Plumbing body warns of DIY plumbing dangers during enforced social distancing

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors, the leading membership organisation for plumbing and heating businesses in England and Wales, is reminding homeowners that the government is allowing plumbing and heating contractors to carryout emergency plumbing and heating work.

Their Chief Executive Officer, John Thompson, explained that even more lives could potentially be in danger if vital plumbing and heating work is either neglected or attempted to be fixed by the homeowner themselves. “We fully support and respect the government’s measures to delay the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable, but I want to clarify that homeowners are able to call in a plumbing and heating contractor to carryout essential repair work on plumbing and heating systems where faults and breakages have occurred which could potentially endanger lives.”

Plumbing and heating are two areas where you need to be 100% confident in your capabilities and are certain that any work you do doesn’t fall foul of the law, as a great deal of plumbing and heating has to be compliant with Water Regulations and Building Regulations. 

Conducting DIY work on a heating system runs the very serious risk of causing an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning, and remember, Gas appliances and boilers should only ever be worked on by a Gas Safe registered engineer, whilst oil firing systems and solid fuel burners need to comply with Building Regulations.

Plumbing systems are also complicated and shouldn’t be underestimated.  They provide a vital service to your home and attempting any form of DIY to the system that supplies you with clean drinking water and disposes of wastewater and sewerage has the potential to go wrong and could ultimately damage your home and your health.

Although there is a potential risk of coming into contact with people who have the COVID-19 virus, APHC believes that with the right precautions the risk can be mitigated.

“I’m glad the government recognises the essential frontline work that plumbing and heating professionals carryout and the direct role they play in keeping society healthy, warm and safe.  To help safeguard the health of plumbing and heating contractors, we have worked with our members to devise risk assessments and a number of key procedural working practices to adopt before, during and after each appointment.  These actions have been designed to help protect the public and our members from catching and spreading the COVID-19 virus”, added John Thompson.

If homeowners don’t have a trusted plumber to call upon APHC have issued some advice on how to find reputable and qualified traders. Look for a member of a trade association, such as APHC, who will check that a trader’s qualifications and past work are checked and verified to a high standard. There is the additional security of codes of conduct in place to protect both customer and tradespeople and they often have schemes, which can help resolve problems. As well as offering high levels of customer service and workmanship as standard, APHC members can also be part of certification schemes to demonstrate their expertise such as the Competent Persons scheme, to certify work requiring building regulations.

Members of the public can source an APHC accredited plumbing and heating contractor via their online search facility at or by contacting the office on 0121 711 5030.