The Technician Servicing The Water Heater. A Man Checks The Boil

Different Types Of Gas Testing For Your Commercial Premises

Commercial premises need to undergo gas tests from time to time to ensure the pipe networks and appliances are all in working order. 

To find out what commercial gas engineers will do during these examinations, read on. 

Gas testing

Gas can be very dangerous if the appliances, installations and pipes are not looked after properly. 

If the apparatus is substandard or is damaged, this could risk a gas leak. This could be very dangerous to people within the building, who might come down with symptoms of gas poisoning, which include headaches, dizziness, upset stomachs, chest pain, confusion, vomiting, and weakness. 

It could even potentially result in a gas explosion if the gas comes into contact with fire, which is particularly likely in commercial premises with kitchens.

Therefore, it is essential to have the gas equipment in the building checked thoroughly. 

Tightness test

Something that is very important to check is whether the gas pipework is safe to use, and the installations are in a good condition. 

To ascertain this, engineers will perform a tightness test. This involves using calibrated equipment to check whether there is any loss in pressure.

It is carried out at a set pressure as per GSIUR 1998, and if this figure declines, even by a small amount, this is an indication of a fault in the system. 

The fact the equipment has detected pressure loss could mean some fittings are loose and, therefore, need to be repaired.  

In this case, engineers have to inspect all the pipework to ensure there are no other areas in the system where a loss of pressure incurs. 

Strength testing

Another type of assessment that can be carried out is strength testing, which finds out if the gas is flowing correctly. It also determines whether the pressure is as it should be.

Strength testing differs from tightness testing as they have different pressures. 

The pressure of a strength test is 1.5 times the design pressure, while the test pressure is lower at 1.15. 

Therefore, those who really want to make sure their gas network is working as effectively and safely as possible could opt for both forms of inspections.

 

Purging

If a hazardous gas is detected, a purge is conducted to remove it from the pipework. 

Engineers inject an inert gas into the system, which mixes with the gas already present there. 

By doing this, it prevents the hazardous gas becoming combustible, reducing the chance of a gas explosion, which would be incredibly dangerous to those within, or closeby to, the building.

Commercial gas certificates

While it is advantageous to have these tests done regularly, all commercial premises are required to have an annual inspection to check the network, installations and appliances are in full working order. 

As part of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it has become obligatory to have an up to date Gas Safety Certificate if there are gas appliances on the grounds. 

This involves a registered gas engineer doing a thorough inspection of the building every year to ascertain whether there are any faults with it and if any repairs are required.

It is a legal requirement to have a Gas Safety Certificate, and failure to have one will invalidate insurance policies. 

What’s more, commercial business owners will face a substantial fine and possibly a prison term if they fail to have a Gas Safety Certificate, sometimes known as a Gas Safety Record, that is within its expiry date.

An out-of-date certificate also runs the risk there are faults with the gas appliances or pipework on the premises. This would put everybody there, including members of staff, customers and clients, at risk as a gas leak or explosion is more likely to occur. 

When it comes to the inspection themselves, engineers will spend a long time checking all the boilers, ovens, flues, chimneys, pipework, and other fixtures that carry, burn or release gas. 

They will turn on the appliances to check the gas is running at the correct pressure, and they are burning gas properly. 

Engineers will check there is adequate air supply to the appliances, and the flues and chimneys are clear. This means the gases are able to safely be released without causing harm to anyone. 

They will also inspect the safety devices on appliances, and check whether they are still working. If they are not, they will not be able to prevent gas leaks, protecting both the building and its occupants. 

Finally, they will also observe whether the installation is safe and whether the pipework and appliances are all in the correct places.

If they determine there are any faults with regards to the gas apparatus, they have to secure the building to make it as safe as possible. This could mean shutting down the premises until the repairs are completed. 

However, this is far more preferable than risking a gas explosion, which would significantly damage the building, rendering it unusable for several months. 

This would also cause untold harm to the business’ reputation, as it makes it look negligent and neglectful towards its customers and employees. While physical impairments can be fixed, it could be incredibly difficult to survive reputational damage.

What’s more, the financial loss from having to close for several months or never being able to open again would be significantly more devastating than paying for the annual Gas Safety Certificate inspection. 

Before booking this check, however, it is important to make sure the engineer is part of the Gas Safe Register, which was set up in April 2009. 

This is the only official registration body of gas businesses in the UK, and it only includes engineers who have been given a licence due to having relevant and up-to-date qualifications. 

It is essential to check whether the business you are employing to look over your gas appliances is on the Gas Safety Register, otherwise your certificate will be void.

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