Plumbers bid to take over RAC in Victoria (June 2019)

Despite considerable differences in the nature of the work and underlying training, mechanical services plumbers are making an audacious bid for refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) work in Victoria.

The Victorian Government is currently considering a proposal for mechanical services plumbers to install and service multi-head air conditioning systems.

The move defies logic and, if approved, is destined to result in systemic failures.

One practical example is for welding pipe. Mechanical services plumbers typically use only 3 to 5 per cent silver solder, whereas RAC applications, which are much higher pressure, require 15 to 45 per cent silver solder. This is typical of the differences between the more general mechanical services work and the specialist nature of RAC work.

The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) is working to highlight the folly of such a move.

The Victorian Government has recently undertaken some valuable work to simplify licensing for RAC work, so it is more consistent with how the industry operates, is more economically sensible and better aligned with appropriate training.

This current move will, in part, undermine that good work.