Gas Safety

  jimv7 10:03 09 Sep 2006

Without wanting to hi-jack another thread which has gone slightly off track.

I was called out to a corner shop to repair a gas boiler, it was chaffoteaux brittony 2a.

Visually it was hanging off the wall, the flue was damaged allowing vented gases back into the room, it was leaking water from various joints and a strong smell of gas was present. There was duct tape over some of the water and gas joints. It was totally beyond repair.

As a corgi registered gas fitter and had accepted the call-out, and having touched the boiler, I was responsible for its safe working condition.

As the owner refused to consider a new boiler about £280 + fitting at that time, I had no option but to condemn the boiler.

I attached a ‘This boiler is condemned’ self adhesive sticker, signed and dated, to the boiler, and got the owner to sign that he understood the boiler was dangerous.

I then disconnected and capped the gas supply off to the boiler and left the premises, amidst dire warnings of “I’ll sue you” my brother-in-law will be back from holiday and he will fix it, he always gets it going.”

Some 6 weeks later and a letter from the local corgi inspector arrived asking to meet him at the shop to discuss my ‘faulty repairs’ and the possibility of being sued, due to a complaint received from the owner. And most important had left the boiler in a ‘safe’ condition.

Needless to say I was totally exonerated due to having the owner sign to accept that the boiler was unsafe and dangerous to use.

And all this trouble because a cowboy brother-in-law had been keeping the boiler running with spit and duct tape.

  octal 10:56 09 Sep 2006

I can sympathise, you want to see what medical staff do to equipment! I don't know why we are employed!

It makes me wonder what their own home is like, I shudder to think.

  namtas 11:01 09 Sep 2006

Quite rightly so and you did the correct thing in this instance, I would have done the same. But on the flip side, I have just had my council planning inspector to look at a gas boiler flue pipe installed from a neihbours new extension which was installed on the my boundry, which is in complete disregard to the present legislation. It is going to be moved on Monday. But this installed by a supposably Corgi reg engineer.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:18 09 Sep 2006

Far be it from me to advocate violence but if the shop owner had done this to me I would have punched his lights right out.


  jimv7 12:39 09 Sep 2006

GANDALF <|:-)>

Those sentiments crossed my mind at the time, but 2 many witnesses present.

  spuds 13:02 09 Sep 2006

While I fully agree on the actions taken by jimv7, I would suggest that there are people out there holding 'Corgi membership cards', that perhaps have no right to hold them, as far as the paying customer is concerned.

About 18 months ago, I had my complete gas central heating system inspected and on recommendation certain parts were replaced.This included new boiler, some new regulators and valves.Original radiators and pipework was approved, and left in-situ. Would point out at this stage, the work was undertaken via a government sponsored grant entitlement.

On completion, all the necessary paperwork was signed that the system was correctly installed and functioning right. Due to it being grant sponsored, the administrators of the grant sent their own approved inspector, so as to check the work and approve payment to their selected contractor's. The result of that visit, was the inspector refused to pass off the work (due to errors)and the contractor's were obliged to return and complete the work to approved methods and regulations (this included a flue that had not been cemented in correctly). The work was eventually passed off, but if it was left to me as a layperson, I would have been unsure as to what the regulations and methods of correct installation were.It was only by the intervention of a third party inspector that things came to light.

A further point of 'strangeness' was after the first 12 months of this work being completed. The administrators of the grant, arranged for another company under contract to make a visit and inspect the system. The corgi registered engineer had travelled over 145 miles to reach my property at 8am in the morning, and basically did a manometer (?) check for gas pressure, no other checks, signed the boiler booklet, then left at 8.20am. According to what the engineer stated, he had 14 more calls in the city and county that day before returning home (145 miles away) that evening, and preparing himself, for a similar routine the next day!.

Being a little concerned about this service visit. I contacted the administrators requesting if the boiler should have been cleaned and properly serviced. The administrator adviser were not sure, so made a check with their contractors. A return phone call later that day, and I was informed " that was a correct service, and the corgi registered engineer's signature would confirmed this!". This statement left me in a dilemma. Do I seek the services of another company, and pay them to service the boiler, or was the pressure check, the engineer's signature a real service and complied with regulations set down by law!.

Another point of interest is the way companies advertise Corgi Registered, especially when a sale is in the offering. This advertising generally give the impression that there is a 'governing body' who will come to your defense at times of need.Especially when major work and expense is concerned. Not so, as I found out to my surprise many years ago, on the original installation of the central heating system. The standard of workmanship was extremely poor, with damage to property, copper pipes flattened that went over steel joist, stone cold radiators and similar short-cut procedures. Upon complaining to Corgi, all the response I got from them was "We are only responsible for the gas supply from the connecting point to the boiler" (in my case about 2 metres of copper pipe and the new boiler), any other part of a central heating system was of no concern to Corgi, and as such will not provide an inspector to check their members work standards.

On that particular occasion, I had to obtain the expertise of a third party professional inspection service at further added expense. The final outcome was an independent full report completion which was submitted as evidence to the small claims court. I won the case, but had further difficulties in getting the 'we are Corgi Registered' contractor, to complete the courts instructions to rectify the poor workmanship.In my opinion and that of others at that time. Corgi could have been more helpful, considering a complaint had been made against one of their members, and an independent report and final court ruling proved that the complaint against one of their members was totally justified.

Apologies for the long thread, but I thought that this would be of interest.

  johndrew 14:44 09 Sep 2006

You should consider the service offered by British Gas. Not only will they inspect and certify the system as installed but will provide an annual service, clean and functional check. They also offer to cover simply the boiler, the complete system (including pipework & radiators) or you can opt to include plumbing, drains & electrics depending on the option you pay for.

It may not be the cheapest but at least they claim (I`ve not used it) to provide full cover with no extra charges for the full year 24/7. As always read the small print.

  johndrew 14:46 09 Sep 2006

Should have said; the above is not an advert and is based only on the paperwork provided to me. Having said that, I use one of their services with no complaints.

  spuds 15:06 09 Sep 2006

Thanks for the comments. I considered British Gas, but due to the fact that I was able to obtain a government grant, British Gas was not a selected contractor. Regarding any future failures in my property, this will be undertaken by the building insurance policy.But it still leaves me with getting reliable and competent work-people to cover annual inspections and servicing procedures.

  namtas 15:19 09 Sep 2006

British Gas are no better than the rest, and I can personally vouch for this having experienced it. Work was done replacing gas oven stat, No initial or final manometer test carried came back to find kitchen reeking of gas. I guess this guy was not one of the competent ones, think we can all find them if we look.

  STREETWORK 16:12 09 Sep 2006


You should report this to the Local Authority Health and Safety as it is a are obliged to do so...

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