Gas Safe - The Law

The following explains the law regarding who can legally work on gas appliances. This is an extract from the Gas Safe website - Dated 18 Sep 2014


Overview.

Gas safety legislation in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey set out what is defined as gas 'work.'
Generally the definition of 'work in relation to gas fitting' lists specific activities which are:

  • Maintaining, servicing, permanently adjusting, disconnecting, repairing, altering or renewing the fitting or purging it of air or gas.
  • Where the fitting is not readily movable, changing its position.
  • Removing the fitting.
  • These activities can only be undertaken by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer, the list is not exhaustive and other operations may also compromise gas work.

    What gas work can I do myself?

    The definition of gas 'work' is quite wide ranging but you can perform the tasks set out in the user's instructions. (provided by the appliance manufacturer) that are intended for the user to carry out. This would not be a breach of the law.
    The law allows you to replace or adjust any component or control that is designed to be operated, or replace by the gas consumer e.g. a cooker tap control knob. However, you should not do anything that involves disturbing the gas carrying components (such as the gas supply pipe) or that could affect the combustion process (such as removing the combustion case of an appliance - see Can I take the case off my gas appliance? below).

    What gas work can be undertaken by other tradespersons?

    If the work required only involves the replacement of a non gas component such as a water circulating pump or central heating control valve, housed within the boiler's decorative casing, the work could be undertaken by another competent tradesperson e.g. plumber/electrician. Providing the work could be undertaken without having to break a combustion chamber seal. (see Can I take the case off my gas appliance? below).
    Disturbing any gas carrying component or disturbing a module that controls the combustion process, it would not need to be undertaken by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
    However, many Gas Safe registered engineers will also have the necessary competence required to determine and rectify plumbing and electrical faults on gas appliances.
    It is not acceptable for someone who is not Gas Safe registered to fit a gas appliance or do other gas work and then have the work checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
    Both parties would be breaking the law.

    Can I take the case off my gas appliance?

    It depends on whether the case is purely decorative or whether it is an integral part of the appliance..
  • Decorative Casing. These cases can usually be removed by the consumer e.g can be lifted off or are hinged panels and do not need to be unscrewed.
    A decorative case can be removed safely by the consumer or anybody else remembering to follow any manufacturer's instructions and warning labels and making sure you have safely isolated any electrical parts.
    However, if you are in any doubt, always use a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.

  • Integral Casing. Many appliances have cases, which in addition to being decorative, function as part of the combustion circuit and form an important seal around the gas carrying components e.g. burner, combustion chamber, gas valve etc.
    If removing the case involves undoing a number of screws, this normally means it is a functional case and it should not be removed by the consumer or a person who is not Gas Safe registered.

    For further guidance on whether you can remove the case from your gas appliance:

  • Refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Contact manufacturer's helpline.
  • Visit the manufacturer's website
  • Remember, whenever having any gas work carried out, always use a Gas Safe registered engineer holding the relevant qualifications for working on your gas appliance.
    To find or check a Gas Safe registered engineer, go to Find an engineer. or call 0800 408 5500.

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