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NZ Gas Bottle Installation Regulations - Location

It is important that new LPG installations include the proper placement of the cylinders to meet the applicable New Zealand Standards.

An additional consideration is the method of filling. 

Installing the cylinders so that they are suitable for either tanker filling or cylinder exchange gives you more options and may save you money on the delivery of your LPG, with tanker filling.

Whenever possible, the cylinders should be installed to conform to the in-situ filling requirements. 

In addition, tanker deliveries require an unobstructed line-of-sight between the cylinders and the tanker. 

In most cases this means that the cylinders will need to be on the side of the home or commercial structure and not on the backside of the building.

You will appreciate this extra bit of planning and care when you site your new cylinders.

NZ LPG Gas Bottle Location Regulations

45kg gas bottkesIn summary:

1. Gas bottles must be placed safely away from ignition sources — primarily electrical devices and flames — in the event of a leak.

2. Gas bottles cannot be placed close to wall openings, including windows, doors and vents, to preclude possible entry and collection of gas in enclosed spaces.

3. Gas bottles must be a safe distance from openings to below ground spaces, for instance drains and pits, to prevent any possible build up of the heavier than air LPG.

4. Gas bottles must be placed in well ventilated locations, avoiding alcoves and enclosures, to prevent possible accumulations of gas.

5. Gas bottles must be placed on a solid base that is not subject to the accumulation of water.

6. Line of sight must be maintained for in situ tanker deliveries.

Please read more for additional information and the required safe distances for placement…

Why You Need to Know

In addition, homeowners need to understand the requirements if they install other devices, such as air conditioners, after the gas installation is already complete. 
Tradesmen, other than gas fitters, would not necessarily understand the required clearance and placement restrictions when they install other gear on your home.
Adding LPG to your all-electric home? See How To Add LPG Gas to Your Home 
While your gas fitter will be well versed in proper gas cylinder placement, you should also be knowledgeable regarding the requirements:

Wall Openings and Drains

In the unlikely event of a gas leak, you want to minimise the chance of gas entering any enclosed area, so a safe distance must be maintained from all wall openings. 
Drains and pits are also an issue, as LPG is heavier than air and can collect in low set places. 
The graphic below shows the minimum distance clearance to be maintained from various wall openings and drains:

 

For installations of less than 100kg of gas:

 

 

For installations of greater than 100kg of gas:

Line-of-Sight to Tanker

You will also note the reference to tanker line-of-sight in the graphic above. 
Tanker delivery requires that the driver has a clear line-of-sight between the cylinders and the tanker while he is filling your cylinders. 
Automatic tanker delivery eliminates the need to check gas bottles or order gas, so it is wise to make sure your placement allows for this convenient delivery option.  
It is best to advise your gas fitter of your desire for tanker delivery, as he may not necessarily consider this.

Ignition Sources

A light switch can be an ignition sourceIgnition sources must also be kept a minimum safe distance clearance from the LPG gas cylinders. 
This includes all electrical gear like electrical switches, power points, air conditioners, compressors, pumps, lights, movement sensors, bug zappers, etc. 
Basically anything that can potentially spark. 
Of course, it also includes your gas hot water heater, pool heater, barbecues, patio heaters or anything else with a flame.
The distance also varies based on whether you have tanker delivery or gas cylinder exchange
On site filling does require a larger exclusion zone but it should be used, if possible, so you can enjoy the advantages of automatic tanker delivery.  

NBN (Internet) Connection Boxes

NBN Internet Connection BoxRegarding the National Broadband Network (NBN) installation, the comms boxes used (see image) cannot be installed inside the exclusion zone of an LPG cylinder, as per AS/NZS 1596.
While considered no, or very low voltage, the current standard - AS 60079 - prohibits the installation inside the LPG cylinder exclusion zone.

NZ Regulations

We must design installations which will satisfy external regulations and to ensure that they do, we construct them to principles laid out in a number of Codes and NZ Standards.

The most obvious one is AS/NZS 1596 “LP GAS STORAGE AND HANDLING” covering tank systems, components, installation of both above-ground and under-ground tanks, cylinder installation, cylinder filling setups (i.e. depots), autogas sites, operations and fire safety.

Perhaps not so well-known, but also very important, is AS 2430.3.4, “CLASSIFICATION OF HAZARDOUS AREAS” which defines hazardous zones and distances from sources of ignition. 

An Industry Standard which we apply and the standard predominantly used by gasfitters is AS5601, “GAS INSTALLATION” which defines acceptable materials, installation methods and locations, specific appliance installation requirements and pipesizing. 

It covers mainly domestic and commercial installations whereas industrial installations are installed to the requirements of AS3814 “INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL GAS FIRED APPLIANCES”.

Cylinders under and inside a building and minor storage

Prohibited Locations

Cylinders should not be installed in the following locations:

(a) In an inaccessible location;

(b) Under a stairway;

(c) In a location where there would be no air movement across the cylinder;

(d) Under a building, other than permitted in section 4.5 of of AS/NZS 1596:2008

(e) In a position that would obstruct egress from a building;

(f) Buried in the ground, unless the cylinder and gas installation have been specifically designed for such a location; or

(g) Where damage is likely to occur, unless adequate protection is provided.


Cylinders under a building supported by piers

Where a cylinder is under a building that is supported by piers, the following requirements apply:
(a) No part of the cylinder shall be more than 800 mm within the perimeter of the building‟s walls (see Figure 4.5 Sec 4 of AS/NZS 1596:2008).
(b) The area between the piers shall be:-
(i) open on at least three sides; or
(ii) enclosed by a construction through which cross-ventilation can occur (eg slats or battens) on at least three sides; or
(iii) a combination of Items (i) and (ii) above.
(c) Where the area between the piers is walled in so as to be vapour-proof, the limitation of Item (a) still applies.

 

Cylinders on a verandah


See AS/NZS 1596:2008 Sec 4.4.7


Cylinders in use within buildings


The use of LP Gas cylinders and the retention of reserve or exhausted cylinders indoors shall be avoided, wherever practicable.

 

For information regarding regarding single cylinder installation and multiple cylinder installations, please see: http://lpga.co.nz/aboutUsPractice.php

 

 

 

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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free & may not be applicable in all circumstances.

Gas Heat vs Heat Pump Review

The most important thing about your choice of heating is the comfortable warmth it delivers.  So, do you choose Reverse Cycle Heating (heat pump) or Gas Heat?

Gas heat is better than heat pumps

The Comfort Factor

Comfort plays a key role in how satisfied you will be with your new heater.  When you sit near your heater, you want to feel warm, not cold.  Almost everyone agrees that gas heat feels more comfortable but new research now confirms the “Why?”

The Research

In its most recent comparative analysis of residential heating systems, research firm Newport Partners used sophisticated building modelling software to answer the question with real data.  "You hear a lot of buzz about heat pumps being uncomfortable in the winter season, especially when outdoor temperatures are cold," says Mike Moore, a consulting engineer with Newport. "We wanted to find a way to try and quantify it."*

What Makes for Comfortable Heat?

Comfort is a very subjective measure, so quantifying it is difficult.  With convection gas heaters, the temperature of heated air being delivered can have both a positive psychological and physical effect on occupant comfort. "If the air temperature being supplied is below your skin temperature, then you are going to have the perception of being cooled, especially when there is a flow of air across your body," Moore says.  So for the study, Newport assumed that when supply air temperatures are at or below typical body temperature — around 37°C — many people feel cool and uncomfortable.

In other words, if the air flow temperature being supplied is at or below your skin temperature, then you are going to have the perception of being cooled when you really want to be warmed.

How Was it Measured

Newport's next step was to quantify how often different heating systems would deliver that cooler, uncomfortable air flow.  Moore used two building energy simulation tools supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to find out.

In both mixed and cold climates, the air flow from the reverse cycle heaters feels cool about 60 percent of the time during the heating season. Convection gas heaters, in contrast, provide an air flow consistently above the comfort threshold of 46°C.

The Problem with Heat Pumps

There is a difference in air flow temperature supplied by the two types of heaters.  This is caused by the different ways the two systems generate heat.

Heat pumps draw heat from the outdoor air.  As outdoor temperatures fall, there is less heat available to transfer to the indoor unit, so the air flow temperature falls.

Some heat pumps will eventually turn to electric resistance heating to raise the temperature.  But before this booster heat comes on, the air flow temperature remains cool and uncomfortable.  And when the booster is active, electric resistance heat uses much more power and is the most costly way to heat your home.

The Advantages of Gas

Gas heaters operate independently from outdoor conditions. A convection gas heater is simply heating the indoor air with gas combustion, so it supplies a steady, consistent air flow temperature above the comfort threshold, regardless of outdoor temperatures.

Gas heaters also have the advantage of heating up a cold house faster.  If you come home or wake up to a cold home, you want to get warm as quickly as you can.  Gas heaters do a much better job of supplying heat rapidly.

The same is true for both LPG and natural gas heaters.  Virtually all gas heaters are available in both LPG and natural gas versions.  Rinnai, Paloma, Everdure and Braemar all make gas heater models for use with both gases.

Price Comparison

Gas heaters are typically less expensive to purchase and easier to install, especially if you already have gas at your home.  With less moving parts and no refrigerant re-gassing issues, the cost of maintaining gas heaters should also be less and they typically have a much longer life span.

Both types of heaters are energy efficient, especially compared to conventional electric heaters.  For example, many gas heaters are rated at 5.8 or 5.9 Stars out of a maximum possible 6 Star rating.

Conclusion

So, is gas heat really more comfortable than reverse cycle heat pumps systems?  The research says it’s true.  People feel warmer when the air flow produced by their heater is well above body temperature.  Gas heaters do this 100% of the time while the research shows that heat pumps only achieve this 40% of the time.  Which would you choose?

 

*Excerpts for this article are from “Gas heating is more comfortable — myth or fact?” an article by Jeffrey Lee on the Propane Education & Research Council web site.

 

 

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Comments, questions or feedback? Please Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free & may not be applicable in all circumstances.