Plumbing Regulations

Plumbing Regulations in Melbourne Protect You

You are protected in Melbourne from shonky plumbing work by Victorian state plumbing regulations.

But only if you use a registered or licensed plumber.

There are serious penalties in Victoria for the person who is caught doing unregulated or unlicensed plumbing work.

But you have no come back if you use them, they “botch” the job and refuse to fix it.

How does it all work then?

The VBA (Victorian Building Authority) oversees the plumbing regulations in Victoria.

The regulations define different classes of plumbing work.

And mandates the work can only be carried out by a person who is registered or licensed by the VBA.

So it pays to make the plumbing regulations work for you

First ………Decide you’ll use a registered or licensed plumber.

Second…..Understand what class of plumbing your job comes under.

Third…….. Check the plumber quoting is accredited for your class of work.

  • Ahead of time you can check the plumbing accreditation of the person quoting. You can search by entering the Practitioner ID (if you know it) or Name (there are tips offered to help in the search).

  • In an emergency – ask for their photo ID badge when they arrive. This is issued by the VBA. It confirms their identity, whether they are still registered / licensed and the classes of work they are accredited to do.

Fourth……If you want insurance cover for defective work, choose a licensed plumber.

Fifth…….If the work requires a compliance certificate, choose a licensed plumber. Or a registered plumber, whose work is supervised by a licensed plumber.

It pays to know what class of plumbing work you want

There are 14 classes of plumbing work – 8 main classes and 6 specialised.

It’s quite easy though to decide what class of plumbing your work is.

Start with the 8 main classes first – is it anyone of these?

  1. Drainage work.
  2. Fire protection work.
  3. Gasfitting work.
  4. Irrigation (non-agricultral) work.
  5. Mechanical services work.
  6. Roofing (stormwater) work.
  7. Sanitary work.
  8. Water supply work.

 

If it’s not one of those classes it will be either Item 5 or 6 out of the specialised classes listed below.

If it’s gasfitting work you’ll need to know whether it is a Type A or B gas appliance (as defined by the Gas Safety Act of Victoria).

In most cases the work required will be for a Type A domestic or light commercial appliance. These include “cookers, space heaters, central heaters, water heaters, catering equipment and leisure appliances”.

Select one the 4 specialised classes below (1–4) that would apply to your gasfitting work

  1. Type A appliance servicing work.
  2. Type A appliance conversion work.
  3. Type B gasfitting work.
  4. Type B gasfitting advanced work.
  5. Refrigerated air-conditioning work.
  6. Backflow prevention work.

And you’re done – you now know your class of plumbing work.

Registered v Licensed Plumber – What’s the Difference?

You can find the full definitions of each on the VBA website.

Whilst both types of plumber are accredited by the VBA……..it is the licensed plumbers who have the higher accreditation rating:
* they are required to complete higher qualifications.
* must hold a prescribed level of insurance as protection for the consumer against defective work.
* can issue a compliance certificate.
* can supervise other plumbers (registered or licensed)or apprentices for the plumbing work they are licensed for.

And Finally…..What are Compliance Certificates all about?

These are issued by a licensed plumber to certify that work done complies with the “relevant plumbing standards, codes and regulations”.

Plumbing regulations require a compliance certificate to be issued:

  • upon completion of any plumbing work valued at $750 or more.
  • and all work in relation to below ground sanitary drains, gas-using appliances, gas piping and cooling towers.

Compliance certificates are part of your protection:

  • you must receive a signed certificate within 5 days of completion.
  • they have to be lodged with the VBA within the same timeframe.
  • they can be subject to an audit by the VBA to ensure the plumbing work was completed to an appropriate standard.
  • and failure by the plumber to issue or lodge can result in either a heavy penalty or a disciplinary inquiry. This could lead to license suspension or cancellation license.
  • you can check if it’s been lodged

Make sure you keep a copy of your compliance certificate – it’s used as evidence in the event of faulty workmanship.

If the certificate has not been lodged or the lodged details differ from the one issued to you, contact the VBA or submit a plumbing complaints form.

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Plumbing Regulations Protect You

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