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Plumbing code, standards and notes 

Information for plumbers and drainers

The Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) is the technical standard for all plumbing and drainage work in NSW. All plumbing and drainage work in NSW must comply with the PCA.

The Code replaced the more prescriptive NSW Code of Practice for Plumbing and Drainage and other local requirements. The PCA allows plumbers to work easily across different regions, without needing to know local variations.

The PCA sets out performance requirements for the design, construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration and maintenance of plumbing and drainage installations.

The Code calls up AS/NZS 3500, and it has two provisions that plumbers and drainers can work to and achieve code compliance. One option is for the work to be done under the ‘Deemed to Satisfy’ provision which means that it has been done in accordance with AS/NZS 3500. The other is the performance based provision where work (usually designed by a hydraulic engineer or consultant) meets or exceeds the requirements of AS/NZS 3500. 

Copies of the PCA are available from the Australian Building Codes Board at

The Guideline for plumbing and drainage: installing code compliant work and performance solutions can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Technical advice for licensed plumbers and drainers 

NSW Fair Trading provides technical advice about the interpretation of the PCA and relevant industry standards. This service is only available to licensed plumbers and drainers in the Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle regions.

You can email Fair Trading with technical enquiries at

If you do not have email access, you can call on 1300 889 099 between 8am and 12pm, Monday to Friday.

For all enquiries you must have a current version of the PCA and standards (AS/NZS 3500) available as Fair Trading’s technical support staff will refer to these documents.

Plumbers and drainers outside Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle should contact their local council or water utility operator for technical advice.

Technical Notes

NSW Fair Trading has a selection of technical notes for the plumbing industry that provide information on technical solutions, installation requirements and code interpretations. They can be printed and downloaded from the table below. 


Date Published



Technical Note 1 July 2013 New installation requirements of temperature control devices (PDF size: 226kb) All metropolitan and regional areas in NSW
Technical Note 2 July 2013 Soffit requirements when connecting to a Sydney Water sewer main (PDF size: 229kb) All Sydney Water areas of operation
Technical Note 3 July 2013 Point of connection explanatory notes (PDF size: 518kb) All metropolitan and regional areas in NSW
Technical Note 4 November 2013 Air Admittance Valves (AAVs) (PDF size: 266kb) All metropolitan and regional areas in NSW
Technical Note 5 November 2013 Complying floor wastes (PDF size: 229kb) All metropolitan and regional areas in NSW
Technical Note 6 November 2013 Final audit inspection (PDF size: 214kb) All metropolitan and regional areas in NSW
Technical Note 8 November 2014 Installation of toilet seat douche outlets (PDF size: 232kb) All installations in NSW
Technical Note 10 January 2015 Submission of paperwork (PDF size: 92kb) Sydney, Blue Mountains, Illawarra and the Hunter
Technical Note 11 July 2015 Inspection Openings (PDF size: 204kb) All installations in NSW
Technical Note 12 July 2016 Filled Ground (PDF size: 217kb) All installations in NSW

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