If you’ve ever bought from our range of SylWrap Pipe Repair Products before, then you’ll have heard about WRAS approval or seen the WRAS logo on our website. Beyond that, you probably don’t know much about what being WRAS approved means.
That’s understandable. After all, it isn’t exactly exciting. But it is important. WRAS approval ensures that the pipes, appliances and fittings which are responsible for bringing water in and out of buildings through connections to the public supply provide water of the highest quality.
Here’s how it works.
What is WRAS approval?
WRAS stands for the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. The scheme grants its approval to products and materials only after they have undergone extensive testing to ensure that the application in question will not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply.
When a customer buys a product or fitting which has WRAS approval, they do so knowing that they are installing applications which are safe and of a high standard.
Gaining WRAS approval itself is voluntary. Companies like Sylmasta submit their products to testing because we want our customers to know that our pipe repair solutions don’t contaminate water supplies and aren’t hazardous to human health. We take our responsibility to clean and safe water seriously.
How many types of WRAS approval are there?
There are two types of WRAS approval: WRAS Product Approval and WRAS Material Approval. Product Approval is where an entire fitting has been WRAS approved, such as valves, showers and boilers.
Material Approval is where specific materials which come into contact with water once it leaves the public supply line are certified as being safe to do so. These materials might include rubber sheet material and ‘O’ rings.
When a product has WRAS Material Approval, it guarantees that it won’t give an undesirable flavour or colour to water, impart toxic chemicals or create conditions in which bacteria can flourish.
How does a product become WRAS approved?
A product only becomes WRAS approved after undergoing rigorous testing on its mechanics and the way it interacts with water. These tests are carried out by independent laboratories.
To ensure that high standards remain, WRAS approval only lasts for five years, after which products and materials must be subjected to new tests. This guarantees that any fittings or materials which are WRAS approved are consistently produced to a safe, national standard.
Certain products have to be installed in a certain way in order to meet the standards of WRAS approval. The company manufacturing or installing the application will be able to advise you should that be the case.
Is WRAS approval a legal requirement?
The legality of WRAS approval is a complicated area. As already noted, seeking WRAS approval is a voluntary procedure. There are other similar schemes out there which companies can sign up to in order to get their products certified.
By and large, you should always seek to use WRAS approved products though. While the repair of a leaking copper pipe in your bathroom doesn’t strictly require a WRAS approved product, why wouldn’t you want to ensure that the materials which you are exposing your home’s drinking water supply to are certified as being safe?
There are no grey areas when it comes to connecting to the public water supply. No water company will facilitate a connection between their public supply lines and new builds or extensions without proof that every product involved once the water leaves the mains is WRAS approved.
The same goes for any upgrades of public buildings. Hotels, shopping centres, leisure facilities, hospitals – anywhere which supplies water to the general public through any means must use WRAS approved products. This guarantees that the supplies are safe for human consumption and will not harm the public.
What does WRAS approval mean for pipe repair?
When you see a pipe repair product from Sylmasta which has WRAS approval, you know that it can be safely installed anywhere which requires a WRAS standard installation.
Currently, the following products have achieved WRAS approval:
- Standard Pipe Repair Kit
- Universal Pipe Repair Kit
- Pipe Repair Contractor Case
- Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape
- SylWrap Pipe Repair Bandages
- Superfast Steel Epoxy Putty Stick
- Superfast Copper Epoxy Putty Stick
We’re extremely proud of our WRAS approval at Sylmasta. The design and manufacturing process to achieve the standard is by no means easy. We’ll continue to work hard to achieve the accreditation for further products in our range, so that they might be used for pipe repair solutions.