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What DIY Plumbing Work Is Illegal In Australia?

December 17, 2021

diy bathroom plumbing in bathurst, nsw

It can be tempting to complete DIY work around the house, especially when it seems like a quick and simple fix. This is especially true if you’re trying to save yourself a bit of money and get your home fixed up on a budget.

Plumbing work is often no exception, with many would-be plumbers taking to the online world to get some quick info on how to fix up a small leak or water problem. However, what a lot of people don’t realise is that plumbing is a licensed trade in Australia and must be completed by a licensed professional.

So, what does this mean for anyone wanting to DIY their plumbing? What DIY plumbing work is illegal in Australia?

What Plumbing Work Requires a Licensed Professional?

In Australia, plumbing is a licensed trade. This means that only a professional who has completed trade school is legally allowed to undertake work on your plumbing system. The work that has to legally be completed by a plumber will vary state by state, however, this doesn’t change the fact that the majority of plumbing work must be done by a professional.

It is best to assume that the vast majority of plumbing work is illegal to DIY and must be undertaken by a professional.

Is There Any DIY Plumbing Work That You Can Do Yourself?

There are a few plumbing problems that you are allowed to handle yourself. Remember that these are going to vary a bit depending on which state you are in, so be sure to always double-check first. You could risk not only shoddy home repairs and further damage to your plumbing system but also a fine or prosecution if you accidentally do work that you are not supposed to do. The plumbing work that you’re allowed to undertake yourself can include the following:

  • DIY drain clearing with a plunger or drain snake
  • Replacing a broken or malfunctioning shower head
  • Changing a tap washer
  • The maintenance and cleaning of ground level grates to traps on the drains
  • Irrigation systems that are downstream from an isolating valve or a tap
  • The replacement of caps on the openings of sanitary drains

What Happens If You DIY The Work Yourself?

If you do decide to attempt to fix the plumbing problem yourself, there can be quite a few consequences, many of which you may not have considered. The first and most obvious is that your DIY plumbing work won’t fix the problem and you risk causing further damage to a system that is both delicate and complex. This can end up costing you a lot of money in further repairs and potential damage.

You can even face extensive fines and even jail time if your DIY plumbing work is identified as any work that you do yourself is considered to be breaking the law. This is especially true if your unlicensed work ends up hurting someone due to its potentially faulty nature.

Finally, unlicensed DIY plumbing work can have a big impact in the future if you decide to sell your home. If your DIY plumbing work is discovered (and it likely will be) in the pre-approval building inspections, you face the prospect of either having the sale fall through or having to pay for some urgent and probably expensive repairs to be undertaken by a professional plumber to ensure that all work is licensed and lodged on building inspection plans. Any work that isn’t lodged can cause a lot of problems when you’re trying to sell your property.

Hire A Professional

Rather than trying to undertake complicated and often illegal DIY plumbing work yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. Paying for a licensed plumber now can end up saving you a lot of time, money and stress later on. It can even potentially save you an expensive fine or even jail time. If you need a hand to get your plumbing sorted, the team at Expert Plumbing & Solar Services can help. Give us a call today and have a chat with one of our professionals.


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