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DIY Disaster: Why You Shouldn't Do Your Own Plumbing

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For some of us, it can be fun to don a tool belt and tinker with things around the home. And if you're a handy type, there are probably a plethora of jobs you can do without expert help.

But should you do your own plumbing? Is it illegal in Australia to carry out DIY plumbing?

Is DIY plumbing illegal in Australia?

In Australia, it's illegal to use an unlicensed plumber. Think about it plumbing keeps water and waste flowing in and out of the property safely. If anything goes wrong, such as with a burst pipe, it can spell disaster and risk the health of the household.

Even if the job seems simple such as fixing a leaking pipe doing so can be dangerous and even deadly, especially if it involves a hot water system. Even licensed plumbers can experience accidents on the job, and they are professionals who understand the intricacies of plumbing systems.

Understandably, the law can be frustrating for homeowners who know much about plumbing but aren't licensed plumbers.

But it simply isn't worth the risk. Illegal plumbing work comes with hefty fines (for instance, $40,000 in Queensland!), and will almost certainly void your insurance.

Having a licensed plumber do the job also ensures proper procedures are followed and that the workmanship complies with Australian Standards.

Can I do any plumbing work myself?

Beyond changing a tap washer, not really. That being said, you may be able to help your plumber out with some tasks such as digging and prepping the site. However, you will need to be supervised by a licensed plumber.

What is a licensed plumber?

A licensed plumber is someone who is registered with a regulatory body in their state or territory. To be registered, the tradesperson must have completed a minimum education or training requirement, hold certain insurances and demonstrate on-the-job experience.

For instance, in New South Wales, Fair Trading regulated plumbers and issues licences. Plumbers can obtain one of three licences ? qualified supervisor, contractor or tradesperson certificate.

In Victoria, all plumbing work must be done by a licensed plumber. And any job over $750 can only be carried out by a plumber who also holds a Compliance Certificate.

Licensing requirements may be different in your local area. Get the lowdown on the Licensed Trades website

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