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External Gas Califonts

Can owners connect their own gas? Plumbers allowing unauthorised people to connect gas could be liable for a fine up to $10,000.
It has been reported that some plumbers are fitting external gas Califonts and connecting the plumbing in the knowledge that the owner will fit the gas themselves with a 9kg gas bottle.

There are several reasons the Board strongly advises against this.

Firstly, it is an offence. Under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006 (the Act) it is a disciplinary offence to have permitted any unauthorised person to do restricted work.

This means that plumbers allowing unauthorised people to connect gas could be liable for a fine up to $10,000.

The individual doing the gas-fitting is also committing a criminal offence and could be liable for a fine up to $50,000.

Under the Act hanging an external gas Califont can be considered gasfitting and there-fore should be done by an authorised gasfitter and this was the view taken by the Board in a recent disciplinary hearing.

This is because the Califont is a gas appliance and therefore should be done by those authorised to do gasfitting.

This is important as the positioning of a gas Califont requires technical knowledge of gasfitting such as clearances from the flue.


Finally, many gas Califonts will not work well with a 9kg gas bottle. This is because often a 9kg gas bottle will not supply sufficient gas pressure to work at the Califonts optimum level. External gas Califonts can have a high demand for gas.

9kg gas bottles often vary in pressure depending on the level of gas and the ambient temperature and, therefore, they may not supply the required pressure to the Califont.

In summary, all gasfitting is restricted work and should only be done by those authorised to do so. This will help ensure that New Zealand maintains a high standard of workmanship to ensure gas work is safe and works well.

Contact the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Phone: 0800 743 262, Email: registrar@pgdb.co.nz, Post: PO Box 10655, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
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