What should be considered when selecting and installing pipework

To help prevent waste and contamination all pipe and fittings systems must be of an appropriate quality and standard and suitable for the circumstances in which they will be used.

Before installing a pipe and fittings system key considerations will include but are not limited to:

  • The compatibility of the pipe and fittings. For example, to ensure connections are watertight and configured to prevent galvanic action.
  • Whether the pipework is to be installed above or below ground
  • Where the pipework is to be installed. For example, in contaminated ground, in a duct and potentially exposed to construction materials and/or water vapour, somewhere exposed to sunlight or sources of heat.
  • What water temperatures and pressures the pipework will be exposed to. For example, hot or cold water only, heating systems, maximum operating pressure and thermal shock.
  • In the case of metallic water fittings, the possibility of corrosion due to galvanic action and dezincification.

Useful sources of information include BS EN 806 and BS 8558


Please note:

All water fittings should be resistant to corrosion. In the case of mechanical backflow prevention devices and metallic fittings which are not going to be readily accessible, in addition to being corrosion resistant these should be manufactured from materials which are not susceptible to dezincification. For example, gunmetal or CR brass.

As non-metallic pipe and fittings can be affected by sunlight and/or allow ingress of light, which is known to promote the growth of algae, consideration should be given to whether protective measures to exclude light are necessary.

Adhesive joints are not acceptable below ground.



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Uncontrolled if downloaded. This is informative, non-statutory guidance and intended for general guidance purposes only; it is subject to change.

Compliance with this information should not be relied upon as guaranteeing no enforcement action will be taken by water undertakers. Water Regs UK accepts no liability for loss, indirect or consequential loss arising from or in connection with this guidance document.

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