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Lack of installer knowledge 'shocking', reveals survey
Published:  04 December, 2012

A survey into Part G Building Regulations, carried out by manufacturer Inta, reveals what the company described as a 'shocking lack of installer knowledge'.

The survey, completed by over 100 plumbers and installers at the recent PHEX Chelsea exhibition, showed that two-thirds of plumbers and installers were unclear of what the Building Regulations entailed, while two out of five had no idea what the maximum water temperature delivered to a bath fitted with a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) should be.

It also exposed lack of enforcement as a serious issue, with 89% of respondents calling for policing of the regulations to be made more rigorous.

More than half of those surveyed were unaware of any enforcement of the Part G Building Regulations since they came into force in 2010. The regulations, which were designed to reduce the risk of bathroom scalding, make the fitting of a TMV with baths compulsory in newbuild properties, and in refurbishments if the positioning of the bath has changed.

Darran Bougourd, sales director at Inta, said: "It's sad to say, but we are not surprised by the findings. The regulations present a real grey area regarding whether refurbishments fall into this category.

"To us it seems utterly ridiculous that a TMV is only required in instances where the bath is moved. The position of a bath has absolutely no relation to the risk of scalding, but the fitting of a TMV eliminates this risk completely. The regulations left many in the industry flummoxed as they had the potential to be a game changer, but instead cover limited ground.

Stoke-on-Trent South MP Rob Flello added: "This survey shows that in the mind of plumbers and installers, the Part G Building Regulations have had limited success. This can partly be attributed to a lack of industry education, but mostly to the evident neglect of responsibility when it comes to enforcement.

"It's a great shame that we have not achieved more progress with the elimination of bathroom scalding in the UK. Clearly there are some issues that need to be assessed in order to improve these regulations so that they actually become effective."