Safety and plumbing products (WaterMark)
If you are considering purchasing a plumbing product for a plumber to install, you need to be aware that standards and regulations govern the quality and installation of plumbing products in Victoria.
Australian standards for products
The Plumbing Code of Australia requires certain plumbing materials and products to be certified and authorised for use in Australia. This ensures that they are fit for purpose, and protects consumers from poor quality or unsafe products.
Examples of plumbing products that must be approved include:
- hot water systems
- toilets and sanitary ware
- evaporative air conditioners
- greywater systems.
Any product that comes into contact with drinking water (including fixtures, valves, pipes and fittings) must also be approved.
Plumbing materials and products are regulated under the WaterMark Certification Scheme (WMCS), a mandatory national scheme administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).
The VBA cannot approve or certify plumbing products.
You can tell if a product has been approved for use in water supply, sewerage, plumbing and drainage by the WMCS because it will display the WaterMark logo.
What if there is no logo?
Plumbing products that require the WaterMark trademark but do not have it are not approved for use in Victoria and may be unsafe to use.
If you have purchased a plumbing product overseas or plan to use a second-hand product of unclear origin, you can search for the product on the ABCB WaterMark database. You can use the database to check on any product you suspect does not comply with the plumbing codes or standards.
By law, retailers can only sell gas appliances that comply with the relevant safety standards. Appliances must be labelled or ‘badged’ to indicate they meet current standards.
Gas appliances that have been certified by an appropriate organisation such as the Australian Gas Association, SAI Global, IAPMO Oceania or Global-Mark will carry a certification label that indicates the appliance meets certain safety standards in its design and manufacture. These organisations publish listings of appropriately certified appliances.
For more information about certification services for gas appliances, visit the Gas Technical Regulators Committee or Energy Safe Victoria.
Installing your product
Once you have purchased a plumbing product, it must be installed by a licensed or registered plumber. A licensed or registered plumber is prohibited from installing a product that does not have WaterMark certification when a WaterMark product is required by the Plumbing Code of Australia.
A licensed plumber will need to issue a compliance certificate for work costing $750 or more (including the cost of the product). This certifies that the work complies with the plumbing regulations and that the products and materials used are fit for purpose (and they are WaterMark certified if required). A compliance certificate is also required for all work on below-ground sanitary drains, gas appliances, gas piping and cooling tower works.