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Carryon Regardless

Gas Inspection Cert says dangerous.

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I own 1 flat in a council owned block. Very local, not Wales for a change.

 

The boiler was installed maybe 2008/9, flu up out the top a few inches goes through its own wall at 90 degrees through into an internal bin store.  It then turns 90 degrees and through the external wall of the bin store to a court yard of sorts. It was above wooden doors that would flap in the wind as no one would close them.

The council at some time in the last 12 months have installed roller door that buts up to the flu. The flu is in contact with the galvanised box of the roller.

A couple of weeks ago I met the Corgi chap for the gas inspection. concerned about the proximity to the flu he wanted to check the regs later. He left having provided me with a certificate that made mo mention of concerns, but had mentioned the possibility of bird nest type scenario.

He posted a new certificate with his invoice. The new cert states the installation to be dangerous and that he had applied a 'Do not use, dangerous' notice on the boiler. Clearly attempting to cover his ass but while presenting me with a problem I would think this leaves him at risk as he had not.

I've made contact with the Council 'compliance'. The lady, working from home assured me that this would be inspected and acted on, we agreed for her gas inspector to contact me , to meet,and facilitate access to the flat should flu redesign be appropriate. Being as the number of bends can be critical so inspector should see what is. There has been no communication from the council, or their agents. The T's aren't aware of any attention and none is apparent outside.

In the event insurance is a concern, while arranged by the council they might not view a claim sympathetically  considering the certificate.

Then there is my responsibility, should the boiler be inhibited, which effectively would mean rehousing the good T's?

While I consider risks to be minimal and the cert to be ott I'm not qualified so my risk assessment has no value.

Time to go to print and record the situation with the council, but in the mean time what is the correct course of action? I have considered contacting the insurance, via the council, to enquire about their providing alternative accommodation till the situation is rectified.

 

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Here is my opinion......

If the existing boiler and flue installation passed the annual gas safety cert' checks every year up until now......it's reasonable to assume that provided the rules haven't changed, the cause of the failure is due to work carried out by the Council to the bin storage doors.

This is not something that requires a phone call and a 'leave it with you to sort out' type of issue. It needs action by the Council NOW.

Get back on the blower......make clear you expect action within 24 hours, put it all in writing, be prepared to get your solicitor involved to follow up.

It's urgent.

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...........and from me. 

Difficult to assess without pictures or an inspection. However if a  Gasafe registered engineer has closed down your boiler and certified it as dangerous then you are, for the moment.......stuffed.

You could get a second opinion and be advised of the regulations from the Gas engineer's "Blue Book" which will give the reasons for shutting your boiler down and condemning it. 

It does sound like you have too many bends installed on the boiler exit flu?

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If the cause of failure is too many bends.....why did it not fail during the previous 11 years....2009 - 2019 ?

Would the failure, more likely be, as a result of modification to the storage cupboard doors carried out by the Council ?

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Get your own quote to rectify and make safe. Then put the council on notice if it is not rectified by them by xx days you will be instructing solicitors to recover all costs and lost rent. Requesting details of their complaints procedure also focuses the mind of companies/LA etc due to the amount of work it generates to reply/defend. Add that you are considering  requesting for all data and copies of correspondence relating to you in paper form not electronic which is your right if this is not resolved can also put the pressure on due to the time it takes.

I did this recently with a large firm of solicitors who where trying to charge an extortionate fee for a late payment of service charges. They couldn't drop me fast enough to come to a resolution.   

     

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I'm fairly confident that 2 bends are ok. My concern was one of their contractors seeing the easy solution of adding another that might have been one too many.

Yes the fault is theirs. Their contractor might be reasonably expected to not understand the gas regs as he installed the new door, but that is not my concern. It is wrong and they have cause it. This of course assume that my Gassafe engineer is correct, otherwise I might be threatening without good cause as I'm responsible for those I contract. Hence my wondering if the certificate creating condemning use of the boiler is ott.

At inspection the engineer didn't condemn anything, but left to check later having already provided me with an effective pass cert. He posted a cert condemning the use and has actually lied about saying(on the cert) he had posted a notice, he hadn't.

His certificate confusion doesn't change the fact it may be dangerous. It also doesn't let me off if something goes wrong, as unlikely as that seems to me, the unqualified.

In the extreme I could relocate the T's to a hotel. Especially in these times they may decline such a kind offer.

Then there is the recovery of costs. Against the council for their screw up.

Or against the engineer for inappropriate action with a cert that may be ott.

Neither prospect are appealing.

 

 

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But they will both have insurance for such eventualities.

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Aye, it's the prospect of drawn out legal battles that don't appeal. No one wins but the vultures.

I'm waiting for a return call from the gas engineer to understand if there is a danger I don't see as yet. A birds nest wouldn't be an immediate threat.

The council rang responding to my earlier call, of course a different person. She needs to refer to her line manager, the lass I spoke to last week. But at least I have an email address to send my report / complaint to. I will be called and updated later.

I was hoping to avoid this but have informed the tenants, and offered to research alternative accommodation. They are preferring for me to not enter the flat to disable the boiler and will use it sparingly and isolate each night. I have no right of access and the gas engineer didn't disable and post the notice the 2nd cert says had been done.

While I'm attempting to resolve this my passing the responsibility where possible is difficult to deny.

It is tempting to unbolt and remove the bl**dy door.

 

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The email failed, I can't be sure but it maybe that it rejects outsiders??

Council offices are closed so no point in posting there.

They have an internal reporting system for non urgent matters, so I've used it.

So I've emailed the local councillor. Let's see if he can kick some butt.

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In your shoes I'd already be briefing my solicitor and taking his advice.

On the basis that I would be thinking I am 100% correct, haven't done anything wrong, have contacted everyone that needs to be alerted and ultimately I won't be paying the bill.

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43 minutes ago, Carryon Regardless said:

The email failed, I can't be sure but it maybe that it rejects outsiders??

Council offices are closed so no point in posting there.

They have an internal reporting system for non urgent matters, so I've used it.

So I've emailed the local councillor. Let's see if he can kick some butt.

Don't forget there is usually more than one local councillor.....contact all of them and ask for an urgent response or it will be a week before they get back to you.

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As said, the only winners.

You assume the council will accept liability and not express a view that the 2nd cert is ott. Not my fault if so but my liability.

Whenever we go to a solicitor we are tasked with providing the required information. Then we are tasked with responding to the response. If it escalates and the vultures seem to have incentive for this, there will be a need for witness statements, and responses. They all play a loverly game and congratulate themselves on the outcome. What do I get, the chance to spend more time giving them work.

It seems my non urgent message got through to the original lass. She tells me their gas inspection lot have issue as I'm not on their system, as it's not a council property. Bit of a red tape jobsworth pointless response there methinks. So she has contacted the door company and told them if nowt else to remove the door, tomorrow. She didn't realise that she has confessed to only acting on this yesterday.

Then I will need another inspection, the council will credit me, apparently.

If the councillor is a bit busy I might well ask him why come next election. But he's Tory so would I want to discredit him publicly?

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I find it's sometimes a bit difficult reading your posts. I have to filter out the sarcasm, satire, irony, bias, witticism and humour before I can really understand where you actually are.

If I read your last post right......you have got a positive result.....quickly and at no cost.

Door being removed, new gas cert at council expense, job done.

 

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A boiler flu is probably the most important part of any boiler installation and believe me you will see some weird DIY and illegal installations as a heating engineer..........but I digress..........If, as I see it, the Council Fella who installed the door to the cupboard actually diverted that boiler flu by adding a bend to accommodate their door fitting then he has carried out an illegal act........no if's and no buts on that fact.

I am really surprised that your Gas engineer passed the boiler on inspection and then had second thoughts later on about the flu arrangement and then condemned it.  Something does not quite add up there......in my view.

Oh well good luck COR.....shame you don't live nearer to my Son you could have had a proper job done.   😀

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A good tradesman is worth looking after Mel.

I'm not sure if the gas engineer might have exaggerated the danger on the 2nd cert to assist in my getting action. If that's so his intelligence is questionable.

So back to the real matter here, where is the danger of the flu being in contact with the galvanised boxing below it? The flu has been sticking out of the wall for 11 years, now it has a steel plate below it. Not restricted, no fire hazard, and in truth a birdie could create a nest in any flu hence the inspection of it.

Where is the danger, I'm not seeing it?

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This is getting even more bizarre ......surely if one gets a failure they are entitled to know why and what needs to happen to put the matter right ? How can you possibly fix a problem if you don't know what the problem is.

CoR......do you know what has caused the failure ?

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As the flu is in contact with the box section there isn't the clearance of 300mm as required by the regs. The gas guy has written it up as dangerous and for the boiler not to be used.

You can't argue with the infringement of the regs. What may or may not be debatable is the notice citing it as dangerous.

No mater if this sort of goes away tomorrow it is relevant to us in understanding a bit more, as it could be a situation (or similar) we might encounter.

RL, I missed your earlier post. Yes a promise of positive action. A promise of recompense. The councillor has emailed 2 relevant persons and replied to me twice. Sorry I don't use LOL or imogies much.

 

 

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So, can I assume that before the Council fitted the new roller door there was a minimum 300mm gap ?

If that is the case then the responsibility for fixing it is clearly with the Council. Perhaps they can lower the frame or make the opening narrower, but no matter, it's up to them to fix it asap or sooner.

 

 

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Tbh I haven't measured the clearance to the old door frame, but in 11 years it wasn't picked up on. Even from the 1st conversation there wasn't any challenge to my assertion that they had caused the issue. Of course that was site unseen or inspected by them.

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The update.

10am this morning the door chappies were on site. They have lowered the whole. Photo's from the council show the clearance to be approx 150mm. As the council are arranging for a re inspection, to my mind, if the inspector is happy with that then I have no issue.

Should a future inspector measure and find the clearance unacceptable then there is a cause to return the problem to the council. With a application of a little common sense I would say a happy result, pending the gas inspection.

😉   Stay safe 😷 to avoid 🤧  and feel free to give one of these the clap tomorrow night👩‍⚕️

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