The law is pretty clear when it comes to working on the plumbing systems in your home:
Under the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2012, an unlicensed individual can only replace tapware or a shower head.
Paul Naylor, national secretary of the Master Plumbers Association, clarified what the average person can legally do. He says routine repairs to taps, checking on a leak in the pipework under the vanity and even, in some states, changing a stormwater downpipe, are permissible. (However, he did point out that “Monday is the generally the biggest day for tradies – fixing up botched jobs from weekend DIYs gone horribly wrong!”)
In NSW, a licence is required before any plumbing, draining or gas fitting (including LP gas fitting) work is done, including roof plumbing.
To sum it up, any work that directly relates to the installation of the drinking water system or the sewer line requires a licensed plumber.
Basically, with DIY plumbing work it’s more about what you can’t do than what you can. Yes, at the hardware store there are hundreds of plumbing supplies to choose from – both large and small items – but always keep in mind that, while it’s perfectly fine to purchase these items, a plumber needs to be doing the job.
The increasing number of DIY home renovation shows which are becoming more popular on television, give the impression that homeowners can do just about anything when it comes to home renovations and repairs – this is not the case with plumbing.
So, what does plumbing actually involve? And when do you need to contact a plumber?
The following is a concise list of some specific services around the home for which, if they ever need to be done, you are required to engage a plumber in order to do the job.
Plumbing is required for any of the following:
- Repairing burst pipes and water leaks
- Fitting and repairing toilets
- Installing grey water systems
- Clearing blocked drains
- Repairing sewer lines
- Installing and repairing solar hot water systems
- Installing and repairing gas & electric hot water systems
- Bathroom renovations which involve the drainage system
The following is a more general list of issues which need a plumber’s services:
- Water supply/water related problems
We are all familiar with these – any jobs needing the installing, replacing, repairing, altering, maintaining or testing of any water supply systems. This includes: leaking taps, broken toilets and leaking pipes.
- Sanitary systems (sewerage systems)
This work relates to any part of an above-ground sanitary plumbing system that connects sanitary fixtures (toilets, basins, taps, sinks, showers, baths) and appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, etc.) to any system which disposes of the water, or any below-ground sanitary drainage system, or sewerage system. This includes any work on pipes and fittings in a building in which any part of a sewerage service is connected to a septic tank.
Work involving any part of a below-ground sewerage system from the above-ground sewage or waste pipes to the disposal system. Similarly, stormwater drainage connects the roof water downpipes to the disposal point of the drainage.
- Mechanical services
Plumbing work involving mechanical heating, cooling or ventilation systems in a building. This includes work on any and all flues, pipes, boilers, air conditioners, associated roofing or ventilation work, etc.
- Fire Protection
Plumbing work that involves any part of a water service used for firefighting, from the water supply system, to any firefighting equipment which forms part of that service. This includes things like fire hydrants, hose reels, domestic fire sprinkler systems etc.
Work involving irrigation systems, from the water supply in the system to the last valve or control to any pressurised part in the system.
- Gas fitting
This refers to work done on any pipes, appliances, flues, fittings, or any items or systems involved with the supply or use of gas.
Gas plumbing is a specialised field, so ensure that your plumber is licenced to undertake gas repairs or maintenance, as extra qualifications are required to work with LPG.
If in doubt, contact a plumber for information. At Green Planet Plumbing we service all your needs when it comes to plumbing in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and the Hunter Valley regions.
We have a 24 hour, 7 day a week on-call emergency service, and operate around the clock for any plumbing emergency you may incur. Contact us by ringing 02 4975 2859; or Dan 0414 185 822. You can also complete your details on our home page; or email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our local emergency plumbers pride themselves on being ‘tidy tradies’, always cleaning up mess and leaving a clean, safe environment.
Our services include commercial, residential and domestic plumbing; gas plumbing; toilet repairs; sewer jetting; CCTV Inspection and Locating; and solar hot water installation.
Green Planet Plumbing guarantees the highest standards of workmanship in all our plumbing and maintenance services.