A plumbing inspection by the council is not a guarantee and never have been, they are a compliance audit – nothing more, nothing less.
Recently Kelly from Hope Island sent me an email which began with the comment that, “builders are liars, plumbers are incompetent and the Gold Coast plumbing inspectors are frauds who take no responsibility…..”
I can only repeat to Kelly what many of us know and see everyday in new or recently renovated buildings – “everyone who worked on your home did so because they were the cheapest not because they were the best qualified and skilled to undertake the work.” Sadly that has become the reality in the construction industry.
The pressure by builders on plumbers to reduce prices and take “SHORT CUTS” increases daily as I have stated previously and in fairness is frequently driven by the client demanding a cheaper price looking for the “BEST DEAL”.
In respect to Kelly’s comment about the Gold Coast plumbing inspectors, I understand the remark as there is a common urban myth that once your home or building has had a final inspection that it has been certified by the council and that the plumbing is perfect and that they are guaranteeing it.
This is not correct as the plumbing inspectors functions are set out in the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002. A plumbing inspector’s functions are to conduct investigations and inspections for monitoring and enforcing compliance with-
(a) the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002; or
(b) the Sustainable Planning Act 2009; or
(c) the Local Government Act 2009.
The important word in the legislation is COMPLIANCE. When the council inspector signs off the plumbing and drainage work on your home after being requested to undertake a final inspection by the licensed plumber who is responsible for the work you will only get a letter that says it is a PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE and it will state clearly that, “This Compliance Certificate approves the regulated work or on-site sewerage work for the above property in respect of Compliance Permit number…..”
A compliance certificate from the plumbing inspectors are not a guarantee in any way shape or form and should not be construed as such.
Unfortunately and sadly but these days it is ultimately up to you to make sure that you are getting high standard, quality work by ensuring you are dealing with reputable, experienced licensed contractors who perform work to the standards set out in the Plumbing Code of Australia.
Always ask to see the plumber’s contractors license and always ensure for insurance purposes you get a copy of either the council compliance certificate or the QBCC form 4 compliance certificate depending upon the work you have had undertaken.
By Gary Mays
It is normally the routine of a knock on the door by a friendly “salesman” stating they were in your neighbourhood doing some work and that a neighbour had suggested they do the same “free check” on your hot water service.
This unsolicited pitch or a variation of it is a signature of rip-offs who prey on gullible homeowners, especially the elderly. They commonly show a great deal of empathy and concern and are only doing the “free check” of your hot water service as your neighbour had already had theirs repaired and were concerned for you.
In the photo on the left the anode on the left was replaced by Whywait Plumbing with the one on the right with the differences between old and new perfectly illustrated.
Take it from me knocking on your door and cold-calling is not a professional or viable way to market or operate a plumbing business. And yes to work on your hot water service you must be a licensed plumber. In all likelihood the person knocking on your door is not a licensed plumber or a licensed plumbing contractor and in our experience they are ordinary old con artists who have no experience or knowledge in servicing a hot water service.
Yes your sacrificial anode on your hot water service should be checked at least every 5 years. But if it has never been checked and your hot water service is over 7 years old you are wasting your time replacing it as the damage has already been done to your steel storage tank.
Not Compliant? It’ll Be Expensive!
Plumbing Costs for Correct and Compliant Work
Plumbing is expensive if not done correctly and compliantly. Quality plumbing is not a luxury but is a legal requirement under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.
Cheap, illegal plumbing repaired by Whywait Plumbing after sewer odours were escaping inside an office because there was a 35mm gap allowing the odours to escape where a 65mm pipe had been pushed inside a 100mm pipe
Not everyone can afford a Lexus GS450h at $130497 or a BMW 7 Series 760Li 4 door Sedan at $141,200, but everyone can afford and should ensure they use a quality plumbing company. So if price is your only consideration, PLEASE phone another plumber as there are plenty of “cheap”, “competitively priced”, “discount”, “budget priced” plumbers out there who will do your work to a price but for your own sake please make sure they are:
- licensed plumbers by the Plumbing Industry Council
- licensed plumbing contractors with Queensland Building and Construction Commission
- insured for your protection with at least $10 million of Public Liability
However if you have come to the conclusion that your home is your biggest investment and you want to maintain your home to peak value then please phone Whywait Plumbing provided you want the work undertaken legally and compliantly with Australian WaterMark approved materials and highly skilled licensed plumbers who guarantee their work.
Please don’t phone us and ask for free quotes or free advice over the phone as no professional plumber can give you a price over the phone without an on-site diagnosis. Believe me, every plumbing installation is a one-off no matter how similar they appear.
Just remember if you use the cheap meeting the standard market price plumber ask to visually to see their plumbing license and their contractor’s license as they are required to carry them with them by law. In the end, these licenses are put in place by the Queensland Government for your protection, not for the plumber’s protection.
If you want cheap plumbing or free plumbing estimates or discount to meet the market pricing please do both of us a favour and save each others time by calling someone else.
By Gary Mays
One of the more common questions clients ask us over the phone at Whywait Plumbing is “what’s your hourly rate for plumbers?”
Hourly rates are utterly subjective to the point of being meaningless. Unfortunately, the majority of Gold Coast plumbers focus on hourly rates for pricing rather than the cost of the job in its entirety because they are frequently not competent enough to calculate out the value of the job in advance.
Hourly rates were abandoned as a method of pricing by most industries over 20 years ago. Ultimately all a client cares about is the total price of having a plumbing job undertaken not the component prices of which labour is only a proportion of the cost of undertaking the job.
Using hourly rates for plumbers as a comparison tool is meaningless as clients do not want the price to vary. It’s an unfortunate fact that too many Gold Coast plumbers use ridiculously low hourly rates for plumbers as a means of getting you to invite them into your home to do the job. Invariably this leads to bill shock as it’s akin to turning on a taxi meter except you had no idea when it was turned on and when it will be turned off.
There is nothing worse than the stress and aggravation of getting a more massive than expected bill once a job is completed. That is why, in reality, there is no such thing as a free plumbing quote.
At Whywait Plumbing, we have guaranteed upfront pricing. This means every job is priced in advance and approved by you before we commence work after an on-site diagnostic evaluation of the work required.
Imagine the confusion and shock if every business had to charge for their service by the hour that their clients pay for every day without a second thought. Imagine if you to pay hourly rates for a cup of coffee or a haircut.
Using a coffee purchased from Zarraffa’s as an example lets calculate their hourly rate for you to buy a Masai size (20oz) Americano coffee:
|Time in seconds to make an Americano
|How much does an Americano coffee cost
|Size of an Americano
|cost of coffee beans, water and cup for Americano
|Hourly Rate for making a Zarraffa’s Americano Coffee
Now let us calculate the value of a haircut at Toni&Guy where you would have a cut and blow dry at their Broadbeach salon from a stylist:
|Time in minutes for a cut and blow dry
|How much does a cut and blow dry by a stylist cost
|Total material costs for gel, shampoo, water etc. at retail price levels
|Hourly Rate for a Cut and Blow Dry at Toni&Guy
As can be seen by the examples of hourly rates above for the cost of labour, they are a meaningless component of the overall price of providing a business service.
As a bonus when you call us at Whywait Plumbing, we come to your home or business with service available 24/7. In contrast, if you have to go to a Zarraffa’s coffee shop to purchase your coffee or to Toni&Guy’s salon in Broadbeach to get a cut and blow dry you can only go at times they choose to be open.
Ultimately the only cost you should ever focus on when getting plumbing services is the total price, not an hourly rate for plumbers.
What plumbing is needed in an outdoor kitchen is a question that we are getting asked more frequently at Whywait Plumbing. To be honest an outdoor kitchen is exactly as the name says – a kitchen built in an outdoor living area so plumbing needs replicate those of inside your home.
As restaurants have increasingly focused on alfresco dining this has now flowed through to our homes. Landscaping design is now all about creating an elaborate outdoor entertaining area complete with alfresco dining where meals are served from an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchens have increasingly become more and more sophisticated to allow gourmet meals to be cooked and served so frequently include the following:
- permanent storage cupboards
- preparation and serving bench spaces
- sink and prep sink
- bar fridge
- wine cooler
- ovens and or stove top
- barbecue with wok burner
- beer on tap
- designer lighting
- gas heating
- coffee machines
- ice machines
- pizza ovens
From a plumbing perspective many of these appliances and fixtures need to be connected to water reticulation, sewer drains and gas reticulation. Ideally your outdoor kitchen should be located with easy access to your house to enable easy connection to existing water, drainage and gas lines. Building an outdoor kitchen without easy access to these existing connections will mean that you have to install extra services lines which will blow your budget costs upwards.
In an ideal world you should plan for your outdoor kitchen when building a new home so that you can ensure that the water, drainage and gas pipes are installed before the landscaping is undertaken. It is easy to plan ahead for the possibility that you may install an outdoor kitchen in the future even if your original design doesn’t include one by installing live capped off water connections, drainage connections and gas connections outside for potential use in future. When you are building a new home the cost to install live capped off connections is usually under a $1000 compared to upwards of $10000 to install new connections at a later date.
By Gary Mays
Every business relies on many factors and unexpected disruptions are an everyday occurrence to be managed . From a plumbing perspective the best management technique is preventative maintenance which is critical plumbing advice for business owners. One of the most disruptive plumbing problems faced by business owners is a sudden leak or failure of a plumbing appliance or fixture. (more…)