Windsor Contractor Fined For Dangerous Installation Of A Home Furnace

Tuesday October 29th, 2019

Posted at 3:30pm

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A Windsor contractor fined for dangerous installation of a home furnace by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.

According tor the TSSA, contractor Mark Van Watteghem installed a furnace with unsafe venting, which placed a resident at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

It was in January 2017, Van Watteghem (operating as Van Watts Mechanical) was hired to replace a wall furnace in a duplex in Windsor.

According to the TSSA, the furnace was installed with incompatible venting components and with holes in the vent piping, which allowed products of combustion (including CO) to enter the living space.

The resident sensed that the installation was not done properly and did not use the furnace, thereby avoiding a potential CO poisoning incident or a fire.

On October 9th, 2019, Van Watteghem was convicted by the Ontario Court of Justice in Windsor for failing to ensure that a gas appliance was in safe working order before leaving the installation, as well as for working as a gasfitter without a contractor registration.

The court fined Van Watteghem $15,000, plus the mandatory 25% surcharge, for a total penalty of $18,750. The court took into account that Van Watteghem had a prior conviction under TSSA legislation relating to an incident in 2014 that also could have resulted in CO poisoning.

“This was a near miss for a potentially deadly CO scenario,” said John Marshall, Director of TSSA’s Fuels Safety Program. “Mr. Van Watteghem and all other TSSA-certified fuel technicians have a professional and legal responsibility to keep up-to-date with all safety codes and standards and be aware of the risks associated with improper installation and incompatible venting components and to know the proper precautions to ensure public safety.”

TSSA reminds the public that all gas appliance work must be performed by a TSSA-certified technician. If in doubt of a technician’s certification, contact TSSA toll-free at 1-877-682-8772.

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