Good news for WA's licensed plumbers and the consumers who depend on them for quality work! Building and Energy has released the preliminary findings of its investigation into the failure of Pro-fit polybutylene plumbing pipes made by Iplex Australia. The official announcement on Wednesday 16 August says "installation work practices and workmanship were not the cause of the pipe failures."
Building and Energy, which is the industry regulator, reached this conclusion after conducting inspections at over 50 properties where pipe failures occurred and engaging independent materials experts to conduct laboratory testing of samples. Their aim was to determine whether the failures were due to poor workmanship, manufacturing problems or a combination of both.
As well as clearing the reputation of plumbing contractors who installed Pro-fit pipes, Building and Energy has referred its findings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of WA has always maintained that installation practices were unlikely to be the cause of problems with Pro-fit pipes. The results of Building and Energy's thorough and impartial investigation support our belief that plumbers who installed the pipes complied with all the relevant regulations, Australian Standards and manufacturer's instructions.
Building and Energy will continue to keep the industry and the public informed. They have a polybutylene plumbing pipes web page with a register where consumers affected by burst Pro-fit pipes can provide their details.
More details including comments by the Executive Director of Building and Energy are in the full 16 August announcement.
We first reported on Building and Energy's investigation in this news item in April.