Reporting a Suspicious Gas Boiler Installation
Our next door neighbour (a renting tenant) recently appeared to have a gas boiler installed by someone who did not prove to be a Gas Safe Registered installer as he was asked three times to produce his Gas Safe Register card, which he failed to do.
First of all, Gas Safe took my details, the tenants details and those of the landlord which was passed to the complaints department.
They then wrote to the tenant advising that they were made aware of recent gas works carried out in the property and offered them a free inspection, which was accepted. Normally they would then contact the landlord to ask permission to enter the property. We felt it highly unlikely that he would grant it, but as the Director of the company which owns the freehold, my partner would be able to enter the flat under the terms of the lease. Another issue here was were we not to act it would be my partner who would be held liable under the law for not acting with due diligence should the worst happen. So, a Gas Safe engineer visited the property and checked the following:
- Whether there was damage on or around the gas appliances;
- There were no gas escapes;
- The compliance of the chimney/flue;
- Adequate ventilation;
- The operation of the appliance installed by the suspected unregistered person was safe and if any defect found, the engineer would make the apliance safe.
So what was found?
The inspector identified a number of issues were as follows:
- The installation of the Biasi room sealed combination boiler had not been ‘notified’, therefore a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate was not been issued by Gas Safe;
- The ‘pull down’ front hinged flap cover to the controls of the appliance was missing, and which normally has a sticker attached giving make, model, Gas Council and serial no. details;
- A sealing plate on the top of the boiler chassis had a securing screw missing. This plate is removed and used if a twin flue system is being installed to accommodate the air intake adaptor.
- No appliance literature or documentation that accompanies the appliance had been left with the user;
- The Biasi boiler appeared to be a previously used appliance and the existing flue/chimney and terminal from the previous boiler had been utilised. The flue/chimney duct had an incline away from the appliance but it should have been back towards the appliance. The existing terminal was damaged and showing signs of distress;
- The filling loop had been left connected but should have been removed after the system had been charged with water;
- There was insufficient clearance in front of the appliance due to a cupboard fitted in front of it at high level;
- The Biasi range of boilers normally require the pipe supplying the appliance to not be smaller than the connection provided on the appliance. The connection provided for this range of boilers is a 22mm connection, but this appliances was connected using 15mm pipe.
As a result of these findings the boiler was classified as ‘At Risk’ under the current Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure. This means that if operated, the boiler may in the future constitute a danger to life or property. A Warning Notice was affixed to the Gas Supply and a Warning/Advice Notice Issued by the Gas Safe Inspector.
We have no idea what happened from here because the tenant moved out and the landlord moved in but we at least felt better that our concerns had a least been addressed by the professionals.
Note: Gas Safe Register’s remit does not extend to having rights of access, powers of enforcement and they are unable to act as consultants or advise on any contractual or financial matters. Gas Safe Register is also unable to act as mediators or arbitrators.