Ready for inspection
When your HETAS inspector makes contact with you for your routine inspection, it is an opportunity to demonstrate your ongoing compliance with HETAS registration and compliance with Regulations. Here we highlight some tips to ensure a compliant inspection.
Prior to joining HETAS, installers must successfully complete training and pass an onsite inspection of an installation. New registrants are required to be assessed annually for the first two years following their initial assessment to establish a clean track record. Existing registrants with a proven track record are assessed on a risk based method. This will involve a minimum of one on-site assessment of each existing registrant’s work every three years.
HETAS always wants to see installers pass their routine inspections first time round. It is important to understand that the inspector isn’t trying to catch you out, but is simply assessing your installation for compliance with the relevant Building Regulations, relevant Standards and manufacturer’s instructions.
The HETAS inspections team has created a useful checklist to help ensure you are ready for inspection on the day. Click here to download the checklist.
Some handy tips
For an inspection we do require the appliance to be unlit and cold. Some customers are keen to show off your installations in all it’s glory, which can make things that much harder for our inspectors.
It is vitally important to have the following documents to hand on inspection day:
- A copy of your contract
- Manufacturers instructions
- Any design schematics (particularly for wet/heating systems)
- Any factory insulated twin wall flue instructions/schematics or calculations
- A commissioning certificate and HETAS certificate of compliance (or ID number if notified online)
- Your HETAS Technical Handbook
- Water Regulations Handbook (if relevant)
- The relevant sections of Approved Documents applicable to the installation
Many of our inspections result in a flue draught reading being taken. We recently wrote about the importance of taking flue draught readings in our ‘Feeling the draught‘ article, along with the tools available to take a reading. Have your smoke pellets, draught gauage and a method to warm the flue available at the inspection.
Our inspectors have the equipment they need for inspections, but you should also bring along equipment that might help you through the inspection. Again, take a look at the checklist in advance of your inspection.
Common Faults to avoid
Your inspector will be checking for compliance with the above points and utilising the HETAS Unsafe Situations Procedure when identifying faults. Our results identify that more often than not, faults are of a low risk nature and can be easily rectified.
One of the more common issues that crops up on inspection fails is the positioning of carbon monoxide alarms. HETAS has clear guidance in Technical Note 22 (TN_0022). There are instances following an installation where consumers have removed the alarm. It is also useful to highlight to consumers the importance of the carbon monoxide alarm
Ensure you have photographic evidence in a portfolio evidencing your complaint installation work.
Additionally, notice plates can often disappear following the completion of an installation. As prescribed in Approved Document J, there are a number of requirements when it comes to notice plates.
The guidance which can be found on page 28 of Approved Document J states the following:
Notice Plates for hearths and flues (Requirement J5)
1.57 Where a hearth, fireplace (including aflue box), flue or chimney is provided or extended (including cases where a flue is provided as part of the refurbishment work), information essential to the correct application and use of these facilities should be permanently posted in the building. A way of meeting this requirement would be to provide a notice plate (as show in Diagram 16 conveying the following information:
a. the location of the hearth, fireplace (or flue box) or the location of the beginning of the flue;
b. the category of the flue and generic types of appliances that can be safely accommodated;
c. the type and size of the flue (or its liner if it has been relined) and the manufacturer’s name;
d. the installation date
1.59 Notice plates should be robust, indelibly marked and securely fixed in an unobtrusive but obvious position within the building such as:
a. next to the electricity consumer unit; or
b. next to the chimney or hearth described; or
c. next to the water supply stop-cock
Again remember to evidence the positioning of the notice plate when installing and ensure your customer is aware of it’s location.
HETAS branded notice plates can be ordered via the HETAS Shop.
The inspection comprises of a visual inspection, technical discussion and observation of testing/commissioning procedures. Inspectors make it as informal as they can and will always try and make time to answer any questions you have during the process.
Inspections are a great way to speak to HETAS, as inspectors are in constant contact with main office. If in doubt on any aspect of the HETAS insepction process, or if you have a technical question, please do not hesitate to contact the HETAS Technical Helpline. The helpline is a three strong team of time served industry experts who are there specifically to help our registrants.
Remember these top tips to ensure you breeze through your next routine inspection with HETAS.