I’m going to tell you a true story-
- On a Tuesday my stove broke
- On Wednesday we bought a new one
- On Friday morning the stove was delivered
- On Friday Afternoon my building handyman installed the stove
- On the following Monday a new law went into effect in New York City- only licensed plumbers were now allowed to install gas stoves
Background: About five years ago there was a horrible explosion in Manhattan’s East Village caused by faulty gas installation. The law was enacted to try to prevent future explosions.
Ok- you have the basics. Now let’s get to the practical:
When my building handyman installs my stove, he charges me about 8% of the cost of the new stove.
If I have to have a licensed plumber install my stove, their fee would be about 90% of the cost of my stove.
So, you see the cost differential.
I discussed this new law with members of my virtual book club. All are NYC residents so this law would apply to each and every one of them.
We had been talking about bureaucracy and I mentioned this new policy and the inherent flaws that I saw with this new law. First off, it once again made living in NYC more expensive. While I understand why it is important to have gas appliances installed properly, I also know that my handyman and building super are both armed with certificates in plumbing as well as other things. I opined that they should have a certification course for building staff so that building staff could continue performing this job. I also said this was going to inversely effect people who live in public housing, because the NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) would try to batch new stove deliveries so that it would take forever for someone to receive a new stove. NYCHA is not known for it’s well thought out managerial tactics.
Do you know what the members of my book club all said?
“Well, I just won’t have a plumber install it. My ________ will install it. Who will know?”
Which of course leads to the third problem:
More people will end up getting hurt because they will just choose to just not obey the law, therefore, even less experienced people will now be installing gas appliances. In reality, there will be more chance for inept gas line hook up.
Here’s some possible discussion points:
- Though the law is obviously done to protect people, is it too hard to follow the law?
- Would you pay 70-80% more to have your appliance installed, or would you find a cheaper and not legal alternative?
- Would you buy a place that uses gas appliances, or would you seek out electric?
- Do you think this law will work?
- Anything else you want to add?
Of course, timing is everything, so I’m glad I don’t have to worry about this, for now, and that I sprung for the extended warranty for my stove.