Should solar and heat pump installations require consent?

3 (25%)
1 (8.3%)
The home owner can be given the option to apply for an independent inspection post installation at a cost by choice.
1 (8.3%)
Certifying plumbers and gasfitters shoud be able to self certify such installations
6 (50%)
I install the above without consent and provide a producer statement for reassurance and warranty
1 (8.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Council consents for solar and heat pump installations  (Read 1567 times)

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Offline Plumber

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Council consents for solar and heat pump installations
« on: August 21, 2013, 03:07:38 PM »
As per councils application >>

"Do I need a building consent to install a solar water or heat pump water heating device?

Yes. There are safety issues associated with water heating devices so a building consent is required to
ensure correct installation. In addition, a certifying plumber licensed under the Plumbers, Gasfitters,
Drainlayers Act 2006 must carry out all installations.
Please note: Due to the specialist nature of these applications, it is recommended that the supplier/installer
of the appliance completes and submits the application on behalf of the owner. If you take this course of
action, a letter authorising the supplier/installer to act on your behalf is required by council."

"so a building consent is required to ensure correct installation" >> We all agree that only a qualified trades person must attempt to do the above but does this imply that a qualified person is NOT qualified enough to take responsibility for the installation? 


Please note that the advice I am giving is only my opinion and not necessarily a fact.  Please refer to our terms and conditions.

Offline integrated

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Re: Council consents for solar and heat pump installations
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 07:15:11 PM »
i voted option 4 - although not sure what it really has to do with a certifying gasfitter?

there is definately a level of risk with both types of install from safety and microbiological standpoints

Offline Corylus

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Re: Council consents for solar and heat pump installations
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 06:46:15 PM »
Speaking as someone who has had serious problems with a solar water heater installation, I think it is essential that there be a consent. And that the final job should be signed off by the certifying plumber who is then responsible for its operation. Not a building inspector from the council who isn't a plumber and wouldn't recognise a problem if he fell over it. In our recent case, the local council was forced to recognise that they had been slack and they have had a major discussion about how to improve their "inspections". This is still on the table and there are ideas floating around. You might like to contribute. eg. There are certain dead give aways that should alert them to the fact that the installation is not as it should be. For example - a Caleffi air admittance valve installed at an angle without its isolating valve.

When our major overhaul was completed, Not only an inspector but also the man who manages the team of inspectors came out to discuss with a delighted young plumber exactly what he had discovered and what he had done to fix it all. They poked about and asked intelligent questions, revealing they were more clued up than they had been before. They have plans not yet finalised about how best to tighten up inspections, making the plumber the expert with the final say.

Our case exposed the fact that there are grey areas where responsibility for the installation is unclear. Our installer genuinely believed it was not his fault. He had carried out the work as he had been "trained" to do it. I don't know how he got his bit of paper - but it didn't do him any favours. It seems to me that this is a specialist plumbing job and it is crazy to allow someone who may an excellent salesman but with only a bit of on the job training from all accounts, to actually do some of the plumbing. Then the whole job gets signed off by the certifying plumber who was employed by him to do the rest of it? This is not good, for obvious reasons.

If I were to be giving advice to anyone contemplating putting in such an installation, I'd be saying to go to a firm where you can be sure that the whole installation is done by a team of qualified plumbers, and to know where the responsibility lies if there are problems.

I'll update this when the council has finalised its discussions. At least there is some dialogue going now.

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