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Gas information sheet 57: Type A appliance service – your obligations under the Gas Safety Act

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Introduction

Ensuring a gas installation is safe is a fundamental responsibility for all gasfitters licensed to perform gas servicing on Type A appliances. As a result, understanding the required scope of this work is critical for gasfitters to be able to complete it successfully and meet their responsibilities under the Gas Safety Act and subordinate regulations. This information sheet:

  • is only intended to provide a guide to the requirements for Type A servicing and inspection work (for more detailed information, refer to the Type A Servicing Standard AS 4575-2005 Gas Appliances-Quality of Servicing)
  • should be read in conjunction with ESV:
    • Gas Information Sheet 58, The Quality and Adequacy of Air Supply
    • Gas Information Sheet 59, Inspecting and Servicing Type A Appliances.

Your obligations under the Gas Safety Act

The Gas Safety Act and subordinate regulations state:

(1)  For the purposes of section 72(2) of the Act, it is a prescribed requirement for the carrying out of gasfitting work on a gas installation that—

 (a) the gas installation not be made unsafe during the gasfitting work; and

 (b) the gas installation is safe for use on the completion of the gasfitting work.

As a result, it is every gasfitter’s responsibility to:

  • maintain competency in their trade, update their knowledge, and ensure they access current Australian Standards and technical notes (which are revised from time-to-time)
  • ensure the safe operation of any gas appliance they service.

As servicing gas heaters is a specialized class of plumbing work, a gasfitter’s license or registration card must include a Type A appliance servicing endorsement. It is also highly recommended they maintain their currency of knowledge by attending the latest carbon monoxide (CO) testing course to ensure they are fully up-to-date with the latest methods for conducting these tests.

This information sheet is just a reminder of some of the key elements that must be completed when servicing an open-flue Type A gas appliance and should be read in conjunction with AS 4575-2005.

The quality and adequacy of air supply

When servicing any open-flue gas appliance, always start with inspecting the installation and checking the quality and adequacy of air supply. Conduct a negative pressure smoke test and spillage test as per Appendix R, AS/NZS 5601.1-2013, or Energy Safe Victoria’s Gas Information Sheet 38. The negative pressure test must always be done when the flue is cold. See Gas Information Sheet 58, The Quality and Adequacy of Air Supply for more information.

Inspecting and servicing Type A appliances

Once the quality and adequacy of air supply has been established and the inspection of the installation is complete, the servicing work can begin. Servicing is performed in conjunction with the requirements of AS 4575-2005. See Gas Information Sheet 59, Inspecting and Servicing Type A Appliances, for more information.

Video: Understanding and testing for a negative pressure environment

ESV has developed a short animation for gas fitters explaining what a negative pressure environment is, its effect on open flue gas heaters, how to test for it and how to mitigate it.