We Kiwis love doing things around the house with our own hands, from painting walls to doing renovations. But when it comes to plumbing, the truth is there is little we can legally do ourselves. The same goes for gasfitting and drainage as well.
Since many homeowners are still unaware of this, we’ll try to shed more light on this matter here.
What’s legal in Auckland
“I know how to replace toilets and I have the tools, so why would I need to go through the trouble of finding a plumber? I could save money in the process as well.”
Sure, it’s tempting to DIY in order to save money and avoid the hassle of finding a good plumber. But here’s the thing: plumbing is a legal matter.
It’s not as simple as replacing an old toilet with a new one. Because toilets and other fixtures like basins and vanity units are connected with waste pipes – something the general public aren’t allowed to work with.
is a licensed trade that is subject to Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure public safety. The most a non-qualified person can actually do is replacing tap washers. Anything beyond that would likely land you in hot water.
Of course there are DIY works that may go unnoticed, but the repercussions cannot be ignored. Even if you have the skills to carry out your own plumbing work, it’s best to leave your plumbing needs to a professional.
What could go wrong?
When taking on DIY works, we know how things can easily go south. can not only put your family’s health and safety at risk but also result in expensive repairs. Worse, it can lead to possible prosecution and fines or it could invalidate your home insurance. If you’re planning to sell your property with invalid insurance, the odds will not be in your favour.
Here’s an example of a worst-case scenario:
Incorrect installation of wastewater or sanitary fixtures could result in a leak under the house which would usually go unnoticed. The biggest risk here is cross contamination of stormwater and sewerage. And it’s not just your family who’s at risk. When wastewater runs directly into the stormwater drains, it means it goes straight into rivers or other streams untreated. It’s a massive health concern for the community.
This is why the licensing and standards for Auckland plumbing are so stringent. Some plumbing works would also require a council consent, such as adding a bathroom or building an extension.
Building work listed in Part 2 of the Building Act’s Schedule 1 (sanitary plumbing and drainlaying) must be carried out by an ‘authorised person’ for it to be exempt from the consenting process. The term ‘authorised person’ here refers to:
• registered certifying plumbers and drainlayers;
• registered plumbers and drainlayers working under supervision;
• plumbers and drainlayers with a provisional licence working under supervision; and
• trainee plumbers and drainlayers working under supervision.
The good thing about hiring a plumber is they’d take care of any consent process on your behalf. Following this process protects you from serious consequences. You need to have your plumbing work signed off to avoid prosecution or any problems with selling your property down the track.
It’s important to make sure the tradesperson you are hiring has current authorisation or licence.
So when should I call a licensed plumber?
It’s good to keep your plumber’s number handy, as you’ll need them ASAP when you experience any of the following:
• Clogged or overflowing drains
• Sewage smell
• Toilets not flushing
• Burst or frozen pipes
• No hot water
• Extremely hot water
• Low water pressure in all taps, showers
• Leaky or overflowing gutters
• Moisture on walls or carpets
• Leaks from the ceiling
• Gas smells or faulty gas appliances
It’s not just their license you are paying for but their workmanship and expertise. A master plumber knows what they are doing and will get the job done quickly. More importantly, their work is backed with the Master Plumbers Guarantee. So if there’s any trouble with an installation or repair, they’ll have it corrected at no extra cost on your part.
Need a reliable plumber? Call experts at Euro Plumbing on 0800 832 638.