What to Do if Your Furnace Got a Red Tag in Ontario?
It’s a nightmare to get your furnace red-tagged by a gas technician in the bone-chilling cold of Ontario. When your furnace is red-tagged, many questions bombard your mind about why this happened, what will be the cost to get it repaired, how long your furnace needs to be shut down, and how will you keep your family warm while warding off your home pipes from freezing.
In this article, we will acknowledge all your worries and make you ready for an unexpected situation.
What is a Red Tag?
All the furnaces in Ontario that uses natural gas should run on standards set by the Technical Standards and Safety Act and its regulation. All the certified technicians make sure that these standards must be maintained.
When your gas appliance goes faulty or is not safe to operate then a licensed technician places a warning tag on it which is popularly known as the “Red tag”. Depending upon the issue, a red tag is put on the faulty part which can be valves, tubing tanks, pipes, or the entire heating system.
Looking at the severity of the situation, the technician can also shut off the entire heating system of your home to protect your family from any mishap.
Reasons For Getting Red Tags In Ontario?
Licensed gas technicians work with the standards set by the Technical Standards and Safety Act and its regulation. During the investigation, if they find an “inescapable situation” then they are required by law to take the necessary action and red-tag the appliance. They can give the red tag depending on the severity of the situation.
So, what are these inescapable conditions? Your furnace can be red-tagged because:
- It is used recklessly above its capacity and beyond the purpose for which it was approved.
- It has been damaged, altered, or used in a way that impaired its safe operations.
- There has been a problem with its piping, hoses, or tubing.
- There has been a crack in the heat exchanger which causes severe leakage of poisonous gas such as carbon monoxide that can be life-threatening if not taken immediately action.
Depending upon the severity of the situation the certified technician put red tags.
Different Types of Red Tags
The categorizing of red tags is often based on the set-out standards in the technical regulations, and all companies adhere to the same rules of red tagging. There are two main types of red tags; type A (an immediate red tag) and type B (30-day repair). The choice of the red tags determines whether or not the appliance stays on as it is repaired.
1. Type A Red Tag
Also known as an immediate red tag. It implies that the licensed technician has established that the appliance’s condition poses an immediate danger and hence needs to stop the supply of gas to the appliance immediately. The machine is barred from use until the unsafe conditions are fixed and approved by the gas company as fit for use again.
Points to remember
- Is issued to mark an alarming situation that needs to be addressed immediately and the technician turns off the gas supply to the heating system.
- Such cases may include severe leakage of carbon monoxide gas that can cause serious health problems or even death if left unattended.
- The heating system is not allowed to turn on until the issue is fixed by a certified technician and confirmed by the gas company.
2. Type B Red Tag
This is also known as a 30-day warning red tag, which implies that the technician has found the appliance unacceptable. However, he believes it does not pose an immediate danger to the users. The technician, therefore, gives a 30-day window period within which the appliance should be fixed. After the 30-day window period, the gas company stops the gas supply if they do not receive proof of the appliance being fixed.
Points to remember
- Is issued where there is a fault in your appliance but is not immediately hazardous to your family and does not require immediate action.
- This tag gives you a deadline of 30 days from the day of putting the tag, to get the issue fixed by a certified technician.
- If the system is not repaired within 30 days of issuing the tag, then the gas company will shut off the entire heating system of your home.
In this case, the main difference between the two types of tags is the fact that for the A type of red tag, the technician stops the supply of gas immediately before leaving. On the other hand, for the B type, one is given a chance to resolve the identified problem before the supply of gas is cut off.
How to remove the Red Tag from my appliances?
1: Call a Technician.
The first thing that you need to do is to get your appliance checked by a licensed technician and make the repairs done by him. The Technician or the service company can be different from the one that issued the red tag. But always reach out to a good certified and experienced service technician.
2: Have the appliance inspected.
Let the technician inspect the furnace as per the designated red tag. The technician will either agree with the designated red tag and take the recommended course of action to get the furnace fixed or he will determine that the furnace is already safe. In either case, after the furnace is fixed and safe to use the certified technician follows the clearance process of removing the red tag and starting the furnace.
3: Submit the Red Tag Clearance to the Gas Company.
Once your furnace is fully repaired and has been given clearance by the technician, then make sure to send the clearance of the red tag to the gas company before the deadline. A professional company and technician take care of this part for your convenience.
Getting a second opinion on your red tag in Ontario
Getting a second opinion is always a good idea. If you are not satisfied with the conclusion or the reasons for getting red-tagged by a licensed gas technician then you can always take a second opinion. It is always advisable to take your second opinion from the service adviser you trust.
Go for a second opinion if –
- You feel that your furnace is working perfectly and the technician has not done a thorough inspection before putting the red tag.
- Your furnace is serviced and is given red tagged by another licensed technician just after a few days.
Taking a second opinion will also give you peace of mind as it will give you surety that the money you are spending on repairing or replacing any part is not going in vague. Sometimes, if the red tag is given without a thorough inspection, then the second advice can save your money as well as your family from the pain of living without heat for days in Ontario winters.
Homeowners can rightfully question the technician’s call to issue a red tag on their appliance. This is based on the fact that there are cases where a furnace gets red-tagged without thorough inspection and analysis of the combustion properties. Therefore, it pays to have a second opinion from a trusted service that can help in the removal of the tag or give advice on the best option, whether to repair or replace the appliance.