What is WRAS Approval?
The Water Regulations Approval Scheme, WRAS for short, is a certification body for plumbing products and fittings, that aims to demonstrate which materials are compliant with regulations and byelaws throughout the UK.
To obtain WRAS approval, a product must comply with the most basic principle of the water regulations - any water fitting which, once installed, will carry water from the public mains water supply must not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply and must be of an appropriate quality and standard.
Naturally, this means that every fitting or product must undergo rigorous testing. Items such as valves and showers will need to complete both mechanical and water quality testing to ensure they are fit for purpose and won’t contaminate the water. Testing of materials like O rings and spacers, focuses more on the effect on water quality, whether the material contaminates or deteriorates in the water.
Is WRAS Approval required?
Seeking WRAS approval is currently a voluntary procedure for manufactures and not all plumbing installs require the use of approved materials.
For example, fixing a leaky fitting in a residential bathroom doesn’t mandate the use of approved products, but it is still wise to opt for something that comes with a guarantee of quality. However, if the same job was being carried out in a hotel or any other building that the public had access to, WRAS approved products must be exclusively used. Similarly, any new connections to mains water supply must also use exclusively WRAS approved materials.
How long does WRAS approval last?
Any approval can last up to a maximum five years and the entire approval directory can be viewed at any time on the WRAS approvals site.