Help from other states concerning Combustion Safety Testing.

I'm searching for information from other states that have ammended policies concerning who can do combustion safety testing and the licenses required. In Connecticut, the Dept. of Consumer Protection currently states that only licenses mechanical contractors can do the testing. They will be voting to possible change this and I am looking for infrmation from other states who have recently changed or ammended their procedures on who can test. The Heating, Piping and Cooling Work Examining Board here is not recognizing BPI certifications and it may be helpful to let them know other states that have made changes giving credence to BPI.

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If licensed mechanical contractors are approved to do CAZ testing, what standard are they using?  What tests are they completing? Who trained them? Who calls for what repair? Is repair mandatory? What equipment are they using?  If you have a state Home Performance with Energy Star Program, the sponsor (state/utility) will have a bank of lawyers that have already looked at this and they are probably allowing BPI BA certified techs to do it within the program, so don't raise the question until it comes up elsewhere.  Perhaps BPI or even RESNET can go to bat for you.  MD, NJ, PA, and DE all do not restrict this field.

Ed Minch

Energy Services Group

Ed, this has already been brought up to the state and the board is not recogonizing BPI as of yet. I have been email back and forth with Tigar Adolf from BPI and I think they will be getting involved. HPwES was just approved for our state, but the utility companies are running it and don't have the bank of lawyers as one would expect. 2 guys from the utility companies made the case for their "prefered vendors" to be allowed to drill, but so far it hasn't done any good. I found out that Maine inacted a "limited enegy auditor license" for the purpose of testing. This is the kind of information I am looking for to help direct guys here in the state. I had heard that a number of state are making changes but I need to actually get the specific info as I believe it may help.
Gary, New York State allows all building performance or weatherization contractors to do CAZ testing as part of the audit and retrofit process. This goes for all NYSERDA Home Performance with Energy Star programs and NYSHCR Weatherization assistance Program (WAP). Under ARRA both programs combined are about 65,000 homes statewide. That's alot of CAZ testing....Both programs require BPI certification...Matt Redmond, NYSWDA
Matthew, yes I'm well aware of how NY state operates. Since I'm so close to the NY state border, I'm tempted to chase work there since CT is so messed up. Last night I was at the yearly BPCA meeting in Tarrytown. I have a lot of friends in NY working different programs there, in fact, I'm sure we have mutual friends. Many people have been through your training facility and I hear nothing but good from everyone. I'd like to stop in there some time.
Gery, Thanks for the compliment. Please drop me a line and come on by anytime.You'll love our training center....Matt

Matt, I'm going to send you a private message

I tried to but this site wont let me send you a message until we are "friends" formal!

The examining board appears to be upset because the utilities went over their heads to the DCP and obtained an opinion that a license is NOT required to drill. It doesn't seem to be widespread public knowledge. In a message dated 01/03/2011, it was stated:


From Mr. Nelson Leon, Board Secretary of the Connecticut Dept. Of Consumer Protection, Occupational and Professional Licensing Division written by Mr. Richard Hurlburt, Director of Occupational Licensing:

" For Carbon Monoxide, Carbon dioxide, or Draft testing.

Since it requires a small hole ONLY in a smoke pipe then no license is required limited to this form of testing on heating related equipment.

After a test, the test hole must be sealed with a metal plug or screw that fills the hole.

If the unit fails , the person shall hire a properly licensed Contractor who shall make appropriate repairs or lock out/ tag out the appliance or heating equipment until the problem is corrected."


The Heating Board, obviously, disagrees. 

As a licensed Mechanical Contractor, a NATE certified Heating and Air Specialist, and a BPI certified BAP/EP it is my firm opinion no one with just BPI training should be allowed to do combustion testing. I went through the training and I saw firsthand just how dangerous someone with little knowledge and experience can be. My newest employee, a heat and air installer has completed a 12 month Heating and Air School with grades in upper 90's and is a licensed Mechanical Appentice with 1 year of field experience and he has no business trying to do combustion testing yet. As a Mechanical Instuctor and business owner I not only teach, I do.  I am discussing this matter with local and state officials here in Oklahoma and hope to prevent dangerous and life threatening situations from occurring by following current laws that require 3 years experience and a journeymans license at a minimum to touch a mechanical system.

Hey Robert, thanks for your response. I do agree with you partially as I have seen WAY too many people trained in BPI that still have no clue what they are doing nor the reasons why they are doing it. It's scary to think that some BPI Affiliates have lowered the bar when actually testing canidates knowledge, but with the changes happening in BPI, I'm hoping this will change. I agree that anyone making changes to any system should have further licensing, but do think that testing a system should not require the same amount of licensing. I do believe, and know for a fact, that people properly trained can safely test equipment and prevent potential hazardous situations. I had a test last December when the Co readings in an oil boilers flu were over 12,000 and the homeowners didn't seem to mind the soot in the house nor 4 foot brown scare on the lawn where the flu was discharging. Because of that test, I was able to call in a mechanical contractor and had the situation addressed immediately. To drill a hole and test, I believe, shouldn't just be with BPI certification, but also shouldn't be years of schooling. I do think, and some states are doing it, that a special license be approved for TESTING ONLY, not repair/maintance work.



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