Fair Trading enquiries
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas operating hours for onsite plumbing and drainage inspections and bookings (within the NSW Fair Trading area of operations only):

  • PIAS Administration will not be taking bookings from Monday 26/12/2016 Tuesday 03/01/2017.
  • PIAS field inspection services will be closed from COB Friday 23/12/2016 and will recommence on Wednesday 04/01/2017. 
Please note, if you are required to carry out work over the Christmas close down period that requires an audit inspection, you must notify PIAS via email to piasadmin@finance.nsw.gov.au of the following:
  • Email subject: 'Christmas close down period'
  • Your contact details
  • MyInspections AA number
  • Property address
  • Date and details of work being carried out
  • Attach all paperwork, e.g NoW/CoC/SSD via MyInspections (as per normal process).

For work requiring inspection outside of the Fair Trading area of operations, please contact your local authority (Council or County Council).

We hope you have a good break and look forward to working with you in the New Year. 

Top tips for completing a Notice of Work and booking inspections

Water drop

Don't flush your time and money down the drain - the NSW Government Spatial Information eXchange (SIX) website is a great resource to help you efficiently complete a Notice of Work (NoW) and to ensure that you provide correct information when booking inspections. 

The website is an easy way to find the Lot and DP number, which are essential in order to enable you to submit your NoW and Certificate of Compliance (CoC). 


Granny flats - important points to note when connecting drainage

Inspection clipboard

With the recent rise in the number of granny flats being built, NSW Fair Trading plumbing inspectors have raised an important point to note concerning drainage.

In some cases, drainage from a granny flat is being connected to an existing sewer shaft on a shallow connection. This effectively means new drainage is now connected to a square junction on its back. Under clause - Installation of inspection shafts - (c) AS/NZ 3500.2.2015, this is not permitted: General 
Inspection shafts shall be provided at the lower downstream end of a drain in accordance with the following: 

(c) No branch drain or fixture discharge pipe shall be connected to an inspection shaft where the shaft is constructed from a square junction installed in a graded drain. 


Plumbing Code of Australia - frequently asked questions 

Inspections checklist

The Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) can be downloaded free of charge from the ABCB website. Below are a couple of frequently asked questions, that you can also find all of the answers to in the PCA Volume Three 2016 - we've included them here too. Page numbers referenced below correspond with the hardcopy version of the Plumbing Code of Australia.

Do I need containment protection at the water meter for a buried or partially buried rainwater tank with a mains water change over device fitted? 

Refer to the PCA page 156, and insert the following information after Australian Standard 16.3.3 c AS/NZ 3500.1.2015, which is relevant to NSW:
(d) Single residential dwellings require the following:
     (i) Buried or partly buried rainwater tanks - a non-testable dual check valve with atmospheric port is required for containment protection; and 
     (ii) A non-testable device for zone protection. The Network Utility Operator reserves the right to require greater backflow for containment. 
(e) where rainwater tanks are installed for other than a single residential dwelling, approval must be obtained from the water supply Network Utility Operator for containment.

The layout of hot and cold taps is no longer in the AS/NZ 3500.1.2015, where can I find it? 

This information is now in the PCA on page 61:

B2.5 Layout of taps 
(a) Where both a heated water tap and cold water tap are installed, the heated water tap must be installed to the left of, or above, the cold water tap. 
(b) The requirements of (a) only apply where - 
     (i) each tap controls a separate outlet; or 
     (ii) both taps control a combined flow of water delivered through a single outlet. 

Can a stack discharge through a Reflux Valve? 

In the PCA page 159, (C) after clause 4.5.2 (b) AS/NZ 3500.2.2015 inserts (c) as follows: 
     (c) Soil and waste stacks shall not discharge through a reflux valve except where a reflux valve is installed at the connection to the sewer required with surcharging sewers. 

Where do I install a reflux valve in a sewer surcharge area? 

In the PCA Page 159, (D) substitute clause 4.5.3 AS/NZ 3500.2.2015 as follows:
4.5.3: Where the drain has an inspection shaft or boundary trap, the reflux valve shall be located immediately downstream from and adjacent to the outlet of the shaft or trap.
     (b) The invert of the outlet of the reflux valve shall be installed a minimum of 80mm higher than the invert of the Network Utility Operator's system it is connected to. Insert Figure C2.2 Reflux Valves from the PCA.  


Drainage inspection misconception

Blocked pipe

There is a common misconception in the plumbing industry that above ground drainage does not need inspecting, for example, bearer and joist or drainage suspended in a car park. This is incorrect - all drainage must be inspected. 

Here's the simplest way to look at it: If the drainage installation is installed under drainage principles, the licensee needs to book a drainage inspection, whether the drainage is below or above ground. If the drainage is going to be inspected at the final inspection, this means two inspections - the final inspection and the drainage inspection. 


Common questions asked by apprentices


I have just completed my trade and advanced course and wish to apply for my Plumber and Drainers contractor's licence. What information do I need to supply?  

All the information you need is on the Applying for a licence or certificate section of the Fair Trading website. 

Some of the information you will required to provide includes: 

  • Names, contact details, dates spent working with each employer
  • The different types of work performed with your employer/s 
  • References from your employer/s 
  • Copies of all your Registered Training Organisation or TAFE certificates and accreditations.

Plumbing fun facts 


Let's finish 2016 on a light note with some fun facts:

Why is the toilet often called 'The Crapper?' 
It all started with US soldiers stationed in England during WW1. The toilets in England at the time were predominately made by the company 'Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd', with the company's name appearing on the toilets. The soldiers took to calling toilets 'The Crapper' and brought the slang term back to the US after the war. 

Why are manhole covers round? 
Manhole covers are circular so that they can't fall through the opening when turned sideways. Makes sense!