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Gas information sheet 10: Concealed piping in high rise buildings

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AS/NZS 5601, Gas Installations, Clause 5.3.8, provides requirements for piping in a concealed location. Those requirements can result in the need for expensive fire rating of pipe shafts and can make the location of isolation valves, for example, quite difficult.

To maintain an adequate level of safety while minimising expense, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has provided interpretations of the requirements, including a guidance table (overleaf).

For some interpretations to be acceptable, an Application for Exemption is required to be made to, and granted by ESV. Those interpretations are indicated in the guidance table.

Interpretation of ‘concealed location’

  • Consumer piping and components installed in a pipe shaft are deemed not concealed if accessible through a doorway for inspection or repair.

Such shafts don’t require venting but are to be sealed to prevent the possibility of leaking gas entering other parts of the building.

  • Consumer piping and components installed in a pipe shaft or ceiling space are deemed concealed if only accessible through an access panel.

Such shafts and ceilings require venting, generally to outside the building.

Valves in unventilated ceilings

Valves are not normally permitted in an unventilated ceiling space and acceptance by an ESV Gas Inspector will be required where such a location is chosen. A condition of acceptance will be that the valve be enclosed in a gas-tight box with a clearly marked access panel.

Regulators in rooms or enclosures

The installation of a gas pressure regulator in a room or enclosure must comply with AS/NZS 5601, Clause 5.11.5.7, which refers to the limitations for breather vents. The requirements of Clause 5.11.5.7 may allow the regulator to vent into the room or enclosure or may require it to be vented to outside the building.

Any regulator with over-pressure protection in the form of internal relief must be vented to outside the building.

If further information is required, please phone the Gas Safety Technical Information Line on 1800 652 563.

Operating pressure Location Requirement for pipe, jointing method and components (References are to AS/NZS 5601) Ventilation requirement
Up to and including 7 kPa. Fully accessible to service or exchange components.

Pipe and joining as per table 4.1.

The isolating valve for each level required by clause 5.7.4 (b) may be located in the enclosure.

Limited flexibility connectors are to comply with AS 4631.

Ventilation is not a requirement but where provided should comply with clause 5.3.12.

Regulator breather vent orifice size is to comply with clause 5.11.5.7.

Regulators with internal relief not permitted unless externally vented.

Over-pressure protection not required.

If requirements of clause 5.11.5.7 cannot be met, then ventilation is to comply with clause 5.3.12.
Pipe and joints will be accessible for visual inspection without undue difficulty.

Pipe and joining as per Table 4.1.

No regulators, valves or other components permitted unless an exemption is granted.

Ventilation to comply with clause 5.3.12 unless an exemption is granted.
Pipe or joints will not be accessible or access will be very limited.

Pipe as per Table 4.1.

All joints to be ‘permanent joints’.

Regulators, valves or other components are not permitted unless an exemption is granted.

Ventilation is not a requirement but where provided should comply with clause 5.3.12.
Exceeding 7 kPa up to and including 70 kPa. Fully accessible to service or exchange components.

Up to and including 80 mm: Pipe as per Table 4.1. Joints to be ‘permanent joints’.

Exceeding 80 mm: Joints to be brazed, welded or flanged.

Isolating valve for each level required by 5.7.4 (b) may be located in the enclosure.

Limited flexibility connectors to comply with AS 4631.

Regulators with internal relief not permitted unless externally vented.

Regulators breather vent orifice size is to comply with 5.11.5.7.

Ventilation to comply with clause 5.3.12.
Pipes and joints will be accessible for visual inspection without undue difficulty.

Pipe as per Table 4.1.

All joints to be ‘permanent joints’.

Regulators, valves or other components are not permitted.

Ventilation to comply with clause 5.3.12.
Pipe and joints will not be accessible or access will be very limited. Not to be installed. Not applicable.
Exceeding 70 kPa. Operating pressures exceeding 70 kPa are not recommended and should be discussed with an ESV Gas Inspector at the design stage.