With Eskom becoming increasingly unreliable and the costs of electricity rising above the rate of inflation South Africans are looking for alternative energy sources. Solar power is one option that many are considering but this has considerable upfront costs and seems to the fraught with plenty of red tape. The alternative, especially for heating and cooking purposes is gas and the number of gas installations in South Africa has increased significantly in the last few years.

The Ease of Gas

Gas has long been the fuel and energy of choice for professional chefs and many of the gas installations in South Africa are for stoves and ovens. Those who have installed Gas ovens and hobs swear by its ease of use and efficiency. Even the installation of gas, especially domestically, is relatively straightforward and inexpensive. The beauty of gas is that when Eskom decides it wants to loadshed, with gas you can still boil the kettle.

Installing Gas Right

Gas needs to be installed correctly and gas installations need to be inspected to ensure the relevant regulations have been complied with. Any Gas Installation should be certified by a member of LPGAS – Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa – stating that the gas system has been installed correctly and that it is free from leaks and safe to use.

The safety certificate is mandatory and generally, it is obtained upon installation. It is up to the homeowner or property owner to ensure that the safety certificate is in their possession. The installer may keep a copy of the certificate but the original remains with the property owner.

Gas can be dangerous and homes have been known to be damaged or destroyed by defective gas appliances. Your safety certificate is a vital part of your installation and without it, any insurance claims may be impacted severely and your costs for repair will be very high. Without the installation safety certificate, insurance policies may be null and void and insurance providers are within their rights to reject your claim.

Growing Demand for Gas

Because of the growth in demand for gas installations, there are increasing numbers of poorly installed gas appliances with either non-existent or fake certificates of compliance. Using a professional gas installation company is always recommended.

The Rules of Gas Installation

Many rules govern gas installations to ensure safety. Many of the rules concern where and how gas can be installed and include where the actual gas bottles can and cannot be installed such as:

  • At least 1 metre sideways from doors and windows
  • At least 2 metres from drains and air vents
  • At least 3 metres below windows
  • At least 1 metre from the property boundary wall
  • At least 5 metres sideways away from a switchable electric point or plug switch;
  • 1.5 metres below a light bulb

Properly installed gas saves money but poorly installed gas can cost lives. Always use a professional gas installation company when you move to gas.