We live in a country that faces an ever-present lack of reliability with energy providers, a phenomenon that has steered many South Africans to rely on gas stoves as opposed to their electric counterparts.
However, many people are still unaware of the regulations they need to adhere to when it comes to gas installations in their homes. These regulations exist to help prevent any gas-related incidents and should always be followed by professionals and homeowners alike when installing gas units.
Let’s take a quick look at some of those regulations and what they mean for the South African homeowner.
The state of gas installation regulations in South Africa
According to the regulations that were introduced in 2009, all gas installations must have a Certificate of Conformity that is consistent with the Pressure Equipment Regulations that are enforced under the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993).
While this might sound a bit complex to the untrained ear, a Certificate of Conformity basically states that a gas installation needs to be thoroughly inspected and cleared to be safe and leak-free.
These conformity certificates need to be accompanied by an authorised individual or company that is registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS).
Any homeowner who has a liquid gas installation installed in their home must have this certificate, which is typically obtained during the installation phase.
If your house is damaged or destroyed as a result of a defective gas appliance – and you don’t have a legitimate certificate issued by someone registered with LPGAS – the insurance implications may be significant.
In these instances, insurance companies aren’t obligated to accept any claim, something that could have severe financial repercussions for most homeowners.
Having the installation inspected and approved may be a quick and straightforward process, provided that the installation has been done correctly.
The types of gas installations that need this certificate include:
- Gas fires or braais;
- Gas stoves and ovens;
- Hot water systems.
It’s also worth noting for homeowners that if they want to sell their home that has a gas appliance installed, they need to present the new owners with their gas compliance certification.
Regulations for gas installations
The following are some of the South African regulations associated with gas installations. Gas bottles must not be installed:
- Less than 1 metre sideways from doors and windows;
- Less than 2 metres from drains and air vents;
- Less than 3 metres below windows (unless a non-combustible roof is installed);
- Less than 1 metre from the property boundary wall (unless it’s a fireplace wall);
- Less than 5 metres sideways faraway from a switchable electric point or plug switch;
- Light bulbs can’t be but 1.5 metres above a gas bottle.
Other installation rules include, but are not limited to:
- Only class 1 or 2 copper pipes, or other approved gas piping, can be used in the installation;
- Copper pipes hugging a wall must be sleeved;
- An approved flexible gas hose may not extend beyond two meters and should not undergo any partition (including wood, dry wall, cupboard wall etc).
While there are many more regulations that gas installation experts need to adhere to, these are the basics that every homeowner should be aware of. If you’d like to hire an expert who can go above and beyond when it comes to following these rules, we’ve got you covered! We have our own installer and if he is not in your area, we shall make recommendations.
Credit: Urban Gas