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Stick to electrical work when installing solar photovoltaic panels

If you are installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels you should only carry out work you are qualified to do. Electrical workers can often be asked to undertake plumbing work as part of a PV panel installation – this is illegal and should not attempted.

Electrical contractors are licensed to perform a wide range of the electrical work which is often intimately part of the building. This often becomes an issue when installing PV panels.

For example, an electrical contractor may find parts of a plumbing installation need to be relocated before a solar installation can be started. If so, a licensed plumber must carry out the plumbing work, unless the electrical contractor also holds the requisite plumbing licence.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) allows electrical contractors to install PV systems without a QBCC license. However, any trade work other than electrical work must be conducted by an appropriately licensed person.


  • Have a licensed plumber make any necessary changes to plumbing work.
  • Do not work on any plumbing (such as vents) on the roof unless you hold a suitable plumbing licence. This is fined at $1178 per offence.
  • Discuss any issues you foresee with other contractors and homeowners before you begin the installation.

Further information

Regulated plumbing work must only be performed by a licensed plumber under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002. The person performing this work must also be covered by a plumbing trade contractor’s licence under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.

Current Australian Standard

AS/NZS5033:2014 Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays
This sets out general installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays, including d.c. array wiring, electrical protection devices, switching and earthing, up to, but not including, energy storage devices, power conversion equipment or loads.

All Australian Standards are available for purchase from SAI Global.

Last updated
11 May 2017

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