Common Audit Failure: Maximum water outlet pressure within buildings

Thursday October 5 2017

The VBA's risk based Plumbing Audit Program has published its latest report, which lists the top three causes for plumbing audit failure for September - to provide the minimum clearance between the highest part of the burner and the range-hood or exhaust fan; to demonstrate the static pressure to any outlet other than a fire hose outlet, within a building does not exceed 500kPa; and to install appropriately marked toughened safety glass where used as a splashback.

The Plumbing Audit Program has found maximum water outlet pressure within buildings to be a recurring source of non-compliance.

What should be done?

AS/NZS 3500.1:2015: Water services, Clause 3.3.4, states that provision shall be made to ensure the maximum static pressure at any outlet, other than a fire service outlet, within a building must not exceed 500 kPa.

The Building Act 1993 defines a building as a structure, temporary building, temporary structure and any part of a building or structure.

What can you, as a Practitioner do?

Practitioners must ensure the maximum static pressure at any outlet, other than a fire service outlet, within a building cannot exceed 500 kPa.

Pressure above 500 kPa can cause damage from water hammer, reduced life of appliances, taps and fittings, and cause excessive noise in the system.

The VBA Technical Solution Sheet Maximum Outlet Pressure within Building's Water Supply Flow Rates provides more information on the regulations relating to the maximum pressure for cold and heated water plumbing, and answers to frequently asked questions, such as:

  • How do I know what the available pressure is?
  • What type of pressure regulating device can I use?
  • Where can the valve be installed?

Plumbers can contact the VBA's plumbing technical advice line on 1300 815 127 to clarify the regulatory requirements relating to maximum water outlet pressure. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 12.00pm and 1.00pm – 4.00pm.

Where a plumber has failed more than one audit for the same issue it will be considered for referral to investigations.

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