Designers, specifiers and installers of water fittings may be unwittingly denying themselves the widest choice of equipment by only considering WRAS approved products, when this is only one of the routes to compliance with UK Water Regulation 4, warns the Industrial & Commercial Heating Equipment Association (ICOM).
All water installations in the UK need to comply with the Water Supply (Water Fitting) Regulations and, with respect to water fittings, compliance with Regulation 4(1) is necessary. This requires that every water fitting should be of an appropriate quality or standard and be suitable for the situation in which it is used, demonstrated by compliance with suitable accreditation, such as the UKCA Mark, relevant British or European Standards or an approval which demonstrates compliance.
Crucially, there have been some changes made and the water authorities now state that products must be ‘Regulation 4 compliant’, rather than mentioning a particular route to compliance. However, many specifiers and installers are unaware that they have a choice of routes to compliance.
ICOM technical manager Ella Cooper explained: “There is a misconception by some that there is only one certification body offering compliance with Regulation/Byelaw 4(1)(a) of the Water Fittings Regulations. In fact, there are several routes to demonstrate compliance, so if a specification requests a product to be WRAS approved, and not Regulation 4 compliant, products that hold one of the other certificates are ruled out,” she noted.
“Certification is a costly process, so most manufacturers opt for just one of the three routes to prove compliance,” Ella Cooper continued. “This means a specification requesting products to comply with only one of these is failing to consider all of the options available, potentially to the detriment of the project and the end user. As designers and specifiers clearly want the best solution for their clients, we strongly recommend acceptance in specifications of any of the three routes to compliance by requesting products to comply with Regulation 4,” she concluded.
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