From time-to-time, civil contractors may be called upon to carry out work that crosses the line between civil work and regulated plumbing work that must only be carried out by a licensed plumbing contractor.
The Plumbers Licensing Board is reminding civil contractors that only suitably qualified people who hold the required plumbers’ licence are legally entitled to carry out plumbing work in Western Australia and that all plumbing work must be certified.
The Board issues six different plumbers licences under the Plumbers Licensing Act 1995. The scope of work the holder is authorised to carry out varies with each licence type.
The licensing requirements are in place to protect consumers and the community from the risks of substandard work. If plumbing work is done incorrectly it can cause the failure of plumbing equipment or systems and result in property damage, disease, illness, injury or death.
Anyone who carries out unlicensed plumbing work risks being prosecuted, which may result in penalties including fines.
What is plumbing work?
Water supply, sanitary and drainage work, as defined in the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000 and stated below, must be carried out by a licensed plumbing contractor or licensed plumbing tradesperson under the general direction and control of a licensed plumbing contractor.
The requirement for a licensed plumber to carry out water supply plumbing work generally applies when the plumbing system is being connected to a metered water supply. The metered water supply is usually a system operated by a water service provider such as the Water Corporation, Aqwest or the Busselton Water Board.
‘Water supply plumbing work’ is defined in the Regulations as work, other than exempt work, that involves the installation, alteration, extension, disconnection, repair or maintenance of pipes and other fittings used or intended to be used for the supply of potable water from a meter assembly to the points of use within any property.
All sanitary and drainage plumbing work must be carried out by a licensed plumber.
‘Sanitary plumbing work’ and is work other than exempt work that involves the installation, alteration, extension, disconnection, ventilation, repair or maintenance of fittings and fixtures used or intended to be used for the carrying of wastewater or other waste. It does not include drainage plumbing work.
‘Drainage plumbing work’ is work, other than exempt work, that involves the installation, alteration, extension, disconnection, repair or maintenance of underground pipes and other fittings used or intended to be used for the carrying of wastewater to a sewer; or wastewater or other waste to an apparatus for the treatment of sewage.
‘Exempt work’ means work carried out by or on behalf of a water services provider in connection with the undertaking, maintenance or operation of water services works of the water services provider.
‘Water services provider’ means the holder of a Water Services Licence, issued by the Economic Regulation Authority, who is authorised to provide one or more class of water service (water supply, sewerage, irrigation and/or drainage services).
If you are unsure or have questions, contact the Plumbers’ technical advice line on 1300 360 897 or visit www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/plumbers-0.