Inspections of Gas Systems in Vehicles and Vessels

Petroleum and gas safety information bulletin no. 11 | 07 July 2020 | Version 1

Background

The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate is concerned by the number of gas system defects that are not being identified during inspections of gas systems in Vehicles (caravans/RV) and Vessels (boats).

Caravanning and boating is a significant part of the Queensland economy and a popular recreational activity with Queenslanders.

Gas Work Licence (GWL) holders play a major role in ensuring gas system safety for recreational activities. GWL holders must ensure that gas systems they install, alter or inspect are compliant and safe for Queenslanders.

The Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018 makes provisions that vehicles (caravans) and vessels (boats) are not to be offered for sale (new or used) or change of ownership in Queensland without a current Gas Compliance Certificate.

GWL holders have obligations when conducting gas system inspections to ensure the installation complies with:

  • AS5601-2004 Gas Installations- For gas system installation and/or alterations prior to 31 December 2004; and
  • For gas system installations and/or alterations after 31 December 2004 the version of AS/NZS5601.2 Gas Installations Part 2: LP Gas installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes prescribed at the date of the gas work. (date the gas system was installed)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Both standards require gas appliances to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions.

  • Manufacturer's installation instructions may include specific requirements that exceed the minimum requirements of the standard.

At the conclusion of the inspection, the GWL holder must, either:

  • If the gas system complies, issue a gas compliance certificate to the owner; or
  • if the gas system does not comply, give a notice (Gas System Defect Notice) of the gas work or other action that must be carried out in order for a gas compliance certificate to be issued.

Key issues

  • Gas systems and appliances are not being installed in compliance with the Standards and manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • Compliance issues with gas systems and gas appliance installations are not being identified during inspections in the early life of the caravan or boat.
  • For some GWL holders, gas work on caravans and boats is not an everyday activity, and they are not familiar with the requirements of AS/NZS5601.2.
  • Inspecting the gas system installed in a caravan or boat is a time consuming activity, when done correctly. It may include removal of the appliance, vents or access panels to adequately assess all the components of the gas system.

Common non-compliance issues include;

  • Gas appliances not installed in accordance with manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • Refrigerators not installed in a sealed recess.
  • Flues terminating under a covered area- annexes and awnings.
  • Combustible surfaces subject to excessive heat.
  • Sources of ignition too close to the LP Gas cylinders.
  • Indoor domestic cooking appliances installed outdoors.
  • Gas hose assemblies used to connect appliances, where the manufacturer instructions and appliance markings don't allow connection by a hose assembly.
  • Incorrect piping materials and joining methods, such as;
    • Multilayer piping
    • Semi-rigid connectors
    • Press-fit fittings

Recommendations

  • Inspections of gas systems must be a thorough and structured process. A checklist should be used to ensure all requirements are checked. (AS/NZS5601.2 includes a checklist)
  • Prior to undertaking an inspection, GWL holders should ensure they;
    • Understand the obligations under Queensland legislation
    • Are familiar with the requirements of AS5601 and AS/NZS5601.2
    • Have access to gas appliance manufacturer's installation instructions for the gas system being inspected

References and further information

Australian Standards:

  • AS5601-2004 Gas Installations
  • AS/NZS5601.2 Gas Installations Part 2: LP Gas installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes

Queensland Legislation:

  • The Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004
  • The Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Current Queensland legislation at;

https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/browse/inforce

Contact the Inspectorate:

website: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/mining-energy-water/resources/safety-health/petroleum-gas

Gas device and approvals:  https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/mining-energy-water/resources/safety-health/petroleum-gas/gas-work-devices/device-approvals/type-a

Email: paul.beaumont@rshq.qld.gov.au

Phone: 07 5459 6189


Authorised by Bill Date - Chief Inspector
Contact: Paul Beaumont, Principal Inspector- Gas Work, +61 7 5459 6189 paul.beaumont@rshq.qld.gov.au

Issued by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy


Safety: This information is a guide only and is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.

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