The Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board has reported that an Auckland man has been convicted and fined $25,000 for illegal gasfitting.

Wayne Johnson, a welder by trade, was found to have illegally installed gas pipes and appliances and was convicted and fined $25,000 in the Auckland District Court. He was not authorised by the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board to carry out gasfitting work at a home in Papatoetoe, Auckland.

The Board acted on a complaint it had received and sent a licensed gasfitter to the Papatoetoe property to inspect the installations. The gas audit identified several faults and, in his report, the auditor described the work as “some of the most dangerous I have ever come across in my 40 years’ experience in the gas industry”. The auditor believed that due to the severity and number of gas leaks that were immediately adjacent to open flames, a fire or explosion was inevitable. The deficiencies in the manner the work was carried out were found to be unsafe and posed a danger to life. There was also potential for dangerous carbon monoxide generation – a silent killer due to it being both odourless and colourless.

The gasfitting work involved the extension of gas pipes from the house to a garage, installation of gas appliances including a free standing oven, continuous flow water heater, commercial hot plate and a kebab roaster.

The Chief Executive of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, Max Pedersen, said, “This is an extremely serious offence and there was a clear risk of this dangerous work causing loss of life and injury. Unauthorised people doing gasfitting places consumers at risk. I hope this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others. Anyone involved in plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying is required to carry an authorisation card—and consumers should ask for it. This provides an assurance the work is carried out legally by a competent tradesperson, who is authorised by the Board.”

Auckland Plumbers Group has tradespeople to install new appliances or alter your gas supply. We ensure installations are connected correctly, flued and ventilated properly, and in good working order. A Gas Safety Certificate is issued for all new gas installations and alterations.

Do not take chances when dealing with gas. It’s just not worth it. Call Auckland Plumbers Group and we will keep you and your loved ones safe :-).

SOURCE: Press Release from Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, 30 July 2014