Being a plumber means adhering to the practices, principles and compliance standards required by legislative bodies within South Africa. It is the plumber’s responsibility to ensure that they comply legally in all plumbing works undertaken. The importance of being compliant and striving for quality assurance can never be underestimated when working with one of the earth’s most valuable resources.

Since August 2017, the compulsory specification for hot water storage tanks for domestic use came into effect. It was now a legal requirement that geysers have a class B energy rating. The class B energy rating now means that electricity consumption would be reduced. and energy efficiency would now be promoted to ensure an environmentally sustainable solution. Enforcing VC 9006 is in line with the NRCS’s (National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications) mandate of protecting human health, safety, the environment and ensuring fair trade as well as rooting out non-compliant products in the market.

The NRCS follows a rigorous administrative and technical process in evaluating LOA applications before issuing certificates. The LOA (Letter of Authority) is a certificate issued to a manufacturer or importer in terms of the section 5(2) (f) of the NRCS Act once compliance is determined therefore permitting the sale of a product.

The problem now exists that class B rated geysers were either not readily available as only some of the geyser suppliers offer geysers that comply with the class B requirement. It should be noted that a sales permit may be issued by the NRCS and in laymen’s terms a sales permit can be regarded as a LOA.

The PIRB and plumbers alike cannot condone illegal or non-compliant practices and a resolution on the requirement of B rated geysers needed resolution for plumbers and manufacturers. It was proposed that the PIRB should regard all geysers for which a sales permit or LOA exists as compliant until the deadline date set by the NRCS. This would allow plumbers the time period to adjust to the requirement and not be detrimental to the consumer, plumber or the industry.

The PIRB concluded that all geysers that comply with either of the below instances can be regarded as compliant;

  • A Letter of Authority from the NRCS exists for the geyser
  • A sale permit exists for the geyser
  • A certification certificate dated no older than 2015 exists for the geyser

This resolution should be adhered to immediately and will be reviewed in September
2019, which is the end date set by the NRCS for sale permits pertaining to geysers.