The three main household services are water, gas and the authorities electricity. Almost all houses have water and electricity incompetent people. And most town houses also have access to a gas supply. Must therefore be Many of the improvements you might consider making to procedures and anyone a house will involve one or other of these services, so it’s sure that he is useful to understand the way they are supplied and organised in a home. Knowing how things work in your may never be own house also pays dividends in emergencies. plumbing could and jobs Although there is nothing in the UK to stop anyone always be treated with from carrying out a gas, electricity or water installation any kind, regulations and checks by legally preclude installations by Anyone considering do-it-yourself certain of the correct methods and employing a tradesman should make suitably qualified to do the work.
The results of incompetent plumbing fatal, but incorrect wiring or gas involving electricity and gas should of caution.
The transmission, distribution, and supply of natural gas is under the control of the British Gas Corporation, the administrative headquarters of which are situated in London. There are 12 Regions of British Gas, covering the whole area of England, Scotland and Wales.
The Regions are responsible for carrying out all practical aspects of the Corporation’s operational duties. Among other things, these duties include:
• distribution of gas within each regional boundary, including laying and repairing of mains and service pipes
• selling of gas supplies and equipment
• installation of pipework systems on industrial, commercial and domestic premises including repair of such systems
• installation and maintenance of gas appliances.
All telephone directories contain detailed information on the local offices, including emergency numbers, under the heading ‘Gas’, the number is also on the back of your latest bill.
Bringing gas to your home
From the numerous gasfields in the North Sea gas is piped ashore and taken to all parts of the country through the large diameter trunk mains which comprise the National grid. In rural areas the normal operating pressure of this grid system is about 70 bars (1000 lbs per square inch). Within urban areas this pressure is reduced for safety by regulators to about 7 bars in trunk mains and again to a maximum of 2 bars in street mains.
This is still too high to operate gas appliances, so a regulator fitted to each domestic gas meter reduces the pressure in the installation pipeworkto 20 millibars – the pressure at which most gas appliances operate. Those which operate at a lower pressure incorporate a further pressure regulating device.
The gas supply into a domestic dwelling can be conveniently divided into four sections:
• the service pipe – being the pipe which conveys gas from the street main to the gas meter and terminates with an isolating valve
• the meter installation – incor‑
porating the meter, the short length of pipe connecting the meter inlet to the isolating valve on the service pipe and the first 600mm of pipe leading from the meter outlet to the installation pipework
• the installation pipework – the
network of pipes carrying gas from the meter outlet to the appliances,
• the appliances – including their installation.
The service pipe and the meter installation is the property of British Gas, who is responsible for its upkeep. Any work carried out on this part of the installation may only be carried out by British Gas or its nominated contractor.
The installation pipework and appliances are the responsibility of the house occupier (or landlord) and this involves ensuring that the system is kept in good condition so that it remains gastight. Appliances must also be kept in good working order so that they are safe in operation.
Gas Safety Regulations
The work of installing gas pipework and appliances in the home is not always straightforward and is, in many instances, beyond the capability of untrained people. A high percentage of incidents involving gas explosions and fatalities result from
the effects of incorrectly installed pipework or gas appliances and can be directly attributed to work carried out by persons having little knowledge of what is involved. It is all too easy to unknowingly produce conditions which are potentially dangerous.
For many years, methods of good practice to be followed when installing gas pipework systems and appliances have been available as British Standard Codes of Practice. Towards the end of the 1960′s however successive Governments became alarmed at the number of gas explosions and fatalities occuring and so in 1972 a comprehensive set of Regulations were introduced which, by law, impose specific responsibilities on those persons who install gas systems and appliances and also on those who use them.
These regulations, known as the Gas Safety Regulations are published by HMSO. Their emphasis is upon the safe installation and use of gas and concerns both the individual’s safetyand that of the general public. Under the Regulations you must:
• have only competent persons to install or service gas systems or appliances. You must not do it yourself if you are not competent
• not use, or let anyone else use any gas appliance you know or suspect to be dangerous
• turn off your gas supply at the isolating valve adjacent to the meter inlet if you suspect an escape of gas on the system and not turn the gas on again until the escape has been properly repaired
• inform your local gas service centre immediately if the smell of gas continues after the isolating tap at the meter has been turned off.
A fine of up to £400 can be imposed on any person found contravening any part of the Regulations.
In addition to the Gas Safety Regulations and the relevant Codes of Practice reference must also be made to the Building Regulations.
Meter installations are now installed where the isolating valve is readily accessible from outside. The installation from Street main to appliances, the householder’s responsibility starts beyond the meter.