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OCOT works with CIPH/CHC to rectify compliance issues

Second industry forum highlights difficulties reconciling hydronics with College regs.


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April 6, 2015

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) held its second Industry Forum in March to further address the challenges faced by hydronics installers as a result of compliance requirements set by the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). David Tsubouchi, registrar and CEO, OCOT and Bob Onyschuk, director, compliance and enforcement division, OCOT, were on hand to explain the College’s position and to update attendees on discussions with the Canadian Hydronics Council (CHC) and CIPH.

“We are really here to try to find solutions,” said Tsubouchi. “We do not enrich ourselves with fines so we work to find ways to compliance. Sometimes things go away out in the field. It is important that you contact us if you have issues. We are after the underground economy, not the legitimate businesses.

The question of who should be doing hydronics was at the crux of the meeting. “How do we reconcile your hydronics with the crossover?” asked Onyschuk. “Who should be doing the work? We have been woking with CIPH and have kind of put a hold on your sites.”

CIPH Ontario Region Hydronics Committee member Craig Stewart of Garthside Limited in Penetanguishene, ON, offered some perspective into what contractors are experiencing and their concerns. “OCOT was initially scarey – it has tapered off, it is working,” said Stewart. “I am definitely a supporter of OCOT. We need enforcement for the trunk slammers.”

Stewart noted that “the ratios being a little higher would help the smaller employer. I don’t have a licensed plumber on staff. Most of the installers are heaters, not plumbers.”

Whatever the designation, the lack of consistent training or certification for residential hydronics installers came up repeatedly. “For the longest time we had systems installed by people who weren’t trained,” said Mike Miller, CHC chair and HPAC contributor. “The code [B214] is only one way to hold people accountable. Our challenge is that to this point, no one really holds people to the training.”

“The training is old school. Is there anything being done to change that?” asked Nick Pellegrino of Thermo 2000.

Onyschuk responded by saying that training would be addressed at the OCOT trade board level. “Who better to tell us how to train?” noted Onyschuk. “How do we make sure that the apprentice coming out is trained to today, not yesterday?” He went on to encourage attendees to participate in the OCOT boards.

Ralph Suppa received an enthusiastic response to his suggestion that a task force be established comprised of representatives from the manufacturing, distribution, installation and design sectors. The task force would work to find solutions with OCOT. Look for an update on this in HPAC May.

 




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