Natural gas. It’s versatile. And it’s a great type of energy. But like all types of energy it needs to be respected. Here are some useful tips about being gas smart.
For service, repairs and installation of gas appliances, call your AGL accredited tradesperson for quality guaranteed service that you can trust to be on time, wherever you are.
Operating natural gas appliances.
Most gas appliances have an ignition button. If you have to light an appliance with a match, light the match first, then turn on the gas. If the burner won’t light, turn off the gas and wait until the smell clears before trying again.
Correct flame colour for gas appliances:
- a well-adjusted natural gas flame burns blue. If the flame continuously burns yellow, the appliance should be serviced by a licensed gasfitter.
To avoid unsafe use of appliances, you should:
- always read the manufacturer’s instructions
- have your gas appliances regularly serviced by a licensed gasfitter.
Turning on your gas meters and lighting appliances. Before turning on your gas meter, ensure that all appliance controls are turned off. After turning on your gas meter, light a burner on your gas cooker or turn on your heater and make sure that it stays alight for a few minutes. This is a good way to make sure there’s no air in your gas piping. Then light the other appliances by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re unsure, call a licensed gasfitter or call the appliance manufacturer.
What’s the difference between natural gas and LP gas?
Natural gas is different from LP gas (a bottled or stored form of gas). Don’t confuse them – running an appliance on the wrong type of gas can be dangerous. Never connect LP gas to a natural gas appliance – unless it’s been converted for that purpose. A licensed gasfitter or the appliance manufacturer must carry out any conversion.
Buying new or second hand appliances.
Whether you are buying new or second-hand gas appliances or having any gas service or maintenance work carried out, you should always use a licensed gasfitter or the manufacturer’s technician. Licensed gasfitters must carry registration cards. After completing any work for you, they must provide you with a ‘Certificate of Compliance’. All installations including gas piping work must always be carried out by a licensed gasfitter.
Meeting approved standards.
When buying appliances, they must meet the approved standards of the Australian Gas Association (AGA) or Standards Australia International Global. Appliances must carry a compliance plate with an AGA approval number. This confirms they are designed to run specifically on natural gas. If you buy a second-hand gas appliance, always check the compliance plate and have it installed by a licensed gasfitter.
Installing unflued appliances.
Unflued (without a chimney) gas heaters require proper permanent ventilation and can only be used in rooms that are a certain size. So before you buy, it’s important to check with the appliance retailer or a licensed gasfitter that they are suitable for your home:
- gas instantaneous water heaters should not be installed in bathrooms or rooms with limited ventilation
- unflued natural gas appliances should never be installed in bedrooms or bathrooms.
If you feel that your appliance installation is unsafe or unsatisfactory, you should:
- contact the gasfitter who installed or serviced the equipment and ask for the problem to be fixed
- contact the equipment supplier.
Inside the house.
- do no look for a gas leak with a flame
- check if gas cooker burners have been left on and unlit. If so, turn the burner knob off and do not use any appliance again until the smell has cleared
- check for any gas pilot lights that may have gone out, then turn off the appliance or isolation valve in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
- open doors and windows
- do not operate power or light switches pr turn on electrical appliances
- if stove burners or appliances do not seem to be the cause of the gas leak, turn off the gas at the meter (see diagram)
- avoid using landline and mobile phones
- switch off the power at the fuse box
- next, call your local licensed gasfitter or an AGL accredited tradesperson on 131 766 – from outside the property or a neighbour’s home.
Ventilation is essential.
Gas cookers, hot water units and unflued heaters release fumes that under certain circumstances can be harmful. So make sure there is sufficient ventilation. If you ever experience headaches, drowsiness, sore eyes or throat when using a gas appliance, turn it off immediately and ventilate the area. Do not use the appliance again until it has been checked by a licensed gasfitter.
To prevent poor ventilation:
- never seal doors, windows, skylights or ventilation grills while an unflued appliance is being used
- maintain your appliances properly to avoid production of harmful carbon monoxide
- always use the right type of appliance with the correct type of gas
if you are connecting an unflued heater yourself to an existing bayonet connection, check ventilation requirements are adequate with a licensed gasfitter, the appliance manufacturer or appliance retailer.
Here are some other gas smart tips:
- never turn the gas up to full before lighting it
- never leave papers, rags, paint or other flammable material near gas appliances
- supervise young children near heaters, gas appliances and barbeques
- clean your oven, hotplates and barbeque regularly to prevent the build-up of fats and burnt foods
- make sure that any room where a gas appliance is used has sufficient ventilation
- ensure any fixed vents are not obstructed by fluff or dust. This is very important when using a flueless heater
- do not spray aerosols near operating gas appliances, as these gases can possibly ignite
- ensure all gas appliances are serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- never use a gas cooker or oven as a room heater.