Who checks/tests GSRI installations


Postby jimhet » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:28 am

I employed a builder recently to form a window opening, replace the roof slates on the back addition with tiles, and break into a drain run/form a manhole in order to create a W.C. Despite the works all being relatively minor and non life threatening and regardless of the builder being time served with City & Guilds certificates and close to 40 years experience, he was obliged to contact LABC and pay a fee for them to visit the site and oversee/check the works.
I'm now in the process of getting estimates to replace my old boiler and I
notice that much ado is made on this and other sites about the need to employ only GSRI to carry out the work, along with dire warnings of impending doom should I attempt the work myself on a DIY basis. A couple of the installers I've met thus far have given me the impression that fitting a boiler is now on a par with rocket science and judging by there verbal estimates I'm beginning to think it might be, but the biggest surprise is that they seem also to be saying that despite the dangerous nature of the work in comparision to my recent building works, nobody from LABC or anyone else will be visiting to check/test the installation.
It seems the installer merely needs to notify the local authority that a new boiler has been fitted. I'm sure I must be wrong in this surmise but would be grateful for information as to what independent third party checks are due to be carried out during/after installation of a new boiler.
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Postby uk_ducati » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:34 pm

hi
All that is needed is that the installer is gas safe registered.
What he will do is fit the boiler to the required regulations and then notify Gas Safe. Then Gas Safe will notify builing control.

The reason why the builder needed to notify building control is because he possibly wasnt a member of a governing body allowing him to self certify his work. Being Gas Safe registered allows a person to self certify thier work.

Installing a new boiler isnt rocket science. Most people with a moderate degree of DIY skill could do it but you do need specialized tools to do the job properly eg. manometer and flue gas analyzer, so its usually left to a RGI.
Also i am a firm believer that it is illegal for anybody other than a RGI to work on gas (even though there is a debate on here about whether you can do it if you dont do it for financial gain)

hope this helps

paul
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Postby sparx » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:00 pm

Hi, UK-DUCATI gives a good explaination, very similar to electrical work also being LABC controlled service now.(Part-P of regs)
You can pay a fee to have it inspected, or use a registered approved electrician who can do the work and issue test certs. & notify a scheme operator who tell LABC about the work done.
Likewise for double glazing (by FENSA registered company).
No such scheme exists for general building work due to wide scope of work.
Plumbers changing complete bath room suite are soon to be included in a similar arrangement (to do with wastes/traps i believe).
General heating & vent covered by part-L of regs. etc.
regards Sparx
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Postby jimhet » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:05 pm

Thank you for your help, though I have to say the posts have left me disillusioned, for all the pontificating I have read about the need to use only a GSRI to fit my boiler, or a Part P electrician should I need my house rewired, it turns out that so long as they pay their annual subscriptions the 2 trades in the construction industry most likely to cause serious injury or worse, have no LABC or anyone else checking their workmanship, whereas should anyone [ qualified or not] undertake a minor building job like forming a door opening or breaking into a drain, the LABC need to visit, oversee and if necessery test all work before then issuing a completion certificate. You couldn't make it up.
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Postby htg engineer » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:12 pm

But RGI's have to re-sit their assessments evrey 5 years. And it's not just a refresher course.


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Postby jimhet » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:03 pm

I'm not sure where htg is coming from regarding re-sitting assessments every 5 years, what really concerns me is on site workmanship and know
that nothing serves to improve workmanship more than the thought of an
independent third party like LABC calling in to check/test the one's work.
I've noticed a post from Paul/ukducati [who I believe is a GSRI] dated 25th Feb headed Changing a back boiler for a Combi which htg posted a reply on 26th Feb. Paul was also good enough to post a reply to my query and is probably a genuine bloke but I doubt if any time served heating fitter would have even considered the stunt regarding connecting onto the 28mm flow and return that had previously been used for the gravity fed HW, but had they done so I'm certain they wouldn't have needed to seek advice. Not knowing what a manifold was didn't fill me with confidence either. There's been a mention of something called Self Certification, this sounds like something dreamed up at the mad hatters tea party, I know its a bit of a leap but the last time I heard that term mentioned was when Self Certified Mortgage applications was put forward as a reason for the worlds financial crisis. GSRIs on this site give DIYers a hard time for even daring to fit their own boiler but it seems to me they should think on about throwing so many stones whilst living in a glass house.
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Postby htg engineer » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:33 pm

The point I was trying to make is that RGI's don't just pass the assessments, then please themselves and fall into bad habits like other trades can/do.

Every five years we have to re-sit the assessments, this is how we are checked and deemed competent. I don't think having an independant third party checking every job is needed or practical, where I work we install 100+ central heating systems per week, I inspect 25+ to make sure they meet regs and our in-house spec. Companies can carry out their own inspections but how many heating installations are there per year in the UK ?

RGI's are also inspected on-site every 5 years, by Gas Safe.


'GSRIs on this site give DIYers a hard time for even daring to fit their own boiler but it seems to me they should think on about throwing so many stones whilst living in a glass house'

At least I know 'my glass house' has a safe gas installation ;-)

DIYers that think DIY gas work is ok - are putting lives at risk - and worse - alot of the time it's their families lives.

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Postby plumbbob » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:16 pm

What Htg says makes sense.

If you are not prepared to trust a RGI who has been heavily taught and tested, why would you be prepared to trust anyone else's judgement?

I think possibly a lot of this discussion is coming from the wrong angle. The Part P and RGI does not guarantee an installation is correct, it's more there to stop the people who shouldn't be doing the work.

You can't compare a gas or electrical installation to a general builder. A gas installer is specifically trained for each type of installation and can only do that work. A builder has to do numerous trades and cannot specialise in just a few areas so needs to be guided. On another point, a lot of building work is hidden which is why it is inspected as work progresses. Faults and errors may be impossible to see at a later date something which is less able to happen with other trades.

There are good and bad people in all trades. Who hasn't met an idiot building inspector at some time or other?
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Postby uk_ducati » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:18 pm

hi
If you are not happy with the fact that no one will be checking the boiler install call gas safe and ask them to come and check the work. You might have to pay a fee but it would put your mind at rest.

As for the 'stunt' with connecting the 28mm flow and return, when you are in this trade you are learning all the time, i wasnt sure whether it was acceptable so i asked on here. Now i know it isnt, i will be quoting to connect to the 22 flow and return.

I understand your worries with having dodgy work done but if you get a few quotes from reputable companies, and better still, recomended companies, hopefully the install will be up to standard.

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Postby jimhet » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:21 am

Thank you htg, knowing that RGIs have a on site inspection every 5 years
is very reassuring, I imagine that equates to less than 1 on site inspection per 150 installations," Not practical to test every installation" ? simplicity
itself in comparision to your recent call requiring every gas appliance in every household in the land to have an annual MOT style check/test, which from where I'm standing looks more like a scheme for RGIs to print money. LABC manage to inspect almost every minor building job like those I mentioned earlier, I'm sure in the interest of safety and good workmanship they could and would manage to inspect boiler installations, even if it meant at first subbing some of the workload out to GSRI. An inspection would surely take no longer or cost any more
than a landords test/check and most RGIs could manage 40 or so of them per week.
Thank you plumbbob, As I said earlier my builder is experienced, C&G qualified and I do trust him, the reason I trust him is because all his work is checked/tested/inspected by LABC.
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