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    How to Spot a Gas Installation Cowboy

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    How to Spot a Gas Installation Cowboy

    Post  Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:00 am

    How to Spot a Gas Installation Cowboy

    In this country there is an industry standard for engineers who install gas boilers, and that is CORGI. CORGI is a well-known organisation whose logo will be recognised by at least 8 out of 10 people in the UK. What's more CORGI Registration is an employment requirement for the majority of major gas companies in this country.
    This means that their primary concern, when installing a new boiler, is safety. Secondly, they will be highly competent and well trained.

    Unfortunately there are some people out there that are installing boilers without CORGI Registration and these are the infamous 'cowboys' that are the subject of so many plumbing horror stories. The main problem with a cowboy is that they may have inadequate training and therefore the boilers that they install can, potentially, be extremely dangerous. The thing that makes badly installed boilers a health hazard is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and the problem with carbon monoxide is that it is invisible and builds up without detection. You won’t know there's a problem until weeks after your new combi boiler has been installed – and by then it could be too late.

    Carbon monoxide poisoning is clearly the worse case scenario. But there are other disadvantages of using cowboys, namely the lack of continued support and aftercare. If you go to a reputable company you know that if things go wrong then you will be able to call them immediately and have one of their engineers come and see you. Also, with some of the home care schemes available, you know that there will be support long after the boiler is installed - British Gas even goes as far as to provide a yearly safety check.

    So what do cowboys look like? They don't wear hats and carry six-shooters, so how do you identify one? The CORGI website classifies cowboys into three different groups. The first group of cowboys are the 'part timers'. Part timers are engineers who work for a CORGI Registered company but carry out work 'on the side'. The work that they undertake is likely to be safe but there will be no insurance or warranty, and, most likely, no continued support.

    The second group are known as 'lapsed'. These are engineers that used to be CORGI Registered but now aren't. This means that they will not have kept up with current training and there may be severe gaps in their knowledge. But the worst of all is the 'full illegal' and this category should be avoided at all costs. These are people who have had no training whatsoever and yet have taken it upon themselves to install gas equipment.

    The best way to ensure that the engineer installing your new combi boiler is not a cowboy is to ask to see their CORGI ID Badge. It is also best to approach a decent major company with an established reputation, as you will then know that any engineer that visits your house will have registration. If you do come across a cowboy then it is best to contact CORGI so that they can put a stop to his potentially dangerous antics.

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