The following topics are discussed:
- Gas leaks
- Cylinder exchange and storage
- Gas pipework
- Maintaining your gas stove
- Maintaining your gas hot water system
- Future projects
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Maintaining a gas appliance and a full gas system is an absolute must for both residential and commercial property owners alike. The consequences of poor maintenance can be dire. Therefore, as the owner, you need to maintain good, clean, safe practice every time the appliances are used and also have a scheduled maintenance plan in place to ensure the appliances are safe and running as they are intended.
If you smell gas, turn the gas off at the gas supply. Open the windows and doors to dissipate the gas and then call your gas fitter. Do not use your gas appliances until the gas leak is located and fixed.
Your gas fitter will pressure test all the pipework from your gas meter to your tenancy to ensure it is gas-tight and safe, and then test the gas appliance manifold to locate and fix the leak.
Quite commonly, a gas leak will be on the gas appliance hose or the gas appliance regulator.
If you are operating on 9kg gas cylinders and change them over yourself, always ensure you soapy water the joints after you have reconnected the new bottles.
Cylinder Exchange and storage
Now that the gas cylinder is gas tight, it is important to ensure it is in a safe location and safely positioned.
Generally, your gas cylinders need to be
- On a solid level surface
- Not less than 1meter to a building opening
- Not less than 150mm to a building opening above the cylinders
- Not less than 1meter to an open drain
- Not less than 1.5meters to an ignition source
- The gas regulator needs to be 150mm higher than the gas cylinder outlet.
- Your gas cylinders need to be safety chained.
If your gas cylinder does not meet this criterion, then call a gas fitter to correct, as each of the criteria above is safety related.
Gas pipework is only likely to be a maintenance issue if it was installed incorrectly, or the gas service requirements have changed without any alteration to the gas system.
Areas to look out for:
- The gas pipe is in a location where it is likely to get damaged or causes a hazard.
- The gas pipework behind the gas appliances is loose (do your gas appliances have gas appliance safety chains installed?).
- Gas pipework inadequately clipped.
- Gas appliance hoses are fully stretched and under strain.
These situations raise real concerns and need to be addressed by a gas fitter as soon as possible.
Maintaining your gas stove
- Clean the stove top after every use.
- Clean the gas rings periodically (depending on how heavy your use is).
- Clean out the gas jets periodically.
- Dry off the ignitors and thermocouples when water boils over. Be gentle when doing this as both components are very fragile.
If you notice a colour or sound difference in your gas, then it is time to call a gas fitter to check your gas pressures and gas supply reaching your gas burners. Incomplete combustion can create a deadly situation.
If you notice black soot around your burners, turn the gas off and call a gas fitter before using again. Gas soot is an indicator for carbon monoxide and is known as the silent killer because this gas you cannot smell, and this gas will kill you quickly.
Maintaining your Gas Hot Water System
There are two key areas which people keep failing on when it comes to maintaining their gas hot water systems.
- Overcrowding the area around the hot water system with boxes, brooms, etc. and wondering why the flame keeps going out. Your gas appliance needs air to work. Crowding your hot water system will keep suffocating this air supply.
- Letting the vegetation around the gas hot water system grow out of control. This has on several occasions caused the flame to go out and has burnt out the hot water system wiring.
A regulator is a great device when installed and used correctly, but like every device, they have a shelf life. A regulator’s lifespan is around 5 years.
Common regulator problems include:
- Stop letting gas through.
- Provide inconsistent gas pressures.
- Start leaking internally.
- Gas adjustment no longer works.
- The regulator is no longer fit for the new purpose of work and needs to be increased in size to cope with demand.
- The regulator is too old and no longer meets safety requirements.
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