One in seven householders now insist on approved plumbers

New survey shows millions of UK people trust approved contractors’ schemes

Water Regs UK is urging installers to apply for approved contractor status, after its new survey revealed that millions of domestic customers check to see if installers are approved.

Over 2,000 UK householders* were asked by Water Regs UK how they know they can trust a plumber to do work in their home.

One in seven (14%) of those surveyed said they check to see if the installer is registered with an approved contractors’ scheme.

That’s more than the number of people who check recommendations on social media (12%) or third party review sites (12%).

Julie Spinks, managing director of Water Regs UK, believes the findings show that approved contractor status has risen in importance among domestic customers. She said:

“Word of mouth and personal recommendation has always been important, but it’s clear that millions of people now want an official channel to check if they can rely on an installer.

“Approved contractor status through WaterSafe is one of the things people are turning to for that assurance.”

WIAPS (Water Industry Approved Plumbers Scheme) is the largest of the seven UK approved contractors’ schemes that are part of WaterSafe. WIAPS is administered by Water Regs UK on behalf of 14 of the UK water undertakers.

It provides water industry backed approval to qualified plumbers and other sector workers, including water supply pipe installers.

The interest among domestic customers in approved contractors is just one of the benefits for installers who become approved.

WaterSafe approved contractors have their businesses promoted via the WaterSafe and Water Regs UK website and online directory.

They also have their businesses backed by water companies who refer customers to WaterSafe to find a contractor.

And they can start certain works without issuing prior notification to the local water company, which can save time and money for installers and their customers.

WIAPS members are also automatically signed up to WaterSafe, the national register of approved plumbers from all seven approved contractors’ schemes.

Details of how to join the WIAPS approved contractors’ scheme are available at

*A survey of 2,016 UK adults undertaken in December 2021

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