Plumbing

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.

Using a nominated representative on myQBCC

You can now nominate someone to lodge and search for Form 4/4As for notifiable plumbing and drainage work on your behalf. This person is your ‘nominated representative’.

Your nominated representative does not require a QBCC licence number, but they do need to have a myQBCC account. As the licensee, you must also give your nominated representative the appropriate permissions under your licence details to lodge Form 4s on your behalf.

Health and safety concerns relating to PE pipes, or ‘blue line poly’

The QBCC has recently identified issues relating to the use of Polyethylene (PE) pipes in potable water systems, primarily related to chemicals such as hydrocarbons or pesticides infiltrating the pipes. 

The key issues causing a health and safety concern are current storage methods of PE pipes, and particular installation methods which may increase the risk of permeation of chemicals into the pipes and into drinking water supply.  

No complacency when it comes to electrical safety

Electrical risks in ceiling spaces

The recent electrical shock of a plumber in the Cairns area is a reminder to all plumbers and contractors about the need to be vigilant when it comes to electrical safety.

In this instance, the plumber was about to enter the ceiling space of a property after he had removed a section of the roof.

He dropped a tool into the ceiling space and while trying to retrieve it, appears to have come into contact with exposed electrical wires.

STC goes to Bundaberg

The Service Trades Council (STC) travelled to Bundaberg in August to meet with local licensees and hear directly from them about issues impacting the services trades in the region.

QBCC Assistant Commissioner, Esther Blest, said that Bundaberg’s regional industry forum provided the STC members with new insights into local issues.

STC members, Stephen Jennison and Bradley Hodgkinson, also delivered a well-received presentation on hot water system installations and legionella.

Maintenance of hot water systems

Hot water system

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.

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