Plumbing pipe investigation update

WA’s building and plumbing regulator has announced preliminary findings from its investigation into water leaks in Perth homes from a particular brand of polybutylene pipe.

Building and Energy’s investigation focused on identifying the cause of failure of Pro-fit polybutylene pipes made by Iplex Australia. Most water leaks occurred in pipes manufactured between mid-2017 and mid-2022.

As part of its investigation, Building and Energy conducted inspections at more than 50 properties where pipe failures occurred. These inspections found that installation work practices and workmanship were not the cause of the pipe failures.

Building and Energy also engaged independent materials experts to conduct laboratory testing of the samples retrieved. The findings have been shared with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Consumer Protection as regulators of national product safety legislation.

“Understandably these incidents have caused stress and inconvenience for many home owners,” Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said.

“Our investigation has been comprehensive and involved detailed laboratory work to determine if the cause was a product manufacturing issue, substandard workmanship during installation or a combination of both.

“As the plumbing regulator, we have formed the view that installation work practices were not the causes of these failures.”

Mr Abdoolakhan said home owners with concerns about Pro-fit pipes should continue to liaise with their builder until there are further updates.

Building and Energy will also continue to keep affected consumers informed about the progress of further work with product safety regulators.

Building and Energy’s webpage on the issue includes an online register for consumers to lodge their details if they are affected by burst pipes.


Media contact:

Building and Energy
Media release
16 Aug 2023

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