Plumbers ‘not just about leaks and smells’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

LEE GOLDIE, vice-pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute of Plumbers of South Africa (Iopsa), com­ments on the let­ter by Raw­son Prop­er­ties’ MD, Tony Clarke.

I trust my views will be re­ceived in the spirit in which I in­tend them, not as an ar­gu­ment to his points but merely to en­lighten Mr Clarke on the sig­nif­i­cance of plumb­ing and its im­pact on our lives to­day.

Ul­ti­mately I have the con­sumer’s in­ter­est at heart. This pro­posed by-law is de­signed to as­sist pru­dent wa­ter man­age­ment and give home­own­ers peace of mind and aware­ness of a very im­por­tant re­source.

Plumb­ing is not just about leak­ing pipes and bad smells. Sound prac­tices have helped erad­i­cate many dis­eases and have dra­mat­i­cally ac­cel­er­ated so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­opm e n t . To l o we r s t a n d a r d s would be fool­ish and would re­sult in the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of build­ings and their value.

Coun­tries world­wide, in­clud­ing South Africa, have, over the years, pro­mul­gated laws on plumb­ing stan­dards and de­vel­oped codes to en­force the level of good prac­tice. Not­with­stand­ing these, there will al­ways be “cow­boys”. This by-law will help to dis­cour­age the use of these op­er­a­tors, and avoid the dis­as­ters that re­sult from non­com­pli­ant plumb­ing prac­tices.

I dis­agree with Tony Clarke that plumb­ing prob­lems are eas­ily recog­nised, and I doubt that plumb­ing is more “un­der­stood” than elec­tric­ity.

It is the home­own­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain their plumb­ing, as they would the roof or painted sur­faces. This of­ten de­ter­mines the value of a home and its “health”.

Mr Clarke al­ludes to “ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial” work that a plumber would “find” to com­plete a cer­tifi­cate of com­plia n c y. My a dv i c e t o a n yo n e em­ploy­ing plumbers is to en­sure that the plumber is a reg­is­tered plumber (PIRB) or that the busi­ness is a mem­ber of t he I nsti­tute of Plumb­ing SA. These ar ti­sans are most likely to pro­vide pro­fes­sional, timeous and hon­est cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with only the nec­es­sary re­me­dial work re­quested to achieve that cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

I be­lieve a more hon­est and tech­ni­cal ap­praisal of prop­erty val­ues will be con­ducive to a sound buyer/seller re­la­tion­ship. Health and safety will be main­tained, and the un­nec­es­sary wastage of a vi­tal re­source will be re­duced.

Like many cau­tious homeo w n e r s , I wo u l d p r e f e r t o re­ceive cer­tifi­cates of com­pli­ance when buy­ing a house. The cost of the cer­tifi­cate is a frac­tion of the cost of the in­vest­ment, but will pro­vide con­fi­dence and peace of mind.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.