Is your bathroom breaking the law? Here’s how it could be illegal!

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  • There’s a lot to consider when planning your dream bathroom. From the colour and style of your bathroom suite to the smaller details ranging from tap finishes to storage solutions.

    Bathroom makeovers: Before and after: from tired, disjointed bathroom to traditional-meets-modern haven

    But while homeowners may be busying themselves with tasks such as laying down the tiling, they may be completely unaware that their water company could lay down the law on what they can and can’t install in their bathroom.

    bathroom breaking law

    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    Figures from the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) show that 60 per cent of homeowners are unaware that they need to seek permission from their water company for installing specific water fixtures in their home such as large baths and some types of bidets.

    In a similar vein to building regulations homeowners will need to ensure that plumbing work complies with UK water regulations and byelaws. Despite this fact the figures showed that 62 per cent of those questioned said they didn’t know whether they had to inform their water company when installing a large bath (one holding more than 230L).

    A further 25 per cent revealed that they believed that they didn’t need to tell their water company of this planned work.

    bathroom breaking law

    Image credit: Oliver Gordon

    60 per cent of homeowners are were also oblivious to the fact that they are legally required to tell their water company if they are installing a bidet featuring an ascending spray or flexible hose. If these are incorrectly installed they could risk contaminating drinking water, which water companies are responsible for safeguarding.

    Commenting  Julie Spinks, Managing Director of WRAS, said: ‘If you’re planning any type of new plumbing installation, it’s well worth taking a few minutes to seek professional advice from your local water supplier, or a WaterSafe approved plumber who is familiar with the regulations.

    ‘Getting permission is quick and free, but failure to notify your local water supplier could result in extra cost to put poor plumbing right, or worse, contamination of water supplies and a court prosecution.’

    bathroom breaking law

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Other types of plumbing work that you need to inform your supplier of, include:

    • A pump or booster that delivers more than 12 litres of water per minute
    • A reverse osmosis unit (for cleaning water)
    • A water treatment unit which produces waste water

    A more comprehensive list is included is included on the WRAS website.

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