Gasfitters are responsible for the safe installation and servicing of Type A gas appliances. Ensuring you know what to do when you come across open flued gas appliances installed in a negative pressure environment, spilling carbon monoxide (CO), or the subject of an Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) Safety Alert. As the license plumber it is a fundamental requirement to make sure the gas appliance is safe.
This information sheet:
- is intended to provide a guide to the requir7ements for Type A servicing and inspection work for open flued gas appliances (for more detailed information, see AS 4575 Gas appliances – Servicing of Type A appliances)
- outlines what action to take when you are called to service an open flued gas appliance that is the subject of an ESV Safety Alert
- should be read in conjunction with ESV’s:
- Gas Information Sheet 57, Your Obligations Under The Gas Safety Act
- Gas Information Sheet 58, The Quality and Adequacy of Air Supply
- Gas Information Sheet 38, Testing for negative pressure and carbon monoxide spillage while carrying out gas service work
Inspecting and servicing Type A appliances
When servicing any open flued gas appliance always start by inspecting the installation.
The inspection checklist
Your inspection ‘checklist’ must include (but is not limited to) the following items:
- Is the flue and cowl in good condition?
- Is there adequate ventilation? (See Gas Information Sheet 58 for more information.)
- Is the appliance installed correctly?
- Is the appliance in good condition?
- NB: Burn or scorch marks on the appliance are an indication of overheating and need to be investigated.
- Conduct a negative pressure test (a smoke test) and a CO spillage test as per ESV’s Gas Information Sheet 38.
This test should be done when the flue is cold.
The service work checklist
The service work is to be conducted in accordance with AS 4575 which includes a comprehensive checklist in Appendix E for gas appliance servicing.
What to do if an open-flued gas heater …
… is installed and negative pressure is present
If you detect negative air pressure, you have a responsibility to make the situation safe and inform your client.
Where possible, install additional ventilation to ensure the installation complies. If this is not possible, check the appliance to make sure it is not spilling CO.
…is not spilling CO but negative pressure is present and the client will not permit rectification
The recommended solutions for overcoming negative pressure include clearing existing vents and installing additional ventilation. If this is not possible, check to see whether your client is happy for you to isolate their gas heater.
If your client does not want their gas heater isolated or additional ventilation installed you should take the following action:
- Hand your client the and reiterate the potential dangers of carbon monoxide and the effect of negative pressure.
- Remind your client of the need to install additional ventilation in their home to overcome the effect of negative pressure.
- Inform your client that you will notify the VBA of the situation, and that the VBA will contact them directly.
- Notify the VBA as soon as possible by emailing or by calling 1300 815 127 during business hours. Make sure you supply the client’s contact details, site address and heater details.
Once you have notified the VBA of your actions regarding a client’s gas appliance, your job is done. The VBA will take over and work with your client to resolve their negative air pressure situation.
Please note: The VBA will not take enforcement action against a registered or licensed gasfitter if we have been appropriately notified of the situation regarding your client’s gas heater.
…is spilling CO
If you detect any rise in the level of CO above the background reading, then find and eliminate the cause of the spillage. If this is not possible, or you are unable to eliminate the cause of the spillage, the gas heater must be isolated with the client’s consent. If the client does not consent, contact Energy Safe Victoria on 1800 652 563 (select option 5).
When calling ESV, please ensure you supply the following information:
- Your name, licence number, and mobile telephone number.
- Your customer’s name, address, and telephone number.
- The type of appliance spilling CO.
- The level of CO spillage detected (in parts per million).
An ESV inspector will contact:
- you to obtain further information
- your client to try to resolve the matter.
As part of the resolution, ESV:
- may offer to carry out an additional inspection, re-iterating the dangers and consequences of CO spillage
- will inform your client that their gas supplier must withdraw supply to the premises if the gas heater is found to be unsafe and the client still refuses to permit the appliance to be isolated.
For guidance on carrying out both a negative pressure test and a CO test, see ESV’s Gas Information Sheet 38.
For more information about negative pressure, see ESV’s short animation available from the ESV website (at the bottom of this page).
… the appliance is subject to an ESV Safety Alert
A series of open flued gas space heater appliances are currently subject to ESV Safety Alerts and deeds of undertaking. If the appliance matches any of the heater models mentioned below, check if the heater has been tested by the manufacturer, this can be verified by the sticker on the appliance.
If it has not been checked by the manufacturer, advise your customer:
- their heater is subject to the ESV Safety Alert
- to contact the relevant phone number or email address (listed below).
With the exception of the Heritage heaters, service the heater as normal and include a check for negative pressure and CO spillage. If there is CO spillage, the appliance must be isolated if the cause cannot be determined and rectified. In the case of the Heritage heaters, isolate the appliance and advise the customer to contact Climate Technologies or the Department of Health and Human Services, as appropriate.
- Vulcan and Pyrox Heritage supplied by Climate Technologies Pty Ltd.
Contact Climate Technologies on (03) 8795 2462 or if public housing Department of Health and Human Services on 1800 148 426.
- Regency i31 (manufactured from 2010) supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd (FPA).
Contact FPA on 1800 860 660 or .
- Nectre 2000 (manufactured from 2007) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd (GDA).
Contact GDA on 1300 014 389.
- Real Flame Pyrotech (manufactured from 2012) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd (GDA).
Contact GDA on 1300 014 389 or .
- Regency F38 and FG38 supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd (FPA) and branded and supplied by Masport prior to 2006 (excludes LP model).
Contact FPA on 1800 860 660 or .
- Cannon Fitzroy and Canterbury heaters (manufactured from 2001–2009) and supplied by Sampford IXL Pty Ltd and Sampford & Staff Pty Ltd.
Contact Cannon on 1800 035 410 or .
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.
Date: 28/09/2023 21:48
The currency and accuracy of this document cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the ESV website for the current version.
Reviewed 12 September 2023