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Three offences in Westport lead to $4,500 fine for plumber

Media Release

24 September, 2014

Three offences in Westport lead to $4,500 fine for Wellington plumber

A Wellington plumber has been fined $4,500 at the Porirua District Court, following investigation into work carried out in Westport.

In a judgment released today, by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB) it was revealed Michael Guy had been convicted on a total of three charges.

One charge was for carrying out sanitary plumbing in a manner dangerous to life, and two charges were for carrying out sanitary plumbing without authorisation.

Mr Guy pleaded guilty to all three charges of carrying out sanitary plumbing outside the limitationsof his authorisation issued by the Board.

Mr Guy failed to ensure that his work was adequately supervised at the two homes in Westport where he carried out the work. His authorisation required him to have a supervisor to test and check the work was done competently and in compliance with the building code.

In each home, he did work on the hot water cylinders including installing a tempering valve onto the open vent line of a hot water cylinder connected to a wetback. The work did not comply with regulatory requirements and was not checked by his supervisor.

Noncompliant work of this nature creates a health and safety risk to the consumer and could result in implosion or explosion and serious injury. In one case the hot water cylinder did implode as a result of the tempering valve installed. Reimbursement to the property owner for the damaged hot water cylinder was made by Mr Guy.

Max Pedersen, Chief Executive of the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board, said:
“There are serious health and safety risks associated with sanitary plumbing carried out by a person working outside the limitations of their authorisation. This type of defective plumbing work has the
potential to cause injury and serious damage to the home. All authorised tradespeople are required
to carry an authorisation card.”

Consumers can check to see if a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer is authorised to carry out the work
and the limitations of authorisation classes by logging on to the PGDB’s website at www.pgdb.co.nz

“Consumers should always ask tradespeople for their authorisation card before any work commences so that they can be assured that the work is being done by an authorised and competent tradesperson”, he continued.

If a homeowner believes that work has been done by someone who is not authorised, or has concerns about the competency of tradespeople, they can make a complaint to the Board.


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