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Who is responsible for pipework?

The diagram below shows which pipes are normally your responsibility and which are normally our responsibility. We are usually responsible for looking after the water main and the pipe that runs from the main to the boundary of the street, including the stop tap. This is known as the communication pipe.

You are usually responsible for any pipe between the boundary of the street (or from the water main if it is not laid in the street) and your home. This is called the ‘supply pipe’. You are also responsible for the plumbing inside your home. You should regularly check your supply pipe and meter (if you have one), identify any leaks and repair them immediately.


Pipe responsibilities

Licensed Plumbers

We would always recommend the use of licensed plumbers. NI Water supports and promotes the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbers Employers Federation (SNIPEF).

To find a licensed plumber in your area visit www.needaplumber.org or call SNIPEF on 0345 224 0391 who will be able to recommend a plumber. Office opening hours are Monday – Thursday 8.30am to 5pm and Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm. For out of office hours, please visit the website or refer to your telephone directory.

You will normally have responsibility for any pipework from the stop tap into your home and the plumbing inside your property. You should therefore, check your supply pipe and meter, where fitted, on a regular basis identifying and repairing any leaks that occur immediately.

Lead service pipes

Most lead found in water comes from pipework supplying old properties. Should you wish to replace your lead supply pipe, we will replace our part of the same pipe, free of charge. In some circumstances a grant may be available from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) for your share of the cost – please contact NIHE before you start work.

Where a lead service pipe is shared and you and your neighbours have agreed to replace it, we would request you to lay separate pipes from each property.

Shared service pipes

If you share a communication pipe with neighbours, you may sometimes find the flow and pressure of water in your home is too low, particularly when you both use water at the same time. In such cases we usually recommend that each property has a separate supply. An application form and guidance notes for a “Separation of Supply” are available by clicking here.

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