Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.


CG_4 Member Posts: 2
When testing and discovering co and unit has a cracked heat exchanger,collapsed chimney liner,or is beyond repair,my question is what do you professionals out there do?
a. Shut off at switch(and breaker)and document with customer signature that unit is unsafe to operate causing injury or death.
b. Disable by cutting wire(s)or disconnecting gas pipe.
Is it legal to physically disable unit? Too many times a customer will call in a "handyman" or have someone else do a repair and then threaten us with legal action to pay for the "re-hooking up" of the unit.


  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317

    Write a procedure your guys will be willing to follow and follow it. Document that you leave everything in as safe condition. Our procedure calls for disconnecting the gas pipe below the shutoff and putting a cap on it. The closed valve is too easy to argue about in court.
  • As one who functions

    as an "Expert Witness" in cases involving your question the typical thing the legal folks want to see is that the source of fuel has been disconnected. That means the physical disconnecting of the fuel line and capping it off. There is then the requirement to have documentation signed by the customer stating that they are aware of a dangeous situation and have been instructed to not use the equipment until it has been repaired and inspected by a professional or an inspector.

    There should also be a "red tagging" procedure that is attached to the faulty equipment.

    In the case of gas it is also required in some areas to alert the utility that you have shut off equipment.

    It is also a coutesy to let the oil company know also.

    What about legal ramifications of shutting off equipment? Most judges and lawyers I deal with take the attitude that safe is better than doing nothing. When public safety is involved we as professionals have an obligation to protect our customers. I have no qualms about shutting something unsafe off.

    As a gas man for many years I have on occasion shut off oil systems that I knew were not operating safely. I would then tell them to call there oil burner service company. I still tagged the equipment and had them sign.

    Documentation and a firm (long standing)company policy are what you need in court by the way
This discussion has been closed.