Having plumbing work done?
Is your plumber licensed?
Only plumbers who hold appropriate licences issued by the Plumbers Licensing Board (the Board) can legally carry out regulated plumbing work (water supply, sanitary and drainage plumbing) in Western Australia.
Licensees entitled to carry out plumbing work are:
- licensed plumbing contractors;
- licensed tradespersons but only when they carry out the work under the general direction and control of a licensed plumbing contractor; and
- licensed provisional tradespersons, but they must be supervised by a licensed plumbing contractor or a licensed tradesperson working under the general direction and control of a licensed plumbing contractor.
In the first instance you should contact a licensed plumbing contractor to carry out your plumbing work. However, it may be that the contractor will send a tradesperson, a provisional tradesperson or an apprentice to perform the work.
It is essential plumbing is carried out by suitably licensed persons due to the risks to public health and safety, the environment and community infrastructure.
Consumer protection and safeguards to the community
A plumber licensed by the Board is qualified and competent to do plumbing work that complies with plumbing regulations and the prescribed plumbing standards.
By using a licensed plumbing contractor you have greater protection against faulty workmanship and the installation of non-approved products. The Board is able to direct licensed plumbing contractors to rectify their work for up to six years after completion if it does not comply with the prescribed plumbing standards, at no cost to the consumer.
To avoid the risk of contamination to your drinking water or drainage leaks on your property or in your neighbourhood, only use the services of a licensed plumbing contractor.
How do you identify a licensed plumber?
The Board issues all licensed plumbing contractors, licensed tradespersons, licensed provisional tradespersons and restricted plumbing permit holders with an identity card that includes their respective licence number together with any conditions on the type of work they are able to undertake.
The cards feature a photograph of the holder and enable consumers to quickly identify that they are dealing with an appropriately qualified plumber.
Helpful hints for consumers
You can check the status of your plumber’s licence by clicking on ‘Find a registered building service provider’ on our website or phoning 1300 489 099. When searching for plumbing services look for the plumbing contractor’s licence number and do not use a plumber who does not have one. The Board recommends that before a plumber commences work you should always:
- sight the plumber’s licence card;
- check the expiry date to see that it is current;
- check the front of the card to make sure the type of work to be carried out is permitted by the licence;
- ask for the details of the licensed plumbing contractor who will certify the work if the work is being undertaken by a licensed tradesperson; and
- obtain a written quotation for the total cost of the job.
Quality of workmanship
To protect consumers’ interests, the Board requires every licensed plumbing contractor in Western Australia to register the details of each plumbing job undertaken and certify that the work complies with the regulations or prescribed plumbing standards.
This enables the Board to keep track of all work in progress and a record of all plumbing work that has been completed. In this way, the Board has the information it needs to monitor plumbing work and investigate any workmanship complaints.
The Board has jurisdiction to issue rectification notices on plumbing work for a period of up to six years.
Make sure you receive a copy of the compliance certificate
When major plumbing work is carried out, the licensed plumbing contractor must provide a copy of the compliance certificate to the owner or occupier of the property where the work was carried out, within five working days of completion of the work.
Major plumbing work includes installing sanitary fixtures such as toilets and sinks for the first time, property drainage such as sewer conversions, water heater replacements, and the installation of water filters.
This certification assures you that the plumbing work has been completed in accordance with all necessary regulations and the prescribed plumbing standards and warrants that the licensed plumbing contractor has met all legal obligations.
Only a licensed plumbing contractor or restricted permit holder can issue compliance certificates. The compliance certificate should be stored in a safe place with your records of the work. The Board receives a copy from the contractor for its records.
If you are dissatisfied with the standard of work carried out by your plumber, the Board recommends:
Step 1: Contact the licensed plumbing contractor who was responsible for the work and provide them with the opportunity to rectify any defective, faulty or substandard work.
Step 2: If the contractor refuses or fails to rectify the issue, contact Building and Energy on 1300 489 099 to obtain advice on how it may be able to assist you.
Step 3: If your plumbing issue relates to plumbing work carried out on a residential property you may wish to lodge a building service complaint against the plumber even if the plumber turned out not to be licensed. Further information on how to lodge a complaint, including the necessary forms and information about fees can be found under dispute resolution on our website or by contacting Building and Energy on 1300 489 099.
If you have a contractual or payment dispute with a plumber, or any other trader or contractor working on your property, phone the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's Consumer Protection Advice Line on 1300 304 054.
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