Written by Neil Marsh MCIPHE RP RHP EngTech
Forthright regularly comes across boiler installations that are not installed to the manufacturer’s specifications and/or legislation in place by local contractors in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the surrounding areas … We wish to provide you advice on how to get an installer to return and correct any legitimate defects, at their expense, should any be identified by another gas/heating engineer at a later date.
Please note that this method is not for contractual disputes and is likely only to be useful with installations from recent years.
Request from the service/heating engineer who has identified these defects to provide you with a written report highlighting the defect(s). If any dangerous or potentially dangerous defects have been identified they should also be providing you with a warning notice.
Cross-reference the highlighted fault(s) with the specifications/instructions in the installation manual for the appliance. If you are missing this manual, you should be able to find online or request a free copy from the boiler manufacturer.
Should any of the information in the manual not be clear or should what the service engineer has stated not be written in the manual, contact the boiler manufacturer for clarity on the defect and where possible request a statement in writing from the manufacturer to confirm this.
Prepare the information and make a note of the relevant sections in the manual while ensuring that you have to hand any other written reports/statements which supports the identified defect(s).
Contact the installer and advise them that you have had another engineer attend and identify faults with the installation of the boiler. Advise them that you have cross-referenced these with the manufacturer/installation instructions and/or other relevant bodies and confirmed the faults. Request that you would like them to attend to correct the fault(s).
Should the installer refuse to attend, fail to attend or should the installer attend and refuse to do the work (where you believe that they are trying to get out of doing the work), then calmly advise them that should they fail to resolve the issue(s), you will need to take it further and contact Gas Safe and any other related bodies, where applicable, to have the issue resolved.
Please note that it is possible that the service engineer has made a mistake and if the installer gives valid reasons with evidence to support this then there may be no need to take the issue further.
If the installation company is no longer Gas Safe registered or trading it may be difficult for Gas Safe to enforce.
Should you still be in doubt, or in a position where the installer will not correct the work, then your most effective way is to Contact Gas Safe and raise a complaint. Gas Safe will usually attend at the concern of poor installation work, however, they can take some time to attend.
If Gas Safe attends they will identify the defects and should the issues be linked to the installation, then the installer will be issued a “Notice of Correction” and usually be given 30 days to correct the work. Failure of the company to do so could lead to the installation company struck off the register.
Other methods which can be utilised are to contact any competent person schemes (NAPIT, APHC etc), institutions (CIHPE, IGEM etc), approved installer schemes (Worcester, Bax, Vaillant Accredited installer schemes etc) or other organisations (Trust Mark etc) that the installer may be part of that require the installer to follow the given standards and advise them of the situation.
Some schemes are more inclined to work to resolve contractual disputes, and others are more towards defective work. Some schemes guarantee (typically up to 10 years) that the installers work complies to the given standards (at the time) and warranty the work against installation defect should the installer fail to rectify it, or if they have seized to trade.
Failing the above, you may wish to first contact your local building control/authority for advice as they may be able to help with the issue or help enforce a decision. Typically, after 12 months, defective work through building control cannot be served an enforcement notice, however, building control can still exercise the right to take the offender to a Magistrates Court. Should the building control be involved or not, your last option is to resolve the issue legally. Always seek legal advice before taking legal action.
If you are in doubt about your boilers installation, or you are due for an annual boiler service in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury or the areas around, call us for a competitively priced service/inspection and ensure that your boiler is installed and operating safely and correctly.