An unlicensed plumber has been fined thousands of dollars after he failed to repair a leaking hot water cylinder in a Hastings home.

A handyman Dennis Rosser was found guilty and sentenced to pay $3000 for conducting restricted sanitary plumbing work without authorisation, in the Hastings District Court today.

A Hastings landlady employed Rosser to repair a leaking hot water cylinder at her property.

A 20mm gate valve was replaced as well as installing a crox tee.

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The woman became concerned about the repairs when she received unusually high electricity bills.

She employed a qualified plumber who found the work was defective, which caused hot water to leak under the house and left the area saturated.

Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying board chief executive Martin Sawyers said: "Restricted plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work conducted by anyone, including home handyman service providers, who don't hold a current licence from the Board is illegal. Unauthorised people are not only putting public health and safety at risk, they may also be invalidating homeowner insurance policies."

He said this was one of many cases where the complainant had simply assumed the person performing the work was licensed.

"Tradespeople are required to carry a current authorisation card -- and homeowners and property managers should ask to sight it to protect themselves from any health and safety or insurance risk," Sawyers said.

Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand and it is illegal for anyone to do this work unless they hold authorisation from the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

Anyone can check to see if a person is authorised by searching the online public register at www.pgdb.co.nz or by phoning 0800 743 262.

If a homeowner believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of a tradesperson, they should notify the board.