Hot water systems

A plumber cannot install, replace, test, repair or maintain solar and heat pump hot water heater systems within Queensland without holding a solar and heat pump license endorsement.

Plumbers that hold a current solar and heat pump hot water system endorsement are only required to submit a Form 4 (Notifiable Work) and pay the relevant fee. Inspection of the work is not required, however council may randomly audit completed installations to monitor compliance.

  • Replacement of hot water units pre 1/03/2006

    Where an existing unit is replaced like-for-like, a notifiable minor work form is to be submitted by a licensed plumber. Where an existing unit is replaced by a gas hot water system, it is deemed regulated work and council approval must be obtained. For a compliance permit to be issued by council, the following must be submitted:

  • Solar hot water unit installation criteria (new and replacement)
    • Relief drain from temperature and pressure relief valve to terminate a maximum of 450 mm above ground level (do not discharge onto roof or into eaves gutter).
    • Tempering and control valves shall be accessible from floor or ground level (the necessity to use a ladder to access valves is not considered as “accessible”).
    • These units are considered to be an uncontrolled heat source and therefore a “high performance” tempering valve is recommended.
    • These units may not be compatible with some pipe material (i.e. polyethylene and polybutlene) and require tempering before connection.
    • All hot water lines are to have correct lagging.


    Unvented Storage unit installation requirements (replacement):

    • A heat trap (with vertical drop of 150 mm) is required within one metre of the outlet pipe and before first branch where the HWU does not have an integral heat trap.
    • All external piping from the HWU to the primary kitchen sink must be thermally insulated with 13 mm closed cell polymer or similar material.

    Heat Exchange units installation criteria (new and replacement)

    • Generally to be installed in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations.

    Instantaneous gas hot water units installation criteria:

    • High performance tempering valves are required.
    • Where specifically manufactured units have integral temperature controls (factory set and require a technician to alter) tempering valves may be omitted.
  • Rainwater tanks

    Rainwater tanks that use roof water can:

    • reduce demand from the reticulated water supply
    • reduce stormwater runoff
    • achieve more sustainable development

    However, there are strict guidelines [rainwater tank policy] regarding installation and use of rainwater tanks.

  • Water savings targets

    Building development applications lodged for the construction of new class 1 buildings (houses, townhouses, terrace houses and villas) before 1 February 2013 in Queensland are required to meet mandatory water savings targets.

  • Plumbing legislation

    Queensland councils, plumbers and drainers, builders, developers, community title managers, water service providers and householders are all regulated under the following current state and federal government legislation:

    If you have any queries on your category of work or legislation requirements, please contact us on 1300 242 686.

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