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In our December issue... 

  • Christmas and New Year close down
  • Information a plumber requires when booking an inspection
  • Tips for communicating with customers
  • Installing a pool top-up device
  • Requirements for installing drains in unstable ground
  • Outdoor shower design
  • New fee structure coming soon
  • Main drain and branch drain venting requirements

You can let us know your feedback on this enewsletter by emailing Newsflush@finance.nsw.gov.au  


Christmas and New Year close down

Inspection clipboard

NSW Fair Trading’s Plumbing Inspection and Assurance Service (PIAS) will close Friday 22 December 2017 and will reopen at 8am on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

During this Christmas close down period, if you carry out work within the Fair Trading area of operations that requires an audit inspection, please be aware that you are required to email piasadmin@finance.nsw.gov.au the following:

• your name and phone number
• MyInspections Audit Application (AA) number
• property address
• date and detail of work being carried out.

The email subject must be 'Christmas close down period'. In the Fair Trading area of operations, all paperwork must be completed and submitted via MyInspections e.g. Notice of Work (NoW), Certificate of Compliance (CoC), Sewer Service Diagrams (SSD).

For work requiring inspection outside NSW Fair Trading’s areas of operation, please contact the relevant local authority council or county council).

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


Information a plumber requires when booking an inspection

Blocked pipe
Having the below information on hand when calling NSW Fair Trading or your local regulatory authority (council or county council) will make booking inspections more efficient.
  • the MyInspections Audit Application (AA) Number (Fair Trading area only)
  • property address
  • plumber/drainer’s licence number (not a company licence number)
  • contact phone number
  • type of inspection required e.g. final or drainage
  • If you are not going to be on site, the site contact name and number of the agreed representative as per section 13 (5) of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011
  • any special needs e.g. induction, site access, parking
  • date and time of the inspection request
  • ensure the information you provide when booking the inspection is the same as all details provided on the Notice of Work (NoW)
If the inspection booking is made with NSW Fair Trading, please ensure that the inspection booking details are correct when you receive your inspection confirmation email. If the information is incorrect it is the responsibility of the licensee to contact NSW Fair Trading and discuss the inspection details prior to the inspection time.

Remember to contact your local authority (council or county council) to book inspections outside the NSW Fair Trading areas of operation.

Tips for communicating with customers


Customers are unlikely to understand the technical scope and dimensions of plumbing and drainage work. Knowing how to communicate these requirements throughout the inquiry, quotation and contract process is important.

Before starting work, clearly outline the ideal location of fixtures and fittings, such as the overflow relief gully (ORG), and how the location of these fittings will affect other features and services. An example of this would be the proximity of the ORG to ensure an air conditioning unit or other obstruction will not be installed over it. Keep in mind, you may need to explain the purpose of the fixture or fitting. Clear communication during the process will result in fewer issues arising as your work progresses.

Open and honest communication between the contractor and the customer is one of the keys to business success.

If you have an issue that you are unable to resolve, NSW Fair Trading has a free dispute resolution service. More information on dealing with customers is available on the NSW Fair Trading website.


Installing a pool top-up device


Domestic swimming pool top-up devices have increased in popularity in recent years, but with their use has come an increased risk of cross connections. Appropriate backflow protections need to be in place when installing a swimming pool top-up device to avoid a cross connection.

For more information, refer to AS/NZS 3500.1 - Section 4 Cross-connection control and backflow prevention.

The below top-up is non-compliant because an appropriate backflow device is not in place.

non-compliant swimming pool top-up device


Requirements for installing drains in unstable ground

Gas Outlet

If a drain is required to be laid in filled ground within an infill slab, the methods of support and bedding shall be designed to withstand and suit the ground conditions. The drain must be continuously supported under the barrel of the pipe throughout the whole drainage installation.

Drains installed in filled ground that are supported:
• on piers (brick or otherwise), spaced apart
• by brackets or straps tied to the concrete slab
• by brackets fixed to the internal wall of the infill slab
are non-compliant and would be required to be presented under a performance solution 21 days prior to the works being carried out. Information regarding the submission of a performance solution is available in Guidelines to install code compliant plumbing work (PDF size: 204KB).

Example of these non-compliances can be seen in Figures 1 and 2
non compliant drain

non-compliant drain example


Outdoor shower design


Provisions must be made when installing outdoor showers to prevent any rainwater from entering the sewer, as stated in the Plumbing Code of Australia CP2.1

CP2.1 Sanitary drainage system
A sanitary drainage system must be designed constructed and installed in such a manner as to
(i) avoid the likelihood of ingress of surface water, sub-surface water and stormwater into the sewerage system;

The most common way to prevent rainwater entering the sewer is to install a roof over the outdoor shower. The roof must be large enough to prevent rainwater landing in the area of the shower that grades to the outlet drain, as can be seen in the image below.
outdoor shower example


New fee structure coming soon


From 1 July 2018, NSW Fair Trading will implement a new fee structure for all plumbing and drainage audit inspections booked in the NSW Fair Trading area of operations.

A document describing how the new audit inspection fee structure will apply, including scenarios, can be downloaded from the NSW Fair Trading website (PDF size: 1.11 MB)


Main drain and branch drain venting requirements


When constructing a secondary building, such as a granny flat, it is important to consider the impact on the drainage system. To ensure a healthy and functional drainage system, extra consideration must be given to the size of the drain, the venting requirements, the number of fixture units on the existing and proposed installation, and the location of the existing drainage system.

Any changes to the hydraulic loading of the drainage system need to be reflected in the design of the system. An example of this would be when installing a junction for a secondary building on a property. The licensed plumber/drainer must consider the direction of the arm of the junction, ensuring the main drain is the line supporting the highest fixture unit loading and the branch drain is connected at grade to the arm of the junction.

These issues are addressed in the Australian Standards: AS/NZS3500.0 - Glossary of terms,

45° junction
- a junction where the branch pipe enters the main pipe at an upstream angle of 45°.

Air admittance valve - a component fitted to a plumbing system allowing air to enter the piping system, but not allowing air or gases out.

Branch drain - a section of a drain that is intended to receive the discharge of fixture discharge pipes, but which has a lower fixture unit loading and which may be of smaller nominal size than the main drain at its point of connection.

Main drain - the main conduit of a drainage system to which branches are connected. It is that portion of a sewerage service on private property that is normally located in the ground, which conveys or is intended to convey the discharge from all fixtures to the sewer.

AS/NZS3500.2 - Sanitary plumbing and drainage:
3.3 Size and Length of Drains
       3.3.1 Fixture Unit Loading
3.9 Venting of Drains
6.9 Air Admittance Valves
       6.9.1 Air Admittance Valves

Examples of drainage design when considering fixture unit loadings are available here. (PDF size: 445 KB)