Regulatory change – temperature control devices on solar water heater replacements

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All announcements issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Announcements listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this announcement, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

This announcement is for: 
Plumber

Currently, all new heated water installations are required to be temperature controlled at the outlets of sanitary plumbing fixtures used primarily for personal hygiene in accordance with the Plumbing Code of Australia and AS/ NZS 3500.4:2015, clause 1.9.2.

The requirement above also applies when replacing a water heater with one of a different type, capacity or heat source; for example, when an instant water heater is replaced with a storage water heater. Temperature control is not currently required when replacing a water heater of the same type (like for like).

Plumbers have been concerned for some time that climatic conditions in Western Australia can result in extreme heated water temperatures from solar water heaters (particularly in summer). This has the potential to cause severe scalding due to the uncontrolled delivery temperature when solar water heaters with no existing temperature control device are replaced. Accordingly, a decision has been taken by the Minister for Commerce on advice from the Plumbers Licensing Board that all replacement solar water heaters shall be temperature controlled. This is to be carried out in accordance with AS/ NZS 3500.4:2015, clause 1.9.2 (Sanitary fixtures delivery temperature) and clause 1.9.3 (Solutions for control of delivery temperature).

The requirement for replacement solar water heaters to be temperature controlled is being made through regulation 49 (Modifications to Plumbing Code) of the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000. This change will bring Western Australia in line with other states on this matter. The regulation change is expected to come into effect in mid-December 2016.    

As mentioned above the change is limited to replacements of solar water heaters and does not apply to like for like replacements of other types of water heaters.

Building Commission
Department News
12 Dec 2016

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