Watch out for the gasman! This is an affair close to my heart, as it has affected a dear friend, and it is also affecting many people who are unaware of how they stand regarding butane-gas-inspections. Read on.
Firstly, there is no obligatory periodic gas inspection. However, somebody who calls at your door will either convince you that there is, or implies it without actually saying it.
Secondly, the Butano/Respsol office does not phone around announcing that they will be calling in for a routine check: they will only carry out such an inspection at your request; not visa versa.
What is happening is that many bogus and bona-fide gas companies are carrying out these inspections, calling at doors, flashing butano-like badges. The modus operandi is to say that the regulatory time has elapsed and you are now due for an inspection. They might simply say they are from Butano (which is not a company; the company is called Repsol-Butano). Saying that they are from Butano is misleading as it implies that they are from Repsol, however, any company can include the word ‘butano’ in it’s name.
Thirdly, nobody is entitled to enter your home without your consent, so you are not obligated to let such people through your door unless you wish to. If you do let them through your door then they are entitled to charge you for the inspection, as inviting them in implies that you conform to the inspection.
Fourthly, people have been receiving calls claiming to be from ‘Butano’ saying that they will be calling round for an inspection. This is false. Repsol-Butano S.A., does not do this. The official office on our coast is situated near the Macdonald’s roundabout in Motril, a lady by the name of Nieves will attend you there. I have spoken to her on two occasions, as well as with the Guardia Civil post in Almuñécar, and both sources confirm what I am writing here, so this is not just hearsay.
The fact is that Repsol-Butano does not have a monopoly on gas-installation inspections and private companies can carry them out, which is why I said before that there are bogus and bona-fide companies, but whereas they are licensed to carry out inspections and sort out your deficiencies, it can only – repeat, ‘only’ – be at your request.
Of course it is a good and wise thing to have checks carried out, as installations deteriorate – at the end of the day, it is your personal safety that is at risk. Quite apart from your life being at risk, you would be responsible for any damage and/or injuries incurred by third parties. Therefore, it is your responsibility and decision. If you ask somebody to come around, get a quote on how much this service costs first, as well as a separate quote for how much putting things right will cost.
Lastly, here are some points on what to look for in your gas installations. Rubber piping cannot be longer that 1.5 metres; for greater lengths, metal piping should be used. In the kitchen, by law, you must have ceiling and floor-level ventilation ducts. Whereas rubber piping has an end-of-life date, the gas-bottle, valve-attachment does not, I believe, and should be replaced according to its continued correct functioning.