Water Regs UK is issuing a vital reminder to all planning to renovate their bathrooms this year: plumbing projects are often best left to the professionals.

With the cost-of-living pressures, understandably, many will be tempted to fix any leaks and install new appliances. But enthusiastic DIYers can often make costly mistakes.

A survey conducted by Water Regs UK has revealed that plumbing mishaps are the number one DIY disaster in UK homes, with 18% of respondents admitting they had to call in a plumber to rectify attempted DIY plumbing jobs.

The survey, encompassing the experiences of over 2,000 people across the UK, highlights the prevalence of DIY attempts gone wrong and underscores that plumbing needs the specialist skills of a qualified professional. Plumbers emerge as the most sought-after trade for fixing DIY disasters, with electricians and plasterers following closely behind.

Julie Spinks, managing director of Water Regs UK, highlights the significance of hiring qualified professionals, explaining, “In challenging economic times we all want to save money. However, attempting DIY plumbing projects can make things worse and end up costing more. If a mishap occurs, it’s crucial to hire a qualified plumber. Every day, half of Britain’s plumbers are called in to fix mistakes made by unqualified individuals—emphasising the real risks associated with amateur attempts.”

45-54-year-olds are the most at risk of choosing an unqualified plumber, with 47% turning to friends and family for DIY plumbing, compared with 29% of 18-24-year-olds.

The top plumbing tasks that Brits are most likely to try and do themselves are:

  • Bleed a radiator (58%)
  • Check a stop tap is working (42%)
  • Fix a leaky tap (41%)
  • Install a washing machine or dishwasher and connect a hose to the water supply (36%)
  • Replace a tap (24%)

While many homeowners may have the skills to tackle simple jobs like bleeding a radiator or insulating a pipe, complex jobs should be left to professionals. Nearly 1 in 10 admit they would try tackling more complex tasks like installing a new toilet, which could lead to leaks and contamination if installed incorrectly.

Water Regs UK encourages homeowners to entrust plumbing and water fittings renovations to approved plumbers, such as those accredited by WaterSafe.

WaterSafe-approved plumbers are trained in the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, which are essential for preventing the risk of contamination of drinking water from substandard plumbing practices and fittings.