Gas Installations Your Complete Guide
No person shall install a gas fitting unless every part of it is of good construction and sound material, of adequate strength and size to secure safety and of a type appropriate for the gas with which it is to be used. Gas engineers should acquaint themselves with the appropriate standards for gas fittings and ensure that the fittings they use are to those standards. Most new gas appliances used for domestic purposes (eg cooking, heating and hot water production) are subject to the Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995 and will carry the CE marking in addition to any recognised European standard mark and/or BSI kitemark. Some larger plant, eg for commercial use, will also bear the CE marking in conformity with other Regulations which implement EC directives, eg on machinery and pressure vessels.
Pipes should be of a suitable construction, material, strength, properly labelled and size to convey gas to the appliance and to ensure its safe operation. Consider any special factors in particular circumstances, eg risk of physical damage to non-metallic pipework, for instance, from rodent attack. Where the appropriate standard or the manufacturer recommends a limited lifetime for a gas fitting (including plastic pipework), it should be replaced before the end of its limited life, unless it can be shown that continued use will not constitute a hazard. The manufacturer should be consulted to establish whether the lifetime of the gas fitting can be extended, what tests need to be carried out, and the extended lifetime allowed. See also regulations 35–36 and associated guidance concerning maintenance/safety check duties.
Non-metallic connectors for use with readily movable gas appliances should conform to the appropriate standard. Such hoses, pipes and pipe fittings must be used only for the purpose for which they are designed. Appliances or meters may be connected to existing lead piping using suitable fittings, provided that the piping is in a safe condition, eg there is no sign of damage. Apart from connectors to readily movable appliances such as Bunsen burners, non-metallic (eg plastic) pipes should only be used within buildings if sheathed in metal to minimise the risk of gas escaping if the pipe should fail. This requirement does not extend to polyethylene (PE) piping buried in ground beneath a building provided that the piping does not enter the building However, it does apply to that routed in spaces under floors. Plastic pipe fittings should not be used to seal pipes within buildings. Although regulations applies only to pipes and pipe fittings in buildings, it is recommended that a similar approach be adopted for other premises, eg caravans and inland waterway boats.
Free-standing gas cookers are generally movable, but are not regarded as ‘readily movable’ for the purpose of this regulation. Flexible cooker hoses should therefore be of metallic construction; they should conform with appropriate standards and be used only for their intended purpose. No person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel otherwise than in accordance with appropriate standards and in such a way as to prevent danger to any person. This regulation covers two separate but related requirements. Work in relation to any gas fitting or gas storage vessel needs both to be in accordance with appropriate standards, and to be carried out in a manner which does not expose the gas engineer, or any other person, to danger, eg from a gas escape.
It is the particular work being carried out which needs to comply with the appropriate standards. It is not necessary to upgrade existing installations to bring them up to current standards, eg modifying them to meet revised specifications (unless necessary to meet other provisions of the Regulations. The term ‘appropriate standards’ is not defined in the Regulations themselves, but details of where to find a list of standards regarded as appropriate standards for the purpose of this ACOP and guidance.