Hot water heater replacement compliance

Hot water heater replacements have a high rate of non-compliance, with up to 40 percent of installations failing to meet required standards. While many defects are minor, such as a lack of an appropriate point of discharge for the overflow, this large number of non-compliant installations is a major concern.

The QBCC has started tackling this issue by asking local governments from across Queensland to identify some of the main issues of non-compliance that their plumbing inspectors find during inspections.

Some of the key defects identified include:

  • insufficient insulation on inlet and outlet of the hot water heater
  • no tempering valve installed, or not set to the correct temperature
  • safe trays are not installed, or the base is not correctly supported
  • insufficient valves installed (includes temperature pressure-relief valves, isolating valves and cold-water expansion valves)
  • overflow lines not discharging to an approved point
  • incorrect orientation of solar collectors for solar hot water systems; and
  • failing to lodge a Form 4 on completion of the work.

To assist plumbers, the QBCC has developed an installation guideline for electric hot water heaters, which is available here.

All licensees who install, replace or remove a hot water heater (including warranty replacements) must lodge a Form 4 with the QBCC within 10 business days of completing the work. Form 4s can be lodged online via myQBCC.

If you have any questions about whether your work is compliant, please contact the relevant local government. You can also contact the QBCC on 139 333 or by emailing plumbers@qbcc.qld.gov.au.