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What makes a good plumber?

  • 22 June 2018

As he returns to the judging panel for UK Plumber of the Year 2018, Chris Sneath, chairman of WaterSafe, shares his view on what makes a good plumber:

The most essential aspect of being a good plumber is to have the appropriate qualifications (in most respects a qualification to NVQ level 2 as a minimum), practical skills and to be competent and professional.

However, it is equally important that the customer, whether domestic or commercial, trusts and has confidence in the plumber they are seeking advice from.

Membership of a trade association or professional institute will support this, as they give reassurance that their members are reliable and recommended.

To be a good plumber you have to be competent in design; competent in your selection of materials; competent in ensuring advice is given about conservation and energy generation; competent in having practical installation knowledge and competent in ensuring that what you advise will be safe and efficient when it’s put into operation.

It’s also essential to invest time in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to make sure you’re up to date to meet changes in requirements for the future.

A good plumber should always strive to ensure a healthy future for the industry and, wherever and whenever possible, support the recruitment and training of new plumbers.

Finally, those plumbers who are approved on the national register WaterSafe should remember their responsibilities towards the scheme and make sure they continue to meet all the membership criteria – such as maintaining suitable insurance and a customer complaint and redress system.

The standard of entrants for the competition in 2017 was excellent and I look forward to meeting more outstanding plumbers at this year’s judging in September.

Good luck to everyone!

WaterSafe is a free online search directory funded by the UK water industry to help customers find approved, qualified plumbers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Plumbers approved through WaterSafe have specific training in the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, to ensure they meet the strict legal requirements for installing water pipes and fitting. For information on becoming a member visit

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