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Tonight as I work late in the office, my attention turned for a quick news update.

And what I found has left me gobsmacked.

Quickie Hot Water Valve Installation Kits – thanks to the latest Masters brochure.

Two weeks ago A Current Affair ran a report of being cautious of the Fake Tradie. The cameras followed a man into a large retailer where plumbing fixtures and fittings were being bought to allegedly carry out plumbing work at a property.

Well, not only can small plumbing fixtures and fittings be bought at these retailers, but you can also walk in and buy a hot water service. Now, thanks to DIY videos, you get full instructions on how to install the quickie valve too.

It reminds me of the recent raids in Melbourne that uncovered dodgy dental clinics. It raised fears that patients could have been infected with blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. Three homes were raided in Melbourne after a tip-off from a registered dentist.

At least you can’t pop by Bunnings and buy dental equipment.

Here are the facts: The plumbing industry is regulated by the Victorian Building Authority. Plumbers are required to be licensed and (hopefully) insured. A plumber cannot take out public liability insurance without proof of registration and licence.

A plumber must lodge a Certificate of Compliance for any job over $750 including labour and materials. To read more of the blah blah jargon you can click here. Oh – and it’s also illegal to conduct any work on gas and most plumbing without a licence.

So, how can these major retailers be selling and instructing the public on how to “DIY” on such items that require a licence?

Just like the risk of HIV and Hepatitis of patients who used the backyard dentist, so is the risk to your family when your home plumbing has been illegally and/or incorrectly installed.

Some time ago Channel 9 reported an explosion to a home when the home owner attempted some DIY on their hot water service. It’s gas people! There is the likelyhood of an explosion happening.

Seriously, what is the plumbing industry coming to? The VBA need to take a stronger approach. The retailers need to be held accountable because at some point, someone is going to be fatally injured doing some DIY because they walked into a major retailer, watched a YouTube video and thought they would save some money.

In the long run, it costs more. More time. More money….let’s just hope and pray not more lives.

Wake up VBA. You’re charged with overseeing a regulated industry. Regulate it. Stop allowing the general public to purchase fixtures that require a licence to install.

Thanks to @theplumbette for posting the brochure.