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New national plumbing standards published

New national plumbing standards published

SAI Global Limited (ASX: SAI) has published the new Australian Standards® for the plumbing industry. The Australian Standards®, which were last published in 1995, have been revised by Standards Australia to incorporate the latest industry developments.


The Managing Director of SAI Global, Mr Ross Wraight, said: “These Australian Standards® are a vital tool for all Australian plumbers and form part of our extensive range of technical publications for the building and construction industry.“


The General Manager of Business Publishing at SAI Global, Mr Howard Paul: “These standards are key for all those in the plumbing industry and detail a number of the key developments in plumbing practice across Australia.”


According to the Manager of Training & Industry Standards at Plumbing Industry Commission of Victoria, Mr John McBride: “The revised AS/NZS 3500 series of standards will be the technical cornerstone of the New Plumbing Code of Australia and it is important that the industry and community recognise the strategic role these standards will play with issues such as water savings, energy savings and global sustainability to be driven through plumbing regulation.“ 


The changes to the Australian Standards® also form part of a national strategy to reduce green house gas emissions with Part 4 of the AS 3500 series, which deals with heated water systems incorporating increased requirements for insulated pipes.


The new energy efficiency clauses in AS/NZS 35000.4 previously published as an amendment have been included in the revision, with a larger map of each state showing the climate regions. Provision has been made alerting the industry to requirements for recirculated heated water systems with temperatures below 60°C. A handbook is also being developed to assist installers of systems with temperatures below 60°C.


The use of water heaters as a means of meeting the requirements for limiting the hot water temperature to 50°C for water used for ablutions and the use of tempering valves for tempering hot water to 50°C and thermostatic mixing valves for hospitals and aged care has been clarified.


Other amendments in the Australian Standards® include;

  • In Part 1, a new section on non-drinking water has been included to cover the recycled water systems and other non drinking water and the sections on fire services were also updated;
  • In Part 2, the provisions for air admittance valves have been expanded; and
  • In Part 3, which deals with stormwater, changes were made to the sections covering the design of gutters and down pipes for domestic houses and the inclusion for high capacity sumps on the larger properties.


According to Mr McBride: “Another important change is the enhanced plumbing standards for water supply and draining systems in multi unit developments, this new section will ensure that the end users who purchase properties within those developments are not disadvantaged with poor water supply and drainage service outcomes.”


The Australian Standards® in the AS 3500 series include;

  • AS/NZS 3500.1, Water Services;
  • AS/NZS 3500.2, Sanitary Plumbing and drainage;
  • AS/NZS 3500.3 Stormwater; and
  • AS/NZS 3500.4, Heated water systems.


The new Australian Standards® are titled AS/NZS 3500 Plumbing and Drainage and will be referenced in the proposed Plumbing Code of Australia which is produced by the National Plumbing Regulators Forum. The new plumbing code will also contain the performance requirements which were previously part of the Australian Standards®. The states are expected to call up the Plumbing Code of Australia along with the performance requirements in the coming months.


The Standards can be purchased for $148.28 (retail price) or $111.15 for members through our website . SAI Global is the market leader in the publication and distribution of standards and training and conformity assessment services in Australia.

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    Media Inquiries - Geoff Richardson – SAI Global

Ph: +61 2 8206 6807  Email:

SAI Global
is one of the world’s leading business publishing, training and assurance organisations with offices in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and across Asia. Through its extensive network of auditors, experts and training professionals SAI Global works with organisations to help them build better businesses.

SAI Global delivers an integrated range of standards and business improvement related products and services ranging from occupation health and safety systems to risk and environmental management training.

These services are based on a treasury of more than 110,000 Australian Standards®, International Standards, foreign standards, and business publications. These standards are the common denominator in countless daily business transactions, and facilitate trade between individuals, corporations and nations. But through complementary services like education, conformity assessment and business excellence programs, they also add value through enhanced organisational intelligence, operational efficiency, and deliver measurable competitive advantage in the market place.