My Gripe About Plumbing Supplier Contradictions


If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that my mantra is to always use a licensed plumber for all your plumbing jobs around the home. It’s not a good thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.

Google isn’t the only culprit assisting homeowners to do their own plumbing; our plumbing suppliers are not helping.

On Friday, dad and I had to pick up some fittings from a popular plumbing supplier. While I was at the counter, an older woman was being served next to me with an iPhone in hand showing pictures of a shower that she needed to hook up.

The assistant behind the counter was only too happy to give her what she needed and explain how the fittings were to be installed.  Apparently, she was giving the fittings to her plumber to install for her. I wasn’t sure why the plumber wasn’t getting the gear themself to save the woman the hassle of explaining what she needed? And what was the assistant doing giving plumbing advice when he wasn’t licensed himself?

While this was unfolding, I saw a brochure of the supplier running a competition for plumbers to send in photos of illegal plumbing for a chance to win some cash and tools. What a contradiction. Here they wanted to see photos of illegal plumbing and yet they were explaining to a woman how to install her shower and selling her the fittings to do it.

Plumbing is a licensed trade. If you’re not licensed, don’t do it. It’s illegal. You are breaking the law. And our plumbing suppliers should be supporting this.

This brings me to write about retailers who supply gear to plumbers only.  Plumbers Choice and Forge Plumbing, will only supply plumbing gear to licensed plumbers. All plumbing suppliers and home and hardware retailers should be making the same call. Show your plumbing license and you can purchase the fittings. Margin share wouldn’t drop, because instead of homeowners buying their gear, it would be licensed plumbers.


You see I am passionate about doing right by the customer. Plumbing is not a DIY trade. Just because you can purchase the fittings doesn’t mean you should.

We need to be fair dinkum about illegal plumbing and it needs to be supported by our plumbing suppliers.

My gripe about plumbing supplier contradictions is over.

Do you think plumbing suppliers should stop selling plumbing fittings to the unlicensed? What are your thoughts?