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plumbing AUSTRALIAN

I N D U S T R Y

M A G A Z I N E

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Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine

welcome. f r o m

t h e

E dit o r

Plumbing Industry House 525 King Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060 E info@plumber.com.au www.plumber.com.au The Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine (Industry and Member editions and occasional supplements including the MPMSAA Group Training News, are official journals produced by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) ABN: 56 296 473 997 Print Post number: 100019076 ISSN: 1325-6289

Master Plumbers Association Locations Head Office 525 King Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060

Brisbane Group Training SkillsTech Australia 760-776 Kingsford Smith Drive Eagle Farm QLD 4006 T 0424 165 308 F (07) 3854 2346

Welcome to our December summer issue and our final magazine for the year. It’s hard to believe another year is drawing to a close! It’s been a busy one for the plumbing industry and the Master Plumbers. We have continued to develop our member services and have invested heavily in the development of our educational facilities and training offerings.

Seasons Greetings from Australian Plumbing!

Check out page 10 onwards for the latest new from the Association, including coverage of our recent golf day, the latest savings and offers and news from our Master Plumber friends in Tasmania.

We’re covering wide and varied ground in this issue. Charlotte Roseby meets with three different Master Plumbers and finds out about the clever inventions they’ve developed: one that helps plumbers mark out points for pipes, another that improves safety for workers underground, and a medical flushing/sterilising unit that improves patient care. Installing air conditioning this summer? There’s a good chance you will be. Industry estimates that more than 1.3 million air conditioning units are purchased each year and that demand is expected to grow over the next five years! 4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Check out our Keeping Your Cool feature to find out how you can help your customers use less energy and reduce costs. While summer is a time for warmer weather, time at the beach, bbqs and celebrations, it is also a time of increased hazards. Our summer safety update has important tips and information on working in the sun, avoiding dehydration and making sure your festive season celebrations stay safe. Also in this issue we meet Andrew Hyland, a plumber who has launched a unique new website that is helping tradies reduce wastage and improve reuse. Phil Eberhard, our Senior Workplace Relations, discusses the the ever-evolving area of general protections and adverse actions. We’ve also got all our regular news and features, including information on workplace relations, product news and much more! Wishing all our readers and their families a safe and happy Christmas and New Year – see you in 2015! Happy reading!

Melissa Chrys Editor Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre 306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3065 T (03) 9356 8921 F (03) 9356 8929

Contacts Publisher The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA)

Editor Melissa Chrys T (03) 9321 0703 E publications@plumber.com.au

Advertising Marc Wilson T 0419 107 143 E marc.wilson@plumber.com.au

Suppliers Salt Creative www.saltcreative.com.au Printgraphics www.printgraphics.com.au Direct Mail Corporation www.directmail.com.au


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contents.

42 From the CEO / 8 A message from our CEO and the Association’s President

24 Your questions answered: HVAC & R at Tradelink / 32

The latest news from Master Plumbers

We chat with Tradelink’s Business Development Manager Daniel McLean to find out what sort of changes Tradelink have made and how they can help your business

Industry news / 17

Summer safety update / 36

Master inventors / 24

Trash into Treasure / 40

Charlotte Roseby discovers three inventions by Master Plumbers

Andrew Schafer has created a new website that is helping reduce wastage and improve reuse

Member news / 10

Keeping your cool / 28 More than 1.3 million air conditioning units are purchased each year and demand is expected to grow. Plumbers have the knowledge and skills to help customers make the right choices for their cooling needs.

Groundhog Day / 42

More than 1.3 million air conditioning units are purchased each year

28 Copper: all fired up! / 44 Mastering workplace relations: general protections and adverse actions / 46 New tech doubles plumbing business revenue / 48 The importance of personal accident and illness insurance / 50 Dial Before You Dig: what lies beneath? / 52 Product news / 55

Brett Burden discuss the importance of strategic planning in every business

Disclaimer Statements and information appearing in this publication must not be interpreted as having the endorsement of being the opinion of the publisher, which takes no responsibility for the correctness of the statements made. It is a condition of purchase or acceptance of this publication that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in the publication, or from the use of information contained herein and the publisher makes no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein. The publisher shall not be liable for any failure to publish any advertisement where such failure results from circumstances beyond their control. If advertising material is not supplied in accordance with deadlines, the publisher reserves the right to repeat any material previously provided by the advertiser. The publisher reserves the right to refuse and edit material. All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Copyright Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.


to all our members, associates, affiliates, families and friends, a very safe and merry Christmas and New Year.

Welcome.

from the President and CEO

Another exciting year draws to a close

A new era of apprenticeship training

I am pleased to advise that over the 2014 year the Master Plumbers Board has moved to put one of its key strategies into effect.

Our Association, in conjunction with our industry training partner the Plumbing Union, will begin to deliver plumbing apprenticeship training at PICAC in 2015. The successful addition of the Certificate III in Plumbing Apprenticeship qualification to our training scope heralds a new era of plumbing training for the industry.

Earlier in 2014, the Board resolved to sell the existing Association offices at King Street (West Melbourne) and the adjoining building and to use the proceeds to re-invest in the area of plumbing industry training. The sale took place in May 2014 and since then the Association has taken a number of exciting steps to invest in the future of plumbing training. This includes the: • purchase of a property in Geelong with our industry training partner the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) – this site will be developed over the next 12 months. • development of the training facilities at the PICAC Albert Street (Brunswick) campus – these facilities have been upgraded to allow for apprenticeship training to begin in 2015. • purchase of a three acre property in Narre Warren – again in conjunction with the PTEU –this site will allow the industry to deliver training to Melbourne’s South East. • purchase of a new administrative office in the Albert Street (Brunswick) complex so that Master Plumbers training and head office facilities are more closely linked – creating a centralised ‘plumbing hub’. At the same time we have expanded on the training being offered at PICAC in Brunswick and will offer further training at other sites as they are developed. This strategy recognises the importance of skills and training to our industry. Training forms the basis of our licensing system and is what gives the community confidence in us as plumbers, so it’s vital that the Association invests in it and the future of our industry. I am proud that our Association continues to be a leader in what is an exciting and dynamic industry and I look forward to another year as we strive to make a positive impact on the environment, the community and the strength of the plumbing trade. On behalf of the Board, I would like to wish all our members, associates, affiliates, families and friends a very safe and Merry Christmas and New Year.

Master Plumbers is investing heavily in training and education in order to ensure and maintain a high standard of training and plumbing skills. We believe that training is what underpins everything in the plumbing industry. High quality training is what provides the plumber with the skills and knowledge he needs to become qualified and licensed and this in turn gives the community trust in plumbers and their ability to protect and ensure public health. The plumbing apprenticeship has been set up to train the group scheme apprentices employed by Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (the Master Plumbers’ group training scheme). All apprentices must have completed the Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship) delivered at PICAC or by another provider. The training program will kick off in February 2015, with further student intakes taking place in April and August. The second year of the apprenticeship will start delivery in 2016, followed by third year in 2017. Throughout the course design process, the Association consulted closely with employers, group scheme hosts, members and industry stakeholders to create an apprenticeship training model that will provide skilled apprentices to the industry at all year levels. As a result of this consultation, it was decided not to deliver the qualification stream by stream as this restricts the depth of skills being developed by apprentices. Employers also advised that if, for example, they specialise in gas work they want their apprentice learning about gas throughout their apprenticeship, not all at the one time. To address this issue we have grouped the competencies in the qualification into three ‘skill stages’ rather than by stream. These stages are: foundation plumbing skills; installation plumbing skills; and trades plumbing skills. The facilities at PICAC have been upgraded to allow for apprenticeship training. A multi-level tower containing practical work stations has been installed in the Phoenix Street practical workshop, along with new benches, equipment and work stations. In addition, three new classrooms have been constructed in the Albert Street campus. I am thrilled to launch this next stage of plumbing training at PICAC and look forward to industry feedback on the course as delivery progresses. On a final note, I’d also like to thank all our members for their continued support over the year and wish them and their families a safe and Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers 8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014


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member news Bigger and better than ever

Plumbers turn out for annual Bendigo Charity Golf Day! A report from Master Plumbers member Geoff Moroney

The 2014 annual Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day was held on Friday 3 October at the Neangar Park Golf Club in Bendigo. The weather was near perfect, with a full field of 120 players enjoying the country sunshine. It was great to see so many plumbers turn out for the day and especially wonderful to see the older players who have attended for many years and are now being joined by their sons and mates, making this a multi-generational event. RMC Valves made sure the day got off to a great start by cooking up a huge BBQ breakfast for all the players and they kept the barbie cranking all day to make sure nobody went hungry. It was a fantastic day with some great, good, average and downright terrible golf played by a great variety of players. The day was an Ambrose event and the huge field of players managed to keep up a good pace around the course which allowed everyone to put up their feet in the club house and share the stories about the day’s play over a few drinks.

10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

There were two main golf prizes on the day: The Alf McMeakin Trophy and handicapped event went to Peter McKecknie, Alan Docking, Peter Fawcett and Craig Foster. The Ron Martin Trophy (a new award named in remembrance of Ron, a founding member of the Golf Day 24 years ago) is awarded for the scratch event and was presented to Michael Ball (Association Treasurer), Michael Cooney, Reg Mullens and John Head. Finally the NAGA Award for the worst score on the day went to Steve Skinner, Brett Quazzier and Trevor Hicks. Congratulations to all the winners and players on the day! Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we were once again able to supply some fantastic prizes for the Monster Raffle and Amazing Auction. This is where most of the money is collected on the day, with everyone in attendance digging deep into their wallets for the Camp Quality cause.

I’m proud to announce that this year we presented Camp Quality with a cheque for $20,000! It’s a far cry from the $200 total that we made at the first event 24 years ago and these funds will go towards paying the costs for a camp for kids and their families in the Bendigo region. We’d like to thank our Elite Sponsor, Reece, who have been a fantastic supporter of the event for many, many years. We’d also like to thank our many Major Sponsors on the day including: Rheem Australia, Pentair Water, RMC Valves, Bosch Hot Water, Zip Industries, Cooke & Dowsett Plumbing, Rogers Industries, Jetmaster and LW Gemmell. A big thank you also to our Intermediate Sponsors: Hauslers/John Deere, National Heating & Cooling, Kleen Heat Gas, Plumbtec Echuca, Water Store Tanks, Greg Archer and Cruze On Mechanics. We’d also like to thank all our Minor Sponsors on the day.


Welcome New Members

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members, affiliates and corporate partners who have joined the Association since September 2014. AC Allen & BT Allen AG Lethlean Plumbing Ent Pty Ltd Barrel Plumbing Pty Ltd Baulch Corp Pty Ltd ATF the Baulch Corp Family Trust Bayside HVAC Pty Ltd ATF Krings Family Trust Cheap N Reliable Plumbing Pty Ltd D & M Plumbing Services Pty Ltd ATF the D&M Unit Trust We were extremely fortunate to have Jo McKeown from Camp Quality there on the day, who not only lent a helping hand with the practicalities of the event, but gave us all an informative talk on the fantastic services that Camp Quality provides for sick kids and their families. Jo, along with many other volunteers on the day, worked tirelessly operating drinks carts, selling raffle tickets and generally ensuring that the day ran smoothly. I’m very proud to be part of this fantastic event. A lot of work goes into organising the Golf Day and my fellow organisers and I are grateful to everyone who puts in the effort to help us raise money for this event. We’d also like to acknowledge the many hours put in by Linda Barnes and Peter Kikos from the Master Plumbers’ Membership Services Team. We hope to see you all again next year – don’t forget to get your entries in early as this popular event fills up fast!

Damian John Lake Damien Peter Hinkley Master Plumbers would like to give a big thank you to the Golf Day’s hard working event organisers: Geoff Moroney, Phil Kelly and Brett Crapper as well as their wives Helen, Marg and Jenny. It takes a lot of hard work to organise the day but all agree that the money raised to help kids in need is well worth the time and effort.

Envirotech Water Solutions Pty Ltd Fusion Hire & Sales Pty Ltd Hi Speed Plumbing Pty Ltd ATF Xuereb Business Trust Interline Ballarat Pty Ltd KFE Plumbing Services Pty Ltd Lenford Pty Ltd MYOB Australia Pty Ltd Opti Plumbing Pty Ltd Plumbtrax Pty Ltd R & J Brownfield Plumbing Pty Ltd Sanbon Pty Ltd South East Plumbing Group Pty Ltd Stay Safe Pty Ltd TMD Nominees Pty Ltd Total Eden Pty Limited Verve Air Pty Ltd

www.plumber.com.au | 11


member news Save $$$ with the Toyota Gold Fleet Discount! Master Plumbers and Toyota National Fleet are proud to announce a new partnership that will offer even more benefits to all Master Plumbers members! From now until 30th June 2015, all Master Plumbers members are entitled to full Gold Fleet Discounts with Toyota, saving you thousands on models right across the range.* Toyota Fleet is the number one fleet brand in Australia and the dominant provider to all segments of the Australian fleet market.

How much you can save? As an example, you can save a minimum of $3,150 on a Hilux 4x4 model. To find out how much you could save on the vehicle that is suited to you, please contact your preferred Toyota Dealer to find out the discounts available as a paid Master Plumbers member.

To find out more visit toyota.com.au or call 1800 444 847 to speak to a dedicated Fleet Call Centre who can find a dealership close to you and provide you with any further information on this offer or answer any questions you might have. *Excluding special edition models

How does it work? Simply contact your preferred Toyota Dealer and make sure you mention the discount and provide proof of paid membership when you order your vehicle – it’s that easy.

Get the most from your membership

Master Plumbers is pleased to announce that we have recently negotiated fuel discounts with BP Plus. This means that as a Master Plumber you now have access to discounts on both the BP Plus and Caltex Star Card programs. You may even wish to join both programs! These programs allow you to save up to 2.5 cents per litre off the pump price! To view the benefits of each program visit plumber.com.au If you require any further information about our fuel discounts or any other membership benefits, please contact Samantha Russell via samantha.russell@plumber.com.au or by phoning 9321 0798.

Take advantage of your Master Plumbers member benefits and enjoy discounts on a range of holiday inspired adventures including: • Discounted car hire rates or excess through Europcar and Avis • Up to 15% off accommodation options in over 141 countries through HotelClub and Best Western • Receive $30 off* amazing driving experiences and more from RedBalloon

*Save $30 when you spend $129 or more on your next RedBalloon purchase.

sAVe TiMe AnD Money

2015 wall planner.

DeVeLoP your skiLLs

ProTeCT your business

beCoMe A MeMber ToDAy!

GeT More ouT of your business

neeD An APPrenTiCe? CALL 03 9329 9622 T 03 9329 9622 | plumber.com.au

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member news News from Master Plumbers Tasmania It’s been a busy lead up to Christmas! Thankfully the Tasmanian economy is turning around and our members are now reporting more work opportunities – it’s a time for growth and development and for us to provide our members with more benefits, assistance and support. Part of doing so has meant us taking a closer look at how we ‘advertise’ our Master Plumber members to the general public. What became apparent was that while those of us in the ‘know’ knew what our old logo meant – not that many people outside of our Association, including consumers, did and with that in mind it was time for a change. So we have a ‘new’ look but we still stand for all that we always have – the Master Plumber is knowledgeable and professional, delivering expert and ethical services to the Tasmanian plumbing industry. With our new look members now have some more member materials to use, including updated marketing materials.

We have also had had a strong focus on putting more member benefits in place to save members money, including: • Toyota Australia Gold Fleet discounts • BP and Caltex fuel discounts • Mullins tyres discounts • Milwaukee Tools discounts • Marsh insurance deals • Member Advantage We have more benefits on the way and all member benefits are accessed via your member portal at mpatasmania.com.au

New bumper stickers

Professional development for members saw training sessions on Security of Payment held in Hobart and Launceston. Approximately 100 industry participants attended training including members, designers, electricians, engineers and architects. The seminars were delivered by Kerry Shepherd and Brendon Bowes, Building Standards and Occupational Licensing, Department of Justice. We thank Kerry and Brendon for their insightful and knowledgeable presentations. It’s important to remember that the Security of Payment Act 2009 is there to help members and contractors recover payment for works, however having a sufficiently fair and protective contract process in place is essential and will reduce the need to use the SoP legislation. We will be delivering specific training on contract design and process early in 2015. In regard to education and qualification, members have raised concerns regarding online providers offering Certificate III and IV in Plumbing by way of recognition of prior learning (RPL). The Association does not support this form of qualification and is concerned that the RPL process requires the student to demonstrate competency in a trade that requires licensing to perform which begs the question ‘why was the student performing it when they are unlicensed?’ Members should be aware that this form of qualification is being offered to the public although we remain concerned over the integrity the process and, in a broader sense, the possible threat to our industry and quality of future practitioners under this regime. Lastly, our Christmas best wishes to all our members and associates. It’s been a year of some change but we are moving forward positively and remain, as always, committed to protecting the interests of our members and our industry. Stay safe and enjoy the holiday season. Yours in plumbing

Tasmanian Master Plumbers members attend a Security of Payment training session

14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Angela Ayling Executive Officer


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Things you need to know: Offer can only be redeemed by calling Master Plumbers Call centre on 1300 798 758. DOT: Credit equal to 3 months free access charge (excludes hardware). If you cancel early you may have to repay a portion of the credit. Minimum cost $2160. BizEssentials: First three months access charge free for new fi xed broadband or phone customers. Minimum cost $1739. DOT and BizEssentials services available in selected locations. The Spectrum device and TM are trademarks and ® registered trademarks of Telstra Corporation Limited ABN 33 051 775 556.


industry news Water news Right Water The Victorian Government has recently launched its Right Water initiative, designed to educate consumers on ‘choosing the right water for the job’ and the benefits of capturing rainwater for reuse around the house. The initiative aims to educate consumers that rainwater from the roof can be used to water gardens, in laundry, flushing toilets and washing cars. The campaign encourages home owners to use a licensed plumber for all downpipe diversion, stormwater modifications and related work. To find out more visit rightwater.vic.gov.au

Albury Council restricts flow for non-payers

Global water shortage by 2040

Albury City Council is installing water flow restrictors on properties where customers won’t pay their water bills.

Recent US-Danish research has demonstrated that there will not be enough water to meet human needs by 2040 under current conditions.

This action is a bid to reclaim about one million dollars in outstanding accounts. The restrictors will limit flow to just two litres a minute. Households will still be able to fill a glass of water, flush toilets and have enough water for cooking, but some appliances, such as dishwashers, won’t work.

The three year study by researches at Aarhus University, Vermont Law School and CNA Corporation highlights a ‘clash of competing necessities between drinking water and energy demand.’ The analysis of utilities in France, US, China and India compared population growth with rainfall projections and found a water supply gap in all cases, some by 2020. Key recommendations are to replace thermal power systems with wind and solar systems, improve energy efficiency and research alternative cooling cycles. Find out more at can.org/ewc

2015 PICAC Training Schedule out now! Victorian readers will have received their copy of the January-June 2015 PICAC Training Schedule with this issue of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. The schedule information and dates for the full range of courses throughout the first half of 2015.

www.plumber.com.au | 17


industry news Calculating Cool online HVAC tool officially launched Following the official launch of the Calculating Cool online benchmarking tool it’s now possible for building owners and operators, HVAC industry professionals, facility managers and other stakeholders to measure the efficiency of a variety of HVAC systems. AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says Calculating Cool is a world-leading initiative, and has enormous potential to reduce the usage of HVAC systems in Australia. “Calculating Cool provides the metrics and rules our industry has been crying out for to measure HVAC system effectiveness,” Wilkinson says. “With its balanced combination of quantitative and qualitative measures across the design, installation and operational phases of the HVAC life-cycle, Calculating Cool is practical, effective and costbeneficial. It is set to have a profound impact on the reduction of energy use in Australian HVAC systems.”

Keeping your Christmas party safe End of year workplace parties and celebrations are regarded as an extension of the wokrpalce.

Have a safe and happy festive season!

As an employer, you are required to take reasonable steps to ensure duty of care to Workplace Health and Safety. Consider the following when planning your Christmas event:

• Remind staff about standards of acceptable behaviour prior to the event (e.g. gifts, jokes, language) and their responsibilities to other employees and family members. • Hold the event away from the workplace and limit the length. • Ensure there is a responsible person who can monitor the hazards and responsible alcohol levels. • Where alcohol is provided, always supply food and low or non-alcoholic beverages. • Consider how employees will get home safely. 18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Designed to sit alongside the Green Star and NABERS ratings tools, Calculating Cool is easy to apply.

developed by a coalition of stakeholders from within the Australian HVAC&R industry.

A range of industry bodies – AIRAH, the PCA, FMA, and AMCA – worked with government to progress the Calculating Cool project.

Visit calculatingcool.com.au to see how your HVAC system stacks up.

The Calculating Cool project forms part of the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) HVAC HESS strategy, comprising 20 complementary measures expected to save industry about $320 million a year in energy costs. The Calculating Cool initiative was unanimously agreed upon as a highpriority project by PRIME, an initiative


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industry news News from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) VBA website document to help plumbers meet obligations on insurance Licensed plumbers will save time and find it easier to meet their legal obligations thanks to a new Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website resource. Licensed plumbers must notify clients regarding plumbers’ insurance where a compliance certificate is issued. Previously this information was set out on the back of the ‘paper’ Certificate of Compliance. Now that most certificates are downloaded from eToolbox and printed by the plumber this new information sheet is a simple way to supply that information to clients. VBA’s ‘Insurance on Plumbing Work’ document explains the required insurance and the VBA approved notification that must be given to the plumbing practitioner’s client before work starts. It can be accessed and downloaded from the VBA website at vba.vic.gov.au. It can be printed and handed to clients, saving licensed plumbers’ time on each job involving a compliance certificate.

VBA Director Compliance and Performance Murray Smith said it was important for consumers to be aware that they have a level of insurance protection when they use a licensed plumbing practitioner on a job requiring a compliance certificate. “The information in the ‘Insurance on Plumbing Work’ document is primarily to give the consumer a brief description of the required insurance,” Mr Smith said. Mr Smith added that the document was designed to assist practitioners when consumers ask them about insurance requirements and to demonstrate one of key benefits in using a licensed practitioner for plumbing work. “Plumbers play an integral role in ensuring health and safety in the community. It is for this reason that consumers should only use those that have the appropriate

VBA reports record $25b building permit activity The VBA’s 2013-14 Annual Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 14 October 2014 and shows that the value of reported building permits reached a record $25.3 billion. The annual report reveals that building permit activity in 2013-14 was 12 per cent higher than the $22.5 billion in 2012-13 and four per cent above the previous record of $24.3 billion in 2010-11. It also shows an eight per cent increase in the number of permits reported – 101,349 compared with 93,881 in 2012-13.

for owner-builders, which together fund the VBA, reflected growth in the building and plumbing industries in Victoria.

The VBA also reported that in 2013-14, compared to 2012-13:

• A more systematic, risk-based approach to all VBA programs

• 320,936 Plumbing Compliance Certificates were lodge (318,469) • There were 21,186 registered building practitioners (20,877) • There were 25,688 registered and licensed plumbers (25,295) VBA Chief Commissioner William Kusznirczuk said increases in these areas, as well as certificates of consent 20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Other key activities reported by the VBA in 2013-14 included: • A major organisational restructure to improve its regulatory activity

• New building audit program • A new field-based compliance program • An audit of building permits Led by the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, the VBA began preparatory work to sunset the Building Regulations 2006, due in 2016. To find out more visit vba.vic.gov.au

qualifications and insurance. By law, a person can only be licensed by the VBA if they are covered by the appropriate insurance.” The full terms and conditions of the required insurance are provided in the Ministerial Order – Licensed Plumbers General Insurance Order 2002, which is available online at vba.vic.gov.au. For further information about licensed plumbing practitioners’ insurance or to download the document, visit vba.vic.gov.au

Changes to plumbing audits and inspections From November 6 2014, the VBA will be delivering the plumbing audit and inspection services currently performed by Casey Inspection Services. From this date, all mandatory inspections will need to be booked through eToolbox. Refer to the eToolbox user guide (available at vba.vic.gov.au) for instructions. If you are having difficulty using eToolbox to book an inspection please contact the VBA on 1300 815 127.


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Australian bathrooms for 70 years Almost every Australian has turned on, sat on, bathed in or flushed a Caroma product. Over the years we have seen plenty of change and we’ve evolved with the needs and tastes of the country. What hasn’t changed is our drive to deliver world-class quality, design and innovation, in a style that’s distinctly Australian. And it’s that commitment that will continue to make Caroma the trusted name in bathrooms.

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industry news Dementia training for technicians leads to improved service delivery in residential aged care In a first for a mechanical services company, AE Smith commissioned peak body Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA)-Victoria to provide specialist dementia training to all its Service Technicians to help improve relationships and service delivery to residential aged care customers. Invited to speak at the Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) National Congress in Adelaide in October, AE Smith General Manager of Western Australia, Graeme Stewart, and LASA Victoria General Manger of Training, Diana Fitzgerald explained how – and why – such training can reduce risk.

designing appropriate training was critical

“We identified aged care as a market we wanted to specialise in. But in conversations with our young service technicians, we came across a problem,” Graeme said, adding that some technicians were reluctant to work in aged care facilities due to stressful incidents in the past. “We have a responsibility to our staff that they are able to operate confidently and comfortably in their workplace,” he said.

Diana told the audience that such training was “an innovative step for a service provider to take” and designing appropriate training was critical. “This wasn’t the normal demographic for LASA Victoria. We were training a group of young men, external to the ‘world’ of aged care.” The training covered key points such as understanding how dementia affects the brain, understanding the behaviour of a person with dementia and how to communicate effectively, all with the aim of increasing the empathy of the technicians working in aged care facilities. AE Smith Service Supervisor, Joel Tebbenhoff, said the most valuable thing he took away from the training was “teaching yourself to put yourself in the residents’ shoes”. “You are coming into their house so to speak,” he said. “When I go into an aged care facility now, if I am working in a resident’s room, I actually introduce myself to the resident. Whereas before I just went to the care manager.” Joel is one of more than 75 AE Smith Service Technicians across Australia that have received the specialist training designed and delivered by LASA Victoria.

22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Flexible Duct Online Program wins at LearnX Awards The LearnX Foundation is a small non-profit organisation that supports and promotes advancements in workforce learning. The LearnX Impact Awards recognise learning and performance and in 2014 there were over 200 entries over a range of categories. This year the Best E-Learning Services Gold Award was presented to Melbournebased 9 Lanterns Pty Ltd for their work on the ADMA Flexible Duct Online Learning Program. The Program was developed in conjunction with the Australian Duct Manufacturers Alliance (ADMA) and Master Plumbers, with funding support from the VBA, Plumbing Joint Training Fund and the Heating and Cooling Alliance of Australia (HCAA). The program was developed to enable key stakeholders in the Flexible Duct installation industry to bring themselves up to date with the New Regulations AS 4254.1-2012 The online learning program will roll out in 2015. It allows students to work through the theory component at their own pace. On completion students can print a certificate of successful completion. Congratulations to all involved in developing this award winning program!


Master inventors. Australians are an inventive lot. Our nation is responsible for world-famous inventions in science, medicine, technology and transport. Charlotte Roseby discovers three inventions by Master Plumbers: one that helps plumbers mark out points for pipes, another that improves the safety of workers underground, and a medical flushing/steralising unit that improves patient care. You might know that the Hills Rotary Hoist and the black box flight recorder are Australian inventions, but did you know that Australians were responsible for the invention for the electric drill, the wine cask, the bionic ear, the baby safety capsule and anti-flu medication? Australian inventors have made historic contributions to innovations in water, energy and waste. In the early 1900s Walter Hume invented a pipe-making process using centrifugal force to evenly distribute concrete onto wire reinforcing, until his ‘Humespun’ invention, Australians were struggling to install water supply across our vast distances with expensive brick-lined sewers and pipes made of wood or terracotta. Walter and his brother patented their invention and revolutionised pipe manufacture around the world. During the 1950s, CSIRO carried out world-leading research into flat plate solar water heaters, playing an important part in the invention of solar power. It helped kick-start the solar water heater manufacturing industry in Australia and the manufacturing base has now expanded to 24 companies. Another important Australian invention you probably see most days of the working week is the dual flush toilet. In 1980 Bruce Thompson and his team at Caroma (with an industry grant from the Government of South Australia) developed the Duoset cistern, with two buttons, and two flush volumes: 11 litres and 5.5 litres. The duoset was trialled in a South Australian town and saved 32,000 litres of water. Caroma redesigned the duoset during the 90s to create a 6.5 and 3.5-litre dual flush cistern, halving the water needed to remove waste – the best water-saving flushing technology available in Australia at the time. There’s a strong tradition of innovation in Australian plumbing, and our Master Plumbers are contributing to Australia’s growing list of internationally patented inventions. Here are just three of them.

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

The Bullseye plumbing tool Sometimes there’s just got to be a better way. It’s a thought that’s inspired many an invention, and it’s what Master Plumber Paul Reid was thinking as he stared out the window at the rain. He was thinking about the underslab on a building site he had to do the next day: “The rain wasn’t going to stop, and we just had to do the job… surely I could make this easier.” He spent the evening in his shed, with the rain pelting the roof, and “made up some stuff” out of zinc alum and metal. “It happened pretty quickly. I tried it out on the job the next day, and it worked really well.” What he had just invented was The Bullseye: a precise underslab tool for plumbers. It is a simple widget made from plastic and metal used to mark off plumbing points and keep pipes in place while a slab is dug and poured. It solves a problem that infuriates plumbers and wastes a lot of time. Paul explains: “We have to mark out all our points for pipes under a new concrete slab but, once you dig that line out, you lose the mark and you never, ever know exactly where that original centre point was. You can remeasure but you still don’t get it exactly right.” It’s a simple but clever design. “You put the Bullseye over the exact centre point of your mark then knock the aluminium pole in the ground. You then swing the arm up out of the way. After you dig your trench, you can swing it back and your mark will be in exactly the right spot – exactly where your mark has got to be.” “It saves time and money – it’s more precise and more efficient. A lot of mistakes get made when you’ve got a lot of measurements in your head. This way, you do it once. You don’t have to think about it again.”


There’s nothing like this in the world for people who work in a confined space and want to get out

When did Paul realise he was onto something? “As soon as I used it. It was so good to use, it worked really well. Paul made a couple of prototypes out of plastic, then had a very lucky break – one that inventors dream of. Paul Reid and his Bullseye took out the Inventor of the Year award in the Bendigo Inventor Awards and won $10,000 to put towards its development. “I was so surprised. It was great recognition… I think they liked the simplicity of it, and the real benefits.” The award gave Paul the encouragement he needed. He began to spend a lot more time in the shed. “It was hard to get it right. The original design held the pipe, but there was too much variation. Now it concentrates on marking the spot.” Paul now uses a 3D printer, which makes the prototype development process easier. The 3D printer is the way of the future, says Paul. “As a plumber you’re going to be out in the field and you need a fixture or attachment, you’ll be able to print it out.” Paul hopes to get sales in Australia for his Bullseye then take it overseas. “I think once plumbers use it they won’t go back.” His advice to other inventors? “If you’ve got a good idea, you’ve got to stick with it. It takes time and effort, and a bit of money, but you’ve gotta keep at it.” For enquiries about The Bullseye, a precise underslab tool for plumbers, contact Paul Reid 03 54562574

The T-Proof access cover Master Plumber Ian Bell of Bell Plumbing and mechanical engineer Suresh Alphonse have invented a new type of access cover that is much easier to open and safer to operate than the old, heavy manhole covers. Chances are, you’ve already walked over one of their inventions. Thirty T-Proof access covers have already been installed within the Telstra network of communications tunnels that criss-cross underneath Melbourne’s CBD. (The exact location of the tunnels are a closelyguarded secret, but you can walk for miles underground, says Ian.) Ian and Suresh were invited to design the T-Proof in 2005 in response to a serious occupational health and safety problem: people working in the underground tunnels were finding it difficult to lift the old covers to get back out onto the footpath – meaning they couldn’t easily escape from the tunnels in an emergency. “The old covers are so heavy; when they climb up on the ladder, people may not have the strength to open them up to the surface level in a life-and-death situation,” says Ian. As well as being incredibly heavy – up to 200 kilos in some cases – the older covers can be unwieldy and ‘tricky’. Opening them becomes even more challenging in an emergency, when the logical and reasoning parts of our brain don’t work so well. “Someone in a panic in a confined space, trying to get out, will find it near impossible to lift; you may not be able to lift 20 kilos in a dire situation,” says Suresh.

It’s not just light: it’s simple to operate, says Suresh. What makes it unique is the locking mechanism and the balanced counterweights. It opens from the inside with a one-handed, single twist. This then brings into play a sprung opening hatch, balanced to allow low-effort opening. Once it’s open, the cover remains locked open until it’s closed manually. “It’s simple, quick and efficient. It passed the ultimate test”, he says: “My daughter could open it, and she was only 6 or 7 at the time.” Ian and Suresh worked with ambulance and fire emergency services to perfect their invention. The new design needed to accommodate a stretcher if someone, say, had a heart attack and an ambulance crew needed to go into the tunnel and lift someone out. Although they may seem expensive to install initially there are big labour savings, says Ian: “Our invention can be operated by one person – no mechanical, magnetic or hydraulic, heavy-lifting gear required. Before our invention, you needed at least two men and a crane, which also sometimes meant closures of pedestrian access and roads.” The T-Proof is a very successful collaboration between plumber and engineer – and their invention is already seeing the light of day: twenty T-Proof access covers have just been installed in the Latrobe Power Station. For enquiries about the T-Proof Access Cover contact Suresh Alphonse (0419 295 265) or Ian Bell (0418 382 001).

Their invention, the T-Proof, requires less than 10 kg force to open it from the underside and less than 17 kg force to close it from above, far exceeding international occupational health and safety requirements. www.plumber.com.au | 25


Instead of using a lot of boiling water, which consumes a lot of electricity to make, we use a little electricity to make a lot of steam

The Duck Sometimes an invention involves collecting a bundle of the latest technologies and putting them together in a new way. That’s what’s happened with the Atherton product, the Duck: a dramatically reinvented flusher and sanitizer for bedpans and urine bottles. It’s not glamorous, but Master Plumber and mechanical engineer Stephen Atherton is very proud of their little metal machine. As well as making one of the more unpleasant tasks in patient care that much easier, the Duck is making significant – and really important – water and energy savings in aged care facilities and hospitals. “We designed the Duck to use as little water as possible, and still clean what needs to be clean,” says Stephen. “We achieved this by redesigning our spray cleaning system so it uses much less water. There is even an eco cycle to take care of the number one stuff, and the normal cycle for number two jobs. ”A full sanitisation cycle only uses 14 litres; the flush cycle: 7 litres. “The basic form of it has been manufactured for some time, but we’ve reinvented it. The first bedpan flushers were made 40 years ago. The breakthrough technology was making it a sanitiser, not just a mobile toilet.” “Instead of using a lot of boiling water, which consumes a lot of electricity to make, we use a little electricity to make a lot of steam. This makes the bedpan hotter – more than 85°C – which makes everyone happy, except the bugs we are trying to get rid of.”

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

At just 0.14 kWh per cycle, the Duck is incredibly energy efficient, says Stephen. “We use so little electricity you can use a standard 10 amp GPO to run the machine compared to three-phase power. We got quite a buzz out of achieving that!” There’s plenty of whizz bangery too. The door opens and closes by itself, courtesy of the motion sensor, “which tells the microprocessor-based controls that someone is waving a bedpan around that they would like to get rid of, sooner rather than later,” says Stephen. The microprocessor also gives the unit fully automatic cycle control and a colour touch screen lets you know what is happening and what sort of day/week/ month the unit has had. It doesn’t even need a vent now, because the Duck has a condenser. The tradition of invention and reinvention goes back a long way in the family company, It was a chance encounter just after World War II that led Atherton to develop steam sterilisers and to become the Australian leader in the technology. The famous architect Sir Arthur Stephenson who specialised in hospital architecture, drew Atherton’s attention to the US army who were using steam in Australia rather than hot water to sterilise their surgical instruments. Stephenson reported that there was a lower infection rate after surgery, and that patient survival and recovery rate was better. Atherton saw its potential and bought the licence for the US technology, eventually developing their own steam sterilising technology in the 1970s and expanding into stainless steel fabrication.

Atherton is now a world leader in infection control products for the hospital and medical industry. And they are still always looking for ways to improve the technology. Design for Stephen and his team is all about the how, what and why. “We are determined to stay in the lead, and we have fuelled a continuous study of new ideas… New ideas require a lot of thinking. We sat down and thought, how can we sterilise this product? How can we change this? How can it be more effective, more efficient and use less water? “We want to be technically sophisticated, and continue as an Australian manufacturer.” For enquiries about the Duck Automatic Bedpan Flusher/Sanitizer contact Atherton: 1300 580 870 www.atherton.net Got a clever invention you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at publications@plumber.com.au


Keeping your cool: using less energy and reducing costs Installing air conditioning this summer? Plumbers have the knowledge and skills to help customers make the right choices for their cooling needs. Charlotte Roseby hears from three experts from AIRAH, HCAA and ADMA who provide some essential information about making energy-efficient choices and helping your clients conserve energy, reduce greenhouse gases, improve operating efficiency and minimise costs. Can you hear the hum? It’s summer and the air conditioners are switching on in homes and businesses across Australia. Industry estimates that more than 1.3 million air conditioning units are purchased each year.

There are three good reasons for working hard to achieve the most energy efficient option, says Neil Cox, Chief Operating Officer of AIRAH, the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating:

The demand is expected to grow over the next five years, leading to increased costs of more than 50 per cent in the transmission, distribution and infrastructure needed to provide the increased demand for power.

• Reduced running costs: “Every incremental increase in efficiency reduces the operating costs for the entire life of the system.”

We need to respond to this huge demand with improved efficiency, says Peter Kikos, Divisional Executive Officer at Master Plumbers. “Increasing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are the most pressing challenges for our society. Government policy now dictates that energy efficiency, energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction need to be major goals for all Australians. This is one area where we as Master Plumbers can really make a difference.” We all need to get smarter with our air conditioning: selection, installation, siting, maintenance, commissioning and testing – and improving our customers’ knowledge.

28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

• Reduced greenhouse gases: “Better efficiency means reduced greenhouse gases through reduced energy use.” • Reduced peak demand for power: “Residential air conditioning is one of the drivers behind peak electricity demand; reducing peak demand reduces costs to society.” Paul Sterling, Chairman of the Australian Duct Manufacturers Alliance (ADMA) and General Manager National Operations of Westaflex agrees. The ADMA alliance was formed to improve standards in the ducting industry, and wants to play its part in reducing greenhouse emissions by improving the energy efficiency of ducted cooling systems. Craig Lee, Chairman of the Heating and Cooling Alliance of Australia (HCAA) and Director of CW Lee Airconditioning puts it simply: “It’s good for the planet, it’s good for the wallet.”

Match suitability to consumer needs There are questions you need to ask your customer so you can make sure the system is the correct configuration – and the most efficient – for the application, says Neil Cox. You’ll need to determine how your customer intends on using the unit: Cooling? Heating? Ventilation? What kind of control does the household or business need? Singe-zone? Multiple zones? Split zones? Night or day? You need to find out first what the consumer has in mind, says Craig Lee. It’s not just about what they want; it’s also about what they really need. After all, budget is a big consideration for most people, says Craig. “When I go into a house the first thing I say is ‘What would you like cooled?’ and they say ‘the whole house!’. So I say, ‘OK. That could cost about $25,000… now what would you like cooled?’ Then they usually say, ‘actually… on second thought… just the lounge room and the bedroom.’” Craig also asks what kind of cooling they are contemplating. What are customers really thinking when they talk about ‘cool’? Do they just want to take the edge off the extreme heat or do they really want year-round constant temperature?

Tell your customers AIRAH’s FairAir website provides in-depth, unbiased information to consumers about home cooling options and products: www.fairair.com.au

More than 1.3 million air conditioning units are purchased each year


Efficient home cooling: what you need to know

Inspect the site It’s important to look at the orientation of the house, the physical properties, the shading and insulation before you make your heat load calculation. Rooms that face north, east or west will receive more sun than rooms that face south. Is it ground floor or third floor? Can it be isolated from the rest of the house? You also need to consider the design and use of the area to be cooled. Has it got big windows? Has it got doors you can shut to close the area down or is it open plan? You also need to take into consideration what you’re going to lose to the rest of the house. Do they have young children, so the doors are going to be left open all the time? This will all affect your calculations.

Tell your customers The design of your house can significantly reduce the need for refrigerative air conditioning, including siting the house for exposure to cooling breezes, increasing natural ventilation by reducing barriers to air paths, installing fans, increasing shade and insulation, and floor plan zoning to maximise comfort for day and night.

There is a proven link between effective maintenance and energy efficiency

Locate the equipment correctly The most important thing when it comes to energy efficiency is the location you choose for the equipment, says Craig. You need good air flow: “Cold air is very lazy. It won’t go where it doesn’t have to go.” “A customer will often say to me, ‘Can you stick the unit in that corner, where I won’t see it when I walk in the room?’… I tell them it will make that corner very cold but the cooling won’t get into the rest of the house. If it’s put in a location where the air can move around you’ll find that, even in a larger area, you can run it at a higher temperature, which is more efficient.”

Energy efficiency is all about location, location, location

Neil agrees: “Both indoor and outdoor units need access to good airflow to work; don’t box them into corners.” The EER (energy efficiency ratio) and CoP (Coefficient of Performance) are defined as the capacity output divided by the power input. This is achieved by the use of a refrigeration heat pump which collects internal heat and moves it outside when in cooling mode, or collects ambient heat from outside and moves it inside when in heating mode.

energyrating.gov.au

Select the most energy-efficient unit The size must be based on an accurate load estimation and appropriate for the intended use, says Neil. It is important to select an air conditioner with the right cooling output – if it is undersized it may not be able to cool the space adequately and use up a lot of electricity. If the unit is oversized it will cycle on and off more often than it should, which can lead to inefficient operation and give poor temperature and humidity control. For smaller units go for the highest star rating, as this indicates the highest efficiency, says Neil. Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) specify the minimum level of energy performance that electrical equipment must meet or exceed. Under the MEPS system, says Neil, select the most efficient – not the minimum efficient units.

As an installer you also need to be familiar with CoP (Coefficient of Performance) the ratio of the heat extraction rate divided by the power consumed by the refrigeration compressor. To put it simply, it’s a measure of efficiency: how much energy goes into the equipment compared to how much cooling you get out.

Tell your customers

Q Many of my customers simply want the biggest cooling unit at the lowest price. How do I advise them? A Answer from Neil Cox, Chief Operating Officer of AIRAH: • It will cost more to purchase and install.

“CoP varies on the same piece of equipment according to the outside air temperature,” says Craig. “A unit operating in Tasmania will have different CoPs to something operating in Darwin.”

• It will have bigger compressors and fans and will cost more to run.

“Look at CoP at the rated conditions, but also look for performance at part load, for example, at 60 per cent capacity,” says Neil.

• It will cycle on and off (or ramp up and down) more frequently, thereby increasing wear and tear and reducing working life.

“Quality is another important factor. Look for a brand that has a reputation for good quality, an extended warranty, and validated performance claims.”

• It will cost more to maintain.

• It may always run at a very low capacity and therefore probably at a very low efficiency.

• It may not provide superior comfort. • Airflows may be too big for the space. • Unit may be noisier.

www.plumber.com.au | 29


Choose insulated, energy efficient ducting Choosing the right air conditioning unit is important, but so is selecting the right ducting for a ducted cooling system, says Paul Sterling. “The unit is the heart of the system; the flexible ducts are the arteries and veins that pump the air throughout your home. Poorly insulated duct allows cool air to be lost, which leads to poor performance and higher operating costs. Remember, on a 40 degree day, the in-roof temperature can be 55–75 degrees. The best way to stop cool air loss is to provide a sufficient insulation barrier between the two temperatures. You need to install insulated ducting with a high thermal rating.” “Quality Australian manufacturers are having to compete with non-compliant local and imported products,” says Paul. “The knock-on effect is that Australian consumers have products like flexible duct with substandard insulation installed into their homes and are having to pay increased running costs for the life of their ducted system.” Westaflex has developed thermally efficient Greenduct, which has a metal spine clamped over wire on the inner duct core. Their Greenduct Ultimate product, the thickest in the range, is up to 175% more thermally efficient than their standard grade. Their Australianmade ducting results in reduced energy costs, greenhouse gases and ongoing running costs and helps achieve home comfort faster while increasing the life of your product.

Install it, test it, optimise it – then explain it Once you have selected an efficient unit it must also be installed to operate efficiently. That means not just installing it, says Neil. “It means test it and optimise it for energy efficiency, and make sure the operator understands how to use it.” “Make sure the refrigerant charge is in accordance with the manufacturers’ specification for the system and pipework configuration.” Craig agrees with the importance of commissioning: “What if you have your lovely new BMW car straight out of the factory and no-one actually checked whether the doors opened and shut, and the switches all worked properly?” Part of commissioning is explaining its operating procedures, says Craig. He is surprised just how often a customer says something like, “I just press this button and I don’t touch anything else. When I get too cold I just switch it off”. Advising your customers on efficient usage – saving them money – is good for your customer service, word of mouth and repeat business.

Install or grow some shade Encourage your customers to start working on creating an energy efficient house; this is a great opportunity for your customer to start making some changes, and they will appreciate the savings. Shade is particularly important: awnings, roller blinds and deep eaves will provide an effective barrier against heat gain. Craig encourages his clients to think about external blinds as a good investment: “I tell my clients, if you have blinds outside you will reduce the cooling load, “ says Craig. You need to consider running costs; it’s worth spending $300 on an external blind which will significantly reduce the running costs and save more in the long run.” Reducing direct sunlight on external unit, internal unit and temperature sensors will also optimise performance, so tell your customers to think about some more trees in the garden. Planting more deciduous vegetation is a good (and attractive) way to shade windows, walls and the roof. Internal shading such as curtains and blinds is not as effective at keeping heat out as external shading, however, it can still have an effect. Your customer could also consider window films as another way of reducing solar heat gain.

Tell your customers Open up your home to breezes in the evenings and when it’s cool outside. Make the most of natural airflow by opening low-positioned windows to bring the breeze in and high windows to let the hot air out. yourenergysavings.gov.au

The unit is the heart of the system and the ducts are the arteries that pump the air through your home

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014


Efficient home cooling: what to tell your customers

Install insulation – lots of it – and seal the gaps Tell your customers that having insulation in your roof, walls and floor will help to regulate temperatures inside your house. “Increasing insulation, installing shades, and sealing the building where appropriate, can save energy and money,” says Neil. Keeping the cool air in isn’t just a matter of closing doors; sealing external doors can reduce air leakage by 12%, says Sustainability Victoria. Gaps under and around doors, especially external doors, are probably the easiest gaps to identify and fix. Tell your customers that there are lots of products on the market for door and window gap sealing.

Use your unit efficiently

Book in for maintenance

Many customers won’t know the most efficient way of running their air conditioner. Teaching, showing and advising is an important part of commissioning – and your customer service.

Maintenance is very important for energy efficiency. Periodic efficiency maintenance can actually save you money due to reduced energy use, says Neil.

It may sound obvious, but make sure the customer realises that the system should only be turned on when it is needed or required. Show customers how to use the control, and time schedules to operate the unit, says Neil, including setting a wide deadband between heating and cooling functions. Set temperatures for energy efficiency outcomes, for example, summer: 24–26 (not 21), winter: 19–21 (not 24). Craig spends a lot of time advising his customers how to operate their unit efficiently. He tells them, “You don’t want the home to get really hot, because then the inverter will have to work really hard and it’s inefficient and costly. If you know it’s going to be a hot day, turn it on before it gets hot.” “It’s like planning to travel in a levelheaded, sensible way,” says Craig – who has many clever ways of communicating these important energy efficiency concepts to his customers. He tells them: “We want to end up in Queensland and we can get there gradually, making our way there nice and easily, and economically. That’s more efficient and economical than sitting around all day then suddenly deciding, ‘Quick. Let’s go to QLD right now! Even though it’s already 4pm!’ That will be a much more expensive, difficult, wasteful exercise.” “If customers are at work all day, I encourage them to use the timers. I suggest they set the thermostat to 29 degrees then later, when they get home, set it to 24 degrees.”

Tell your customers Remember that energy consumption increases significantly for every degree you turn the thermostat down – it’s a lot less expensive to keep a house at 26°C than it is to keep it at 22°C.

Craig agrees. Maintenance is very important, just as with a car, he says. “Customers really understand that if a car isn’t serviced, it’s going to run very inefficiently. So I tell them the same applies with their air conditioning system.” “Maintained systems have a longer useful working life, perform better and are generally quieter. Maintenance saves energy, saves money, saves the environment; it’s a no-brainer,” says Neil.

Tell your customers There is a proven link between effective maintenance and energy efficiency. Properly maintained equipment consumes less energy, as well as being better for the environment, safer to operate and cheaper to run. AIRAH

Teaching, showing and advising is a vital part of commissioning and providing good customer service Awnings, roller blinds and deep eaves will provide an effective barrier against heat gain

AIRAH

www.plumber.com.au | 31


QA

Your questions answered: HVAC & R at Tradelink Tradelink’s specialist HVAC&R Team at the Mount Waverley store

Tradelink understands the importance of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration and has worked hard at making sure they get their offerings just right. The demand for buying HVAC&R products is a major focus for mechanical services plumbers everywhere, so we chat with Tradelink’s Business Development Manager Daniel McLean to find out what sort of changes Tradelink have made and how they can help your business.

So Daniel, what’s your background? I am a mechanical services plumber by trade and I’ve worked on hospitals, office buildings and other large projects. After a bad ankle operation, I accepted a position as an estimator to gain experience in large domestic HVAC&R before progressing to project management. I then moved back into the commercial sector working as a project manager for two and a half years, before moving back to estimating with a large design team. I was involved in this field for a total of 14 years before joining Tradelink just five months ago.

Have Tradelink always dealt in HVAC&R? Tradelink have always had a HVAC&R offering, however, we have been constantly working to further improve this for our customers. For example, we’re focusing on products that are tried and tested like Viega, Overtrop and Frese. We’re also evolving to increase our refrigeration offering by working with suppliers to increase what we already have in this space. Currently we stock wall hung split systems, refrigeration copper, pair coil copper, wall mount brackets, poly slabs, condensate pumps and other ancillary items for refrigeration installs but this will only get better.

How many branches do you have in Victoria and how many are HVAC&R? Currently, Tradelink have 49 branches in Victoria and Tasmania divided into seven regions, with the ultimate goal to have a specialist HVAC&R branch in each region. So far, we have Dandenong, Albury, Bendigo & Brooklyn earmarked as HVAC&R specialist branches. Richmond is currently our Major Projects Centre, which is where we keep our large items with high volumes of stock.

32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Our new Mt Waverley branch has also been set up as an HVAC&R satellite branch. Many mechanical and refrigeration items are available there and we’re updating these all the time.

What’s currently happening in the HVAC&R space in Victoria? There are a number of recent changes that come to mind. We’re currently reviewing pricing of all stock, which means better value for all Tradelink customers. We’re also building our supply lines with several options for most lines, which means a larger selection, as well as increasing our stock held around Victoria and Tasmania branches. As a result, you can rest assured we’ll have many product options at the best possible prices. We now have a specially trained HVAC&R team that work with customers closely to provide solutions and we’re planning a larger rollout of a specialised training program for our staff. We also have a dedicated National Category Team who works closely with key suppliers to keep up-to-date with new developments in the market. On top of this, we have also recently opened our new Mt Waverley branch which has specially trained staff dedicated to everything HVAC&R.

What benefits can Tradelink offer customers? We have just developed a system called Onsite Store Assistant. Basically, we assign a Tradelink representative to a work site from a branch closest to you. This staff member will meet with the site foreman, leading hand or store person to learn about the site and discuss any problems as well as status of the project. They’ll also complete a site specific stock take each visit to ensure the site never runs out of product.

This relationship is invaluable for customers as you get to air any concerns to the Tradelink representative face-toface. At the same time, we can inform you of any new products or systems that may be useful for that specific project. Our representative will visit the site whenever they are needed – once a week during normal times or during peak times it can be more.

What HVAC&R reference material is currently available for plumbers? We have a HVAC&R online catalogue available with technical specifications, general information and Tradelink product codes available from our TradeDoor website tradedoor.com.au under Useful Links. Customers can also sign up for a TradeDoor account via the website or through their account manager. TradeDoor allows you to order all HVAC&R products online without having to even visit a branch – it’s that easy. To find out more about HVAC&R visit tradelink.com.au and use the branch locator to find your nearest branch or email HVACVic@tradelink.com.au


Construction Automotive Industry


A new era of apprenticeship training An exciting industry partnership between Master Plumbers and the PTEU is helping to usher in a new age in plumbing apprenticeship training. Master Plumbers, in conjunction with industry partner the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU), are pleased to announce the commencement of plumbing apprenticeship training at their Brunswick training centre, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC).

“After consultation with employers, it was decided not to deliver the qualification stream by stream as this restricts the depth of skills being developed by apprentices,” says Alexandra Mannell, Master Plumbers General Manager Training and Industry Development.

The successful addition of the CPC32413 Certificate III in Plumbing apprenticeship qualification to the Master Plumbers’ (RTO # 3937) vocational education scope of registration will herald a new era of plumbing training for the industry.

“Employers advised that if, for example, they specialise in gas work they want their apprentice learning about gas throughout their apprenticeship, not all at the one time.”

Training delivery will be overseen by the board of a new company, Plumbing Industry Training (PIT), which consists of representatives of Master Plumbers and PTEU. “The industry is investing heavily in training and education in order to ensure and maintain a high standard of training and plumbing skills,” says Ken Gardner, Master Plumbers’ CEO. The plumbing apprenticeship has been set up to train the group scheme apprentices employed by Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria. All apprentices must have completed the 22138VIC Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship) delivered by Master Plumbers at PICAC or by another provider. The apprentice training program will commence with a pilot group of 12 first year group scheme apprentices in February 2015. A second first year intake will commence in April and a third first year group will start in August. The second year of the apprenticeship will start delivery in 2016, followed by third year in 2017. The qualification incorporates approximately three years off the job (RTO based) structured training delivery and assessment. The course design has been heavily influenced by feedback from group scheme hosts, plumbing employers, members and industry stakeholders to provide skilled apprentices to the industry at all year levels.

34 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

To address this issue we have grouped the competencies in the qualification into three ‘skill stages’ rather than by stream. Stage 1

Foundation plumbing skills This stage focuses on the essential skills required by all plumbing apprentices in their first year so they are ‘ready to work’. The Foundation Skills stage includes ‘Boot Camp’ – an intensive block of upfront basic skill training of six weeks. After Boot Camp, apprentices will continue with foundation plumbing skills such as basic water supply, gas, sanitary and roofing tasks. Stage 2

Installation plumbing skills This stage concentrates on the underpinning skills required by plumbing apprentices to follow plans to install plumbing work. It focuses on practical skill development for plumbing installations in all streams of plumbing, coupled with a strong emphasis on regulations and standards. Stage 3

Trades plumbing skills This stage focuses on the more advanced techniques, skills and knowledge required by apprentices as they come to the end of their apprenticeship. Apprentices will be introduced to planning plumbing work and undertaking complex installations in multi-level buildings across all areas of work.

The facilities at PICAC have been upgraded to allow for the apprenticeship course to be delivered from 2015. A multi-level tower containing practical work stations has been installed in the Phoenix Street practical workshop, along with new benches, equipment and work stations. In addition, three new classrooms have been constructed in the Albert Street campus. Master Plumbers and PTEU are very excited to launch this next stage of plumbing training at PICAC and look forward to industry feedback into the course as delivery progresses. For further information on the structure of the qualification please contact Glenn Menzies at the PTEU or Alexandra Mannell, General Manager Training and Industry Development (Master Plumbers) on 03 9356 7303.


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Summer safety update. Safety under the sun According to WorkSafe, Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world with more than 380,000 people treated for the disease every year. At least one out of every two Australians will require treatment in their lifetime for various forms of skin cancer. Construction workers have a higher risk of skin cancer than many other workers due to long periods exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The risk to plumbers increases the longer they spend working outside. In fact, a plumber working outdoors is 60 per cent more likely to develop a skin cancer than a plumber who works indoors. So working in the sun in a singlet or without a shirt this summer is unacceptable! It makes sense to have an appropriate UV radiation policy in your plumbing business. Remember, a tan does not provide any significant protection from sun exposure. The only thing that works is sun protection.

Skin cancer

A note about sunscreen

Over exposure to UV radiation can damage the body’s skin cells, resulting in various forms of skin cancer which can prove fatal if not detected and treated early.

You should never rely solely on a sunscreen to provide protection from UV exposure. Sunscreen is not a block out and it is still possible for UV radiation to get through and cause skin damage.

While it usually takes many years of exposure for skin cancer to occur, there have been many cases of it being diagnosed in young people.

Sunscreen should be used in combination with other forms of sun protection (clothing, hats, sunglasses) and can help provide protection from areas of the skin that are not covered by protective clothing.

The two most common type of skin cancer are Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. Less common but more dangerous forms of skin cancer include Melanoma and Nodular Melanoma.

According to the Cancer Council, every year in Australia:

When working outdoors and under the sun, appropriate PPE should be worn, this includes:

Skin cancers account for around 80% of newly diagnosed cancers

• Loose fitting, long-sleeved collared shirt (preferably cotton)

Between 95 and 99 per cent of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun

• Long pants • Sunglasses • Wide brim hat • Sunscreen

The incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK

What is UV radiation? UV radiation is the wavelength of sunlight that can damage the skin. The level of UV radiation varies depending on the time of the year and the proximity to surfaces such as concrete and metal which can reflect and scatter UV radiation. In Victoria, UV radiation is most intense during the middle of the day from September to April (11 am to 3 pm during daylight saving and 10 am to 2 pm at other times). On a clear summer’s day, it can take only 10 to 15 minutes for skin damage to occur.

36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

For best results with sunscreen: Choose a sunscreen labelled broad spectrum 30+ (or higher) and water resistant for maximum protection Be generous when applying – a thin application can reduce the protection level significantly! Apply your sunscreen liberally 20 minutes before you go outside to ensure it is absorbed by the skin. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if you are perspiring or in contact with water. Don’t forget to apply protection to your lips with a 30+ lip balm or zinc cream

The facts on sunburn: Sunburn causes 95 per cent of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer In Australia, almost 14 per cent of adults, 24 per cent of teenagers and 8 per cent of children are sunburnt on an average summer weekend

Remember, no sunscreen offers 100%, complete protection from the sun’s harmful rays. So always remember to…

Slip

on sun-protective clothing

Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen Slap

on a hat

Seek

out some shade

Slide on some sunglasses


Working in the heat Heat is a frequently underestimated occupational hazard of the construction industry. Working outdoors in hot weather or where heat is generated as part of work can result in heat illness. Heat illness occurs when the body cannot sufficiently cool itself and covers a range of medical conditions that can arise when the body is unable to properly cope with working in heat. Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment.

Heat illness includes conditions such as: • Heat stroke – a life threatening condition that requires immediate first aid and medical attention • Fainting • Heat exhaustion and cramps • Rashes (also known as prickly heat) • Heat fatigue • Worsening of pre-existing illnesses and conditions

Signs and symptoms include: • Feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy or weak • Clumsiness, collapse or convulsions • Headaches • Thirst • Fatigue and exhaustion

Workers with these signs or symptoms need to seek immediate medical attention. Workplace health and safety laws require the working environment to be safe and without risks to health and safety. This applies to any risk to health and safety, including illness from working in heat.

Identifying heat illness hazards Key risk factors that need to be taken into account are: Air temperature Humidity Radiant heat (from the sun or other sources such as furnaces or ovens)

Stay hydrated! Dehydration occurs when the body ‘dries out’ due to the loss of more fluid than the body takes in. Common causes for dehydration include heat, exercise, vomiting, diarrhoea and poor fluid intke. It is absolutely essential to stay properly hydrated during the hot summer months. To prevent dehydration you should hydrate early – this means drinking water before you start to feel thirsty.

Air movement or wind speed

When working or exercising in hot summer conditions you need to:

Workload (nature of the work and duration)

• Drink one cup (250mls) of water every 20-30 minutes

Physical fitness of the worker (including any pre-existing conditions eg overweight, heart/ circulatory diseases, skin diseases or use of certain medicines)

• Drink only water or sports drinks

Preventing heat illness The risk of heat illness can be minimised by modifying workload and measures including: Taking regular/extra rest breaks in a cool shaded or airconditioned areas.

• Increase fluid intake if urine is dark in colour

Symptoms of dehydration include: • Pale, clammy skin • Fatigue and weakness • Dry mouth and increased thirst • Dizziness, headaches and muscle cramping • Poor mental and physical performance • Dark colour urine

Drinking water every 15 minutes – don’t wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink. Rescheduling work so hot tasks are performed during the cooler morning hours Wearing light clothing – including a shirt that provides adequate protection from the sun. It’s important to look out for workmates to make sure they’re coping with the conditions and always be alert for the signs of heat exhaustion.

hydrate early this means drinking water before you start to feel thirsty

www.plumber.com.au | 37


Summer safety update. Your choice of beverage It is often better to drink small amounts of fluids often rather than large amounts of fluid at one time. During hot weather, workers should be encouraged to drink around a cup of water ever 20-30 minutes. Water is the best hydrating beverage, although it can be tasteless and boring. You can make water more interesting by adding slices of lemon or lime, herbs such as mint, or even sliced or whole berries. Sports drinks and electrolyte beverages such as Gatorade or Powerade are also an option, they contain flavours and sugars and also supply the body with electrolytes that can be lost due to perspiration. Avoid energy drinks and soft drinks. They offer minimal hydration and are loaded with sugars. Energy drinks also contain caffeine which is a diuretic and should be avoided during hot weather.

After a long, hot day at work, one of the worst things that you can do to quench your thirst is to drink alcohol. Because your body is already dehydrated due to perspiration, and when this is combined with the rapid ingestion of alcohol, your blood alcohol level increases quickly.

Heat stroke If dehydration is not treated early it can cause heat stroke. Heat stroke is caused by exposure to extreme heat and dehydration. Symptoms include:

Urine colour test for dehydration If the water in the body is balanced, urine will be a pale straw or lemonade colour. When dehydration occurs, the kidneys aim to conserve water and therefor urine becomes much more concentrated with waste products and therefore darker. Dark yellow urine is a sure indicator of dehydration and that fluid intake must be increased. Here is a very basic guide.

1

• Exhaustion and general weakness which may lead to collapse

2

• Pale cool, clammy skin

3

• Nausea and/or vomiting

4

• Rapid and weak pulse and rapid, noisy breathing

5

Urgent medical attention is required for heat stroke and you should call emergency services (000) immediately.

6 7

If your urine matches the colours 1, 2 or 3 you are considered well-hydrated.

If your urine matches any of the colours 4 to 8 you are dehydrated and need to drink more fluid.

8

Ho, ho no! Safety at your workplace Christmas party The holiday period means warm summer weather and more parties, BBQs, celebrations and gatherings with friends and family. It also means more workplace celebrations and functions. Did you know that end of year workplace parties and Christmas celebrations are regarded as an extension of the workplace? This means that as an employer you have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all your staff at all work-related Christmas functions and take steps to prevent inappropriate conduct.

Be mindful of harrassment Employers can be liable for inappropriate statements and conduct that occurs at work-related Christmas celebrations. Such conduct can amount to sexual harassment or other forms of harassment (such as racial). Particular danger areas include Kris Kringle gift giving, joke staff ‘awards’ and skits/performances that may offend certain groups.

Tips for a safe and happy Christmas event • Have a code of conduct and a drug and alcohol policy in place prior to your end of year functions

• Train employees and managers in relation to the standard of conduct required at work functions

• Remind staff about standards of acceptable behaviour prior to the event (e.g. gifts, jokes, language) and their responsibilities to other employees

• Monitor the consumption of alcohol throughout the function

38 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

• Ensure that underage workers do not consume alcohol • Provide first aid facilities

• Provide sufficient food and non-alcoholic beverages • Ensure the premises is vacated at the end of the function • Pick a venue with safe access to transport home for attendees • Take appropriate and timely action if issues arise


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Trash into Treasure. One local plumber is re-thinking the way the building industry deals with waste and leftover building materials. We chat to Andrew Schafer about his new initiative, Trash into Treasure.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure – so the old saying goes. And it’s a saying that Melbourne plumber Andrew Schafer has taken to heart. He’s created Trash into Treasure, a new website that lets tradies sell, swap or negotiate and reduce trash and improve reuse. Andrew is the director of Hydraciv Plumbing, a commercial business that he started around 14 years ago that focusses on projects in Melbourne’s outer suburbs including schools, pubs and medical centres. “Being part of the commercial building industry, I am always seeing products and excess materials being thrown out. With the fast pace of construction and limited capability for storage, often the easiest option is to just stick it in the bin and move onto the next project,” says Andrew. “I guarantee that most of the products and materials being thrown out can be used by another company or even the general public.” Andrew discovered that the construction industry contributes to around 40 per cent of landfill each year and that Australia is amongst the highest disposal to landfill countries in the world. “I created Trash into Treasure as a way to minimise wastage of stock and material, to reduce the amount of bins used on projects and to create an easy and cost saving method of moving on goods to be used in other projects. “It’s more than likely that whatever you have left over on a job – whether it be pipes or timber or bricks – it can definitely be used by someone else. Even if it’s someone doing a bit of DIY around the house.” Trash into Treasure is all about minimising waste and saving money.

40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

“Instead of throwing something out or storing it and having it take up valuable space in your yard, you can list it on the site. “Some contractors probably spend upwards of $200,000 a year on bins. Imagine saving just 10% of that!”

So, how does it work? It takes just 10 steps to register and place a product for sale or hire. All transactions are carried out between the seller and the purchaser, the website is there only to advertise. There are four ways to list your products: Buy, Negotiate, Swap & Trade and Free. The Free option is a great way to minimise the amount you spend on bins on the worksite says Andrew. “We recently had a project with lots of leftover bricks. The bricks weren’t in the best condition, but could easily be used for a wall that was going to be rendered. There were enough brick to fill two bins. I listed the bricks on the site as Free and soon enough they were picked up and removed from the site! The result was big cost savings for the builder and two less bins going to landfill.”

“We’re adding more trade-focussed categories and also have a keyword option to make finding a product easier. The website is optimised for phone and tablet use and we’re also in the process of developing an app to make it even easier to use. “We’ll also be setting up a feedback and forum page so people can suggest ways of improving the site. People will also be able to ask questions and comment on items listed.” Trash into Treasure also offers a warehousing service, where you can ship your leftover/waste materials to his storage facility and then get the business to on-sell it for you. “I know it will take a little time for everyone to get used to the Trash into Treasure concept, but I’m really excited to see the site grown into a trade focussed hub for everyone to benefit from,” says Andrew. Got some trash you want to cash in on? Find out more about how Trash into Treasure works by visiting trashintotreasure.com.au

The website launched in late August and while it’s still early days, Andrew is hoping it will gain popularity. A quick browse on the site turns up everything from a couple of bathroom basins, a pipe clamp, a whole garage, pool fencing and some multi-purpose trolleys. Andrew is always making improvements to the site and welcomes feedback from across the construction industry.

Some contractors spend upwards of $200,000 a year on bins. Imagine saving just 10% of that!


Find out more at trashintotreasure.com.au

Apprenticeships for our industry. Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria is the industry’s group training scheme dedicated to providing plumbing businesses with high quality, highly skilled apprentices to meet their needs. Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria is a flexible and cost effective way of accessing extra labour when you need it most.

To find out more, call (03) 9329 9622 or visit plumbingcareer.com.au

www.plumber.com.au | 41


Brett Burden from Action Coach Victoria discusses the importance of strategic planning in every business.

Groundhog Day As business owners reflect on the last 12 months, some will be thinking about all of the wonderful things they have achieved. But experience tells me that there are many more thinking “same stuff different day”, or perhaps another way to phrase it “Groundhog day”. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about you need to see the movie Groundhog Day, but let me quickly paraphrase it. Basically an arrogant, self centred TV weatherman, played by Bill Murray, gets stuck waking up each morning starting the same day over and over again. Eventually he gets unstuck by learning from his mistakes and eliminating them one by one, until he eventually he lives the perfect day. If you feel stuck in the same day, year after year, why don’t you take a leaf out of the weatherman’s book and come up with a PLAN to get unstuck? The basics of Strategic Planning. A must for all business big or small.

Talk to small to medium business owners about strategic planning and you’ll find that 30% of them will look back at you with a blank expression. Another 30% will tell you that they know they need to do it but hide the fact that they have no idea of what it involves; a further 30% are doing it but are not inviting all stakeholders to participate and then don’t follow up on it regularly anyway. That leaves the rest, who are very deliberate and treat strategic planning with the significance it deserves. These are businesses that know exactly where they want to go and if they happen to stray off track can rectify it before it’s too late. In truth, strategic planning isn’t as daunting as it sounds and is certainly not something that should be avoided due to not knowing where to start. There are plenty of templates out there (I have a very basic one which can get you started) which will guide you through the process.

What could a strategic planning session consist of? • A discussion about the past period. What did you do well and should do again. What did you do that you don’t need to do again. Did you stay on track with your mission and did you achieve your KPI’s? • SWOT analysis. Strengths, weakness’s (these two should be viewed from an internal aspect) , opportunities, and threats (these are viewed from an external aspect). • A look over your financials and your budget. Ask yourself, has your GP percentage changed and if so for the good or for the bad? Are your fixed costs staying stable or have they changed? What product or service makes the most profit for the business? • Marketing ROI and acquisition costs. This is really important. If you are not measuring this you must start because knowing these numbers can save you thousands of dollars and make you even more. • Operational overview. Discuss any roadblocks that might be holding you back from taking the next step. • Determine the goals for the next 12 months with an action plan to accompany it. Reset your KPIs and decide on what needs to happen before the next meeting (ideally in three months’ time). Obviously this is only a guide and may not suit all businesses, however I can say is that we have dozens of plumbing business using this process and the results are nothing less than sensational.

Case study

What do you need to do now? This particular client was working from the home office and garage with six team members (including husband and wife owners) and an annual turnover of 680k. The owner was still on the tools but had been trying to get off for years. Major goals within first year: Get off the tools and separate business life from home life by getting into a factory as well as be profitable because that sometimes was a struggle. Using the strategic planning process outlined in this article, a plan was formulated. We looked at why the business owner always ended back on the tools and concluded it was due to a combination of a lack of team training, regimented team communication and some people doing the wrong roles. The plan called for regular team meetings with training sessions included. Each team member was responsible for training and they were to take it in turns.

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A “roles and responsibility” charter was created so everybody knew who was doing what. This put a halt to much of the finger pointing and meant the business owner wasn’t getting pulled back in to sort out issues. This gave him more time to plan his jobs and organise his team, which ensured higher productivity due to less wasted time with the net result being more profit per job. Within two months the business owner was off the tools for good and after five years still hasn’t needed to go back! They also purchased a new factory not far from home 12 months after doing their first strategic plan. Turnover is now three million dollars a year with a very decent net profit! Best of all they frequently takes breaks and holidays with their young family because they run their business instead of the business running them.

Simple, get yourself a plan template, then set a day aside with the key stakeholders and start asking, listening and writing everything down. Go back over the notes and choose the top two or three things that you believe are holding you back, and then create a plan to eliminate them over the next three months. Involve as many of your team as you can. By doing so you’ll strengthen the buy-in and support any team building programs you have on the go. You will also need an “accountability” person. Without someone to hold everyone to account, the chance of following your plan through to completion will diminish considerably. Choose someone who has emotional distance from your business and won’t be afraid to tell you the truth. Brett Burden has been assisting business owners since the late 80s. To find out how he can help your business call 1300 971 763 or visit actionvictoria.com.au


Build a business that can set you free! FInRstaEnEt referrals E-book

Simple strategies to build a referral based business. Visit our website to redeem your copy!

Action Victoria, the most experienced business advisory and coaching organisation of its type in Victoria, have the tools, resources and knowhow to free you from: • • • • •

Working on the tools. Working ridiculous hours to make ends meet. Competing on price alone. Day to day administration. The business. Perhaps you’re evaluating your exit strategy, including how to maximize your return.

For a no obligation free evaluation on where your opportunities may lay call 1300 971 763 and ask for Brett Burden (The Master Plumbers member Affiliate).

www.plumberbusinesscoach.com.au AFFILIATE MEMBER

See what other Master Plumbers members have to say: “Able to cut my hours and get completely off the tools within 2 months” Andrew – North Box Hill “Thanks for helping us find the blind spots and guiding us to gain better control of our business” Denise – Paterson lakes “Our turnover has increased by 135% and profits have also risen by 95%, all that in 8 months.” Michael – Heathmont “We’re now just about out of debt and now heading in a direction we never thought possible” Andrew – Fitzroy visit www.plumberbusinesscoach.com.au/clientsuccess for more


Copper: All fired up Built in safety with a well designed, copper sprinkler system is not only cost effective, but will keep working for a very long time says John Fennell, CEO, International Copper Association Australia.

Building in protection from fire damage all year round or from the intensity of bush fires is now a big issue after major fires in the last ten years and warnings of longer, hotter and drier summers to come. And that means it should also be on the plumbing industry’s agenda too, as home sprinkler systems get a lot more attention from the public, government, fire authorities and insurers. Local Councils are usually the controlling authority responsible for Building Approval in bushfire prone areas, but in practice approval must generally also be sort from the local bush fire authority and/or a Qualified Bushfire Consultant. In NSW for example, the Rural Fire Services document “Planning for Bushfire Protection” is a guide for council planners and owners when building in such locations. When you realize that this document deals with the type and size of water supply services, gas services, pumps, taps and hoses, as well as sprinkler systems you understand why plumbers really do need to understand the issues involved and be skilled in handling them.

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Putting out fires Australian Standard AS 5412-2012 Bush Fire Spray Systems specifies the guidelines for sprinkler systems including the flow rates and capacities necessary to provide protection. Once again plumbers should consult this document when developing or installing a sprinkler system. There are many custom designed sprinkler systems suitable to protect homes against all bushfire risks incorporating the complete covering of walls and roof with water sprays. Vulnerable areas such as decks, windows, gas bottles, etc. can all be provided with water coverage. The amount of water and the correct sizing of pipeworks and pumps are subject to calculations to ensure the Hydraulic performance of the system. David Burrell of Fire Sprinklers Australia (firesprinklersaustralia.com) recommends that systems should include special flame and heat sensors that triggers the automatic activation of the sprinkler system when an approaching fire and/or smoke is detected-and notifying the property owner too-as well as a water based fire suppressant. A sprinkler system constructed of copper pipe and mounted to the roof of your home is a great solution. Only metallic pipes can be used in exposed areas as plastic pipes do not maintain their integrity when exposed to the high temperatures.

longer, hotter and drier summers means bushfires are once again on the agenda

It’s been estimated that the basic design and installation of a small cottage fire sprinkler system is approximately 7 to 8% of a building’s total cost. Any design includes a water storage tank to provide at least 30 minutes of water supply, an appropriately sized diesel pump, a 40-50 mm copper water service and a number of critically sited and calculated sprinkler heads. An independent dedicated water supply is recommended so manual operation of the system is not required. The use of copper plumbing for fire application is common sense as it is the same material as used for the domestic water supply. The pipe size of the copper tube offers a superior flow rate whilst providing an excellent fire and pressure rating compared to alternative materials. It’s ideally a job for skilled plumbers, they should always seek advice from industry professionals like a Qualified Bushfire Consultant. To find out more about the benefits of copper, visit copper.com.au Note: imagery courtesy of Blaze Control (blazecontrol.com)


General Protections / Adverse Action Provisions Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, discusses the ever-evolving area of general protections and adverse actions Throughout the course of 2014, a number of Master Plumbers’ members have been subjected to a claim that has alleged that they have breached the general protection provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (C’th) (FW Act). In all instances, this has been as a result of ignorance of the law, not a deliberate attempt by the employer to deny their employee an entitlement or a right. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

It needs to be understood that the general protections / adverse action arena is an ever evolving aspect of workplace relations laws. Unlike unfair dismissal, there are no jurisdictional restrictions on an employee (or ex-employee) in bringing an application. In some instances, this has meant that the ex-employee has sought to dress up their claim as a general protections / adverse action claim, rather than an unfair dismissal claim. It should be noted that the general protections provisions not only apply from the minute that an employee commences with the employer, but also to a number of pre-employment scenarios.

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What are general protections? There are in effect four different types of general protections. Those being: • workplace rights (employment entitlements and the freedom to exercise and enforce those rights / entitlements); • industrial activities (the right to be, or not to be, a member of a union); • discrimination; and • sham contracting. Section 342 of the FW Act provides a number of different situations in which adverse action can be taken. For example an employer can take adverse action against an employee, if the employer dismisses the employee; injures the employee in their employment; alters the position of the employee to the employee’s prejudice and discriminates between the employee and other employees of the employer. Additionally, a prospective employer can take adverse action against a prospective employee if the prospective employer refuses to employ the prospective employee or discriminates against the prospective employee in the terms and conditions on which the prospective employer offers to employ the prospective employee. On the other hand, an employee can take adverse action against their employer if the employee ceases work in the service of the employer and takes industrial action against the employer.


mastering workplace relations

Action presumed to have been taken Section 361 of the FW Act provides that: “ (1) If: (a) in an application in relation to a contravention of this Part, it is alleged that a person took, or is taking, action for a particular reason or with a particular intent; and (b) taking that action for that reason or with that intent would constitute a contravention of this Part;

it is presumed that the action was, or is being, taken for that reason or with that intent, unless the person proves otherwise.”

As a consequence, if an application is made under the general protections / adverse action provisions it is presumed that the alleged action has actually been taken by the person against whom such allegation is made. So, in other words, if an employee alleges that they have been terminated for a breach of their workplace rights, the employer is presumed to have breached their workplace rights. The employer would be required to demonstrate to the Court that the reason for their actions was in fact not the reason stated by the employee, but was in fact another reason/s; a reason/s that had nothing to do with the alleged breach of the workplace right. In Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education v Barclay (which was finally determined by the High Court of Australia), the Chief Executive Officer of the TAFE was called to give evidence. The CEO convinced the Federal Court of Australia that the TAFE’s actions (and reasons for taking such actions) were not because of Barclay’s union membership, or his position in the union, but was in fact that Barclay breached a policy of the TAFE.

Process The initial stages of the general protections application are very similar to those of an unfair dismissal application. The employee, or ex-employee, will lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission (FWC), in which they will allege that they have had adverse action taking against them for a prohibited reason. FWC will then provide the employer with an opportunity of responding to the allegations raised by the employee, or ex-employee. Once both sides have submitted their respective positions to the FWC, the FWC will undertake a conference. During the Conference, the parties will be given the opportunity of trying to settle the matter. However, if the parties cannot reach a settlement, then the FWC member will be required to provide the applicant with a Certificate. The FWC Certificate may do two things. The first, is to advise the parties (and others) that the application could not be settled by the parties. The second, is to advise the parties (and others) that if the FWC Member feels that there is no reasonable prospect of success if the application proceeded to Court, then the FWC Member needs to make note of that. Once the FWC Certificate is issued, the applicant needs to make an election to take the matter to Court. This election needs to be done within fourteen (14) days of the FWC Certificate being issued. As an alternative to going to Court, the parties may agree to allow the FWC to undertake a consent arbitration of the matter.

If the matter proceeds to the FWC and the FWC finds that the application has been proven and that the alleged general protections / adverse action had been taken, the FWC may make one (1) or more of the following orders:• order the reinstatement of the ex-employee; • order payment of compensation; • order payment for lost remuneration; • order maintenance of the continuity of the ex-employee’s employment; and / or • order that the ex-employee’s continuous service with the employer be maintained. If the matter proceeds to Court and the Court finds that the application has been proven and that the alleged general protections / adverse action had been taken, the Court has similar powers to that of the FWC to make an order. Whilst the FWC is generally speaking a cost free jurisdiction, the Courts are not. The losing party may be ordered to pay the costs of the other side. In certain circumstances the FWC may make a costs order against an applicant.

Summary A general protections / adverse action claim can be a long drawn out affair. The arguments can raise complicated matters. It can be very expensive to defend – given the presumption of guilt in the FW Act. The FW Act is the FW Act. It is not going to be changed in a hurry. The general protections /adverse action provisions reconfirm the need to have appropriate processes and procedures in place, so that the possibility of being accused of undertaking general protections / adverse action against an employee, or prospective employee, is limited as much as it possibly can be.

As is the case with a workplace/industrial relations situation, it is always best to get advice or assistance prior to taking any action. Members can access a huge range of workplace relations resources online at plumber.com.au. Alternatively members who need advice or guidance can contact Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, on 03 9321 0720 or 0425 790 722 or via email at phil.eberhard@plumber.com.au www.plumber.com.au | 47


New tech

doubles plumbing business revenue A lot of plumbing businesses struggle with paperwork, and spend unnecessary time invoicing and communicating with clients. It’s a competitive industry, and companies that are not efficient can get overwhelmed or worse held back. For one New South Wales based plumbing business the increase in jobs caused the owner to look for a solution that would help him handle the pressure and in turn, increase his revenue. With mounting paperwork and double-handled invoices, Pure Plumbing Professionals (PPP) owner, Jerram Chippindale was beginning to become increasingly overwhelmed. “I kept re-writing the to-do list, but it kept getting longer and I had no way to manage it,” he said. “Invoices were slow to process and communication with customers was not as consistent as it should have been.” It all came to a head when Jerram received a call at 11pm one night from a frustrated customer. A week later, he implemented a cloud-based platform called Fleetmatics WORK that would help him manage and streamline the businesses’ operations. The solution gave him a view of the entire business: a dashboard to see all his clients, suppliers, jobs and employees. There was less chance of forgetting anything important, especially as the business expanded. It also made managing accounts simple, putting them all in one place and giving access to jobs over the past months or even years. “It sped up the invoicing process, cutting out unnecessary admin like phone calls, printing and scanning,” he said. “But, it didn’t just remove the clutter and paperwork; it made almost every job in the office more efficient.” For Jerram, it’s also helping his plumbers out in the field. “Having Fleetmatics on their smartphone, my workers can invoice and chat with clients far more easily than they used to,” he said. “They can get updates without having to wait for a phone call asking me when and where they need to be for a job.”

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As a result, inefficient practices, such as doubled-handling paperwork, stopped and the online mobile invoicing meant workers didn’t need to stop or call a customer to receive dispatching orders. Jerram’s workforce also became more productive as his plumbers could get to more jobs done within one day.

Most importantly, PPP’s revenue increased over 60 per cent from January 2014 to July. With the boost in operational management, PPP have also been able to lift their professional image and begin to pick up business from commercial customers across the New South Wales region.

“Business became more consistent as our communication with customers became more professional,” said Jerram. “Invoicing is now standardised, and customers have stopped receiving them late.”

Fleetmatics provides intuitive and cost-effective web-based solutions to provide fleet operators with visibility into vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage, and other insights into their mobile workforce, enabling them to reduce operating and capital costs, as well as increase revenue. For more information about Fleetmatics visit fleetmatics.com.au


The importance of

personal accident and illness insurance We all hear stories of incidents happening in the workplace and at home, from slipping on tiles, to falling off ladders. While you can implement safe work practices, occasionally these incidents are unavoidable, and can result in serious injury. As a sole trader, have you thought about how a broken leg or serious illness could affect your personal finances, and ultimately your livelihood? These events may not be limited to the physical injury or sickness itself, there can often be financial consequences. It may be worthwhile for you to consider arranging a personal accident and sickness policy, to seek to minimise the financial burden that can be caused from long term absence from work. This type of policy can respond as a specified weekly benefit providing financial compensation for a percentage of your former earnings. The insurance can provide the option of either a 52 or 104 week benefit period, in the event of an accident or sickness covered by the policy (excluding pre-existing conditions). To find out more information on how plumbers can benefit from a personal accident and illness policy, contact Marsh Advantage Insurance today: 1300 300 511 mpib.australia@marshadvantage.com

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Case Study: Jeremy, a sole trader operating in the plumbing industry, twisted his knee whilst completing a job. The injury was severe, and required surgery. Jeremy was entirely and continuously unable to attend work for a total of 10 weeks following the accident. After the 14 day waiting period, Jeremy was able to claim 85% of his pre-disability earnings (as calculated by the insurer in accordance with the policy) for the remaining eight weeks he was off work.

Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 087 358 303, AFSL 238 369) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. The personal accident and illness policy is underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s (the Underwriters) and arranged through AFA Pty Ltd (ABN 83 067 084 333, AFSL 247122) who has been given a binding authority to issue, vary and cancel this insurance on behalf of the Underwriters. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia receive a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage Insurance, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. The case study contained herein is for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as governing any specific facts or circumstances. All policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions are subject to individual underwriting review and are subject to change. Marsh Advantage Insurance cannot provide any assurance that insurance can be obtained for any particular client or for any particular risk. This article contains general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions exclusions and limitations of insurance cover and before decided whether a policy suits your needs please refer to the specific Product Disclosure Statement which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd.


To find out more about obtaining business insurance, call Marsh today: Marsh Pty Ltd trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) can arrange insurance for all of the aforementioned risks, and a number of other products designed to cover you and your business, including:

• • • • • •

Income Protection Insurance Motor Vehicle Insurance Business Insurance Machinery Insurance Household Insurance Tools Insurance

Please contact a Marsh representative to discuss your individual needs: Call 1300 300 511 Email mpib.australia@marsh.com Visit www.marsh.com.au

marshadvantage.com.au/plumbers

NEED PERSONAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE? TALK TO US

At Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust), we are all about fast, easy, and competitive insurance, specialising in arranging cover for small and medium sized businesses around Australia. With a team of brokers dedicated to servicing the needs of plumbers. Contact us, the appointed insurance broker to the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, for an obligationfree quote. Call: 1300 300 511 or Email: mpib.australia@marshadvantage.com

For the full terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the insurance product, refer to the Policy Wording, which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd. *Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303 AFSL 238 369). MPIB arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. The MPIB logo and MPIB brand name are owned by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under licence by Marsh Advantage Insurance. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by MPIB, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. 14/0006

www.plumber.com.au | 51


What lies beneath? A reminder to avoid damage to underground infrastructure and always Dial Before You Dig

Dial Before You Dig is a national community service designed to prevent damage and disruption to the vast underground pipe and cable networks around Australia. These underground assets provide the community with the essential services such as electricity, gas, telecommunications and water. Dial Before You Dig acts as a single point of contact between underground asset owners and excavators.

directly to the excavator with information on the location of underground pipes and cables – this information is normally in the form of plans. Excavators can then take these plans onsite to ensure they have the best information at their fingertips before beginning their project.

• Once you find any underground pipes and cables by potholing, protect them before excavation begins.

Using the free Dial Before You Dig service should always be an excavators first point of call.

Safe excavation is not just about lodging a Dial Before You Dig enquiry. There are still plenty of things to get right after that.

• Ensure all workers onsite communicate about the excavation process.

It is important to find out as much information as you can about underground infrastructure before excavating. Damaging these networks can result in large financial penalties, injury and in the worst-case scenario, even death, so it is vital that an enquiry is lodged with Dial Before You Dig for every project.

It is important to remember that excavators have a Duty of Care around underground pipes and cables. In observing your duty of care, the following points are worth noting:

• If damage to an underground asset occurs, you must advise the asset owner immediately.

Lodging an enquiry is a simple process. All excavators, including plumbers, should advise Dial Before You Dig of where they intend to work by lodging an enquiry online at www.1100.com.au. They can also lodge the enquiry by contacting our call centre on 1100 during business hours or by downloading Dial Before You Dig’s free iPhone app.

• It is important that all plans are received and understood before work commences.

Details of the enquiry, including the location, date and type of work being carried out, are then sent to infrastructure owners with assets in the vicinity of the project. These asset owners then respond

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• Information regarding the location of underground pipes and cables should be requested well in advance of any excavation activities.

• If the scope of works changes, or plan validity dates expire, you must submit a new Dial Before You Dig enquiry. • Observe your work site closely and look for clues of underground infrastructure – pits, marker posts, warning signs, meters. • Always proceed with caution and carefully excavate by hand (potholing) when working close to underground networks.

• If you need more assistance from an underground asset owner then use the contact number provided on the plans.

If Dial Before You Dig is not used, the likelihood of damage to telecommunications, gas, electricity, water pipes and other infrastructure is significantly increased. When damage occurs, it can lead to service interruptions, delays to a project, and costly repair bills for the excavator. Safeguarding Australia’s underground infrastructure is a strong focus for Dial Before You Dig and it’s important to remember that as more underground assets are being installed on a daily basis, the risk of an excavation incident continues to grow. Dial Before You Dig now has over 600 infrastructure-owning members across Australia and this number continues to rise. These infrastructure owners are not limited to the main utilities, they also


include a range of other industries such as government, manufacturing, information technology, education and Local Government. You never know what may be lying beneath the surface of your worksite! We are delighted that the message to excavate safely around underground assets is rapidly spreading with over 1.1 million enquiries lodged throughout the country last year. With an ever improving culture of safe work practices and improved training methods, the service is being used more than ever before.

To further assist plumbers and other excavators to practice safe excavation, Dial Before You Dig has designed a range of educational resources, including training and best practice documents – all of which can be found on our website www.1100.com.au.

To find out more about the Dial Before You Dig service, visit www.1100.com.au for further information and details of your local state office.

NEW

Is it time to get hands on with your super? Cbus Self Managed is now available Cbus has introduced a new investment option that allows you to get hands on with your super. With Cbus Self Managed, eligible members can invest their super directly in a range of Australian shares, Exchange Traded Funds and term deposits via a secure online platform. You get the choice and control of a self-managed super fund (SMSF) without the administration and compliance burden.

To find out more, visit www.cbussuper.com.au/cbusselfmanaged Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Contact 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au for a copy.

www.plumber.com.au | 53


What’s NEW at Ancra? the COMPACT CORDLESS CRIMPING TOOL GRIP Six tons of power in the palm of your hand. So what is SO UNIQUE about Ancra’s crimping tool? Well, not only is it the most accurate approach to crimping pipe, it can also be used with the REMS Mini Tongs. This allows the user to interchange tongs between the REMS Mini-Press and Ancra’s NEW Crimping Tool quickly and easily, making your job easier. Ancra’s compact lightweight, battery powered press tool weighs only 2.2kg and connects 16mm, 20mm and 25mm copper tubing and up to 32mm in other fittings in 6 seconds. It’s slim physique allows a comfortable one hand operation of the tool keeping the other hand free to hold and position the fitting. It’s unique slimline styling allows for easy reaching in tight spaces. When a press is complete, the jaws automatically release signaling that the tool is ready for the next press. If the press jaws need to be opened before a press is complete, the operator can simply push a hydraulic release button on the backside of the tool. This fast, accurate and reliable NEW product is “Hot off the Press” and available from Ancra in December 2014.

For your nearest Ancra stockist Call 1800 4 26272


product news What’s new at Ancra? The Compact Cordless Crimping Tool

Viega opens Australian showroom and training centre

Grip six tons of power in the palm of your hand.

Viega has opened its Australian showroom and training centre – and the feedback has already been resoundingly positive. Located in the Norwest Business Park in Sydney’s Baulkham Hills, the purpose designed and built facility has a seminar centre and showroom to enhance the local market’s understanding of Viega’s products, solutions and technical capabilities.

So what is so unique about Ancra’s crimping tool? Well, not only is it the most accurate approach to crimping pipe, it can also be used with the REMS Mini Tongs. This allows the user to interchange tongs between the REMS Mini-Press and Ancra’s NEW Crimping Tool quickly and easily, making your job easier. Ancra’s compact lightweight, battery powered press tool weighs only 2.2kg and connects 16mm, 20mm and 25mm copper tubing and up to 32mm in other fittings in 6 seconds. It’s slim physique allows a comfortable one hand operation of the tool keeping the other hand free to hold and position the fitting. It’s unique slimline styling allows for easy reaching in tight spaces. When a press is complete, the jaws automatically release, signaling that the tool is ready for the next press. If the press jaws need to be opened before a press is complete, the operator can simply push a hydraulic release button on the backside of the tool. This fast, accurate and reliable NEW product is Hot off the Press and available from Ancra in December. For your nearest Ancra stockist call 1800 4 26272

“The Viega Group is among the leading manufacturers of installation technology worldwide and is known for quality, innovation and service,” says Rod Luker, national sales manager for Viega Australia. “Our new showroom is designed to increase awareness of Viega and its solutions, showcase our products and educate our existing and prospective Australian customers on the features of our products.” The 200m² facility, which includes a mezzanine level, features a seminar/ training area, in addition to the showroom where a range of Viega products are featured.

The latest range from Kohler The ancient Chinese philosophy of ‘Wai Yuan Nei Fang’ – a person should be rounded (and dynamic) on the inside, square (and disciplined) on the outside – was the key inspiration for the latest range of bathroom tapware and accessories from Kohler. Strayt, one of the most contemporary of Kohler’s many collections, features a perfectly proportioned profile of clean, fine lines melding into uninterrupted fluid curves – a shape that is repeated throughout the basin, bath and shower mixers plus all of the accessories. Each piece is testament to the utmost integrity in design and will enhance the overall aesthetics of bathrooms, ensuites and powder rooms. Tapware in the range comprises a standard and tall basin mixer, both 5 star WELS rated, plus bath/shower mixers with and without diverter. Accessories include shelves and robe hooks plus soap, toothbrush and toilet roll holders in a corrosion and tarnish-resistant polished chrome paired with clear acrylic. To find out more visit kohler.com.au

Training sessions are designed for various trades and professions including engineers, designers, hydraulic consultants, architects, builders and major plumbing contractors. Viega employees in Australia are also trained at the facility. “The general consensus from visitors is that they have developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of Viega and our varied solutions,” Robert adds. To find out more visit viega.com.au

www.plumber.com.au | 55


product news The multifunctional plumbers tool

Remote control jetting

With a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating, the unbreakable HiLux 4x4 is tough

In drought conditions trees seek moisture from drains and sewer lines. The roots cause blockages in sometimes difficult to access locations. The new Aussie Viper mini reel is a lightweight, portable reel with control lever and 60 metres of sewer cleaning hose. It is designed for use with any high pressure water blaster or sewer cleaning jetter up to 5,000 psi. For example it can be teamed with the Aussie Cobra, Australia’s most popular purpose built drain cleaning jetter.

Safety is a top priority in the plumbing industry no matter what the task. So it makes sense that fleet vehicles meet the same standards that are set for worksites. The Toyota HiLux 4x4 range meets all the challenges a plumber can expect to face and much more. HiLux is renowned as a true workhorse – tough as they come, versatile and good-looking to boot. With the benefit of a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating, its popularity as Australia’s favourite 4x4 ute is assured. No matter which HiLux 4x4 model you choose, you’ll drive easy knowing you have the protection of dual front, side seat and curtain shield airbags. Passengers will also feel more secure with a rear centre 3-point seatbelt. All terrain tyres on the SR 4x4 keep HiLux firmly on the road, switching from wet to dry more safely. Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution ensures HiLux stops fast and stops safely when needed. Vehicle Stability Control makes driving smarter and cornering safer, no matter where a job takes you. And Traction Control gives drivers the confidence to push on with the job, even in the toughest terrain. Safety enhancements aren’t the only selling points though. The powerful HiLux 3.0-litre Turbo Diesel engine delivers up to 343Nm of torque, along with improved fuel economy*. Add in a 2,500kg towing capacity** with a braked trailer, and tough jobs get even easier.

In-car technology makes it easier to get the job done too. The HiLux SR and SR5 models both have steering-wheel controls that operate a multi-information display, along with voice recognition and telephone functions. The touchscreen audio system is also complemented by auxiliary and USB inputs# for iPods®## and other devices, along with Bluetooth®^ connectivity. It’s improvements like these that show Toyota makes better business sense when it comes to delivering a fleet vehicle for the Plumbing trade. And thanks to Toyota Service Advantage, which ensures a set maximum payable amount for standard scheduled logbook servicing (normal operating conditions) until first of 3 years or 60,000kms, whichever occurs first (up to the first 6 services)† It’s no wonder HiLux is becoming more popular than ever. To view the full HiLux range visit toyota.com.au/hilux or contact your Fleet Specialist Dealer

Disclaimers * Fuel consumption and emissions will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/ accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR81/02 combined cycle. ** Towing capacity is subject to regulatory requirements, towbar and vehicle design and towing equipment limitations. # Not all devices will be compatible. Functionality varies depending on device. ## iPod® is a trademark of Apple, Inc. 3.5mm AUX input for portable audio players, USB input for some iPod/USB memory sticks. Not all devices will be compatible and functionality will vary depending on the device. ^ The Bluetooth® word mark is owned by The Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Not all devices will be compatible and functionality will vary depending on the device. † Maximum payable for standard scheduled logbook servicing (normal operating conditions) until first of 3 years or 60,000kms, whichever occurs first (up to the first 6 services). Excludes Government & Rental vehicles. Contact your Toyota Dealer or go to toyota.com. au/advantage for other exclusions, eligibility and full details.

The Aussie Viper mini reel is lightweight and super effective, providing plumbers with a major advantage in clearing blocked sewer lines or drains. The Viper consists of a 5,000 psi rated hose reel with stainless steel swivel mounted in a robust stainless steel carry frame to make it portable. An integrated control lever and onboard pressure gauge means the operator has remote control of the jetter. “The Viper means cleaning drains is a one man job instead of the two man chore,” said Aussie Pumps’ Joel Clydsdale. The reel carries 60 metres of 3/16th” R8 5,000 psi rated high pressure lightweight sewer cleaning hose. It can be equipped with a wide range of drain cleaning nozzles including the Aussie Turbo Root Mulcher. The Mulcher is a head designed to chop it’s way through tree roots in record times. The Mini Reel also comes with quick couplers for fast connection to the jetters existing sewer hose. It also has connectors to hold up to three drain cleaning nozzles so that the operator can select the right nozzle for the job without going back to the jetter or his van. Further information including a free DVD is available from Australian Pump Industries or through authorised plumbing supply shops throughout Australia and the South Pacific. Frederico Milani shows off the portable Aussie Viper Mini Reel that gives him control while cleaning drains remotely

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014


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TEL: 1800 039 642 WWW.FLEETMATICS.COM.AU www.plumber.com.au | 57


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58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014


product news Plumbspec Mildred Valve® Engineered in Australia to meet the requirements of AS/NZS 3500.4:2003 and ATS 5200.476, the Plumbspec Mildred Valve® joins the Evolve Group’s portfolio of plumbing product solutions. Like all Evolve products, the Plumbspec Mildred Valve® has been designed with the Plumber in mind, offering unique and innovative design characteristics making it simpler and faster to install. Features include: • Valve can be installed either vertically or horizontally • Battery operated – does not require connection to mains power • Contains visual and audible alarms that alerts users to multiple trip modes • Uses a robust and reliable contact based sensor trip mechanism • Can be installed up to 600mm from the base of the safe tray making it less troublesome for the plumber and more accessible for the end user • Low maintenance – only required to check unit and batteries every 12 months The Plumbspec Mildred Valve is now available at your local plumbing store. To find out more visit evolvegrp.com

Gas or Electric? Rinnai have extensive, high quality and reliable gas and electric storage tanks, designed as quick and easy replacement for existing systems. Going for gas? The Rinnai Hotflo range of 4 Star Gas Storage Hot Water Systems offers you a choice of 135 or 170 litre storage capacities and delivers mains pressure hot water to multiple taps at once. The tanks are for external installation only and are thermostatically controlled with safety temperature shut-off for peace of mind. The vitreous enamel lined steel tank offers a 4 star energy rating, inbuilt anode protection and a pressure temperature relief valve. A hard water anode variant is also available. Rinnai provide an 8 year cylinder warranty on both gas models. Eager for Electric? Rinnai Electric Storage Hot Water Systems come in a wide range of element sizes and capacities, from a compact 25L, through to a large family size 400L storage cylinder. These internal or external units are designed to suit the changing water usage needs of Australian families. The tanks are dual handed providing flexible installation and the standard sizing is perfect for an emergency changeover. Rinnai can provide single or twin element configurations and have a complete range of elements and anodes available. Rinnai also provide a 7 year cylinder warranty on all electric models. For more information on these systems, visit.rinnai.com.au

Buildex RoofZips® turn 10 years old! Here are 10 Reasons that make RoofZIPS® the most popular roofing fastener in Australia 1 First to Market The first with the Zips® Point, HiGrip® and Shankguard® features 2 10 Years Young (Old) RoofZips® has been the best and most consistent roofing fastener for the last 10 years; 2.3 billion have been installed on Aussie roofs since we launched. 3 Australian Icon RoofZips® – the only roofing fastener still made in Australia. 4 Trustworthy Your business and reputation is in Buildex’s hands – our warranty guarantees you peace of mind. 5 Protection which is fully tested Our exclusive Climaseal® coating with its proprietary recipe will keep your roof safe 6 Dependable and Reliable Buildex RoofZips® are the original, best and most dependable roofing fastener in the market, with the best zips point and corrosion protection available. 7 Innovation Based on Customer Feedback We have invested over $5M on innovation and testing over the last 10 years to ensure that we only deliver quality solutions. 8 Service which delivers Distribution points in every state of Australia help us deliver Buildex RoofZips® to you when you need them. 9 Great Finish and Colour Matching Because we use powder coating, on a high speed paint line, our finish is better than wet painting. 10 Proudly Manufacturing in Australia since 1917 Buildex strong, reliable and committed to designing and manufacturing fasteners for Australian Tradies here in Australia. For more information call 1300 368 101 or visit buildex.com.au

www.plumber.com.au | 59


product news Siddons Solarstream Bolt-on The Siddons Solarstream Bolt-on has unique benefits for areas with mineralised water and can be retrofitted to both electric and gas existing hot water storage tanks, ideally 250 or 315 litres. The gentle action of the coaxial heat exchanger heats the water by just 4 degrees with every pass through and therefore does not shock the minerals out of solution as can be the case with more powerful water heating methods. Also, the heat pump will turn off at 60 deg C no matter what the weather conditions so will not cause problems with mineral deposition from 60 deg C upwards. In mineralised water areas, Siddons recommends a polyphosphate water softening filter that will lengthen the life of the storage tank and everything else that comes into contact with hot water including tap ware and household appliances. Siddons recommends a maintenance program in mineralised water areas every two years to inspect/change the anode, PTR valve and flush out the tank and Bolt-on heat pump heat exchanger with a hydrochloric acid solution. Siddons can offer a mineralised water QIK kit including all of the necessary plumbing fittings to do the job right including an isolating valve on the flow and return lines with fitting to allow the heat exchanger to be easily flushed out. Siddons Solarstream is Australian owned, with local R&D and product development. The storage tanks for the Bolt-on/tank packages are made in Australia. The Bolt-on/tanks packages are very easy to transport and install around Australia, with tank and heat pump separate that can travel on a ute. Find out more at siddonssolarstream.com

60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Be impressed with Zetco In the last two decades, press-fit connection systems have gained huge popularity worldwide, and while press-fit ball valves have been available for some time in Europe and the USA, until now, plumbers in Australia have been limited to using press-fit connectors with standard threaded ball valves. After two years in development, Zetco Valves is proud to announce the launch of its new range of press-fit ball valves in sizes 15mm to 50mm, specifically designed for Australian copper tube sizes. With the press-fit connections built into the valve, Australian plumbers can now enjoy the benefits of faster, flame-free installation and fewer joints that press-fit connections provide, whilst doing away with tape or other sealants, saving time and money. The Zetco press-fit valves can be used with existing V-profile tools from Viega®, Rothenberger® and KemPress®, offering flexibility while avoiding costly outlay on new tools. The new press-fit range is manufactured to Zetco’s high standards in Italy, where it has undergone rigorous design and testing procedures to ensure that every valve in the range is of premium quality. The press-fit connections are compliant with AS 3688, valves for water are WaterMarked to AS 5830.1 and gas valves are AGA approved to AS 4617 and tested to DVGW VP 614. Zetco Press-fit is now available at major plumbing retailers throughout Australia. Find out more at zetco.com.au

Join the Rehau Genuine Advantage loyalty programme First class quality, rewarding benefits Join the Rehau Genuine Advantage program for a chance to win tickets to the NRL grand final footy weekend for 6 – worth more than $8000!* Being rewarded has never been so easy 1 Scan your code – scan the QR code found on the reverse side of every eligible pipe product label to register 2 Member benefits – receive access to exclusive member news, benefits and rewards 3 Claim prizes – for every scan receive a chance to win an instant prize, plus entry to our quarterly major prize draw Visit genuine.rehau.com.au for full details or for enquiries call 1300 729 830 or email RGA.enquiries@iclp.com.au *Visit the website for terms and conditions


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www.siddonssolarstream.com Australia’s Heat Pump Water Heater Specialists www.plumber.com.au | 61


product news Here’s the latest product news from Hunt Heating Solutions from the inside The Immergas Gaudium range is a new addition to Hunt Heating hot water and hydronic solutions offering. Designed specifically for Australia the fully integrated hydronic boiler and solar circuit, is ideal for family homes with multiple bathrooms and showers. Suitable for internal, external and recessed installations there are 2 versions available. The compact solution is completely packaged in a bespoke galvanised cabinet with endless colour options. Gaudium solar Base comprises of 160 litre twin coil stainless steel solar powered gas boosted hot water tank, high efficiency gas condensing hydronic boiler to service single zone high temperature hydronic heating system. Gaudium Solar ABT comprises of 160 litre twin coil stainless steel solar powered gas boosted hot water tank, high efficiency gas condensing hydronic boiler multiple zone and temperature circuits, ideal for servicing low temperature hydronic floor heating system and separate high temperature hydronic radiator circuit with individual electronic time and temperature control. Using the latest range of accessories the system has the capability of integrating a sanitary recirculation pump, remote modulating controller and weather compensation using the unique CAR V2 back light controller. Delivering comfort and efficiency without compromise the Gaudium solutions provide the ultimate in performance for high consumption multiple users. The product has been designed to ensure maximum ease of control and management. The front opening access allows total easy access for maintenance and adjustments to the boiler and solar controller.

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2014

Biomass Hydronic Boilers: new and exclusive

Go pro with the new light commercial range from Hunt Heating

MCZ

The Immergas Victrix Pro range is the new addition to Hunt Heating light commercial offering. Designed specifically for Australia the fan-assisted condensing boilers are available in four models ranging from 55kw to 120kw, IPX5D rated the four models are suitable for internal and external applications. The stainless steel isothermic condensing module and built in grundfos modulating pump provide best in class operating efficiencies. For projects with even higher load requirements and using the latest range of accessories the system has the capability of achieving a maximum output of over 600kW by cascading up to five boilers wall mounted, free standing and back to back fixing options.

Exclusive to Hunt Hydronic Heating MCZ are one of the leading European manufacturers of wood and wood pellet hydronic stoves for the home. Established in 1950 MCZ is a leading supplier of low carbon heating solutions MCZ are a major Italian exporter of wood pellet hydronic stoves and have maintained their outstanding reputation since production began. The Duo range certified by Hunt Heating for the Australian market delivers 22.3 kW with 92.5% efficiency with a choice of 3 ceramic finishes White, Black and Bordeaux. The Duo with HYDRO AIR technology is able to heat the room in which the boiler is installed, via forced ventilation, as well as the hydronic system. The management of the air power can be fully controlled by the user.

RED Exclusive to Hunt Hydronic Heating part of the MCZ group the Red range of hydronic wood pellet boilers and accessories. The Red range is available with power outputs from 24kW – 45Kw featuring the latest easy clean technology within compact dimensions. The Red range is certified by Hunt Heating for the Australian market. Delivery 93% efficiency the Red wood pellet range is an excellent low carbon hydronic and hot water heating solution.

Built from high-quality components, the range has been designed with larger-scale commercial and residential properties in mind. The Victrix Pro boilers also offer substantial ‘green’ benefits, such as energy efficiency, working at around 96.8% efficiency at maximum load condensing and low emissions, releasing less that 40mg of NOx per kWh, reduced consumption with very high modulation range 1÷10. The optional Boiler Cascade Manager spreads the load evenly between the boilers, optimising the ever-changing demands of the system. This helps to provide a rapid warm up time in response to multiple requests. Independently if demand falls low enough, a single boiler can run on its minimum output, minimising energy use. All products in Hunt Heating light commercial range also come with a three-year guarantee, offering added peace of mind to installers and specifiers. For more information please call Hunt Heating on 1300 00 1800 or visit www.huntheat.com.au


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Pressing instead of brazing with Viega press systems: Safe, clean and fast.

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Viega. One idea ahead! The perfect alternative to brazing: Viega press technology. As well as a maximum level of safety, it also saves a great deal of time. For more information: Telephone: 1800 484 342

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Australian Plumbing  
Australian Plumbing  

December 2014