Plumbers ‘not just about leaks and smells’
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.