Installing and maintaining gas appliances

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Whether putting in a gas fireplace, water heating, oven, cooktop or heating system, you must always hire a licensed gasfitter — experts who will make sure it is connected correctly, flued and vented properly, working properly and, most important, safe to use.

All authorised tradespeople must carry an authorisation card issued by the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board. Sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are regulated industries in New Zealand, and it’s illegal for anyone to do this work unless they are authorised by the Board.

So, how do you know whether a gas appliance is working safely? Gas appliances should be regularly serviced to keep them running safely and efficiently.

Gas fireplaces and LPG cabinet heaters should be serviced every year. Other space heaters and water heaters should be serviced at least every two years.

When a licensed gasfitter carries out work, they should be asked to double check that all appliances are properly installed and maintained in good working order.

Ventilation inlets should not be blocked or restricted. Poorly maintained appliances or blocked flues or ventilation can produce carbon monoxide, which can be fatal.

Gas appliances need fresh air to operate safely and efficiently. Unflued appliances should only be used in areas that are well ventilated. And:

Never use an unflued gas appliance in small spaces such as a bedroom, bathroom, cabin or caravan.

Don’t use outdoor gas appliances such as patio heaters and barbecues indoors.

Camping appliances such as lanterns and cookers must never be used in unventilated areas, including caravans and sealed tents.