Discussion:
house purchase - gas safety issue
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Mike Scott
2017-04-10 07:52:05 UTC
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Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.

The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.

When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).

It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".

I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?

Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.

TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Harlow Essex
"The only way is Brexit" -- anon.
GB
2017-04-10 09:13:44 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
If you ask on uk.d-i-y they will tell you that the installation was not
illegal at all, provided SIL was competent. It's not hard to connect a
boiler up correctly (I've done it!), so the installation may function
perfectly well.

Regardless of that, the practical course is to have the boiler inspected
by a qualified engineer. He can check the gas pipework for soundness -
it's easily done using a pressure test. The boiler should be sited
correctly, and most importantly the flue correctly installed. The
engineer can check all that.

So, yes, you can get a safety certificate if it's all okay.
Post by Mike Scott
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
You can make this into something big or you can get an inspection done
for < £100. If you are looking for a lever to get something off the
price, I suppose this might be it.
Graham T
2017-04-10 18:23:12 UTC
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Post by GB
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
If you ask on uk.d-i-y they will tell you that the installation was not
illegal at all, provided SIL was competent. It's not hard to connect a
boiler up correctly (I've done it!), so the installation may function
perfectly well.
Regardless of that, the practical course is to have the boiler inspected
by a qualified engineer. He can check the gas pipework for soundness -
it's easily done using a pressure test.
A pressure test does not tell you the condition of the fittings nor
whether soldering has been done properly.


The boiler should be sited
Post by GB
correctly, and most importantly the flue correctly installed. The
engineer can check all that.
So, yes, you can get a safety certificate if it's all okay.
Post by Mike Scott
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
You can make this into something big or you can get an inspection done
for < £100. If you are looking for a lever to get something off the
price, I suppose this might be it.
GB
2017-04-11 09:19:50 UTC
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Post by Graham T
Post by GB
Regardless of that, the practical course is to have the boiler inspected
by a qualified engineer. He can check the gas pipework for soundness -
it's easily done using a pressure test.
A pressure test does not tell you the condition of the fittings nor
whether soldering has been done properly.
I suppose the gas supply pipe to the boiler could be renewed fairly
cheaply, or at least whichever bits of it were installed by SIL.
Possibly the last half metre. If it passes the pressure test, is of
adequate size, and has worked okay for two years, it seems a bit OTT to
replace it, though.

There's certainly no need to replace any of the water-side of the
boiler "just in case", as that's not safety-critical.
Graham T
2017-04-10 18:17:36 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
Yes as it stands it is illegal.

I wouldn't be prepared to sign off someone elses gas fitting. Without
taking the pipes apart you can't possibly tell if it has been done
properly.

I'd say be prepared for a CORGI registered plumber to replace/refit the
lot to be sure it's safe.
Jeff
2017-04-11 08:59:32 UTC
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Post by Graham T
Yes as it stands it is illegal.
I wouldn't be prepared to sign off someone elses gas fitting. Without
taking the pipes apart you can't possibly tell if it has been done
properly.
I'd say be prepared for a CORGI registered plumber to replace/refit the
lot to be sure it's safe.
That is not necessarily correct.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 only place a
requirement on a person to be on a approved register (Gas Safe in this
instance - CORGI went some years ago) if the are employed or self
employed. Otherwise they have to be 'competent'.

So the issue is was the son in law employed to do the job and was he
competent. If he did it for free and was competent then the work is legal.

Jeff
R. Mark Clayton
2017-04-11 08:52:14 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal, but that doesn't mean the installation is.

OTOH you need to get a Gas Safe engineer to check the installation. The full list is quite long - flue size and soundness, supply pipe size, leaks, pressures, exhaust composition etc. OMA do NOT us BG*.

If faults are found expect substantial cost to rectify.

The electrical installation is easier. In theory there should have been authority to connect, but any half decent spark should be able to check the basics and perform the usual tests.



* the BG technique is as follows: -

1. Look cursorily at boiler.
2. Make tut, tsk, tch etc. sounds, shake head, then suck teeth.
3. Say "Can't see we can do much about that, but we can fit you a new boiler for £4k..." or "its not worth repairing, but we can fit you a new boiler for £4k..." or similar.
Graham.
2017-04-11 10:01:19 UTC
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On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 01:52:14 -0700 (PDT), "R. Mark Clayton"
Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal, but that doesn't mean the installation is.
Why was the work necessarily illegal? There is no requirement to be
Gas Safe registered when it's not for reward, that just leaves the
"competence" issue which is nether defined nor tested.
--
Graham.
%Profound_observation%
R. Mark Clayton
2017-04-11 12:58:46 UTC
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Post by Graham.
On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 01:52:14 -0700 (PDT), "R. Mark Clayton"
Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal, but that doesn't mean the installation is.
Why was the work necessarily illegal? There is no requirement to be
Gas Safe registered when it's not for reward, that just leaves the
"competence" issue which is nether defined nor tested.
I think amateur gas work is illegal. Amateur electrical work is not, although it might require authority to connect from the local board (and a paid for inspection), whereas a qualified sparkie can self certify.

Many amateur electricians are clueless about the regulations or sometimes basic safety. When I was a school governor the caretaker brought my attention to some work done by the over enthusiastic chair of governors - it was [almost literally] shocking with cables touching unearthed metal framed partitions in classrooms shaved within 0.5mm of live copper!
Post by Graham.
--
Graham.
%Profound_observation%
tim...
2017-04-11 13:12:40 UTC
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Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Graham.
On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 01:52:14 -0700 (PDT), "R. Mark Clayton"
Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal, but that doesn't mean the installation is.
Why was the work necessarily illegal? There is no requirement to be
Gas Safe registered when it's not for reward, that just leaves the
"competence" issue which is nether defined nor tested.
I think amateur gas work is illegal.
you might think that

you would be wrong

tim
Graham T
2017-04-11 17:39:13 UTC
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Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Graham.
On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 01:52:14 -0700 (PDT), "R. Mark Clayton"
Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal, but that doesn't mean the installation is.
Why was the work necessarily illegal? There is no requirement to be
Gas Safe registered when it's not for reward, that just leaves the
"competence" issue which is nether defined nor tested.
I think amateur gas work is illegal. Amateur electrical work is not, although it might require authority to connect from the local board (and a paid for inspection), whereas a qualified sparkie can self certify.
Many amateur electricians are clueless about the regulations or sometimes basic safety. When I was a school governor the caretaker brought my attention to some work done by the over enthusiastic chair of governors - it was [almost literally] shocking with cables touching unearthed metal framed partitions in classrooms shaved within 0.5mm of live copper!
The law is far more complex than it used to be. You can install a new
socket and spur but the system needs signing off by a qualified
engineer.

Don't forget that your house insurance would be invalid if you don't
get it right.
GB
2017-04-11 17:44:49 UTC
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Post by Graham T
Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Graham.
On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 01:52:14 -0700 (PDT), "R. Mark Clayton"
Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal, but that doesn't mean the installation is.
Why was the work necessarily illegal? There is no requirement to be
Gas Safe registered when it's not for reward, that just leaves the
"competence" issue which is nether defined nor tested.
I think amateur gas work is illegal. Amateur electrical work is not,
although it might require authority to connect from the local board
(and a paid for inspection), whereas a qualified sparkie can self
certify.
Many amateur electricians are clueless about the regulations or
sometimes basic safety. When I was a school governor the caretaker
brought my attention to some work done by the over enthusiastic chair
of governors - it was [almost literally] shocking with cables touching
unearthed metal framed partitions in classrooms shaved within 0.5mm of
live copper!
The law is far more complex than it used to be. You can install a new
socket and spur but the system needs signing off by a qualified
engineer.
Where do you get that from?
Post by Graham T
Don't forget that your house insurance would be invalid if you don't
get it right.
It's much harder for insurers to invalidate consumer policies than it
used to be. There'd have to be a specific question about this in the
proposal. What makes you think there was?
GB
2017-04-11 17:51:26 UTC
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Post by GB
Post by Graham T
Don't forget that your house insurance would be invalid if you don't
get it right.
It's much harder for insurers to invalidate consumer policies than it
used to be. There'd have to be a specific question about this in the
proposal. What makes you think there was?
Oh, and as you won't believe me, here's chapter and verse:
https://www.abi.org.uk/data-and-resources/tools-and-resources/how-to-buy-insurance/what-the-consumer-insurance-act-means-for-customers/

Or you can just check the Act:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/contents
Owain
2017-04-14 10:43:19 UTC
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Post by Graham T
The law is far more complex than it used to be. You can install a new
socket and spur but the system needs signing off by a qualified
engineer.
No it doesn't.

There is no requirement for anyone doing the work to have any qualifications whatsoever - and certainly not to be a 'qualified engineer'.

For notifiable work an application can be made to Building Control *or* a legal person registered with a competent person scheme can self-certify the work and notify Building Control. The legal person can be a limited company, have one 'qualified supervisor' and employ 100 semi-trained chimpanzees to actually do the work.

Owain

Jeff
2017-04-12 07:42:02 UTC
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Post by R. Mark Clayton
I think amateur gas work is illegal. Amateur electrical work is not, although it might require authority to connect from the local board
(and a paid for inspection), whereas a qualified sparkie can self certify.
Then you think wrongly.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

Jeff
tim...
2017-04-11 10:56:13 UTC
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Post by R. Mark Clayton
Post by Mike Scott
Hi all. Something that's popped up with a relative's intended house
purchase, and he needs some idea about worst-case costs.
The vendor originally stated that gas and electrical safety cert's could
be provided.
When I looked at the property with the relative, the vendor said the gas
boiler had been replaced a couple of years ago by his son-in-law (now
living abroad FWIW).
It turns out that safety certificates are in fact "not available".
I'm highly dubious about the gas work. It seems likely the vendor's
s-i-l wasn't Gas Safe registered, so what's the likely worst case
scenario. Presumably the installation is illegal - does that
automatically mean it would need full replacement by a competent person?
Is it even possible to check properly such an installation and obtain a
safety certificate?
Contract exchange is imminent, unfortunately.
TIA for any thoughts.
--
Mike Scott (unet2 <at> [deletethis] scottsonline.org.uk)
Doing the work was illegal,
not if it was done competently
Post by R. Mark Clayton
but that doesn't mean the installation is.
and if the installation is correct then any diy work to do it was, in fact,
legal.

tim
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