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THE SUMMER ISSUE looking forwards to 2017


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welcome. F R O M



Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060 E 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

The summer issue Looking forwards to 2017 It’s that time of the year again – we’re all running around like turkeys in the mad scramble to get everything ticked off the list in time for tools down time. The promised land of ‘Tradie break-up’ is finally within our sights – soon we can all look forward to relaxing with the freshest edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine with a cold drink in the garden. We’ve got a real treat in store for our summer themed issue and are ready to kick off the festive season in style. As well as the usual goodies, we’ve plenty of exciting news and features to keep you busy until next Christmas. Feeling summery? Our coastal plumbers Member Profile special In Search of the Australian Dream might just inspire you to pack up your plumbing business and relocate to the beach. And if that hasn’t got you craving the coast, no doubt this edition’s instalment of From the Trenches interviewing ‘Britian’s most famous surfing plumber’ Andrew Cotton will give you inspiration in waves. We’re sure you’ll have a good laugh at our newest regular feature, The Hall of Shame – DIY Plumbing Disasters – catching shoddy attempts at plumbing from around the world red handed. Have you captured a crime against plumbing on camera? Don’t forget to share your photos to earn their rightful place in the Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine Hall of Shame. 4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

Who fancies a holiday? We’re taking you to Nepal with Aussie Action Abroad to hear about the great volunteer work of Victorian Plumber Dave Pearce and to the beautiful city of Copenhagen with Bryce Healy, the first ever apprentice to take part in the Master Plumbers World Internship Program. And last but not least, we have some mobilising inspiration to make 2017 the big year for your plumbing business, including hot tips from industry professionals about work life balance, sun safety in your workplace and how to make your tender a winner every time. Plus, if you think that the new year is the time for a new career, maybe our Plumbing Apprentice Trainers interview feature will spark your ambition to pursue a different path training the plumbers of the future. Wishing you the very best of the festive season to you and your family and a happy and healthy 2017.


Kate Stephenson Editor Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine

15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre 6/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9356 8902 F (03) 9356 8929

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

Editor Kate Stephenson T (03) 9321 0703 E

Advertising Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0798 E

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35 Welcome / 8 A message from the Association’s President and our CEO

Member news / 10 Industry news / 18 The hall of shame: DIY plumbing disasters / 23 New Feature: Catching crimes against plumbing red handed!

Plumbing: the early years / 24 Our homage to plumbing through the ages continues

Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards 2016 / 26 Passive fire protection / 32 A special report from Australian Building Surveyors magazine

In search of the Australian dream / 35 Inspiration to take your plumbing business to the beach!




Avoiding the swampy nasties this summer / 38

From the classroom to the tools and back / 46

Guest writer Neil Cox gives some ‘cool’ advice for the season

Amanda Ogilvie talks to those who turned training the next generation in the trade into a career

Down under in Denmark / 39 Bryce Healy tells all about his International Internship in Copenhagen

Aussie Action Abroad: volunteer special / 40 We talk to Seymour plumber Dave Pearce about his experience in Nepal

From the trenches / 50 Riding the waves with Britain’s most famous plumber

Mastering workplace relations / 52 Phil Eberhard gives his expert advice

Don’t blame it on sunshine / 42

Public liability overview / 54

Stay sun safe this summer with some great workplace advice from SunSmart

Insurance special

Boost your business in 2017 / 44 Two industry professionals share their smartest solutions

Australian copper / 56 The silent treatment

Expert tendering workshop / 57 Chris Dennis explains why every tender is a winner

Product news / 59

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.



from the President and CEO

The forecast is bright for 2017

The role of Government in our trade

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect on how far we have come over the last twelve months.

Most of us like to think that we run our own lives and businesses based on our own skills and judgement. However, we work in a ‘licensed’ trade in a ‘regulated’ work sector and this means that we interact with Government generated rules and standards every day.

2016 has been a fantastic and productive year full of great things and many milestones. This was the landmark year that Master Plumbers turned 125 years young, which we celebrated with an anniversary dinner at the Hotel Windsor back in August. Taking to the stage myself, it was a pleasure to acknowledge the modern day achievements and successes of the Association, thanking lifelong members and welcoming new. The spirit in the room that night was the embodiment of all we have stood for, endeavour to work towards and aim to be. More recently, the second Annual Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards was not only a chance to commend the triumphs of the brightest young apprentices of the present day, but also an opportunity to remember key industry achievers over the years and applaud those who have made outstanding contributions to our trade. It’s been a pleasure to celebrate the big moments that have made our industry what it is today together with you and our colleagues. And what a year it’s been… Looking forwards to 2017, Master Plumbers and Australian Plumbing Industry magazine will emphasise an ever-strengthening commitment to training, which is epitomised in the mission of PICAC. With new training institutions opening in both Geelong and Narre Warren, the future looks brighter than ever before. PICAC will continue to grow and ensure that the plumbers of Australia have access to world class training, ensuring the safety, sustainability and health of our communities for generations to come. For 2017, we will continue to invest, as we have always done, in future proofing our industry for our members and apprentices alike. We are committed to delivering the very best and highest standards in excellence and training for this year and the years ahead. All that’s left is to wish you many happy returns of the season and commend your hard work over the past year.

The existence of these standards can be beneficial – they make our trade more attractive. More people want to be plumbers and if this happens, then they make our livelihoods more secure. They become part of a partnership whereby the health and safety of the community are protected. A problem can arise, however, when Governments and regulators become complacent because of the good safety record and forget why these regulations were imposed originally. The level of enforcement falls – they start talking about ‘risk based’ strategies to cut costs where they seek to change the regulations to make them less onerous. The role of your Association is to keep reminding Governments and regulators of the reasons for the regulations and why they are important. There are a number of areas currently where this need is critical and you should get involved and work more with your Association. These are: • The renewal of the plumbing regulations in Victoria in 2018 – the existing regulations sunset • The current interpretation of offsite work being allowed as part of a ‘watermark’ certification rather than being plumbing work • The need to resolve the status of apprentices who have completely the Cert III component but have not passed their journeyman’s exam • The need for a building products approval scheme and the enhancement of the ‘watermark’ scheme • Reform of the way that legally enforceable Standards are made available to plumbers. Master Plumbers will continue to work on these issues with the Government on your behalf. You can follow progress in our e-news. Have a great break over Christmas and return safely for a busy and prosperous 2017.

Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

member news

A recap by Committee Member Geoff Moroney

Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day 2016 It was that time of year again, when plumbers, wholesalers, plumbing suppliers and tradies dug the golf sticks out of the garage, dusted them off (or in my case, sprayed the clubs and bag for spiders) and headed to Neangar Park Golf Club for the 26th Bendigo Plumbers Charity Golf Day. With all of the rain and rising rivers in the area, it was going to be touch and go whether the course would be open for play, or if the day would be washed out. But no, that famous country attitude of ‘she’ll be right mate’ was upheld and the weather was dry and 22 degrees, perfect for the most anticipated plumbing golf day in the land! When we got off the bus at the course, we were met with that ever familiar smell of BBQ onions coming from the RMC, where hamburgers and sausages were ready for all to have a feed before attacking the golf course. There were also a large number of prizes being sorted for the auction and raffles. After registering, we put on our ‘Rheem / Shark Bite’ 2016 golf shirts. All was set for a great day ahead. Golfers were welcomed by the organisers and Lee Emberton from sponsored charity Camp Quality was introduced to outline the Camp Quality values to give children living with cancer a better life. We heard the story of a father of one of the children with cancer. He talked to a very silent crowd of 120 golfers, of the importance of the support that Camp Quality gives to families. He also explained the importance of fundraising events like this golf day, that raise money to finance their projects. It was a great way to start the day.

Then it was the time for the cheque presentation to Camp Quality from the Committee, where myself, Phil Kelly and Brett Crapper, presented Lee Emberton a cheque for the amount of $20,000 which was gratefully accepted. Lee said this was one of the best run functions on his schedule. After all of the formalities were finished with, all of the groups were given their score cards and headed off to their designated tee off areas. The event was a ‘4 Ball Ambrose’ event, which allows all forms of golfers to play. There was some good, average and bloody terrible golf played on the day, but all knew why they were there and all had a great day. The winners of the main prize, the Alf McMeekan memorial, Handicap trophies were: Vince Musico, Gary Foster, Darren Alm and James Gregg The winners of the Ron Martin memorial, Scratch trophies were: Luke Coulson, Doug Hunter, Tony Wooley and Dave Harrison The winners of the much sought-after NAGA consolation trophies were: Darcy Crapper, Chook White, Jaydon McCarol and Joel Pianto

Thanks to our sponsors Elite Sponsors: Rheem; Reece, RMC Valves; Master Plumbers

Major Sponsors: Pentair Water; Zip Industries; Paltech; Grundfos; Billy Tapware; Bentons/Pipemakers; Tradelink; Seeley/Breezair; Cbus

Intermediate Sponsors: Hauslers; John Deere Echuca; Rinnai; Roofrite Guttering & Roofing; Sampford IXL; Xavier Hooppell; Technika; Coutta Group; Midland Irrigation; InSinkErator; Chris Hunter Sales; SteibleElectron; Stramit; Studor; Neangar Park Golf Club; Camerons As well as the sponsors, we would like to thank all of the people who participated in the day, including the Neangar Park Golf Club, the Neangar Ladies Committee, Jessica from Master Plumbers, Paula, the team from Camp Quality, the RMC boys for keeping the BBQ running and the greenkeepers who managed the drinks buggies. As well as the above, I would like to thank my wife Helen, Phil and Marg Kelly, as well as Brett and Jenny Crapper who organised this great day. It was all very worthwhile, especially when we could present such a large cheque to Camp Quality at the end of it all. Regards, Geoff Moroney

10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016


member news Tradelink and Master Plumbers Enterprise Business Breakfast Our Business Breakfast again saw a great turn out on 6 September, with many V8 Supercar racing fans in for a real treat with guest speaker and MC, Jason Bargwana in attendance. Jason’s first major success in motor racing came in 1992 when, sharing a Toyota Corolla with his cousin, he won Class C at Bathurst. He scored his first Championship round win in 1999 at Winton. In 2000 he took out the Bathurst title, with several more wins to follow. Jason retired from full-time driving in 2012 and many in the audience could relate to the challenges he now faces employing young staff as the owner and operator of four Red Rooster stores. Dave Wilson from MYOB then took to the stage and conducted a live demonstration, which showed the audience how to get the most out of their AccountRight software. Gerard Lyons from simPRO followed with insights into the five business indicators that drive a contractor’s bottom line. SP Solution’s resident Tradie Business Consultant, Sebastian Caruso, returned to the lectern once again and got everyone off their feet after he asked the audience to identify their biggest business challenge, and how this impacts on the success of a pricing strategy. Wrapping up the presentations was Tarun Bajaj from Commonwealth Bank who ran through what merchant tools are available to simplify the business of running a business, be it large or small. Our final Business Breakfast event for 2016 was held on 24 November and a review will feature in the first 2017 edition of the magazine.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor:

12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016



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member news


Master Plumbers visit Bendigo

Phil Eberhard, Senior Workplace Relations Advisor with Master Plumbers, and Rod Tresidder, OHS Officer, updated members on the latest developments in these areas.

always get consistency in service, product choice and product availability – no matter what Tradelink branch they shop at.

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members, affiliates and corporate partners who have joined the Association since September 2016.

Tradelink were also there to remind attendees of their Customer Service Promises. The promises set a minimum standard to ensure their customers

The event rounded off with networking drinks and attendees also received a packed show bag of goodies from our Corporate Partners.

Surefire Plumbing Services Pty Ltd

Managing employee deductions and OHS were on the agenda at the last Master Plumbers Forum held in Bendigo on 6 October.

Lara & District Plumbing Service

Marketing essentials for your business!

Septic Systems Australia MLW Plumbing & Drainage

At Master Plumbers we are all about supporting our members, and that is why we have developed “10 steps to marketing your plumbing business” – so you know how to grow a successful business. This booklet is your one-stop-shop for learning more about how to improve your marketing efforts. Taking your business to the next level starts with a simple and straightforward assessment of your business, and you can start now.

Haven’t received your copy yet? Want to learn more? Contact your Membership Services Team on 03 9629 9622 or email

Rix Roofing Pty Ltd INTA Plumbing & Roofing Kingspan Water Tool Repairs Depot Platinum Plumbing & Gasfitting Pty Ltd Pivot Plumbing Master Leak Detective The Blockage Hunters Caspers Plumbing & Gasfitting Exell Plumbing Services C Side Plumbing Pty Ltd Rapid Cold Airconditioning Pty Ltd

Get the right apprentice for your business

You only pay for the apprentice for the days they are working for you so there is no direct cost for holidays, trade school or sick leave. Master Plumbers Members get a discount of 2.5% on hire and an extra 2.5% discount if they pay within 14 days.

14 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

Splash Plumbing & Gas

For more information call: Pancho Grech 0418 562 604 Andrew Delidakis 0425 770 013 Jeff Rowden 0438 287 491

6/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T 1300 222 727 F (03) 9356 8929

training@pica /PICACaus ICACaus

-skill d re l an kil

Training to sk ill, u p-s

Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (the Master Plumbers group training scheme) has 1st to 4th year apprentices available, offering a cost effective and convenient solution to help grow your business.

Vicplumb Pty Ltd

PICAC TrAInIng SChedule

Victorian readers will have received their copy of the PICAC Training Schedule with this issue.

January–J une 2017


CEPUT EC Plumbing

Technical Education Centre

member news News from Master Plumbers Tasmania Welcome Members! – It’s been busy and getting busier in the lead up to Christmas! Moving into 2017, our economy is strengthening, particularly in the South of the State, where members have been awarded State government work as part of the re-development of the Royal Hobart Hospital. More major infrastructure works are on the way, with two multi-million dollar hotels being flagged for 2017-18. The State Government has also launched a Northern Economic Stimulus Package with 200 million dollars’ worth of private and government works being planned for 2017/18, which will assist greatly in job security in the Northern part of the State.

To complement our CPD Program we have just launched our CPD eLearn portal, in conjunction with Pointsbuild, and we are offering the following online courses provided by industry experts:

Online courses Basic Contract Law Using the NCC Understanding the Performance Based NCC NCC Volume Three Employment Law

Our CPD program has really taken off with a range of training being delivered, in conjunction with our associate members and industry partners, including:

Asbestos Awareness

• Waste Water Systems Design and Specifications

Dial Before You Dig

• Work Health & Safety Training Forum • AS:1428.1-2009 Amendment 1 Design for access and mobility • Fire Collar and Passive Fire Protection Training Forum • Plumbing State Regulations • Confined Space Operations • Working Safely at Heights • Gas Fitting Forum

Insurance Superannuation Safe Work Method Statements

We will be adding more online courses throughout 2017 so watch this space! 2017 looks like it’s going to be another great year for the Association building on the hard work of 2016. Special thanks goes to our President Michael Overeem and Board of Management for giving their time, expertise and hard work to the betterment of the plumbing and gas industry in Tasmania. To our members – have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and we look forward to working with you in 2017.

Tasmania’s new building and plumbing legislation – Consumer Building and Occupational licensing, Department of Justice Should replacing a shower head require the same level of council approval as installing an onsite wastewater management system? Should a plumber with ten years’ experience, regular professional development and a good compliance history require the same level of oversight as someone just out of TAFE? Tasmania’s new building legislation, which starts on 1 January 2017, takes a risk-based approach to building and plumbing approvals. We recognise that the current one-size-fits-all permit and inspection regime means that simple, low-risk projects often take too long and cost too much because they are required to follow the same regulatory process as work that has a high risk to public health and safety if something goes wrong. So if you’re renovating a bathroom with new fittings but the same connections, you may not need a permit from the local Council, or to have the work inspected. If you’re doing the plumbing for a new ensuite, you may not need a permit, but you’ll need to notify the Council that the work is taking place, and your work may be inspected.

Stay safe and enjoy the holiday season. Yours in plumbing

And if you’re doing commercial work or high risk domestic work, you’ll still need a permit, and your work will be inspected at key stages.

Angela Ayling Executive Officer

This risk-based approach will be balanced by a strong audit and compliance regime. We want to use our resources to focus on those areas where the risk is greatest and give licensed practitioners greater scope to demonstrate their professionalism and accountability. See regulation/review for more details. | 17

industry news PICAC NEWS World Plumbing Council updates The 11th World Plumbing Council (WPC) Triennial Conference for 2016 was held in Cape Town, South Africa this year and saw plumbing delegates from around the world gather to tackle key issues affecting the industry and the health and wellbeing of the international community. In addition to the impressive and informative seminars and networking that took place, the WPC also ratified the election of the new Executive Board for the 2016 – 2019 term. Among appointments of special note, Shayne La Combre, CEO of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) was elected as Chair of the WPC and Master Plumbers CEO, Ken Gardner, was also appointed to Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. Both Ken and Shayne have served for many years on the WPC Executive Board and their contributions and dedications were formally recognised with these new appointments. In accepting his appointment, Shayne says “I am honoured to accept the role as Chair of the World Plumbing Council and look forward to working with the newly appointed Executive Board to further promote and enhance the efforts of the WPC. As an international organisation, we have the ability to encourage and facilitate the sharing of information and best practice from around the world. I believe the global plumbing community has an important role to play when it comes to education and innovation

within the plumbing industry and I am excited to be able to represent Australia in this capacity and make a real difference to the industry globally.” This decision underlines the important role that Australia will play in the future of the WPC in achieving the organisation’s objective of developing and promoting the image and standards of the plumbing Industry worldwide. For the next three years, the WPC will dedicate its efforts to further lifting standards of plumbing and improving access to fresh drinking water and sanitation globally. The Council places a strong emphasis on the importance of education and training in reaching these key objectives. The WPC will continue to support vital projects around the world to promote education and training within the industry. PICAC was heavily involved in the Community Plumbing Challenge, a joint initiative between the WPC, IAPMO and WorldSkills, for both 2015 and 2016 – with a plan to further increase support and participation in the coming years. In this term, the WPC will use such projects to advance key messages, such as the importance of access to sanitation and clean drinking water, the dangers of asbestos and the disastrous effects of lead contamination in plumbing systems for the health and wellbeing of our communities. Under the leadership of the Executive Board, the WPC will take on a range of new initiatives and objectives, with key portfolios being managed by the board members around the world. The first strategic planning and program development session will occur in December this year, at the Executive Board Strategic Planning Meeting to be held in Hong Kong.

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

An example of this initiative has been demonstrated through PICAC, by holding the largest World Plumbing Day (WPD) event in Australia every year. WPD is a key initiative of the WPC and highlights the important role plumbing plays in the health, safety and sustainability of our community. The 2016 event held at PICAC was the most successful to date and saw over 450 industry representatives in attendance. Plans for 2017 WPD at PICAC are well under way and will see the biggest events yet, to be held at multiple PICAC campuses in Melbourne and Geelong. This current term will culminate in 2019, when Melbourne will be host to the 12th Triennial WPC Conference, which will run over three days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Melbourne Conference will no doubt be a testament to the dedication and efforts this Executive Board has shown to furthering the WPC and its causes. For more information on how you can be involved in World Plumbing Day at PICAC or the 2019 Triennial Conference, please contact Razia Dzananovic at PICAC on 03 9356 8905.

VBA NEWS Bendigo building site inspection program – a Government first

Dr Owen Donald appointed VBA Chief Commissioner Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has appointed Dr Owen Donald as the new Chief Commissioner of the Victorian Building Authority. Dr Donald has held board and directorial positions across state and federal jurisdictions in housing, health, research and social services. His previous chairmanships have included the Project Steering Committee for Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre, the National Housing Supply Council and Barwon Health.

Building offices, construction and demolition sites in the Bendigo area were the first to come under the scrutiny of a new multi-regulator approach to ensuring builders and tradespeople working in the construction sector are complying with the law. The VBA, WorkSafe Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) launched the Build Aware program on 17 October 2016. Build Aware aims to increase awareness among practitioners and consumers about the importance of being compliant with building, construction, environment, plumbing and OH&S laws and regulations.

The VBA’s interim chief, Brian Welch, will remain in the position until Dr Donald takes up his post in February 2017.

Regulatory requirements for the off-site construction of plumbing systems The VBA is aware of the growing practice of plumbing systems being constructed in locations such as factories and workshops before being transported to site for installation and commissioning. Examples of systems that are commonly constructed in this manner include bathroom pods, HVAC risers and skid-mounted heated water systems. The VBA has published a fact sheet clarifying the regulatory requirements applicable to the construction of plumbing systems in off-site locations to address industry uncertainty regarding the application of the regulatory scheme to this type of off-site construction of plumbing work.

All plumbers and industry stakeholders are encouraged to read this fact sheet and familiarise themselves with the methods of compliance accepted by the VBA for this type of work. This and other resources for plumbing practitioners can be found on the ‘plumbing practitioner resources’ section of The Master Plumbers do not agree with bathroom pods being regulated by a ‘watermark’ approval rather than a Certificate of Competence. Further discussions are underway.

Regulat ory plumbing requirements for the systems off-site Introdu ction




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1 | 19

industry news The IPSF’s Water Bubbler Project takes off

Become industry experts at the NCC information sessions

The IPSF is partnering with Diabetes WA, Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation and PHAIWA on the Water Bubbler Project, which will provide access to free drinking water in remote indigenous communities.

The National Construction Code (NCC) is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments developed to incorporate all on-site building and plumbing requirements into a single code. The NCC sets the minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia. The 2017 National Construction Code Information Seminars will include presentations from the ABCB, Standards Australia and your local Administration. The BCA information session is a half day program dedicated to the use and application of the BCA. Seminars will be held in Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. Registrants will also hear information on fire safety in high rise buildings, product certification and the latest updates on Australian Standards.

This project will increase access to free, filtered, chilled and palatable drinking water and has the potential to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks in remote Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia. Strategies include installing a water bubbler in close proximity to the community store and working with the community to promote healthy beverage choices. Find out more about how to support the project, get involved, or donate here water-bubbler-project

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

Places are filling fast so to secure yours visit and search ‘National Seminars.’

Movember reign If you thought you’ve been seeing a distinct increase in facial fuzz over the past month, you haven’t been imagining things. The good people at Movember have been doing everything they can to raise awareness of men’s health in 30 days of action aimed to stop men dying young. All manner of game-changing men’s health projects have been underway – even Melbourne’s trams and Sydney’s ferries have been sporting honorary stick on ‘taches. Master Plumbers and the Australian Plumbing Industry have big plans for fundraising next year – watch this space for how you can get involved – all suggestions welcome! And well done to all that pitched in to help this worthy cause this year!


New Skills Oz Executive Director announced The Skills Oz Board recently announced that Mr Phillip Charlton has been appointed to the new Executive Director position leading Skills Oz. “The Board of Skills Oz is delighted that Phillip will now lead Skills Oz as we work to deliver services for the construction and property services industries through a strong VET system,” said Chairman Noel Hamey. Skills Oz had sought an Executive Director to expand services in skills development, improving the quality of training and assessment for industry; develop training resources and undertake research to inform government policy in VET. Mr Charlton succeeds Mr Alan Ross, who stepped down earlier this year after almost 12 years in the position.

HFCs are history – the global agreement that’s set to change the world’s refrigerant policy There is global agreement to stop using refrigerants that cause high global warming. HFCs used in refrigerators, air conditioners and inhalers have been estimated to emit the equivalent of nearly 300 coal-fired power plants every single year. According to the Australian Refrigeration Association, natural refrigerants are inherently more energy efficient and effectively zero GWP. If you are considering an investment in HVACR equipment, be sure to consider the natural refrigerant alternatives and understand the cost and risks associated with using synthetic refrigerants regardless of their GWP. Look forward to an in depth report on the implications of this issue by an industry professional in the next edition of Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine or go to for the latest updates. | 21

industry news Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program for 2017 Rheem Australia has announced an enhanced Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program for 2017. The company’s CEO has urged apprentice plumbers across Australia to mark Monday 30 January 2017 in their calendars. “Since we launched the inaugural Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program, we’ve awarded $150,000 in grants to apprentice plumbers around Australia,” says Rheem CEO Matt Sexton. “For 2017 we’ve bolstered the grants after taking into consideration substantial feedback from apprentices, teachers and employers.” Whereas in previous years $1,000 grants were awarded to successful recipients, in 2017 there will be 10 grants valued at more than $3,000 each. Each grant will comprise $2,000 to go towards TAFE/RTO fees and text books, a $1,000 Tradelink voucher to go towards tools, plus an Irwin tote tool bag. “We have increased the value of the grants after assessing the myriad applications for previous grants and speaking with scores of apprentices, plumbing teachers and employers,” explains Matt. “From this feedback, we determined that the greatest financial hardships were affording fees, text books and tools. That’s why we’ve reassessed the grants program and boosted the value to provide even greater tangible assistance.”

22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

Rheem developed the grants program in 2012 for several key reasons: To thank the Australian plumbing industry for its ongoing support, to invest in its skills future and provide training support, and to help ease financial pressure on apprentice plumbers who’ve been struggling financially. Applications for the 2017 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program close on Sunday 12 March 2017. Successful recipients will be announced on Friday 14 April 2017.

Need a helping hand? Download the form from the website at Best of luck!




DIY plumbing disasters EW

N To make you laugh, cringe and question the meaning of existence, we are REGULAR proud to present our newest regular feature in Australian Plumbing Industry FEATURE magazine – The Hall of Shame: DIY Plumbing Disasters. The mind will truly boggle at these feats of sheer madness that brazenly laugh in the face of logic. It just goes to show why it’s crucial to choose a licensed/registered plumber to do the job properly and make sure things operate with safety and efficiency as paramount concerns. You can rely on a Master Plumber to get it right every time.






Got any DIY plumbing disaster snaps you would like to share? Send your pictures to for their rightful place in The Hall of Shame! ALWAYS USE A LICENSED/REGISTERED PLUMBER TO ENSURE YOUR PLUMBING DOESN’T END IN DISASTER! | 23

Plumbing. The early years. The makings of our industry from wartime to the 50s We’ve come a long way since the days of turn of the century plumbing hardships. With the steady march of progress in industry, innovations in plumbing technology and ideology have come on in leaps and bounds. The first half of the 20th century was the turning point in our industry where breakthroughs were made that define our trade as we know it today. Amanda Bain explores advancements that were made in the earlier years in the second instalment of our History of Plumbing series. All aboard the time machine! The years during the First World War were described in the minutes of the meetings as a miserable time for plumbers. Labour shortages, encroachment by builders on plumbing work, and unfavourable determinations by the Wages Board had many plumbers questioning their future. Materials were difficult to source and many young men volunteered for the Australian Imperial Forces, depleting the available workforce. But these challenges did not deter the industry; members of the Association assisted and serviced their communities outside the realms of plumbing by supporting the Red Cross and the Lady Stanley Appeal, and later, helping the State War Council to employ returned servicemen. With many plumbers serving their country in the armed forces, those still at home had to expand their skill sets to meet the demand of the advances in the industry. It was at this time that the plumbing industry saw the first of many technological revolutions taking place. Sewerage connections, septic tank

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

installations, electric bells, hot water radiators, and hot air warming and ventilation systems were all now part of a plumber’s repertoire. The landscape for how apprentices and plumbers were classified was also about to change. New legislation in the form of the Apprenticeship Bill, introduced in 1927, saw the establishment of an Apprenticeship Commission who regulated the system that ensured apprentices were properly indentured, registered and educated. The balance between technical knowledge and practical skills training for plumbing apprentices was an issue that continued to be of concern throughout the 1930’s, and was often a topic of debate between the Association and the Commission. As the City of Melbourne celebrated its centenary in 1935, the plumbing industry also achieved a significant milestone. The classification of plumbers was finally achieved in 1935 with an amendment to the Health Act. It laid down the standards and requirements for plumbers to be registered. It was fitting then that the

Association’s contribution to the City’s celebrations in this year was an exhibition on the history of plumbing. Throughout the Depression and during the Second World War, the plumbing industry was called upon to help stimulate business and overcome some of the devastating economical effects of this time in our history. The government initiated a project to sewer country towns around Victoria, and for plumbers such as George Stone, Frank Murray, Bill Gray and Charlie Allen, this was a timely and lucrative period. However, despite the prosperity experienced by some, a severe shortage of plumbing materials, along with home building grinding to a halt saw many plumbers leaving the trade for alternative employment.


Plumbers at war In 2015 to coincide with 100 years since the Gallipoli landing, Australian Plumbing Magazine featured four articles remembering some of the war heroes and Master Plumbers members who served their country. You can revisit their stories through the Australian Plumbing Industry magazine website archives at australianplumbingindustry. The shortage of materials and labour continued to plague the industry into the early 1950s making it more difficult than ever to run a successful plumbing business. But the Association was a constant force amongst these challenges providing support, advice and information to its members to help them through these difficult times. There were many reasons the 50s were a significant decade for the Association and its 50 year anniversary in 1952 was one of them. As part of the celebrations, which included another exhibition of plumbing equipment, they staged a rather unique competition – the search for Victoria’s ‘Bathroom Baritone’. The competition, which was broadcast on radio, required contestants to sing a song while standing under a running shower! The finalists were brought together at the Geelong Town Hall to sing under a specially erected shower on stage, with the

winner receiving a £50 prize. Can you imagine something like this being staged these days?! The Association also pressed on with its commitment to education of the trade and introduced an overseas scholarship to send the best plumbing student to England or America to gain experience in overseas methods. The first recipient of the scholarship in 1953 was Graham White. Master Plumbers is pleased to announce that its international scholarship program has been reignited this year, with Bryce Healy of Cooke & Dowsett visiting Denmark for five weeks. You can read about Bryce’s experiences on page 39 of this publication.

The 1950s were also a turning point for plumbers in how they operated, when it became more apparent that in order to succeed, they would need to run their trade as more of a business. The Association responded by providing lectures and advice on topics such as advertising, accounting, taxation and selling to women; the latter of which included the dubious advice, “Don’t put a housewife on the spot by upbraiding her for mistakes which necessitated the service call. It’s her mistakes which keep you in business”– something that would certainly not be tolerated by today’s standards!

The third instalment of our four part Association History Special will take us to the close of the 20th Century, and feature in the next issue of Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine. | 25

P LU M B I N G A N D F I RE I N D U S T RY AWA R D S 2 0 1 6

State’s top plumbers and fire protection professionals honoured at the

We’re still basking in the glitz, glamour and good news of our industry awards night, which took place on 15 October 2016. It was a chance to get together and commend the rising stars, unsung heroes and lifetime achievers from an industry that we are all very proud to be a part of. With talented speed painter Brad Blaze getting everyone in the spirit of things, Channel 7 Meteorologist Jane Bunn as our MC and band the Melbourne Hit Parade keeping us on the dancefloor ‘til midnight, it was certainly an evening to remember. Victoria’s top plumbers, fire protection professionals and companies were recognised for their achievements and contribution to the industry at the second annual Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 15 October. Driven by key industry stakeholders Master Plumbers, the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union (PPTEU) the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC), and the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA), the event brought together the plumbing and fire industries to recognise excellence in training and achievements of individuals and organisations in the field.

Ken Gardner, Chief Executive Officer of Master Plumbers, said the program was an important initiative for plumbing in Victoria – an industry that contributes significantly to the State’s economy, and employs more than 65,000 participants including large construction contractors through to many family-run enterprises.

The Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards recognised plumbers and fire industry professionals at various stages of their career, across a range of disciplines – highlighting female professionals, apprentices and indigenous workers. Nearly 450 industry members attended the event.

“We’re proud to be a founding partner in an event, which highlights the importance of safe, healthy and sustainable practice across the industry,” Mr Gardner said.

The highlights of the night were too numerous to mention, but among the most memorable were the moving speeches made by Doug McClusky and Vin Ebejer, dual award winners of the prestigious William P Hite Leadership Excellence Award. Their lifetime contribution to the plumbing industry, culminating in the establishment of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre was rightfully commended.

“It’s great to have an awards program that recognises excellence in the industry – not only among seasoned professionals, but also among up and coming Apprentices,” said Earl Setches, Federal President of the PPTEU. “By promoting the benefits of best practice, we hope to inspire innovative business activity that will help grow and shape the industry in coming years,” said Mr Setches.

A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS: City of Melbourne, RAW Recruitment, Incolink, Windsor Management Insurance Brokers, Plumbing Joint Training Fund, Maurice Blackburn, InSinkErator, simPRO, PICAC, Reece Plumbing, Energy Safe Victoria, Victaulic, Fire Industry Training and Tradelink, AG Coombs, Cbus, Victorian Building Authority, Commerce Press, IAPMO Oceana

Award winners and finalists Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award WINNER

Calan Haydon

Rose Curtis Award WINNER

The AG Coombs Mechanical Services Award WINNER

Jack James Fraser and Mountain


Lording and David Petrie

Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award WINNER

Calan Haydon Geschke Plumbing


Buck and Kelly Stallwood

Excellence in Sustainability Award WINNER

Cooke & Dowsett


Beachside Plumbing

Indigenous Professional Award WINNER

Kaelun Brown RAW Recruitment


Heaven and Kimberley Smyth

Amy Kosterman Select Plumbing Group

NA Smith Gas Award WINNER

Jarrad Gstrein Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria


Bell and Michael Caserta

Project of the Year Award WINNER

CBS Plumbing for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre


Excellence in Fire Protection Award WINNER

David Beaumont Network Fire Systems

NFIA Apprentice Award

Bradley MacKenzie Grant Fire Services


Omar Mohtadi


Excellence in Education and Training Award

for Webb Dock Expansion Project

Russell Menzies CEPUTEC

Cooke & Dowsett for Monash Childrens’ Hospital

Occupational Health and Safety Award

William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award WINNER



Steve Rocco Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union

Doug McClusky and Vin Ebejer | 27

P LU M B I N G A N D F I RE I N D U S T RY AWA R D S 2 0 1 6

Award winners

Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award

AG Coombs Mechanical Services Award

NA Smith Gas Award




Calan Haydon

Jack James Fraser and Mountain

Jarrad Gstrein Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria

“The Andrew Letten Gold Medal Award is a great honour and a career stepping stone – winners in the past have gone on to achieve great things in the industry. Apprentices are the future of our industry. We’re extremely proud of this historic award, which highlights and encourages outstanding performance among up and coming professionals.” Scott Dowsett, President, Master Plumbers


Frank Maskell General Plumbing Award PROUDLY SPONSORED BY REECE

Calan Haydon Geschke Plumbing “I pursued a career in plumbing because it is a respected industry that uses a broad set of skills to contribute to the health of the community. During three and a half years with Geschke, I have been exposed to a diverse range of projects. These include installing sanitary drainage on laboratories, hospitals, universities, schools and residential properties always with sustainability in mind. Climate change and population have stretched our energy and water capacities, but new, efficient technologies can work to rewind the clock towards a sustainable future.”

28 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

“My certificate III in plumbing led me to specialise in mechanical services plumbing. I have diverse experience in mechanical plumbing and don’t think there’s much I haven’t tried in the field. I have installed chillers, boilers, multiple front coil units, ductwork, multiple refrigerated systems and advanced plant rooms. I was runner up in the World Skills Plumbing Innovation Challenge in Perth in 2014 and competed in the regional Plumbing competition for Metropolitan Victoria in 2015. In the future, I would like to step up to become a leading hand in large scale projects.”

“Gas is a crucial part of plumbing and one of the most important to get right – if it is not installed correctly consequences can be fatal. I’m currently undertaking my Certificate IV in gas and have done gas mains for large multi-story apartment buildings, hooking up gas meters and sizing domestic housing gas runs. One day I would like to run my own plumbing and gas fitting business in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.”

Project of the Year Award

William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award

The Rose Curtis Award




Collingwood Building Services (CBS) Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Project

Doug McClusky and Vin Ebejer

Amy Kosterman Select Plumbing Group

“Collingwood Building Services (CBS) offer a range of plumbing and associated works across a broad range of large scale projects. The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre project was one of the key successes of the year. Some of the energy efficient initiatives that made the project thrive included a solar booster for the hot water service and mechanical heating water function used as a primary energy source. In addition, CBS worked to extend the main hot water pipework to minimise the run off of cold water all with the aim of reducing the energy footprint of the facility towards a greener future. Aside from the number of apprentices employed across the project, CBS were active ambassadors to introducing and exposing employees to emerging technologies that are expected to have a significant impact on the construction industry in the future.” Gerard Lynch, CBS Plumbing

The William P. Hite Leadership Excellence Award is presented to an industry participant who has excelled in a leadership role in the plumbing, fire protection or pipe trades industry, making a real difference for the benefit of all. To win the William P Hite Award is the sum of a lifetime’s work, the highest accolade you can win in our industry. This year the Award went to two of the industry’s true champions, Vin Ebejer and Doug McClusky. ‘Eight years ago Vin and Doug were given the task to set the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre up,’ says PPTEU President Earl Setches, ‘They brought two organisations that worked apart for over 100 years to come together for the purpose of industry training. What these two men have done is truly remarkable. Where we are at now and how we are pioneering training is unbelievable. Vin and Doug were major contributors to make the unthinkable happen.’ It is a testament to the wonderful contribution they have made over a long period of time and on behalf of plumbers past, present and future, Australian Plumbing Industry magazine would like to congratulate one of the most dynamic duos in the industry.

“Unlike other trades, plumbing has real variety. No two days are the same. There are so many opportunities in the industry. During high school I knew I wanted more than a desk job and I found just what I was looking for in plumbing. When you move the goal posts, you can do anything you set your mind to. Being often the only female on site is not a barrier – I find most job sites to be collaborative and inclusive – we’re all there to do a job and hard work pays off whoever you are. In the future I hope a long lasting career in plumbing will lead me to train and mentor new apprentices in the plumbing field – it’s a rewarding industry I would encourage anyone to be a part of.” | 29

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Award winners continued

Excellence in Sustainability Award

Indigenous Professional Award

Excellence in Fire Protection Award




Cooke & Dowsett

Kaelun Brown RAW Recruitment

David Beaumont Network Fire Systems

“After a career in mens’ Aboriginal health, I entered plumbing as a mature age apprentice specialising in drainage. I hope to branch out to gas once I have finished my apprenticeship. I understand how important sanitation is for community health and think good plumbing should be available for everyone. My long term goal is to start my own plumbing business and take on young Indigenous apprentices. I hope to have a positive impact on the community by being able to support and mentor other Indigenous people to get a trade.”

“I’ve worked in Fire Protection since the 1980s, managing major initiatives such as the Loy Yang Power Station, the World Congress Centre and the State Library Redevelopment – truly iconic projects of the times. In 1994, I started Network Fire Systems, my own Fire Protection company with John Potalej. The last 22 years have seen the company turn its hand to all kinds of fire protection including special hazards systems, hydrants, pumps, sprinklers. I like to think of myself as a forward-thinking contractor, quick to embrace and advocate new technology and work methods. Over the years, I’ve maintained an active membership of the National Fire Industry Association in Victoria. It’s also my priority to support and encourage younger contractors, apprentices and tradespeople in their burgeoning fire protection careers.”

Cooke & Dowsett bring 40 years of plumbing expertise and industry knowledge with a commitment to pioneering sustainable plumbing initiatives. Smart innovations for greener ideas across a range of projects include the 6 Star Solar Hot Water Systems, implementation of low flow fixtures and tapware, rain water reuse systems for flushing toilets and a sewer heat recovery system. Cooke & Dowsett see themselves as future leaders in providing innovative solutions, energy efficiency and sustainable plumbing options to Australia. They have set the standard in green plumbing in Healthcare at major hospitals as well as correctional facilities, laboratories, defence facilities and Green Star offices. The magnitude of these projects never overshadows a commitment to offering environmentally friendly options for all clients as a priority.

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016


NFIA Apprentice Award

Excellence in Education and Training Award

Occupational Health and Safety Award




Bradley MacKenzie Grant Fire Services

Russell Menzies CEPUTEC

“Fire protection provides crucial safety to the community. The work ensures that people are protected in their work and homes. The equipment I install means that if people are affected by fires, they are able to leave a building safely. I’ve participated mainly in the installation and construction of fire protection but can also demonstrate skills in service, maintenance and special hazard elements. I came second in the 2016 Fire Protection competition and as a result of this was given the opportunity to participate in the United Association competition held in at Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States.”

“Anyone involved in construction trade training will agree that the training of plumbers takes longer and is more expensive than any other discipline. But in today’s complex world, that training is an absolute necessity. And, because technology is continuously changing and advancing, quality plumbing trades training will always be an ongoing process requiring regular updates. The affiliation agreement between the PPTEU and the United Association has enabled me to be the first non-North American to complete the UA Instructor Training Program at Ann Arbor, Michigan. This 5 year accreditation process was only possible through the support I’ve received from PICAC and the Union. Since my return, I have worked to transfer a new breadth of knowledge and these standards of excellence from the USA to students back in Australia. As a reaction to this, new courses have been scheduled on the CEPUTEC syllabus. I am enjoying making such a progressive contribution to the Australian industry and aim to continue well into the future.”


Steve Rocco Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union “I started my apprenticeship in 1975, making this my 41st year in the plumbing industry. I completed my Advanced Diploma in OH&S in 2007, and have been employed as one of two OH&S Officers for the Plumbers Union for the past 8 years. These combined experiences place me in a unique position where I can work with many others in the industry to represent workers, assist HSRs, liaise with employers and influence regulatory change to maintain and improve a safe working environment for all who work in the plumbing industry.” | 31

Passive fire protection. Meeting DTS compliance with the BCA (NCC) isn’t a difficult concept/task for Passive Fire Protection once you take away the smoke and mirrors

When a catastrophe occurs the general kneejerk reaction is to look for someone to blame. Building Certifiers, Builders and Building Product suppliers have all come under the spotlight following on from the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne’s Docklands. In addition, Non-compliance is currently costing millions of dollars in rectification works throughout Australia. Therefore obtaining fully compliant documentation to adequately cover yourself, is paramount when installing or signing off on Passive Fire Protection Products and Installations. FRL’s and Passive Fire Protection Ensuring that your building is compliant by meeting the DTS Provisions of the BCA (NCC) using Tested Systems is generally a simple task when these steps are followed: • If a new build, Identify at planning stage, where fire stopping is likely to be required. For new build and retro-build ensure there are products on the market which can compliantly address the fire stopping requirements. • Contact the relevant manufacturer/ Supplier or your preferred Passive Fire Protection Contractor and ask them to provide you with ”Evidence of Suitability in the manufacturers/ Suppliers name in the form of a Regulatory Information Report/ Assessment Report from a Registered Test Authority which clearly shows a construction detail for your specific on site application”. Glossy data sheets/Technical Installation Manuals and Letters from Manufacturers/ Suppliers are not “Evidence of Suitability” • The Passive Fire Protection Company or anyone carrying out Passive Fire Protection works, must ensure that their installation is carried out in strict accordance with the correct construction details contained in the RIR or Assessment Report. • Once the Installations have been carried out, the ”Evidence of Suitability” for products used is given to the Building Certifier for compliance.

32 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

• If the Building Certifier or their deemed to be competent person (Inspector) wishes to verify the onsite installation is compliant. They simply have to ensure that the installed works mirror the correct construction details contained in the RIR or Assessment Report. • Any deviation from these steps for reasons of perceived cost cutting or a Building Consultants mistaken interpretation of the BCA (NCC) requirements may lead to a noncompliant building in need of costly rectification works and/or in the worst case scenario, some very serious questions to answer in the unfortunate event of a Coroner’s Inquest. If a manufacturer/supplier is either un-willing or unable to provide compliant “Evidence of Suitability” for their products, how do you know whether they are compliant or not? Remember it’s your reputation on the line not theirs.

Evidence of suitability A Report from a Registered Test Authority may be in the form of either a Test Report, Regulatory Information Report or Assessment Report which clearly contains but not limited to the following: • Which type of Substrate the main fire stopping product can be adhered to with full construction details: • Speedpanel walls, FR Plasterboard Walls, Block Walls, Hebel etc. • Concrete floors, FR Plasterboard Ceilings etc.

• Max size of opening in each specific substrate which the main fire stopping product may protect • Orientation of main fire stopping product (horizontal/vertical) • Which services can pass through the main fire stopping seal and which products/systems are used to locally fire stop them • A Test Report does not expire; however, Formal Opinions, Regulatory Information Reports and Assessment Reports do and will become invalid after a period of 10 years from date of issue, IAW AS4072.1-2005 Section 4.2 sub-section (c) (ix). Therefore any Opinions, RIR’s or Assessment Reports which do not show an expiry date will have automatically expired during 2015 at the very latest, rendering said reports invalid.

Test Certificates A Certificate from a Registered Test Authority has not been a Route to Compliance since the introduction of AS1530.4-2005 and AS4072.1-2005. • All Certificates must have an expiry date and the maximum duration is 10 years. • All Certificates must contain the following wording or similar: This certificate is provided for general information only and does not comply with the regulatory requirements for evidence of compliance


The insulation part of an Frl may be waived on all metal pipes (Not quite that simple) OPTION 1 In accordance with C3.15 (a) Tested Systems (ii).

OPTION 2 In accordance with C3.15 (c) Compliance with Specification C3.15.

The Insulation may be waived on pipes made entirely of metal which pass through a fire wall/floor if they have been Tested in accordance with AS1530.4 and AS4072.1 and achieved the required Integrity part of the FRL and:

To enable the insulation to be waived on metal pipes that are not normally filled with liquid the application must meet ALL of the following criteria:

• Any combustible building element is not able to be located within 100mm of the service for a distance of 2m from the penetration; and

• The metal pipe must be in a single core hole that does not contain any other services and the core hole must be a minimum of 200mm from any other service penetration.

• Combustible material is not able to be located within 100mm of the service for a distance of 2m from the penetration; and • It is not located within a required exit.

Requirements to meet this clause: • A report from a Registered Test Authority which covers the following information:

a. The metal pipe has been tested in accordance with AS1530.4 and AS4072.1

b. The fire stopping products used

c. The FRL achieved (Integrity)

d. Min-Max Pipe sizes

e. The specific substrate it may pass through

• There are various options to ensure that nothing combustible may be located within the 100mm exclusion zone for a distance of 2m either side of the penetration:

a. Box-out from either side of the penetration for a distance of 2m using plasterboard.

b. Create a metal cage around the metal pipe for a distance of 2m from either side of the penetration.

c. Wrap out 2m using 100mm thick flexible non-combustible material Tested to AS1530.1

• It is not always possible to wrap out 2m to either side of the penetration due to space issues.

• The pipe must be made entirely of metal

• The metal pipe cannot pass through more than 2 fire compartments. • The pipe must have an exclusion zone of 100mm around its perimeter for a distance of 2m either side of the fire wall/floor so that nothing combustible can come into contact with it.

It’s quite a complicated, nigh impossible and potentially expensive task to meet either of the 2 options when attempting to waive the Insulation criteria of a metal pipe due to the vast amount of restrictions which both solutions entail. NONE of the restrictions contained within option 1 or 2 are applicable to a system which has been tested to AS1530.4 and assessed in accordance with AS4072.1 and has met the full Integrity and Insulation criteria of the FRL. Therefore the easiest and most cost effective way to meet compliance is to simply specify a fire stopping system for the pipe, which achieves the full Integrity and Insulation of the floor or wall through which it penetrates. C3.15 (a) Tested Systems (i):

• The pipe does not contain flammable or combustible liquid or gas • In addition all of the requirements of Specification C3.15 part 3 and Clause 7 must be met. • The gap between the metal pipe and wall/floor or ceiling must be fire stopped using a fire stopping product which meets Clause 7 of Specification C3.15

Clause 7 Fire-stopping • (a) Material: Detailed in a report from a Registered Testing Authority that the material used for fire stopping ie: mastics, sealants, insulation, mortars, compounds or boards etc. have been proven by test to not flow at temperatures below 1120 degrees C, when tested to ISO 540. • (e) Test: Detailed in a report from a Registered Testing Authority that the fire stopping material has been tested to AS1530.4 and met the required FRL when tested using the Test Criteria contained within Clause 7 (e) Test.


Thanks to Brookfield Multiplex for the use of their Construction Training Facility in Sydney. Trevor Kempster, TBA Firefly | 33

In search of the

Australian dream Life’s a beach for Master Plumbers members who live along Victoria’s stunning coastlines. It’s the Australian dream to be woken up by the crash of the waves every morning; go for a run on the sand with the dog and spend lazy Sundays BBQing by the sea. Who wouldn’t want to swap the traffic of the daily commute for an early morning surf and the promise of happier, healthier, better lives? For qualified plumbers, this life is in easy reach, with a mobile profession that’s in demand from Blairgowrie to The Bahamas. Like our dreams, our trade can take us anywhere. If the coast is calling, these two stories might just inspire you to make a break for the border.

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Michael and Karen Tomlinson

Business and beaches. It was early spring and the skies were a dazzling turquoise; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Leading to one of the most expansive beaches on the Surf Coast, Karen and Michael Tomlinson’s street couldn’t have looked any more perfect. The Tomlinsons have worked exceptionally hard to get their business where it is today. You could say it’s been a case of trial and error. After doing a number of different jobs, Michael Tomlinson waited until his 30s to take on a plumbing apprenticeship at a more mature age and has never looked back. But for the Tomlinsons, escaping to the coast to run their own successful plumbing business was a gradual process. ‘Before we ran our own plumbing business, Michael was working as a plumber for other companies,’ said Karen who martials the tight ship of Tomlinson Plumbing as Office Manager. ‘Before that he had various roles, from a courier driver to working in a garden supplies. I always worked in PA roles, so was administration focussed. Between us we had the perfect formula to strike out on our own. And after living in Sunbury for seven years, the appeal of the coast was so strong. We’ve called Torquay home for four years now and wouldn’t swap it for the world. It’s a great place to bring up the kids.’ ‘It wasn’t difficult to make the leap into our own business. We’d started to build up some clientele, with the aim of going out on our own, but Michael then got retrenched, so the decision to jump in was made for us. “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” we thought. “If it doesn’t work out we can go back to being employed by someone else.” But it flourished organically – the clientele built up quickly and it just went from there.’

Perhaps the leaps and bounds of success have something to do with Tomlinson Plumbing’s affable and approachable disposition. You couldn’t ask for nicer people than Karen and Mike. The positive feedback and word of mouth referrals they receive go a long way to repeat business. They have a charismatic approach to marketing and are very active on social media, a great way to activate prospective clients within the digital community – after all, who isn’t online these days? Their decision to switch from city to the coast has also had a positive impact on their lifestyle. ‘Our favourite thing about living on the coast is the relaxed vibe,’ continues Karen. ‘Being a hop, step and a jump from the water increases the natural inclination to be outside more. Sure, you still need to do all the same day to day things you would need to do living anywhere else, but with the beach so close, all it takes is a walk along the sand and you’re recharged and relaxed all at the same time.’ So is beachside business booming for Karen and her husband? ‘Being specialised maintenance plumbers, work is really varied, but it’s great to report that it’s pretty consistent throughout the year. The super busy periods are the cooler months when we’re doing a lot of gas heater servicing and safety checking. Then of course there’s the crazy lead up to the Christmas period, where everybody seems to want everything

done before their friends and family arrive on their doorstep. There’s not much time to go surfing at the moment as we’re bracing ourselves for the influx right now. But it’s much better to be busy, so bring it on we say!’ But is it all sunshine and long walks on the beach at dusk? ‘Of course running a business together as husband and wife has its challenges, especially if it’s been a huge week and we’re both tired. We can get a bit irritated and impatient with each other, but on the whole, because we know each other so well, and each have our own parts of the business that we take care of, it runs along like a well-oiled machine. We do try and switch off the business stuff at the end of the day, but it doesn’t always work and we quite often sit up when the kids have gone to bed and run through ideas with each other. You’ve got to be constantly evolving and trying different approaches, even with a very small business like ours.’ Servicing Geelong, Torquay, Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and Anglesea, the Tomlinson’s working radius sounds more like the start of your holiday road trip. Specialising in commercial, industrial and building maintenance from toilets to tanks, burst pipes to blockages, drafting in the help of Karen’s Father and subcontractors where necessary and always making time for a dip in the ocean, Karen and Mike are proof that the Australian Dream is within reach with the right tools at hand and a good attitude. | 35


John Riley

Community spirit Across the bay and over the Peninsula, the weather wasn’t very forgiving on our way to Sorrento the following week. Grey clouds gathered menacingly on the freeway leading out of Melbourne which turned to ominous spitting followed by sideways rain. Driving parallel to the deep blue along the coast road, you couldn’t help but laugh at the fickle mistress that is Victoria’s weather. But of course, the show must go on – it’s a good job plumbers are a hardy bunch! John Riley is no exception. Riley Plumbing was started by his father Leon in the sixties and has been a stalwart saviour of the Sorrento region’s plumbing problems ever since. Going from strength to strength across the decades, it’s always been a family affair. ‘We’ve always been based by the coast, servicing the southern Peninsula region. My Father started his own business around the time I was born. He had to borrow his father’s truck to get his tools and materials to the job, then return the truck and walk or ride his bicycle back to the job. He had a few apprentices over the years and then took me on in 1979. Almost forty years later and I am still in the game. Dad retired in 2000 and I took over the business from him with exactly the same principles. We have a lot of clients whose families who have dealt with us over two or three generations. To this day, it’s our priority to always provide a personal service to our clients, most of whom are holiday home owners.’ For a true plumber, the satisfaction of solving people’s issues never loses its appeal. ‘People come to us with so many emergencies. When someone’s hot water service has burst and flooded the house, or they have sewerage overflowing everywhere, or the roof is leaking badly 36 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

and they don’t know where to turn and you have the skills and equipment to get them out of trouble and resolve the situation, it’s tremendously satisfying,’ says John, always willing to lend a helping hand. Riley Plumbing operates across Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea. With holiday homes and short term rentals by the coast needing constant attention, there is a steady flow of work at all times. The Rileys’ long and proud association with the area and local knowledge extends as far back as plumbing works on the historic Pepper’s Delgany Hotel in Portsea in the days before it operated as a hotel. ‘We enjoy working on local homes with history behind them, and have a passion for the area we work in,’ says John. ‘Our long-term clients come from local, commercial businesses including Sorrento Cinemas and Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. We love helping our community, and we love providing locals with the solutions to all plumbing problems.’ There’s no wonder John wouldn’t want to be anything else. ‘My favorite thing about living on the coast is being by the water. I grew up down here surfing and sailing which to me was paradise. Who would want to sit in city traffic when you can be in the

water ten minutes after knock off time? I travelled a bit when I was younger but never saw the need to move away from here, it is such a beautiful area, why move away?’ Father and son duo Richard and Sam joined John from Leicester in the UK. ‘Richard came out here for a relative’s wedding and fell in love with the place and now lives in Mornington with his wife Jo.’ It’s easy to imagine why living by the sea would be preferable to British Midlands, rainy days or otherwise. It’s important that the team stays small to retain the personal attention to detail that has always been at the core of Riley Plumbing’s personalized service. ‘We have just recently joined the Laser Plumbing network and will soon be known as Laser Plumbing Blairgowrie. Although we will still operate by the same standards that we have set for ourselves, I am very excited to be taking the business to the next level.’ I had a few more plumbers on a couple of years ago but I scaled things back to a smaller team despite the high volume of work. As we are a local business, it’s all about having the right people for the job.’ It seems like John Riley has got the winning formula for work/life balance down to a tee.


Avoiding the swampy nasties this summer Finding a way to keep your home cool in Victoria doesn’t have to get you in a sweat this summer. Neil Cox discusses why swampies are safer than you think… Ask a Queenslander what a swampy is and they’ll give you a puzzled look. Ask a New South Welshman the same question and the result will probably be similar. Ask a Territorian and their mind will possibly drift to National Geographic documentaries profiling the alligator wrestling folks of America’s deep south.

technique to keep their perishables edible. Some suggest that the prospectors themselves got the idea from observing the way Aborigines used kangaroo skin to carry their water and keep it cool in soaring temperatures. Either way, evaporation has long been realised as a highly effective method of heat transfer.

To the rest of us, who live in a broad swathe across the south, central and west of the Australian continent, a swampy is something that lives on our roof and fills our home with that gloriously cool, moist air throughout the dry, summer months.

In the simplest terms, cooling methods such as cooling towers use the air to cool the water. The humble swampy effectively uses the water to cool the air. Evaporative air cooling systems consume a relatively small amount of electricity to run their fans and pumps that create and distribute the cool air. Water use is mainly by evaporation, and this produces the cooling effect, but there is generally a dilutionbased system aimed at minimising salt build-up within the unit’s water.

The cooling method employed by evaporative air coolers, as the brochures refer to them, is as basic as it is effective. It mimics the Coolgardie coolers of the late 19th century that miners used as a rudimentary evaporative cooling AIR








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When that final cool change blows through in autumn, the roof goes silent and the evaporative cooler sits idle until the warmth of spring brings it back to life. Greg Downing, director at Australian water treatment company HydroChem, has been treating water for almost 40 years in its various forms and says this is where the story gets interesting. “Evaporative cooling systems, in residential or commercial settings, have not been implicated in any outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that we know of, even though the bacteria that causes the disease, Legionella, is detected from time to time.”

“The NSW Code of Practice for Legionnaires’ disease issued by the NSW Health Department makes reference to evaporative coolers,” continues Downing. “Despite the evaporative cooler not being a regulated system, the Code of Practice still gives guidance on designing, installing, operating and maintaining them.” “There are some simple and effective strategies that can be used to minimise the risk of contamination in evaporative systems,” says Downing. “Before shutting down their system, users and operators should be encouraged to run the fan in isolation for a few minutes to dry the filter pads. All units have this as an option, and they generally have a bleed-off built in too. The systems can be bled to prevent an excess of dissolved solids and impurities from building up within the units.” Downing also points out that while in Victoria evaporative coolers are not covered under the state’s Legionella regulations, the government did release an operation and maintenance guide for evaporative coolers a number of years back. The document recommends cleaning and disinfecting the units at least every six months to prevent bacteria and fungi from growing during periods of inactivity that can then adversely affect air quality when operation resumes. “We see a spike in searches on our company’s website with consumers using a variation on the search term ‘evaporative cooler tablets chlorine’ each spring,” continues Downing. “Plumbing supply companies pleaded with HydroChem to develop a form of slow release bromine/chlorine that would offer their clients long term protection from algae, slime and bacterial growth, including Legionella. We did this a few years back, and it is now one of our leading lines in the plumbing market.” “The existence of nasties on your roof is entirely avoidable with a little spring cleaning,” concludes Downing with a smile. This article was written by Neil Cox from Neil Cox Ink, on behalf of HydroChem. HydroChem is an Australian owned and operated company that has been a national leader in Australia’s water treatment industry for almost 40 years.

Down under in Denmark. Bryce Healy tells all about his International Internship in Copenhagen This year Bryce Healy made history as the first ever apprentice to take part in the International Internship program in collaboration with Master Plumbers and Cooke & Dowsett, where he is a second year apprentice. This career-changing working holiday took Bryce to the stunning city of Copenhagen, where he learned the tricks of the trade Scandinavian-style, working for Finn L & Davidsen plumbers on a range of domestic projects. We caught up with Bryce fresh back from his big trip and talked solo travel, push fit PVC and cooking for one miles away from home. How did you feel when you found out you had landed the internship? A 50/50 mix between excitement and nerves! Honestly, I was quite hesitant when I found out I had been successful. I’ve not really done much travelling at all – and up until then, I’d never been on a solo trip. It was pretty daunting to get on the plane by myself. But I just thought, well I’ve got to do this. I really didn’t know what to expect when I was over there. But when I got there, it was surprisingly easy to settle in. And when it was time to go home, I didn’t want to leave.

Talk us through a regular day in your internship My colleague would usually pick me up from the hostel around 6am and we would go to the plumbing store – over there; AO was the equivalent of Reece. We’d get tools for the day and then go to the job site. They do a lot of apartments over there – plenty of central heating system refurbs because it is so cold and the majority of the buildings are so old. After a day starting on the tools at 7am we would usually finish around 2.30pm.

Did you notice any major differences there as distinct from how we do things over here? Any surprises? Yeah a few things actually. They rarely glue their PVC, instead they use push fit. They also use stainless steel more than copper and cast iron for their waste drains. Working on older style buildings, I guess you need to use different materials.

How did you cope with the language barrier and cultural differences? I’m not going to lie, as a language, Danish is really hard to pronounce and I didn’t pick up much. My colleagues’ English was pretty good though, so on the whole they could understand me well. Somehow we managed to get by both on site and socially. I really enjoyed the food as well, but I’m not much of a cook so ended up buying three meals out every day!

What did you take away from the experience as a whole? It really was a learning curve for me that broadened my horizons both culturally and vocationally. It also taught me that experience of any type is invaluable in life.

Because of this internship, I have new transferable career and life skills. As a person I am more confident and my people skills are better. But really, how could you not gain more confidence when you drop yourself in at the deep end?

What advice would you give to people wanting to do the International Internship? Honestly, it was one of the best things I’ve done in my life. I’d tell anyone with a passion for life, plumbing and travel to go for it. It will open so many doors for you.

What’s your plan for 2017? How can you top your internship? In terms of recruitment I’m happy to stay put with Cooke & Dowsett, they really are a great company. But I would love to travel more, I’ve definitely been bitten by the bug. I spoke to one of the bosses in Denmark who said if ever you want to travel you can do 6 months with us – so who knows… Know someone who could be the next big thing? Master Plumbers will be releasing details of next year’s exciting global internship opportunity for 2017 very soon. Know someone who’s got what it takes? Register your interest via Master Plumbers and spread the word. | 39

Aussie Action Abroad: volunteer special

Stuck for something to do this summer? Set your sights on Nepal with a volunteer plumbing project. A trip down the coast in the caravan just won’t cut it now the kids are getting older. You landscaped the garden last January. And you feel like going one better than the usual two weeks in Bali. If you’re stuck for something to do in your summer break or for next year’s big getaway and are looking for a new challenge, hold it right there! What if we told you that a volunteer holiday scheme existed where you could put your plumbing skills to good use to benefit those who need it most, as well as enriching your own skills – and increasing stamps in your passport? If you’ve always wanted to activate your aptitudes for the greater good, why not take a leaf out of Victorian plumber Dave Pearce’s well-thumbed travel journal and put your holiday towards helping those less fortunate through a volunteer project in Nepal with Aussie Action Abroad! Karma is sure to thank you for it in the long run!

No doubt you will find Seymour plumber Dave Pearce’s an inspiration:

For the past 16 years, Aussie Action Abroad has helped a wide range of great people to fulfil their dreams of volunteering. The remarkable individuals who partake are willing to share their skills, knowledge and valuable time to assist the development of Nepali communities as part of collaborative, rural improvement projects with workers from all over the world. The generous people who give up time and energy selflessly activate their skills to contribute and make that difference. In developing countries like Nepal, plumbing and sanitation skills can be the difference between life and death. It’s often the deal breaker between a functioning society and one where basic human needs amount to daily struggles. If you are hardworking, ready for a challenge and not afraid to get your hands dirty – well you are a plumber after all – you could become that bridge for the people who need it most.

The other thing that impressed me was the connection with local people, who either were actively involved or sat and watched with intrigue as to what we were doing. And of course, the villagers were extremely happy with the end result. This was a huge buzz for myself and the team, to know we had really made that difference.

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“I had the opportunity to join Aussie Action Abroad in a construction team where our task was to construct a water storage facility for a small community. When I arrived, our team was shown the site. When our rudimentary materials were laid out, I knew it was going to be a challenge to install two bladder tanks as a storage system to support the community during the dryer months. I was in a team that had a number of architect students, we got on very well, but every now and then I had to add some practical aspects to ensure we were able to complete the task. Our group was faced with limited or poor tools, some questionable materials and limited time to complete the task. But in 10 days we completed the job and were very pleased with our efforts.

The experience was great and one that taught me to be creative and resourceful with materials and reap the benefits and positive vibes of collaborative team work for the greater good. It also made me much more grateful for what I have. We take access to quality tools and readily available parts to complete the job very much for granted. I would certainly encourage others to join Aussie Action Abroad to support communities in Nepal.” David Pearce D A Pearce Plumbing Pty Ltd

Want to follow in Dave’s footsteps with good deeds? Upcoming dates 11 January – 24 January 2017 (14 days) $2000 1 July – 14 July 2017 (14 days) $2000

inclusions All food, accommodation, activities, permits, local staff costs, materials and donations to community projects, internal travel, tours

excludes Visas, personal gear, clothing, passport, taxes, personal insurance and flights in and out of Kathmandu. (Aussie Action Abroad will provide information to assist with booking)

find out more and apply 0409 954 782 Fill out an application form online and send with a $500 deposit.


Don’t blame it on sunshine… Despite being an almost entirely preventable disease, at least two in every three Australians will develop skin cancer before they reach the age of 70. If you’re working outside you’re at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than most people.

Under both Victorian health and National safety legislation, employers and their workers need to take steps to reduce UV radiation risks at work. The Occupational Health and Safety Act in all states requires that employers must provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to health for all employees and any contractors they employ, including loan labour.

The OHS Act also requires that employees must take reasonable care of their own health and safety. Employees must co-operate with the employer on any action the employer needs to take to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Employers must consult with the relevant elected health and safety representative during the development of a sun protection policy for work sites, and select appropriate sun protection measures. Where there are no elected health and safety representatives, employers must involve employees directly. Implementing a comprehensive sun protection program, which includes a range of simple protective measures, can prevent sun-related injuries and reduce the suffering and costs associated with skin cancer – including reduced productivity, morale and financial returns.

Why plumbers need to know about skin cancer In Australia, working under the sun increases your risk of skin cancer up to 10 times more than indoor workers. If you’re a plumber, you’re even more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer than most. That’s because plumbers spend most of their working day outdoors. Plumbers are exposed to UV radiation both directly from the sun and indirectly as it is reflected or scattered from surrounding surfaces, which in the construction industry include concrete, glass, metal surfaces (such as steel decks and roofing materials), sand and large bodies of water.


Do you need a hand fulfilling your OH&S requirements? Ask for help Contact our Master Plumber OHS Officer or the Cancer Council Victoria’s SunSmart Workplace team for advice on UV policies, training and education. SunSmart Workplace Education training sessions for workers can help you and your workers learn more about UV, skin cancer and what you need to do to prevent it at work. Find out more at, email or call 03 9514 6419.

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Top tips for skin cancer prevention for plumbers Do yourself and your employees a favour and make sure that your workforce is protected all day every day – it’s your responsibility as an employer to make your staff aware – and practice what you preach! Before work commences the person in charge should assess the weather condition and give consideration to the following: • The availability of shade; • The frequency of rest breaks required; • The need to regularly hydrate with fresh drinking water not soft drinks or alcohol; and • The effects of heat on each worker given the tolerance for heat is different for each worker based on their age, physical fitness and ability to adapt to hot / humid conditions.

1 Don’t rely on the temperature

4 Get on board with sunscreen

It’s the sun’s UV rays – not heat – that cause sunburn and skin cancer. That means you can be burnt when it’s cold and cloudy, as well as when it’s a fine sunny summer day.

To be adequately protected, your sunscreen must be SPF50, broadspectrum and water-resistant. Top it up every two hours on the job.

As a plumber, you’ll build up more UV damage over your lifetime, so you actually need to protect your skin every day when you’re outside.

2 Get shady Shade is a great control measure to reduce UV exposure at work. Assess your workplaces and find opportunities to create more shade. This could mean investing in a portable shade structure you can take to different jobs. If shade isn’t available for everyone, rotate jobs so that no one has to spend all day in the full sun. You can also try to schedule jobs for the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the middle of the day when UV levels are strongest.

Warning: Damage to Colorbond roofing material caused by sunscreen is an emerging problem and is costing the plumbing industry thousands of dollars in rectification work. When working on a roof, special sunscreen needs to be worn by plumbers so as not to damage the colour bond surface. Industry experts recommend Red Back Sunblock to prevent roof, damage and expensive callbacks to damaged roof installations.

5 Training It is important that employers train employees to raise awareness of the risks associated with exposure to UV and the sun protection measures required. It is also important to ensure that employees adopt sun protection measures.

3 Get the right tools for the job

Topics to include in training are:

Bare skin and singlets are not acceptable according to WorkSafe Victoria.

• Health effects of exposure to UV radiation and why outdoor construction workers are a high risk group.

Due to the nature of outdoor work there is a high emphasis placed on personal protective equipment as a control measures. Personal Protective Equipment worn by plumbers will include: • Clothing of close weaved fabric that is comfortable and loose fitting to provide adequate ventilation (sleeves of shirts and trouser legs should not be rolled up). • Wide brimmed hat to protect neck and ears. Alternatively, if a hard hat is worn it should be fitted with a material neck flap to protect the neck. Hats should be made from a close-weave fabric of UPF 50+ to provide sufficient protection.

• Factors affecting levels of UV radiation. • Correct use of sun protection measure on site, and early detection of skin cancer.


• Tinted safety glasses complying with Australian Standard AS1337 – Eye protectors for industrial applications. | 43


The art of constant refuelling. Some years ago Ray Hodge had a three week holiday planned to visit Italy. He was operating a hectic financial practice at the time and worked very long days in the lead up to the time away, to ensure all would run smoothly in his absence. Once arriving in Rome after a very long flight with little sleep it was an action packed two days of sightseeing. The following day, boarding a train to Naples, he felt his body start to shut down and subsequently spent the next 10 days convalescing in his hotel room. Ray shares a few thoughts on how to refuel and prevent pre-holiday burn-out. Many business owners and executives experience an annual physical and mental shut down when they stop. We burn the candle at both ends (and in the middle when required) only to hit the wall at various points throughout the year. We’re dragged from pillar to post by our own ambitions and good intentions along with the demands of the organisation – often running the physical and emotional tanks close to empty. When the fuel in these tanks diminishes, we start running on adrenaline to keep momentum. This adrenaline fuelled activity often results in adrenal fatigue affecting both mind and body. Our fuse becomes shorter, sleep becomes fitful, emotions are on edge, the people closest to us are negatively impacted and our organisations suffer from our ongoing weariness. We then work longer to make up for our inefficiencies and so

it progresses in an ever increasing downward spiral. We then hang on until our annual break in the hope of replenishing the tanks. One of the practices I would suggest to counter this mental and physical exhaustion is the constant refuelling through regular refreshment breaks. Flight attendants direct us to put our own oxygen masks on first prior to helping others. No oxygen and we’re useless to anyone. And as it is for life in the air, so for life on the ground. When we understand ourselves and what is required to keep us fuelled and build these things into our lives on a regular basis, we plan our time around them and hit the ground running with vitality on our break rather than hitting the bed in sickness. Happy holidays !

REGULAR REFRESHMENT BREAKS DAILY This might be time at the gym,

a walk in the park at lunch time or playing with your kids when you get home. Whatever the activity, finding something you look forward to helps you unwind and refreshes you on a daily basis. WEEKLY This can include something

you love to do on your own or that involves family and friends. The key is planning something that helps keep you out of monotonous living and provide something fresh into your world on a constant basis. MONTHLY Try scheduling a weekend

(or long weekend) once a month to get away or a lazy few days around home. QUARTERLY Schedule a longer break

every quarter

Ray Hodge dramatically improves people and process efficiencies and performance within Trade Services, Industrial and Construction businesses. He can be contacted via or directly on 0403 341 105. 44 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

5 tips for building your brand in 2017. It’s a hyper-competitive world out there for plumbers, particularly if you are competing for residential maintenance work. Today most plumbers have websites and many are actively marketing themselves through Google Adwords, SEO, Facebook and more. The key to standing out from the crowd is to build your brand. When people search for a plumber on Google and recognize your brand name, you are far more likely to get the clicks and the job. Your brand is a multiplier – it multiplies the effectiveness of all your marketing activities. Here are 5 tips to boost your brand in 2017.


1 Focus on reputation

4 Build brand awareness

Reputation can make or break your business. Plumbers with a great reputation get plenty of repeat customers and referral customers. By meeting or exceeding your customer’s expectations you will develop a great reputation.

People can become familiar with your brand through your good reputation. But to grow more quickly you need to connect with people who have never heard of your business. This is done by repeating your brand message to your target audience. Online advertising is a cheap and effective way of building brand awareness. You can show ads to your target market on sites like Facebook, Gumtree, eBay and

2 Get feedback from customers It is crucial to understand what your customers like and don’t like about your service. You should ask all your customers for feedback (this can be automated). Then take the positive feedback and promote it on your website, and take the critical feedback and use it to improve your service. By getting feedback from all your customers you can begin to measure and manage your reputation.

3 Encourage reviews

Darren Urquhart is the founder of Rise Local, a digital marketing agency. Rise Local provides a reputation management and brand awareness service. Download a Digital Marketing Checklist for Plumbers, by visiting

People go online and check out your business before they call you. One way they do that is by reading your customer reviews on websites like Google, Facebook, Yelp and Yellow Pages. Asking customers to write a review on these sites is a great way to promote your good reputation.

5 Create useful content Use your website to publish articles that connect with your target market when they are in research mode. People are not always ready to book a job. Sometimes they are researching to figure out what they need. For example, when someone goes to Google and searches “running costs of solar hot water system”, they are seeking information. You can create brand awareness by publishing an article that answers this and many other common questions. | 45


three trainers tell their stories

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Training the next generation in the trade Most plumbers do their training, become qualified and registered, and once they start working on the tools, the classroom recedes to a distant memory. But just as people always need plumbers, plumbing schools always need trainers to develop the next generation of plumbers. We meet three people who have, for various reasons, gone back to trade school to teach plumbing. Here they talk about how the rewards far outweigh the challenges on the other side of the desk. The path to success There are some basic requirements that anyone who wants to become a trainer needs to have. Before they can start training, all new trainers must have successfully completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. They must also have significant and current experience in the plumbing trade. After that, the entry points for people wanting to get into training can be quite different.

Some trainers work casually a few days a week while maintaining their plumbing businesses; some work at nights so they can stay on the tools during the day; others make the leap into full time training. Every trainer’s reason for getting into training is a bit different too. Jane Clancy is a trainer who also runs her own business consultancy. She’s had a career in the building and construction trades for 20 years. “I got into training almost by accident; it’s been a bit of a theme of my career to be in the right place at the right time,” Jane says.

“I’d helped people in trade set up their businesses over the years. I started training at a dual sector provider in a different capacity, but then I was offered a trade class to teach in the business area.” Matt Fittolani became a trainer after he lost a leg in a car accident. “I wanted to stay in the industry but there were some jobs I was no longer able to do. I could hire subcontractors to do those tasks, but I needed to supplement my income,” Matt says. “I trained apprentices in my business, so I guess that laid the foundations for getting into this role. | 47


There were other things I could have gone into, but teaching is something I’ve always been interested in. Even back when I was in school and deciding what I was going to do as a career, it was a toss-up between being a phys-ed teacher and going into a trade.” Cameron Horsey has worked in the plumbing industry for 30 years, and he’s been working as a full time plumbing trainer for the last six. “I don’t work much on the tools anymore apart from helping a mate occasionally. I had my own business, mostly on my own, but I did employ a few apprentices as well. I found running a small business on my own challenging and not very compatible with family life. I wanted a new path I could take but still stay in the plumbing industry,” Cameron says. Cameron adds, “I always had a focus on wanting to be a trainer at some stage. I had a good experience in trade school and even as an apprentice, being a trainer looked like something fun to do. As I got older and went through the industry, as a plumber I had a passion to train new apprentices. When I was working for someone else I was often the apprentice mentor and then when I did operate my own business I enjoyed teaching apprentices the skills I’d learned when I was young. When I decided to close my business, moving into training was a natural transition for me.”

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Step up to the challenge Any job can have its challenges and teaching is no exception; returning to studying and tackling the challenges of administration and paperwork is part of being a professional trainer. It can be a very different experience to life on the tools. But hurdles like these are quite easily overcome by plumbers who have been running their own businesses and keeping up to date with training during their career. Interestingly, the three trainers report their greatest challenges have largely come from unexpected aspects of teaching. Matt says the most difficult thing he encountered initially was a bit of a surprise. “There is the challenge of dealing with a lot of the social and emotional aspects of the younger generation. You’re working with kids who haven’t finished at the top in school, and their teachers tell them to go and do a trade. Then they get into a trade like plumbing where there’s such a high level of theoretical work and regulations they must learn and that often takes the students by surprise.” Jane says that the most challenging aspect of teaching is the time involved. “I take a lot of pride in giving the students information that is current and the only way to do that is extensive reading. You need to read trade journals and keep up to date with all the regulations as well, and of course technology is changing rapidly. There is a lot of time needed for lesson preparation before you even enter a classroom.”

Cameron says, “The biggest challenge I had at the beginning, was the public speaking aspect. To stand up in front of a class of learners, and not all of them are young kids anymore. To talk for eight hours and keep them interested can be a daunting prospect. It was a difficult thing to do but it is one hurdle I am happy to say I have overcome now with experience. It became quite easy in the end, because I was talking about plumbing which is a subject I know and am passionate about. Now sharing my knowledge when I train has become the part I look forward to most.”


Hard work is rewarded

Paying it forward

All three trainers agree that the rewards far outweigh any of the difficulties they’ve experienced in their new enterprise.

Teaching is a fantastic way to pass on their industry knowledge, strengthen relationships and extend networks. “You teach your experience; you’re hoping to help your students learn from your mistakes. You’ve always got stories to tell and this can make a dry subject like tax, GST and contracts interesting and relevant to a new plumber or tradesperson,” Jane says.

Cameron says seeing the students recognise that something is possible is incredibly rewarding. “When students actually achieve something – when they didn’t think they could do it but with a bit of time and practice and patience they succeed, that’s satisfying. They don’t really believe in themselves sometimes but then they come up with good results.” For Jane, the end certainly justifies the means: “I get a real kick out of those occasions when a student has that real understanding of what they want to do career wise, and then they come back and tell you they’ve succeeded; or you’ll run into them a couple of years later and they’re doing well. There is so much opportunity in the industry and to see them achieve their goals is what really drives me.” Matt also finds it gratifying to see students excel. “The most rewarding thing for me in being a trainer is being able to help the people who don’t feel like they’re up to succeeding. People that come from different socio-economic backgrounds, some of them haven’t had a traditional upbringing and they’re trying to break that cycle, to push themselves.”

Matt says, “Our industry experience and the people we know in the industry are an important aspect of what we do. Especially for instance when we teach Certificate II preapprenticeship students, we match them to employers we know who are looking for a new apprentice.” Cameron agrees that industry experience is a significant part of training. “The experience and the contacts help with teaching and with getting work placements. I still speak to guys who are current in the industry, so I know who’s looking to put on an apprentice. I’ve connected employers and learners to help facilitate a number of placements.” Jane neatly sums up the motivation of most trainers, and encourages others to take it on. “If you’re thinking about becoming a trainer, give it a go. It is such a rewarding career and it can be financially rewarding as well if you manage your time right.”

The plumbing industry is always going to need new entrants learning the trade and becoming skilled tradespeople. So there will always be the need for committed, professional plumbing trainers to pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation. Becoming a trainer is not just an option for plumbers who are coming to the end of their working careers on the tools. Training is a meaningful, rewarding option for tradespeople at any stage of their career who want to give back to the industry and share their passion for plumbing. So if this is something that you have been thinking about for a little while, don’t wait any longer. Are you ready to become a plumbing trainer?


Amanda Ogilvie is the Communications Officer for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Biz Better Together” productivity initiative: When employers and employees work together, business is better. Join the conversation @BizBT | 49

Riding the waves

with Britain’s most famous plumber

He might not yet be a household name on Australia’s wave-crazy shores, but plumber turned pro-surfer Andrew Cotton is certainly riding high on waves of success. Andrew’s plumbing career backed a dream to turn his 9 to 5 to surfing. As a successful Red Bull athlete, Andrew travels the world in search of perfect waves and a dream to ride the biggest of all time. Our roving reporter Matt Reynolds chatted with Andrew as he began the big wave season in Portugal. They share an insight into surfing, sponsorship and lessons learned with plunger in hand.

50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

MR We first connected because you

AC Yes, you’re absolutely right.

commented on one of my Instagram posts. I clicked your profile and found that you are referred to as Britain’s most famous plumber. I had to find out more. For a start, who gave you that title?

I remember the conversation with my wife, I was part time plumbing, life guarding a bit, had some sponsors for my surfing and would do odd jobs to bring the money in. Then I lost the sponsors. I always had plumbing as a back-up, but I simply had to follow my dreams to surf the biggest waves in the world. My wife and family supported me through that decision. It’s such a good feeling when those nearest to you won’t let you put off your dreams.

AC [laughing] Yeah, I think it was the

Daily Mail. Britain’s most notorious newspaper came up with the headline ‘plumber surfs biggest wave ever’ and it stuck. MR Do you hold the record for the

biggest wave ever surfed? AC No, it wasn’t certified as the biggest.

That record is still held by Garrett McNamara who I actually surf with loads. The wave I surfed was reported to be about 80 feet. It’s always been a dream and I’m sure it will happen at some point. I always try to have fun and enjoy my surfing. If I stick by these rules, I’m pretty sure the goal of surfing the biggest wave will happen naturally. MR Tell me about the work you did

as a plumber? AC I retrained as a plumber in my

mid-20s when I had that moment of panic. I was trying to be a pro surfer, working in surf shops. My Dad told me to get a trade because at the time I wasn’t getting anywhere. I went to college, went to night school and got an apprenticeship. Plumbing really worked for me. I got a job right away installing solar panels and under floor heating. I lived by the ocean and was having a great time but could only surf on the weekends with a fulltime plumbing job. So, I handed in my notice and went self-employed for a few years. MR I’ve found that people who create

a high level of success for themselves seem to have this ability to navigate the ‘following my dream verses putting food on the table’ equation with the underlying confidence to back themselves.


MR You were recently involved in a study

the fear something you came across in the process of surfing?

at University College London where they tested the difference in brain function between a group of elite athletes and general citizens. How did that go?

AC No, I surf because I grew up by the

AC They used images to test how

MR Do you surf for the love of fear or is

beach and I love the ocean. I wasn’t much good on smaller waves but I enjoyed the bigger ones, just my style. Maybe I just enjoy the thrill of being scared. After you overcome that fear and make an amazing drop or surf a giant wave, you get a buzz because you know you’ve overcome something. So, rather than pulling back and stopping, you just go for it. That’s exciting and I enjoy that part. MR So in your mind it’s not craziness,

it’s working through a process? AC You learn to keep calm and cool in

those situations. You could lose the plot and freak out, but that really doesn’t help anyone, it just puts us all in danger. MR Have you carried any lessons you

learnt while plumbing into your surfing? AC There are two main things. Firstly, to

keep my cool at all times, no matter what. To be efficient you need to do things only once. Secondly, you cannot cut corners because it will always come back to haunt you. That applies in my training as it did to my trade. If I miss a couple of reps or whatever, no one will ever know, but I’m only cheating myself and that comes back to haunt you. It’s crucial to do things properly the first time around. Attention to detail and pride carries through across multiple professions.

different people react to completing a task after seeing different types of images. The images would appear, some nice, some horrible and some everyday stuff. The idea was to test the reaction time after being exposed to the different images. It turns out the athletes were much less affected by the type of image they were presented with and were about 20 per cent quicker. MR 20 per cent quicker in terms of

reaction time? AC Yes, the athletes weren’t slowing

down; I guess plumbers need to be quick thinking too. MR Can you see yourself returning to

plumbing in the future? AC I’m really not sure. But I’m certainly

glad I have a trade and a skill. It’s probably the best thing that I ever did and I’m glad I did it when I did. As my Dad said, when you have a trade you have a job for life. Whether I do go back to plumbing or not, it’s always going to be of help to me, my family and my friends. It’s good grounding. Plus, it’s always handy to know a good plumber right? MR It sure is. Thanks for connecting,

good luck catching the biggest wave. AC Thanks, catch up again soon.

Want to hear more from Matt and get the hot tip on where to find the biggest wave? Keep an eye on and the Master Plumbers Facebook page to download the first of our new From the Trenches Podcast series and have the complete interview all to yourself!

From the trenches [MATT REYNOLDS] Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. You can connect with him on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn. | 51

Don’t discriminate. Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers’ Senior Workplace Relations Advisor examines the issues surrounding direct discrimination and disability in a case study.

The Legislation The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) defines direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. In very simple terms: direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic they have, or are thought to have; and indirect discrimination is where a practice, policy or rule applies adversely impacts a group / class of persons, when compared to another group /class of persons. It is illegal in Victoria to discriminate against a person in a number of situations; including when a person is at work.

Background / Introduction


Edmund Dziurbas (Dziurbas) was employed by Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd (Mondelez) as a confectioner.

The Court found that:

In September 2011, Dziurbas injured his left elbow working on the ‘steel band’ machine. By early 2013, Dziurbas had fully recovered from his elbow injury. During the course of the work cover claim, Dziurbas had some non-work related hernia trouble. That condition limited his work capacity until he had surgery in late June 2013. On 23 October 2013, Dziurbas was told by Mondelez that his employment was to be terminated. Mondelez believed that Dziurbas no longer had the capacity to undertake the inherent requirements of his previous role as a confectioner.


Dziurbas claimed that the termination of his employment constituted direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and discrimination by way of a failure to make reasonable adjustments contrary to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (EO Act). In broad terms, Mondelez contends that Dziurbas was unable to undertake the genuine and reasonable requirements of his role, even if reasonable adjustments were made, and so there was no unlawful discrimination and no breach of the obligation to make reasonable adjustments. 52 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

The reasonableness of any adjustments is to be determined having regard to all relevant facts and circumstances, including the non-exhaustive list of matters set out in section 20(3). Section 20(2) provides that reasonable adjustments must be made unless the employee could not or cannot adequately perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment even after the adjustments are made. A breach of section 20 is an act of discrimination”.

“(Mondelez) believed that… (Dziurbas)… was unable to resume what they understood to be his full duties without risk of further injury arising from the earlier elbow injury and that belief was based on the opinion given by Dr Baker about the likely risk of future injury arising from… Dziurbas’… ongoing health conditions. “the primary reason for termination of… (Dziurbas’s)… employment was his ongoing health conditions and a presumed risk of future injury because of those conditions”. “I find that a substantial reason for the decision to terminate… (Dziurbas’s)… employment was his disability and accordingly that Mondelez engaged in direct discrimination”. “Whether that discrimination is prohibited by section 18 of the EO Act depends on whether the exception contained in section 23 of the EO Act applies”. “In summary, section 23 permits discrimination against an employee on the basis of the employee’s disability if three requirements are met. First, the employee requires adjustments in order to perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment. Second, where section 20 applies, the employer has complied with that section. Third, whether or not section 20 applies, the adjustments are not reasonable having regard to the facts and circumstances set out in section 20(3)”. “Section 20 imposes an obligation on an employer to make reasonable adjustments for an employee with a disability where adjustments are required in order for the employee to perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment.

“Section 20 creates an obligation to make reasonable adjustments for an employee with a disability. The reasonableness of any adjustments is to be determined by reference to all relevant facts and circumstances”. “The word ‘adequately’ in section 20(2) is important. The employee does not have to be capable of performing the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment perfectly – just adequately”. “The question of whether a person is able to adequately perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment must be judged on those requirements as a whole. A person may still be able to perform adequately the requirements of the employment as a whole, even though he or she is unable to perform, or unable adequately to perform, a particular requirement”. “A complete inability to perform a major requirement of the employment in circumstances where non-performance with that requirement will result in a risk of death or serious injury, should be viewed differently from a slight deficiency at performing a minor requirement of employment where there is no likelihood that a risk to life or property would result”.


“I am satisfied that there was scope for adjustments to what I have found to be the genuine and reasonable requirements of the role of confectioner”. “I have found that there were adjustments which ought to have been considered by Mondelez and that they were likely to have been reasonable taking into account: • the evidence of the work .. (Dziurbas)… did while on light duties; • the proportion of time… (Dziurbas)… spent on each of the bagger machines pre-injury and the weights he was required to lift as a proportion of the total time worked; and

• the Mondelez commissioned Act if functional capacity examination completed in February 2013”. “Further, on the evidence available at the hearing, Mondelez has not demonstrated that it complied with section 20 of the EO Act because it has not produced evidence to demonstrate that, even if reasonable adjustments were made, the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment as found could not have been adequately performed by… Dziurbas”.

Summary: lessons to be learned This decision demonstrates that an employer has an obligation to fully investigate all issues regarding an employee’s capacity to undertake the inherent requirements of the job; including the possibility of making reasonable adjustments prior to making any decision as to whether the employee should, or should not be returned to work. Without undertaking such an examination and /or assessment, an employer may well be found to have breached the EO Act, if they terminated the employment of an employee who is suffering from an injury (whether that injury be work related or a private injury).

Should there be any questions about the contents of this Master Plumbers Industrial Relations Note, please contact either Phil Eberhard, Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Master Plumbers, on 03 9321 0720, 0425 790 722 or

3 ways Cbus builds super futures for plumbers in Victoria 1.

Investing in property and development projects through our wholly owned subsidiary Cbus Property1, creating jobs and delivering returns


Easy administration for employers, with online options to join Cbus and pay employees’ super


Industry–specific super products for members, including insurance cover, financial advice and free access to the Cbus smartphone app

Contact Scott for your business super needs Scott LaFerlita

Business Development Manager, VIC

0409 934 674

Cbus Property commercial project, 700 Bourke Street, Melbourne Cbus Property Pty Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cbus and has responsibility for the strategic performance and management of all Cbus direct property developments and investments. This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own business needs and objectives before making any financial decisions. Read the Cbus Employer Handbook and other relevant documents to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.


Master Plumbers VIC Nov16 VIC BDM_template123h x185w_v2.indd 1 | 53 4/11/2016 11:05 AM

Public liability overview. Arranging insurance for your business can often be considered a chore, a task that you put aside for another day. However, many don’t realise that having the right insurance is one of the most important considerations when running a small enterprise. You’ve worked hard to build a customer base and establish yourself as a respectable plumber. Should someone make a claim against you that sees you pay out five, or six figure sums, could your business sustain such a loss without adequate insurance? An annual, or monthly premium payment can not only cover you for financial loss, but it also takes away that worry of being uninsured. Public liability insurance is designed to cover personal injury or property damage caused by an occurrence in connection with your business, including the cost of any damages awarded and costs to defend the claim. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are complexities in who and what your public liability insurance might extend to. Depending on the structure of your business, and the type of work you engage in, there are add-ons that you should consider that might best suit your individual requirements. For more details about this cover, it’s always best to consult with your broker first and read the insurance policy wording.


Victorian plumbers

It is common for many plumbing contractors to engage the services of subcontractors when the work is short-term and expert trade’s skills are needed for a certain period, or when additional workers are required to complete a particular job.

Moving into a new year, it’s important to put provisions in place to get your paperwork in order and look at renewing your licence. Make sure your insurance is current with public liability and defect warranty to meet licensing requirements, and submitted with your renewal.

As sub-contractors are not employees of your business, should they cause personal injury or property damage through their negligence resulting in a third party making a public liability claim, your business may be legally liable to pay such claims as the sub-contractor was completing work on your behalf.

When renewing with Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers, we take the liberty of submitting your insurance documentation to Plumbing Industry Commission on your behalf.

It is extremely important for you to ensure that: • All sub-contractors have a current public liability policy, and they provide you with a copy of their policy in the format of a Certificate of Currency. • Your current public liability policy includes appropriate provision for vicarious liability and/or subcontractors. Noticing recent increases in sub-contractor claims, it’s important that you notify your broker if you hire sub-contractors so they can advise of a suitable insurance solution for your needs.

To avoid any delays in receiving your plumbing licence renewal, it’s important to organise your insurance paperwork as early as possible. That means: • Reviewing your documents so you understand what you are covered for. • Contacting your broker if there have been any changes to your working circumstances so new details can be updated and accurately reflected on your insurance documents. • Importantly, paying your insurance renewal on time to avoid any delays in receiving your proof of insurance, or Certificate of Currency.

About Marsh Advantage Insurance: Marsh Advantage Insurance is a leading provider of insurance broking services for businesses across Australia. Our company is built on a culture dedicated to understanding the risk and insurance needs of local and national businesses that operate in our cities, regions and communities. We are driven by a commitment to deliver industry leading service and value for our clients. Marsh Advantage Insurance sits alongside Marsh as part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global team of professional services firms offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. 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. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303 AFSL 238369) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage Insurance, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry.

54 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

IS IT TIME TO RENEW YOUR PLUMBING LICENCE? Contact Marsh Advantage Insurance for a competitive quote and join the 4,000 plumbers across Victoria already with us. We can arrange public liability insurance starting from $535*, and email your certificate of currency directly to the VBA. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit * Premium includes statutory charges and broker fee and is based on one licensed plumber insured, domestic plumbing work only, with an estimated annual turnover less than $50,000 and no previous claims or uninsured losses in the last five years. Acceptance of cover is subject to underwriter guidelines, which includes restrictions on types of plumbing works. Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under license by Marsh Advantage Insurance. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL No. 238 369) arranges this insurance and is not the insurer. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by us, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. Public liability insurance is underwritten by CGU Insurance Limited (ABN 27 004 478 371, AFSL 238291). This page contains general information and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance. LCPA 16/0112 –16-3052MAI.


The silent treatment. Noise free water pipes are just a matter of good design says John Fennell, CEO of the International Copper Association Australia Water hammer may be the most obvious noise issue with plumbing, but it’s not the only one. High water velocities, damaged tap washers and poorly designed or installed plumbing can all create noise too, especially as modern systems become more complex to meet higher standards. Water hammer is the pressure surge or shock wave caused when a fluid in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly, and commonly occurs with fast closing solenoid valves on washing machines and dishwashers. Water hammer is a design issue occurring in all pipe systems, and is a warning system that allows action to be taken before damage is done or the pipe bursts. There are complicated equations for calculating the effect of water hammer but the key parameters are pressure and water velocity through the pipes. If smaller pipes are used, the water has to travel faster to obtain the same flow at the outlet. Common mistakes when installing plumbing are not using the material or size specified in the design, and trying to keep costs down. Most Hydraulic Consultants use design principles based around copper plumbing when calculating water usage, flow, velocities and pipe sizing.

If a design specifies DN20 copper pipe then this has an internal diameter of about 17mm. If the installer decides to use DN20 PEX pipe, it could have an internal diameter of about 14mm depending on the brand and type. What is more concerning is that the design of the fittings for many plastic pipes is significantly smaller. For DN20 PEX fittings it can be down to 11.2mm. The effect on the water velocity, compared to copper for the same flow, is that for the DN20 plastic pipe it would require a velocity 47 per cent higher but the fittings requires an additional 130 per cent (2.3 times) the velocity. (Note: AS/NZS 3500.1 and AS/NZS 3500.4 have equivalent pipe size tables and specify that DN20 copper is equivalent to DN25 PEX.) It is important for plumbers and installers to remember that if you use a different pipe from that specified in the design you need to check with the pipe supplier that the internal diameters of the pipes and fittings are equivalent or larger than the original design. The other contributing factor for noise and water hammer is pipe supports. All pipes have a specified maximum spacing for brackets and clips as listed in AS/NZS 3500.1 and AS/NZS 3500.4. Copper and steel pipes require less clipping due to their rigid nature. Plastics require more clipping but many plumbers fail to correctly install them, which can often result in their floating or banging on the walls when there is a pressure surge or water hammer.

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

7 steps to minimise noise and water hammer


Design pipe work so that the velocity is no greater than 1.5 m/sec


Ensure that when changing materials or designs that the internal diameter of alternate material is the same, or larger, than the design criteria


Keep the pressure in the system well below 500 kPa with pressure limiting valves


Make sure that all pipe work is secured by clips at the correct spacing for the pipe material


Install one or more water hammer arrestors upstream of fast closing valves


Install soft closing lever taps


If taps or control valves are not at the end of the line, ensure that the outlet pipe is one size larger to eliminate reverse water hammer


Turning a loss into a win.

In the first of our Expert Tendering workshop series, Chris Dennis talks to us about why every tender is a success, whatever the outcome.

You have spent a lot of time and money responding to a tender. You have put in all your best words, your best price and you think…. this tender is a winner! Only to find out that the tender you put so much time into is lost. Some people would go into a foetal position rocking backwards and forwards. Others would let this knock them back and spoil the rest of their week. Others would say “No-one ever wins these tenders – what a waste of time. I’m not doing this again” While others, yell yahoo! Which one are you? It is hard to move on from a losing tender. After all, your business will find it harder to grow if your tenders fail to win. Letting a losing tender ruin your day, week or month and blaming the company for not picking you might be your knee jerk reaction. However this is counterproductive. Thinking and blaming others won’t help you to win the next one. Or show what you and your company are made of. The person who yells yahoo! has seen the opportunity to grow. After all, growth in business is what it’s all about. This person can see that this loss will result in being able to meet with the client and have a Loss Review.


In the Loss Review the client will provide valuable insights about the tender response from a client’s perspective.

This is a way of understanding: What gaps were in the tender How the client perceived your company How your company stacked up against the competitors

As long as you pick the right tenders to go for – there is no downside to tendering! The next article will cover what are the right tenders – watch this space for our next tutorial in the March edition of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine. If you have any tendering questions email Chris Dennis

The hot points of the client – you know; the unwritten must haves

Chris Dennis is a tendering expert, author, speaker and trainer with over 20 years’ experience in corporate Australia.

Think of a Loss Review as free consulting – to make your company better and stronger.

She is a workshop facilitator for industry associations, training members in tender management and tender strategies.

Why your company lost

Where else can you have your ideal client tell you what is important to them? Can you imagine just how powerful this is? Armed with the answers to all your questions, you’ve got the information that can be the difference you need to win the next tender – you will never make the same mistake twice! All of this valuable information can be used to make the next response much better. It can help your company fill any perceived gaps and put your best foot forward next time. This is where real growth will occur in your business as well as personally. Every tender is actually a win, a win financially or a win in growth of your company.

Win Win Tendering was born from her passion for making a difference in the world. She found her niche helping medium-sized companies the chance to compete with the big end of town. Win Win Tendering T 0400 097 161 E W

Download Chris’s exclusive member tips: Tendering and Quoting Guide: 10 Strategies to Reduce Time and Stress Members who sign up receive 10 emails across 10 days featuring plenty of helpful tips. | 57

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product news Fluidmaster launches new pro inlet valve range Introducing the new Fluidmaster PRO-Series range of toilet flush valves, a part of the PRO-Series offered exclusively to professional plumbers only. The PRO45-AU Series Range uses Proprietary Pilot Technology that has been engineered for reliability and durability designed for the Plumbing Professional. PRO45B-AU bottom entry valves have further enhanced chlorine resistance, are ultra-quiet and fast filling, self-cleaning and can reduce water hammer and withstand higher pressures. Finished in a red and black PRO- trim, the PRO45B-AU Model is equipped with a heavy duty brass shank to avoid cross threading or stress related issues from over tightening. The PRO-45B-AU is fully adjustable in height from 230mm to 355mm. Both the Pro-Series models are also available with standard plastic shank platforms and come with a 5 year guarantee. Brass shank versions are also available. Fluidmaster Pro-Series valves are not available at local DIY Hardware/ Handyman stores. They are designed for the hard working Professional, distributed only by Professional Plumbing Outlets and under the New PRO Valve packaging which is easily distinguishable between the Professional and DIY market. Another technological advancement consolidating Fluidmaster as the most trusted name in Toilet Repair and the right choice for durability and reliability for the Professional Plumber.

Get flexi with PEX-A by TradePex TradePex is now even more flexible with the addition of a new cross-linked polyethylene pipe, PEX-A to the system. The new TradePex PEX-A pipe for water is a cross-linked, high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe that is extremely durable – even at temperatures of up to 95 degrees Celsius – and has a high tolerance to wear and corrosion. PEX-A is a very flexible pipe that is easy to work with and provides fast and flexible installation. It’s the most flexible of all PEX tubing types and has little to no coil memory – meaning that once straightened it won’t return to the original shape of coil. The more cross-linking, the more flexible the pipe, and TradePex PEX-A is cross-linked to a minimum of 82%, giving plumbers a pipe that is flexible and easy to work with.

The TradePex system features a pressure rating of PN20 – the highest rating with the highest pressure available. All fittings are made from high quality dezincification resistant brass (no plastic), and with just one fitting for both gas and water, sleeve or crimp, the TradePex system has a key advantage over others. Certified as compliant to relevant Australian Standards by ApprovalMark International and featuring a 25 year warranty, plumbers really do have the best PEX when they buy TradePex. Sleeve it. Crimp it. Done! with TradePex. Visit

Solutions for regulations and standards compliance in our plumbing industry Wenning Technical Services provides specialist plumbing consulting, inspection and investigation services. Over the past 17 years, the business has earned an excellent reputation with our clients, assisting in complex plumbing matters concerning building structures, fire, explosions and flooding. We have also been conducting Quality Assurance inspections for plumbers and builders and preparing Plumbing Performance Solutions to comply with the Plumbing Code of Australia. Our clients have included the Victorian Building Authority, Department of Health and Human Services, Government of Hong Kong, Melbourne Water, Austin Health, Hoyts and numerous Insurance Companies, Plumbing and Building Contractors.

Over 35 years, Principal Consultant, Peter Wenning has been involved in various roles in our plumbing industry including Contractor, Hydraulic Services Designer, Teacher and Inspector. In the early 1990s, Peter was employed by Melbourne Water as a Plumbing Inspector responsible for inspection of landmark Melbourne projects including Southgate, Melbourne Central, Stock Exchange and MCG Great Southern Stand. This year, the second edition of Peters’ book titled, “Sanitary Plumbing and Drainage” was published by Cengage and is used throughout Australia in TAFE. He also completed a course at University of Southern California – School of Engineering. Contact (03) 8774 4024 or for further information. | 59

product news Cut installation time in half with the Evolution MkIII Pump from Kingspan Water The Evolution MkIII comes as an integrated unit with a Kingspan Water tank. It has a powerful Grundfos Submersible Pump and PM Rain Controller that work together to improve performance and efficiency of the water tank system. The unit fits neatly on top of and inside the tank, instead of on the wall, resulting in a more efficient use of space and a better overall appearance. Cleverly sourcing rainwater for applications such as toilets, laundry and gardens, the Evolution MkIII senses if the tank is empty, or if there is a power outage, automatically switching to the mains water supply. Installation is quick and easy with the pump and mains by-pass controller connecting the copper rough-ins to the compression fittings on the lid. The Evolution MkIII comes to suit made to measure Kingspan Water AQUAPLATE® Tanks. Not only does it improve the appearance of the water tank system for the home or business owner, it also has the added advantage of being quick and easy to install, dramatically reducing installation times, which results in reduced costs. It also comes with up to 4 years warranty (2 years standard and 2 years bonus) when registering at Call 1300 736 562 to speak to a tank expert today, or visit for further information.

60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

How to have a life away from the office Plumbing business owner Adam Bell used to start work at 5.30am to give out job cards to his field staff. Glued to his business, holidays, sleep-ins and time off had become a distant memory. And so it continued, until he embraced job management software – and his business experienced a radical transformation. With simPRO Software, he was able to systemise and automate his business. Manual invoicing became a thing of the past, shaving long hours from his working week. He gained extra time with jobs pushed straight to their mobiles, so he could work on the go. Adam gained a powerful visibility over his business, with detailed reports and financial information at his fingertips. With more time to get to the office in the mornings, Adam switched his car for a pushbike and rode to work. He enjoyed cycling so much, he kept training and pushing himself, until he successfully completed the Byron Bay triathlon! Find out more about how simPRO Software is helping Adam and others take back control of their businesses at Master Plumbers members can access simPRO job management software for free! As a Master Plumbers member, you’re entitled to one simPRO Service office licence and one simPRO Connect field licence free for the lifetime of your membership*. That’s a total value of $1176 per year! Get started today by visiting members-master-plumbers

Viega expands its concealed cisterns range in Australia Viega, one of the leading international manufacturers of installation technology, has expanded its Australian range of concealed cisterns, with the release of an under-counter model – the Eco Plus 2L. “Aesthetics, hygiene, water conservation and easy installation are just some of the technological benefits of the Eco Plus 2L system’s design”, explains Robert Hardgrove, Viega’s Technical Manager / Strategic Projects. “Viega’s precision-engineered concealed cisterns feature integrated steel frames designed for easy fixing with the strength to support wall-hung pans,” he says. “Add this to the Eco Plus’s 830mm height and it is ideal for under-counter cistern installations. It’s a great solution for creative bathroom design.” The focus when designing the Eco Plus cistern was to provide a slim-line, dual-flush cistern that’s easy to install and use. Not only that, it has a Wells 4-star dual-flush water-saving cistern based on 3 and 4.5 litre flush – with large flush adjustable to 6 litres. Another key feature is the insulation of the cistern, which is designed to reduce noise and stop condensation as a result of cooler than room temperature water refilling the cistern. For more information on Viega’s Mono cisterns and flush plate range, visit



Australian made using Bluescope AQUAPLATE® Steel

Made to measure in our factories in NSW, VIC and QLD

Australian Standard AS4020 for storage of drinking water

Ability to select fitting locations on tank

All our tanks come with a 10 year construction warranty and 20 year warranty against corrosion





Using the Size-a-lator, quickly design a water tank – shape, size, colour, fittings and accessories – and get it quoted.

KingspanWater-API-HalfPgAd-1116_art.indd 1

Range of fitting sizes available to fit commercial and residential projects Delivery direct to tank base or concrete pad onsite – we won’t leave the tank on the driveway

Cut installation time in half with the Evolution MkIII Pump from Kingspan Water The Evolution MkIII from Kingspan Water comes with a powerful Grundfos Submersible Pump and PM Rain Controller. The Evolution MkIII has the the advantage of dramatically reducing installation time and cost, while improving the appearance of the water tank system.

✆ 1300 736 562 Residential | Rural | Commercial

8/11/16 10:16 am | 61

product news Aussie ups jetter safety In a key move to assist plumbers in complying with new safety standards for high pressure drain cleaning and jetting equipment, Aussie Pumps have upgraded their popular range. From last September, all Aussie Cobra and King Cobra machines are fitted as standard with an emergency stop (E stop) and are being supplied with a heavy duty Aussie Safety Plate. The E stop enables operators to shut down the machine easily in the event of an emergency. The upgrades to these 4,000 psi and 5,000 psi machines are all part of Aussie Pump’s commitment to keeping plumbers safe as they unblock choked drains and sewers. “These changes are just the beginning of a major safety awareness programme we are launching to make users more aware of safety standards and the very real dangers in using high pressure cleaning equipment” said Aussie Pumps’ Operations Manager, Hamish Lorenz. “We equip all Cobra Jetters with hose protectors and are offering optional foot valves to align with the latest safety standards adopted by Australia and New Zealand” he said. Aussie Pumps has been at the cutting edge of operator safety offering a full range of personal protection equipment including gloves and boots rated for use of up to 7,000 psi. Gloves are made from Dyneema, a unique high strength material that can resist pressures of up to 7,000 psi. “We’ve even got overalls, jackets and trousers in Dyneema available in either standard grey or high-vis” said Lorenz. Aussie Pumps is working on a free safety user’s guide for drain cleaning designed to assist plumbers in compliance awareness and in staying safe in the workplace. Further information, including a free safety package, is readily available from Australian Industries.

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016


Unitray – Hot water unit installation made easy Unitray is a new hot water unit safe tray system providing an assembly time of one minute, whilst exceeding the requirements of AS3500 – National Plumbing Code. The new Unitray system for hot water units incorporates the “Tee, Tundish and Tundish Cap” which allows for easy connection of pressure relief drains into the integrated ports above the tundish. The tray is manufactured from HDPE and has a 50mm screwed thread outlet, for the connection of the tee. All components are manufactured from HDPE which allows for either screwed, HDPE fusion welded or fernco type connection.

Features include: • Integrated elevating (pizza) base eliminating the need for a BAYTAK base • 6 optional elevating posts for where an elevating stand is required offering a far cheaper over-thecounter purchase • Multiple locating slots in the tray to position posts to make connection to a pre-existing waste below the tray possible • Circular design making a more versatile fit compared to existing square trays • Available to suit hot water units from 25 to 315 litre capacity • Manufactured from non-conductive, UV resistant and rust proof material Available from all major plumbing wholesalers within Australia – just ask for Unitray or visit

Apprentices. 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 | 63

product news Building ‘super’ futures for plumbers like you As Australia’s largest industry Super Fund for the construction, building and allied industries, and with more than 32 years of experience – Cbus exists to maximise retirement outcomes for members, while making Super hassle-free for over 108,000 businesses across the country.

The Cbus Employer App – Making super simpler for small businesses At Cbus, we’re committed to making Super hassle-free for businesses. After much anticipation, we are excited to announce the launch of the Cbus Employer App. Managing Super on the go has never been this easy for Cbus employers. With the new app, employers will be able to:

Build your business website in 3 easy steps Easy Website In A Box has changed the face of website creation by giving you everything you need without extra cost. Easy Website In A Box provides you with reliability, ease and fantastic designs specifically for your plumbing business that lets you create your very own website without any hassle. With our responsive software, you can create a website that is fully adaptable on any device. Plus your website is fully secured against identity theft, viruses and spyware by world-leader in Internet Security – McAfee SECURE.

Features include: • “Quick Start” Trade specific templates • Adaptable to all devices, PC, MAC, tablet, mobile

• Login with a simple 4-digit pin

• Domain

• Add or remove employees

• Hosting

• Submit and pay super contributions

• 5x Email addresses

• Get PDF receipts

• McAfee SECURE website security

To find out more, visit or search “Cbus Super” in your app store.

• Constant Contact – Digital marketing

Any questions?

• Testimonials, certificates & licenses

Cbus can help with your business super needs. Contact your local Cbus representative: Scott LaFerlita on 0409 934 674 or visit

• Full support – Email & Online Chat

This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own business needs and objectives before making any financial decisions. Read the Cbus Employer Handbook and other relevant documents to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.

64 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

• Appointments • Quotation requests

• Search Engine Optimised; Google, Yahoo, Bing

Constant contact – email marketing Quickly create professional-looking newsletters and promotional fliers to keep in touch with your customers. With easy-to-use features, intuitive contact management system and reporting, Constant Contact helps deliver real business results.

Cloud based No need to install software and keep it up-to-date. We do it all for you and keep you on the latest version when released. And you can use any device to access your account from anywhere in the World.

Make changes on the go Make any changes to your website straight from your mobile phone or tablet. Upload images from your camera phone, write blog posts or update your website wherever you are – on site, in the office or holiday! Visit for further information.

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Includes..... Domain • Hosting • Emails Quotation Module • Email Marketing • Fully Supported and much more..........

All this for less than a cost of a beer a week!

Specific website templates for Plumbers, includes everything you need. Fully integrated website tailored to your business.


Online version only. Domain names subject to availability. * Regular price $249 per annum, save $50 on your first years subscription, offer available till 31/12/16.

Australian Plumber Press Ad v4.indd 1

8/11/2016 2:43 pm

Get the complete plumber's package! UTE MOUNTED RAIDER JETTER + TROGEN LOCATOR + 60M PUSH CAMERA

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1800 816 830 | 65

product news Raymor welcomes new designs to their tapware range Raymor has built a reputation for innovation, quality and design excellence. The new Sigma and Raven collections are no exception and promise to impress even your fussiest customer. The sleek, square Sigma collection combines contemporary design with the quality and superior engineering that you have come to expect from Raymor. The smooth edging offers low maintenance cleaning without compromising on style. Available in a chrome or matte black finish, the Sigma collection includes shower, bath and basin mixers, tower basins and 160mm and 220mm wall spouts.

If it’s innovation and design style you are looking for, Raymor gives you more of what you want, whether you are building, renovating or revitalising. Raymor has been a feature in Australian bathrooms, kitchens and laundries for more than 60 years and is the first choice for many tradesmen, architects, designers and homeowners. Check out the new Raymor range at

For a modern spin on a classic look your customers will love, why not try the new matte black Raven collection? The Raven collection includes shower, bath and basin mixers, tower basins and 160mm and 220mm wall spouts.


War on Zika … Puddle sucker solution

66 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | December 2016

Flash floods and heavy rains often result in flooded buildings, inundated basements and swamped car parks. Left undrained, the stagnant water can become a breeding ground for Zika and Dengue infested mosquitos, with the potential for major health issues in tropical parts of Australia and SE Asia. Aussie Pumps offer a lightweight, single phase residue dewatering pump manufactured by Japanese company Tsurumi. Nicknamed the Puddle Sucker, it is ideal for removing sheet water, dewatering concrete slabs and pools, and emptying flooded manholes. “The Puddle Sucker is great at clearing pooling or stagnant water. It’s being deployed throughout SE Asia in the war on mosquitos,” said Aussie Pumps Product Manager Neil Bennett. “These pumps are unique in their ability to suck down to the last millimetre and are extremely popular with plumbers for clearing contaminated water,” he said.

The Puddle Sucker is designed to remove water down to 1mm. Weighing only 12 kilos, it is portable, easy to set up and simple to prime. The submersible can produce flows of up to 170 litres per minute, with a head of up to 11 metres. The Tsurumi Puddle Sucker uses a semi vortex design impeller that features a “high-gap structure” that makes it highly resistant to abrasion. An Oil Lifter, developed exclusively by Tsurumi, acts as a lubricating device for the mechanical seal. Utilising the centrifugal force of the shaft seal, the Oil Lifter forcibly supplies lubricating oil to the upper seal faces, even at low lubricant levels. This amazingly simple device ensures lubrication and cooling and extends the length of time between inspections and services substantially. Further information on the complete range of Tsurumi submersible pumps is available on and from Aussie Pump Distributors throughout Australia.

Tested WaterMarked to AS 1628 Suitable for potable water Dezincification resistant brass PN 16  Untested  Not WaterMarked  Not suitable for potable water  Standard brass  Low PN ratings

Is it worth the risk? With Zetco’s new range of tested DZR brass swing check valves, licenced plumbers can be assured that they are fulfilling the requirements of AS 3500. Available now in sizes 15mm to 100mm. Full specifications are available at

IAPMO WM-022360 AS 1628


Quality ISO 9001

Innovative Valve Solutions

1300 659 639

Viega Propress Press-Fit Technology

Celebrating Ten Years Successful Partnership with Australian Plumbers. 1800 4 VIEGA

Quality and reliability you can build your reputation on! Since Viega Propress copper tube press-fit technology was introduced to the Australian market in 2006, it has been widely adopted around Australia for gas and water installations by the plumbing, construction and HVAC industries. It has constantly proven itself across a myriad of installations from retail centres to apartment towers, hospitals to aquatic centres, landmark office towers to gas and water utilities. A Viega innovation, Propress press-fit technology enables projects to be completed quickly, efficiently and safely, and delivers German quality and reliability you can build your reputation on. Viega. Connected in quality.

Available from

Australian Plumbing December 2016  

For over 25 years, Australian Plumbing has been the industry’s leading publication, delivering independent coverage of news and events.

Australian Plumbing December 2016  

For over 25 years, Australian Plumbing has been the industry’s leading publication, delivering independent coverage of news and events.