Installing a Gas Pipe Line is much more involved than installing a Water Pipe Line. Gas in Adelaide works on a relatively low pressure compared to that of water even though our main gas infrastructure pipes in Adelaide have done and are still continuing to be upgraded. When you consider that the average pressure of someones water lines to there home is approximately 500kpa on average and the average gas pressures to someones home is approximately 1.4kpa there is a huge differential and this is why it is more complex to design and install a new gas line.
When we as "licensed gas fitters" are looking to install a new gas line there are a few things to take into consideration: How many appliances are we going to be connecting onto? How much gas do these appliances consume and the location of the gas pipe work to be installed. Once these items have all been identified and answered the gas line can then be installed.
So firstly the size of the gas line. As you may have noticed around majority of South Australian homes that the water pipe lines are usually 20mm from the water meter to the house and then most of the time 15mm copper tube is then installed to the various fixtures such as WC's, Wash Basins, Showers, Bidets, Kitchen Sinks and Garden Taps to name a few. With Gas though because we just simply do not have enough pressure around the home from the gas meter you may very well notice that the pipe leading into the house from the meter is actually around 25mm to 40mm in diameter, this is due to the fact that we don't have high pressure into the house so we are therefore relying upon flow through larger diameter pipes.
The layout and amount of the appliances on site will depend on how far a large diameter pipe must travel, for example if a customer has a Gas Continuous Flow Hot Water Service installed towards the back of there home then a large diameter pipe must then be installed all the way to this appliance as a Hot Water Service such as this requires a large amount of gas as it is very thirsty for energy and can consume somewhere in the range of 150 mega joules. Keeping this in mind you also must take into account other items along the way to the Hot Water Service which may need connecting up such as a Gas Cook Top (38 mega joules), portable room heaters (18 mega joules) and Gas Ovens (50 mega joules) these all contribute to the overall size of the gas main as the pipe must have enough flow to supply these appliances as well as the Hot Water System at the end of the line. If the pipe line is too small when all the appliances are in operation they will be starved for gas and not operate to there maximum efficiency.
The materials which are most commonly used are either copper tube or galv pipe work. Majority of plumbers use copper tube as they are geared up to use this because it can not only be used for gas but also water so they are always carrying the various tools needed to install this system such as oxygen and acetylene and Viega crimping equipment. When supporting the new gas pipe line distances to the centres for brackets vary from 1.5m for smaller diameter pipes to then 2.5m for larger diameter pipe work.
Once a new gas pipe line has been constructed and bracketed to Australian Standards by our licensed gas plumbers at Mayfair Plumbing and Gasfitting it must be labelled correctly identifying that the pipe work is carry gas and then tested using a water manometer to ensure no leaks have occurred during the installation process. Once this has been done the various appliances must be commissioned and in most circumstances this is done by using a digital gas manometer. The digital gas manometer is a far more sensitive piece of equipment compared to that of the water manometer and is therefore the preferred method of setting final working pressures of gas appliances such as ovens, cook tops and barbecue's which have regulators that can be manually adjusted. Items such as continuous flow hot water systems and portable gas room heaters adjust there working pressures electronically and there fore do not require adjustment but do require checking with a digital manometer to confirm that they are working to the manufacturers specifications.
Performing the task of sizing a new gas main and then installing it can be daunting for many plumbers and they choose not to get involved with this particular part of plumbing, but with over 20 years of experience on various types of gas installations both domestic and commercial we like to think that our gas plumbers are experts at getting the job done in a professional manner for our customers every time and under budget. If you think that you might be in need of a gas fitters knowledge then please fill in our contact us page and we will be in contact with you shortly alternatively you can call us or text us on 0429361819.
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Aaron Stewart owns and works in the business of Mayfair Plumbing & Gas Fitting from there offices now based in Adelaide, South Australia. Aaron and his team of licensed plumbers and design consultants are passionate about there work. In this blog they will bring you plumbing and gas tips gathered from around the globe over 20 plus years of experiences in the many different fields of plumbing. If you are looking for a plumbing firm who can do everything from design, construct, project management and scheduled on site maintenance contact the Mayfair Plumbing Group.