Risk of pipe damage with solar panel installation

23 June 2016

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has received a complaint about plumbing pipework being interfered with by unlicensed tradespeople during installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. 

The complaint has been investigated and relates to an electrical contractor cutting or lowering vents for house drains and sanitary plumbing and drainage systems to allow the installation of PV panels.

Alteration of these vents is classed as regulated plumbing work and must only be performed by a licensed plumber under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002. The person performing this work must also be covered by a plumbing trade contractor’s licence under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.

Cutting vent pipes risks gases entering roof spaces or other areas, vermin entering or escaping from sanitary plumbing and drainage systems, and rainwater entering the building fabric from unsealed roof penetrations.

QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said fines of up to $1,178 per offence apply for performing, supervising or directing the performance of regulated plumbing work without a valid licence.

Mr Bassett said the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) will take appropriate regulatory action when it identifies unlicensed conduct.

Any questions about which work requires a licence can be referred to the QBCC (24/7) on 139 333 or by emailing plumbers@qbcc.qld.gov.au



For enquiries phone 139 333.