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LP Gas installations – Legislation & Safety

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LP Gas installations without a valid up to date CoC may lead to dire consequences for home owners.

With the high cost of electricity gas appliances in the home are becoming more popular. Some homeowners are unaware that permanent gas installations such as gas ovens, hobs, heaters and fireplaces requires an up to date CoC.

Should there be a fire in a home with a gas installation with no up to date compliance certificate, your insurance company could possibly reject the claim.  A Gas CoC is valid for five years but some insurance companies may require the CoC to be renewed more frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Coc for my gas installation?

  • A CoC is proof that your gas installation is safe and complies with the rules and regulations as laid out in the South African National Standards (SANS) 10087-1.
  • The law requires that you be in possession of Certificate of Conformity for gas installations at all times, as does your insurance company. If your property suffers damage due to a gas fault, your insurance company will expect you to produce a valid certificate. Not being able to produce one may invalidate your claim.

When must a CoC be issued?

A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) must be issued for a PERMANENT installation:

  • On completion of a new gas installation;
  • After any modification, alteration or maintenance of an existing gas installation;
  • On change of ownership of a property housing an existing gas installation. (When you sell your property)

What is a permanent gas installation?

  • Legislation deems a permanent gas installation to be a gas installation that is a fixture in a building, immovable and not of a temporary nature. This would include all build in gas equipment – Gas fires, Heaters, Gas Braais, Stoves, Ovens and Hot water systems.
  • Movable gas heaters and gas braais on wheels are seen as temporary and do not require a CoC.

How long is a CoC valid for?

  • A CoC is valid for five years providing the installation has not been altered in any way.
  • Any maintenance or alterations done to your gas installation requires the issuing of a new CoC for the ENTIRE system.
  • An installation must be inspected and a CoC issued when a property is sold.

How regularly must a LPG installation be serviced?

  • According to legislation, the manifold system (which includes the regulator/s) should be inspected and serviced at intervals not exceeding five years.

Am I allowed to have a gas cylinder inside my house?

  • Yes, according to the SA National Standards (SANS);
    • if you live in a flat, you may have a maximum of 9kg gas either stored or permanently installed inside;
    • if you live in either a free standing house, cluster house or in group housing (not exceeding two storeys), you are entitled to a maximum of 19kg. There are, however, strict regulations regarding the positioning of gas cylinders inside a flat or house as well as necessary ventilation.

Regulations

  • Gas bottles may not be installed:
    • Less than 1 meter sideways from doors and windows.
    • Less than 2 meter from drains and air vents or any other place where the gas can gather if the bottle leaks.
    • Less than 3 meter below windows unless a non-combustible roof are installed between the gas bottles and the bottom of the window.
    • Less than 1 meter from the property boundary wall unless it is a fire wall, at least 1.8 meter tall and there are no ventilation gaps in the wall (acceptable if up to 48kg X 2 gas are stored)
    • Less than 3 meter from the property boundary wall (if more than 48kg X 2 gas are stored).
    • Less than 5 meter sideways away from a switchable electrical point or plug switch and socket or electrical motor or pool pump etc. (but not a light bulb) and not less than 1.5 meter above the gas bottles.
  •  Further Requirements
    • If you have your gas bottle contained within a gas cage then the top of the gas bottle must be 300 mm below the window (a 19Kg bottle is between 800 – 900mm tall).
    • Light bulbs cannot be less than 1.5 metres above a gas bottle.
    • Only class 1 or 2 copper pipes, or other approved gas piping, may be used
      This is not the same copper piping used for plumbing.
    • Copper pipes going through a wall must be sleeved
    • Approved flexible gas hose may not be more than two meters long and may not go through any partition (including wood, dry wall, cupboard wall etc)

Birds eye view for cylinder placement in relation to boundry walls

Birds eye view for cylinder placement in relation to boundary walls – SANS 10087-1:2013



General Safety Distances - SANS 10087-1:2013

General Safety Distances – SANS 10087-1:2013



Distances from an Electric Fence - SANS 10087-1:2013

Distances from an Electric Fence – SANS 10087-1:2013



Distances and regulations relating to thatch roof houses - SANS 10087-1:2013

Distances and regulations relating to thatch roof houses – SANS 10087-1:2013



Criteria for placing bottles below windows - SANS 10087-1:2013

Criteria for placing bottles below windows – SANS 10087-1:2013



Safety distances relating to items in proximity to the hob/stove - SANS 10087-1:2013

Safety distances relating to items in proximity to the hob/stove – SANS 10087-1:2013


 

Find an SAQCC Gas Authorized Practitioner

In Terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, the Pressure Equipment Regulations require that all Gas installations must only be carried out by a competent person, registered by an organisation approved by the Chief Inspector of the Department of Labour.
The South African Qualification & Certification Committee for Gas, (SAQCCGas) has been officially appointed and mandated by the Department of Labour to register gas practitioners, as competent within a specific scope of work.

SAQCC Gas Authorized Practitioner Card Front

SAQCC Gas Authorized Practitioner Card Rear

General LP Gas Safety

What action must I take if I smell gas?

In the event of a gas leak, follow the following steps:

  • Immediately extinguish any naked flames;
  • Shut off the supply of gas at your safety shut-off valve and at the cylinder valve;
  • Open as many doors and windows as possible to let fresh air into the room;
    If the LPG cylinder is stored inside, move it to a well ventilated area outside;
  • Check the O-ring on the connector that screws into the LPG cylinder for damage;
  • Brush a 50/50 soapy mix of dish-washing liquid and water around the valve of the cylinder – any large bubbles indicate a leak;
  • If there is no cylinder leak, reconnect the cylinder and open the cylinder valve and safety shut-off valve, then brush the soapy mix on all joints, connections and rubber hoses and look for any large bubbles forming which would indicate a leak;
  • If you still smell gas, shut off your gas supply and phone either your gas supply company or a registered installer and, if necessary, the fire department, informing them that there is LPG on the property.

NEVER USE A MATCH OR LIGHTER TO CHECK FOR GAS LEAKS!!!

REFERENCES

Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association
SAQCC Gas

LP Gas & the Law

Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993)

Summary: To provide for the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for occupational health and safety; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

 

The Pressure Equipment Regulations

On 15 July 2009, the Minister of Labour published , an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993 in respect of the ‘Pressure Equipment Regulations’ No. 32395. The Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) incorporate the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Standards and Codes of Practice relating to all Gases.

These regulations set out the requirements regarding the design, manufacture, installation, operation, repair, modification, inspection and testing of pressure equipment with a design pressure equal to or greater than 50kPa, in terms of the relevant health and safety standard incorporated into the Regulations under section 44 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

SABS Standards and Codes of Practice provide technical specifications for the industry.

The Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) incorporate the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Standards and Codes of Practice. SABS is a statutory body that was formed in terms of the Standards Act, 1945 (Act No. 24of 1945) and continues to operate in terms of the latest edition of the Standards Act, 2008 (Act No. 8 of 2008) as the national standardisation institution in South Africa.
For more information concerning Standards and how they are developed please click on the link below.

The following Standards apply to the LPG industry:

SANS 347
Categorization and conformity assessment criteria for all pressure equipmentSANS 199 Shut-off valves for refillable liquefied petroleum gas cylindersSANS 1156-2 Hose for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Part 2: Hose and tubing for use in LPG vapour phase and LPG-air installationsSANS 1237 Single-stage regulators for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

SANS 1539 Appliances operating on liquefied petroleum gas – Safety aspects

SANS 10019 Transportable Pressure Receptacles For Compressed, Dissolved And Liquefied Gases – Basic Design, Manufacture, Use And Maintenance. This standard covers the minimum requirements for the design, manufacture, use and maintenance of refillable and non refillable pressure receptacles of water capacity 0,5 L to 3 000 L.

SANS 10087-1 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial, and industrial installations Part 1: Liquefied petroleum gas installations involving gas storage containers of individual water capacity not exceeding 500 L and a combined water capacity not exceeding 3 000 L per installation

SANS 10087-2 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial, and industrial installations Part 2: Liquefied petroleum gas installations involving gas storage containers (used in mobile applications) of individual water capacity not exceeding 113 L and a combined water capacity not exceeding 500 L

SANS 10087-3 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial, and industrial installations Part 3: Liquefied petroleum gas installations involving storage vessels of individual water capacity exceeding 500 L

SANS 10087-4 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial and industrial installations Part 4: The transportation of LP gas including the design, construction, inspection, fittings, filling, maintenance and repair of LP gas bulk vehicles and rail tank cars

SANS 10087-6 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial, and industrial installations Part 6: The application of liquefied petroleum and compressed natural gases as engine fuels for internal combustion engines

SANS 10087-7 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial, and industrial installations Part 7: Storage and filling premises for refillable liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) containers of gas capacity not exceeding 9 kg and the storage of individual gas containers not exceeding 48 kg.

SANS 10087-8 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial and industrial installations Part 8: Filling containers for LP gas operated fork lift vehicles in-situ.

SANS 10087-10 The handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial and industrial installations Part 10: Mobile filling stations for refillable liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) containers of capacity not exceeding 9 kg.

 

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