty claim based on an installation not been compliant, however also have the responsibility to support their product in the industry if failure is determined to be a manufacturing fault.
This guideline will provide critical standards that, if followed correctly by the plumber, will help to prevent product failure from happening. On the other hand, this the document will provide information that supports technical reasons as to why a manufacturer may void a warranty due to a non-compliant installation.
It is important to note that this guideline is an ongoing document, and will be updated as necessary as and when IOPSA and industry reconvene. It is also critical for installers to understand that compliance to all regulations & standards applicable to a fixed electrical water heating system are to be adhered to.
The following table advises those areas that are critical to the fixed electrical water heating (geyser) cylinder failure. All points of reference are to be verified with the relevant manufacturer in terms of warranty conditions to alleviate confusion/ liability or uncertainty.
Installation items that may lead to failure of water heating cylinder in an electrical geyser. (15 items extracted from SANS 10252 & 10254 Standards discussed as points relating to water heater cylinder failure)
Description of fault cause
Temperature Pressure Valve (TP valve) rating is higher than water heating cylinder installed
Installation of reconditioned valves.
NOTE: Some manufacturers do not allow for the installation of a reconditioned valve onto the cylinders so warranty will be void. Confirm with the Relevant manufacturer if this point is applicable to the Manufacturer.
No, if compliant
Un-balanced pressure of water system
No, may lead to failure of PCV expansion valve
Safety valve is restricted (blocked or damaged)
T&P overflow piping is incorrect size or smaller than the minimum requirement of 22mm
Isolating or non-return valve is installed between hot water cylinder and the pressure control valve (PCV), expansion relief (ERV) valve or vacuum breaker.
Where no T&P valve is installed
Where no pressure control valve is installed
Back-siphonage of hot water into the cold-water supply - tank warranty intact – element void
Note: This may however effect copper tanks and tanks that have a PEX lining.
No, may lead to failure of element
Vacuum breakers are installed incorrectly or not above the top of the water heater (the anti-siphon loop) tank warranty intact – element void
Vacuum breaker should be installed 300mm above the cylinder, if it is not possible it can be installed more than 700mm of hot water supply directly on the line.
Discharge pipes that are obstructed and not open to the atmosphere
Limited or no access to hot water heating system installation
Guideline to manufacturers items that may lead to product warranty void
For more information, please visit the IOPSA website at www.iopsa.org. Or contact 08610 PLUMBER
IOPSA (the Institute of Plumbing South Africa) has noticed an increase in confusion, due to the number of different plumbing Certificate of Compliance (CoC) issued within South Africa. The local municipalities are responsible for the enforcement of the national Building & Water Regulations. Individual local authorities have their own form of a CoC if their bylaws require one to be issued by a plumber.
For the purpose of this article, IOPSA will focus on the City of Cape Town CoC and the Plumbing Industries Registration Board (PIRB) CoC to give an understanding of why there are different CoCs and what the differences are.
The City of Cape Town have implemented that a Certificate of Compliance is to be issued on the sale of a property in the same vein as the Borer and Electrical Certificate of Compliance. However, in terms of the requirements of the document, there are only specific points raised and required for the plumber to check:
The document has been amended since inception. A concern relating to the City of Cape Town CoC is that new property owners are under the impression that the entire plumbing system is compliant. As you can see by the points indicated; the plumber does not check all points of a Plumbing System relevant to the Regulations & Standards of plumbing. Complaints arise when service calls initiated for repairs and issues of non-compliance become apparent by the responding plumber. This reverts to Western Cape however in other regions; Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Southern Cape, a CoC is now being requested by the buyer.
Due to the lack of registration and poor quality plumbing installation, IOPSA initiated the Plumbing Industry Registration Board not only to register all plumbers but to proactively check quality of installations by means of the issuing of PIRB CoC’s.
This was initially a voluntary industry driven solution that is now been included in plumbing regulations since the PIRB has become a Professional Body. The value of the PIRB CoC is explained below:
The PIRB registered plumber is required to log CoC within five days of the installation, which, through the automated services, may result in an audit carried out on the installation. In the event of a failed audit, the plumber would be required to carry out rectification. It’s a controlled, measured system and process. Should the plumber not wish to rectify the issue, they will be removed from the PIRB register. It is important to understand the difference between a local CoC and PIRB CoC.
The PIRB CoC is seen as credible because it is:
The local certificate is still a requirement in specific local authorities. This is a local government requirement so it’s compulsory. The PIRB is a voluntary requirement, except for solar geysers, heat pump and soon, fixed electrical geysers. If you install a solar geyser or heat pump, you must issue a PIRB certificate in addition to the local government certificate.
The consumer is looking for credibility and support, which they can get through the industry-driven solution that is the PIRB CoC. It has been implemented to assist the municipality.
A PIRB CoC is brought in and implemented for the self-certification of plumbing works carried out by the registered plumber. The various categories in terms of the CoC are denoted on the Certificate, and the plumber will define the specific work carried out on site e.g.: A new build:
The PIRB Certificate was not designed for usage on the sale of property; the issuing plumber may be held liable for any areas of non-compliance not noted. There have been instances where a registered plumber has certified, and not listed the areas of non-compliance, and was therefore held liable. The standards are very specific in terms of the responsibility of the plumber; they must advise the owner of any non-compliance in writing. With the inclusion of the checklist, this will alleviate uncertainty in terms of non-compliance and defective areas. It is to be noted that only a registered PIRB plumber may issue a PIRB Certificate of Compliance.
We are finding that in all the new upmarket developments the bathroom design does not allow for the bath access panels, this is due to the aesthetics of the bathroom and the property owner not wanting to see an access panel that stands out.
But as plumbers we need to assist our clients to understand that the access panel is required as per the SANS standard. We also need to look at the best possible solution to ensure the aesthetics of the bathroom can comply to the standards and keep the client happy with the end product.
Below are some ideas of how you can create an access panel for the bathroom that complies to the standards and is still easy on the eye.
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