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Works of a Minor Nature

Pursuant to Section 14 of the Waterworks Ordinance (WWO), a person must not construct, install, alter, or remove a fire service or inside service unless the Water Authority (WA) has granted a written permission for it. The WA may grant the written permission on his own initiative or on application of a licensed plumber. Besides, Section 15 of the WWO also stipulates that, a person who is not a designated person# must not carry out the construction, installation, maintenance, alteration, repair or removal of a fire service or inside service (i.e. specified plumbing works).

The WA may waive the requirement of permission under Section 14 of the WWO in the case of alterations to a fire service or inside service which are, in his opinion, of a minor nature. Moreover, under Section 15 of the WWO, a person who is not a designated person may carry out specified plumbing works if the works are alterations or repairs to a fire service or inside service that are, in the opinion of the WA, of a minor nature.

Alterations or repairs to a fire service or inside service must not be considered as of a minor nature if the alterations or repairs would, in the opinion of the WA, adversely affect the efficiency of the fire service or inside service in providing a reliable and adequate supply of water; or quality of the water. In the opinion of the WA, examples of alterations or repairs to inside services or fire services satisfying the following 5 conditions are considered as works of a minor nature:

  1. do not change the purpose of supply (e.g. from domestic purpose to trade purpose1) or the existing usage (e.g. from fire fighting to vehicle washing or internal cleansing in building, from irrigation to air-conditioning) of the plumbing installation already approved by the WA;
  2. do not change from the indirect supply of the plumbing installation already approved by the WA to direct supply;
  3. do not require dismantling and reinstallation of the water meter installed by the WA;
  4. do not involve soldering for connecting copper pipes; and
  5. do not require provision of backflow preventive devices for water using apparatus [such as washing machine / dish-washing machine (without submerged inlet) or water filter (faucet or countertop type)].
  A. At the inside service solely serving an individual flat/unit within a building Examples
i. Replacement of pipes or fittings2 Within a domestic flat, a shop unit or an office
  • Replacement of pipes or fittings
  • Replacement of a water closet and its flushing cistern
  • Replacement of a water heater, provided that the type of water heater does not change
ii. Repairs to leaking pipes or fittings
  • Rewashering of an existing tap
  • Tightening joints of leaking pipe
  • Fixing components of leaking fitting
iii. Insertions or taking-out of valves along the existing pipeline within the same flat/unit
  • Insertion of a gate valve along the existing pipeline between a kitchen and a bathroom within a domestic flat
iv. Extensions or reductions of the existing pipeline with additions of a new tap/new valves or abandonment of some existing taps/valves within the same flat/unit to supply a single additional draw-off point, appliance or device, provided that the draw-off point, appliance or device does not require the installation of a storage tank Within a domestic flat, a shop unit or an office
  • Extension of the existing pipeline to supply the single additional draw-off point
  • Shortening and plugging of an existing pipeline supplying a tap
  • Extension of the existing pipeline to supply a water using apparatus such as washing machine, dish-washing machine (without submerged inlet) or water filter (faucet or countertop type)

 

  B. At the inside service or fire service within a building/lot boundary (other than A) Examples
i. Replacement of pipes or fittings of length not exceeding 3 metres
  • Replacement of about 2-metre long corroded/leaking pipe, valve, cock, tank or defective pumpset in communal pipe of inside service or fire service within a building
ii. Repairs to leaking pipes or fittings
  • Rewashering of an existing tap
  • Tightening joints of leaking pipe
  • Fixing components of leaking fitting

Notes:

  1. “Domestic purpose” means a purpose connected solely with the occupation of a dwelling-house and does not include a purpose connected with a garden, lawn, playground or swimming pool appurtenant to a dwelling-house. “Trade purpose” means water supplied for use for any purpose connected with a trade, manufacture or business, other than a construction purpose, shipping purpose or domestic purpose.
  2. “Fitting” means any apparatus, cistern, cock, equipment, machinery, material, tank, tap, valve and any appliance or device other than a meter installed by the Water Authority, which is installed or used in a fire service or inside service.

Minor alterations and repairs to inside services or fire services shall conform to waterworks requirement in respect of quality of workmanship and material. It is in the interest of the consumer/agent that in case of doubt to notify the WA of his intention, so that the WA can give advice to the consumer/agent.

Please employ licensed plumber to submit an application to the WA prior to carrying out the works not of a minor nature and the works concerned shall be carried out by a designated person. A person who employs or permits a person who is not a designated person to carry out works not of a minor nature commits an offence.

# “Designated person” means:

  1. a licensed plumber;
  2. a registered plumbing worker;
  3. a registered plumbing worker (provisional);
  4. a person who carries out specified plumbing works under the instruction and supervision of a licensed plumber or registered plumbing worker; or
  5. a public officer authorized by the WA.

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