WARNING – new regulation for installing and servicing gas heaters, now includes compulsory Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Negative Air Pressure Testing.
All gas heaters have the potential to spill or leak carbon monoxide (CO). This includes central heating units, space heaters, wall furnaces and decorative log fires.
CO is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas caused by incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels.
ESV and the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) recommend that all gas heaters are serviced at least every two years by a qualified gasfitter.
What happens if Carbon Monoxide is detected?
If your technician detects any rise in the level of carbon monoxide above the background reading, they will attempt to find and eliminate the cause of the spillage.
However, if this is not possible, the appliance must be isolated with your consent.
But, refusing to isolate your gas appliance, will mean your technician will be forced to contact Energy Safe Victoria.
When calling ESV, your technician will supply the following information:
- Their name, licence number and mobile telephone number;
- Your name, address and telephone number;
- The type of heater spilling carbon monoxide; and
- The level of carbon monoxide spillage detected (in parts per million).
An ESV inspector will then contact you after receiving these details to obtain further information to resolve the matter.
In addition, ESV may carry out an additional inspection, re-iterating the dangers of carbon monoxide spillage. They will also inform you that gas supply must be withdrawn to the premises if the heater is found unsafe.
Negative Air Pressure – What is it?
Negative air pressure can occur say when there isn’t enough ventilation in the home and an exhaust fan is operating. It has the effect of drawing air from any external opening in a house, including gas appliance flues and chimneys.
When servicing an open-flue gas heater and detecting negative air pressure, we have a responsibility to make the situation safe and inform you of our findings.
In all cases, clearing existing vents and installing additional ventilation are the recommended solutions for overcoming negative pressure. If this is not possible, we will check with you to see whether you are happy to isolate the heater.
If you do not not want your gas heater isolated or to install additional ventilation, we will take the following action:
- Re-iterate the potential dangers of carbon monoxide and the effect of negative pressure.
- Remind you the need to install additional ventilation to overcome the effect of negative pressure.
- Inform you that we will be notifying the VBA of the situation, and that the VBA will contact you directly.
- Notify the VBA as soon as possible with your contact details, site address and heater details.
Once VBA has been notified, VBA will take over and work with you to resolve the negative air pressure situation.
Find out more by reading our Negative pressure fact sheet.
Why should my gas heating appliance be serviced and tested every two years?
To support all home owners, the VBA has produced a short instructional video. This demonstrates the steps required to correctly test for negative air pressure and carbon monoxide spillage.
More details please read Energy Save Victoria website
What are Rapid Cold’s charges?
Booking an appointment with Rapid Cold Airconditioning will result in a charge of $380.00 including GST. This is to complete all the compulsory checks and services.
An appointment will need to be made for 1.5 hours in order to successfully fulfil VBA’s new requirements.
What does Rapid Cold recommend?
Due to the dangerous risks and high prices of running and servicing a gas heater, Rapid Cold encourages their customers to consider upgrading to Refrigerated Heating and Cooling. This electric alternative will offer you cheaper bills, peace of mind that your family is safe from poisoning, and year round flexibility for all weather conditions.