For doing your own gas work, indeed all that the law requires is that
the person be competent, as the OP says (though many people, including
my local plumbers merchant who I had an argument about with about it)
Quite what competent means in that situation is of course moot point,
much discussed here before.
However Corgi registration is required for doing paid for work.
The incompetent gas fitter on that program was CORGI registered!
The program also implied that no-one unless they were CORGI registered
could turn the gas off - presumably even if there were a gas leak.
If you do it FOR YOURSELF you need to be competant, but do not need to be
CORGI registered, if you do it 'for free' for someone else it is my
understanding that you are deemed to be working for reward - if your mate
buys you a pint for your trouble that's a reward... so you need to be CORGI
You are confusing competent (we all know what that means) and "competent".
In the eyes of the law you would have to demonstrate "competency", which
"they" generally take to mean being CORGI registered. The onus would be on
you, if not a CORGI, to prove you were "competent" (even if competent and IF
anyone asked of course!), which would involve showing you had lots of
experience, satisfied customers, years in trade etc., I suspect. No-one
would probably ask unless there was a problem. If there was a problem you
couldn't really say "I must have been competant as it's OK" IYSWIM.
Lets call a spade a spad - the intent of the law is to stop DIY gas work
(under the pretence this makes the world safer and to safeguard the
professional bodies). The interpretation of any grey areas in law would be
bound to have this slant.
If you are merely competent, do the job, and there are no problems and
no-one asks, then it's *probably* illegal (even if perfectly OK) but what
the eye doesn't see....
This seems to be one of those situations where there is no logal
definition as yet. Since primary legislation has not spelt out what
competancy is, it falls to the courts to make an interpretation. They
will only do this when there is a specifuc requirement to do so (i.e. as
a result of a case. As far as I am aware this has not happened yet.
So while you are correct that we know what it mens to be competant in a
technical sense, I am not convinced that *anyone* actually knows what
that means in a legal sense.
Currently the Health and Safety Executive explicitly acknowledge that
DIY gas work is legal.
See http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/change.pdf page 50 :
One of the consultation questions they asked was :
"Should DIY work be legally prohibited, eg by restricting the sale of
gas equipment to registered gas installers?"
Part of the conclusion was:
"We understand concern about the possible risks posed by incompetent DIY
gas work, but believe at present there is insufficient hard evidence of
incidents to support the introduction of a legal ban."
Even if you look at the more public facing
You get the evasive non answer:
"Q. Is it legal to do DIY on appliances and/or flues ?
A. A competent person must carry out all work on gas appliances. It is
always safer to use CORGI registered gas installers to carry out any gas
work. Any employer or self-employed person, for example, a landlord, who
carries out gas work must be CORGI registered."
Depends on why it went wrong I expect. However if you actually *are*
competent then it ought not go wrong as a result of any acton under your
> If you are merely competent, do the job, and there are no problems and
> no-one asks, then it's *probably* illegal (even if perfectly OK) but
> what the eye doesn't see....
I would say the law is clear that it is *not* illegal, so that can not
be the intent of the law. The HSE also make it clear that they do not
currently support the idea of making it illegal. However, there is
obviously a strong desire to discourage DIY gas work. One way that this
is done is by allowing many to believe that it is illegal.
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