How to avoid notifiable work penalties
Compliance checks give our plumbing inspectors and the local government inspectors an opportunity to identify areas where there may be a lack of understanding about specific laws and processes.
We've compiled a list of tips which highlight these common errors so that you can avoid receiving a fine during a compliance check.
Tips to help you comply
- Register your Notifiable Work (Form 4/4A) correctly – you must report the details and completion of notifiable work to us by registering Notifiable Work (Form 4/4A) within 10 business days after the work is finished. Also, where your notifiable work is for a job that has opportunity for progress payment, you must also register the when you issue and invoice. Remember to give a copy to the owner/occupier where the work is being carried out.
- Submit the right form for the right work – some types of plumbing work may appear to be notifiable work but actually fall into a different category. For example, the installation of new fixtures in buildings that connect to a combined sanitary drain are often mistaken for notifiable work. As the new fixtures may increase the load on the combined drain and affect other properties, it becomes compliance assessable work. In this case you need to submit a Permit Work Application Form for plumbing, drainage and on-site sewerage work to the relevant local government as well as obtaining a permit and arranging the following required inspections.
- Submit as-constructed drawings – if the work you are doing involves underground sanitary drainage for a class 1a detached house, townhouse or class 10a shed or outbuilding make sure you include an as-constructed diagram with your notifiable work (Form 4/4A). This is a mandatory attachment in the online notifiable work (Form 4/4A) system and you can't complete your submission without one. The as-constructed drawing must have the location (where relevant) of fixtures and sanitary drains affected by the work, each access point for cleaning and maintaining the work and any reflux valve installed as part of the work. The drawing/s must show dimensions of sanitary drains affected by the work and the depths and setbacks of any pipes, fixtures or apparatus installed.
- Report on inspection and testing of backflow prevention devices, registered air gaps and break tanks – if you're inspecting, testing or decommissioning backflow prevention devices you must send in a Form 9 to the relevant local government within 10 business days. We also recommend you submit a Form 9 to QBCC when submitting your notifiable work (Form 4/4A).
- Install the correct type of backflow prevention device – as there is more than one type of backflow prevention device, it's important that installation is by an appropriately licensed plumber with a current backflow endorsement. This will ensure that the right device is fitted in each situation.
- Always install an air admittance valve or vent on sanitary plumbing or drainage – a vent or valve prevents broken seals on sewer pipes and helps stop fumes, odours and vermin finding passage into habitable spaces within buildings.
- Always install tempering devices on new and existing (replacing or relocating) hot water heaters – when new sanitary fixtures (used primarily for hygiene purposes) are installed then this is to keep the point of discharge water at a temperature no more than 45oC for restricted locations and no more than 50oC for all other outlets.
- Avoid making the overflow relief gully non-compliant –install at a level below the lowest fixture. This prevents and relieves any surcharge at the discharge point of an authority controlled sewer or onsite waste water treatment plant
- Make sure you install lagging in hot water heater installations correctly - this includes selecting the correct insulation for the location of the heater, installing insulation on the circulating line, flow and return lines for a split system and outlet pipes from storage system valves