What plumbing work can you do yourself?

It can be tempting to save a few dollars by carrying out the simple plumbing jobs around your house yourself. In some situations and with the right skills and tools that is a great idea. However, with the exception of the list below, carrying out most plumbing jobs can land you in hot water.

For starters, as of 1 July 2019, an unlicensed individual can be hit with a $32,000+ fine under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018.

What plumbing can I do?

Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) states unregulated plumbing work which can be undertaken by an unlicensed person includes:

  • Replacing a showerhead
  • Replacing a domestic water filter cartridge
  • Replacing a jumper valve or washer in a tap
  • Repair or replace drop valve washer, float valve washer, or suction cup rubber in the toilet cistern
  • Replace caps to ground level inspection openings on a sanitary drain
  • Clean or maintain ground level grate for a trap on a sanitary drain
  • Install or maintain an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream of a tap, isolation valve, or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe for a watering system
  • Repair or maintain an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from a greywater use facility or on-site sewage facility.
  • Incidental unskilled tasks such as digging or backfilling a trench.

All other plumbing work must be carried out by a plumber with a current plumbing and drainage licence.

Don’t risk DIY plumbing

Carrying out your own plumbing work other than these simple tasks can seem fairly low risk but homeowners can run into problems down the track.

For instance, if something goes wrong or a fault occurs in your plumbing system which requires an insurance claim you may be left without protection if your insurance provider uncovers that related unlicensed work has been carried out on your system.

Problems can arise when it comes time to sell your home as well. Any unlicensed or faulty work uncovered in a pre-purchase building inspection will need to be corrected by a licensed plumber at your expense.

Another common issue is product warranties can become void if any work or repairs are carried out by an unlicensed person. This can affect things like your hot water system or septic system.

Get the help of a professional plumber

We recommend calling your local licensed plumber to carry out anything more involved than a tap washer replacement to ensure the work is being carried out to the relevant industry, state, and Australian standards, is compliant, and covered by insurance.

Related information:

Ref - https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/selecting-contractor/whos-doing-your-plumbing, https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/new-laws/plumbing-drainage-reforms

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