Individual Fined $5,000 for Activating Natural-Gas Pool Heater Without Certification

Industry: Fuels - All

Category: Enforcement

May 25, 2023


Individual Fined $5,000 for Activating Natural-Gas Pool Heater Without Certification, Resulting in Injury to Homeowner 

Toronto, ON, May 25, 2023 – Jeffrey Payne, a plumber residing in Ottawa, pled guilty last Thursday to one count of activating a natural-gas pool heater without a TSSA-issued gas technician certificate, an offense under the Technical Standards and Safety Act. The Ontario Court of Justice ordered Payne to pay a $5,000 fine, plus 25 per cent victim surcharge.

In September 2022, Payne visited an Ottawa home and completed the installation of plumbing connected to a natural-gas pool heater. The propane gas supply line had already been connected to the pool heater prior to Payne’s visit. Payne then turned on the gas supply line to the pool heater. This was the first time that the gas supply line and pool heater were activated.

Later that day after Payne left the home, the homeowner turned the pool heater off and then on again. Upon restarting the pool heater, an explosion occurred, and the homeowner sustained burns to his left hand.

“It is essential that homeowners hire only registered contractors for the installation, activation, service and inspection of all fuel-fired appliances,” said Sam Sadeghi, Statutory Director, Fuels Safety Program, TSSA. “Improper servicing of a natural-gas appliance could lead to explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and other safety risks that can sicken, injure or even kill unsuspecting residents.”

TSSA provides direct oversight of all of Ontario’s registered fuels contractors, which means a registered contractor’s work — and the work of the contractor’s certified technicians – is subject to TSSA audits for compliance with safety requirements. The public can find all of Ontario’s registered contractors online and verify a company’s or an individual’s credentials by calling TSSA at 1-877-682-8772.

About TSSA

Throughout Ontario, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) administers provincial safety regulations and enhances public safety. TSSA regulates the safety of amusement devices, boilers and pressure vessels, elevating devices, fuels, operating engineers, and ski lifts. Its range of safety services include public education authorization, engineering design review, inspections, investigations, compliance support, enforcement, and prosecution activities.


For more information, please contact:

Alexandra Campbell

Vice President, Communications and Stakeholder Relations

Technical Standards and Safety Authority

Telephone: 416-734-6227