Legal DIY or do it yourself plumbing work is extremely restricted in Queensland to protect the integrity of the potable water supply and ensure the high levels of public health. Plumbing laws nationwide safeguard the health of the nation.
Plumbing is and always has been part of the public health solution. This, in itself, has created a level of complacency within the community about the benefits of good professional plumbing practices and the laws that enforce them. Plumbing laws are frequently unappreciated with professional plumbing being a victim of its own past success. Many sections of the community do not appreciate the vital role that plumbing plays in everyday health because we have always had professional plumbing to bring a clean potable water supply into our homes and to remove the used water from our toilets, showers and laundry.
In Queensland plumbing law is covered by the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002, Plumbing and Drainage Regulations 2003, Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003 and Queensland Plumbing and Waste Water Code 2010. These acts and regulations are comprehensive and regulate individual plumbing licences and training plus call into law AS3500 for installation.
To be a plumbing contractor in Queensland, a company or individual must also hold contractors licences issued by the Building Services Authority under the Building Services Authority Act 1991. This licence ensures that all plumbing contractors have the correct technical qualifications and occupational license issued by the Plumbing Industry Council. No one other than a licensed plumbing contractor can undertake plumbing work no matter what the value of the work is. The threshold amount of $3000 does not apply to plumbing, drainage or gasfitting that applies to several other trades
So what an unlicensed person can undertake plumbing work on their own home is not a great deal and for a good reason, as outlined above. The Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003 outlines quite specifically in Schedule 3 Unregulated Work what this work is. Unregulated work is defined as the following:
- cleaning or maintaining ground level grates to traps on sanitary drains
- replacing caps to ground level inspection openings on sanitary drains
- maintaining an above or below ground irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from an on-site sewerage facility
- installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system after the isolation valve
- replacing a jumper valve or washer in a tap
- changing a shower head
- replacing a toilet cistern drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cap rubber
And those seven tasks listed above are the only plumbing related tasks that you may undertake without a plumbing licence.
It is not worth the risk to undertake DIY plumbing. It is illegal.
Plumbing is public health, now, and in the future.