10:24 AM, 29th March 2017, About 5 years ago 14
I’m having a real pickle with a gas engineer (employed by my agent), who has given me an At Risk status on my cert which as far as I can tell is quite contrary to the legislation.
The point made is that he states there is no secondary control valve to bee seen, and although this may be true the legislation states that a secondary control valve (AECV) is only required on installations post 2008. The British Standard is in fact BS6891 which confirms this, and I know for a fact that the gas installation on this property was well before this time. Gas Safe themselves acknowledge this BS number and it’s contents relating to this issue.
This property has had 2 certs in my ownership before this one and neither had this issue raised. On question, of course the engineer blabs a load of technical ‘BS’ and other points really not relevant so I have to push. The agent is of no help at all and they are just pressuring me to have work done to satisfy the safety cert.
I researched online and found a forum where someone had the same issue, but at least the engineer was reasonable enough to label the cert as “Not to Current Standards”.
On raising this point with the gas engineer he says that Gas Safe have removed the classification of NCS (Not to Current Standards) last year, so he has to write it as AR (At Risk).
I have found Gas Safe themselves to be completely useless, much like a call centre where they just read from a script and won’t divert from their remit and although when I asked a particular question about a legislative technical point I was sited a BS number in agreement to the point, when I mentioned a different BS number back at them they said “we don’t answer technical questions”. And although one ‘adviser’ agreed the cert could be classified as NCS, another just refused to budge on the AR without good reason other than “it’s up to the engineer”.
I confirm that the only issue here is the secondary valve (AECV), the engineer even serviced the boiler so we know it is good. The tenants have 24hr access to the meter cupboard where the main control valve is located.
I have since researched the removal of the NCS classification and there is in fact a Gas Safe paper that confirms this. The wording is –
“In this edition, the ‘Not to Current Standards’ (NCS) classification has been removed as such situations are not unsafe. Engineers can still inform the gas user/responsible person via their job reports or ‘best advice’ but must use their judgement around what advice to give and the likelihood of it being feasible to implement.” https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/media/1774/tb_001_-_gas_industry_unsafe_situation_procedure_-giusp-_edition-71.pdf
N.B. “such situations are not unsafe”. Now how many gas installations exist from before the legislation on secondary control valves in 2008, and how is it that all of a sudden given the new dropping of the NCS classification that all these installations are going to be classified as AR?!
I bet all these gas engineers are just rubbing their hands at the the opportunity of reading the guidance in the way that suits them, and poor old LL Muggins will just tow the line won’t he/she? After all it IS gas, and we know how that put shivers up peoples wallets.
Does anyone know how I am supposed to counter this exploitation of the system? Does anyone know what happens if I just leave it be?
I have asked for my money back from the agent more than once, stating my dissatisfaction but they are not playing ball.
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