Did you know that it is illegal to do your own electrical, gas and plumbing work?

Only licensed electricians, gas fitters and plumbers can do work on electrical, gas and plumbing appliances, or electrical, gas and plumbing installations. This applies to most work on your property, whether it is your home, rental property, business, caravan or boat. There are a few exceptions where you can do things yourself, which are noted below.

If you do electrical, gas and plumbing work without a license, you may receive a fine. It can also be extremely dangerous for you and result in serious injury, or even death. Insurance companies may not cover fire or personal injury claims caused by do-it-yourself electrical, gas or plumbing work.

Licensed tradespeople have the equipment, training and knowledge to do the necessary work safely and in accordance with appropriate regulations and rules. When using a licensed tradesperson you should ensure they:

You should keep your certificate of compliance and the invoice for the work, as proof that the work was done correctly, for at least five years.

When to call a licensed tradesperson

Electrical work in your home

You must use a licensed electrician for work between the SA Power Networks point of supply up to and including:

  • the electrical wiring on your property, from the main switchboard to the building
  • wiring within the building to an electrical appliance
  • fixed electrical appliances.

Stop using an electrical appliance and call a licensed electrician immediately if you see damage to wiring insulation, socket outlets, appliance cords or the electrical switchboard

  • your circuit breakers keep tripping.

Electricity meters, and the electricity distribution network in South Australia are the responsibility of SA Power Networks.

A serious fault in the electricity supply to your home may be indicated by:

  • lights dimming when you turn electrical appliances on
  • receiving shocks or tingles from electrical appliances or water pipes.

To report faults, electricity emergencies and power interruptions, contact SA Power Networks on 13 13 66.

Gas work in your home

You must use a licensed gas fitter for any work between the gas meter outlet or LPG cylinder valve up to and including:

  • the gas appliance
  • the pipework from the gas meter or cylinder to the appliance
  • any flues and ducts.

Turn off your gas supply and call a licensed gas fitter immediately if you see:

  • a gas appliance burning incorrectly - eg yellow or uneven flames, pungent odours, black carbon soot, appliance going out regularly
  • visible damage to gas pipes.

Gas meters, and the gas distribution network in South Australia are the responsibility of Australian Gas Networks. If you can smell gas outside your property and you suspect it's a gas leak, phone 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532) to report it.

Plumbing work in your home

You must use a licensed plumber for work from the water main and sewer main connection points at the property borders, up to and including the pipework in your home. For example:

  • installing or replacing a water heater, including electric, gas, solar or heat pump systems
  • installing additional fixtures, such as toilets, showers and sinks
  • extending or altering pipework
  • doing kitchen and bathroom plumbing renovations
  • installing or maintaining a non-drinking water service.

Water meters and the water and sewerage network in metropolitan Adelaide are usually the responsibility of SA Water. If there are any problems with your water supply or sewerage network connection points, please contact SA Water.

What you can do yourself

As a general rule, you should call a licensed tradesperson for any installation, repair or renovation work that involves electricity, gas or plumbing services. The Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Regulations 2010 explains that although there are some tasks you can legally perform yourself, you must take reasonable steps to ensure the work is safe, or you risk a fine or prosecution.

Electrical work in your home

Provided you have the skills to safely do so, you can:

  • install a TV or radio transmission device, eg an antenna
  • replace a fuse and reset circuit breakers
  • test safety switches
  • change smoke detector batteries
  • replace light globes
  • clean your solar photovoltaic panels.

Gas work in your home

Provided you have the skills to safely do so, you can:

  • connect or disconnect a gas cylinder and portable equipment that uses a gas cylinder, eg a BBQ or patio heater.

Plumbing work in your home

Provided you have the skills to safely do so, you can:

  • install, repair or maintain a garden irrigation system
  • replace, repair or disconnect a tap
  • replace a jumper valve or washer in a tap
  • change a shower head
  • connect a washing machine or dishwasher
  • replace a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber in a toilet cistern
  • clear a blocked wastewater drain provided it has a diameter of less than 50mm
  • work on stormwater pipes, provided they have a diameter of less than 90mm.

Unlicensed tradespeople

You can report any person, business or company offering services as an electrician, plumber or gas fitter in South Australia but not licensed in South Australia to Consumer and Business Services.

Unsafe or unsatisfactory work

If you feel that completed electrical, gas or plumbing work is unsafe or non-compliant, contact the tradesperson who installed the equipment and ask for the problem to be fixed. If the problem is still not resolved, contact the Office of the Technical Regulator or download and submit a complaint form .

If you have issues with payment or contractual issues, contact Consumer and Business Services.

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Page last updated 21 April 2022

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