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Scottish Repairing Standards – What’s Changed?

Posted by Matthew Gunn on March 13, 2024
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As of 1 March 2023, Scottish Repairing Standards in regards to Lead Pipe Testing and RCD Protection will take effect.

Lead Testing

Does my property need tested?

Any property built before 1975 will require testing at a cold water outlet between the boundary stopcock and the kitchen tap where water is frequently used for human consumption (drinking/cooking). Consideration should also be given to other locations in the property where water is used for drinking or cooking and there may be a risk of lead pipes being present.


Who does the testing?

There are many private companies that will carry this testing out quite quickly for a nominal fee. Scottish Water will also take a sample from the cold tap at the point of entry to the property (in most properties this will be the kitchen sink) which will be done free of charge. The downside to this is that they will only carry out testing on behalf of the property occupant. They will not carry out testing requested by Landlords. This service also takes quite a few weeks to complete

What levels are considered safe?

If at any stage during the above process lead pipework or lead levels above 10 micrograms/litre are identified, tenants must be informed and should be provided with advice on how to minimise their exposure to lead.


Do I need to replace pipework?

For properties connected to the public water supply, Scottish Water will replace any sections of lead in its part of the service pipe between the water main in the street and the boundary stop valve, which it must do free of charge. The landlord is responsible for locating and removing any lead pipes in the sections of pipework which are not the responsibility of Scottish Water. The water should then be re-sampled to confirm that all lead has been removed.


In jointly owned buildings, part of the water supply may be jointly owned. If so, quotes for pipe replacement work should be obtained and you should consult other owners to see if they are in agreement to the work taking place. An exemption to the Repairing Standard duties applies if work otherwise needed to comply with the standard cannot be carried out because an insufficient number of co-owners have consented to the work taking place.

RCD Protection

What is RCD Protection?

RCD stands for Residual Current Device, a safety device that quickly cuts off electricity when it detects a fault, preventing electric shock or fire. It monitors the current flow and trips if there’s an imbalance, often used in places like kitchens and workshops to enhance electrical safety.

What is required?

In order to comply with the Repairing Standard, there must be one or more RCD not exceeding 30 mA in the main or principal consumer unit. Normally, as a minimum, this will cover the socket-outlet circuit. However, the protection requirements will vary depending on the installation in the let property.


What should this look like?

The device should indicate 30mA protection and cover the socket fuse as shown below:

Scottish Repairing Standards


What if I do not have this?

You will need to employ a certified electrician to install RCD protection. If your consumer unit does not have space for this, or is an older style, a new consumer unit may be required.

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