The experts who helped assess how well engineers serviced a faulty boiler were shocked to see most failing to meet legal requirements. One expert, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares his thoughts.
I have been in the gas industry all my working life and have gained more than 40 years’ experience. I am a qualified tutor, assessor, internal verifier and a quality consultant.
When I was approached by Which? to work as an expert, I felt confident I would find the majority of gas engineers to be competent due to the rigorous training and high standards that are expected within the gas qualification, with competency checks every five years.
So I was stunned to witness 10 supposedly proficient engineers carry out a service of a simple central heating boiler, where not one completed this task correctly. In my opinion the services were not carried out to the manufacturer’s instructions and the appliance was not left in a safe working condition on most occasions.
Poor knowledge of basic gas safety
Leaving a boiler over-gassed, and not confirming the case seal is intact are both, in certain circumstances, potentially unsafe – leading to a serious situation.
It was clear that some of the engineers had little understanding of the concept of how to service a boiler or basic gas safety, and when carrying out a flue gas analysis test did not seem to understand the findings.
In conclusion, I have to ask why the knowledge and understanding was so poor. Could it be that the engineers are under economic pressures to complete the job quickly – or is it that training is not consistent throughout the United Kingdom?
Have you been surprised by the standard of work done by a boiler engineer?
You can read the results of our boiler investigation online or in the September 2015 issue of Which? magazine. We shared our findings with the Gas Safe Register, which has promised to look into our findings.