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Type A Appliance Gasfitter Toolkit

This winter will see more families staying at home, resulting in gas space heaters being used for longer periods.

As an essential service, gasfitters are permitted to carry out work, both domestically and commercially.

It is vital you put measures in place to protect yourself whilst carrying out gasfitting work including maintenance and repairs on gas appliances such as space heaters.

To assist you in carrying out essential services this winter, ESV has compiled an information pack for Type A Appliance Gasfitters. Please familiarise yourself with this toolkit.

Protect yourself and others

If you are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) do not attend sites and seek medical advice.

For further advice visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the hotline on 1800 675 398.

When attending a property

Use clear communication and explain to the customer what steps you are taking to ensure the health and safety of the household and the worker.

Before attending the premises, ask the customer if anyone in their household:

  • has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • is feeling unwell or has any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • has been in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus
  • has travelled from overseas recently and is under quarantine orders
  • and/or anyone in the home is self-isolating.

Check the door for any public health notice. A public health notice is intended to alert individuals entering a premises of any health risk.

In these circumstances only enter a premises in an emergency or for urgent repairs. Consider if  the work can be deferred to a later date.
Additional precautions must be taken, refer below.

Prevent the spread

  • Keep your distance: practise physical distancing – stay at least 1.5 metres away from your customer and when inside ensure there is 4 square metres per person. If necessary, ask your customer to move out of the room to allow you to carry out the work.
  • Carry with you and use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60-80% alcohol content.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use cashless payment where possible.
  • Limit your interactions with people as much as possible.

More information is available here.

Additional precautions

  1. Advise your customer that due to current public health directions, you must take additional safety precautions.
  2. When attending the property or entering the premises, all workers must wear the following PPE:
    • disposable P2 face mask
    • full coveralls
    • gloves.
  3. Maintain a minimum of 1.5m between yourself and the customer at all times, and follow all other measures listed above to slow the spread of the virus.
  4. If works are inside the premises, advise your customer to wait in another room of the house with the door closed while the work is completed.
  5. If works are outside the premises, advise they must wait inside while the work is completed.
  6. Only if necessary should the customer show you or your worker the location of the works required.
  7. Complete the work as quickly as possible, ensuring any gas installation is left safe.
  8. If you must speak to the customer during the job for additional information or clarification, do so as briefly as possible.
  9. Advise the customer when the work is complete and leave the property immediately.  The customer is not required to sign an Inspection and Test Plan.
  10. Place the mask, coveralls and gloves in a garbage bag (supplied by yourself) and securely tie the bag.  Immediately wash or sanitise your hands.
  11. Dispose of the garbage bag as rubbish (not in the customer’s rubbish bin).

ESV and VBA guidance material

Ensuring a gas installation is safe is a fundamental responsibility for all gasfitters licensed to perform gas servicing on Type A appliances. As a qualified gasfitter, you must ensure that the gas installation is safe for use.

The following gas information sheets, test and service report sheets and animations will assist you in satisfying your obligations.

Gas information sheets

Sheets 37 and 44 are designed to assist you with selecting the correct carbon monoxide measuring equipment and provide guidance on safe working levels.

Sheets 57, 58 and 59 outlines the importance of carrying out a comprehensive service open-flued gas heaters, and ensuring there is adequate air supply for the appliance to operate safely. They also highlight how important it is to understand the impact of negative pressure – created by extraction or exhaust fans – can have on an open-flued gas heater.

Sheet 38 and test and service reports

ESV and the VBA have developed Sheet 38, which provides information on how to test for negative pressure and carbon monoxide spillage when carrying out gas servicing work. Two test report sheets are also available for use – fill out these reports and provide them to your client to outline the work completed and tests conducted.

Animations

ESV has developed an easy to follow animation that simplifies the concept of negative pressure and its effects on open-flued gas heaters. This may be useful to share with clients who may have a gas heater installed in a room affected by negative pressure.

Gas safety alert

ESV has raised Safety Alerts on a number of open-flued gas space heaters. These need to be checked for compliance or modified to ensure they operate safely.

For further details, click here.

In April 2020, Rinnai announced an Energysaver Installation Audit Program.

Additional information for your client

Sheet 36 outlines the benefits of installing carbon monoxide alarms as a back-up measure to regular servicing. This includes specifications to look for when purchasing one.

Negative pressure letter

This letter may be used to inform your client that you have identified a negative pressure environment within the property. It is useful when a client refuses to allow you to rectify the negative pressure, and your tests show the appliance under negative pressure is not spilling carbon monoxide. In this case, you must notify VBA by email gasheaters@vba.vic.gov.au or phone 1300 815127.

IMPORTANT: On completion of any service or repair work: if the gas heater is spilling carbon monoxide, the source of the carbon monoxide must be found and eliminated, or the appliance isolated. If your client refuses to have their heater isolated, contact ESV’s 24/7 emergency line on 1800 652 563 and select option 5

Contact us

If you have a technical query, contact our Gas technical helpline directly on 1800 652 563, option 3 or by email at gastechnicalenquiry@energysafe.vic.gov.au.