Tradie Talk

Why Plumbers need the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA)

The PCA contains the technical requirements for plumbing in Australia. It is the critical link between the Plumbing Acts and Regulations in each State and Territory and product or installation standards.

Plumbing compliance is more than meeting the requirements in the AS/NZS 3500 series of standards, you also need to comply with PCA requirements.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has a range of resources available to increase your knowledge of the PCA. Check out the ABCB Resource Library for details.

Maintenance of Hot Water Systems

A joint investigation by the QBCC and Queensland Health has revealed that home owners are often not aware that hot water systems need to be serviced regularly.

Plumbers should remind home owners that it is generally recommended for hot water systems to be serviced by an appropriately licensed individual. Where the source water for the system is not a potable, reticulated source, the system may need to be serviced more frequently.

WaterMark standards and non-conforming building products

Did you know that a plumbing or drainage product required to have WaterMark is a ‘non-conforming building product’ if it is being offered for sale in Queensland without WaterMark?

Section 74AB of the QBCC Act defines a ‘building product’ as “any material or thing associated with, or that could be associated with a building” and provides that—

“A building product is a non-conforming building product for an intended use if—

(a) the association of the product with a building for the use—

(i) …

Training in progress

In June, Trish Kubale, QBCC Team Leader, Plumbing and Pools Safety Licensing and Courteney Parun, QBCC Plumbing and Pools Safety Licensing Officer gave a presentation to a class of 15 students completing their Certificate III in Plumbing at the Services Trades College in Salisbury.

Notifiable Work news

Tradie looking at myQBCC on mobile phone

The recent Notifiable Work (NW) communication campaign has delivered excellent results with the number of lodgements of Form 4/4A continuing to increase steadily. The growing number of lodgements reflects the greater awareness of the Notifiable Work scheme, both within the industry and with homeowners.

The QBCC has stepped in to support the industry and licensees by responding to technical enquiries and providing educational material and guidance.   

Compliance activities in Toowoomba and Goondiwindi

Compliance site visit.

In March and April, QBCC plumbing investigators joined forces with officers from the QBCC’s Toowoomba Service Centre to conduct compliance audits in Toowoomba, Goondiwindi and surrounding areas.

In Toowoomba, they conducted licence inspections and fire audits at 29 sites and found 52 people carrying out plumbing and drainage work.

One licensee received a warning for directing a fourth year apprentice to carry out plumbing work without direct supervision, which is an offence under Section 120 of the Plumbing and Drainage Act.

Plumbing apprentices get schooled in licensing requirements

Photo of tradesman using a laptop.

Apprentices must get their licence as soon as they complete their apprenticeship in order to keep carrying out plumbing and drainage work.

Last month, our Plumbing Occupational Licensing Team spoke to apprentices in the last year of their Certificate III in Plumbing at the Service Trades College in Brisbane about the QBCC’s requirements for provisional, open and trade contractor licensing. 

Our QBCC Team will be visiting many more apprentices between now and the end of the year to remind them to get a licence when they finish their training.