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Consumer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Browse the FAQs to find answers to questions about plumbing and plumbing in general.

  1. What is unregulated work? 
  2. How do I find a licenced plumber? 
  3. What to do next if you have experienced problems with your plumbing installation or simply not satisfied with the workmanship? 
  4. Should I accept the cheapest estimate? 
  5. What should I do if I require extra work to be performed by the same plumber? 
  6. Our kitchen drain has taken longer than usual to drain during the past year. Should we have it cleaned?
  7. What to do when you hear a whistle sound in your plumbing? 
  8. After a five-minute shower, the water starts to turn cold. What can be done to rectify the problem? 
  9. My water bill is quite high. None of the taps appear to leak. What could contribute to a high water bill?
  10. What paperwork (contract) should be in place before employing a plumber?
1. What is Unregulated Work?

FOR SANITARY PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE

• cleaning or maintaining ground level grates to traps on sanitary drains
• replacing caps to ground level inspection openings on sanitary drains
• maintaining an above or below ground irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from an on-site sewerage facility

FOR WATER PLUMBING

• installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream from an isolating valve, tap or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe for   the irrigation or lawn watering system
• replacing a jumper valve or washer in a tap
• changing a shower head
• replacing, in a water closer (WC) cistern, a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber

2. How do I find a licensed plumber?

The Association's contracting members are licensed by the QBCC. To find such a plumber in your area scroll to the top of the page to the 'Find a Plumber' section and type in your postcode. You can also search via the type of work to be carried out. When the master plumber arrives, ask to see his QBCC licence.
3. What to do next if you have experienced problems with your plumbing installation or simply not satisfied with the workmanship?

Dissatisfied with the quality of work or installation! The dissatisfied person may request to have the matter investigated by QBCC - its aims is to regulate the building industry through the licensing of contractors, educate consumers about their rights and obligations, make contractors aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, handle disputes fairly and equitably, protect consumers against loss through statutory insurance, implement and enforce legislative reforms and where necessary prosecute persons not complying with the law.
Contact Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) - 139 333
4. Should I accept the cheapest estimate?

Not necessarily. We recommend that you obtain at least three estimates of work to be performed to compare prices. You selection may be based on locality and reputation.
5. What should I do if I require extra work to be performed by the same plumber?

Ensure that you receive a variation of consent form (represents amendments to the original work).
6. Our kitchen drain has taken longer than usual to drain during the past year. Should we have it cleaned?

Before you have the drain cleaned, try using drain cleaner maintenance products. These products are designed to remove the usual build-up of soap scum, grease and hair. There is a product to inhibit root growth in your main sewer line.
7. What to do when you hear a whistle sound in your plumbing?

The sound is usually caused by a toilet inlet valve or other type of valve that is slowly leaking. To locate the leaking toilet, remove the lid of each toilet listen and adjust the inlet valve mechanism until it stops. If the problem continues contact your plumber.
8. After a five-minute shower the water starts to turn cold. What can be done to rectify the problem?

If the water heater is electric, the element that heats the water may not be operating properly, thus not heating the water to the correct temperature. The cause of this problem could be a bad element or a thermostatic malfunction. This type of problem should be evaluated by your plumber.
9. My water bill is quite high. None of the taps appear to leak. What could contribute to a high water bill?

Check that the toilet is not leaking. First check the water level to ensure that water is not overflowing the cistern by way of the overflow pipe. This pipe is in the middle of the tank. It has a small tubing connected to it. You could put a few drops of food colouring into the tank to test the flush valve mechanism. If the water in the bowl changes colour within 15 minutes, this is an indication that water is leaking into the toilet bowl and the ball or flapper needs to be replaced. You should contact your plumber.
10. What paperwork (contract) should be in place before employing a plumber?

If the work is under $3,300, you should get a written estimate or quote of the hourly rate, time to complete the job, plus materials.  Ideally, for both parties, there should be a written acceptance of the quote as this will minimize any disputes regarding the work and/or payment.

For domestic building work over $3,400, your plumber must provide you with a contract.  Your plumber can download a copy of a domestic contract from www.qbcc.qld.gov.au 

You should read the Contract Checklist before signing.
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