Why do gas regulators need to be accessible?

A mandatory element of any gas safety check is the measurement of gas pressure going into an appliance. The gas regulator serves to reduce the high pressure of gas from the mains to a consistent pressure required for safe usage of the appliance.

To test that the gas regulator is maintaining the correct pressure, the gas fitter needs to use a screwdriver to remove a screw and insert a tube from the regulator to a digital manometer (seen in the photo).

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Once connected to the manometer, the appliance is then switched on and while it is operating, the pressure is measured.

Energy Safe Victoria and the Victorian Building Authority have confirmed that:

  • this test is required to complete a gas safety check;
  • gas regulators on appliances to be tested must be located so that they can be accessed without undue difficulty and without hazard while the appliance is in its installed position; and
  • if the above cannot be met, an installation is considered non-compliant.

 

What makes a gas regulator inaccessible?

A gas regulator can be rendered inaccessible in a few ways, but in simple terms, if the gas fitter can’t access the regulator to remove the screw and insert the tube for the manometer, then it will be inaccessible. Sometimes, the gas regulator can be easily moved on-site and when that’s possible, that’s what the team will do.

But in many cases, the gas pipework needs to be modified necessitating a quote for further work. The main factors that determine whether the pipework needs to be modified are the location of the regulator and/or the type of connection points.

For example, in this photo, you can see that the regulator is connected directly to the cooktop. It is hard up against the underside of the cooktop, therefore not allowing it to be rotated for accessibility.  

As it is essentially a fixed point, it requires additional copper to lengthen the connection point, move the regulator further from the cooktop connection and once completed, will allow the testing point to be accessed. 

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Another example is when the regulator has been installed hard against cabinetry with a fixed connection point (e.g., glued together) like in this photo.

It requires the whole regulator connection point to be modified with additional copper or potentially a full relocation.

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Important information to note

When the pipework needs to be modified, there are a couple of considerations:

  • As with any adjustment to pipework, a specific certificate needs to be provided.
  • Additional parts are often required; and
  • It may also require cutting into cabinetry for additional space.

For these reasons, where Detector Inspector finds an inaccessible gas regulator, we will quote for the further work required.

 


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