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Plumbing is Critical Public Health so Avoid Scams by Unlicensed Plumbers Due to COVID-19

Plumbing is Critical Public Health so Avoid Scams by Unlicensed Plumbers Due to COVID-19

Who can work on your plumbing?

With all the uncertainly during this ongoing COVID-19 crisis it is critical Gold Coast homeowners and businesses don’t fall into the trap of using so-called handymen or unlicensed plumbers. In reality, there is no such occupation as an unlicensed plumber. Every person classified as a plumber is licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission or QBCC.

QBCC licensed plumber Whywait Plumbing Services
  • All individuals and companies must hold a QBCC licence for any building works that involve any work that is:
  • Plumbing
  • Drainage
  • Gas Fitting

Your plumbing is not a simplistic plaything and worldwide is classified as critical public health infrastructure. All work undertaken on any aspect of your plumbing, drainage or gas infrastructure is legally required to be undertaken by appropriately licensed individuals and companies.

All plumbers frequently experience a DIY handyman who convinces homeowners he can undertake plumbing works as long as it’s under $3300 of value. This is a complete lie by opportunistic unlicensed scammers who put your families health at risk. The benchmark value for undertaking plumbing, drainage or gas work is $0 and always has been.

Any plumbing, drainage and gasfitting work is essential to ensuring the health and safety of the entire community. This is critically important with the COVIC-19 health pandemic we are currently facing. 

Every aspect of the plumbing, drainage and gas trades are administered by a strict licensing and legislative regime. This ensures every person in these trades holds the relative QBCC licences that are legally required. This, in turn, ensures the safety and protection of the entire community through the provision of clean safe drinking water, sanitary drains and sewers to dispose of wastewater, and gas pipes and appliances that are fit for purpose.

We all agree that using a licensed plumber or gas fitter can appear expensive but it is an investment that protects your families health. Using an unlicensed plumber can null and void your insurance coverage plus leave you with possible legal and financial implications.

Especially now demand to visually sight the QBCC licences. A QBCC occupational licence enables the person to physically carry out the work. A QBCC contractor licence allows the person to engage in contracting for the work.

What plumbing work can be undertaken by an unlicensed plumber or handyman?

Listed below is unregulated plumbing work that can be performed by an unlicensed plumber in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 and Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019. All other plumbing and drainage work must be done by an appropriately licensed plumber:

  • Replacing a showerhead or shower rose
  • Replacing a domestic water filter cartridge
  • Replacing a jumper valve or washer in a tap
  • Repairing or replacing a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber in a toilet cistern
  • Replacing caps or covers to ground-level inspection openings on a sanitary drain
  • Cleaning or maintaining a ground-level grate for a trap on a sanitary drain
  • Installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream from a tap, isolating valve or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe for the watering system
  • Repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from a greywater use facility or on-site sewage facility
  • Fire protection work for testing plumbing carried out by a holder of a fire protection occupational licence or another QBCC licence
  • Incidental unskilled tasks such as excavating or backfilling a trench

Many of these tasks are much more complicated than they appear. Mixer taps, for example, can be extremely complicated just to dismantle and technically they have no washer so must always be worked on by a licensed plumber.

Checking a plumbers licence

Prior to letting anyone commence work on your plumbing, drainage or gas ask them for their licence as they are legally obliged to produce it for you if asked.

For extra assurance go the QBCC website  To find out more about a licensee you can use their online licensee search, or search their occupational licence.

COVID-19 Update as Whywait Plumbing Remains Open

COVID-19 Update as Whywait Plumbing Remains Open

Despite everything that is happening with the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic emergency Whywait Plumbing will continue to be available 24/7 to service your plumbing, drainage and gas needs.

To ensure the safety of our clients, staff and the general public we are making changes to the way we serve our clients. This ensures we can still attend to your problems while focusing on making the correct choices to keep everyone safe.

Read the information below which details out everything you need to know how Whywait Plumbing will ensure your critical plumbing infrastructure remains fully functioning.

Whywait is still here for you 24/7

Whywait Plumbing Services has been trusted by thousands of Gold Coast homeowners, landlords and business owners since 1976 to maintain their plumbing, drainage and gas infrastructure. We believe that now more than ever we need to be there for you 24/7.

As your trusted Gold Coast Plumber we guarantee to continue to be available to keep you safe and ensure your plumbing is functioning to the highest standards.

We assure you we have increased our precautionary measures to protect you and minimise any risk of spreading COVID-19. We continue to adhere to all advice from the official Australian Government health website and are monitoring the situation to ensure we take all practical steps to protect our clients and staff.

Working with Whywait Plumbing during COVID-19

Increased hygiene practice

In accordance with the advice provided by the Australian Government and the Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA), we have implemented additional policies and hygiene practices to protect you and our plumbers.

  • we are continually ensuring our plumbers are fit and healthy and we are taking all precautions to ensure their health and safety
  • we are following the latest advisories from the Australian Government and MPMSAA
  • we are following social distancing requirements
  • we are not shaking hands
  • our plumbers are wearing disposable gloves and are disposing of them when they have completed their work for you
  • our plumbers are equipped with Enzyme Wizard cleaning products to wipe down tool, equipment and work areas while undertaking your work
  • our cleaners are equipped with Aquatemp foaming hand sanitiser to keep their hands clean at all times
  • our company vehicles are kept clean at all times with Enzyme Wizard cleaning products

What to expect when you call us to book a job

It is now our policy when booking all jobs that you provide us credit card details to secure the booking because as recommended by the Government, we ask that you make a pre-payment over the phone so that no physical exchange of money has to occur. If you can only pay with cash we will be handling all transactions using gloves and practising social distancing.

We will now ask you a number of health-related questions when you call us to keep everyone safe which may include:

  • Have you, or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19, or are awaiting test results?
  • Do you fall into a category where you are self-isolating for COVID-19?
  • Do you, or anyone living in your household have any flu-like symptoms, a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?

Depending on the answers you provided, we will discuss with you on the best way forward to support solving your plumbing problems.

After we have booked your job if you start to develop flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever or shortness of breath, please call us immediately on (07) 5580 4311 so we can help to manage your appointment.

What to expect when a Whywait employee is at your home or business

Upon arrival, our plumbers may be asking the same health questions asked at the time of your booking. This is to ensure your circumstances have not changed. Plus we guarantee they will be following our increased hygiene practices.

While undertaking any work, they will inform you exactly what they will do before they start and will clean all surfaces they touch with Enzyme Wizard cleaning products.

Thank you for your ongoing support and your understanding

You can be certain that we have your best interest in mind during these uncertain times and we are endeavouring to continue to provide the great service that Whywait Plumbing is renowned for.


Plumbing Quotes Over The Phone

Plumbing Quotes Over The Phone

Plumbing quotes over the phone are meaningless without any validation as they are based on perception rather than experienced observation and onsite investigation. Every day we receive phone calls asking us to diagnose a plumbing, drainage or gas problem over the phone. We can only talk in generalities based on the vague information we are given.

Generally, after receiving this general broad sweeping advice, we are then asked how much we would charge to undertake the repair. We then have to explain it’s impossible to give any accurate pricing over the phone without an onsite investigation to diagnose the actual problem.

Whywait Plumbing will never give plumbing quotes over the phone

“When we are asked to diagnose and quote a plumbing problem over the phone we put on our genie costume and look into our crystal ball.”

The reality is every plumbing problem is unique in its own way. Despite what you think plumbing installations can be complicated.

Regrettably, 90% of the plumbing infrastructure in any building is concealed.

So what you are observing and attempting to describe to us over the phone is regularly completely the reverse of what is transpiring under your floor or in the wall.

Sending us photos or videos can be of assistance. Even so they still only show the extent of the problem, not the actual cause. But the reality is we still cannot give you plumbing quotes over the phone as photos and videos never tell the complete story.

No Professional Plumber Will Give Plumbing Quotes Over The Phone

No professional plumber no matter how experienced they are can ever give legitimate plumbing quotes over the phone. There is only one way to diagnose a plumbing problem and that is by an on-site investigation. No matter what you think you can visually observe you are only seeing part of the potential problem at best. No two plumbing installations are ever wholly the same no matter how alike they may appear.

Unfortunately, there are too many plumbers who will give quotes over the phone. This is completely unprofessional and no more than a marketing ploy to entice you to engage them to come to solve your problem. Think about it would you expect a doctor to diagnose a medical condition over the phone. In reality, it’s actually easier to diagnose a medical problem over the phone than it is a plumbing problem but no doctor will do so without first examining you.

I guarantee that 99% of the time that the plumbing quotes over the phone increase within ten minutes of the plumber’s arrival. This will always be explained away by a myriad of excuses that your description of the problem was not accurately disclosed. It will always be your fault.

The reason the quote they provided to you over the phone increases is simple. Once on-site, the plumber can have a better understanding of all the variables. Even then once they start on the repairs there are frequently multiple changes to the cost as more faults appear that were not detected in the initial visual inspections.

Google Searches Do Not Make You a Plumber

It’s constantly amusing talking to someone who has obviously done a Google search to locate what the remedy to their plumbing problem is. Usually, they have already decided what rectification work is required and are ringing getting multiple plumbing quotes over the phone.

It is my experience that 90% of the time the diagnosis is wrong which in turn ensures the remedy they have decided upon on Google is wrong.

After their Google search, they further confuse themselves by talking to multiple plumbers which just creates further confusion. Ultimately every decision then just becomes about price so they choose a plumber who will come to site for free who advertises “No Call Out Fee”.

Once again this is a fallacy because no legitimate plumbing business can come to your house for free. Sending a fully equipped truck with a licensed plumber costs at least $150 so I guarantee you will pay all of the costs in one way or another.

Plumbing Problems Are A Challenge For Both Plumber and Client

The reality is solving plumbing problems takes time and patience. We accept that finding a reputable plumbing company can be daunting as often you need to act quickly when a plumbing emergency occurs.

Solving a plumbing problem that is not completely obvious such as water leaking out of a wall can be frustrating. Here at Whywait Plumbing, we are specialist maintenance plumbers so we know that a leak can be occurring in a multitude of locations and running internally until it finds a route to flow freely. That is why we don’t smash open walls or floors to look for the problem but instead use our leak detection equipment to pinpoint the location of the leak.

For a client, this can create a perception we are procrastinating but the reality is we are using our experience to solve the problem. When it comes to maintenance plumbing hiring an experienced specialist who is older and wiser will always remove the misconceptions.

Regrettably, plumbers are only remembered for the terrible events that occur such as a burst pipe or overflowing sewage. Due to the emergency type situations that most people call a plumber, there are numerous misconceptions about what a plumber can do and cannot do quickly. In too many circumstances this is aligned to the cost rather than the outcome.

Do yourself favour always and engage a plumber that is clearly experienced and been around a while. Above all else avoid the temptation to get plumbing quotes over the phone. You need to ensure that your plumber comes to the site and undertakes a thorough site inspection before any work is undertaken.

If you need assistance on any plumbing, drainage or gas problem call us 24/7 on (07) 55804311 as we have 43 years of experience in solving dilemmas that others cannot.

How to avoid house flooding this Christmas

How to avoid house flooding this Christmas

This Christmas I can guarantee that burst plastic water reticulation pipes or burst flexi hoses will create more emotional stress and insurance claims than fires and burglaries combined.

How to avoid house flooding is becoming more challenging as we continually add more and more water connections inside our homes. Insurance companies are experiencing year on year increases in ever-increasing water damage insurance claims. The average insurance claim from internal water damage flooding has increased from $17627 in 2014 to $30361 in 2018.

how to avoid house flooding is why whywait Plumbing recommend when your house is empty to turn off your water supply
A collapsed ceiling from a water deluge above caused by a burst pipe

If you are going away on holiday this Christmas and New Year holiday season and leaving your home empty then I only have one recommendation. And that is before you drive off walk over to your water meter box and turn off the water supply.

How to avoid house flooding is simple if you turn your water off at the council water meter. By undertaking this simple task I can 100% guarantee you will not arrive home to a flooded house caused by a burst water pipe.

I’ve written frequently over the last 10 years about the issues we see every week with homes getting flooded. We’ve witnessed an ever-increasing amount of homes having plastic water pipes and flexi hoses being installed. In turn, we have seen an ever-increasing number of burst flexi hoses and split plastic pipes flooding homes.

In all likelihood even if you have copper water pipes you will still have multiple flexi hoses in your home. They will exist commonly in both residential and commercial buildings under the kitchen sink, under the bathroom vanity basins, under the toilet cistern and under the laundry tub.

Every flexi hose is potentially a ticking time bomb. It has become so common that we attend to burst flexi hoses every day. In 1 hour a burst flexi hose can discharge 1500 litres of water so in 1 day that could be 36000 litres of water. We’ve all experienced how far a spilt glass of water runs on a floor so imagine how far 108000 glasses of water will run.

We have multiple solutions available to prevent flooding in your home ranging from AquaTrip valves at the boundary that turns the water off automatically to individual auto shut off valves for flexi hoses.

If you have any concerns about your water pipes, flexi hoses, fridge connections or valves in your home and don’t want to have one of our plumbers spending part of Christmas Day with you then call us today.

In 2019 as we have done so for the last 43 years we will continue to provide full plumbing, drainage and gasfitting services every day up to and right through the upcoming Christmas holiday and 2020 New Year holiday period.

Our normal emergency plumbing services will be available 24/7 as always on:

  • Christmas Day, Wednesday 25 December
  • Boxing Day, Thursday 26 December
  • New Years Day, Wednesday 1 January

Public holiday diagnostic fees will apply to all call outs on those days except for Whywait Service Partners.

I’m always mindful that Christmas greetings can become superficial but even so everyone here at Whywait Plumbing Services wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2020. Remember the best of gifts around your Christmas tree on 25 December in the presence of a happy family with a toilet that flushes and a tap that turns off.

What is a Form 4

What is a Form 4

We are frequently asked by clients why we are charging them for a Form 4. The simple answer is because it’s the law.

The reality is the Form 4 system for plumbing and drainage work has existed for over 20 years.

Originally licenced plumbers were required to submit a Form 4 to the local authority plumbing inspectors. On the Gold Coast that meant we submitted them to City of Gold Coast’s Plumbing and Drainage section when undertaking replacement of part of the sewer house drain or water main or replacing a hot water service.

In 2012 legislative changes required that we lodge them with the Department of Housing and Public Works through the Plumbing Industry Council, (PIC) and for the first time we had to pay a fee for lodging a Form 4 of $25.90. In 2014 the QBCC took over the Form 4 process as part of their assuming responsibility for plumbing occupational licensing.

Once a Form 4 is lodged, then it is subject to a random compliance auditing process to ensure the work is compliant with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019. This is undertaken to ensure the work is being conducted to the highest standards to protect everyone’s wellbeing, health and safety.

Whywait Plumbing has always supported the Form 4 process as it ensures that all work on your property is compliant and is registered with both QBCC and City of Gold Coast. If you have a significant insurance claim involving a plumbing failure, an accessor can quickly backtrack to ensure that the work was undertaken legally and compliantly.

Ultimately a Form 4 is there for the homeowner’s protection.

What is plumbing & drainage work notifiable work?

The definitions of notifiable work changed on 1 July 2019. These changes were to ensure clarity and usability, coupled with cost-effective plumbing laws and regulations for plumbers and property owners.

There are essentially twelve categories of notifiable plumbing and drainage work that require a Form 4 which are:

  1. Extending water supply pipes – this is any work on water reticulation pipes other than a fire service on an existing building
  2. Extending or removing a fire service – this applies to any class 2-9 building with a development approval as per schedule 2 of the Building Act 1975
  3. Existing sanitary plumbing – this any work on an existing building where sanitary plumbing is removed, replaced, altered or extended
  4. Existing sanitary drainage – this any work on an existing class 1 to class 10 building involving extending, replacing, altering or removing any part of the sanitary drain system apart from a combined sanitary drain plus it also applies to extensions or alterations to a class 1 building
  5. Temperature control devices – this is any work with a TMV or tempering valves in any existing building requiring installing, replacing or removing a valve plus it also applies to extensions or alterations to a class 1 building
  6. Water heaters – this is any work undertaken in any existing building requiring installing, replacing or removing a hot water heater plus it also applies to extensions or alterations to a class 1 building
  7. Backflow prevention devices – this is any work with a testable backflow device or dual check valve in any existing building requiring installing, replacing or removing a valve plus it also applies to extensions or alterations to a class 1 building
  8. Greywater treatment plants – this any work involving the installation of a greywater use system that includes a greywater treatment plant installed in a sewered area where the plant generates less than 3kL of greywater daily or for replacing a greywater plant
  9. Fixtures in class 1 or class 10 building – this is any work required for installing a new fixture or relocating an existing fixture in an existing class 1 or class 10 building plus it also applies to extensions or alterations to a class 1 building
  10. Fixtures for class 2 to 9 buildings of 1 or 2 storeys – this is for all work other than sanitary drainage required for installing or relocating a fixture provided the work is for an existing class 2 to 9 building up to two storeys above ground
  11. Sanitary drains – this is any work undertaken to seal a sanitary drain after the connection point to the council sewer or a treatment plant
  12. Sealing supply pipes – this is any work undertaken to seal a water supply pipe after the council water meter provided the work is for an existing class 2 to class 9 building

The QBCC publish simple guides to what is notifiable work and the definitions of building classes as defined in the Building Code of Australia which you can download below:

Form 4 notifiable work compliance

Every reputable professional plumber, I know 100% supports the notifiable work system. It ensures for homeowners and property owners that all work undertaken on their property is performed to the standards required.

If you have had plumbing or drainage work undertaken that you have not been supplied with a Form 4 as per the form shown above and is covered in the categories listed then, you need to report it to the QBCC now or call them on 139333. Ultimately high-quality plumbing and drainage protects your health.

If you are uncertain or need assistance contact us on (07) 5580 4311 and we will give you our considered opinion. Ultimately all plumbing work is not about guesswork; it is about compliance with the law, and the law is the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018.

Emergency Plumber Mermaid Beach

Emergency Plumber Mermaid Beach

Repeat clients account for over 70% of the jobs Whywait Plumbing undertake.

Last weekend being the Queens Birthday long weekend coupled with the NRL Grand Final meant one of our loyal clients Kristian was looking forward to a great weekend. The last thing Kristian was anticipating was needing an emergency plumber in Mermaid Beach as he drove home from work. Kristian arrived home on Saturday night to gurgling sounds coming from his bathroom. Upon investigation, he found the only toilet in his unit was blocked.

Even though it was 7.45 pm on a Saturday night, Kristian immediately contacted Whywait Plumbing Gold Coast as he knew their phones would be answered as he was concerned his unit had blocked drains. Kristian confirmed all the details with Whywait Plumbing’s Operations Manager, Brad Greenaway, who was answering the phones. The Plumbing Technician on call was Nathan Parrish who was immediately dispatched as Whywait offer a 1-hour emergency response

Emergency Plumber Mermaid Beach 3
Nathan Parish – Emergency Plumber Whywait Plumbing

Upon arrival, Nathan set about testing all the drains in the unit to ascertain the extent of the blockage. Kristian’s home is a small unit in what was once a motel that has been converted into individual home units.

Although the bathroom fixtures had been upgraded, the underlying drainage was the original sewer drainage system. To Kristian’s relief, Nathan found that the blockage was confined to the toilet as the rest of the fixtures were draining correctly.

Using his Rothenberg toilet auger, Nathan was able to guide the auger through the toilet pan without removing it. After patiently operating the auger, Nathan was able to clear the blockage. Flushing the toilet several times to test it indicated that the blockage was cleared.

Nathan cleaned up the bathroom and departed at 9.20 pm leaving behind a relieved Kristian. On Sunday night Kristian gathered with a few of his mates at home to watch the NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders. At 5.30 pm Kristian heard the dreaded gurgling sound originating from his bathroom again. Immediately he was on the phone to Whywait Plumbing, and for the second night in a row, Nathan was dispatched to deal with a blocked drain.

Arriving at 6.05 pm, Nathan again found the toilet blocked and a high water level in the shower floor waste. As Kristian’s unit has no accessible inspection openings into the sewer drains, it was a possibility that the toilet pan would need removing.
Using an extended auger unit, Nathan set about negotiating it through the toilet pan send bend and down the sewer drain. Kristian watched while Nathan set about dispatching the auger down the drain without damaging the toilet pan. Finally, after 15 minutes of slow progress, Nathan hit the blockage and managed to clear it. Kristian and his mates were greatly relieved as they were now able to watch the NRL Grand Final and know they had working drains.

Kristian was so impressed with the service from Whywait Plumbing that he gave us a 5-star review on Google and contacted Gary Mays the owner of Whywait Plumbing to commend Nathan’s skills and recommend he be given a pay rise. If you too are experiencing blocked drains like Kristian and need an emergency plumber in Mermaid Beach to attend promptly don’t hesitate to pick up your phone and give us a call on (07) 5551 5193.      

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