Man fined for DIY gas and plumbing

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2013

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A Waimate man has been hit with a $2000 fine for carrying out his own gasfitting and plumbing work.

Lindsay Morrell Jones was convicted in the Timaru District Court yesterday under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act of carrying out sanitary plumbing without authority.

More seriously, according to the court, he was convicted under the same act of carrying out gasfitting work without authority.

In May 2010, Jones installed a shower, handbasin, kitchen sink and cold water pipes at his house on Queen Street.

He also installed an instantaneous LPG water heater, together with gas pipework, inside the house.

According to court documents, the sanitary plumbing work was defective because the handbasin waste was connected to the soil pipe, which could have led to gases from the foul water disposal system entering the building.

The water pipes were crimped with an improvised tool and the joints were not sealed adequately, which could have led to joint failure.

Finally, Jones had installed the gas water heater on an internal wall when it was designed to be installed externally.

It could have resulted in a build-up of flue gases to dangerous, possibly lethal levels. In court yesterday, Jones' counsel John Black argued the work had not posed any risk to the public.

However, Jones acknowledged he had not engaged a certified tradesperson to carry out the work.

Andrew McIntyre, representing the board, said the gasfitting was "far more than a minor matter". He also pointed out remedial work carried out by certified tradesmen had taken 10 hours.

Judge Joanna Maze said the "real issue" was the internal installation of the gas water heater.

Although he knew to turn the gas off when not using the heater, it could put future owners of the property at risk.

She fined him $2000 and ordered Jones pay $113 solicitors fees on each charge.

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- The Timaru Herald

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