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Water rating

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme

A joint government and industry program


Plumbing Products

The following are WELS products and must be registered and labelled:

  • lavatory equipment (toilet pans, cisterns, flushing mechanisms & suites)
  • urinal equipment
  • taps intended for use over a basin, sink or tub (excluding over a bath)
  • showers for personal bathing
  • flow controllers

Flow controllers - change to mandatory registration

From 15 September 2013, registration is mandatory for stand-alone flow controllers as specified in AS 5200.037.2 installed in line or end of line. Registration is not required for flow controllers supplied:

  • for use in products that do not require WELS registration and
  • as components for the manufacture of other WELS products.

Definition of a model

Every model must be registered as it is offered for supply. If it cannot be traced in the WELS public search database then it is not registered.

A new fee paying model needs to be registered each time one or more of the following change:

  1. product type, for example, tap equipment, shower, lavatory equipment etc.
  2. subtype; (see flow diagrams below explaining subtypes by product type)
  3. brand
  4. model name
  5. water consumption
  6. star rating;
  7. critical specifications and components, and/or
  8. other design elements or components that affect the water consumption

Refer to Appendix F of the WELS standard for more information. A free copy of the standard can be downloaded from SAI Global.


Two or more models that are the same (using the criteria listed above) may be accepted by the Regulator for registration as variants of a registered model at no additional cost. Variants are not considered as models for the purpose of calculating the tiered fee. They are listed separately in the database and searchable on the public search website.

Variants can only be added to a model that is registered, not to expiring, expired, cancelled or suspended models. When a model expires, is cancelled or suspended, then all of the registered variants of that model will also expire, be cancelled or suspended.

A model that is sold under different names and/or brands cannot be registered as a variant because these are criteria for a new model. Each name must be registered separately. Alternative names are no longer accepted in the database. For example, if a tap is sold as a Wombat tap, a Swan tap and a Kangaroo tap it must be registered three times.

The Regulator does not require registration of different colours and finishes if these models are traceable on the public website. However, registration as a variant may be required if these models cannot be easily traced on the public website.

Model name and model code

For every product you register you will be asked to supply the model name and the model code.

  • The model name is the name on the box or the advertising that the consumer will use to identify the model. For example it could be the Wombat 300 mm basin tap.
  • The model code is the unique identifier that you use for your product, it could be the same as the model name or it could be different for example - a stock control code.

The Regulator will permit some minor changes to the model name for variants. Acceptable variant names may include descriptions that are within the critical components and other criteria for a variant. For example, the Wombat basin set 300mm and Wombat basin set long handles. Refer to the WELS Standard for further information.

Model subtypes

The flow charts below will assist you in determining the subtypes of your models. In the database you will need to answer a series of questions that correspond to these flow charts when applying for new registration or renewing your current registrations.

Taps flow chartFlow controller flow chartShower flow chartUrinals flow chartLavatory equipment flow chart