VBA audit leads to plumber retraining

Gas appliance servicing
A licensed plumber has been directed to retrain his employees and provide evidence of their improved competency after a registered gasfitter on his staff was found to be unaware of the mandatory testing and safety procedures for gas installations.

In December 2019, a VBA plumbing inspector attended a Werribee property to re-audit a gasfitting line previously found to leak at the connection point of a recently installed ducted heater.

When asked by the VBA to test the gasfitting line for leaks, the registered plumber was unable to do so. The plumber did not have testing equipment, was unaware of the correct testing and safety procedures, and did not know when they were required to test gas installations.

The leak test was completed after the testing requirements and procedures were explained in detail and the plumber had borrowed testing equipment from the VBA inspector.

Given the registered plumber’s limited competency, the VBA contacted his employer and instructed them to provide the Authority with evidence of remedial staff training, improved staff proficiency and greater oversight of all work completed by his employees.

Testing requirements for gas manometer tests are outlined in AS/NZS 5601.1:2013 Gas installations, Part 1: General installations, Appendix E: ‘Testing for Gastightness – E3 Leakage Testing of Installations’.

For more information on gas installation testing and safety procedures, contact the VBA on 1300 815 127 or email our plumbing team at PlumbingTechnicalAdvice@vba.vic.gov.au.