Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dodgy heat pump wiring threatens thousands of homes - 3 News

Many of you might have seen the segment last night on 3 News regarding the potential risks associated with sub standard installation of heat pumps in New Zealand homes.

If you didn't see it then you can watch the clip directly from the 3 News website here.

According to the 3 News story:
"Around 140,000 heat pumps were installed in New Zealand homes last year, and with subsidies offered, it is likely their popularity will continue to grow. But also increasing is the industry's concern about the amount of dodgy installation work turning up"
This concern is based on the belief that as many as 10% (14,000) of heat pump installations in the last year don't comply with regulations. The problem is mainly to do with attaching the heat pump wiring to existing wiring with no checking to see how safe or stable that wiring is.

The potential for a fire or loss of life as a result of this is real and if that is not enough there is the added risk that your insurance policy will not cover this if it is voided as a result of uncertified installation.
"If it's not installed properly it could cause a fire, it may malfunction, it could electrocute," says electrical inspector Garry House. "The danger is people are tagging on to existing wiring - the condition of that old wiring is unknown."
Here at Air Conditioning Services Limited we have already received a few calls from our own customers who saw this on 3 News last night and want to know about the heat pump installations carried out by us. It didn't take long to ease their concerns by telling them that we are one of a small number of professional and compliant suppliers and installers of Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps in New Zealand. We are members of RACCA (Refrigeration Air Conditioning Companies Association) and SiteSafe and all our contractors are aware of and comply with local and national policies and regulations.

I do hope the government steps in on this and takes up the offer to run checks on all these homes to ensure installations are done properly and I hope this is done before someone is seriously hurt.